It’s been tough to listen to the news this fall. I’ve been trying to decide between ignoring Trump’s tweets and retreating into a warm cocoon of denial. It makes me think of when we lived in caves and settled around a fire after sunset. The beasts could roam outside but, for now at least, we were safe.
I recently heard a story about a local park where child-beasts roamed in packs, bullying and harassing other children who didn’t belong to their social groups. Some would ‘rule’ the basketball courts, others would make it dangerous to visit the area after dark. It got to a point where the police decided to call a public meeting. A lot of mothers came and heard details of the goings-on. They had often seen police cars and uniformed officers in the area but, that night, they also heard that plainclothes officers were moving among the crowd. If things didn’t straighten out, they were told, children would be facing charges, court and possible jail time. The mothers went home and things began to change. Two years later, staff at the nearby community centre report that all is peaceful at the park.
Our little group of COM0011 students is shaping into a lovely little community, and I have to think that that has a lot to do with the ground rules Alexandra made clear at the start of the term. There would be no negative or dismissive comments in our responses to one another’s posts. Implicit in the request was the expectation that we knew how to govern ourselves. The children in the park needed limits. They knew that someone with authority would enforce good behavior if necessary.
I don’t want to live in a cave fearing the beasts. Social media is allowing us inside the brain of the President elect. We need to crawl around in there and get to know this guy. He is decidedly a loose cannon, but his message of protecting American jobs and re-building the economy is simple and attractive. I’ve copied a selection of his tweets from early December. Outside of the fact that he has no sense of humour (where his own person is concerned), and that the state is on a course to align with industry (one part of the definition of fascism), there is something compelling about a powerful man who appears to be fighting for the ‘little guy’ (what he’s doing with the little girls is something else entirely).
[Tweets are copied directly – no spelling, CAPS or punctuation were altered.]
December 7: Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!
If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues [author’s note: fascists don’t like trade unions]
December 6: Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
December 5: If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to “tweet.” Sadly, I don’t know if that will ever happen! [versus: Those who put out the people’s eyes, reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton, poet (9 Dec 1608-1674)]
December 4: Combined set of tweets:
The U.S. is going to substantialy reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. without retribution or consequence, is WRONG! There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units etc., back across the border. This tax will make leaving financially difficult, but these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged. Please be forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake! THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
December 4: Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad
December 2: Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!
[Combined tweets] The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you! Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.
…. So, will Donald Trump be, as Brian Mulroney predicted on December 7, a President with a “significant record of achievement?” Undoubtedly. The questions I’m still pondering are: Where is his mother? Where are the cops?
The real index of civilization is when people are kinder than they need to be. – Louis de Bernieres, novelist (b. 8 Dec 1954)