Don’t let Trump bring out the worst in you — not without research

I have learned to stop, breathe and reflect before I react to the antics of our alleged 45th president. 

I’m starting to agree with those who say he deliberately aggravates to get a reaction. I’m becoming more and more convinced he tweets and speaks so much bull to keep me and you and other reasonable people off balance, in an unthinking frenzy.

He wants us to dash off angry tweets or waste our time commiserating with other Trumpagonists. (Yeah, I made that up. It means anyone agonized by Trumpisms.)

I’m not biting anymore. For instance when he started his NFL rants, I didn’t react with emotion. I didn’t say stuff I wanted to say like:

— Screw you, you doughy piece of privileged, quivering crap.  — Where was all your red-white-and-blue, flag-waving fervor during Vietnam? You’re a cowardly, deferment-loving, draft-dodging wuss.

— You talk big for a punk. Only when sheltered behind your secret service bodyguards, only from your perch above the masses do you insult street-tough professional athletes. Worse yet, their mothers.

— Try that Son of a Bitch remark to the face of a 250-pound, muscled linebacker who grew up watching lazy cops fail to enforce the law in one of America’s wonderful ghettos? Better yet, talk crap on his mother.

— You know what you can do you cocky excuse for a patriot? You can suck my—

Oops. Wait. I was trying hard not to say anything like that. I’m sorry that I’ve allowed His Arrogance to make me lose my head. I didn’t pop off like that when the NFL flap developed. No, like many people smarter than me, I used my brain instead of my tongue. I started thinking, and reading more. I wondered about the real meaning of patriotism.

Isn’t it, in a nutshell, the courage to do what you think is best for your country? Doesn’t that involve standing up — or kneeling or turning your back — whatever it takes to call attention to danger for the US?

Just to be clear, I’m not asking those questions of the Lying King. (No, I didn’t make that one up.) He bullshits so much he doesn’t even remember what he has said. He’s just doing more carnival barking when it comes to the NFL.

Look over there! Look over there! Look at these bad Americans. Don’t look at me. They’re stealing your country, not me!

 

Sorry, Benedict Donald. (That one has been around a while, too.) I’m not biting. Some of us remember  a really important type of patriotism you never mention. Why would you? On this front, you’re a yellow (or orange?) bellied traitor.

I wish more people would revive environmental patriotism.

I googled the phrase the other day and saw very few recent references. Has it gone out of fashion? While Our Conflagrator in Chief (that is one of mine) kills rule after regulation meant to save the freakin’ world? Is environmental patriotism fading when we need it most?

At 60-plus, I’m pretty old. But I remember a time when celebrating American military power was NOT patriotic. A questionable war, the bombing and burning of innocents and tens of thousands of lost American lives have a profound way of silencing jingoism.

For a time, patriotism wasn’t talking tough; it was being tough.

Tough enough to try to bike instead of drive. Tough enough to live in a city to conserve land. Tough enough to wait in a gas line rather than placate a crazy dictator with oil. Tough enough to try to teach your kids to tough it out, too.

A whole bunch of Americans — I’d like to think many were of my generation — raised our kids to not expect life to be easy. Better than we had it, sure. And cleaner. Nicer. Smarter. Yes. But easier? No.

In that google search I mentioned above, I found reviews of one book talking about how Americans during times of environmental crises have reacted with patriotic resolve. It has a long clinical-sounding name, Communicating environmental patriotism: a rhetorical history of the American environmental movement. But author Ann Marie Todd, analyzes intriguing events like:

— A conference promoting the value of preserving the environment to help Western tourism more than 110 years ago. It had a catchy name that even our Cheeto in Chief (not mine) might like. It was called See America First.

The 1908 White House Conservation Congress, when leaders from across the country, along with — imagine this — scientific minds of the era, were brought together in an amazing show of recognition that US natural resources would not last forever. Attendance at the conference was described in a historical journal: “… there assembled May 13, 1908, at the East Room of the White House, the President, Vice President, seven members of the Cabinet, nine justices of the Supreme Court, many members of Congress, the governors of thirty-four states, and representatives of the other twelve, the governors of all the territories, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico, the President of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, representatives of sixty-eight national societies, four special guests, forty-eight general guests, and the members of the Inland Waterways Commission.” (Puerto Rico was anglicanized back then. But, at least it wasn’t ignored like today.)

— A 1912 conference during the choking, smoking era of steel production in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. Basically, the meeting was designed to figure out how to use science and public opinion to force coal-burning mills to abate the nuisance of smoke and its health threats. Not lost either on leaders back then was the economic impact of the pollution, estimated to be about $10 million annually. Wow. That much. Even that long ago.

— Extensive World War II efforts to show Americans that conservation was a civic duty.

Isn’t it still? Isn’t our alleged president neglecting his duty?  

Why do we have to keep repeating our mistakes? Why do we allow Derelict Don (as far as I can tell, that’s mine) to distract us with taunts about ball players while he takes actions that will destroy the natural world as we know it?

Oh, I forgot. It’s not really about football, says the Great White Dope (not mine). It’s  about those brave veterans who put their lives on the line. It’s about the flag, pride and our national security.

Fine, then let’s listen to some veterans.

Again, from that google search of “environmental patriotism.”

It is time for Americans to rise to the challenge. It is our shared duty to keep our nation safe. Doing so requires us to recognize the very real threats posed by climate change.

“It requires us to take appropriate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon; and to generate clean, domestic, affordable and safe energy here at home. … As Montana veterans, we understand the spirit of Americans rising to meet a national challenge and believe our strength lies in meeting the challenge of climate change with integrity, ingenuity and courage.

    “So join us on this Independence Day. Reflect on what patriotism means, take steps to reduce your carbon pollution and support efforts to generate clean, domestic, affordable and safe energy for these United States of America.”

    You might have noticed these vets are not from California, or New York or some other predominately liberal state. These folks are from Montana, seven of them, with various war and service experience, ranging from Vietnam to Korea to Iraq.

 This was published July 3, 2014.

  I could end by saying I hope Adolph Twitler (nope, not mine either) reads this. But, that’s ridiculous to think. He doesn’t seek opinion that differs from his or his handlers. He barks at his base to get them to howl happily and to get us to howl in paralyzing anger — and do nothing else. I gotta admit that it feels good to criticize Fuckface Von Clownstick (I love this one, but cannot claim it).

  But it’s foolhardy to vent without getting smarter.

  Hopefully, this missive helps to prove the two are not mutually exclusive.

  

Author: David Iseman

Longtime newsguy. Got some time off. Tinkering with words. Lemme know what you think.

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