I am so very happy to have correspondents who are smarter than I, and who can punch through my sophomoric rhetoric to identify what is really important.
In my last post, I noted that at age 72 I was little concerned with the world that Trump and his ilk will create. Correspondent SM wrote that while she had at first expressed a similar view, she soon saw that as a froward “…all about me” feeling.
She was spot on. It’s not about me, or her, or you, if you’re older than the millennials.
It’s about the millennials and those younger than they. It’s about the mess we, their progenitors and forerunners have left them.
Do you know that children born in the USA in the past 10—20 years, and who are being born today, have a lower life expectancy than their parents? Do you know that the infant mortality in the United States is higher than in most of the other so-called “developed” countries? Do you know that tens of thousands of children in this country go to bed hungry or not knowing where their next meal will come from? Do you know that millions of children are at risk of measles, influenza, and other communicable diseases because some parents are allowed to enroll their children in public schools without vaccination?
The question of individual rights versus government mandates is a difficult one. For example, science has proven to the satisfaction of anyone with a grain of intelligence that vaccinations save lives and that vaccines are so seldom harmful that the reward of vaccination is worth the risk. Yet parents are allowed to send unvaccinated children to schools, endangering other children, based solely on the parents’ claim to believe in the Bible. In the first place, the Bible doesn’t say anything about vaccination. In the second place, it isn’t a science textbook, but the perverted words of a fictitious history of a tribe of goat-herders a few thousand years ago in the Middle East. Other unvaccinated children are enrolled because their parents have been brainwashed by pseudo-science, or worse. These parents knowingly or in their fundamental ignorance are endangering others’ children. And our government condones and supports this. Too many lawmakers and judges are either similarly brainwashed or are afraid of the power these people wield at the polls.
Why might this be?
Partly, because country has reared at least three generations of people who were not taught critical thinking. How many high-school graduates could define or give an example of a syllogism? If they could give an example, how many could then explain or describe what it means or how to apply to real life the classic syllogism, “All men are mortal. Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal.” How many could identify from examples any one of dozens of fallacies of logic? How many could identify any of the recent presidential candidates’ statements as ad hominems? (How many even know what that phrase means?)
How many high school sophomores know that the word “sophomore” comes from ancient words that translate to “wise fool”?
[It's actually more complicated than that. The closest source-definition I found was of sophist, a person who reasons with clever but fallacious arguments. By that definition, Trump is a sophist. And although I am a solipsist, I cannot disappear him.]
As important is “healing” the nation following the election of Trump, the naïve call, “Why can’t we all just get along?” is not enough. It will require action by people of conscience, of intelligence, and of an innate understanding of right and wrong.
As important is “healing,” there are things about our president-elect that we must never forget. For example:
He mocked Serge Kobaleski, a newspaper reporter who suffers from a congenital joint condition (arthrogryposis) that affects the movements of his arms. Later, despite video of Trump’s mocking going viral, he denied mocking the reporter.
He called Clinton, “nasty woman.” That, by the way, is ad hominim. Other of his ad hominems include: “Lyin’ Ted” (Ted Cruz), “Little Marco” (Marco Rubio), “Crooked Hillary” (Hillary Clinton) and “Goofy Elizabeth Warren.”
He said that a registry of all Muslims in this country “is something we should start thinking about.” Elsewhen, he called for “A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
He attacked US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a natural-born American citizen, suggesting the judge’s Mexican heritage made him unsuitable to preside over lawsuits against Trump University. “The judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall.”
Following the shootings at the Pulse Nightclub, and after the gunman had been identified, Trump tweeted: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance…”
He also said:
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” (What does this say about his opinion of those who voted for him?)
“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
“An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.”
“I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
“All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Of John McCain, a former Prisoner of War, Trump said, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
“It’s All About the Children” will continue. I will try to post every second day. Please check back, and please take a look at the description of “Holy Fire” on the home page of this site and on Amazon.com. Thank you.
Yes, froward is a word. It’s the opposite of toward. As in, to and fro. MXMX
References, all accessed 16 November 2016. (I have selected a number of British news sources because I find them generally less biased toward the US left or right than any US media.)
(Although I think the Juffington Post leans a bit to the left, the quotations were factual and verified from other sources.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/worst-trump-quotes_us_5756e8e6e4b07823f9514fb1
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.