I caught a little piece of an Oliver Stone interview last night. He was saying that after thirteen years of watching Trump be decisive and commanding on The Apprentice, very few except the politically sophisticated would be able to perceive the empty vacuum at the heart of his persona. Of course, about the time of the Access Hollywood recording, producers at The Apprentice let it be known that they had to work really hard to maintain that image. Trump was abusive during scenes, and arbitrary in his decisions. One of the challenges was building a back-story that justified his actions.
Coupled with this is the dominance of Fox News in Republican circles. Joy Reid was on with Chris Hayes last night, observing that the reason the Republican base still remains loyal to Trump is because Fox continues to tell them that the Russian interference scandal is nothing worth paying attention to.
Contrast this with Joseph McCarthy, leader of the Red Scare scandals of the 1950s. McCarthy would roll into town, make a bunch of baseless accusations against local politicians, and then leave. The press would publish front-page denouncements of McCarthy’s targets, followed by back-page retractions when the accusations were debunked. Lives were ruined by the asymmetrical publicity.
What undid McCarthy were the televised Congressional hearings. Before the cameras, he was revealed as a manipulative little weasel.
Of course, some among us see Trump in the same way, but his electorate has been conditioned to associate those traits with carefully-scripted moments of glory.
But what about his sons?
It was cathartic to see Donald, Jr. on Fox News last night. He came across as a whiny brat.
Trump, Sr. characterizes the meeting with Russian representatives as “opposition research” that “almost anyone” would pursue. If so, that’s an indictment of our political culture. Trump has long been cozy with organized crime figures, and draws his legal talent from a community of ugly intimidators – men that will not even bother to apply for security clearances that would never be granted. Is this where we have come as a nation? A political culture in which winning by any means possible includes crawling through the gutter with people whose livelihood requires corrupting virtue?
In the early hours this morning, I found myself musing that maybe Comey took the line he did against Clinton in part to create conditions under which that culture would be exposed. I know that it had invaded the FBI itself, where anti-Clinton zealots used Breitbart publications to motivate a criminal investigation of her family. This is a visible case of misuse of agency resources by political operatives, but what if elected officials all across the country are interceding in investigations to protect criminals that have contributed to the destruction of other candidates?
I personally don’t find that inconceivable.
J. Edgar Hoover ran the FBI as long as he did because he had files full of the dirty secrets that elected officials wished to keep hidden. Could it be that organized crime has its own database at this point, and is securing its influence by blackmailing the political class? The Russian government – now the most powerful organized crime ring in the world – may not be motivated only by its foreign policy goals to attack our political system. It may also be extending its power through organized crime, and collaborating with U.S. criminals to corrupt not just our political class, but our entire culture.
“those without sin cast the first stone” ~Jesus the Christ
I appreciate the Biblical reference. It was the adultress, was it not? Jesus ignored her accusers and wrote on the ground. I have read exegesis that suggests what he was writing were the sins of the accusers.
There is, of course, a difference between casting stones at those that are marginalized in society, as opposed to exposing the hypocrisy of the powerful. We don’t throw stones at the marginalized these days – instead we deny them health care coverage. Death by a thousand (budget and tax) cuts, as it were.
we don’t throw stones period
we pray for him
intercede for him.
Jesus could have thrown stones
as he is the only one incarnated who never sinned or fell short of the glory of God,
but he chose to lift everyone up to His Light of Awareness
so we could see from His Light
and receive His Spirit
so we could see the unloveable through His Eyes.
that is how we add to the light of the world not conform to its darkness.
i appreciate you
your heart is to know him.
we all make mistakes
and we have to look at the heart of others
through Christ Jesus’ heart eyes.
we don’t want to be judged for our past mistakes
so we don’t judge others mistakes
when God shows us they have a change of heart.
we forgive 70 X 7 times.
we are forgiven as we forgive.
we conform to Christ
no longer conform to the world
to add to the light of a new earth
instead of the darkness of the world.
You seem to lay forgiveness at my door. I don’t understand why. I do forgive. But forgiveness is not a license to continue harming others. Those that are harmed need insight that allows them to escape their bondage to those that sin against them. And those that sin need understanding that will guide them to redemption. Jesus spoke out against the hypocrites of his day, but for the purpose of healing them of their sin. I assure you, what I do I do for the same reason – that none can say that Christ did not love them enough to tell them that what they were doing was wrong.
I always lay myself at forgiveness’ door, for it is the only door to Love.
Grace and peace to you Brian. Seeking love, and being hurt and disappointed instead for my my whole life, I found God when he came to me with only Love when I had made a huge mess of my life. He never tried to correct me, He only loved me until I could forgive God for what I thought he had done (turns out I was wrong), I could forgive those who stole so much from me spirit and soul and body and then to finally forgive myself, a realm of grace and glory so unspeakably amazing that I could never not give what I have so freely been given even when I did not deserve it. May our Father bless you and father you in a way you never imagined or knew was possible!
Thank-you for bringing these words of wisdom and your testimony of redemption! I am so glad for you, and am confident that the light you allow to enter into the world through you will inspire others to receive the same grace!