Blog # 89   BEWARE  AGENT  ORANGE!   

From the time of its inception (less than 1 year ago) it had been our resolved intention to refrain from political or partisan comment.  Assuredly, there are sufficient deserving subjects for examination and thought, life and personality, growth and life enhancement, mortality, the environment and infinitely more. Pliny has, in this relatively short span of time, published 87 blogs, inclusive of his poetry.

However, an unprecedented and, potentially dangerous situation has emerged, one, it is submitted, that has the potential to lead to a societal regression to a modern version of the “Dark Ages.” This, it would seem, provides ample justification for this deviation from prior resolve.  To do otherwise might be to commit the “sin of silence,” which modern European history has shown, bears tragic results.

Thomas Jefferson famously observed that in order to maintain a successful democracy, what is needed is a well- informed and literate society. He, and many others, believed that free exchange of varying points of view would ensure the relevance, vitality and health of the Republic.

The first, and really jarring realization that our national population, by contrast, is inclusive of a vast number of semi-literate and ill- informed citizenry, most with simplistic ideation, was the selection of none other than Donald Trump (from a field of seventeen potential choices) to run as the nominee of one of our two major parties, for (no less than) the office of the Presidency of the United States.

Mr. Trump has consistently shown himself to be an egotistic, intemperate reductionist, a demagogue, remarkably unsuited for the office of the President; his sole talent seemingly is to be the possession of a phenome to attract those discontented with the government and the status quo. A good deal of such discontent is vague and non-specific is and Trump delivers visions of Valhalla, in a general and completely non-specific manner. What is specific is his assignment of specific scapegoats as responsible parties for all grievances such as, immigrants, minorities, government intellectuals {and especially, his opponent, Hillary R. Clinton, whose experience as a Senator and the U.S.  Secretary of State may well qualify her for the position of President). He campaigns by means of large rallies, policed by goons who are not reticent about employing physical force.

Sound familiar? A messianic demagogue, promising in a vague, non-specific manner, a Valhalla  with specification only as to selected scapegoats, in lieu of proposing improvements in policy and programs. Where have we heard this before?

In the 1930’s and 40’s, an arrogant, egotistical housepainter, one Adolph Shickelgruber, d/b/a, Adolph Hitler, seized the opportunity presented by a hugely discontented Germany, following the humiliation of its defeat in the First World War, the ensuing bad economic conditions, including high unemployment and  scarcity. He promised happiness, without specifying any new or ameliorative policy or new proposed programs, merely identifying selected scapegoats, allegedly responsible for Germany’s problems, especially the Jews. The lessons of recent European History are ignored at our peril. His campaign, incidentally, was conducted by means of huge rallies policed by strong armed goons.

Those irresponsible people who consider this animated caricature of demagogue, to be an entertaining reality show diversion from politics as usual, by his “sticking it to the establishment” as perhaps they would fantasize their “sticking it “to their employer, are dangerously toying with a hazmat, possibly more lethal, enduring and debilitating than the Agent Orange of nightmarish recollection from the shameful Viet Nam war.

It has been observed, in our previous blogs that the experienced combination of ignorance with arrogant self-confidence is a dangerous admixture, a hazardous material which has terrifying potential. For humanity, it should be avoided at all costs..

It is painful and frustrating to observe the damage Trump has already caused to our society and democratic system of election and governance.




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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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