Political Digressions?

Eagle

If you are a long time reader of Trent’s World, you might know that I rarely go into politics or try to tackle thorny social issues.  Yes, I have talked about social issues in the past, particularly with some of my “Compassion” posts.  I also make no bones about my feelings, I just don’t do political posts.

You may have also noticed that this unofficial policy has shifted…

This is a strange year, and I feel that I have to express some of my opinions a stronger fashion.  Looking at the world out there, today we must all put what we have out there.

There are a few things I have been thinking about lately and will most likely post about them.  OK, I have posted about some of them already.  Here they are in no particular order.

Covid-19 (including the wearing of Masks).  This should not be political!!!  We are in the middle of a pandemic and lives are being lost because some people have made it a political issue instead of a health issue! We need facts from the experts, we do not need blow-hards trying to shut up the experts!  I have already posted twice about masks (here and here) and once about the early lock-down and flattening the curve (it has flattened in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where I spend my time). I will most likely go into other areas soon…

Racism.  This is a huge issue in the US and has been since Europeans landed on this continent.  White people, like me, often half forget about it until a big event hits the news.  This year the big event is the death (murder) of George Floyd.  I have already written one post about racism.  Expect more.

News, news commentary, propaganda, fake news and conspiracy theories. Earlier this year I was in a waiting room and saw a large network “news” show were a “journalist” “interviewed” a senator.  It was obvious that they were reading a script.  No facts were given.  No real opinions based on facts (or even fake facts) were given, just one simple message repeated over and over – Democrats hate America and Americans and are trying to destroy our democracy.  No shred of evidence one way or another.  Later that day, on Facebook, I saw quotes from the show posted dozens of times, often with violent comments.  Today real journalists are labeled “Enemies of Our Country” while fake news and conspiracy theories run rampant.  Outside of a handful of sources, there is little “real” news on the national/international level (local news exists), little in-depth journalism, not nearly enough fact checking and no source that everyone agrees as a good source of information.  Tens of millions of people watch a network that does not hide the fact that it is 100% propaganda and not a news station.  The leader of our country spreads misinformation much more often than real information or fact.  To me, this is by far the scariest thing happening in the US right now.  I have not written any posts on this yet, but I will. Getting facts to the people, and having people believe the facts, is the key for every problem we face today. Every problem, bar none.

The Meaning of Life (or, “What is my Place in Society”). This year, more than ever, I have heard (and read) the opinion that people are here only to benefit the economy, that the economy is the only thing that is real.  A Texas politician recently said old people need to sacrifice themselves for the good of the economy (i.e., so this doesn’t hurt the billionaires that own the largest shares of most large companies).  I have dozens of more examples of this type of thinking, many from common people, including statements that if the government helps anybody except for the richest of the rich, it is pure Communism and will destroy everything we love about our country.  Is that all life means, to be the means for some rich person to gain even more wealth and power? Is that the sole reason our country exists, for those who invest in companies (capitalists)? What are we here for?  What is our country about?I have not dared touch this one yet, but in ways, it is the big one…

Anyway, just a little foreshadowing of things to come…  I will still have my usual posts and not be off topic very often, just don’t be surprised if you see something a little more controversial on occasion :)

30 thoughts on “Political Digressions?

  1. RuthScribbles

    I’m in Texas where the jerk lieutenant governor said older folks are willing to sacrifice their lives. He also said he didn’t believe Fauci (or some similar idiotic thing-before Trump started). Ug. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yeah, when I do my post or two on “the meaning of life”, I will quote your lt. governor… Going forward with these posts will be a little scary. I’m glad there are people looking forward to them :) and I hope I can live up to it ;)

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  2. SHL2

    I normally stay clear of anything political but here are my two cents. The face mask issue I agree is NOT political it is a public safety issue. I hate fake news and the people who report it in my opinion fake news is a bunch of reporters who are too lazy to find a real story. Everyone needs to be equal one race is not better than another and its time this country wakes up and treats everyone with respect. I really feel like enough people have been sacrificed during this COVID – 19 pandemic why do we need more?

    Life is precious and what we have gone through this year has been terrible I am glad I did not have to navigate my way through it while being a politician.

    I hate election years if you vote for one person you should have voted for another we just never know what we will end up with. Politics is like poker you end up with the cards you are dealt with.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yeah, I try to stare clear of politics, and an election year is an awful time to get tangled in them, but…
      There are a few things moving me to write this year. The first is all of the Facebook posts. Most of the people I graduated with barely hide their racism (while say they aren’t racist); think Vovid-19 is a plot by Democrats to make Trump look bad; think masks cause brain damage and so will shoot with their assault weapons anyone who tries to make them wear one (yeah, they say that last part in humor, but….); and complain about the (heavily fact-checked) main stream media “fake news” outlets while putting up links to “news sites” that deal 100% in conspiracy theories. It’s very scary – the world has changed, and not for the better in the last few years.
      Anyway, my rants might not change any minds, but it will feel nice writing them ;) And my rants will rarely mention names or parties except where needed.
      One thing that gets me is that most of this should not be political. Why are masks a political statement? But they are. Why should equality be political? But it is a huge, huge political issue. Covid-19 should not be political. Fake news and conspiracy theory are used to drive politics today as never before. Those stories are out there to get people to vote in certain ways.
      So, from that side, I’m trying to stay out of politics, but want to talk about what is happening today, an, unfortunately, every aspect of life is now a political issue…
      (Sorry for the long rant :) )

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      1. SHL2

        Go get them Trent. Some people do not care what they say or how they say it. To me its like they have no manners. Remember learning manners in school I bet they do not teach that anymore lol.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I know he will be in until January – I just hope Ruth stays well until then – Trump and McConnell have already said they will fast-track any Supreme Court Appointment, even if the opening happens 2 days before the inauguration…

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Something like that. I think people can guess where I stand by what I write, but to come straight out and actually saying it is a little scary – far outside my comfort zone! But, yeah, these are not normal times…

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  3. dprastka

    I applaud you Trent!! I support your writings, but I do stay away from politics. You are very articulate and I enjoy reading your prose. I feel like such a teeny tiny speck, which leads me to think what does it matter what I think if I can’t change a thing. I shouldn’t think this way, but I’m terrible at debates and do not want to bring my opinions to the table if I can’t support my opinions very well. I feel like I can barely write a nice response that makes sense! (Call me a dumb blonde! Haha, well I’m calling myself that, but I’m joking!😀) I just thought I’d respond with I enjoy what you write and I’m always interested in others opinions especially when you explain things with such thought and factual responses. I don’t know if I make sense, this subject is just hard. My parents always told me – to avoid conflicts stay away from politics and religion! Lol 😊

    P.S. I may try and comment now and again not that I need to explain myself. I guess I’m trying to get outside of my comfort zone. I think you are very brave and smart!!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! It is very difficult sticking your neck out on a more political post. And yes, I do want some fact to back it, and it isn’t always easy. And, well, it isn’t easy… One thing that I can say is that I have had pretty much just positive feedback on my more social/political posts. (I did have a troll on my silly Yesterday parody on YouTube. I laughed at him, and told him I was leaving his comment up so everyone in the world could see what a fool he was and laugh as well. The comment was gone in a day ;) ). Anyway, it is difficult, and my parents told me to avoid politics and religion as well. I guess I’ll just avoid religion ;)

      I’m sure if you found your groove, you would do fine. And also starting small. And yes, way outside of my comfort zone…

      Thanks for the complements! :)

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  4. Suzanne@PictureRetirement

    Trent, there are a lot of moving parts to your rant that resonate with me. Pondering the meaning of life is daunting and doesn’t leave me feeling optimistic in terms of where our nation is headed so I won’t go there today. The mask protest is just stupid, but I think that of most protests where innocent people are harmed.

    Kudos to you for making using this platform to express your thoughts. So now what? Where do we go, except to the ballot box, and what will a change in administration accomplish? There will still be gridlock, party-line voting, and non-action. People will continue to be frustrated and the divide will continue to grow. We need to make tax reform, healthcare reform, education reform, equality, poverty and immigration reform priorities, but as long as we have career politicians who vote to protect their seats in Congress, that will not happen. They are so afraid to pass anything because the ‘other side’ might get credit. Personally, I am all for term limits!

    I’ve been watching our local County Commissioners in action lately and even at that level the lack of understanding, the slow grind, and the inability to make sound decisions is astounding. It’s all political.

    BTW, I’d like to know who you consider a ‘real journalist;’ I sure can’t find one.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yes, it is a lot to take on, and I don’t pretend that I will be able to do more than scratch the surface on any given topic, let alone all of them! I also know that I am being idealistic to want to take on a quest such as this. The windmills that I will be tilting are huge and entrenched and my puny self won’t be able to do much. Except…
      Here is that ideal streak: If none of us say anything and none of us try, we will lose and all of our prophesies will come true. If a few of us shout from the roof top, perhaps a very small smattering of people will listen to us nuts and take a little notice. If a lot of people start talking about it? If “everyone” is talking? Perhaps, just perhaps we can get enough people interested enough to do at least a little good. Perhaps a course correction. the problems won’t be fixed, but as long as we start heading away from the cliff…
      There are a few thoughts. Let’s take tackling racism at all levels. No amount of people marching in the street will solve it. First, the big power brokers need to be involved. Next, it has to be a very long term fight – there was progress in the 1970s, but 90% of it went away in a couple of years. It takes a long-term commitment from everyone. So, yeah, it is being idealistic, but perhaps, just perhaps, a little change can sneak its way in..,
      Of course I will not even attempt “the meaning of life” from a religious or even a deep philosophical point of view. I just want to discuss those surface things first. OK, they are still deep and complicated and will take a lot of research to even contemplate writing…
      Yeah, politics as usual is never good. I have mixed feelings about term limits – I hate that everything is strictly with reelection in mind! I also get tired of that political class. But then, some of the best laws (ok and worst) have come from career politicians like (I’m biased here) Teddy Kennedy. And, unfortunately you are right that many of the toughest issues have a harder time being solved because of those reelection
      priorities.
      I don’t have a favorite “real” journalist right now. I don’t think there is a modern Walter Cronkite. One problem is that most of the “talking heads” on TV (or the web) are news annalists, not journalists. However, several major news papers do still practice good journalism, along with fact checking. Some news websites do a good job, as long as you make sure you read news articles and not opinion or analysis. I try to read a variety so I can several angles and get as much info as possible…

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      1. Suzanne@PictureRetirement

        Trent, giving most of the ‘talking heads’ the title ‘news annalist’ is very generous. They are entertainers at best, or worst, as the case may be. I enjoyed reading your global overview of the state of the union, and look forward to some specific ideas as you continue to share. Just keep smiling and enjoy your morning coffee!

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I remember when a certain radio personality was confronted about the lack of facts in his show, he answered, “I’m an entertainer”… Many are entertainers, some are news analysts, but often in a way that is closer to propaganda than opinion or editorial… Thanks.

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  5. dawnkinster

    I welcome those posts. I have not been brave enough to do any, but I am crying on the inside over the state of our country on all those fronts. Nov 3 can’t come soon enough but we can’t take anything for granted. That’s how we got where we are today.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, I’m glad you support this type of a post. You have taken on at least one big topic, but you’ve done a great job of talking truck safety without making it a partisan political thing. I agree, we can take nothing for granted.

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