Left, Right, or Middle?

How do you feel about the following excerpt from this CNN article? Are you one of the “many Americans?” Or do you lean more heavily in one direction or the other?

Despite the tribal and situational nature of modern American politics, many Americans seem to fall somewhere between the center-left to center-right of the political spectrum.

If a viable third alternative fails to emerge, these people may cast protest votes for people not actually running, or will simply refuse to vote for anyone at the top of the ticket — and they may do so in record numbers.

These voters want a candidate who believes in capitalism, reasonably regulated market-based solutions to problems, social tolerance and acceptance, and constructive international engagement that embraces America’s global leadership role while supporting allies and stiff-arming adversaries. Most of all they’ll want someone who conducts himself or herself in a thoughtful, deliberate and measured way. They want stability, not chaos and recklessness. Stated another way, they don’t want a demagogue or fanatic, just a reasonably normal human being. The political center of the country desperately wants to vote for a candidate who can reassure them that America is not descending into an unrecognizable political and constitutional abyss.

I find the second paragraph distressing, albeit highly possible.

The final paragraph pretty much lays out my personal political perspective.

Where do you stand?

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Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

A Thousand Words

When I was a Christian (many, many years ago), I was told (more than once) that “Scripture has Power!” It was “my sword and my shield” against a depraved world.

In essence (and briefly put), all I had to do was use words from the bible and sinners (those folk who don’t believe in supernatural beings) would acknowledge their evil ways, fall to their knees, and worship god.

Imagine my disappointment when it didn’t work. 😮!!

But of course it didn’t work! Like the old saying goes … “Sticks and stones may break my bones; but words will never hurt me.” (And especially not in the blogging world!)

Add to that the fact that “scripture” is taken from a book that came about simply because ancient people needed a way to understand the world. As such, its contents are based on events and beliefs that are several thousand years old and have long since been replaced by, oh what do they call it? Ahhh yes … Increased Knowledge and Understanding.

In other words, life has moved on and for many of us, it’s a bit difficult to get upset and concerned about myths and legends that were used many centuries ago to explain how the world worked. Especially when they have been usurped by modern knowledge related to the world we live in today (e.g., science, mathematics, cosmology, medicine, engineering, etc.).

Yet, there are those who continue to rely on the contents of this book, believing that it contains eternal truths. Especially about death — and a potential afterlife.

What’s interesting about this “truth,” however, is that even the good book offers alternate stories on what happens at death. The Hebrew Bible talks about the afterlife as a shadowy place known as sheol (grave, pit, abyss) and all who died went there. There was no segregation between the righteous and the unrighteous. Over the centuries, however, this perspective changed little by little until the hereafter became a place of fire and brimstone for the bad guys … or a “heavenly abode” for the good guys. Hmmm. Wonder how that happened?

In any event, there will most likely always be a subset of humans who are certain there’s a “guy in the sky” who created this world and is watching over them as they go about their daily lives. And they will also remain convinced that the”holy words” of the bible have magic powers to convince the aforementioned sinners to change their evil ways.

What they fail to recognize/accept is not everyone believes in magic.

In my opinion, it’s (past) time for Christians to recognize that their literary and verbal wranglings are not going to accomplish what they desire. As Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright of the late 19th century, once said: A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.     

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

It’s All About the Stock Market

In Heather Cox Richardson’s latest newsletter (2/14/20), she quotes one of Trump’s recent tweets related to the coronavirus. It truly and totally pinpoints not his concern for the health of the American people, but his personal interest, concern, involvement in, and anxiety about … the state of the Stock Market!

“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

As Heather points out, it appears the only reason he has even acknowledged the crisis is because of its growing impact on the economy which, as we all know, is a VERY important part of his re-election campaign.

As most intelligent people recognize, the coronavirus outbreak and spread is becoming a very real concern to the entire world. The geographical location of the United States has provided us somewhat of a buffer, but the state of world travel in today’s climate is bringing it closer and closer to our personal doorsteps.

And yet … to Trump, it’s all about the Stock Market!

And re-election.

And control.

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Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Bloomberg Fizzles

Last night (2/19) the most recent Democratic Presidential debate was held. Qualifying were the usual suspects: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar. But this time, there was a newcomer to the stage … Michael Bloomberg.

Up until last night, I had high hopes for Mr. Bloomberg. Yes, he definitely has some black sheep running around in his backyard, but I felt he was the one who could stand toe-to-toe with Trump.

Now I’m not so sure.

It wasn’t so much that the other candidates slapped him silly with questions about his past actions (and possibly present beliefs) … although that definitely played a part. But what really disturbed me was that he was a wimp in standing up to them.

For all the bluster he exhibits in his TV ads, he came across with little more than “Uh … well … I … but …” responses to hard questions from the other candidates.

And this is the guy who’s going to blow smoke in Trump’s face?

I was so disappointed. Nevertheless, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt since this was his first time going head-to-head with much more accomplished debaters … and will trust he’ll spend some time with a debate coach.

Or something.

Let me add this. It’s not that I’m totally sold on Bloomberg’s political stance. I’m not. I do like some of what he supports (climate change, gun control, foreign policy) and I do like the idea that he has (true) business acumen. But there are also some things about him that I’m not real excited about.

And, quite frankly, there are two other candidates that I like far better.

Nevertheless, I still cling to the idea that Bloomberg could beat Trump. But ONLY if he gets his act together which, hopefully, will take place before the next debate.

One more point. As I’ve said many times before …

I. Will. Vote. Blue.

Even if Mickey Mouse is running.

A Bit of U.S. Political History

Many of my readers are already aware of Heather Cox Richardson and subscribe to her newsletter, so the information in this post may essentially be a repeat of what you have already read.

Nonetheless, for those who are not familiar with her or perhaps only occasionally read her newsletter, her latest edition (February 8) contains some valuable history of U.S. politics. Now this topic may not seem all that earth-shaking, but for anyone who has been following current political activities, you may be surprised to discover how the influence of past administrations is affecting the current one.

History, as they say, repeats itself. But in the current climate, it is not only repeating itself but expanding and affecting many U.S. citizens who are least equipped to handle many of the proposed modifications.

OK. I’ve said my piece. PLEASE, if you haven’t already, go here and educate yourself on what’s really happening.

If you disagree with Ms. Richardson’s perspective, I encourage you to share your reasons why. However, I do ask for civility and will take necessary steps to maintain it.