Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dial It Down

Okay, this is long overdue.

Let me preface this all by saying that I am NOT a fan of President Donald Trump.  Nor was I a fan of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  Sad to admit that it was my intense dislike of both that had me not pulling either lever last November.

Going back further, I was definitely not a fan of the woefully-in-over-his-head Barack Obama.  Once everybody gets over their political correctness, history will show him to be one of the more mediocre people to hold the top office.   I definitely was also not a fan of George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush or the second term of Ronald Reagan when our country was likely being run by Nancy Reagan, Merv Griffin, and some psychic in Bel Air.

Devouring 20th Century Presidential history books as I do, I can pretty much declare that my favorite Chief Executive over that time is John F. Kennedy, largely because he exhibited the admirable composite of being socially liberally and fiscally conservative, which would be me.

But, while I am largely not a fan of many of the people who sat in the Oval Office, I am definitely a fan of the concept of President itself.  I hold what that job is supposed to be as dear and I view it with great reverence.   That's what I was taught by my parents and my grade school teachers.  Regardless of the party, you held whoever was in that office to the highest regard.

Of course, some of the respect began to wear off as the actual Chief Executives started to demean the position themselves.   Nixon's lunacy.   Clinton blowing his saxophone on late night gab fests.   Obama making regular appearances on comedy shows.   And, of course, Trump acting a regular Twitter fool on a daily basis.

While the last five or so Presidents have played a large part in reducing the reverence of this very important job, we all haven't helped.   The manic-depressive, bi-polar state of our populace has also contributed to the complete desecration of the office of President of the United States.

That said, I have never seen or heard in my life the type of violent vitriole that is rampant today.   Social media amps up the anger and it was not long after his election that I actually saw a Facebook friend of mine openly discuss that Trump should be assassinated.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Meanwhile, on the aforementioned Facebook, I also see a lot of other vile behavior from other friends that I would expect more from.  Cartoons, funny pictures, willy-nilly sharing of completely bogus news and theories from the likes of Breitbart News and Occupy Democrats.   Or you get on your Facebook page carefully edited clips from Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow and Trevor Noah.  A few of my Facebook friends share the rants and ravings of the no-longer-relevant Dan Rather, who literally and inexplicably began one piece by saying he was an avowed independent.  To say Rather is unbiased is like saying a Kardashian sister passed alegbra in high school.

Can I suggest that, in lieu of reading or absorbing all this garbage, you read a book about one of the people who held this office over the past hundred or so years?   I invite you to my home and you can borrow one of my three dozen or so volumes.

Okay, this is America and free speech should be our most cherished right.   Every one is entitled to their opinion.   And all of these thoughts should be tolerated not spit at.  A level of civility was begun by our founding fathers, but, alas, that has been thrown out the window with the baby, the bath water, and the crib.

Look at how the line has been crossed in the past two weeks.  D-list comic Kathy Griffin, who is as funny as a seven-car pile-up on the Harbor Freeway, holds up a bloody head of the President.   New York's Central Park stages a version of "Julius Caesar" where an exact replica of Donald Trump is assassinated on stage to cheers.  Of course, the pinnacle of ugliness came last week when some nut job shot up a bunch of Republican congresspeople as they practiced for a charity baseball game.

Are we proud of ourselves?   Especially when celebrity dopes like Madonna say that the White House should be blown up.  Charming.   Let's keep that disgusting rhetoric going.   Because, as history shows, we are not the most open-minded nations on the earth.   We have indeed resorted to violence to change the direction of our government.

There have 45 Presidents in our history.   That's not a lot.   Of that total, there were four Presidential murders...McKinley, Garfield, Lincoln, and JFK. Percentage-wise, that's high.   Meanwhile, there have eight other assassination attempts during the lifespan of America.   Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Harry Truman all got shot at.   President-elect Franklin Roosevelt was riding in a car when a gunman took aim at him.   The other passenger, the mayor of Miami, took the bullet and died.  

I'll keep going.  Gerald Ford got shot at not once but twice from the likes of Sara Jane Moore and that Manson chick Squeaky Fromme.   George W. Bush had a grenade thrown at him which malfunctioned.   And, of course, Ronald Reagan came very close to death when he got nailed by the president of the Jodie Foster Fan Club, John Hinckley.  

My count of both completed and attempted assassinations is 12 and that's over 25 percent of our Presidential roster.   When you think about that, I get a sick feeling in my stomach because I was always thought this was a peaceful and great nation.

You hate Trump?  Fine.   Likely, his arrogance will trip him up and the courts will decide his fate.  Or you pray that there are better options in 2020 and you vote him out the way the founding fathers designed this mousetrap.   But, in the meantime, dial it down!  Instead of putting up stupid cartoons or sharing the misguided thoughts of some moronic pundit, take some time and clean out a clothes closet for a donation to Goodwill.   Post a notice about a lost dog in the neighborhood.  Or do something else that helps us all in the community.  What you're doing on social media is just wasting everybody's time, including yours.

Civility is on life support in America at the moment.   But, perhaps, we can all engineer a miracle.

Dinner last night:  Barbecue beef platter at the Dodger game.

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