"What If A President Loses Control?" My Letter To A Retired Air Force General Friend
Here is the context of this brief "distillation."
"That Eisenhower-to-Nixon memorandum, dated February 5, 1958, was shown to only a few people, but it was leaked. When Eisenhower, in March, was asked about it at a news conference, he said, “We are trying just to say that we are trying to carry out what normal humans of good faith having some confidence in each other would do in accordance with the language of the Constitution.” As to whether these transfers of power could lead to “a sort of musical chairs,” he replied, “I think it means when the inability is removed he resumes his duties,” although he saw the potential problem it posed. He said, “I admit this: if a man were so deranged that he thought he was able, and the consensus was that he couldn’t, there would have to be something else done, no question.”
Clearly, the meaning of words is always debatable. And conditioned by "fake news," "alternative facts," "right wing radio" and the atomization/isolation/self-confirmation of social media there is now real doubt that America, as a society, can define "normal humans" and "good faith."
It is also evident that America is sorely divided and that "the two sides" of the nation's "political aisle" no longer have "some confidence in each other."
The current state of our body politic recalls the myth of Babel and how one common language became confounded so that people no longer understood each other.
Usually, the linguistic confusion of Babel is explained by sudden replacement of the common language with multiple tongues.
But it is more useful -- more reasonable and epistemologically sound -- to posit that Americans' "spoken words" remain the same while their semantic content has changed so radically that "any" two individuals' interpretation of "freedom" will be as divergent as "askatasuna" and "svoboda," the corresponding Basque and Czech words for "freedom."
No longer do "you" say "tomato" and "I" say "tomahto."
Instead, we both say "tomato."
But what "you" hear is "askatasuna," and what "I" hear is "svoboda."
To "feel" your way more deeply into this linguistic and lexical dilemma consider the words "patriotism," "democracy," "oppression," "division," "liberty," "justice."
Or consider whole passages like Abraham Lincoln's summary of self-destruction.
Honest Abe is not splitting hairs between "tomato" and "tomahto."
Lamentably, with the nation overshadowed by babel-confusion, conservatives construe liberals as the source of destruction while liberals see that the opposite as true.
Liberalism: "Satanic Rebellion Against God?" (The Thinking Housewife)
We continue to use the same words but the perceived meaning of those words is as different as "night and day," "heaven-hell," "salvation-damnation," "good-evil," "God-Satan." (I am reminded of Chesterton's argument that "all wars are religious wars.")
From my "side" of the fence, it is evident that Trump is a deranged sociopath, consumed by narcissism and that his only interest -- sweet-talking rhetoric aside -- is co-terminous with his bloated self-interest.
From the other side of the fence, these same characteristics are ascribed to Hillary.
But there remains a definable "hinge" by which we can define "un-hinged."
We are starting to see this realization play out as Trump sides with Putin and Assange, impugns America's intelligence community, claims to know more than the generals and starts tabulating yet another "enemies list."
The hinge is this.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, half of America was effectively blinded by anger at Hillary Clinton, anger whose intensity was rooted in the ongoing en-chant-ment of The Noise Machine combined with conservatives' near-total disregard for facts, proportionality and careful, intellectually rigorous analysis.
Blinded by anger, American conservatives have been unable, until now, to escape their obsessive focus on Hillary who, in their view -- and with no actionable evidence -- needed to be "locked up."
Now that Hillary-Benghazi-Emails-Private-Server have boiled away in the political heat -- and it is crucial to remember that conservatism's 25 year obsession with the Clintons is no longer a cause célèbre -- Trump supporters can no longer focus on "non-existent" Hillary, The Evil One who drove them to distraction.
No longer distracted, American conservatives are "seeing" Trump for the very first time, and freed from their former tunnel vision, they begin to realize that it was Trump, not Hillary, who should have been targeted as a condemnable criminal --- the Trump "University" scam-scandal being just one case in point.
Compendium Of Pax Posts About Trump "University" Scam
Who knows what Trump's 3500 other law suits would reveal if The Plutopath were not able to use his vast wealth to arrange "settlements" that make him look innocent but only by technicality?
"Trump University" (And All Other 3500 Law Suits) Reviewed By John Oliver
In any event, Hillary is now "out of the picture" and all eyes turn to Pussy Grabber.
Day by day, our eyes are opened by kleiglight scrutiny of Donald's bizarre friendships with murderous thugs worldwide; his inescapable conflicts of interest; his eyepopping personal behavior, his eldritch choices for cabinet secretaries, White House counselors and agency directors.
Predictably, The Plutopath is revealed as The Swamp Itself -- "New and Improved!" -- not The Righteous Savior Of Little White Guys dedicated 24/7 to "pulling the plug."