Sunday, June 21, 2020

Trump's disrespect for the disabled

Trump not only mocked a disabled reporter, he got his brother, who suffered from cerebral palsy and died at the age of 42, disinherited, and tried to get take away his grand-nephew's health insurance, who also suffers from cerebral palsy.

My friend Joe Sheffer had cerebral palsy and passed away in 1989, at the age of 36, so this infuriates me even more than most things Trump has done.

And then there's taking braille off the elevators at Trump Tower.

This is about his niece's forthcoming book.

Her antipathy towards her uncle long predates his foray into populist rightwing politics. When Trump’s father, Fred Trump Sr, died, his will distributed his estate among his children and their offspring with the exception of his son Fred Trump Jr. The children of Fred Jr objected that they had been included an earlier will, written before Fred Sr was diagnosed with dementia, and took legal action.
Mary told the New York Daily News that her aunt and uncles “should be ashamed of themselves”. And soon after the lawsuit was filed, Trump changed a health insurance policy so that Fred Jr’s grandson, who had cerebral palsy, lost coverage. Eventually the lawsuit was settled and the child regained health insurance.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Left and Right

If you want a good compendium of what people on the right believe, this is good, from Chad McIntosh. 

On the liberal side, this is Dustin Crummett's  presentation.

If you believe what a conservative believes, should you support Trump. That is the challenging question I am struggling with. I would like to argue that you should not vote for Trump even if you believe everything McIntosh believes. I think I am right, though, concede all of McIntosh's position, you should still prefer Biden to Trump.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Orange Man Great, or Orange Man the Best We Can Do

It seems to me that there are different ways of supporting Trump. One kind of supporter is the real MAGA supporter who really thinks that talking about grabbing the you-know-what was just locker room talk, who thinks that all the self-absorbed twitter posts have a deep and valuable purpose, who think that children in cages was just law and order, who think that his relationship with the Russians wasn't just not a conspiracy, it was wrong to even start counterintelligence investigations into it, who thinks that not only wasn't the call to Zelensky not sufficient grounds for removal from the Presidency, it was a perfect call, who think that Trump's leadership with respect to COVID-19 is really good, (and the virus is all China's fault), who think that when he tweeted about shooting looters he was just affirming our Second Amendment rights. This is the Orange Man Great perspective.

I think this viewpoint is delusional, in much the sense that Dawkins wrongly thinks that belief in God is delusional.

But other people think that even though Trump isn't the Best of All Possible Leaders, he is preferable to anything the Democrats have to offer. This might be due to his anti-abortion activity, or because of his court appointments, or because of his tax cuts, his deregulation policies, etc., he is preferable to the alternative. In addition, he, unlike McCain and Romney, actually won his election, being better at appealing at the emotional level to people than his Republican predecessors. Still, he has plenty of failings, but they will support him and vote for him anyway, holding their nose with respect to some things.

The prevailing defense against the impeachment case was that, yeah, Trump did something wrong in his dealing with the  Ukrainians, but it wasn't sufficient for the drastic step of removing the President from office. But the Trump campaign is doing its best to try to get everyone to forget that.

But those in the second category have to be concerned that Trump will continue to make foolish comments and actions that will throw away the November election, if it has not been thrown away already. Showing as much compassion for COVID victims as George W. Bush would have shown might have been sufficient to given him an edge over Biden, but that is not the leader that we have. Making foolish comments about opening up a cold case against a television commentator for murder is another unforced error. The lead the Biden has over Trump in the polls, both nationally and in the battleground states, is the result of Trump's mistakes. He was taken of Twitter by his campaign in the waning days of the 2016 campaign (the most brilliant move in the history of Presidential campaigns).  The only hope he has of re-election is if the campaign makes the same decision for him NOW. But there is no way they can insist on that at this point, now that he is a sitting President.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

When American Christians were Socialists

Does Christianity have socialist overtones? When I was young, communists were the bad guys, who were atheists, so the idea was that you should be the opposite of that, namely, Christians and supporters of capitalism. But do Christianity and capitalism go together?

This is from a book by Page Smith entitled Rediscovering Christianity

"It is the main purpose of this work to demonstrate what should never have been in question, namely, that Christianity has always been resistant to capitalism, to the "spirit of capitalism," to capitalism in whatever form it presented itself."

This a link to an essay in Sojourners called "When American Christians were Socialists." 

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Trump or Jesus?

"Mayor Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer ... Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. ... How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!"--Donald Trump, 1989.
Matthew 5:43-48 New International Version (NIV)
Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Let me ask one more time. Who is right, Trump or Jesus? At most, only one of them can be.