WE NEED A WALL (AROUND TRUMP)

By John Moser

Posted on January 28, 2019

Editorial

As of this writing, President Trump just ended the Government shutdown over “The Wall.”  It quickly became clear to Mr. Trump that Democrats would never allow the building of a wall.  Why? Let’s first look at the origins of the concept.  The idea, according to Stuart Anderson of Forbes magazine, came originally from Roger Stone (now under indictment) and Sam Nunberg as a means of keeping the United States focused on illegal immigration.  Trump became smitten with the concept as he eventually called it a “big beautiful wall.”  And he often corrected reporters by correcting them, “It’s not a fence, it’s a wall.  You just misreported it.”   No scientific evidence went into the concept; no real thought; no studies of significance.  It was merely a campaign slogan that eventually became Trump’s reality. Trump said it so many times, he convinced himself of the concept and it became his personal battle with humanity. Continue reading

MR TRUMP AND THE PARADOX OF INDIVIDUAL POWER

By John Moser

Posted on December 14, 2018

Editorial

Among the most disturbing things that has ever happened to this country has not just been the behavior of Donald Trump while in office:  it is the permissive nature of all of us who have allowed this man to ingratiate himself as a self-proclaimed messiah.  I have pointed out the dangers of the rise of a demagogue in my book The Supercivilization:  Survival in the Era of Human Versus Human.  I argued in 2015 that we need to be extremely careful in choosing and even managing our leaders through meticulously stable institutions that do not allow rogue behavior.  Today we are subject to manipulations for two very important reasons:  first, the propaganda we are exposed to has never been more subject to manipulative behavior from single sources and second, the conduit for this propaganda has never been so lightning-quick to affect every single living human being nearly instantaneously.  I call this the paradox of individual power.

The paradox of individual power means that even  though each of us has never been a smaller, so seemingly trivial share of humanity (1/7.7 billionth), each individual has never had so much power to influence the entirety of humanity than today.   Our interconnectedness is so great today that we have never been so susceptible to the propaganda of those in power.  Why now?  Because, in the past, if we didn’t like someone or the ideas of someone who ruled over us, we could leave and go to other geographical, spiritual, or cultural areas in which that person’s propaganda was nonexistent or irrelevant.  Today, that is impossible, and so we are extraordinarily susceptible to the manipulation of our minds from rogue leaders, or demagogues. We have no place to go as the Internet has created a social glue, or a gigantic homogeneous culture (I call The Supercivilization)  that binds us together and profoundly favors those interests in power. Continue reading

IS TRUMPISM HERE TO STAY?

By John Moser

Posted on March 26, 2019

Editorial

If anyone hasn’t noticed, Republicans continue to support the most dangerous president this country has ever seen. And this weekend’s letter by William Barr, appointed by President Trump as Attorney General, essentially absolving Mr. Trump of any crimes of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice, is no exception to his ongoing support.  This horrific nightmare of historic proportions continues as the President will most assuredly attempt to punish people who question his power. It seems astonishing, at first glance, that anyone who is so ignorant, impetuous, narcissistic, dishonest, flawed, and racist could continue to command the support of so many Americans. He does and it is not an insignificant number, either.   In the most recent Gallup polls, Republicans still support this madman with 90% of the vote, even though his job approval rating has been around 39% for the general population.

My initial instinct in viewing these numbers is to assume this 90% base of support was changing.  I assumed that while 90% of Republicans support President Trump, they must be shrinking in overall numbers, given his incompetence and the recent investigations of his Russian ties.  In the Gallup Poll from last month, however, the number of people identifying as Republicans has stayed the same at around 30% in February 2019.  This is roughly the same percentage of people self-reporting as Republicans in 2004 at the beginning of this Gallup survey. Continue reading

 

CALIFORNIA FIRES RAGE BUT AMERICANS DON’T

By John Moser

Posted on August 10, 2018

Editorial

August 6, 2018 seemed like a typical day.  I woke up and found soot on my car in Napa, California and the sun did not shine; the sun was an orange hue which seemed a mix of smoke and overcast.  I drove to Sacramento where I work and got out of my car. The soot was still raining down on my car like snowflakes. Inland, where there was no overcast in the summertime, I noticed more white cover. Odd?  After realizing Sacramento doesn’t have overcast in the summertime, I concluded these were smoke clouds, not water clouds. There was no place to go to get out of the soot. No one seems to care. Casual acceptance is the operative phrase.

California is changing rapidly.  And for the worse. I went to Lake Tahoe in late July, one of my favorite places on this Earth and dipped my toe into the water in Incline Village, Nevada.  I couldn’t believe it. The water was incredibly warmer. I could suddenly swim without any difficulty, unlike the times as a child when I was chilled to the point of shivering and being forced to take my time to adjust to the outrageously cold water.  My suspicions of the warmth were confirmed by a UC Davis study that showed the water in July 2017 was indeed 6°C warmer than it was in July 2016. Furthermore, the average overall water temperature has increased from 5.6°C in 1970 to 6.1°C in 2017. The clarity also dropped to its lowest level of 59 feet which was well below its historical clarity depth of over 100 feet in 1970.Continue reading

HELSINKI: THE DEATH OF THE NATION-STATE AS WE KNOW IT

By John Moser

Posted on July 22, 2018

Editorial

On July 16, 2018 President Donald J Trump stated, “I will say this:  I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who would be responsible for the election hacking.  He added, “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”  When Mr. Trump was asked directly whether to believe Mr. Putin or his own intelligence agencies, he replied, “I have confidence in both parties.”

To most people who have been following Mr. Trump, this response is no surprise.  Mr. Trump is all about “Making Trump First” not “Making America First.”  After Helsinki, it could even be stated Trump is “Making Russia First” or “Making the ‘Honorable’ Mr. Putin First.”  A month ago it was making “Kim Jung Un First.”  Who will be next?  It certainly won’t be us Americans.

None of this is surprising to me now.  What is surprising?  How about starting with the notion that someone like Donald Trump and his misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, misanthropic, ignorant, egotistical, and despicable personality traits could even come close to the most powerful office in the world.  How?  How for the sake of us all?  How?

I pointed out in 2015 in my book The Supercivilization:  Survival in the Era of Human Versus Human that our major threat to humanity was not some external, natural event:  it was ourselves.  Why?  We are in an era of problem solving in which our major problems are human-based and not nature-based.  In the past, when solving problems for us was an external threat to humanity (like the weather, exposure, disease, volcanic activity, etc.) we were brought together and bonded because we all benefited from their resolution.  The adversarial “natural environment” that resulted in our deaths contain no supporters or beneficiaries.   Our major problems today (nuclear war, terrorism, climate change) are exponentially more difficult to resolve, because powerful interests are at odds with their resolution. Continue reading

WHY DID WE VOTE FOR THIS MADMAN?

By John Moser

Posted on September 06, 2018 

Editorial

With this week’s announcement of Bob Woodward’s book,  Fear: Trump in the White House and the anonymous op-ed piece by a senior White House official in the New York Times, it is becoming clear that President Trump’s presidency is not just in turmoil, but is seriously undermining the credibility of this county.  My greatest fear is that the pressure that Trump is now feeling could lead to more irrationality and perhaps more unbridled, dangerous behavior. With a President who is overseeing thousands of nuclear warheads and the largest army on the face of this planet, humanity, in its entirety, now faces a crisis we have never seen before. Humanity is being run by an amoral madman. Hopefully, we will 1) live through this and 2) if we are able to survive Trump, never see it again.

The revelations that are being exposed about Mr. Trump this week should be the metaphorical death of a President.  I do not need to list his behavioral shortcomings, because we are all aware of them. Or are we? The President has more lives than a cat.  We hope we are not seeing the death of a nation, but I argue the inevitable is occurring: his removal from office or the death of the United States.

Let’s be clear.  Not one American should be surprised by his bizarre behavior while in office. His behavior is his pattern of self-promotion that started in his childhood and has continued on unimpeded.   Many people are trying to figure out why still 90% of Republicans support this madman.  Are Republicans crazy?

To answer this, I will now extend a bit of Marxism to the enlightenment of us all.  While Karl Marx is not correct on every level (the effect of class on American cultural values has always been in question), he certainly has forecast the Trump fiasco correctly.  Republicans (i.e. corporate America) enjoy Trump because he is the class clown. He is the Ted Baxter of politics. He is the one who only cares about making himself “known” to others, not about the future of this country.  He keeps the wealthiest from parting with their money by doing essentially “nothing but buffoonery.” For Carl Bernstein, Jeffrey Toobin, or Anderson Cooper to get on the television and point out his shortcomings (as embarrassing as they are) day after day, they seemingly have not altered the opinions of the “Republican base.” Continue reading