Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Does Trump Know? And Other Rants.

Our Dear Leader knows nothing, and he is utterly unaware of his own ignorance, thinking that such ignorance is widespread among the powers that be. 

Vox gives us one example:

President Donald Trump recounted an absolutely astounding detail about one of his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping in comments published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently, Trump came into his first meeting with the Chinese leader, in early April, convinced that China could simply eliminate the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program. Xi then patiently explained Chinese-Korean history to Trump — who then promptly changed his mind.
“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” the president told the Journal. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power [over] North Korea. ... But it’s not what you would think.”

You may have missed Trump's earlier sudden realization that the US health care and insurance systems are exceedingly complex and intertwined:

If there’s one thing almost everybody across the political spectrum knows about health-care reform, it’s that it’s really hard. People who study the issue closely know it. People who don’t follow the issue know. (That’s why lots of smart people don’t follow the issue closely — it’s really hard!) But there is apparently a category of people who did not realize until very recently that the issue is hard, and that category consists of Donald J. Trump, who told reporters today, “It’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

Can I say the Dunning-Kruger effect, at last? 

Dear friends, may we raise a toast in its honor?  After all, there are few other options for knowing-yet-surviving a reality in which the ship of state is steered by someone who both knows nothing and doesn't care that he knows nothing.  Indeed, he doesn't know that he doesn't know.  Hence the arrogance...

Yet sixty million voters chose a know-nothing-and-proud-of-it president.  At least we didn't get a bitch steering that ship of state!  At least all we have to worry about now are possible Russian spies in the administration and the possible start of WWIII.  No email scandals!

What caused this rant?  I talked to a fervent Sanders-fan yesterday, and he argued that Hillary Clinton would have been every bit as evil and bad as Donald Trump has shown himself to be.

Only three possible theories can explain such opinions at this time, given the fact that Hillary Clinton was certainly extremely qualified for the job, intelligent and hard-working; all qualities Donald Trump lacks. 

The first of those theories is spelled misogyny, meaning the fear of any woman in a powerful position.  It may not be the explanation in this particular case, but I do regard the visceral hatred of Hillary-that-bitch-from-hell as fairly good evidence that the lizard brain has a role to play in that anger.

The second theory applies to those voters who are never going to need an abortion, who are never going to be discriminated against in the labor market because of their sex and/or race, who are never going to be delayed at the border or denied entry to the US, who are unlikely to ever need food stamps or public transportation. 

For them there's not that much of a difference between a somewhat centrist Democratic candidate who gave speeches to Wall Street people for money and a candidate whose administration consist of billionaires, alt right (white male supremacist) prophets and possibly even one real Nazi.  It doesn't matter that much to them if the Supreme Court changes its robes into the white robes of the Ku Klux Klan.

Until the date when Trump either starts a major war or Mother Nature calls it quits on us, the fleas in her fur-coat, and calls in the Exterminator.

But until that time certain voter groups have the privilege of ignoring the very real and awful differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The third and final theory, and the one I believe to be the correct in several cases, is that for some psychological reason I don't quite understand many Democrats or lefties are still re-living the primary battles, existing in 2016, unable to move on and accept what is happening today.  

That inability to move forward is not the same as wanting to change the Democratic Party from the inside.  The latter work is valuable, the former is harmful, and it's pretty easy to spot the difference.  Fighting the primary battles over and over again is pointless.  Trying to get better Democratic politicians is not.

Still, we must not stop trying to douse the fire in Washington, DC, while also planning how to build more fire-proof governments.  And we must NOT start to accept the behavior of this administration as the New Normal.  Remember Bannon's promise to dismantle the administrative government?