Donald Trump Is Us

Pundits like to pretend that Donald Trump is some strange aberration in the American political-media process, but he is more like the illogical but logical result of a repudiation of rational thought, writes ethics professor Daniel C. Maguire.

By Daniel C. Maguire

Modern presidential election campaigns are exercises in mind-shrinkage. The failings and mischiefs of the candidates monopolize our attention and lies flourish like a toxic algae bloom. We start looking through the wrong end of the telescope and miss the big picture of what our human situation is.

Dare to take a reality break and face just two big lies beclouding this campaign. First the big Republican lie; then the big Democratic lie.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. June 18, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. June 18, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

The first big lie grips both political parties but Republicans billow it into a delusion of epic and existential proportions. It is that “all is well with our planet; there is nothing that is wrong that a little of our technical grit and genius cannot take care of.” Science demurs.

To avoid nearly unimaginable catastrophe on this fragile planet even the most hopeful scientists, like the Swedish Johann Rockstrom, say that we have “no more than 25-30 years to transition away from a fossil-fuel world economy.” What are the odds of that?

Clive Hamilton reports that “the reluctant conclusion of the most eminent climate scientists is that the world is now on a path to a very unpleasant future and it is too late to stop it,” as he writes this in his tellingly entitled book, Requiem For a Species.

We cannot look at the sun for long. When reality gets too painful and unbearably bright, we avert our eyes. But let’s hear it for the military, the same military that counseled caution before our mad, destabilizing plunge into Iraq and Afghanistan arranged by George W. Bush’s coterie of erstwhile draft-dodgers.

Military analysts are talking climate change as a prime “national security” issue. Small wonder; a lot of their island and coastal naval bases are on the brink of inundation. Also, the military appreciate “the chain of causation” from climate change disasters to the destabilization of nation states and the rise of new forms of terrorism.

The DOD’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review called climate change an “accelerant of instability” and a “threat multiplier.” The National Academy of Sciences in 2015 noted that climate change fueled the beginning of Syria’s civil war. Longer-lasting and more severe droughts, combined with government refusal to deal with crop failures and livestock deaths, set the stage for the current chaos.

As noted in Scientific American (June 2016), all of this “pushed hundreds of thousands of people to migrate from their farms into cities like Aleppo and Raqqa.” The resultant turmoil “turned to civil war” and “that civil war allowed ISIS to rise terrorizing the world.”

Similarly in northern Nigeria “deforestation, overgrazing and increased heat from global warming have turned what was once productive farmland and savanna into an extension of the Sahara Desert.” Again Scientific American: “The chain of causation from climate change to desertification, to food insecurity, to migration and then to conflict fueled Boko Haram’s rise.”

The Republicans boast of their “national security” credentials. But many of these same Republicans and all climate-change deniers are the descendants of “Flat Earth” insanity; they ignore, in a feat of denial tinged with psychosis, the greatest threat to national and global security in the recent history of the planet.

The Long View

A little bit of history cleanses the mind. Ten thousand years ago, after the 2½ million years of the Pleistocene era, which was dominated by spreading glaciers, the earth’s orbital pattern, which wobbles and tilts erratically, took a happy turn and we entered into the milder Holocene epoch. This was like leaving Purgatory and entering into the Garden of Eden.

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

Our species first appeared around 200,000 years ago during the unfriendly Pleistocene age. However, 65,000 years before the Pleistocene ended, humans had been reduced by Pleistocene’s hostile climate to just 15,000 fertile adults huddled together in the hills of what we now call Ethiopia. But, enter the gentler Holocene and we had liberating alternatives to the rigors of hunting and gathering. Agriculture was born.

The arrival of the Holocene was welcome relief but it was also a time bomb. In the glow of primeval affluence, we became more fertile. From an original few hundred of our species, we have passed the seven billion mark and put stresses on the planet that it cannot bear.

We have trashed the Holocene epoch and have entered what is now called the Anthropocene (from the Greek anthropoi, people), i.e., a new era in which humans are directly affecting and changing the earth’s climate. In other words, people-power is now wrecking the environmental security created by the Holocene’s climate and rushing us to disaster.

At this crucial moment, the Republican Party is the only party in the “developed” world that consists mainly of climate-change deniers — chief among them, Donald Trump, its presidential candidate.

But he is far from alone. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma became the symbol and spokesman for the party when in the winter of 2015 he brought a snowball into the Senate chamber to illustrate the hoax of climate change.

Because Inhofe could see so much in a snowball, the Republicans made him chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Environment.

Now, the Republican Party has put global-warming denial at the top of their presidential ticket. President Obama may say the effects of global warming are “terrifying,” but Trump says anthropogenic global warming is a hoax.

Though these head-in-the-sand denials may leave scientists shaking their heads in dismay, the denials have had an effect on the political thinking of many Americans who have pushed global warming down the list of priorities. Even at the 2015 Paris conference on climate change, we and the rest of the world could not agree on enforceable ways of doing anything realistic about the problem.

The Democratic Dodge

So, in fairness, let it be said, many Democrats are anything but enlightened and alert on ecological needs. But on top of that they are indulging in a specialized lie. The Democratic liberal narrative is that Donald Trump is the crude and explicit incarnation of what the Republicans have become since xenophobia and racism were ushered into Republicanism by Richard Nixon with his “Southern strategy.”

A poster that comic artist Walt Kelly prepared for the first Earth Day in 1970.

A poster that comic artist Walt Kelly prepared for the first Earth Day in 1970.

But that suggests that the rest of us have a kind of moral purity that distances us from Trumpism, which is not really true. Trump is also us. No alien is he in this America. Our soil is receptive to the wild seeds he sows. That’s why nervous Democrats fear a silent majority out there who won’t put Trump signs on their lawns but will vote him into the White House.

List Trumps brazen sins and we have a mirror image of ourselves:

–Xenophobia and racism? Don’t miss the message sent by all our wars of choice over the past half century or so in which kill-power held primacy of place among the power options. From conventional war to convenient drones (the dream weapon of risk-avoidance warriors), we wreak death and destruction on non-white people from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia all the way to Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, and Syria.

We would not inflict such indiscriminate “shock and awe” on Sweden no matter what tensions arose. Laos, Iraq? No problem.

For a quick check on our xenophobic racism, just ask African-Americans, the perennial orphans of American conscience, how out-of-step Donald Trump’s “whiteness crusade” is in this brutally divided and color-coded nation.

–Sexism? Trump doesn’t trump us there. If salaries signal socially assigned worth, we treat women as of lesser value just as he does. In a presidential race, put an intelligent woman up against an ignorant male buffoon who is also a crooked, bankruptcy-prone businessman, and you’ve got a cliff-hanger.

Trump has a particular pick on Muslims, but our moral concern for occupied and oppressed Muslims in Palestine/Israel is not in evidence even in the liberal press, although we help finance and arm Israel’s occupation. That criminal occupation, metastasizing under the euphemism of “settlements,” is more vicious than simply “banning Muslims;” it imprisons them and their children on site.

–Trump’s penchant for blunt military solutions to delicate problems is reflected in our embarking on repeated killing missions without the constitutionally required formal declaration of war, which hasn’t happened since December 1941. In its stead, we get cowardly resolutions to transfer war-making decisions to the imperial president. Will it take an erratic impulsive President Trump to show the stupidity of that congressional defection?

Remember, too, that budgets are windows into the soul. With all military-related expenses factored in, our budget pours around $30,000 a second into military maintenance, preparations, debt and research while our infrastructure and schools crumble. (Professor Robert McChesney reports that actual military spending is over $1 trillion a year.)

Trump specializes in embarrassingly fact-free pronouncements but the disgraceful political illiteracy of our electorate is unmatched among other democracies. That’s why his lies and falsehoods pass muster with large segments of the population.

No, Trump is not some alien being that somehow took over the Republican Party and now is running even in polls predicting who will be the next U.S. president. He is just the newest avatar of the famous saying by Walt Kelly’s Pogo character, “we have met the enemy and he is us.”

Daniel C. Maguire is a Professor of Moral Theology at Marquette University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is author of A Moral Creed for All Christians and The Horrors We Bless: Rethinking the Just-War Legacy [Fortress Press]). He can be reached at daniel.maguire@marquette.edu

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28 comments for “Donald Trump Is Us

  1. Gregory Herr
    September 10, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Trump is a product of American society, to be sure. And of course the Democrats are good for lip service, and that’s about it. Actions speak louder than words and lip service without conviction is as detrimental as denial or disinformation.
    The “penchant for blunt military solutions”, and the “stupidity” of “congressional defection” of war declaration responsibility is long-established. Erraticism and impulsivity did not just show up on the scene with Trump. And the same goes for “fact-free pronouncements…lies and falsehoods”. Clinton is an old hand at this shit, her “intelligence” as compared to Trump’s “ignorant [buffoonishness]” aside.
    The detestable dehumanization of the Palestinans and the “clash of civilizations” mentality foisted upon Muslims by the powers-that-be is much more real and relevant than Trump’s inanities. I’d say “Clinton Is Us”.

    • jack epikoureios
      September 11, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      I agree with Mr. Herr.
      Here I take the opportunity to make some additional remarks (prompted also by the latest “basket of deplorables” accusations) …
      [I’m not a Trumpo fan, but some contradictions / double standards (“exceptionalism”) are too nauseating …]:

      • The Clintons, like all good globalist elites, hate ordinary americans, including poor white men AND women; BUT, obviously, it’s easier / safer to badmouth poor white americans (“racists, xenophobes, islamophobes”), than to badmouth poor black americans (possible “racism” accusations) etc. Truth is, the Clintons love RICH (“successful”) blacks, e.g. Oprah. Or, look at Bill’s past behavior towards poor white american women (“white trash”), and complete absence of support for them by upscale “feminists” (see also below).

      • Further, maybe Trumpo is racist, but how do we/they know that he is more racist than Kilary? After all, she is a paid agent of a foreign country (she’s in the pocket of aipac, saban, adelson, and netanyahu), which country is, arguably, one of the most racist ones worldwide … q.e.d. [Also, I read that some pretty ugly $-things done by the Clinton Foundation on poor and black Haiti are about to come out soon … let’s find out who is more racist?]

      • Assuming that Trumpo is a big time racist (assuming), why isn’t Kilary (a known bought & paid for foreign agent – a fact, not an assumption) why isn’t she a traitor to America?
      Related naive question: Which is worse, a racist president or a traitor president? Instead, we hear all this outrageous neo-McCarthy smears about Trumpo and Putin !!!!!!!! This constitutes an all time triumph of totalitarian propaganda — Dr. Goebbels would have been stunned …

      • Ditto for the “Mexican Wall”; i.e. if Israel can have its wall (whose cost has, arguably, been footed by US taxpayers $), why can’t the US have one too? The Israelis stole Palestinian land & we stole Mexican land; they (Kilary’s backers & owners) built their wall, so why it’s soooo … bad when Trumpo suggests that we should build one too? Just asking …

      • Ditto for “diversity (is our strength) / multiculturalism” & open borders b.s.: If those things are bad for Israel, why are they good for America ?! Generally, why is “multiculturalism” (supposedly) good for the entire globe, except for Israel ?!

      • Maybe Trumpo is also sexist BUT Kilary is married to a serial rapist and sex offender (no upscale feminist complaints here) — can you imagine any self-respecting woman to stick with Bill, except for purely $ gain & power ?!
      [Please don’t ask me what sexism means, OR why these issues (i.e. race & gender) … trump (no pun) all other issues in a US presidential election, by other issues I mean possible WW3 and TTIP /TPP ?]

      WHY THERE’S ALMOST COMPLETE SILENCE ON THESE OBVIOUS CONTRADICTIONS ?

      • Mark Bristow
        September 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

        Killary? That’s the best I’ve heard. Goodbye strychnine vs. arsenic. Now we have the Golden Shower vs. Killary…what, we can’t have any fun?

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        September 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm

        The allegations against Bill Clinton have not been proven.

  2. J'hon Doe II
    September 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Daniel C. Maguire — The Long View
    A little bit of history cleanses the mind.

    The book The Art of The Long View
    by Peter Schwartz
    p.139 -169

    ::
    9/11 represents a process of the indoctrination of historical lore
    Our sacred star spangled banner,as enshrined historical lore,
    informs the world that we are a bellicose people (surprised ?)
    from the walls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli
    We will fight destructive wars for our “National Interests”
    even if it means the deployment of False Flag Operations
    like Paperclip or the Phoenix Program or Co-Intell-Pro.
    our delusions of grandeur do not confuse the outside world.
    a little bit of history cleanses the mind of fog-of-war delirium.
    ::

    lady gaga new song lyrics – (excerpted for this piece)

    “Perfect Illusion”

    You were a perfect illusion

    Somewhere in all the confusion

    Dilated, fallin’ free
    You were so perfect
    In a modern ecstasy
    You were a perfect illusion

  3. Bill Bodden
    September 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Trump specializes in embarrassingly fact-free pronouncements but the disgraceful political illiteracy of our electorate is unmatched among other democracies. That’s why his lies and falsehoods pass muster with large segments of the population.

    And that is why this nation and planet are at so much risk. Elected officials make the most disastrous of decisions – the war on Iraq is surely the worst since the Second World War – but the American people continue to re-elect these seriously-flawed and frequently criminal politicians to their offices where they can continue to get it catastrophically wrong again and again. In Hillary Clinton’s case, a majority of voters in November are likely to elevate her to the Evil Office where she will very likely prove to be an utter, perhaps ultimate, disaster.

    The DOD’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review called climate change an “accelerant of instability” and a “threat multiplier.”

    Did this review admit that the armed forces of the United States are one of the biggest, if not the biggest, polluters of the planet?

  4. D5-5
    September 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    “Repudiation of rational thought” is essential grist for the mill in American politics. Recently we’ve been reminded of McCarthy. Tomorrow we’ll be reminded of 9/11. Notice how 9/11 is shielded and barricaded from rational thought, with anyone questioning it automatically “conspiracist,” as though the official explanations are “fact.” And yet there are very good questions to raise about that event–but we won’t raise them. Better comfortable than thinking.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      September 12, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      9/11 conspiracy theories consist of points refuted a thousand times. I have said this before, and I’m tired of it.

  5. Regina Schulte
    September 10, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Right on! Thank you, Prof. Maguire

  6. Realist
    September 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    The author described the Trump side of the equation spot on, but he totally neglected the equally threatening Hillary dilemma, which makes many of the same assumptions and proposes many of the same “solutions” that are really deliberately camouflaged problems in themselves. It’s still power and treasure that her America seeks to seize from the farthest hinterlands on the planet, sparing no amount of bloodletting in the taking. She, like Trump, preaches groundless paranoia to justify pacifying all peoples everywhere for the benefit of her elite patrons. They assume that the prevailing stupidity and ignorance, which they deliberately foster among the masses, will allow them to succeed in grabbing for their exclusive use whatever remainders there are in Mother Earth’s dwindling cupboard of resources, and the sick, starving, parched, poisoned, wounded and maimed excess population be damned. Those vermin are not to be the future, even though they share the same 23 pairs of chromosomes as the privileged elites. The future will belong to the survivors who have bought the military firepower to possess it and the ersatz philosophers to justify owning it. They deserve to prevail, they will tell you, because they were resourceful enough to con you with their lies and bully you with their enforcers and you were just too limited in whatever tactics you may have attempted to deploy against their naked brutality. Donald and Hillary: just two sides of the same bloody coin, by which they think they can buy everything. The saddest thing is, extrapolate the trends and most scenarios have them prevailing (if you can call ruling over an ash-strewn dead planet from deep bunkers, evolving into cybernetic Morelocks, “winning” in any current sense of the word).

  7. J'hon Doe II
    September 10, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    The Art of the Long View
    by Peter Schwartz
    c.1991

    chapter 8 — Composing A Plot

  8. Joe B
    September 10, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    This article is raw propaganda for Hillary. It tries to blame on Trump the groundless militarism killing millions, the selling of US power for campaign bribes, and the crooked mass media sold out to oligarchy. Hillary is plainly more sold out to Israel and oligarchy than Trump, not that he won’t sell out. They are both utterly unacceptable to anyone who does not “repudiate rational thought.”

    To claim that the campaign shows “an intelligent woman up against an ignorant male buffoon” is about as sexist a statement as could be made, yet it blames sexism on Trump. Perhaps the writer can explain how so many foreign disasters promoted by Hillary with foolish bloodthirsty lies signify anything but an ignorant female buffoon with even more obvious moral faults. If rational thought led to such disasters, it would indeed be repudiated, but it does not.

    The writer flogs a dead horse for the first half of the article. Climate change is a significant technical problem that could displace several percent of the world’s population in the next hundred years, with some recessions and local disasters. It requires incentives for change, and international treaties which we cannot force on other nations. But it is certainly not the immediate global disaster threat claimed by such childish hysterics, and their hysteria damages rather than increases public support. Because it does not involve the immediate killing of large numbers, the favorite moral failure of the writer’s favorite candidate Hillary, it is a poor choice to illuminate the moral failings of major political viewpoints.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      September 12, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      “Pure propaganda for Hillary”? No, the article criticizes both Trump and Hillary. “A sexist a statement that could be made”? It wasn’t saying ALL men are ignorant buffoons. Hence, I conclude that you are an M.R.A nut. “Not the immediate global disaster threat claimed by such childish hysterics”? You just said it would displace several percent of the world’s population – and the next hundred years IS immediate.

  9. ltr
    September 10, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Superb essay.

  10. Michael Meo
    September 11, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I’d like succinctly to point out that Mr Maguire gave three sections of the Democratic Party swindle: the fact that endless, unConstitutional war has been the norm for the Democratic Party politicians for the last 50 years, and won’t change when the present nominee enters the Presidency; the fact that unquestioning support of Israeli expansionism in the Middle East is considered a commendable stance by the Democratic Party nominee; and the fact that the Democratic Party, in the person of their present nominee, supports a military budget so bloated it threatens the health and welfare of the rest of the planet.

    No, Mr Maguire was by no means silent on the Democratic Party’s moral bankruptcy.

  11. Kim
    September 11, 2016 at 6:04 am

    As a PhD level scientist, I would say that climate change can only be proven 100% when scientists stop blocking the work of those with whom they disagree. Example: Emails reveal strenuous efforts by climate scientists to ‘censor’ their critics – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/09/peer-review-block-scientific-papers

    For many years now, those in the scientific community that are convinced that greenhouse gases and not other ideas – such as albedo changes due to land use, changes in Sun cycles, internal Earth processes, etc. – are the reason for climate change/global warming have been blocking the work of those who are using the scientific method to find other mechanisms that may be viable or cement in our minds what is really going on – BEFORE enacting legislation that cripples the poor and the middle class even more.

    Now, we have Democrats in the US and others around the world in political parties and organizations pushing job killing climate legislation on their own people – which is leading to higher costs for power – when the economy in the US and around the world is going nowhere, when people are required to have a job to get food assistance, and when unemployment benefits for those who have lost their homes and jobs are nonexistent.

    All of this nonsense basically amounts to criminal behavior by people in government who are not moral and have no ethics.

    Let me make this clear – God does not condone this behavior. God does not condone the oppression of many so the ultra-rich can fly around the world collecting awards for their actions on behalf of the planet while telling everyone else that they should cut back on their use of coal, etc. due to global warming to save the planet.

    You cannot have it both ways people that think you are “in the know” – evil is not the path to good or to God and bringing death to millions (through hopelessness) at the expense of their well-being so you can live in opulence is not condoned by God.

    At this point I have 2 questions – 1 as a scientist and 1 as a God loving human being:
    1 (as a scientist) – When did the scientific community decide that the scientific method was no longer valid and adopt a political mindset? Because if those that are currently blocking work that may confront the current dogma of climate change believe that this is part of the scientific method, let me be the first to point out to the world that this is not the case.
    2 (as a God loving human being) – When did the elite of the world decide that they knew more than the rest of us, when in point of fact, many of us that you consider stupid have higher levels of education? The difference is that we don’t use our educations to swindle people out of employment and pay so we can buy ourselves a yacht or a mega-mansion in the Hamptons. And the reason some of us don’t do these things is because we know that their is a judgment coming and that if we do not want to spend our next life as a cat or rat (you did now that, that is what is meant by hell – didn’t you?) we should as moral as possible, treat people as fairly as we can, take care of our families the best we can, etc. Those of us that follow God also know that sending people into poverty to deal with a problem that is unclear at best while heaping piles of pain on people who are struggling in the Obamacare, no coal, no jobs, no future USA is immoral – especially when the elites have been giving themselves pay raises (e.g. CEO pay at all time highs) even when the profits of their companies tumble in this stagnant no recovery, 10%+ unemployment, peddling fiction, lie-filled economic recovery – exacerbated by the stock-market, bubble building, Federal Reserve (which needs to be audited and is not FEDERAL).

    Tired of this. I did not get a PhD and an MBA to be unemployed even after 1000’s of job applications while watching our “leaders” destroy this country.

    Thank God for Donald Trump – may elite globalist plans that are not moral or ethical or God driven be laid to waste – they have already done enough damage.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      September 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      No work is blocked. It is scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is happening. Climate-change legislation does not make people poor – you made that up. You say action against global warming is part of “elite globalist plans” – judging by that and your claim work is blocked shows that you are a conspiracy theorist with a persecution complex. Your references to God also show you to be a right-wing Christian nut, and you lost credibility when you said you support Donald Trump.

  12. MARK BRISTOW
    September 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Mr. Maaguire: There is a fatal flaw in your reasoning—apart from the fact that it is reasoning—which is that you stereotype the Golden Shower’s constituency. A fact of my life is that my cousin, who is an intelligent, world-traveling, educated woman, is fixed in her support for Trump, because “Hillary lies”. How can this be? Have you ever played the slot machines at a casino? You entered sane, with good judgment and a game plan, and three hours later your guts twist and you’re, say, $200 poorer. And you were there with hundreds of other people doing the same thing. What the hell?

    Slot machine gambling and Trump supporters have something in common, that is sorry to say shared by Catholics in particular the world over: magical thinking. That’s why Mr. Trump could eat a fresh roasted child on national TV with fava beans and a nice chianti and his numbers wouldn’t suffer. Politically incorrect!

    We are dealing with a real, visceral, primeval, chthonic force embodied by Trump, shared by Idi Amin in his day and now in real time by all those other monstrous African ( and Middle Eastern and West Asian and and and) tin pot dictators who murder their own people with deliriously happy abandon. It can’t happen here? What can’t? Casino gambling? Catholicism? Political power in the hands of a xenophobic, authoritarian sociopath?

    People in a position of influence have to get with it now. Stop analyzing the Trump phenomenon to death. You’re in the casino, too, sane so far with good judgment and a game plan. Someone has to set the place on fire to get people to stop it. If Consortiumnews doesn’t have the prestige and reach to do it, then I don’t know what else to say, except maybe thank God I’m a white male in the new world.

  13. Terence Riley
    September 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Your thinking aligns with mine. People don’t think in terms of dynamics, of flip-side effects, of how argument produces counter argument. They think only of personalities, good guys and bad guys. This may not be exactly what you mean, but it’s what I take from “stir things up”. Hilary (who I believe is far more dangerous, actually, being in the thrall of the State Dept and all those neocons) gets elected and all those democrats resume the sleep that commenced sometime around 40 years ago. (I had the opportunity in the early 80’s to attend an ACLU dinner at which Nat Hentoff, then a writer for Rolling Stone, was guest speaker. He warned them, with numerous supporting and detailed references, not to go to sleep. After the talk, I approached him to commend him for the talk. He was surprisingly open and forthcoming. His fear was that he was exaggerating and would marginalize himself. I told him I thought that, if anything, he was understating the case. Neither of us could have guessed how much that was so and what the following three decades would bring.)

    Trump gets elected and the entire liberal mass will be on their toes.

    No one thinks of how many good (or if you prefer, “progressive”) things that went on under Nixon, the least likely of presidents.

    You’re right about the climate solutions also, IMHO. No one wants to hear that, however. No one.

  14. Terence Riley
    September 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    When he mentions those 15,000 people huddled together in the bad weather, in Ethiopia, 75,000 years ago, he has somewhat conveniently forgotten the volcanic eruption at Toba. There’s a very strong hypothesis that in spite of the hardship of the Pleistocene, humans had already been spreading all over the world for thousands of years, but that Toba may well have decimated us down to those 15,000 after about 6 years of the equivalent of a nuclear winter.

    Perhaps the author is a wee bit guilty of cheating on the science to pursue his agenda. Gee, I guess that would make him one of us too. :)

    • Brad Owen
      September 13, 2016 at 4:37 am

      I agree with you and even more so. I’m a follower of Michael Cremo (of “Forbidden Archeology) and the phenomena of ooparts. We’ll probably find that the “Face-on-Mars” was built by humans a hundred million years ago, who colonized the Solar System, all of which collapsed when the Mother World suffered some great catastrophe. Outer space “aliens” are probably space-faring human descendants come back to visit “the old country” of their ancestors. As for global-warming, Jeanne Manning & joel Garbon’s book “Break Through Power” shows the solutions already waiting-in-the-wings. The Global Oligarchy is the sole roadblock to all solutions, in-so-much as they have acquired the power to rule, but grossly lack the wisdom. They are close to collapse though.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        September 15, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        A fan of that pseudoscience? Even though we share 95% of our DNA with chimpanzees? What crank magnetism. I’ve heard of OOparts (that’s how the conspiracy theorists spell them) on RationalWiki several days ago, and they debunked them. The face on Mars is just a plateau, N.A.S.A proved it.

  15. incontinent reader
    September 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    The article is o.k. as far as it goes, but it does contain a bit of subtle propaganda for HRC- someone who has been smooth in her use of language, and/or capitalized on political correctness and its way of censoring her critics, while singlemindedly divisive and destructive with her own policies.

    Why, for instance, has Professor MacGuire ignored Trump’s criticism of our foreign interventionist wars, or willingness to sit down and cooperate with Russia when it is in our national interest, or his focus on rebuilding the US economy by rebuilding US infrastructure and industry- and avoiding or renegotiating harmful trade agreements which have encouraged offshoring to low wage jurisdictions?

    And I wonder, why he has ignored an issue of such existential importance as the Cold War the Clintonistas and her appara’chicks’ are trying to foist on us. Does he think the Russians are (still) ‘godless communists’? (or that their Christian orthodoxy, which predates Rome’s is irrelevant)? If so, he might take heed from Pope Francis’ efforts at ecumenism.

    I was also waiting with bated breath to hear about our military-industrial-Congressional-media complex and the money changer bankers who profit from it all.

    And, I agree with Kim that the global warming science lobby has excluded the study of externalities that may have a significant effect on warming, or of the warming and cooling cycles the earth went through before we ever reached the point of industrialization and greenhouse gases. Has anyone calculated, for example, the effect of volcanos (including those below the ocean bed) on warming?

    Also, it would have been nice to address the positions of the other candidates, since not every one may be so flawed as those he examined.

    Sorry for being so cranky, but there’s a lot we don’t know that even those who aspire to think critically ignore.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      September 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Volcanic activity has not been enough. There is no “global warming lobby”, there is a fossil-fuel lobby. You clearly have a case of psychological projection. You’re an idiot for agreeing with Kim, and this article also criticized Hillary.

  16. Ed Arnold
    September 11, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Donald Trump is not us. Donald Trump is SOME of us … just enough to foul things up.

  17. Susan Harris
    September 18, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Donald Trump is probably one of the only people who has the nerve and the power and the inside and the high IQ to listen to other people’s advice and get this corrupt the system out Clinton age and Mrs. are disgustingly so this honest and how greedy hungry deceptive liars Who have threatened and even tried to corrupt Ohio voting by putting paid personnel she should be in jail and every dime from Ned Clinton organization and every speaking fee every distorted BS on the text return she’s literally paid 0% in taxes cause it all has gone to one of our sister corporations shell if she’s not put in jail and doesn’t face the consequences and into there will be a Civil War in this country that’s why she wants the guns taken away she cares not about blacks Spanish money and power please let me help

  18. Susan Harris
    September 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    The Clintons have taken advantage especially when an Arkansas at times when they had parking meter sounds like it’s a mocking me to company but the roads love firm owned by Hillary Clinton owned it and what it did was make Front tips for the airplanes so Bill Clinton could smuggle in his cocaine as per many resources and he could not get the money laundering as fast as you get the money in so what happened she went to Florida went to Citibank went to Wall Street and sold about $100,000 a month worth of cocaine through that we have a body count of about 78 people all the investigators are mysteriously dead i’ve done extensive research and they’ve even wiped off a lot of the negative Publis city but I would like to help in any manner I travel a lot I can’t see through BS I have a building in Daytona needs a bit of work but it would be the spot I could get 150 to 200 people on the ground in Florida

  19. Susan Harris
    September 18, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Clinton run to Haiti in 2010 or nine right after the most devastating hurricane they ever had and she held up the supplies and money with her plane and negotiated a deal for Bill Clinton to speak for $750,000 million dollars to the foundation using the word loosely and never gave the money but did get the mineral rights Fahad brother, Jen insisted on the law that there’s no transparency for Canada where the billionaire put $1 billion pledge to have foundation and paid $5 million to get what he needed from her

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