Principles

I apologize, I’ve been remiss in posting. Believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve started about a dozen posts over the past six weeks and every time, without fail, I’ve deleted them. They’ve all seemed inadequate to the task when compared to the absurdity of current events.

And not that I would put myself in the same company as our political press, but I do understand why they all fawned over Trump’s address to Congress. It was like this collective sigh of relief that they could write about something normal for a change. Familiar ground at last! Terra firma. Was the speech good or bad? Whew! As opposed to today’s headlines, which went something like,

wiretap

I mean, my God.

None of this is normal.

Recently I was in New York City at a music club. A guy at the table behind me was talking in one of those loud, overheated voices men use when they’re trying to impress their dates. It was hard not to hear him, and when it became clear he had worked for the Trump campaign, you’d better believe I listened in. He said,

“most of us in Andrew’s office are pretty liberal Democrats….”

(Andrew being Cuomo, the governor of New York, I am guessing). But when the Trump campaign came along a bunch of them saw an opportunity because,

“…Stephen (Miller?) came in and said how if the Democrats aren’t going to be the party of working people, we might as well be….”

… as if the Trumpers give a shit about working people? Really? And so all of these folks who worked for the Democratic governor of New York were now finding roles in the Trump administration, principles be damned.

But our Boy Wonder is no dummy, even he could see what a shit show the White House is, so he was going try to find something in the AG’s office. And how you can call yourself a liberal Democrat while working under Jeff Sessions is a complete puzzler to me.

I heard all of this on the earie, as they say, and it was all I could do to keep from turning around and asking Boy Wonder WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I mean, kids today, amiright?

Folks, this stuff matters. This isn’t just your resume we’re talking about. There are actual, real-life consequences to the policies that Trump is pursuing. Real people are being affected here. There’s the migrant deported to Mexico who committed suicide hours later, the grandmother deported while her son in law is in Afghanistan. Or the trauma inflicted on this family:

Immigration agents tailed a man as he dropped off his daughter at a Los Angeles school last week. They pulled him over and took him away — all while his 13-year-old sobbed in the back seat.

It’s been just six weeks, and this is the kind of stuff happening already. There’s more: I know people who expect to lose their Obamacare coverage who have been forced to make real life changes as a result: career decisions, life partner decisions, you name it. So the idea that someone would be so cynical as to think, “I’m a liberal Democrat but I’m going to work for Trump because I’ve got my career to think about” is repulsive to me.

And it seems to be going around. A lot of people want to know how Stephen Miller became such a horrible person. Friends want to know how the educated, liberal Jewish Julia Hahn came to write for Breitbart News and ultimately get hired by Steve Bannon as a White House staffer. It’s quite a conundrum:

After college, Hahn moved to Washington, D.C., hoping, she told friends, to “get a job in media.” She didn’t seem to care what kind. At around this time, a Chicago classmate who worked at a think tank saw Hahn at a party; Hahn said that she was a producer for Laura Ingraham, a fixture of far-right talk radio. “I asked, ‘Oh, is that what your politics are?’ ” the classmate recalled. “She went, ‘Nah, I’m apolitical.’ I thought, O.K., there are two possibilities. Either she’s dissembling because she doesn’t feel comfortable being outed as a hyperconservative or she actually is just a pure social climber.”

[…]

“Seeing her writing for Breitbart—and writing some of the most aggressive, white-nationalist stuff on the site—was quite a shock,” Eliza Brown, one of Hahn’s Chicago classmates, said. “My friends and I talked about it a lot, along the lines of ‘Was this festering in her all along?’ ‘Can you ever truly know anyone?’ ” She continued, “Not to wax too poetic about academia, but part of the idea of learning the canon is that it will, ultimately, make you a better person.”

Is this some new thing, people not having any principles? Is it some generational thing? And looking at the shit show that the Trump regime has become after just six weeks, who thinks a Trump administration job will be anything but a liability on their resume in coming years?

I don’t get it, I really don’t. But whatever. The important message, if there is one, is that this shit matters. Everything you do matters. Even if you aren’t Boy Wonder, even if you’re a normal person going about your day, what you do matters. Do it with integrity, honesty and humility or don’t bother getting out of bed in the morning.

That is all.

25 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump

25 responses to “Principles

  1. I find it horrible , too. I don’t know of anyone famous who has thrown their principles out the window the way these guys have done with theirs. This reminds of that orange – haired ‘s Latino surrogate , Acosta ?? who doesn’t have any iota of empathy towards his countrymen.

  2. Joseph Stans

    Kudos for your post. I am older and do not have sufficient time tor energy to fool around trying to fix what the members of the lost generation just flushed. So I migrated to Canada; fewer guns, more civilized, better educated and nice folks.

    It is a sad comment to hear a middle-aged woman grouse about her husband losing his job in the coal mines more than five years ago and that is the reason she voted for Trump. Now more than five years later neither are still not prepeared to live without the coal jobs — which are not coming back. Ever. Sad.

  3. I’m going to guess that Robin’s girlfriend is apolitical. This was just so much bravado. But it is quite chilling to those of us who still care about the republic. And quite frankly, good versus evil.

  4. democommie

    What you say about those scumbags is spot on. Unfortunately for the rest of the planet a lot of people who claim to be liberal or progressive have demonstrated in the last several months that they can be every bit as venal, self-centered and petulant as the Trumpliguturds.

    “I got mine, fuck you!”, seems to be the mantra that a lot of people have adopted, despite their knowing that what they’re doing is not only wrong in the long term, it’s wrong from 11/10/2016.

    I know that the DNC is horrid. I know that Hilary is a person who I don’t personally like (although I respect and admire her obvious courage and intelligence). I know it’s BROKEN. I also know that it cannot be replaced, with anything that the Berniebros have planned.

    It took DECADES to get from where we were in 1945 to where we are now. It will take decades to fix what’s been fucked up in the last 70 years–if a lot of it even can be fixed. And, yet, when I talk to a lot of young people or people even my age, they’re just not that concerned about the train wreck that this nation has become.

    I don’t know how to fix it–and I don’t have time, I’ll be gone, one way or another in a decade or two, at most. But, I do know that tossing the democratic party under the bus will only accelerate the process of balkanizing the U.S.

    Those turncoats who wanted to pad their resumes or get the nice job, Fuck ’em. I’m not sure what is to be done about the rest.

    I feel for you, Southern Beale, I know how much you’ve tried, in your corner of the world to spread the word and shine a lot on the cockroaches. I’ve just been cynical for so long that seeing all of this dystopian bullshit doesn’t surprise me, at all. I appreciate your efforts and especially your humor and I hope that you and some other folks I know–who I would value as friends–will continue to be the reasoanable, cogent voices that need to be heard.

    • Thanks, Demo. You’re right, this isn’t a new phenomenon. The BernieBros are right about one thing, when we monetized political activity we virtually assured that what was once “public service” would be corrupted and denigrated by venal assholes looking out for themselves. Also not a new phenomenon, but something which has accelerated in the past 10 years. I think Stephen Colbert is the one who called it “the poltico-industrial complex,” the industry of making money off of the money in politics.

      All of it reflects a larger societal problem, which is the idea that “service” no longer matters. The young people today grew up with Libertarian mantras about “free markets” and “choice” and “deregulation” and all that, this lionization of the business world, that somehow only a business man (or woman) can save us. I don’t get that, who says the merchant class is any better or worse than, say, the intellectual class, or working class, or anything else? Pretty sure we’ve been down this road before and maybe the next Republican recession will finally put the kabosh on this notion that somehow business people are better and more knowledgeable than the rest of the world.

      • democommie

        The next Republican Recession might be the kibosh on civilization, as we quaintly refer to it.

        Like you, I’ve started a number of posts but haven’t gotten far with any of them as I’ve got an audience of more than me and less than three. As well, I tire of trying to explain anyhing to people with their fingers in their ears. I have been telling young people since whenever that NOT voting (or, worse, voting for the wrong guy ‘cuz, it’s “edgy”) is casting a vote for oligarchic rule, or something darker.

        I see that the EPA is going to rescind the ban on lead ammunition for hunting–waterfowl and upland bird, only, I think. This will make ammo manfacturers, the lead industry and some small fraction of the population who are ignoramuses with gunz, very happy. It will make untold millions of animals dead as an intended consequence, imo, as well as further polluting the waters that many of us drink every day. The lead ammunition issue is a non-starter with most people, because they are too fucking lazy to do any reading and have their heads too far up their iPods to bother themselves with thinking.

      • I see that the EPA is going to rescind the ban on lead ammunition for hunting–waterfowl and upland bird, only, I think.

        Chair wasn’t even warm before the new Interior Sec’y did it. Applies to National Wildlife Refuges.

        But, you know, her emails ….

    • Hi Democommie,

      I went back and forth with the gun guys over at mikeb302000’s place back in the golden age. One of the things we discussed was lead ammo. It is unparalleled in performance and physical characteristics. I tried looking up the relative mass of various common metals as if the weight and momentum of the bullet was the only relevant factor. some of those guys were fairly friendly. They seemed to enjoy educating me to some extent. When I suggested copper bullets they had this to say.

      “Copper bullets might better be known as cop-killer or armor-piercing bullets.”

      Apparently the greatest advantage of lead is the way that it deforms once it hits the target. The softness of the metal. Maybe that’s why the Lone Ranger preferred silver bullets.

      But of course there are alternatives. Alternatives that do not poison the environment with a heavy metal that destroys nervous systems and other important body organs of all living creatures.

      Typical of how truly evil Trump really is. Just the worst of the worst. Pure, fucking, evil incarnate.

      I wonder how many water defenders have been killed in the clampdown on protests since the illegal resumption of construction of the pipeline.

      • democommie

        I am aware of the “benefits” of lead bullets over the other varieties. One of the reasons that people like to use lead bullets is their claim that lead is a superior round for both shock and tissue damage.

        I guess for me it boils down to a simple question.

        Is hunting (which I don’t do) as important to me as the safety of the environment?

        The answer for me, is, “no”. Other folks? their mmv.

        I know a lot of people who hunt. I can say this from my admittedly random and small sample. Some of them are very aware of and interested in mitigating behaviors and practices that have a deleterious impact on their pasttime. Others are fucking knuckleheads who think unting is about killing. Those latter folks are just thrilled with this turn of events.

  5. G S Herscher

    Welcome back, SB. Missed you
    And, Demo, very well spoken.

  6. paradoxresearch

    I have a theory about all of this.
    I’ve been witnessing how the generation that my young adult kids are part of seem to be descending into narcissistic, lazy, self-indulgence and are suffering mental health problems, most probably because of their lack of motivation to do better. My kids are really sharp, but lack any manner of balance to anchor their existence, it would seem. Regardless, they can see that Trump is more cartoon than real, as we watch America from the northern border.
    What we seem to be missing is that essential motivation. In the past we have seen wars furnish this motivation, because there isn’t much opportunity to be self-indulgent and depressed when bullets are fanning the ass.
    More recently, the conservative minds have proposed that chasing the almighty dollar should be our new(er) motivation, however Big Military is still a major source for money in America, as is Boss-Trump politics. This is all in keeping with my observation.
    So is America headed toward a war? Possibly, unless we move toward positive motivation instead of the time-tested negative ones. Unfortunately we don’t really have leadership that knows how to lead instead of push. Democrats are America’s best offering, but as I’ve read here in the past, if America typically balances between right-wing conservatives and centrist progressives, this still leaves America in the conservative camp, and I can’t see the conservative mind taking you out of this mess.

    • So is America headed toward a war?

      We are already IN a war. Two of them. We’re still in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Unless you meant a civil war. Like, a real one…

      • paradoxresearch

        Yes, of course. Sorry. We (Canada) have managed to extricate ourselves from that, although we still have the mental health fallout with our veterans.
        I’m not sure of a civil war on the horizon, only because I suspect that the minds required to stage such a thing are routinely progressive, and are largely alienated from the Red states. From what I’ve seen, there is considerably greater polarization today than in the times of the American Civil War. However, I’ll defer to the people who have studied this in detail.

  7. Thomas

    We have been divided by a very long campaign of “news” broadcasting. As Demo says, “people with fingers in their ears” who would not be caught dead with MSNBC on their TV and listen to talk (angry) radio all day and fox in the evening, and, on the other side, there are people who seem to look down on them and won’t listen to what they say or pay attention to their concerns. But, again, their “news sources” also tell them that liberals hate them and look down on them and that liberals are idiots that hate their country, so they look down on liberals and, pretty much hate them and make signs saying that liberals should leave our country. It is easy for trump to get away with calling the news media the enemy and for nationalism to thrive. “Me first and to hell with everyone else” will destroy our nation and possibly make the earth uninhabitable.

    • ….their “news sources” also tell them that liberals hate them and look down on them and that liberals are idiots that hate their country, so they look down on liberals and, pretty much hate them and make signs saying that liberals should leave our country.

      And if you haven’t read The Rude Pundit’s recent rant on this, read it here.

  8. Randy

    “… as if the Trumpers give a shit about working people?” This. I have tried to talk to “Trumpsters” out here in Dekalb/Warren County, TN. in dispassionate tones about the basic economic fallacy behind this thinking. Their eyes just glaze over. I suppose it’s called the “Dismal Science” for a reason. It doesn’t trigger that invigorating limbic system response like talk radio, etc. Hate is easier than contemplation, apparently. Thanks for what you do but I fear we’re screwed. Wine is coming to grocery stores and can be purchased on Sunday. Sweet bliss.

      • themadkansan

        The Keystone was started in 2008 and most if not all the pipe for it was already purchased and delivered before this, so a bit of a red herring there. Matter of fact, that pipe has been sitting out in the elements so long, it probably needs re-inspected – fat fuckin’ chance of THAT happening though. This fucking thing is going to piss poison and death all across the center of this nation; the foul shit it moves is going to be sold on the world market – the only people that will see =anything= from it in this country will be people like Chuckey and Davey Koch. Before they both died this last year, my grampa and uncle were both HALLELUJAH WE GOTTA GET THAT PIPELINE BUILT from listening to the utter propangantastic shit that Fox Noise pumped into their skulls 12-18 hours a day, actual facts be damned…

        As far as the Russian steel – well, ya gotta dance with the one what brung ya…

      • Well that’s interesting, because this story has been burning up the interwebs today, about Roman Abramovich, a Russian steel magnate with ties to Putin and whose wife Dasha Zhukova is besties with Ivanka Trump, providing the steel through his Canadian company Evraz. Also, why would they buy the steel when the pipeline wasn’t even approved? That seems like a stupid move. Seems like if you’re that dumb, too bad. Take a loss, then. I thought Trump was such a brilliant negotiator. Why can’t he say, “you want the pipeline, these are the terms.” And sorry you already bought the steel.

        Unless Putin wants his friend Roman to get a big account, of course. And Trump wants what Putin wants.

      • themadkansan

        To be honest, I have no fucking idea what =anyone= in this administration is thinking right now, other than trying to figure out how to steal everything including the wall sconces…

  9. Good column today, and so, so true. I saw this FB post today and thought it was great. From Wiley Cash at http://www.balloon-juice.com

    Here’s how you’re probably feeling if you voted for this president:

    You leased a brand new American-made Cadillac on Nov. 8. So what if it’s a gaudy gold with gold rims, gold trim, gold leather interior with gold flakes in the wood grain. Who cares? It’s big and powerful and the engine is really loud.

    In December a neighbor comes over and points out that your rims are made of plastic. You didn’t realize it until now, but so what? That guy’s just jealous. This is still a really nice car. You know a few Obama voters with plastic rims, so they’re no better than you. And then you discover that the leather is actually pleather, but you decide not to tell anyone.

    On January 20 you detail the Cadillac and drive it through town, revving the engine and blaring the radio: Toby Keith, Three Doors Down. It’s the proudest day of your life. That night you lay in bed and hope you made the right decision. But this car speaks to the American experience, right? It’s the car of middle America. This car is all about the people.

    By the middle of the following week you accidentally scratch the wood grain on the interior and discover that it’s made of plastic too. Those gold flakes are actually foil. You take it back to the dealership and rant and rave about how you paid too steep a price for your lease, but you’re stuck with it for four years. You can’t get your money back unless you take the dealership to court for selling you an inferior product, and there’s no way you’re going to court: Court is for liberal snowflakes.

    You pull into the driveway, and there’s that nosy neighbor again. He says the engine doesn’t sound so good. There may be a loose belt or perhaps a screw is loose somewhere under the hood. You’re embarrassed. It’s all becoming clear to you, but you don’t want this guy to know you made the wrong decision. You tell him to get off your lawn. You know a few Clinton supporters who drive cars with loud mufflers. He needs to mind his own business and support your car. He’s not acting like an American.

    The Cadillac slowly begins to fall apart over the next month. You’re six weeks into your lease when you open the glove compartment and pull out the owner’s manual. You’ve got questions about how to repair all the things that have gone wrong with it.

    But you find that you can’t read the manual. It’s in Russian. “наслаждаться Кадиллак,” it says.

  10. democommie

    And now it appears that Gorka, Trumpligula’s REAL, TROO Neo-nazi has NO security clearance. I’m running out of astonishment.