As I have repeated ad nauseam, politics has never defined my friendships, my social network reaches across the entire political strata. Even so, it gets irritating when some rotten thing occurs nationally that seems as clear as the nose on your face and it fails to register even a blip on a cohort from the other side.
Just such an event took place the other day, never mind which. I called an old partner friend and business associate and mistakenly mentioned Trump in the conversation, somewhat derisively mind you, and he launched into a gushing soliloquy about how great the Donald was and how wonderfully everything is going with the country.
And I had to take a breath and remember that my friend is a capitalist and the only thing capitalists care about frankly is capital and if the stock market is good than, well, everything is good. That is the other side of the narrative, that is all some people see.
You can argue just how much credit Trump deserves for the current economic state but even giving him the benefit of the doubt it is dangerous to make that the sole metric of an administration. It can't be the only thing.
Now I hate pretty much everything about the current occupant of the Oval Office and the policies he represents. Equal parts WWE, Bozo and The Sopranos but I try to stick with the tangible in my protestations and not the subjective.
It is hard to argue specifically about the scope and breadth of his reach and damage concerning certain subjects like gay and women's rights, for instance, or the empowerment of the alt-right and white supremacists so I tend to personally stick with what his policies have meant for the environment. I mean our environment. There is ample room to speak there and I am afraid that the effects of his administration will be quantifiable and easily measurable. That's what I tend to focus on at the Blue Heron Blast because that is where I think he will do the greatest damage.
Anyway we started a little text back and forth, my friend and I, a friend who left for greener pastures last year, when I asked him if he thought that Trump was a "stable genius" as he said he was that very morning.
And I got this answer:
Do I think any member of the swamp is a genius? The point is that a non politician is in office and will hopefully stem the growth of government that is negatively changing our nation... do we really need the bathroom issue, do we need to be involved in soft drink taxing? It does not end with Obama and Soros. Why did Britain end the EU? We enjoyed Fallbrook because we had little government intrusion. Washington will be better with deregulation. No, I am not pleased with Trump's tweets, need to be more presidential.
I retorted that Trump's EPA greenlighting chemicals that have been proven to cause birth defects and brain damage in farmworkers and children was pure evil.
...and it went back and forth and never the twain shall meet. I will spare you. I will simply state that I stand no closer to my friend's position, nor he to mine. I look at those pesky regulations he despises as the only thing keeping the big companies from fouling our land, air and waters. Or more phony derivative scams and bank bailouts. Businesses do not police themselves, they tend to go bankrupt and leave the rest of us with superfund sites and national financial disasters. Opening up all of our oceans and federal lands to drilling simply seems like a another recipe for disaster and a move backwards, not forwards. Are designated transgender bathrooms and soda bans over the top? Sure, but they aren't at the level of leaving the Kyoto accords and picking a nuclear fight with North Korea.
Whenever I hear the words George Soros or "the swamp", I cringe, because Soros and his bunch have negligible effect on me or for any other liberal I know for that matter but they have somehow become some sort of Fox code words. The evil left wing conspiracy, abetted by the fake mainstream news, so half the country never sticks its head out of the spoonfed Fox echo chamber.
Come to think of it, thank god there are a few people like Steyer or Soros around to cancel out the Koch Brothers or Rich Devos or the rest of the huge GOP money men that dwarfs the financiers on the left.
But I am talking to myself, I can't reach the other side. I will tell you that I am sick of hearing Republicans like my pal proclaim their love for the environment and seeing how far it really extends and what it means. Usually it means I'm rich enough to not to want the toxic dump around my mansion but let's just locate it near your place.
I think that the stench and ill effects of this administration will extend long after he is impeached, booted out or otherwise leaves office. My hope would be that he do the honorable thing and like Lord Nobunaga in the sixteenth century, commit seppuku on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial * (see comments) but I think that is a little too much to hope for. A guy can dream...
I disagreed with Obama on many fronts. Google Blue Heron Blast Obama Iran and see the volumes I wrote. You could fill a very large book. I did just that the other day, was astounded how many things I was afraid were happening at the time actually were happening. But the pendulum has swung so far to the other side, we are left with this pathological madman whose ego must be constantly fed and it is very frightening. Fire and Fury.
The Wall Street Journal is a Murdoch publication and rarely crosses the orange one. Today was an exception, they deliver a scathing broadside regarding his trade policy. As they rightly surmise, pulling out of Nafta will devastate his base and tremendously hurt the farm belt. The U.S. sends $41 billion dollars of goods a year to Canada and Mexico. Farm exports have quadrupled since Nafta's inception. Soybeans have quintupled.
Now Mexico is looking to other countries to buy their corn from. They are looking to Argentina for their wheat. They want no part of a United States president who ridicules and humiliates them at every turn and I frankly don't blame them. After Trump is through sending back poor innocent dreamers and Salvadorans and other Latin American workers fleeing persecution and seeking a better life for their families, American farmers and businesses will have a very hard time finding a workforce that will move the economic engine along. Protectionist trade policies are going to backfire and hurt our country and specifically its Trumpish midsection.
Who will we blame for that? Certainly the Steve Kings and Stephen Millers of this world, who gave us the phrase calves the size of cantaloupes and let the world know that the Statue of Liberty's once welcoming sign was now closed for business. What have we become? Phony crusaders against a nonexistent war on Christmas. Crusaders for intolerance.
This has been a long rant. I am done. Did want to touch on one more environmental thing.
Monsanto is selling a herbicide that is wreaking havoc with its users neighbor's farms. Not RoundUp. Dicamba. Interesting read. I sent a link to Hudgins and got this note back:
"Nice little soybean crop you have there; be a shame if something bad happened to it."
Monsanto has been doing this for many years. Back in the late 90's, I with a few other folks, started Agdataone.com which tracked crops from seed to shelf. Monsanto sued us for collecting the information on their seeds and resulting crops and distribution of same because the information was a trade secret and that competitors would be able to see the data.
Their business practices are best summarized by this example: "First patent the seed and then prosecute the farmer if they plant the next year with seeds produced from that crop."
Course nothing can be done about stuff like that now. Pruitt has decimated the EPA, the scientists have left or been forced out in droves, we are left with a skeleton political crew with one finger up in the wind and the other up their collective ass, leave it to the states remember? The big boss Scott Pruitt is of course now grooming himself for Jeff Sessions soon to be vacated Attorney General's job, having done all he could to dismember environmental protection in this country.
Drain that swamp, America.