Notes from around the Human Experience…
OLD HABITS DIE HARD: We said this during the tail end of the Obama Administration: between Bush and Obama, this nation was enduring the worst consecutive presidential administrations in its history. We are still fighting wars that one, were not declared by Congress and, two, are not against nations that represent legitimate threats to our liberty. We are mindlessly in debt and saddled with an economy mired in high taxes and excess regulation that still does not work for everybody. Presidents Bush and Obama exacerbated these problems. They are worse than ever.
The Holy Trinity: It is not, frankly, the Upset of the Year to see President Trump making it a presidential triumvirate of lousy leadership. Our expectation were low going in and, in fact, Trump is taking this to the next level, his first seven months showing the potential for the absolute worst Administration this country has ever seen, no small feat in a lineup that includes Nixon and Harding, among others.
Fly In The Ointment Presuming he finishes his term, Trump is on track to make it 20 consecutive years – two complete decades, 20 percent of a century – the American government has been subjected to lousy executive leadership.
F*ck This Noise: We are not, however, ready to concede that Trump will finish his term. We put it at 70/30 he will, but if the Democrats win control of Congress next November Trump is likely to be impeached and Trump is such a wildcard he is capable at any time of saying eff this noise and resigning.
If Trump Is Inevitable…: Trump, of course, is supremely divisive, but there are few situations that cannot be turned to advantage. If we stop thinking in terms of actual leadership and start looking at the Trump White House solely in terms of entertainment value, we have an entirely different animal. Instead of whining about it, we can sit back and enjoy it, marveling and laughing at the very worst presidential leadership this country has inflicted on itself.
Those Zany Republicans: If we do this, immediately Trump goes from being a lightning rod to a source of laughter. Everything from governing by tweet to his witless and insensitive public statements to his complete inability to lead a Congress controlled by his party to do anything more substantive than adjourn becomes comic relief.
While we are on record as saying our nation will not make it out of this half century if we don’t do something, we will probably survive Trump’s term, unless we all end up shooting each other, and we are pleased to present our Trump As Entertainment option to you for your review.
The Bottom Line: This is all our fault. Every two years we have federal elections in this country and every two years we keep electing lousy government. Nobody anointed Trump or Congress – we elected everyone there. Nothing will change until we demand changes at the ballot box.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection is published for the first time on this date in 1858. It was published in an English journal alongside an almost identical theory by Alfred Russell Wallace. Wallace had arrived at his conclusions independently of Darwin, and Wallace’s work spurred Darwin to later publish his seminal work On The Origin of Species.
Though not particularly well known today, Wallace was, as he should have been, highly regarded in his day and was cited extensively by Darwin. The Darwin-Wallace Award for major advances in evolutionary biology is named for both of them.
Dry, Technical Matter: The Darwin-Wallace Award was first issued in 1908, then every 50 years until 2008. Since 2010 it has been awarded annually.
Take That, Dammit: Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky – in exile in Mexico – is attacked with an ice hammer at his home on this date in 1940. He would die the next day.
A complete review of Trotsky’s life is, thankfully, beyond the scope of this column, but after doing battle with and losing to Joseph Stalin, Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party in 1927, kicked out of Russia in 1929 and ended up in Mexico in 1937.
Trotsky’s attacker, Ramon Mercader, a Mexican communist working for the Soviets, was severely beaten by Trotsky’s body guards, who bravely had been in another room at the time of the attack. He would survive to spend 20 years in prison, after which he moved to Cuba.
Great Moments In US Mass Shootings: Part-time letter carrier Patrick Sherrill goes on a shooting rampage at a post office in Edmond, Oklahoma on this date in 1986. Though not the first post office employee to do so – Sherrill was at least the fifth – his attack introduced the phrase ‘going postal’ to the American lexicon.
Sherrill killed 14 people and injured five others before killing himself.
Missed It By That Much: Sherrill’s shooting spree came one day after two supervisors had reprimanded him for his job performance. While one of the supervisors died, the other had overslept that morning and missed out on dying.
Quotebook: The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them. – Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Mary, Queen of Scots only child, James Charles Stuart, was King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England and Ireland.
Today’s Stumper: When was On the Origin of Species first published? – Answer next time!