Ten uplifting teaching moments from President Fiasco

How to achieve peace in our time, universal happiness, and healthy goodwill towards our neighbor.

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In a Nutshell: Avoid Ingesting Poison, Flush Fully, Never Repeat

All of us stable geniuses know what happens when we fail, then double down by not learning from blundering failures. Enter the Boomerang Syndrome. Few of us rush to admit imperfection, but defying disaster invites an infinite regress – failures recur like super-spreader events. That worse case scenario is what defines stupidity, and we geniuses hate such guilt by association. What better defines a “loser” than doubling down on your repeat whammies?

So, you missed your sole Germ Theory class and now defy masks, even allege masks cause coronavirus. Then you get the disease, and bingo, that only reinforces what you refuse to admit – plus endangering the health of millions? That’s seizing failure by the throat, the opposite to high intelligence. Comics ridicule that with “You can’t fix stupid.”

In this spirit of learning and improvement, what positives can America take to heart from its worst mistake – the election of our worst president — and the second, third and fourth worst, too? With Trump jamming the top slots, we can then quibble over Buchanan or Hayes, Pierce or Polk and related underachievers. Here’re the lessons a la carte:

1) Don’t elect arrogant amateurs who never held elected office, never served in any public role, and never ran an adult organization where listening or people-skills mattered. The first lesson Trump demonstrates in extremis is that expertise in politics or public affairs, government or military service – plus a smattering of law – is the first, irreplaceable qualification. Even knowing a smidgen of history, like what America tasked government to do, even what defines national leadership, that would be a step up from the current bottom. Even competent autocrats know what people need, how to organize resources, then do it. Forget rocket science; insert political science 101.

2) Don’t elect mentally unstable leaders, especially chronic liars who never admit mistakes and commit sexual misconduct, then on tape brag about it. This is apparently a tough one for Trumpers. but this truth reigns eternal: core personality disorders, devoid of empathy and laced with impulsive obsessions, are sure markers for reigns of chaos. Sorry, Trumpers, for this cruel splash in the face. Having a tyrannical, impossible-to-please, racist father makes everything worse. When desperate obsessions are whipped by malignant narcissism, the thresholds for egocentricity are limitless: everything is always about the pretend leader. Me, me, me! Why, it’s as if no one else exists. Derangement fits the failure to recognize shifts in reality – subtle ones like 2020 is really not 2016 when the grifter had no record. Really, rather than barking at Biden two weeks before the election, Trump instead attacks Dr. Fauci, a TV journalist and Adam Schiff – bonkers! Finally, having politicized the worst pandemic in a century, talk about something else. Stop parading your failures front and center. Instability on the march, handing the election to your opponent on a platter.

3) Don’t support any candidate who inexcusably promises to defy legitimate results. This is a real no-brainer. No sane adult whines about unproven fraud BEFORE the election happens. Only unhinged con artists in advance blame a crushing whomping on a phantom “rigged” election. This insanity of “I win or it’s a fraud” is an instant red flag, deserving a lifetime ban. Is this not dictator-think: “I am the one and only savior, and I know in advance what’s rigged – and electing anyone else contradicts all that’s holy”?

4) Never elect billionaires – and certainly never billionaires who won’t put every asset in private trusts. Demand tax returns to confirm which hostile interests in Russia or China hold your guy by the shorthairs, and the terms of indebtedness. Billionaires are billionaires because they put themselves first, fixated on being ordained to rule over others. Worse still, no billionaire got rich without exploiting someone else. Super-rich must predate workers, investors, the environment, or the loop-holed system to dominate. Where do billions come from if not other people’s bank accounts – or government theft?

5) Demand all candidates understand basic ethics, like laws governing elected officials – what’s allowed and what’s strictly forbidden (Emoluments, illegal gifts, illegal donations, the Hatch Act). Require exams to confirm. Doctors, lawyers and accountants, even dental hygienists, need certification to earn money – if not trust. If you don’t know the rules, you can’t play Little League so let us require politicians to understand the rules they are so ripe to violate. Hell, you can’t play tiddlywinks, whatever that is, without agreeing to the rules.

6) We must enact an independent Truth Commission that evaluates the veracity of all political declarations. That will frame constant liars and scoffers who put down knowledge, science and tax-paid expertise – instead spreading the most wacko conspiracy theories ever to rear their ugly heads. Why should politics differ from other blood sports where egregious misconduct is identified and punished, often severely? Lying is the political equivalence of steroids or illegal drugs – and if caught repeatedly, demand disqualification.

7) Avoid electing sleazy, scheming real estate hustlers who’ve notched serial bankruptcies, pumped out a bucketful of propaganda (reObama’s birthplace), screwed countless vendors and is widely deemed to be one scurrilous dirtbag. Avoid bunko artists, grifters, scammers, dicey circus performers, ex-TV celebrity non-actors, and dim-bulb scoundrels. Avoid anyone caught, by federal indictment, violating anti-discriminatory housing rules. Avoid all crooks who had to pay $25,000,000 to reimburse defrauded students suckered by his phony “university.” Avoid those who have to pay for sex, then write it off as a criminal campaign expense. Why is any honest person who pays attention voting for this creep?

8) Prohibit hiring your children as White House advisers, cooks, janitors or garbage collectors. Avoid hiring lackeys, especially incompetents. I predict 100 new laws are necessary to blunt any future Criminal-in-chief from appointing boobs to powerful positions. If not tragic, this would surely be farce. Or beyond farce.

9) Oppose any racist candidate who instructs followers to beat up legal protesters, “liberate” a disease-besieged state, praises white supremacists and thinks QAnon is just dandy – and its advocates upcoming stars.” I recall somewhere that presidents swear an oath to PUT DOWN, not incite insurrections against the government, its authorized representatives and legitimate voting places? What undermines law and order more than urging terrorists to intimidate voters and disrupt the heartbeat of democracy?

10) Rush from anyone who declares himself a “stable genius,” ordained by God, smarter than all the generals, doctors, and experts, thinks bombing will fix hurricanes, promotes toxic bleach ingestion, hasn’t a clue how vaccines are tested or how pandemics end. Okay, there’s a big difference between encouraging new blood from non-politicians vs. not spotting bad faith and bad blood dripping from the podium. There’s an equally big difference between promising the world and delivering a minuscule (imported) plastic globe as a party prize. So where is the immigration fix, prosperity for all, cheaper, better, wider health care coverage, new infrastructure, even the beginning of the end of the pandemic?

If we only follow half of the above suggestions, I guarantee we will have peace in our time, universal happiness, and healthy goodwill towards our neighbors. Let us at least resurrect our priceless melting pot ideal – for that truly makes America great. Welcoming others is what separates us from other democracies. We now know, and must learn from, how white supremacy hates diversity. Or we go down the rat hole.

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Robert S. Becker
For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.

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