Election Eve 2016

I love Election Day, but I’m always a nervous wreck. This year I have been for weeks since it’s not just two candidates on the line, but there are fundamental pillars of democracy on the line. I thought after eight years of horribly racist vile rhetoric I’d be prepared for 16 months of non-stop misogyny. I’ve struggled, but I knew the opponent was so ill-equipped and ignorant he’d have no chance.  I knew that him, losing to a woman, would put him back in his cesspool. Then I saw people buying into the lies, hating journalists, bashing our military, hating entire religious groups, blaming our problems on “the others” and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Then came the most harmful, asinine, and reckless action of the campaign season: false equivalency. I started to lose hope not just in the election but of my fellow citizens, falling for a charlatan. I’ll be honest, I’m scared. This man is within striking distance of winning and I’m scared.

We have 5 living presidents (people who have done the job), 3 Democrats and 2 Republican, none of them are supporting this man. In a normal election partisanship would split the bunch, but when they all tell you how dangerous this man is and they come together because they worry about our country’s future…that may be the biggest sign of how unfit this person is to lead the greatest nation the world has ever known. We need to heal, but we have to stop the blade first or there will be nothing left to patch up. We don’t have to agree on politics, religion, anything, but I do hope that at least once, for the sake of our nation, we can put those differences away and save our democracy. I hope with all of my head and my heart that you will vote for Mrs. Clinton. I’m not exaggerating when I say that our democracy depends on it. We all will be asked decades from now where we stood during this election. I know America has problems, but it’s already great and we need to keep moving forward. Stronger. Together.

America’s Newest Political Curse: Ben Carson, the Neurosurgeon Who Can’t Think – @alternet

Along with Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson is way ahead of the pack for the Republican presidential nomination.

Source: America’s Newest Political Curse: Ben Carson, the Neurosurgeon Who Can’t Think @alternet

Understanding Trump’s appeal is easy, he simply says what the crowds want to hear, provides no details, looks confident and had his own Reality TV show.  I get it.  Everyone knows he’s pandering to the base; his favorite book is not the Holy Bible, he’s not going to be able to make Mexico pay for a wall, yada yada.  He’s like a John Wayne figure, you knew Wayne was a badass, who would deck the guy talking smack, and have a clever line while doing it.  You didn’t watch John Wayne to here him diplomatically talk out a problem about cattle rustling.  Which is why John Wayne was fun to watch but good god, keep him away from Pennsylvania Avenue.

What perplexes me is Ben Carson.  Even if you take away the horribly bad, chauvinistic, bigoted, anti-semitic, rhetoric he’s been spewing for years now, there’s still a neurosurgeon under all that filth.  There’s still a man who had the skill to separate conjoined twins.  This guy isn’t a dummy, but I think he may be stupid.  I think he is a talented surgeon who could do things medically that most humans could not even dream of.  However, what he has taught us is that extreme knowledge in one subject doesn’t mean extreme logic in others.  Sure, he has opinions in other fields which are valid, even if I disagree with them, but come on, to state that The Devil made Darwin do it.  The article above talks about the possibility of departmentalization of the mind, and I believe this is a reasonable argument.  Think back to when we had master ship builders who could construct vessels that marveled, but also wanted to make sure you didn’t take the boat too far away or it would fall off…the earth.  It’s not inconceivable, and I’d argue, not completely uncommon, to have people who are truly gifted at an amazing set of tasks, have those perceptions artificially created and transferred over to all items of topic.  Bobby Fischer, Albert Einstein, you could make a list as long as you wanted and wholeheartedly say that none of them should be president.

Of course, some of his “brilliance” comes from the perception of his supporters.  Hold on…I’m not saying he’s not a smart man, as stated above, I believe he is extremely intelligent in his field, but I believe there is an additional traction that is gained by people who believe in him ferociously.  The article has this nugget which is great:

Participants in focus groups of Republican caucus and primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, conducted in recent days by Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, used these words to describe Carson: “deep,” “thoughtful,” “intelligent,” “smart,” “brilliant,” a “top mind.” I get this. According to a recent Public Policy Polling report, 46 percent of Carson supporters (and 61 percent of Trump supporters) think President Obama was not born in the U.S., and 61 percent of Carson supporters (and 66 percent of Trump supporters) think the president is a Muslim. Carson’s being called brilliant by that base ain’t baffling.

That is scary.  You may hate President Obama, The Democratic Party, donkeys, the name “Clinton”, etc. but you have to admit that the President was born in the U.S.  To think that almost half of your supporters can’t accept this simple fact…it’s unbelievable.  It’s also telling, and what it tells us is that large swaths of people, especially in the age of Fox News and other faux news outlets, can be so blinded by hate and ignorance that they loose sight and stop believing in the most basic of truths.

Here’s my final thought on Ben Carson: I’d rather have Ben Carson operate on my brain than be my president.  How many of our 44 presidents could you say that about?  FDR and Lincoln are considered to be two of our best presidents; one saved the Union and the other saved the World.  Of course, I wouldn’t want either of them near my head with a scalpel.  My point is this, Ben Carson is an intelligent man, but he has, either on purpose or unintentionally, kept that away from the rest of his mind.  He’s a scientist who doesn’t believe in the scientific method.  He’s a brain surgeon who would be best served by opening his own.