Tag Archives: politics

Political events and processes.

Beware The Ides of March

There is a Twitter protest (#idesofmarch, #idesoftrump) which suggests that angry citizens deluge the White House with postcards on March 15th.  Julius Caesar was assassinated on that day in 44BC as we remember from Shakespeare’s play in which a soothsayer warns the emperor, “Beware the ides of March.”

 

This is a really bad idea for several reasons. No good purpose would be served by such an action. We already know that the 45th president has a very thin skin, and would react badly with the attendant storm of press commentary.  He uses the drama of such moments to cover actions that he doesn’t want headlined, and the press obliges in the interest of keeping ratings and circulation up.   

 

The act itself is purely rage – an act of hate and cruelty toward someone who evidently can’t help himself and may be mentally ill. “Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can,” as Martin Luther King famously said. We may be furious with 45’s actions and words, but we must respond with clarity and with words and deeds that promote resolution. Our outrage must be channeled to influence our government representatives positively. They are beginning to see that the game has changed, and that the Trumpists (19% of people eligible to vote) will not suffice to reelect them if the other 80% is mad as hell and organized.

 

President Trump prides himself on counter punching. His instinct, when attacked, is to attack back. I know of no instance where he has paused and looked inward when confronted. In fact he wants the world to see him that way. Much to the dismay of his would-be political handlers, he strikes out on twitter and in public discourse.

 

He does understand leverage and power.  The real leverage he respects is the 2018 election, and a congress that

Rep Contact Info
LWV page to find contact information for elected representatives.

balks because so many of their constituents oppose his policies.

Many of my friends are engaged in issue specific calls, visits, and letters to their elected representatives. This is how and where to strike back. Get the contact information for all of your elected representatives at this League of Women Voters site:

http://hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5950/getLocal.jsp

Check out the Indivisible Guide written by congressional staffers about how to influence your elected officials:

https://www.indivisibleguide.com

Sending nasty postcards to the White House will squander your time plus half a dollar’s worth of postage and postcard. Worse, in doing it we become that evil we hate. It is essentially a personal attack, a publicity stunt, … exactly the behavior we deplore in our 45th President.

Biographies about Hillary Clinton

There is no shortage of print and video about Hillary Clinton. She has been a career politician all her adult life.  As President Obama observed she is probably the most qualified and experienced person ever to run for the office of President of the United States. But that also means that her every action has received scrutiny and her political adversaries have been on the attack for years. As a consequence it is hard to find biographies that are balanced and scholarly.  The New York Review of Books article Can We Know Her surveys several biographies and concludes that they fall short of capturing the essence of who she is. Carl Bernstein was interviewed on CNN and his remarks are worth watching: Carl Bernstein on CNN.

Carl Bernstein
Carl Bernstein

Hillary and Bill Clinton have been involved in a number of highly partisan scandal investigations. The Atlantic Magazine has an excellent factual summary article: The Clinton Scandals.

The two links below provide politically neutral biographical facts:

WGBH Bio

Biograpical Facts

Biographers speak about Donald Trump

We are in a campaign where two very different candidates are asking voters to trust them. Both candidates are seen as “flawed” candidates.

Here are two video interviews with writers who have studied Donald Trump and speak candidly about him and his capabilities.

Prior to his presidential run not much biographical information is available.  Here are some links:

Biographical Facts (VoteSmart)