Monday, April 03, 2017

Perspective Matters

Forced perspective is reality turned on its head, such is the case with the Trump presidency.

Trump has been called the biggest liar in presidential history and bold pundits muzzled for the 8 years of the Obama presidency point to Obama as the soul of reason, calm logic, and truth. Forced perspective. What else can people say with Trump firing off tweets in the middle of the night and throwing out comments and off the cuff remarks that seem more like paranoid fantasies than anything resembling the truth. I remember when Trump said he had witnessed Muslims cheering in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and was called out. No Muslims cheered the bombing of the World Trade Center. How dare he? I don't know if you noticed, but a few days later a sheepish Left retracted their bold calls of "Liar, liar, pants on fire" when digital and photographic proof surfaced. Oops.

All throughout Trump's bombastic displays the Left and Democrats and quite a few entrenched Republicans loudly proclaim Trump's lies only to have to retract -- or more often ignore -- opposition quietly or develop a sudden aversion to reminders of their liar, liar outrage as facts emerge that Trump was indeed right. Does that stop Trump's opposition? Less than a hundred days in and the Democrats, Left, and entrenched Republicans keep a microscope poised to parse every Trump utterance, misdemeanor, and divergence from the political holy canon. They obviously have difficulty learning new skills or avoiding the zap as they blunder endlessly into the old and worn routes. Insanity is defined as repeating the same behaviors and expecting a different result and the political crowd cannot figure out where they went wrong. The Democrats continue to shake their heads, play the Hillary game plan over and wonder what went wrong.

No doubt Obama and Michelle are still shaking their calmly logical heads even as Michelle discovers that she will not be allowed under the tenets of the U. S. Constitution to run for President in 2020 because she has not lived long enough in the United States. Michelle Obama will not be eligible to run for President until 2021. She is old enough (over 35) and was born in the United States to US citizens, but her parents decided to make use of the foreign student qualification by using her legal residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where her tax returns originated from until Obama became president. Oops. Well, at least Michelle Robinson got to go to university as a foreign student with money paid for by funds reserved for actual foreign students. That's the thing about truth; it is often inconvenient. Michelle will have to wait to run for office in the 2024 cycle with no more experience in the political trenches than Barack had, except she can claim she was First Lady for 8 years just like Hillary and no experience as the wife of a state's governor. Maybe she can find a way to trade her position as the part time hospital liaison shuffling indigent and uninsured poor to other facilities to meet their health care needs. The University of Chicago Medical Center paid Michelle $317,000 a year for her assistance in "...creat[ing] the program, which aims to find neighborhood doctors for low-income people who were flooding the emergency room for basic treatment. Hospital officials say such patients hinder [UCMC's] ability to focus on more critically ill patients in need of specialized care, such as cancer treatment and organ transplants."  It is too bad schools benefitting from Michelle's lunch program dumped her expertise and hard work planning healthy meals for students. Kids weren't eating the meals and the waste cost schools millions. 

Forced perspective once again. Michelle would have gotten farther with her lunch program if she had partnered with groups like the Edible Schoolyard or one of the local programs criss-crossing the country where teachers and students plan, plant, and harvest produce from community gardens, going back to the old saying of teaching someone to fish rather than handing out a fish being a more intelligent application of skills.  The school funds would be better used and everyone involved learns more about food from the roots up without the need to waste taxpayer dollars. That's the issue when the real reason for getting involved is personal PR and not helping the community, something Obama perfected during his White House tenure. No one could make sure the spotlight fell at precisely the best angle for Obama. No event, no tragedy, no national or international situation was wasted as long as Obama was center stage in the heart of the spotlight.

You can hold the moon in your hands with the optimum perspective just as the photo above demonstrates how to hold the Eiffel Tower between thumb and index finger. It's not magic, it's perspective, forced perspective. The politicians of the world stand aghast at Trump's pronouncements, conflations, and lies. Trump should allow himself to be guided by those practiced in the political arts and not go off on his own as though he is the Commander-in-Chief. How dare he conduct his life in the manner he has always conducted his life -- to suit himself? He is the President now and must act presidential. After nearly 50 years in construction in New York City, why should he act like a political hack instead of the powerful oligarch that he is or trade his distinct bluff and blustery style for the polished Washington Side-step perfected over decades. Is it better to sculpture a memorable sound byte or shoot from the unguarded lip as Obama did when suggesting to Dmitri Medvedev over a live microphone that when he was re-elected he'd "have more flexibility" with regard to missiles. Medvedev promised to relay Obama's comments to Vladimir Putin.

Politicians lie all the time. What doesn't play well in Washington is getting caught lying -- on camera or mic -- because that is more difficult to down play. The truth is a commodity and has little value in the political arena. Ask Bill Clinton or George W. Bush or Barack Obama or even LBJ or Nixon. They all lied, some far more grandly than the others, but lie they did because political expediency outweighs truth. Trump hasn't learned the political expediency of parsing the outside voice because it all comes from Trump's inside voice. Trump says whatever comes into his mind without parsing. Such parsing is necessary as Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand did when he told the people the government did not spy on them. There are NSA data collection centers all over the world, including a major center in New Zealand that shares information with Key and the British where every person in New Zealand and in countries around the world are spied on and their communications collected and stored. Key lied because he wanted the voters to pass a law that would legally allow the government to continue spying on everyone and collecting the data. If Key hadn't crafted his words carefully the voters would have refused to pass the measure to give the government the legal right to continuing to spy on the people and use the data the same way that the USA uses the data on every man, woman, and child in the nation.

If you want a nanny state you have to agree to give Big Brother the tools to violate your privacy and freedoms. This is 1984 in the 21st century digital age. Orwell saw the future, but not how deep Big Brother's control goes.

Trump is the fly in the political ointment and has no interest in falling into the political line. Obama subverted and bypassed the U.S. Constitution with political expedience. Trump violates the U. S. Constitution with the skills he honed navigating the New York construction industry, usually one or two steps beyond the long arm of the law, just within legal bounds. The political Powers That Be do the same thing, except the PTB rig the system by appointing judges ready to run offense and subvert the letter of the law to fulfill the unholy spirit of the law, treading the left-hand path. The ends justify the means in the political arena in the same way a bully rules the schoolyard. It is, to quote Scarlett O'Hara's mammy, "mules in horse harness."

Mutton dressed as lamb some would say, but in reality setting the weasel to guard the hen house. These days it is often impossible to discern the guard from the guarded. Weasels tend to blend in when wearing the guard's uniform until the chickens are all dead and the uniform spattered with blood and feathers.

There are those who prefer to see the weasel coming before he strikes. Trump is not a subtle man and we hear him even before we see him. Politicians are harder to discern even when you watch their lips moving.

Trump has been likened to Adolf Hitler. Hitler was a subtle politician. Trump is not a subtle man and no politician. Obama is a subtle politician.

That is all. Disperse.

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