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One of the courses I took in college—it was a required course if you were a political science major—was economics. I never could quite grasp the concepts involved and just managed to escape with a “C” in the course. About all I remember from that puzzling class is that the textbook was written by Paul Samuelson and that at any given time, a country had to choose between “Guns or Butter.”
Since I was so incredibly bored by this class, I used to imagine guns that shot butter or guns made out of butter. Now that would have been a radical change in the way world worked—don’t you think? But, alas, since I was sleeping through the class, I missed my chance to suggest this to the professor.
I was once walking in Riverside Park with my son—he was about four years old—and he asked me, “Dad, does a squirrel know he’s stupid”? Interesting question (one of the many he used to come up with).z
A similar question comes up constantly with Donald Trump.
Does he have any real conception of how his unfiltered utterances affect other human beings? Does he know how insensitive and cruel he sounds?
The attacks in Paris, and most recently the attacks in Brussels, inevitably bring back tremors of the stark terror we felt on September 11th, 2001—now almost fifteen years ago. Most people in New York were scared for months, even years—especially going into skyscrapers, being in places with large crowds and riding the subways. That subterranean river of fear still runs through the subconscious of everyone who was there that day—and what just happened in Brussels taps straight into that fear. Along with the shock and horror we feel for the people in Brussels, there’s the generally unspoken fear that it could easily happen here again. Continue reading
I can’t say or write anything about Donald Trump that isn’t being said or written everywhere—and, for the most part, by people who are more articulate and informed than I am. But still, since there isn’t anything I can do about him and his followers I feel a need to say or write something—if only to join with other, like-minded souls who are experiencing the same sense of dread and despondency about what’s happening now and what might happen in the future. And I want to write something so I can tell myself, no matter what happens later on, that I didn’t just shake my head, wring my hands and watch this final “reality” show in passive silence. Continue reading
I notice a shift in (relatively sane) people’s attitudes about the political successes of Donald Trump. Even the media seems to have pretty much caught on. He is not an anomaly; not some creature from outer space. He is clearly representing, not the reasonable thoughts, but the feelings of a huge number of Americans who are afraid and angry; people who are looking for a “strong man” to save them from the all the chaos and terrors presented by the world around them and the extreme changes the culture and the economy has undergone in the last couple of decades. Continue reading