Who Is The Quarterback, Anyway?

800px-US_Navy_031004-N-9818S-369_Navy_quarterback_Craig_Candeto_tries_to_out_manuever_Air_Force_defender_Larry_DuncanAt this years Republican convention, Trump’s job was to quarterback the message or platform of the republicans to the conservatives, the undecideds, and disaffected democrats. Further, he could have shown that there is room for all in the republican party; that the party is not monolithic, nor is its message.

Trump could have unified the party by saying to the world, “I know we don’t all agree on every subject. I know we all have our priorities too. But this is a time for working together for issues we can agree on. This is not a time when we should all be feuding over small differences. It is too important a time in history for us all to get lost in the details.”

Now, back to reality; Should Ted Cruz have endorsed Donald Trump by name? It has been interesting, to say the least, observing the drama or Kabuki Theater of the “Donald Trump Convention.” We can almost see the calculations being made as we see the convention footage unfold. One could guess Mr. Manafort advised his candidate of the political cost of not inviting Ted Cruz to speak at his convention. It’s likely that there were several animated conversations in the Trump camp about this. Trumps campaign wanted Cruz to endorse him because it makes many of Cruz’s supporters potential converts. I’m not sure Trump himself cared though.

Trump, or his camp, came up with a convention contingency plan in case Cruz kept his word by not endorsing Trump. How far have we fallen when we have to have a plan in case someone keeps their word? They would have agitators working the floor, some delegates referred to them as brown shirts, that would coach the Trump delegates in their “Boo Chorus.” If that didn’t help, Donald would come out into the auditorium, on cue, before Cruz was finished; the Trump supporters would start cheering and drown out Cruz’s closing remarks. Am I the only one who noticed that the media was cued and ready for Trumps premature entry? One cameraman was waiting on him for some time. This entire thing was an orchestration and was calculated in advance.

During the primary campaign, in his arrogance, he said he didn’t need or want Cruz’s support, nor that of his supporters. Trumps biggest problem is that he is prone to these delusions of grandeur and appears to refuse an awful lot of counsel. Within three days of the closing of the “Trump National Convention” Trump was quoted by USA Today of saying, he should have let Cruz be ripped off of the stage. On NBC’s Meet The Press, Trump said he “will probably” fund a political action committee to take down Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, who also wouldn’t endorse him, and someone else he wouldn’t name.

In every political convention there is a winner and a loser. There is always a bit of fighting and such. Eventually, the losing side accepts the outcome and we all move on with our lives. I don’t ever remember a time when the winner wanted to keep the fight going. Trump is acting like he lost the race. Why is he acting like a sore loser? He was mad at Cruz for “not keeping his pledge,” and now he’s mad at him for keeping his pledge.

In view of all of the events of the past primary and convention, we have things backwards. The party is being asked to quarterback the message of Trump, not Trump quarterbacking the message of the party. Trump is not the team, he’s just the quarterback. We need party members and leadership with real immovable convictions. Winning is not a conviction.


The Republican Politburo In Full Bloom

hostagesDuring the primaries Donald Trump was asked questions that were hard hitting. Those questions found their genesis in previous actions and statements he made. He was being asked to explain his behavior. It wasn’t treating him poorly to ask him to answer for having made disparaging remarks about Carly Fiorina’s looks. The list is long of the crazy utterances of Mr. Trump. But that is Mr. Trump. Last night the current commitment to fairness of the republican party was in view as the Republican Politburo went into full bloom.

During the primary Trump met those questions with the same types of answers he did to all of them. He whined about the “unfair” treatment he was getting from the press, and then he would utter some vagaries about how big he was going to win, or how great America was going to be under him. He raged about the system being rigged against him. He used these exchanges as a springboard to refocus the dialogue to the unfairness of the press. If we wanted to really see an unfair press, we have only to recall Candy Crowley correcting Mitt Romney in the middle of a debate with Barack Obama. Nevertheless, Trump utilized the unfair treatment mantra to his benefit, instead of answering for his behavior.

His commitment to the fair treatment of candidates by the press did not seem to appear whatsoever during the time of the primaries where he virtually had his own, free of charge, 1 hour call in show every morning on Fox and Friends, to the exclusion of all of his primary opponents. Now that’s the kind of fair he was hoping for, no doubt. Fox was not to be the only media donor to Mr. Trump. In fact, it was so grotesquely lopsided that it is estimated that Donald Trump got two and a half billion dollars ($2,500,000,000.00) worth of free air-time, again, to the exclusion of all other candidates.

On the subject of commitment to fairness, last night a questionable voice vote was made to approve questionable rules; a motion to reconsider was laid upon the table, and then a motion was made from the floor to do a roll call of the votes for the approval of the rules. Under Roberts Rules of Order, that motion, if properly made, must be dealt with. Instead, the chair did not call for a second, and put the motion to a vote. The chair clearly was getting instructions from the back room through a man standing next to him who kept speaking into a lapel mike as he was getting responses and would pass them onto the chair. Apparently, Reince Priebus is the OZ behind the curtain. The chair then said that the petition that was presented represented nine states, and that three were disqualified by withdrawal, and that fell below the requirement of seven states to call the roll. According to Senator Mike Lee from Utah, there were eleven states petitions actually presented. This is the new Republican Math; 11-3=6!

The rules that they were trying to pass without any scrutiny make an horrific change. Under these rules, the Republican National Committee can make changes to the convention rules, which were previously only able to be changed by the delegates on the rules committee to the convention. In effect, the majority of the rules committee delegates voted to give all their power to the national committee. That is the stuff that the Soviet Politburo was made of.

The tactics at this convention are being compared to the brown-shirts of Hitler and the Soviet Politburo. This is clearly a Trump Convention, not a Republican Convention. Who is expecting more from a man who, out of one side of his mouth criticizes Hillary for being above the law, and out of the other side of his mouth orders the rules lowered to align with his lack of trust of democracy. A larger question is whether Trump did this to the Republican National Committee or was the Republican National Committee this corrupt before Trump? If they were this corrupt before Trump, the next question is who are they working for? The Republican Politburo is in full bloom. The takeover is almost complete. Remember, When Donald Trump says that America will be great again under him, the key words are, apparently, “under him!”

The Day The World Changed

earth-1170492_1280I think everyone, at some point, is emotionally involved in a campaign where the person running shows a side of himself/herself that we could not predict or accept, hence the title, “The Day the World Changed.”

Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday. While yesterday was not a world changing day for me, I know some very good people who are likely to be really struggling with that one. Their world probably feels like the earth has spun off of it’s axis. How do we now wrap our heads around the fact that he or she is not the person we thought?

I remember the day when I learned about the fallibility of Ronald Reagan. I learned that he may have had knowledge of drug sales to illegally raise money for weapons purchases for freedom fighters. Whether he knew or not, he should have.

Today, my interest in that moment is not for the details of the day. My interest is in how my hero, Ronald Reagan, could change when I was so sure he was the embodiment of all I believed in.

I’m very fond of Ted Cruz’s positions, as I understand them (notice now I use qualifiers). His ideas represents the ideals I hold dear. In today’s vernacular I would be called a ‘Reaganbot” or a “Cruzbot”. Not to worry; I don’t take it seriously.

I think the problem is that we all think everyone is just like us, so we start feeling we can relate to the persona these politicians create for our consumption. Of course we know this persona is not the actual person, but the repetitious exposure to this public persona on all forms of media, serve as conditioning. At first, we start to relate to the benevolent or empathetic side of the person. He or she believes in humankind, and cares! We start to project on the candidate the good person we wish to be.

Simultaneously, we project the parts of ourselves we hate and can’t accept in ourselves on our favored candidate’s opponent. Of course, since these phenomenon are largely or completely subconscious activities, nobody reading this will be convinced this describes them. I hate to tell you folks; we all do it.

A personal favorite, that I became aware of not long ago, was pointing out the intolerance of the left – who rose to popularity for preaching tolerance. It took me a short time to see that they were being intolerant of me, and considerably longer to see that I was being intolerant of their hypocrisy, which is hypocrisy! On and on we all go.

The part of this dance I find the most distressing is that these days, people are projecting their negative qualities on the supporters of their candidates political opponent. Really? Hey, let’s hate the haters! Objectivity is really hard work. Those who claim to possess it are the ones who generally have no idea what it looks like. I can’t remember ever meeting someone who wants anyone to suffer. Nevertheless, we all have a different prescription on how to fix suffering. Today I think I will support that scoundrel Bernie Sanders, said nobody, ever. We all come by our political opinions as honestly as the next person.

Earlier I wrote: “My interest is in how could he change when I was so sure he was the embodiment of all I believed in.” The answer is that he was never who I thought he was. He is the person he’s always been. I just completed the circle of his persona with my projections.

Like it or not, these psychological phenomena are part of the human condition. I’m going to try to remember that if you were a Bernie supporter, you are suffering through really bad feelings today. I personally know suffering. Look, already we have something in common. Maybe today will be the real day the world changes.

The Inevitable – Groundhog Day Election

800px-Groundhog3It’s not funny anymore. I keep waking up thinking that the nightmare will end, that goodness and reason will prevail, and that good normal people will, once again, be in possession of their wits. Chaos seems inevitable. I live in trepidation that the day after election day I’ll wake to find its Groundhog Day!

In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray keeps waking up to the same scripted events every day. For seven and a half long years many, including myself, have awoken every morning to the Obama administration singing “I Got You, Babe.” We all arrived at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania clamoring for the promises of hope and change. Life was going to be good: Health insurance for all; The end of war as we know it; The most transparent government in history; Gay marriage; An end to corruption in government; An end to gun violence, and an end to racial tension. It was going to be Grand! The promises were nearly endless.

As I look around today, I see people acting like they are in a full blooming case of Stockholm Syndrome. It is a psychological symptom that occurs in some persons in a captive or hostage situation, where the hostages develop a paradoxical emotional bond with their captors. It usually happens to those that feel as if their situation will never end. They grow fond of their captors.


Today I see groups of people willing to vote for candidates who violate the very sacred morals the people espouse and govern their lives with, all under the heading: God can use the ungodly! I see voters supporting a Black President who forgot what religion he believes in, and cannot fathom what it is like to be an average Black in America today. I see Christians supporting a man who brags about the married women he has bedded, and has lied so many times he cannot remember what he said last. I see women concerned about women’s issues but voting for a woman who ran intercept for her philandering husband who takes advantage of weak women, who also has also lied so many times she can’t keep the truth clear in her head, and stands accused of violating laws for mishandling top secret information. What more do you need to conclude that voters are acting like they are captives?

Will we ever grow bored with our suffering and stop voting to win, and start voting our conscience? According to Eckhart Tolle’s interpretation of the movie “Groundhog Day,” Phil (Bill Murray) is released from the cycle of suffering when he begins to surrender and accept the present moment, and becomes a positive force in the present moment. I believe that requires us to accept that we created this mess, and vote our conscience, not our fears. That is what it means to be a positive force in the present moment.

Phil” (Bill Murray) is responsible for his happiness in this movie, as we are in our lives. When the alarm goes off every day, it can be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton singing “I Got You, Babe,” or it could be someone else singing a completely different song, because in the end, its not the inevitable. It does not have to be another Groundhog Day election. We can end this cycle of captivity we have chosen.