The Plastic Hippo

September 28, 2016

Twilight`s last gleaming

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,Rights,World — theplastichippo @ 6:05 pm
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Way back in 1992, the ubiquity of email was far from established and many employers regarded the internet as the work of the devil that had no place in a productive workplace. Working for one particular Jurassic corporation who ironically shunned all things electrical, some of us lobbied for email access as a vital commercial tool guaranteeing more communication and therefore more business and more profit. We prevailed, of course, and the IT department was expanded to include some glorious, unfathomable eccentrics to make the thing work. It was a joy to meet with them; it was like conversing with extraterrestrials.

For the first few months we sent each other emails asking what time are you going to the pub, playing computer games and looking at images of people not wearing much clothing. We even bribed our geeks to programme a “boss is coming” command that when entered would immediately display a bogus email from an imaginary customer expressing an interest to spend about half a million quid. The bosses were so dim that it worked every time.

However, I recall that on a November morning in 1992, I sent my first email to the United States of America. Addressed to a friend working in New York, it said:
“Welcome back America…we`ve missed you.”

This rather simplistic message was intended to acknowledge the appointment of Bill Clinton as US president ending the tenure of incumbent president George Bush Senior. Even though he denied it, we now had an American president who smoked dope, played sax and on some occasions was motivated by a human organ other than the brain. Bush lost due to raising taxes after the infamous “watch my lips – no new taxes” television event and by making a complete and utter mess of the first Iraq war with the infamous television event of the Iraqi army being burnt to a cinder attempting to retreat along the Basra road. George failed and his legacy was to launch a second Iraq war this time ordered by his son also called George. What an astonishing coincidence that power in an electoral democracy should pass from father to son.

Even more astonishing is the remarkable coincidence that power in an electoral democracy should pass from husband to wife. Hillary Rodham Clinton, like so many wives across the planet, has found the grace to forgive an absolute bastard of a husband for his indiscretions and unfaithfulness and now not only stands for the highest office in the US, but also as a global leader. Even forgetting about illegal wars and “interesting” business deals, she has many faults as endless men remind us and she exhibits a devious agenda that many men trace back to the Garden of Eden. Many men see her as a threat, a virago, a danger and a distraction. Her predominately male detractors clearly feel that being untrustworthy should be an exclusively male monopoly.

This now brings us to her presidential opponent. There is no other way of putting this; Donald Trump is no longer a joke; Donald Trump is dangerous.

Basing his rather crude output on the notion that repetition equates to fact, Trump appeals to the lowest common denominator by repeating the most outrageous hokum two or three or four times. Then, in the style of a fire and brimstone preacher or, more appropriately, a bent salesman, he will bark out a question to his gullible and easily led audience. In short, he is an unstable con man governed by self-interest and being carefully manipulated by none other than Vladimir Putin. The worrying aspect of all this are the reasons for his apparent popularity and the rise of other sensationalist “anti-establishment” establishment figures. Putin enjoys popularity…Farage…Corbyn?

There are a lot of people who dismiss the musings of Isaac Asimov as fairy tale science fiction but as Ronald Reagan secured the presidency in 1980, Asimov hit the nail squarely on the head when he said:
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Men like Trump understand this and are happy to keep voters in blissful ignorance of fact or consequence. Hillary Clinton might have used a private server to send emails containing information that was later determined to be state secrets but Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns. America has allowed itself a choice between an experienced and therefore shifty politician and an unpredictable racist, homophobic misogynist prepared to say just about anything to secure a reaction.

These are dangerous days not just for the land of the free and the home of the brave, but also for the rest of the planet.

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