Is it possible anymore to disagree without being disagreeable?

This is in response to Fandango’s Provocative Question.

I have friends in a Facebook group that is focused upon current events. I am left of center in my political views and some of my friends vary from progressive to very conservative so the conversations are always heated and thought provoking. Many of my friends are more informed than I am-and I had always considered myself well informed before this. I find myself researching some of the subjects presented extensively to make a legitimate argument.

So, in response to the question by Fandango, no. I say that after watching the people in my group become more and more divided on both subjects; religion and politics. Every time someone writes about a belief. someone is trying to shove their belief down the throat of the writer. There is one member of the group who resorts to accusing everyone who does not agree with him of not knowing how to debate, claiming the article posted is hyperbole and/or silly, and so on.

The atmosphere politically and religiously is charged to its maximum potential with glimmers of a Handmaid’s Tale mentality emerging into the mainstream. So, can we disagree without being disagreeable? When I have attempted to disagree, many with a different view then become disagreeable. I am now threatening to delete a member of my group who did not agree with a comment made by someone else and let that person know she disagreed by responding, “FU you evil bitch!”

Lair of the Orange Man

"Trump's Lies,The Definitive List" - Many Americans have become accustomed to Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office. (Click on the image to read full article.)
Courtesy of Pinterest

Come to me my pretties,

The big Orange man did say,

I can make all your problems

Dissolve and melt away.

Don’t mind about the others,

They do not think like us

And you know we are better,

Who are you going to trust?

He has no use for mercy,

He laughs at those who care,

He embraces the adversity

As he lounges in his lair.

Ask yourselves, my pretties,

If he should lose the fight,

Will you still be proud of your positions

Without this leader’s light?

7/18/19 TTL

State of Affairs

The world of Trump and the Trump cult, (I call it a cult because sane, kind people have become everything they used to be against), is absolutely confounding to me. I have seen some nefarious characters in positions of power, but nothing to compare to this President, his Administration, and his followers.

He cannot keep competent people in his administration. Why is that, do you think? My guess, partially based on books, interviews, and testimony, is Donald Trump is so crooked and on the border-if not already there-of criminal they finally got a clue he would not change and bailed before they could be involved with something that would ruin their careers or send them to jail like Paul Manafort.

He has sown so much division among Americans it is constantly on display and he fuels it every chance he gets. He appeals to people’s bad side and makes it okay to bring it into the sunlight and embrace the hatred.

Those of us who cannot stomach his rhetoric are now traitors, not patriotic, hate America, need to leave the country if we don’t agree with Trump, etc. I had a high school friend post that if one was not Christian, he/she should leave America. Sounds like the shit we heard in England that inspired us to immigrate to America many, many years ago for religious freedom.

As has been pointed out by many since the President suggested “The Squad” go back to their countries. Omar is the only one of the four who was not born in America. She immigrated here from Somalia when she was 12 years of age and is now an American citizen. She has been a citizen longer than Melania Trump.

I made a comment that Trump is a savant with spin and PR. He could sell an igloo in hell. Otherwise, he is a moron. Yet there are very smart people who hang on his every word. If it was back in Salem, we would say they were possessed or influenced by witchcraft. That would certainly be an easier explanation.

Excuses, excuses

For anyone who would like to read the article and see further pictures, here is the link: https://www.politicususa.com/2019/07/02/photos-from-inside-trumps-detention-camps-show-migrants-crammed-into-cages-begging-for-help.html

I posted this in a group on Facebook. It seems Trump supporters have a million reasons this is okay. It is the fault of the parents. The immigrants are rapists, drug lords, and murders. Illegal immigrants take the jobs of American citizens, (like there are American citizens lining up to pick fruit and vegetables in the hot sun all day like these migrants do every day they can). Immigrants will work for less so American workers get paid less. It is always something to excuse the policies and practices of this administration.

I get so tired of these professed good Christians telling me this is okay and citing political reasons for why this is okay. Or, it is okay because the facilities and border control are overwhelmed. Basic humanity is suddenly not an issue for these people. Some of them I have known all my life. I cannot, no matter what I do, get my head around it. One of my Trump supporting friends asked some of us on Facebook what WE suggested. I responded by asking why should WE be the ones to figure out how to solve this humanitarian problem. Did we not elect a group of people for that very purpose? Those who know the ins and outs of Washington politics and the judicial system? Why would you ask how WE would solve the problem? WE did not create this humanitarian disaster. Nor do we have the resourcews to rectify this horrible situation.

I have even had some say the situation was overstated and not that bad. Really? Are the pictures fake? No, they are not!

Recently, monies to help with this situation were approved. Great! My question is will the money be used as intended and why did things have to get this bad before anyone tried to remedy the situation? This situation at the border is a blight upon the history of America.

Fandango’s Provocative Question: In Response to https://fivedotoh.com/2019/06/19/fandangos-provocative-question-28/

The question posed is the following”

“Do you believe that Donald Trump is an effective American president who should remain in office despite having accepted aid from a foreign adversary (Russia) and having committed obstruction of justice into the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential elections? Do you believe that Trump should or should not be impeached for his actions? Why?”

Donald Trump has a long history of shady business dealings, shafting contractors and banks that gave him loans, lying, cheating, self-absorption, using others, controlling others, impulsive actions, and walking over others to get what he wants. He is not particularly smart, although he claims to be Einstein, but through his mentors-Roy Cohn, for instance-he learned to screw others to get what he wanted. He has made it through multiple law suits and corporate bankruptcies still convincing Americans he is a successful businessman and becoming President bringing all of his corruption into the White House.

There is no question in my mind Donald Trump did all of the things the Mueller report outlines, however, what I am finding through political groups and postings is, his supporters do not believe the report, do not think he did anything wrong even if they read the report, or don’t listen to anything but conservative news sites who have absolved Trump of any wrongdoing. With a Republican controlled Congress, it would be difficult to get a 2/3 majority vote to impeach the President-who for some reason they stand by no matter how crazy the man shows himself to be.

This being said, I believe that yes, an impeachment inquiry should be started and said to be such. I think Nancy Pelosi’s stance on impeachment hinges upon how an impeachment process that will never pass the Senate would this affect the 2020 elections. Others say we must do the right thing regardless of the political fallout. It is a difficult choice for many.

Trumpism

This post is long so if you chose not to read it, I understand.

Tim O’Brien wrote Trumpnation: The Art of Being the Donald and published it in 2005. Donald Trump cooperated with this project completely and Tim O’Brien traveled with him, met his friends, and had pretty much unlimited access to his life. He gathered information form admirers, friends, and rivals. In 2006, Donald Trump attempted to sue Tim O’Brien for libel. Donald Trump lost this suit. Donald Trump’s main complaint was Tim O’Brien had pointed out the continually changing language Trump used about how wealthy he was.

In a deposition, Tim O’Brien’s attorneys:

…produced a Deutsche Bank document that set his 2005 fortune at $788 million. That number landed on Donald’s desk after he had already assured bankers and casino operators that he was worth $3.6 billion (and when he was assuring me that he was worth $5 billion to $6 billion). Trump’s won accountant noted during the depositions that he had a loose grasp on all of Donald’s debts, and Donald-well. Donald seen to have a loose grasp on everything else.

To paraphrase the following portion of the deposition between Donald Trump and Tim O’Brien’s attorneys, Donald Trump was questioned in detail if he was truthful about his wealth and “net worth of his properties”. Donald Trump, upon asking to clarify his answers several times stated, “My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings, but I try.

Tim O’brien’s attorneys seeking further clarification of this answer received this answer from Donald Trump in response to a question to him. The question from Mr. O’Brien’s attorneys to Donald Trump was, “You said that the net worth goes up and down based upon your own feelings?”

Donald Trump’s response was:

Yes, even my own feelings, as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day. And then you have September 11th, and you don’t feel so good about yourself and you don’t feel so good about the world and you don’t feel so good about New York City. Then you have a year later, and the city is as hot as a pistol. Even months after that it was a different feeling. So yeah, even my own feelings after my value to myself.

O’Brien’s attorneys continue, “When you publicly state what you’re worth, what do you base that number on?”

Donald Trump’s response was, “I would say it’s my general attitude at the time that the question may be asked” Donald responded. “And as I say, it varies.” (O’Brien, 2005)

That, my friends, is the stable genius businessman who is now our President.

Battle Cries

(I sent this poem into the Salem College Literary Contest on February 20, 2019 and received, basically, a “Thanks for your submission, but no thanks”, response within a month. LOL Still I like the poem so I am posting it. Screw them.)

Battle Cries

There shines a paltry light that highlights the empathy that has waned

throughout the days of recent years.

Arisen are dark thoughts and deeds numbering in the multitudes.

The deeds encouraged and fed by a populace who follow a morally skeletal leader

into the depths of egocentrism, revenge and hate.

Those who have long hidden their hatred

now show this emotion in public,

their hands twitching to abuse those who differ from them in some way,

however small the difference.

These misguided persons now rise and act with impunity

against those targeted by the leader’s last speech.

Righteous! Christian! America first! Enemies of the People!

The national criers feel all words and deeds are sanctioned with these now meaningless proclamations.

Happily hating the lives of others

in revenge of the lack of success in their lives.

Cheering the absence of honesty, ethics and morality

Because, in doing so, they buy into the delusion they are special-the chosen ones.

Intelligence does not prevent the subscription to Conspiracy Daily arriving at the homes

of previously reasonable individuals, now drawn into the cult

of the wayward son of wealth and privilege

who bought the flag he hugs

with lies, deceit and the measured hum of a preacher’s voice

that stirs the basest instincts of his followers.

He mouths words of sorrow to the victims

without acknowledging the atmosphere of hate he created.

And, within short time, he will excuse the actions of the perpetrators-

shifting the blame for the acts born from hate-filled rhetoric to other blameless victims.

The leader paces in his room before his television set

formulating how to control each station  

and reacting swiftly with a broadcast in tweets

heard around the world.

Foreign leaders caught smiling

at our leader’s naivete as they consider how to best use our resources.

His underlings cling to the fabric of their dignity to ensure their jobs,

neglecting their morals, religious beliefs and ethics.

On the weekends, these public servants explain to their children 

that daddy or mommy must bow to this king of smoke and mirrors

to keep a job whose original meaning has become obsolete.

But there are those who see beyond the charisma of this leader.

Charisma fueled by the leader’s disjointed speeches interspersed with

a laser focus on the destruction of whichever group is hated by those assembled.  

He lacks concern for his followers and

those who oppose him, he would gladly eliminate.

His followers are simply the means for his continuance of power

which affords him the ability to line his pockets in a large-scale manner.

He strikes fear into hearts of the elected officials of his party.

His displeasure is known to be lethal to careers.

So, they allow him full reign to do whatever he chooses.

He will eventually sacrifice all ties to maintain his fabricated reputation.

His business is the business of raping the nation of honor and cash

while destroying the paper that bound this country to democracy and decency.

August 8, 1974. To repeat that day with the present leading man!

Protection of self above all else in the grab for absolute power rings the same in both instances

as does the marching into the sea of illusion for the followers of this and that

false god.

If this leader was a man without power, money, or prestige

and spewed the same words, gave the same speeches or attempted to spark the same feelings,

peers would snicker behind closed doors-or those without care, to his face,

proclaiming his ideas absurd in a democracy

labeling him a troublemaker and an ass.

To those who fight injustice in this new America

with words or non-violent action,

you give voice and attention to the injustice present in our nation.

Be encouraged.

Your sacrifice and boldness will be honored and have a place in history.

We must fight injustices directed at all groups this leader persecutes to silence their force.

We cannot fight the magnitude of the lies

without banding together and fighting the injustices collectively now.

Be strong. Be brave. Be smart. Be effective. Be heard.

These are our mantras, our battle cries.

February 19, 2019 Toni Leedy

The World This Way

Vincent Van Gogh Old Man in Sorrow

You pose these questions

That I cannot answer in the context of my present tense.

Windmills, taxes, politicians and their morals or lack of…

Life is so long

Life is so short.

Days into weeks, weeks to months, and months into years.

Complexities I cannot comprehend in my present state of mind-

Or lack of.

I care so much, and I care so little

The dichotomy of realism versus supposition.

I need but don’t see the point

I feel but don’t see the point

I feel the need to cry-but there is no point.

I feel neither happy nor satisfied-

Which may change tomorrow

Or it may not.

I cannot tell and cannot truly care at this moment.

Still it is the possibilities that keep me going today.

Things have been chaotic and hectic, but I felt the wind moving me forward until now.

I vary between hurricane force winds blowing me back,

tornadic activity threatening to take me away from the home I love and the people I cherish,

And an apathetic distance from my reality.

I don’t blink. I don’t think. I don’t know where I will be from this minute to tomorrow’s minutes.

To be or not to be? Hamlet, my hero.

4/4/19 Toni Leedy