Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

2018 gold medal

If following the 2018 Winter Olympic Games were an event, I wouldn’t be on the medal podium. Nonetheless, I have been watching many of the events.  In doing so, my Americanism comes out. Not that I’m anti any other participating country, but…you know what I mean.

Recently I heard a number of reporters talk about America’s poor showing at the games (hte lowest medal count in two decades is what I heard.)

Just because we’re America does that mean we have to win a gazillion gold and a similar number of silver and bronze medals.  Are we supposed to be embarrassed? Are we supposed to make excuses and say wait until 2022?

I was never in the spotlight so I can’t honestly tell you what it must be like to bear the burden of always being number one.  Or, are we at fault because we brag about how great we are in everything?

At a time in history when nationalism should be minimized on the world stage, we, the people of the world, seem to be more nationalistic than ever.

It made me think about being an American in the Trump years.  I distance myself from the president because on a personal level he would be the last person I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with.

I believe America’s number one export should be unvarnished kindness and our number one import should be unfettered understanding.  Instead of building walls, we need to be paving the world with yellow bricks that criss-cross the world.  In our desire to conquer space, we need to conquer fear and hatred right here on earth.

I was tempted to post this in an abbreviated form on Facebook, I opted not to because lately I’m feeling very uncomfortable on this popular form of social media.

Because I have no WordPress blog friends I don’t have to get any likes.  I just have to like what I said.


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Illustration credit: http://www.freakingnews.com/Donald-Trump-the-Scarecrow-Without-a-Brain-Pictures-140003.asp

What do President Donald Trump, Hamlet, and The Wizard of Oz have in common?  A lot. Let me go right to a snippet of Hamlet’s often quoted soliloquy on man:

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

At first glance it appears that Hamlet is giving a glowing review of man. But when the quote is taken apart and the exclamation points are changed to question marks as they are in some versions of the text, the meaning changes completely. And I believe it is closer to Shakespeare’s intended meaning.

Consider the current meaning of the expression “you’re a piece of work.”  It’s not a compliment. It’s an insult.

So, with that said, if we insert this meaning into the Hamlet quote with the change in punctuation, we come away understanding that man is not noble in reason, not infinite in faculty, etc.

To Trump’s supporters the exclamation points remain. To his detractors the question marks are in place.

For a minute take Trump’s campaign rhetoric and his political moves out of the equation and look at Trump the man, the mere mortal.  Contrary to the saying about actions speaking louder than words, President Trump’s action and words speak out loud and clear.  As a businessman he might be the great and powerful wizard, but as a man, he is a humbug.

Put Trump in Oz and he would fire the Wizard and take over control of the Wonderful Land of Oz. Where the original Wizard might have put green glasses on all the people in the Emerald City to convince them they were seeing what he wanted them to see, he knew in his heart he was misleading the people. (Take note of the word “mislead.”  It literally means to lead people astray.)

In Wizard Trump’s case, he actually believes in his “humbugary.” In truth he is the scarecrow in need of a thoughtful brain. He is also the Tin Man, in need of a compassionate heart. And he is the Lion, but not the Lion who knows he lacks courage. He is the Lion who believes he is the King of the Forest. A lion who roars, rages and tweets.

I have lived through the “reign” of a dozen presidents. My view of them as political leaders means less to me than my view of them as men. I judge them using the checklist in Hamlet’s speech.  I want a person in the White House who is noble in reason, a person who is admirable, and a person who is in action like an angel.

There’s no doubt that Obama, Bush and Clinton might have fallen short in many human areas. However, they were elevated by the office of the presidency and more often than not acted accordingly.

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Oz for honest

In less than a week’s time, Orlando, the happiest place on earth, was turned on its head. The senseless shooting of an aspiring pop star, the brutal mass shooting of the innocent in a club, and the tragic death of a two year-old in an alligator attack caused national consternation, angst, sorrow and total exasperation.  Unless you were in a coma you are well aware of what happened, and undoubtedly you have been saturated with endless news reports.

And while more experienced commentators have “commentated” ad infinitum on the week’s events, I want to put my YBR spin to the table for no other reason than a blog is a medium made for getting things off your chest.

Before getting into the meat of the events, I want to take a moment to focus on what the politicians have had to say, and in this case I will limit my comments to the presumptive presidential candidates.

One word kept flashing in my head. Honest…the last word we associate with politicians. (You remember that often quoted saying about an honest politician is an oxymoron? Well in this presidential race you can leave off the oxy.)

The dictionary defines honest as “free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.” When it came to the shooting in the Orlando club, who was the more honest? Trump or Clinton? I’d have to say that Trump spoke “honestly.”  His comments were, as usual, unvarnished.  He didn’t mince his words and he could not be accused of being deceitful. He was also sincere, in that he said what he meant and he meant what he said.

Clinton, on the other hand, was less than honest. That doesn’t mean she was dishonest or that she lied to us when she spoke. It only means that none of us have any idea if what she said was what she really feels/believes deep down inside her. She spoke the language of politics, meaning every word was scripted.

Because Trump is not a politicians he has no filter.  As the big guy he has never had to worry what he said, when he said it and to whom he said it.  Clinton is a politician and she had a filter inserted in her mouth so long ago that she can’t let it go.

As ridiculous as I might have thought Trump’s comments were, I was left confused by Clinton’s remarks.

Space doesn’t allow me to go into any detail on their statements. Suffice it to say that we need people to speak honestly and that means going off script even if what you have to say doesn’t meet with universal approval.

To Donald Trump I say, start to take a wider look at the world and realize that being bombastic might make the news but being a broader and deeper thinker might actually make your “opponents” sit up and take note.

To Hillary Clinton I say, get off your high horse and throw the script away. You might win over more people if you spoke from the heart, not a teleprompter.

To Donald and Hillary: I want to hear what you both  have to say. I have an open mind.  Unlike the two of you.

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