Wednesday, November 9, 2016

President Elect Donald Trump

I actually wrote this 3 days ago, but it didn't publish as planned...

Part of my everyday, working philosophy is to face unpleasantnesses as honestly and forthrightly as possible, contemplating possibilities with whatever clarity can be found, and acting with such maturity and wisdom as I can manage. So I am going to imagine that I will wake up in a couple of days to President Elect Donald Trump. It helps that I live on a sailboat, owe no one on the planet any money, have a little of same in the bank, and the Islands are only a few days' sail away.

I have no idea how such a thing could come to pass but, then again, I have no real explanation as to how he ended up the leader the the Republican Party in the first place. Having him win this election is as unfathomable to me than the fact that he is famous at all. I haven't watched TV in nearly two decades so he was barely famous in my world. Sure I knew the name, but that was mostly because my last job was being a pilot for a casino company. Many of that company's senior management had worked for Trump Enterprises at some point in their career. They universally loathed the man, his only fame so far as I cared. I am still astonished that a TV con man parlayed that questionable skill into becoming a potential POTUS.

So anyway, what will it be like to wake up to Trump's America? Pretty much like waking up in Obama's America, at least at first. Wednesday morning I will roll out of the v-berth around 0700, do my morning routine, head off to work. In a few weeks we will visit family, then have family visit us. After that Kintala will be headed for the Islands for the winter and into the spring. With any luck we will be there on Inauguration day, anchored off some white sand beach, and paying absolutely no attention to the goings on of America politics. (Yes, the seasons will continue to unfold, the earth will still spin its way around the sun, and most of the people on the planet will not know or care who the President might be. As much as possible I intend to be one of them.)

A bit longer term, I suspect there will be differences. Millions of people stand to lose access to health care under any Pres. Trump / Republican overhaul of the health care system. Deb and I are likely among them. Women, particularly poor women, will find access to health care particularly difficult given the demise of Planned Parenthood. In general the poor, particularly poor kids, are going to find life even more difficult than it already is. In any case, Deb and I are pretty healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. And the fact is something, someday, is going to prove fatal. Will our lives be appreciably shorter under Pres. Trump? Possible, but not likely. Given that we do live on a boat, perhaps we will end up in Mexico and have access to acceptable and affordable health care that is unmatched north of the border.

Deb and I may also feel a hit if Pres. Trump and the Republicans have their way with Social Security; the “entitlement” program that we have been paying into for our entire working lives. Though my guess is it will be the generation after mine that will see the ultimate transfer of those funds to Wall Street. Even if Pres. Trump and the Republicans manage to “privatize” SS away, I still have a boat full of tools and a few good years of working left in these bones. Life will be much harder than we expected, but that is going to happen to millions of others as well, and I make no special claim of being exempt.

I never have, and never will, fall into the income category where Pres. Trump and the Republican's tax breaks mean anything to me. On the other hand, we live a kind of life where their cuts in domestic spending will likely not mean much of anything either. Being able to move means we are not tied to any particular failing water supply or sewage treatment system. We don't use roads much. Failing bridges and lack of maintenance on the ICW could be an inconvenience, but Kintala is an open water boat and we are getting ever more comfortable on her. It is likely we will manage just fine, not finding lead in our water or the bathroom plumbing exploding stink into our home. (Well, that last might happen but it will be the most “local” kind of fix, one we can do for ourselves.)

I do expect that a major armed conflict is in America's near term future but I don't think Pres. Trump and the Republicans will be particularly guilty of causing it. The fact is the military is America's biggest jobs program, and that program has to grow ever larger to keep people working, voting, and paying enough in taxes so the war machine can go on. War is the inevitable outcome of such an economic policy. It is an insane way to run a country, or a world for that mater, but there it is. In any case I am too old to be called up, though I worry about grand kids. Should we see an all out shoot-em-up between nations packing intercontinental missiles, who survives will be a matter of luck; few will get by unscathed. A Pres. Trump with an arsenal of nuclear weapons at his disposal isn't a happy thought, but he has eight grand children of his own, and some of them must live in prime target zones.

Regardless of the claims of Pres. Trump and the Republicans, global warming will continue, coastal cities will find the flood waters ever further inland, and millions upon millions of people are going to forced to migrate. However, it will be slow motion kind of disaster, costing untold trillions of dollars but spread out over the next several generations. I don't know that human kind has any option other than living with the world we have created. I don't think it likely, at this late stage in the game, that Pres. Trump and the Republicans can make it any worse. And really, I live on a boat already equipped with solar panels, off the grid much of the time, and floating on top of the water. That is pretty much all I can do about global warming.

Lots of people may well end up at greater risk from a militarized and emboldened police / security state, but it isn't likely that Deb and I will be among them. We have friends and family who are bi-racial, others who are gay, and know many who are not people of faith, or of the "wrong" faith. According to Mr. Trump's own words they will find themselves suffering under a loss of civil liberties, human rights, a freedom of choices. Should that happen how any of us can stand and fight on the right side of history is something we can't imagine...yet.

Public education will decline, given Pres. Trump and the Republican's infatuation with conspiracy theories, utter contempt for critical thinking or evaluating evidence, and worship of the Young Earth Creationist god. But public education has been in decline for a long time and a Pres. Trump administration couldn't do much more damage than has already been done. Eight of my nine grand children are home schooled and they are likely to be far better educated than most of their peers. This may well turn out to their advantage for, when they come of age, Pres. Trump (absolutely), the Republican Party (possibly), and the United Sates of America (maybe) will be history. There will be something new for them to build, and they will have to do it in a world unimaginable to the generation of Pres. Trump. Where they gathered the skills to do that rebuilding will not matter.

I hope that President Elect Donald Trump is nothing more than a fading hallucination, but the world is a crazy place and crazier things have happened.

Another part of my everyday, working philosophy is that much of what happens in this crazy world is simply out of my control. Around me political issues decades in the making collide, hostilities nurtured for generations overwhelm whole countries, and the unexpected consequences of decisions made hundreds of years ago are coming home to roost. There is nothing I can do to alter such large scale social currents. All I can do is regard the person next to me without malice and make my own decisions based on the idea of, first, doing no harm. Regardless of who is the President Elect, I am encouraged by the knowledge that there are others see the world in much the same way. 

22 comments:

Tom W. said...

TJ,

This post expresses everything I'm thinking this morning. Thank-you for writing it and thanks too for your previous posts. We need more people in the world who think as you do.

Fair winds,
Tom W.

Steve Rennier said...

All of your possible future fears have already happened, which is probably why the election went as it did.

Phil Gow said...

Very well said.

TJ said...

Steve? I still have access to health insurance, but word from our provider is we will likely lose it come the first of the year. I am six months from S.S., and the Republican Party has been saying for years that they want it to go away. You are right about gay people, minorities, and women facing increasing assaults on their civil and human rights, but those assaults have come exclusively from the Republican Party. I expect it to get much worse; maybe not all the way back to Jim Crow days, but a significant retreat. Refugees from our wars, and US citizens whose parents came to this country without paperwork face deportations. Cutting taxes has never created anything but deficits, and we are going to get enough "voodoo economics" this time around to sink the ship of state. The Republican assault of public schooling is well documented, as is their relentless contempt for teachers. They cut programs to help handicapped and poor kids, apparently care nothing about hunger among the young, and are adamantly opposed to providing them access to health care. I'm not a Christian, but if I was, Matthew 25 would be keeping me up at nights.

Any science that doesn't fit in with the Republican world view or religion, or threatens the income of one of their "special interests" is vilified and dismissed. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of critical thought, nor a particularly good way to actually face challenges and make good decisions.

But your side won...sort of. (Twice in 5 years the persons who won the popular vote didn't move into the White House.) While I consider a vote for Mr. Trump to be nothing short of a vote for evil, enough Americans living in the right places disagreed to put the future of the nation in his hands. I hope above hope that they are right and I am wrong, but I know in my heart of hearts that is not the case. Your own religion is pretty clear about judging a person not by what he says or claims to believe, but by the decisions that he makes and the life he leads. Mr. Trumps actions over the course of this campaign have been nothing short of abhorrent. Picture Pres. Obama or Hilary Clinton saying the things that Mr. Trump said and doing the things that Mr. Trump did, and tell me that the Republicans and American Christian right wouldn't have completely exploded in outrage.

But they didn't. Instead they made this guy the most powerful man on the planet. It is hard to think that anything good can come from that decision.

Bradford Harley said...

I follow a variety of sailing blogs in addition to yours and almost never comment. This one caught my eye and I couldn't resist.
I am not passionate about either religion or politics and other than for entertainment purposes avoid discussing both. That said, you make a clear statement of your position and much of it resonates with me. Thanks for all the quality posts and thought provoking observations.

Brad
SV Perspective.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wonderful post. Very thoughtful and thought provoking. Cheers - Ellen

TJ said...

Brad and Ellen, thanks for the kind words.

Robert Sapp said...

TJ, I would think that if you paused to reflect, you might begin to have a few doubts about your firmly seated world view. Post-election analytics shows that Donald Trump was primarily elected by blue collar working class Americans-the men and women (yes, women, 42% of whom voted for him) who do the work, pay the taxes, and dutifully perform their civic duties to make America function. Do you truly believe that the majority of people who occupy America’s heartland are “evil” and don’t care about all the things you claim they don’t care about? Or could it possibly be that you can’t conceive of a world in which someone could look at a problem and see a different solution from the one you favor and know has to be right?

I would bet you $10 that the reason your health insurance may be going away is because of the slow-rolling disaster that is Obamacare. Those who understand economics and how insurance markets work have said from the beginning that this law is a disaster that will implode in a few years. We’re now witnessing its death spiral. But there’s no conceivable way you could blame this on Republicans, because they were completely shut out from the beginning and not allowed to make a single change or suggestion. That’s why the law didn’t get a single Republican vote. The Democrats 100% own the agony and destruction that is being wrought by this terrible law, and you only have them to blame for any negative affects you may be experiencing. The good news is that repealing it could help you in two ways. First, the $500 billion that was taken from Medicare to fund Obamacare subsidies may be returned, raising reimbursement rates for Medicare recipients and encouraging a few more doctors to accept elderly patients. Second, Obamacare’s perverse incentives to hospitals, offering rewards to those that lower or cap the cost of caring for people over 65, can be eliminated, which will raise the quality of care for the elderly, many of whom are needlessly dying as necessary medical procedures are delayed or withheld.

I can’t help but notice that when Bill Clinton was elected (twice), and Barack Obama was elected (twice), Republicans got up the next day, shrugged their shoulders, and went about their lives. This morning, watching the news, I was treated to scenes of rioting and vandalism in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles by people protesting the election outcome. Republicans are always being called Fascists and Nazis, and yet it always seems to be the left that creates the violence. But Republicans are the evil ones?

And I’m curious, do you know Steve, or have you been able to infer his party affiliation and religious beliefs solely on the basis of the single sentence he wrote?

Regards,

Robert & Rhonda
S/V Eagle Too
Pensacola, FL
www.LifeOnTheHook.com

TJ said...

Robert, it is so good to hear from you again! I read that things are going well in your world and we may see you "out here" soon, and that is truly good news.

Steve is Family, Father in Law to Daughter Middle, adores her nearly as much as I do, and is co-grandpa to 5 of my grand kids. I love the man without reservation. The fact that he and I are so completely different in nearly every way when it comes to politics, religion, and general world views is an important fact in my life for all the reasons you can imagine. (By the way, Daughter Middle loves the man as much as she loves me, which says a lot about Steve as well.)

I'm afraid that giving you a good answer to the rest of your comment is going to be difficult given the restraints of this forum, but one thing you need to keep in mind. Mr. Trump was not elected by blue collar working class Americans. He will be voted into office by the electoral collage, not by the people who voted last Tuesday. I know “that's the way the system works”, but the fact is it is a piss poor system that has betrayed the actual will of the voters twice in the last five elections. That is a 40% failure rate. “We” didn't elect this guy. Before long I expect that even those who did vote for him are going to wish the electoral collage had been abandoned long ago as well.

As to the people voting for him being evil, or supporting evil? The man is a racist. People voted for him anyway. Please explain that to me in a way that makes it okay because I can't come up with one.

The man openly boasted of abusing women. People voted for him anyway (man or women, makes no difference.) Please explain that to me in a way that makes it okay because I can't come up with one.

Republicans did not get up, shrug their shoulders, and go about their day after Obama won. (And he really did win, by the way, both times.) The catch phrase was “I hope that he fails.” The claim was “He is not my President”, and they acted in accordance with that claim. Mr. Trump, in case you have forgotten, was the leader of the utterly dishonest and totally stupid “birther” movement. Republican leaders openly boasted that they intended to derail Obama's Presidency from day one, and they did everything they could to try and make that happen regardless of the damage they were doing to the country. Your characterization of the Republican response to Obama is completely unattached from the reality.

Should the people who voted against Mr. Trump (again, the majority of voters) conclude that Mr. Trump is not the President, and hope he fails in his attempts to deport American citizens, undo the First Amendment, put a religious fundamentalist on the Supreme Court, restrict the voting access of minorities, subject Muslims to endless police abuse, abandon any sense of responsibility for the environment, (its a long list); well, I don't think you have a complaint.

Robert Sapp said...

Yes, we’re hauling out next week for a quick refit and bottom job, and then we hope to be headed south again. I think we might just miss you, as you’ll be leaving right about the time we expect to arrive in your area. I’m sure we’ll get another chance to share a few beers someday though, perhaps in the Bahamas. :-)

I just have to laugh when I hear people saying Trump is a racist. He’s a New York City liberal who until just a few years ago was a registered Democrat. He built his Mar A Largo golf club in Palm Beach specifically because the existing clubs wouldn’t admit blacks or Jews and he thought that was wrong. Even Michael Moore talking to Joe Scarborough on MSNBC states that Trump voters aren’t racist, because a great many of them voted for Obama twice. There’s no great mystery to this election. After eight years of Obama’s domestic and foreign policies, polls showed that over 70% of Americans thought the country was on the wrong track. Trump represented change. Clinton represented a third Obama term. People wanted change. So they voted Trump.

You can try and pretend it didn’t happen, but the majority of working class Americans did most certainly vote for Trump. Clinton’s voters were mostly coastal urban dwellers. Just look at a map of red vs. blue (try to find one that breaks it out by county, not just by state) and you’ll see that the vast majority of the country is red. Only the major urban areas are blue. The Electoral College hasn’t cast a single vote yet, and when they do, they’ll simply be confirming what the electorate decided. Many people don’t understand that America is not a democracy, it is a republic, comprised of individual sovereign states (they really should teach this stuff in public school). The founders believed (based on Plato) that a weakness of democracy is tyranny of the majority. They knew that in a democratic majority rule system, a small number of states with large urban populations would always dominate national elections. But a Philadelphia lawyer’s life was nothing like a Virginia tobacco farmer’s (we’re talking 1781 here, but it’s still true) and the farmers deserved a voice. So our Presidential elections are a system of individual state elections, where every state gets a say in the outcome. Because of that, politicians actually have to care about what people in Ohio and Iowa and Arkansas want. Clinton will win the popular vote by a few tenths of a percent, but her surplus vote is coming from New York City and Los Angeles and Chicago, i.e. in states she’d already won, so the extra votes don’t do her any good. If she had wanted to win the election, she would have had to do more to convince the voters in Oklahoma and West Virginia and Arizona that her policies would consider their needs also. Instead she called them Deplorables.

I’d like to see you come up with a single news article that depicts Republicans rioting in the streets after Romney lost. That’s what I meant when I said they went about their lives after the election.

Robert & Rhonda
S/V Eagle Too
Pensacola, FL
www.LifeOnTheHook.com


TJ said...

Robert, I certainly hope we get a chance to share a beer, and off a white sandy island beach somewhere would be fine with me as well.

Calling Plato into the argument seems a bit odd. Red states and districts are not exclusively populated by conservative Republicans. For example, Trump won the "red" state of PA by 1.1% of the vote. 49.49% of the voters in PA will now be completely ignored by the office of the President. That would seem to be the textbook definition of a tyranny of the 51%. The same can be said of Senate and House seats. "Winner take all" might be okay for the World Series, but is a horrible way to structure a society. (Or an economy for that matter, though that is a different discussion.) But, in reality, what we have in our Republic is even worse.

Each Senator from North Dakota represents roughly 370,000 people. Each one from California represents roughly 19,400,000. 45.2 million Americans voted for Democratic Senators. 39.3 million Americans voted for Republican Senators. And, once again, Clinton gathered more votes than did Trump. So, what we have in the good old US of A is even worse than the tyranny of the majority, it is a tyranny of the minority. When it comes to "self rule" the Republic of America is a failure.

I really hope that you are correct and that Trump isn't a racist, that he isn't going to work toward violating the voting rights of minority Americans, that he isn't going to try and deport first generation Latino Americans, that he will not subject Muslim Americans to continuous police harassment and abuse, or send ethnic Arabic men, women, and children back to the war zones where American drone strikes can then kill them off. But he sure talks like a racist.

Along with me, a lot of Republican leaders are uncomfortable with his racism. Hell, even the racists think he is a racist; and Trump has done nothing to discourage them. Here I need to be a little bit careful because you are a friend, but... The Republican Party openly and deliberately set out to gut the Voting Rights act, succeeded, and then did everything it could to restrict the voting access and rights of African Americans in every state it controls. Yet you still support the Party. Are you sure you don't have at least a little racism going on as well? Maybe you are not seeing Trump's racism because it strikes a little to close to home?

The people who are demonstrating against Trump are also sure he is a racist, and they should know. Why? Because they are the kids and grand kids of those who marched from Selma to Montgomery, facing down the tear gas, truncheons, and dogs of the police. They are the kids and grand kids of those who forced the hand of Alabama's political leaders with the Montgomery bus boycott. They are the relatives and friends of those who buried Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair.

TJ said...

Part 2

They are people who have faced institutionalized racism their own,, contemporary, lives; from police malfeasance to inferior schools to serving long jail time for crimes like simple possession; crimes for which white people get a walk. They are the people who have the word "nigger" thrown at them with all the hate and contempt it carries, a continuous insult that people like you and I are simply never going to grasp or understand.

They are also LGBT Americans who are not going to slink quietly back into the closet. They are women who are not going to abandon the claim to equal pay for equal work, or the right to determine their own health care issues. They are also middle class white guys, like me, who stand by all of their claims to have the same rights and freedoms, to get the same respect and chance, to live with the same dignity and liberty, that I enjoy. Some of them are my friends. Some of them are my family. But, more importantly, all of them are members of the human family, and members of the American family, and they are the ones who really are trying to make America Great again.

And here is the most important thing; they don't need me to stand with them. They are on the right side of history, on the right side of morality, and are standing against evil. They don't need me, but I need them. If there is a moral god in the universe, in that crowd is where I would expect to find her.

Robert Sapp said...

The people who are rioting and committing acts of vandalism say that Trump is a racist because they’re being TOLD that Trump is a racist by the Democratic Party and the media (but I repeat myself). Because the Democratic Party has chosen to pursue identity politics by subdividing us into hyphenated-Americans and assembling voting coalitions, they must paint every Republican presidential candidate as racist and inflame racial tensions as part of their get-out-the-vote effort. Romney was a racist, Bush was a racist, Dole was a racist, but they all get rehabilitated as soon as they lose the election.

Just as the anti-war movement (remember Cindy Sheehan?) vanished as soon as Obama took office, so too would Black Lives Matter have disappeared if Hillary Clinton had been elected, as they would have fulfilled their role and have been of no further use. But the people who turned fire hoses and set dogs loose on those Selma marchers you mentioned? They were all Democrats. The Governors standing in the school house doors? All Democrats. The KKK was founded after the civil war as the militant arm of the Democratic party (Republicans were despised in the south because it was the party of Lincoln), and many senior members of the party (such as Robert Byrd) had been Klan leaders. Every major city with a failed inner-city full of poverty and violence is under Democratic rule, most for 50 years or more. And yet somehow, it’s the Republicans who are the racists. You mentioned “gutting the Voting Rights Act.” That’s a Democratic talking point. I’d be willing to bet that you probably can’t describe the changes that were made, you just accept that it was terrible for blacks, because you’ve been told so by Democrats. Basically, Republicans said that after 50 years, it was no longer necessary nor fair to maintain Federal supervision of state elections in certain southern states, because blacks were now present in all levels of state government and it was silly to pretend that they were somehow being excluded from the political process. The changes put all states back on equal footing instead of maintaining discriminatory treatment toward some based on the bigoted acts of a few Democrat Governors in the 1950’s.

Robert Sapp said...

And your Senate math is nonsensical. The Senate is the chamber of Congress where all states are equal. Each state has two Senators, regardless of size. Senators were not intended to represent the population of the state, they were basically each states’ ambassadors to the Federal Government, and represented the interests of the Governors in Washinton D.C. That’s why Senators were originally appointed by the state legislatures and not directly elected. That unfortunately changed under the 17th Amendment, a severely flawed piece of work that I would repeal in an instant if I had the opportunity. The House of Representatives is the chamber that represents the people, and seats are apportioned by population. That’s why California has 53 representatives, and Delaware only 1. The founders actually gave the House of Representatives the most power, assigning to them sole responsibility for taxing and spending. Incidentally, that’s yet another reason why Obamacare is unconstitutional. The law started out as the Senate Healthcare Bill, and it was always intended that the bill would be reconciled with the House Bill at some point. But once Scott Walker was elected by the people of Massachusetts specifically to block Obamacare, the Senate Democrats lost their ability to block a filibuster and had no choice but to push their bill through independent of the House. Since the bill contains taxes (both defined and subsequently determined by the Supreme Court), and it did not originate in the House, it was in violation of the Constitution. But the media didn’t care, because they were cheerleading the process.

That’s why the President should always be a Republican. It’s the only time the press properly performs its role as adversarial fourth estate. :-)

And you keep throwing out nonsense like "deporting American citizens," (you can't deport a citizen) and "Republicans did everything they could to restrict voting access." I'll set a low bar for you - give me just one example of either.

And I'm still waiting for you to send me an article or picture of Republicans rioting after Romney lost. I assume since they're all racists, it should be pretty easy to produce, since they'd obviously be very upset at a black man being elected, right?

Robert & Rhonda
S/V Eagle Too
Pensacola, FL
www.LifeOnTheHook.com

TJ said...

Robert, sorry about being slow to respond. We are getting down to crunch time with Kintala and work.

Run a search on “State efforts to restrict voting access”. I got 81,600,000 hits in .62 seconds. Now I admit that I didn't read through them all, but reading the first couple didn't take that long. Run a second search on Republicans admitting to their efforts of trying to restrict the vote and read their very words about it being a racial thing. Then search out court reactions to Republican voting laws. Republican party efforts to restrict the voting rights of African Americans is pretty well documented. For that reason alone, no Republican should ever be President again. :)

You can't really argue that it isn't happening. You might try to argue that it is a political thing, not a racial thing. A bit difficult given Republican's own admissions, but maybe those weren't reported in the free press you read. A better argument might be that it is a racial thing of which you disapprove, voting in the primary for Republicans who repudiate such efforts, but they lose. Then, in the general, cutting taxes for rich people, trashing the environment, making sure gay people can't get married, etc., is more important to the future of the nation than a little Jim Crow monkey business with the vote. Come to think of it, maybe the first argument is better after all.

TJ said...

Part 2

Apropos of which... My guess would be that Republicans didn't take to the streets in protest when Obama won for a pretty simple reason. Obama didn't campaign on the idea of keeping white people away from the voting booth. Nor did he pledge to keep straight couples from getting married. There was no promise to ensure that men make 70% of the wages women make for doing the same job ; no platform plank of having young African American women make life-and-death health care decisions for old white men. He didn't claim it was Vishnu's will to make the Hindu mythology of creation required reading in science classes or insist that, the world being flat and all, sea levels couldn't be rising because the water would just spill off the edge. Had his campaign contained any of these ideas, (okay, some Republicans might have gone for that last one), and had he won, I suspect protesting would have been the order of the day.

And protesting Trump is what is going on. You know, that whole right to assemble and demanding redress from the government thing. No one is doing anything like taking guns and occupying a national park or walking into a white church to shoot up the bible study. Which doesn't mean rioting isn't in the future. Rioting is what happens when the disenfranchised finally concede that the powers that be are never going to respond or (more likely) do respond to peaceful demonstrations with force. Once there is no hope of forcing a corrupt system to change, burning it down to build a new one becomes a reasonable option.

Apropos of which again, you and I seem to be passing each other in the night a little. You keep insisting that the Constitution didn't set up a democracy but rather a republic, one where a minority of elite leaders, (white land owners when the Constitution was written - corporate moguls and billionaires now) rule primarily for their own benefit; letting a few crumbs fall from the table now and again so no one burns down the house. And you seem to think that is such a good thing that we should go backwards to an even less democratic system than the one we have now. Something Trump has promised to do.

All of which I happen to totally agree with, except for the part of it being a good thing. That rule of the elite, that walking back of what little democracy we have managed in the last 200+ years, is exactly why the nation is facing the problems it currently faces. It is a corrupt system that will, in fact, go away one way or another, and likely in the very near future. I was hoping we would find a way to change the system with as little violence as possible but, with the “election” of Trump, those hopes are fading.

Robert Sapp said...

Well as I guess as is our usual routine, we've both spoken our minds and probably haven't made the slightest dent in each other's point of view, but it was fun, and we're still friends and I look forward to seeing you guys again. One thing that has been of interest to me lately is this whole issue of how two reasonably intelligent people can look at an issue and see two entirely different things, especially when it's so blindingly obvious to each that the other is wrong. I'm reading some interesting theories that I first encountered on Scott Adams' blog (the author of the Dilbert cartoon) that posits that human beings don't actually perceive objective reality, but rather create their own particular version of it. The theory goes that perception of objective reality doesn't confer any particular reproductive advantage, and thus we've all evolved to basically dwell in a movie that runs in our heads, of which we're the star and hero. Cognitive dissonance is what results when some truly objective fact breaks through the storyline. It's an interesting concept that I'm looking forward to learning more about. For now, we are also getting ready for departure, with a haulout scheduled for next week, so it's bye for now. Say hi to Deb!

Robert & Rhonda
S/V Eagle Too
Pensacola, FL
www.LifeOnTheHook.com

TJ said...

Robert, I've read much the same thing, though I usually approach it from the Quantum Mechanics insights of observers being part of the "experiment" and determining the outcome. We are also gearing up for the final push, the inner forestay is ready to go on, we have a leak at the rudder stuffing box to address, and Kintala needs to be put back into sailing shape. In a couple of weeks we will be heading to St. Louis to see kids and grand kids and that, to me, will signal the end of the summer. A few weeks after than we hope to be heading out once again, eventually making it to the Abaco Islands for the winter. Safe travels my friend, hope to see you somewhere along the way.

Hugs from both of us...

pfrymier1 said...

Certainly not going to interject anything new here except that the North Carolina (my home state) legislature was determined by a federal appeals court to have been guilty of (quoting the ruling) purposely re-drawing district lines to reduce the effect of minority voting. The court wrote:
“...the overriding priority of the redistricting plan was to draw a predetermined, race-based number of districts.”
It was pretty obvious what the intent of the legislature was. They were on the books consulting with people about several attempts to limit turnout by Black voters. So it would be naive to say that there are not still very deliberate efforts to disenfranchise certain demographics that don't traditionally favor a particular party. This time, the Republicans got caught at it. If you recall, NC was one of the states that was hotly contested and historically a purple state.

TJ said...

pfrymeir, feel free to jump in anytime, and I do appreciate your insights. Robert and I have been friendly political adversaries for going on a few years now. I find it interesting that our completely opposite world views (politics being just one part of it) have led to us leading the exact same lifestyle, that of full time cruisers. He might deny climate change, but by living the way he does he is far more "user friendly" to the planet than 1000 environmentalists who jump on jet planes and fly to this conference or that one. He has a passport with stamps in it from Cuba and Mexico (places he sailed to), something many of my liberal friends can't say. He has spent night watches out in the big and, though I suspect he wouldn't use the same words I do, I'm sure he has felt the magic brush by his cockpit. Am I glad to see the politics he supports sweeping across the country? No, not in the least. But that doesn't mean his isn't an important voice in my life.

pfrymier1 said...

TJ (and Robert): I follow Robert and Rhonda's Facebook page also. We (spouse and I) are currently raising and helping kids until they are eventually (post college probably) gainfully employed. After that, I'd love to spend some serious time on the water. Right now, we are at the chartering stage. Have a small trailerable for now. Had a Catalina 22 for several years. Been sailing since I was about 10. Have the resources for a bigger boat but don't live in the right place yet. Also, my wife is a recreational pilot and while she shares my love of the water, her guilty pleasure is in the air.

Looking forward to reading about both you and Robert and your spouses' adventures when you get back underway.

Stuart McCullough said...

Hi guys, any chance of adding US democracy to Kintala's fix list? Debs sounds like she's on a roll. Maybe she can sort it out.......