I vowed on September 26th not to say anything on my blog about politics until the election was over. I succeeded, and it’s a lot harder to NOT speak out than it is to vent. The election lingers, but the voting is over. I just have a small observation or two.

The vast majority of people are basically good. For example, I’ve been teaching English in Asia for around a decade, and I can count the number of students I’ve had that I can confidently say were bad people on one finger, and not even the whole finger. But I’m hearing that roughly half of Americans are Nazi Einsatzgruppen resurrected from the grave in order to manifest hatred and bigotry in the name of Literally Hitler. And the other side are portrayed as a lethal brew of anarchists and communists who want to destroy America, and instill an authoritarian regime straight out of George Orwell’s 1984. Nope. Not even close. Both sides are made up of predominately decent people with a different belief system, based on access to different news sources, different facts, different misleading content, different ideas and concepts…

You might have seen the woman shouting at a NYC police officer, “F_CK YOU, FASCIST! F_CK YOU, FASCIST!” and spitting in his face. Depending which side of the fence you find yourself on, she could be a hero standing up to enforcers of the authoritarian regime, or she could be a radicalized ideologue venting her misbegotten rage at a working class fellow trying to do his job to keep the peace. The one thing that I can be sure of is that she believed what she was screaming.

I don’t personally think the officer or the woman are bad people. I could be wrong, and one or the other, or both, could be the exception to the rule, but if I had to bet, I’d go with them both being basically OK. I’ve protested in the streets before — against the war on Iraq — and so I can easily imagine being in her position. If I believed the cops were the enemy stormtroopers, I might spit in their faces too, if I got the chance. And I can also imagine being the officer, on the clock, doing a stressful stretch of my daily grind, and having to endure insults, gesticulations, profanity, and spittle projected at my hated visage.

People are acting the way they do, and voting the way they do, because of what they believe. And while we may be quick to blame those on the other side as morally and mentally inferior for believing in their party of choice, most likely they quite simply believe the story they are exposed to in their confirmation bias echo chambers, which become their comfort zones. Of course, people can be enormously sophisticated, knowledgeable, intelligent, and still fall solidly on either side of the spectrum, but most of us are going to be swept along in a wave, and are a bit of useful idiots for a cause we are unwittingly socially engineered to support. In regards to the current election, we are largely seduced into being pawns in someone else’s war for their personal gain.

There’s something really, really weird about our political system in America, where we have to choose between two sides which are necessarily vehemently opposed to each other. Your choices are this one-sided belief system, or that one-sided belief system. If you even half believed both candidates, you’d conclude the they were both evil imbeciles, unfit to drive a bus, let alone run a country, because that’s what they say about each other with absolute conviction. In order to put your faith in one side, you need to completely demonize and disbelieve the other, and doing so means your perspective is refined, fine-tuned, and radicalized.

If you were to now look at a conservative and a liberal news source — ex., watch Tucker Carlson, and watch Amy Goodman of Democracy Now [I’ve done it] — you will find that both firmly believe that the other side is trying to “steal the election”. Different news sources provide a completely different world view; cherry pick stories to fit their agenda; appeal to different experts and authorities; provide different evidence; and conveniently omit anything that doesn’t fit the fiction they want you to believe is reality. Both will convince you if you only get their side of the picture. There is nothing in the conservative news about Steve Bannon being banned from Twitter for saying that he’d have Stephen Fauci beheaded, along with the F.B.I. director, and their heads displayed on spikes. I gather they are embarrassed about this (though I think Bannon was using hyperbole]. Meanwhile the liberal news is pretending that Hunter Biden’s laptop, and what it contains, doesn’t exit, or is irrelevant. The sins of omission are as startling as is the cherry-picking, and on both sides, and how!

The recent Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, includes interviews with higher-ups from Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest confessing the overwhelming influence of social media in formulating peoples’ world views without their knowledge or consent. Algorithms will decide what search results you get when you Google a topic, such as climate change, which will differ from what someone else gets based on their geographic location, browsing history, etc. The underlying driving force is advertising, and thus what YouTube recommends to you, what shows up in your feeds and your searches, is designed to keep your attention, and steer you to clicking on ads.

The best way to keep your attention is, they’ve discovered, to outrage you. The inevitable consequence of channeling people to content that will infuriate them, is that the population is perpetually on the edge of its leash, snarling at the perceived evil other, enemy, communist or Nazi…

When you combine this with an election season, where there are two obligatorily diametrically opposed parties, you get a country artificially corralled into two hostile camps who hate each other with a passion. One of the most successful tactics to get your team to win, when your candidate is uninspiring or unpopular, is to demonize the other side to all hell, and convince your audience that if the opposition wins, it’s the end of the country as we know it. Each election becomes the most important in our lifetimes, because it is imperative we defeat the evil enemy on our own soil.

The left will say that the Bogey Man Trump is dividing the country with white supremacy, and the right will say that the left is escalating racial tensions with lighter fuel in order to get the black vote. Race war in America is now a self-fulfilling prophecy initiated by the media and the political class. Americans don’t hate each other; white supremacists are a fringe group that are not accepted into polite society; and non-radicalized people of color have no interest in ending western civilization by any and all means necessary. It is merely convenient, perhaps even necessary for an election, that we be divided against each other, and believe our caricatures of evil incarnate are our neighbors, with their families, friends, lovers, and pets.

The people responsible for the engineering of social media are the first, and the most passionate, about its negative impact on society. Everyone is being steered away from the center, and the news is so pathetically biased that there is hardly even a pretense of objectivity. You are not allowed to decide for yourself anymore. You are spoon-fed carefully selected, crafted, and contextualized tidbits in order to move you in the desired direction of political belief and affiliation. It is probably impossible to get anything like an accurate picture of the news without deliberately seeking out what both sides of the spectrum choose to portray. Most of us would rather listen to nails across a chalkboard than give a listen to what the other side has to say. The result is that we increasingly become one-sided ideologues with slogans instead of arguments, convictions instead of ideas. What those ideologies are, and how destructive they are is another discussion. While simplistic belief systems — with enemies who need to be obliterated embedded in them — are a big problem, it is the algorithms operating in the service of amoral business interests, and political gain, that are giving them the superpowers they don’t deserve and wouldn’t otherwise have.

The solution is to stop rewarding the most extremist rhetoric and implausible conclusions from both sides; to seek a broader viewpoint in the middle; and to compromise. It’s always easier to sit in the shallow ends of the river than to swim in the deeper current in the center with a view of both shores. Painful as it may be, we need to find that middle ground, where we aren’t battling caricatures; and we need to give up some of our breezy, self-serving conclusions, and stop blaming everything on the evil other while entirely exculpating ourselves of guilt and responsibility. We are all humans, narrow-minded human psychology is the problem, and we all suffer from it.

If we believe that we are the ones on the right side of history, and we can’t admit that we are susceptible to the social engineering of social media; that we are cozily snuggled in our confirmation bias echo-chambers; and that we can be wrong and probably are about some things, how the hell can we expect the other side to do so? If we are the good guys, and we can’t compromise or be the bigger person, we certainly can’t expect the bad guys to be more noble and generous than we are.

There’s a tendency to think the most extreme voices are at the forefront of history, leading us into progress — they are the ones with slogans that can fit on a sticky note — when they are more likely driving us out onto a limb. The last century has shown that either extreme leads to authoritarianism: characters like Pinochet and der Führer on the right, and the likes of Pol Pot and Chairman Mao on the left. The way forward is not to steer off the road into a ditch or off a cliff, with the pedal to the metal, but to move steadily ahead.

Some will say we are doing that by defeating Trumpism, but at the same time we are seeing the left make lists of “Trump enablers” with the intent of punishing them, crushing their job prospects, etc. Compiling lists of people who disagree with you on politics, in order to go after them and destroy their lives, is not a democratic tactic by any stretch of the imagination. Just consider for a second that the Trump team did NOT do that to Clinton enablers. We need to reel in the lunatic fringe, whichever side they are on, or at least not follow their lead. The people calling for metaphoric heads on spikes [Bannon], or rosters of people to target for elimination [AOC], are not being good roll models, but examples of “don’t let this happen to you”. We should not be cheering them on. We should be talking them away from the ledge. The leaders, if any, we should look toward, should manifest broad-minded, comprehensive, complex, and nuanced views, and not be hammering home one-liners about who the enemy are against which they distinguish themselves as virtuous, in their simple-minded, ideological purity. [Hint: In the new millennium, the terms “radical” and “revolution” are not the presumed good many of us associate them with, but are much more likely red flags signaling that someone has oversimplified answers with drastic measures to achieve them, including scores of innocent people being sacrificed in the name of the greater “good”.]

We’ll be fighting in the streets

With our children at our feet

And the morals that they worship will be gone

And the men who spurred us on

Sit in judgement of all wrong

They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

~The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” 1971.

This year, we particularly believe that our candidate will help us vanquish the evil enemy, who hates us, and who we hate in return. We aren’t a country made up of 50% bad people. It’s a half century since The Who wrote “Don’t Get Fooled Again”, and we’ve been fooled again.

We don’t really hate each other. It’s just good for business and political parties to convince us that we do.

~ Ends

39 replies on “Tricking Americans into Hating Each Other for Profit and Political Gain

  1. yes to all of this. I have posted about it many times. It sucks, and very very few have not at least , in some way, been affected unless they have been living under a rock for the last 3 elections. I wrote recently about why i do not vote. Any time i even admit to that i immediately brace myself for the onslaught of hatred. You have great points here and although i’ve said as much many times, in the end i have to also admit to being somewhat influenced . But i say that with the greatest of care. Because, at least for me, the influence( and hence my continued stance on voting) was not so much about hating the individuals per say but the effects of both individuals using these tactics to gain votes. We must , in effect, realize that they are also both accountable. Bottom line is, these candidates had a choice. And with the money they have they both chose to use it to WIN, at all costs, and regardless of the effect they know it has had on the people of their nation.Even at this point in time, when it should be pretty much “over” , the ongoing division of people/family/friends/colleagues continues.Yet for Washington and the corrupt entities supporting it , it is business as usual. i doubt that i will ever vote. And if that makes me the bad guy , then so be it. At best i can assert that i have never participated in this charade, put anyone into power, or signed that ballot/contract stating my consent to such nonsense. Thanks for perspective..good reminders for all of us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t vote, either. There are absolute deal breakers for me regarding both candidates. And I agree with you. Both parties treated the country like children fighting over a Monopoly board, and willing to tear it in half rather than lose. I felt that getting involved would do more personal harm to me than any good I might achieve if I could even be sure I was choosing the lesser of two evils.

      If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that I can’t predict the future. The two defining phenomenon are COVID-19, and the massive protests/riots revolving around “race”. I didn’t predict either, nor can I predict the outcome of either.

      The country I currently live in was slotted to be the most devastated by COVID-19 outside of China, because we have the most flights directly out of Wuhan after the infection was discovered. To my complete surprise, we remain one of least effected countries on the planet. Nobody is sure why. We have less than 4,000 cases total.

      I really can’t tell which candidate, or the reaction against them, in relation to what context, will produce what result. People fear what will happen if Trump is elected, even though he’s already been in office for four years, in which case nothing much new will happen. Biden has been in politics for a half century, and we’d be hard-pressed to find a candidate who was more “business as usual”, in which case his election suggests nothing much different will happen. For either candidate to make a significant difference there would probably need to be a fluke, some exceptional context, and I can’t predict what that would be. I couldn’t have predicted 9/11 during the Bush presidency, either, and I had to live through that.

      To not participate in the ideological warfare that is the election is to spare one’s brain having to BELIEVE in a candidate, and put faith in them, which is to bend reality to a wishful fantasy. In the end I don’t really care who wins because neither has absolute power, and most likely the rich will just get richer, and everyone else will get poorer. I’m better off taking care of my health and mental health so I am better able to survive in an unstable world with growing problems.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ye3s, but…. I’ve found it is useful to send small amounts of money to both sides. That way I automatically get on the emailing and texting lists of both “sides.”

      While both Republicans and Democrats clearly use the same sleazy marketing consultants (the same adjectives and stupid claims like “your last chance to donate!!!” keep popping up), the Republicans do seem to be worse. The Democrats don’t usually accuse the Republicans of treason or of running a cabal determined to rule the world and extinguish all American liberties. The Dems at least acknowledge there are problems with some police behavior and with such wide disparities in income and opportunity. And Trump is, I think, a truly awful sociopathic human being.

      So I’ve ended up supporting (and campaigning for) Democrats, without denying that Clinton, say, did more harm than good to the country. All very depressing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. i just dont want any parts of it..too much junk mail and such..but interestingly, have discussed a hypothetical “co- presidency” situation- where both parties are represented simultaneously at the same time. That way they can duke it out in the white house and keep the manipulating of citizens on the daily to a minimum. In fact i see this as the only viable start to abolishing the party system in general outside of a total overthrow- and no one really wants that ( as in venezuala and other countries).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s Bret Weinstein’s idea, unless someone else has taken it up. I enjoy his podcast with his wife, Heather Heying. This evening I’ve been watching videos by them, Jimmy Dore, and Ben Shapiro, which is pretty much covering a very wide spectrum. Since the election I’ve been thinking more than ever that the way to level up ones breadth of understanding is to breach the confirmation bias echo chamber and entertain multiple and contrary perspectives simultaneously. It’s a difficult task and plays a bit with ones sanity, but broadening ones horizons requires an elastic mind. Just hunkering down with ones tribe and convincing oneself that the other side is absolutely wrong about everything, and they are evil buffoons, is the easy route. It’s a way to reduce the scope of reality to something we can manage in our day to day life. I also think, related to that, that it’s much better to be less condemnatory of what we perceive as the opposition.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for such a well articulated post. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying and I think you hit the nail on the head with the reference to the documentary “The Social Dilemma”. It was certainly an eye-opener for me and I worry people don’t realise the full extent to which social media not only makes our thoughts and beliefs a “product” to be sold, but also has a hand in manipulating those thoughts and beliefs. I also find it alarming how polarised politics and talking about politics has become in America, simply based on the fact that no one is talking anymore, everyone is just shouting. I could say a lot more on the topic, but suffice to say I’m also teaching English abroad and have been following your blog for some time now with great pleasure.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with you. In this (case) though, with DT, his rap sheet is so grotesquely obvious to any rational being, that it transcends redness or blueness or leftness or rightness. The fucker is a lying, psycophatic, criminal, single use plastic bag of shit . I love nature, I love our biosphere, and Trump = extinction. Fuck all the other shit. If you love science, and the ice caps not melting, you hate Trumo and Co.


    1. Trump’s stance on climate change is an absolute deal breaker for me, too.

      Science universally maintains that excess, human-based CO2 in the atmosphere is causing climate change at a pace that will cause astronomical devastation in our lifetimes if we don’t address it immediately and powerfully. The naysayers have to maintain that not only is the science wrong, but there’s an international conspiracy involving NASA, and every single scientific body, and virtually every scientist of any significance, to hoodwink the public. It’s science denial AND conspiracy theory.

      However, if hatred is your response, then you can’t just hate Trump for that, you’ve got to hate virtually all republicans and most conservatives. You even have to hate the dems for doing too little when they had the chance. Biden’s career record on climate change is milquetoast. If Trump is a bag of dog shit, Biden must be at least a dog shart.

      If it turns out that Biden wins the election according to the government and not just the media, I trust you will direct your seething hatred his way if his team starts back-pedaling, and does too little about the environment. I’ll be very pleasantly surprised if they don’t do as little as they can get away with.

      There are other important issues, but I’m with you on a love for nature, animals, plants, the biosphere, and human civilization. I agree fully that we should switch to being stewards of the planet and working with nature. Your anger in that respect is, I think, justified. But save some of it for Biden/Harris, because if they win, their performance on the issue is even more critical than was his.

      That said, you’ve proved my point about the level of hatred in this election. Certainly hatred is on the table in your comment, including a notion that others must hate Trump as well if they are rational or value nature… Unfortunately, there are even more issues that impact people’s lives, and some people swing for Trump because of these. You might look at someone like Tim Pool to see why a rational, intelligent person would support Trump despite all his faults: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEXgq8S0bts&t=1385s He’s getting a bit irate for my tastes, but he’s not irrational. I just mention him because he’s gone from being a never-Trumper to voting for Trump while reporting news from a range of sources for nearly a decade, and I saw this video this morning. Anyway, his point is that the dems now come packaged with a radical left agenda and belief system, which they used to get elected, but which they may not be able to put back into the bottle.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “If Trump is a bag of dog shit, Biden must be at least a dog shart.” Haha… I have to agree, people’s exceeding hatred for one guy is frankly disproportional to what should be their frustration with the established system that let him get elected in the first place. Either the system was rigged in his favour, or the population that voted him in, voted him in, fair and square.

        I don’t think the system was all that great before Trump (BT) and I have my doubts – along with you Eric – that it will become anything close to stellar after Trump (AT). Biden looks about as Old White Male as they come. I can’t speak to his creds, except I doubt he’d be considered a serious contender if put next to just about anybody else except for Trump. Sometimes, I think that’s what Trump’s function actually was/is.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup. I can’t recall anyone arguing Biden was a good candidate on his own merit, and I’ve thought the system was bankrupt since Bush Jr. was elected. Surely, in a country where anyone can be president, we wouldn’t just elect the dimwitted son of a former president. And then in the 2,016 election we got the Clinton family again, and the Bush family again, Jeb and Hillary. That showed that those powerful families had a stronghold in government that went far beyond their qualifications. That’s not a democracy. That’s an oligarchy. And Biden is a member of that same ruling class elite. The idea that he’s there to buck the system, after milking it for 50 years, is sheer comedy.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, you are correct. It’s not just Trump, it’s the whole apparatus that enabled him. And yes, the Dems are culpable for their passivity on climate change. I will check out the link. I have freinds, one a programmer, the other a physicist, two of the smartest, most rational people I know, who support Trump. It has always been the topic we avoid. I should ask them why .

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cool.

        I wonder if they are long-time republicans, or if they are just pro-Trump, or if they are anti-social justice.

        Some people – including lifetime liberals — are voting Trump not because they like him, or because they are for his policies, but because they are voting against the country being hijacked by the radical “social justice” revolution, which is, among other things, profoundly anti-America, anti-capitalist, and anti-whiteness (which they would proudly admit). They see their choices as between an unconventional republican bore, and a doddering Trojan Horse concealing a radical left revolution that takes no prisoners. In that case, for them, he becomes the lesser of two evils.


  4. I am so in agreement about the incredibly polarized ideological climate. It seems fairly clear it is systemic. How deliberate it is might still be an open question, but I can’t imagine it’s entirely accidental. I have not seen The Social Dilemma, but can imagine it might make me want to lie down for a year or three.

    As a non-American, I am on one hand aware that this election is “none of my business”, and on the other hand, I realize everything done in the world today affects everybody else, and so it is most certainly my business. What happens in Canada is your business too (though I warn you, it’s usually much less entertaining).

    Maybe all nations should exchange partial voting rights, so people can act as part-voters in one another’s elections. What the US decides to bomb affects everybody, clearly. Apply that to any action taken by any country in the world. We’re just big cities now, under a global nation of sorts, whether we like it or not. I consider this merging (in controlled ways) to be an inevitable step toward Type I civilization. Will we make it there? Who the hell can say, but we’re still here, so there’s still a chance.

    People LOVE to shout at an an enemy, it turns out. And it turns out you can sell tickets to that. The US elections, seen from the outside, seem to go on longer than they don’t. Commercials are sold, and people wear their red or blue flags on their sleeves. Every nation has its example of this, I’m sure.

    I respectfully disagree about the not voting. That’s the third camp (the Disinterested and Unengaged) that this polarizing system expects to create – and may even require – in order to perpetuate itself.

    You either believe voting matters, or you don’t, regardless of the choices you’re given on any given go-around.

    Choosing not to vote because you honestly believe nobody is even counting your opinions (even if only in their mind) is an extreme stance, but at least internally rational. Why waste time if my ballot will literally not sway a single mind, or count to any kind of cause? I have other things to do with my day.

    But choosing to not vote because you don’t happen to like the choices (actually only the two main ones) given to you, to me, is defeatist – and plays directly into the hands of the perpetrators of this Us-vs-Them-vs-AhFuckIt stageplay.

    Go out and demonstrate you are able to vote but simply do not appreciate the candidates the system is telling you are your only two choices. Spoil your ballot intentionally (I think that would be cathartic, but who am I), or write in the name of another candidate – you have them there, I think. Other candidates? Third, fourth, fifth parties, independents.. hell, even your favourite aunt. Pick somebody better than the Greater and Lesser of the Evils (how hard could that possibly be?), and register your opinion, to whoever is on the receiving end of the ballots – even if they’re busy burning the ones they’ve been paid to burn.

    This is still your right: not everybody in the world is permitted to state their opinion in this way. The Red and Blue flags, as far as I can tell, are both cut from the same cloth. What would happen in the news if 25% of Americans showed up in an act of solidarity and crossed out of both candidates, with a fat, red marker? Maybe wrote in something like: “Try again: we don’t like these candidates and their infantile fighting tactics. We deserve more of our public servants. Our kids deserve more. Hell, even our pets deserve more.”

    America’s got Talent up the Whatever – it’s the nation of innovators and rebels and such. I hear this all the time. I dream of the day the US population decides to tell their “leadership” to go f* itself. Maybe then the rest of us would follow. So, lead.

    I am thinking about the Placed and Displaced Yanks in the world right now – you’re being attacked by a dark spell, cast by your own countrymen… but the next generations are getting ready for voting age, and I don’t think they plan to take much lying down. Good luck to the Bidens and the Trumps of the world then.

    Thank you Eric as always for your exceptional content.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing about voting is that my voice would be at best 1/160,000,000. But when you take into account the electoral college, and that my vote wouldn’t have made any difference in the last state I lived in, or the one I was born in, both of which went overwhelmingly for Biden, as predicted, it would have made no difference whatsoever, if my ballet ever even made it halfway across the world to be counted. Meanwhile, I’d be investing my psyche in the battle, getting in arguments and debates, and wasting oodles of productive time to ultimately gain nothing. I base this on how much time and energy I lost on the prior election cycle.

      If I put that same energy into my art, or my articles, I’d reach more people with my own content than just signing off on a vote. This year, instead of getting involved in the election, I spent my time learning Blender, mostly. Yup, I just think I have better contributions to make to the world than choosing which dismal candidate should get to wear “my precious”.

      During the Obama years, I was living behind the Great Internet Wall of China, and the only reason I didn’t vote for him was because he was elected during my first year in China, when I didn’t even have internet. Well, I also can’t imagine how the hell I would have voted in China at that time! I was completely cut off from American news my first year and a half, where I’d have to go to Chinese internet cafes to try to do anything online, and the only thing I’d do was send an email to let everyone know I was OK, and what was up. I wasn’t cut off from just the election, but from all politics. I think that contributed to me being more present there in China, and I don’t regret missing anything. I don’t feel like I missed anything. On the contrary, that was one of the richest periods of my life, and I have no regrets about giving myself that experience (awful as it sometimes was). I never took it for granted that I was there, and sometimes I deeply miss it.

      It’s not indifference or not caring. It’s more like not wanting to contaminate my psyche with toxic emotions, including stress, anger, resentment, and so on…

      Also, everyone implores people to vote, but nobody encourages you to vote for the rival candidate.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah understood. I get frustrated about this stuff like anybody else, but often differently than some people. Not voting makes sense in terms of energy expenditure (and as you say, exposure to the mean-spiritedness of it all). I mean, I’ve heard rumours that people going to polling stations would get harassed to vote A or B. Who needs that? And then, in your case, you’re remote. And then there’s the E.C., which I will never attempt to understand. It seems like a big machine with fancy buttons on the outside (where the voters live), hooked up to nothing.

        I actually lost a friendship over the previous Trump vote. I held a lot of vitriol in about how people were debasing each other’s points of view, instead of debating the merits of the candidates (and the merits of the system itself). I had the audacity to hope that Trump was some kind of Liberal plant, sent into the Republican party to cause mischief. For some reason, I assumed this was a good sign. My confidence in this weird theory wavered between nigh-certain to not-at-all. The whole scenario was just too surreal for me to consider anything other than an highly unusual play by somebody who was tired of the status quo. I did not agree with the “grab ’em by the’s”, but I also don’t agree with making war for profit – which is worse? None of it seemed capable of being entirely real.

        Well this is real, apparently. Trump acts the way he does, and people vote him in (well, the machine does… it’s comprised of people)… Trumps acts worse, people get mad at each other, and now we have another old guy in power, from that general lineage. I genuinely hope people will be less angry under this administration, but who’s to say…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. War for profit is the worst. In the last election Hillary was the hawk, and she’d made some astounding comments about obliterating Iran if push came to shove. But then after getting elected, Trump was talking about “fire and fury” from above. I was definitely on the war path against him at that point, which you can discover in a colorful period blog piece, including my caricatures of both Trump and Kimg Jong-un: https://artofericwayne.com/2017/08/11/nuclear-ugliness-fire-and-fury-like-the-world-has-never-seen/

        Oh, and it features one of my only Trump political works of art.

        But, at least he didn’t start any wars.


        Liked by 1 person

  5. Washington cornfed our democracy the electoral college. The Constitution is a defunct piece of shit that needs to be trashed. MensaMind Scalia, now deceased, is terrified of catching specialEd. “Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it (a new constitutional convention)?”

    Our legal justice system is a raging dumpster fire. Targets are burned at the stake while prosecutors, judges and police get off scott free. For many there is no other option but to shatter the storefront window…

    I know.


      1. Neither. I’m vegan. ANIMAL LIVES MATTER!

        I’m sure you have some valid points which you could express very clearly in plain English if you wanted to. I agree about the electoral college being a big problem, and let’s not forget super delegates.

        Trash the constitution? And replace it with what? Could we theoretically update it? Probably, but that would need to be done with extreme caution, wisdom, and consensus. We couldn’t just hand it over to the most powerful, or the most strident, or the most aggrieved.

        People have no choice but to break shop windows? You are aware these are just pronouncements, not arguments. Is everyone who breaks a shop window a contemporary incarnation of Jean Valjean?

        Did my post say anything about shop windows, or the electoral college, or the constitution?

        The only evidence you give for your radical stances is “I know”. Well, everyone “knows” something or other. Everyone has lived experience. Should we enact a hierarchy of lived experience where some people’s “knowing” is more valid than that of others?

        Like I said, I’m quite sure you are an intelligent person with valid points that you can defend with solid argument and evidence. I just couldn’t sort it out of your comment because of your writing style, which seems affected.

        If you want to be understood, you have to express yourself plainly. Or, to put it another way, you might have to dumb it down a bit for yours truly. But if you just want to throw a colorful monkey wrench in the machine, there’s something to be said for that. It’s not acceptable in a debate, but it is a form of communication with its own potency.

        Thanks for visiting my blog and throwing in your two cents.


      2. Was I a little harsh? OK.

        Hope you have a speedy recovery from your surgery. Oh, wait, I have no idea why you were in the emergency room. You might work in a hospital for all I know. I had an appendicitis recently and am projecting. So, I hope whatever situation prompted you to go to the emergency room is going to be OK.


  6. Let me start out saying that I’m not an American, and as of today I’m very happy about just that!
    But I have visited the USA several dozen times over, starting in the late 50thies and up to the the late 60thies!
    The USA I observe today does in no way resemble the country I once cherished! I can no longer recognize
    your country! Saying this I have visited dozens of cities on the East coast as well as the Gulf and the West coast. I can remember that the people living in the various areas were quite different in their behaviour,
    but they were not shooting at each other – at least not in daylight! And the police did not kill colored people
    openly in the streets with no consequences at all. I can agree with many of your views presented, however,
    you cannot fix a problem before it is properly addressed! And no matter what you say, I do think that large
    parts of the USA still have a racism-problem! But – as most of the other inhabitants – they are Americans , born and bred with an American passport! When the world via direct TV may observe a colored man strangled by
    3 cops in the middle of the street in broad daylight, or another shot in the back 7 times by a cop in uniform;
    it does create some animosity towards the USA and its people! It should not be to hard to understand?
    I have visited 73 different countries around the world but – this is not what is called ‘democracy’ in other parts of the world! (Which you all claim to be, right? )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You seem to be arguing that America has become more racist since you visited it before. Or, it could be, quite simply, that the media portrays it as more racist, though that also contributes to a self-fulfilling prophecy of racism. Stories of white racism are the most sought after, because they cause the most outrage, and thus generate the most revenue. If the stories can be exaggerated to increase outrage, that can be even more profitible.

      Obviously, like the vast majority of Americans, I am absolutely against racism, prejudice, discrimination, oppression or suppression of anyone based on their race, gender, etc. But that also includes being against demonizing the white American working class to the point where the whole world starts to despise them, your comment being a fine example of that trend.

      You need to look at the big picture and actual statistics, not just what the media cherry-picks and runs 24/7.

      Why do you assume that the black men killed in those situations were killed because of their race?

      More white people are killed by the police than blacks, and in all of those instances we would assume that race has nothing to do with it? But if any black person is killed, it’s automatically because of racism.

      The counter-argument is that blacks are killed at a higher percentage, relative to population, than are whites, and that must be evidence of racism.
      However, we are only talking about people who are being arrested and are killed by the police, so we need to compare how many white people are killed during arrest versus how many black people are, not the entire populations, and then the statistics show that whites are slightly more likely to be killed.

      If the media covered the killing of white people by the police with even a fraction of the time they devote to any incident of a black person being killed, people would just think it’s excessive use of force no matter who the victim is.

      And if the media covered the millions upon millions of arrests each year that happen with no incident, then people would just think that there are rare instances of excessive use of force, with a very high correlation to resisting arrest, attempting to use a weapon, or appearing to have one and refusing to show their hands. We might see some instances of racism, but nothing like the portrayal in the news.

      The media’s coverage of only incidents when black people are killed by the police creates a false impression, but is great for generating outrage, and getting clicks and advertising dollars.

      Next, even if there were a handful of cases in which we could be sure that the cops killed the black suspects because of racism, why extrapolate from that evidence that white Americans in general are racist? In reality, in my lifetime, if one were to look at FBI crime stats concerning interracial violence and murder, well, you go and look that up for yourself. Your assumptions are about 180 degrees off from the stark reality.

      Average white Americans aren’t racist, the media coverage of them is. Americans, black and white, can be congratulated thus far for not taking the bait and descending into race war.

      You are merely seeing America through the lens of a media that thrives on racism, and will create it out of thin air for cool, hard cash.


  7. Look up “Useful Idiots” and you will see how the world is being played. Either you believe it or you don’t but in the end, we have no real choice.


    1. I’m aware of “useful idiots”. It’s someone who is busy proselytizing an agenda, paradigm, or narrative they don’t fully understand, don’t realise is not reality, and which may ultimately work against them. It’s similar to my saying people are being pawns in someone else’s chess match.

      I definitely see useful idiots on both sides of the spectrum. Sadly, most of us are unwittingly getting swept up into being “useful idiots” as we are expose overwhelmingly to one narrative or the other, and both demand some degree of “activism” for “the cause”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that is why I have deliberately left all of my social sites except for those dedicated to photography alone. I do not trust government on either side I do not wish to be barraged with lies from the media pushing their agenda. All I want is to live in peace. I just want to enjoy my retirement and photograph and paint and learn from other artists.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I second that motion. I imagine Monet painting his gardens, water lilies, and Japanese footbridge for decades in Giverny even as war was going on all around him. I’m sure he was politically aware, but he was definitely in his own retirement sanctuary and self-created, tropical oasis.

        Liked by 1 person

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