Archive for the ‘American Politics’ Category

The tired triteness of Trump.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

American president Donald Trump is wearing thin. He is the stand-up comedian who does not know when to leave the stage. There is not much you can say about him that is new or enlightening. When Martin Sheen played the role of president in The West Wing, the dialogue was always fresh and exciting, well written. There is no question but Mr. Trump needs better writers.

This new guy, the comedic president of the Ukraine, is going to make the Donald look like last year’s model. This guy knows how to handle Russia’s Putin—make fun of him. That stiff-necked nogoodnik will not have a clue on what to do about ridicule.

But the democrats in the United States have a different problem. Not everyone and his dog should assume that Donald Trump will lose in 2020. The democrats need a leader in his or her own right to take on Trump. They need a candidate with something to offer. Youth is not enough. Wisdom is not enough. Even though, young and smart would be a good mix to start.

Mind you, the stupid, grueling, corrupt way that Americans run their politics puts any candidate at risk.

And forget the impeachment. What good would it do? The Trump show has less than two years to run. There will be three moons in the sky before the republican senators impeach a republican president.

Why would anyone want to swap Trump for a republican who knows what he or she is doing? Who is left who has not felt the bitter sting of conservative politics? Who else do you want to insult and harry at America’s borders?

Why are the democrats hemming and hawing about the new North American trade agreement? Do democrats also distrust neighbours?

When pressed recently on the tales from the Mueller Report, Trump’s hillbilly press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained that she is not a robot, like some democrats. That is too bad. A robot could certainly do a much better job.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The triumph of Trump.

Friday, April 12th, 2019

It is hard to believe the sizeable and immoral segment of American public opinion that supports American president Trump. There are pollsters who are now telling us that everybody loves a bad boy. And they say there is no badder boy than The Donald.

This is not just sad. It is pathetic. It is the fiction of the bloodied spouse who wants to be beaten. It is the rapists’ #metoo movement. Trump demeans men as much as he demeans women.

Trump takes human testosterone to new levels of bestiality. “Grab them by the genitalia,” he tells the locker-room crowd. His long red tie hanging below his belt buckle is an imaginative metaphor for his penis.

But it is not just Trump who is in question here. How does this crude man make America great again? Great at what?

The sadistic billionaire has it backwards. America is more of an object of derision than it has ever been before. The clamouring at the southern gates to this hell reflects the relative horror of what these migrants left behind in hopelessness and murder and starvation.

To follow such a cretin with no compassion is to just become his next conquest. You know he is an evil person, a whoremonger and a bigot. What are you born-again as?

And what is it that will bring America back to respect? Not just respect from the rest of the world, but respect for itself? In a land that routinely shoots its children and the innocent, you can celebrate after church this Sunday by buying another gun.

George Washington gave America a country. Theodore Roosevelt gave it heroes. Franklin Roosevelt gave it pre-eminence. John Kennedy gave it a future. What the hell is Donald Trump giving it? A social disease?

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Walls Fail Us.

Friday, March 29th, 2019

The last time we dealt with the subject of walls, we received a scholarly comment from a monarchist on the efficacy and history of the Great Wall of China. Since that was not the point I was trying to make, I was somewhat at a loss to respond. I took it with good grace and thanked the gentleman for his comment.

But the truth is I think walls are for losers. I look at the crumbling walls of the castles of Europe and I see no need for such dull, damp and dreary abodes. And as the Berlin Wall was built and fell within my lifetime, I believe it presents a cautionary tale for people who wish to build walls against other people.

To me, walls in the 21st Century are a waste of time and effort. They are an anachronism in a world of technology. From the day that Berlin was divided by fools celebrating victory, people flew over the barriers with impunity.

Walls do not just fail, they insult. They belittle their builders more than they protect them. They waste resources. They are a form of bigotry. They are for the selfish and self-serving. They deny freedom, they deny dignity and they deny the rights of democracy.

And do not tell us about the walls of hate the Israelis have built against their neighbours. These are an abomination. They are built by Jews who deny the honour of those who died fighting for them in places such as the Warsaw Ghetto.

Good fences might make good neighbours but a wall is a statement of hate. President Donald Trump will go down in infamy as the most hateful of American leaders. Donald Trump is a bigot, a boor and a narcissist. He dishonours his countrymen and women. His wall denies the very freedoms promised by America.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

A note from a neighbour.

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

“The depths of winter are about over and it will soon be time for spring clean-up and to lean on our rakes as we catch up on the neighbourhood gossip. I see that there has been little progress on that southern wall you have been promising. You would not need the wall if your Uncle Donald would stop frightening the neighbourhood children. While you are at it, please get him to shut down the Air B&B he is running in your White House.

“Mind you, if this is going to be another summer of your Uncle Donald exposing himself in the Rose Garden, there will be trouble in Paradise. And that boy band with which he practices heavy metal music (steel and aluminum) is annoying and you better do something about it sooner than later. We have a new North American Free Trade Agreement to sign off and breeches in the agreement such as tariffs are a no-no.

“Sure, we can be sympathetic to the problems of looking after a septuagenarian such as Donald but he does Tweet some awful nonsense. Has this child-man ever had to deal with the truth? It seems to be something of a foreign language to him.

“Does your Uncle Donald think he is a fascist? The only people he seems to want to help are his rich friends and dictators. I hardly know what he would ever possibly say to a poor person.

“And, as much as I hate to tell you this. Your Uncle Donald is a bigot, and a braggart, and a bully. I do not think there was ever a more heart-wrenching exodus of people from troubled countries than we saw heading north last year for the promised land of America.

“But there was no promised land, because Donald Trump thinks he is the Pharaoh. The only way those people are ever going to make it to America is to hide their children in bushels of Mexican produce and the adults in the trunks of those expensive American automobiles that are made in Mexico.

“But your Canadian neighbours have their own problems. They have discovered that politicians lie. I bet you knew that already.

“We are already driving north from Florida after a winter of golf with your Uncle Donald. See you soon.”

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

“But I have promises to keep.”

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders knows where he is from. He went back to his roots in Brooklyn, New York last week to launch his campaign against the presidency of fellow New Yorker Donald Trump. At 77, senator Sanders is likely to be the oldest person bidding for the Democratic Party nomination.

But the democratic socialist would probably just quote poet Robert Frost and close the discussion of age with the famous line “But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep.”

Nobody doubts that Bernie Sanders can likely defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 elections. In fact, many are firmly convinced that the fatuous Donald Trump will defeat himself.

The real job for the next president will be the task of healing the harm Mr. Trump has done to the entire world. He has trashed America’s reputation. He has lowered expectations of fairness. He has favoured his friends and hurt the poor and struggling. It is hard to say where the job of the new president needs to begin.

But the hardest work begins at home. America is a land divided. It is a land rife with the hypocrisy of privilege. It desperately needs electoral reform. It needs cooperation between the administration and both houses of Congress.

America must restore its fairness with its allies. It has a critical leadership position in world affairs that requires care, compassion and continuity. It will be a radical change from the confusions and concerns of the Trump presidency.

The difference in this democratic race from the one four years ago will be that Bernie Sanders will not be the only voice from the political left. He drew a lot of interest and enthusiasm for his policies and proposals last time and voters will be looking for a better understanding of them this time around.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Time to grow up Bernie Sanders.

Friday, March 1st, 2019

It’s okay. I can say that to him. I am a Canadian and am also a democratic socialist. I understand his problems. And Bernie Sanders is too old to be President of the United States of America. He was showing the strain last time he ran against Hillary Clinton for the nomination. He did a good job of pulling her to the political left. He made Americans pay attention to the ideals of democratic socialism. He made it clear that the government’s job is there to serve the people—not to serve special interests.

But he has a far greater task open to him. It is not that he needs to admit that he cannot win the presidency from Donald Trump. Defeating Mr. Trump is the easy part of the job. It is whether he has the ability to work with and mentor a younger person who can offer democratic socialism and leadership and a better future to a divided nation. This is the person needed in the White House. It is the person who can help build a better United Nations. This is the person whom the whole world needs to firmly guide and rebuild the American role in world leadership.

Sorry, it is not you, Bernie. The job is hardly just to rid America of Trump. This job will need a solid eight years of hard work just to make the country whole again.

Americans no longer know what truth means. They have been lied to for too long. The American reputation around the world has been trashed. The American dream has to be made a reality, again.

America is still one of the richest countries. It should be a leader in social reforms—free medical care as well as prescription drugs, free tuition all the way to post-graduate studies, and the guarantee of affordable shelter for all. A full life in a land of liberty is the ambition of people around the world. It needs leaders who know the way.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The ties of Trump and Toad.

Monday, February 18th, 2019

It is doubtful that American president Donald Trump, has ever bothered to read Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. Published in 1908 in the United Kingdom, it is a book that has delighted children everywhere for more than a century. What would surprise Mr. Trump today is how much he is like Mr. Toad of Toad Hall.

Take this one line from the Wikipedia description of the character: “Toad is intelligent, creative and resourceful; however, he is also narcissistic, self-centred almost to the point of sociopathy, and completely lacking in even the most basic common sense.”

Now, change the name to Trump. Can you tell the difference? Now I know why I often think of Mr. Trump as a big orange toad.

It is not that I particularly care about Mr. Toad or Mr. Trump. In fact, my favourite character in the book was called Mole. I saw him as the more thoughtful of the characters created by Mr. Grahame.

But Mr. Trump really needs a Mole to help him get over the hissy-fit he is having over his damn wall. He has to have someone explain to him that there is no national emergency to be perceived.

You would swear that the damn fool is proud that he shut down the U.S. government for the amount of time he did. He had no concern nor care for the people he hurt in the process. He seems to think he made the point and his claque of clowns approves.

Now that he has declared his emergency, only Trump would create the story that the barbarians are at the southern border of the United States of America plotting to assail the United States to rape and plunder. That statue lighting the way into the New York harbour with her lamp must be weeping while Mr. Trump affronts the entire world.

It can be expected that 100 years from now, American mothers will call on the spectre of a big orange toad to get their children to behave.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

A nation in a state of stasis.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

A nation in stasis is a state that can neither move forward nor back as the forces in play remain equal and opposed. And this is the State of the Union as reported by American president Donald Trump. His report of exaggerations and lies and threats was of a quarreling nation, going nowhere.

In a nation two years from possible resolution in another election, the report should have been on the efforts to conciliate, to seek compromise, and to ensure nobody suffers. Mr. trump is too self-centred for simple solutions.

But he was ominously quiet in preparing for his speech. He is treating it as important. While others were setting odds on the number of lies, he would tell, he was seriously working on what lies to tell.

Whatever that intent was, it failed.

It was a fatuous address by a petty person. It was hyperbole, built on careless claims. It was racism doubled down. It was the same-old, same-old introductions of exaggerations of small people in the audience clawing to claim their 30-seconds of fame.

It was your typical routine of meaningless standing ovations. Yet, who counts? When the Vestal Virgins in white of the democratic party disagreed, they remained seated.

A pained Speaker Pelosi and a pensive Vice President Pense formed a backdrop of a divided nation.

The military chiefs of staff sat together as witches brewing the pot of the Kool-Aid of war.

The man stood before a nation divided and told them they were fools. He told them he would again shame the nation with a government shutdown if he does not get the blackmail needed for his wall.

He disgraced his nation with his intemperate remarks. A racist, a bully, a narcissist of note, Mr. Trump brings no honour to his nation.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Politics in anxious times.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

If prime minister Justin Trudeau had his druthers, he would not want an election this year. It is simply bad timing. Canadians are anxious. It is not any one thing. The world is just not behaving as it should. Not even the weather is acting as normal. People are concerned. There is that clown in the White House in Washington. You can hardly blame everything on him, even if you would like to.

And what can you count on? The stock market is just perverse. The Brits are stupidly leaving the European Union and do not admit why. The rich are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer. And have you seen the price of bread recently?

People are pissed. They are looking for scapegoats. They hardly need another stupid politician to get in their way. Justin Trudeau and his little friends have worked their hearts out for our approval. Sure, they blew a few promises. Yes, you will be using first-past-the-post voting in October. Maybe they did save the North American trade agreement from that terror Trump. Who knows?

But do not ask for the right to die in a frivolous manner. There is more than one way to default on a promise.

The liberals are going to spend the election telling us how well the economy is doing and how much they love the middle class. The opposition are going to tell us, it can be better. The liberals will tell us what a great job they are doing for the environment. The opposition will tell us the environment is just fine, thank you. The liberals want a price on carbon. The opposition will tell you it is just a tax grab.

But why did the liberals buy the Trans Mountain pipeline to ship highly polluting bitumen from Alberta to countries that do not care about pollution?

The liberal cabinet spent an expensive weekend retreat in Quebec recently planning their messaging for the campaign. The message is ‘vote for us and take another selfie with Justin.’

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Wishy-washy on the Wall.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

It is beginning to look like there is some daylight between president Donald Trump and a faction of his Republican followers. It happened last Saturday during Trump’s speech to save his wall. He was using people already in the U.S. to trade for the $5.7 billion he needs for the initial parts of his wall. He was offering a stay of deportation for the DACA people (Dreamers) who know no other home than in America.

And, as expected, the Democratic leadership in Congress told Trump to ‘Get stuffed.’ Not that anyone can be proud of their stance while hundreds of thousands of American government employees continue to be unpaid. Mr. Trump continues to hold these people up as hostages.

But that is Mr. Trump’s choice. He has chosen to make the government employees suffer while he petulantly demands that the American taxpayers pay for his ill-considered wall. He promised that wall to his claque of followers in the 2016 election. He even promised them that it would be at no cost to Americans. He, somewhat stupidly, promised those people that the Mexicans would want to pay for the wall. Since then, the Mexican government has made it very clear that they do not pay for obscenities such as walls.

In this current Trump fiasco, he is going tit-for-tat with a very experienced politician in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has even disinvited him to make the customary State of the Union address to congress at the end of the month. His only response, so far, is to cancel the Air Force jet that was going to take Pelosi and a House of Representatives delegation to the Middle East.

And so, it continues: Mr. Trump would rather play childish games. He would rather have close to a million government workers and their dependants angry with him for keeping their paychecks from them. At one time, he had almost 63 million Americans vote for him. He keeps finding ways to cut down that number of supporters.

And, even worse for Trump, he is angering his extremist supporters who want him to start deporting the DACA people right away. They think he is going soft on them.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me