Blog # 170               DIMMED CITY REDUX

In our most recent writing, we remarked upon the evident and unattractive blemish or stain, which has fortuitously and tragically presented itself upon the complexion of the American traditional identity and way of life; this new visage has been the causal result of putting the reins of stewardship in the unfit hands of a Mr. Donald Trump. This newly inaugurated leader of the United States of America, is famously lacking in gravitas (if not completely ignorant), neurotically egocentric, unpredictably impulsive and is in all respects, an unfit ruler; he has surrounded himself with a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party cabinet consisting of members of his immediate family, unethically and unusually granted official White House status, plus a Cabinet made up of self-interested sycophants. As we fearfully had predicted, this cast of characters has already shown early signs of a regression to a modern day “Dark Ages.

Our newly inaugurated President, personally, is a glitzy, populist celebrity, a former host of an inane television game show, who has been described, by capable and rational experts, as being completely unfit for the office of President. In addition to his personal drawbacks, he has evinced a complete ignorance of national matters, history and international affairs. His efforts to date, to the extent that they are understandable, have been dedicated to the denigration of education, the arts and the pursuit of human enlightenment, which pursuits have ever been the American hallmark which has sustained us as an exemplar among nations.

His  obvious  stratagem during the campaign, consisted of a simulated celebration of the low education, poorly informed and desperately unhappy portion of our population, and their courtship by way of snake-oil salesman style demagoguery, promising them an (unspecified) vista of happiness and a renewed and happy life. Such propaganda seems to have not only won over such vulnerable and truly needy folks, but mesmerized them into voting against their own vital interest, the urgent need for governmental assistance (ex., food stamps, health and other assistance for the poor). The demonstrated efforts of the Administration, at present, seem to be in fact, heartlessly cutting long standing governmental assistance to the needy citizen while, simultaneously, increasing unneeded tax reductions for the very rich. There may already be subtle and discernable indications that some of his flat earth supporters are beginning to realize that they, unforgivably, have been snookered.

We have, in past writings, often referred to the classic political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, who famously and wisely stated, that for a democracy to succeed, it requires a literate and well-informed citizen. His philosophy has been ratified of late by reason of the broad absence of such qualities.

Reason and the continuing search for further enlightenment in the enhancement of life, for society and the individual, have always combined to represent America’s hallmark and public brand. But education and enlightenment have ever been a threat to the autocrat, who’s misleading of the public, through the use of the big lie, as well as potential retribution, comprise his classical stratagem. It is a matter of official record that the Trump Administration has publicly announced the cutting of funding for public education, such as PBS programs, National Academy for the Arts, and so many societally uplifting endeavors. The numerous celebrated historical predecessors in this sort of strategy include Mao Tso-Tung, Castro, Hitler and Mussolini; unhappily, there is  no dearth of instructive precedent.

The two institutions, functionally and historically affording protection to the individual citizen, are the Courts and the media. Unfortunately, there has been a seismic change of direction of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) which has had the impact of a continental shift in the configuration American democracy. In the case of Citizen’s Union, the Court mysteriously and against all legal precedent and Statutory provision (and against rationality) ruled that a corporation is a “person” and therefore (under free speech) has the right to contribute money to political campaigns without limit.

Every law school freshman, as well as most entrepreneurs, know that a corporation is a mere legal fiction and only a “person” for the limited business purpose of affording a shield of limited liability to the entrepreneur; thus a corporation may be a name of a business and contracting principal (as part of this protective fiction) and be a named party in a lawsuit. In no legal, or other sense, is a corporation a real person (with rights). Since all novice law students (and every entrepreneur) are aware of this basic legal distinction, one is tempted to believe than the august SCOTUS is also so informed. It is extremely painful and disheartening to surmise that this highest and most revered institution has suddenly fallen into the thrall of special interests.

This leaves the protective pen of the media which has a commendable record of loyalty to the citizen. The responsible media bears the heavy responsibility and the burden of offsetting the mendacity of our autocratic administration. It deserves great credit for its consistent reporting of the truth to the public and countering “fake news”, as an essential and moral responsibility; it has done so very well and accordingly has well- earned and sincerely resisted the many attacks by our despotic leaders. The professional media will no doubt be remembered in our American compendium of patriotic institutions.

-p.

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plinyblogcom

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

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