Donald Trump, the monster the GOP created

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures
.” William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

 Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

We haven’t done this in a while, so it might come as a shock, but we need to talk politics. I’ve got a few issues to bring to the table, so this week we focus on the Presidential candidates and the topics at hand. First up, Trump, whose to blame and why.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, Et tu, Brute? After all, what is there to say about the bloviating, arrogant, grandiose, windbag? Surely, if we just ignore him, Trump will go away. I get it. In fact, this is how I felt at first; his bid for the White House had to be a joke, right? Was he doing it for ratings or did he just like the press coverage? It turns out, even after being fired from his Television show, The Apprentice, and losing his spot as a Macy’s brand, Trump continued with his shtick, which turns out, may not be shtick at all.

As I watched his first few interviews I thought perhaps he was a Democratic plant, or a very, very well played troll, out to make the GOP look bad (as if they needed the help) but as time goes on, and his popularity grows we have to ask an important question: What the hell is going?!

Love him or hate him, one thing is clear, Donald Trump has hit a nerve and the blame for his popularity rests squarely on the shoulders of the GOP and the 24 news cycle.

Trump’s racists, misogynistic message is indicative of all that is wrong with the GOP. For the last 8 years we have watched our do-nothing but scare people Congress, sink into a cesspool of hate and fear. Their refusal to work with our President and spew nonsense about issues, especially women and Climate Change, goes hand in hand with the willingness of certain “news” organizations who are all to happy to repeat and sometimes, lead in the spread of such nonsense. Everyone sees that the system is broken, and those that continue to “want their country back” are all too willing to have Trump as their spokesperson. Ever distrustful of the government, but yet have bought into the fear mongering, these people yearn for someone who will take on the establishment and put it in its place. Trump is a loud mirror that projects what these people are thinking; and they are thinking racist and misogynistic thoughts because they have been spoon fed by the GOP and the media who supports the party. Trump is their monster let loose. And just like in the book Frankenstein, the GOP created him, but now does not want him. Oh the delicious irony!

It would be easy to dismiss Trump as just another crank, whose 15 minutes of fame has continued far longer that it should have, thanks to the mainstream media, but we can’t. Not now that we’ve seen other candidates take up his message. Just this week, after Trump announced he wants to get rid of the 14th Amendment, many of the other Clown Car, GOP candidates repeated his idea as if it were their own. Scott Walker, one of the least informed of the candidates, actually said he would get rid of it and enforce our existing immigration laws. Sir, how do you uphold existing laws while simultaneously wanting to strip a Constitutional law? What kind of mental yoga is this?

This repeating of his message is only fanning the flame that is Trump. Instead of pushing him away, they are embracing some of his crazier ideas. This in turn makes Trump the stronger candidate, as he always says it first! His ideas become their ideas, but people will not look to the GOP, they will look to Trump because he is always a step ahead of them. This is one reason why he is leading in the polls.

The mainstream media is not helping either. Trump is now the leading American zeitgeist. Whether they are cowering to him or making fun of him, Trump is the central story. Even the liberal news channels are now taking him seriously and talking as if he will be the GOP nominee. Can you imagine? I can, and it scares me.

This is because of the GOP’s continued move to its crazy, paranoid base. They have embraced the cranks and duped them into thinking their fears are well founded; that the bogymen outside of our borders are coming to get them and take their jobs and religious freedom. The system is broken. Make no mistake, Trump won’t fix it, but to many he may be the best defense against a crumbling political body and nation. They don’t see that he is merely a Golem created by the GOP and 24-hour news cycle (they are the ones who planted these ideas in his head). Or maybe they do, and don’t care. This thought to me, is as scary as anything Trump says.

 

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves.” William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

We need to talk about Sony and the media

We haven’t talked politics or current events in awhile, but with all of the media hysteria over Sony’s decision to pull The Interview, I thought now is a good time to jump back in.

First, let me be perfectly clear. None of the employees or stars deserved to have their private material hacked. In no way do I condone, what the media is calling an act of cyber terrorism. But I would be remiss if I did not address two issues brought about by the American media and heads of Sony that contributed to this act. You may not agree with me, but we need to be open to the ideas I’m about to bring up.

As I sit here writing this piece, the American media is decrying both the hackers and Sony’s decision to pull the movie. The media is now outraged by the cyber attack. The American news corporations are collectively marketing this act as their Top Story and falling all over themselves in their condemnation of the attack. This is pure hypocrisy as just last week they were collectively giggling over the leaked documents and selling these “revelations” as news fluff. The 24hour news channels gleefully shared the hacked material with the world.

Imagine that your next-door neighbor had a break in and all of his possessions were stolen. Ask yourself, would you willingly take the stolen items and show them off to friends and family, all the while condemning the break in, or would you ignore the offer of free stuff in the hopes the criminals would be caught? Do you want to be an accomplice to a crime or a supportive neighbor?

By sharing the leaked material the American news corporations are accomplices to the cyber crime. By airing Sony’s private material they are actively participating in the crime, if by nothing else, playing into their hands. The hackers wanted to embarrass Sony Pictures and found willing partners in our media. Thanks to our media, the hackers found a platform. And now that Sony has decided to pull the plug on the movie due to death threats, the media is crying foul. I say shame on you media for participating in the crime. Thanks to you the attack was a total success. Not only do we know Sony was hacked, we know what was hacked, and by airing the material, you shared the stolen goods with the world. Well done idiots, well done. Now, stop being hypocrites and start assessing you role in this act.

2013 felt like a very violent year. It may not have been the most violent on record, but it sure felt like it. This time last year we were mourning the loss of life at the Sandy Hook elementary school. We debated what to do about reports of the Syrian government gassing its own, and shuddered at the horrific beheadings done by ISIS. America, though split on what to do about gun violence, certainly came together and condemned the actions of extreme government and religious leaders. Murder is all around us, and we are tired of it. One has to look no farther than the recent protests of police brutality.

So given that we are faced with all of this, who at Sony thought it would be a good idea to green light a movie that involves the assassination of a named world leader? And not just any world leader; a bat shit crazy leader. Oh he may be dead, but his equally bat shit crazy son is not. Seriously, didn’t anyone at Sony think this through? North Korea hates America and views us as their sworn enemy, so why make a movie that only fosters this hate? Why didn’t someone at Sony demand the name of the country and its leader be changed?

But Sari, we have freedom of speech! Yes, yes we do. But jus like we don’t yell Fire! in a crowded movie theater, we shouldn’t throw gas on an already ignitable situation. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Freedom of speech only works when we use freedom of intellect; something lacking in Sony’s decision to fund this kind of comedy. And by watching it, we are not collective hypocrites who decry the brutal acts of others while laughing at the idea of assassinating a known world leader?

Actions have consequences. Did your parents not teach you this Sony? At any time did it occur to you that by depicting the death of North Korea’s “Dear Leader”, a man who is thought of as a god, that perhaps you might enrage his son? Again, a man who is bat shit crazy? No, you just saw dollar signs.

Perhaps I am being too hard on you. Maybe someone from Sony went to the State Department and asked, “So…, any possibility North Korea could retaliate against us?” And after laughing at the question, the answer was “No”, you went ahead and made the movie. What could go wrong?

In today’s cyber-connected world, one in which America is no longer isolated and feared, is it really any surprise Sony was hacked? We may not like it, but we must accept the fact that what we could easily get away with a few years ago is no longer the case. Our freedom of speech, freedom of expression must take into consideration those that we target. We now live in a world of the extreme butterfly effect. Others often see what we do in the name of freedom as acts of aggression. Doesn’t anyone at Sony watch the news? Come to think of it, don’t. The news media is too busy eating its own.