Archive for the ‘American Politics’ Category

The man who cannot tell the truth.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

It is a puzzling experience in life to have to deal with the reality of a man who is incapable of telling the truth. Listening to this man is like hearing a child fabricate a tale of the penguin who ate the cookies. You listen with a smile, because the child knows his story will entertain his audience instead of inform.

The psychologists tell us he has narcissistic tendencies. Is this not the least of his problems? Self love is relatively harmless, they tell us.

He has no love for the women with whom he ruts. He satisfies his ego.

But if this man thinks he is a leader, where can he lead us? Can he make America great again? Can he not make America great again by tearing it down first? Can he just laugh at global warming?

And can he make enemies of America’s friends and cozy to the enemies of America? Can he satisfy his dislike for those whose color might be different? Can he mistreat the children of those he holds in contempt?

Why does he not listen to the words of those with training, wisdom and experience—who understand the pernicious nature of a pandemic? Can he, with no experience or training—a clown—predict the ending of disease, the time of a vaccine, the use of other cures and simple solutions to prevent the spread?

But always remember: this problem belongs to the United States of America. It is to the embarrassment of the country—once known for its power, its leadership, its industry, its learning.

The only people with the power to make America great again are the voters of America. They can make it happen in November.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Only fools annoy us.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

There will be many fine words used to describe John Lewis who died last week. He was a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement and the long-serving representative for Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.

But the words that need to be remembered are those attributed to John Lewis himself. In light of the growing disrespect of laws, authorities and public property, these words are the most important:

“I know your pain, your rage, your sense of despair and hopelessness. Justice has, indeed, been denied for too long. Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way. Organize. Demonstrate. Sit-in. Stand-up. Vote. Be constructive, not destructive. History has proven time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.”

Those same words apply to the rioters in Portland, Oregon as to the fools in Toronto, Ontario who try to deface statues of people that others might honour.

We also need to understand that those rioters in the U.S. might be playing into the hands of Donald Trump. He wants his supporters to see him as a ‘law and order’ president to shore up his vote in November. The rioters in Oregon would be far more effective if they just organized and helped get out the anti-Trump vote to defeat him.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Ford follows mentor Trump.

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

From the low of being booed at the Raptors’ celebration in Toronto last year, Ontario premier Doug Ford feels it is time to hear some applause. After all the exposure he has gotten from the pandemic, he is ready to go on the road again. Like Donald Trump in the U.S., Dougie feeds on the approbation of his sycophants.

Since the province is not yet ready for large crowds of voters to gather and cheer the premier, he is cherry-picking the Covid-19 success stories around the province to keep the media interested. As long as the television reporters are there with their cameras, Dougie considers it a win. That is one thing that he has seen for himself with the daily news appearances at Queen’s Park to report on the pandemic and what might or might not be news. He revels in it.

Trump, conversely, has to have his numbers. It is his followers he needs to see at his rallies. When there were empty seats at his last rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his campaign organization had to develop a plan for once or twice per day Internet events for his followers. It is the numbers that are critical. That is why his organization requires a ticket for each virtual event attendee.

While Ford is reaping the rewards for listening to the medical experts, Trump is suffering the consequences of his brushing aside the experts in the U.S. Putting vice president Pence in charge of the of the federal committee dealing with the coronavirus was a serious mistake.

The only problem Ford has with his approach is the bad timing. Any lift his approval numbers gained this far ahead of the election could be history when Ontario next goes to the polls. Too often the leader in the polls when the election is called, is not the leader on election day.

But then nobody really thinks that Trump or Ford are really politicians. They really just need someone to pat them on the head and give them an ‘attaboy.’


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Trump’s ‘Far-Left’ Fascism.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Donald Trump is obviously testing ideas for the November election. One of his claims in the recent Mount Rushmore speech was to complain about the “new far-left fascism” that is intent on “wiping out” American history. While it is obvious that he has never studied political science, to erroneously mix left-wing politics with the right-wing extremism of fascism, he does paint an interesting picture.

Fascism, as launched in 1922 Italy by Benito Mussolini, is really more Mr. Trump’s style. I do not like to say it, but if he wants to rule by decree, hates liberalism, lies a lot and has no coherent program, other than helping his fellow millionaires, he just might lean that way!

But the problem is that ‘fascist’ is a slur you use against people in politics you dislike. It was used after the Second World War by communists to describe anyone who disagreed with their politics.

Before his July 3 speech, Trump was repeatedly using the term “far-left” to describe the democratic party. That was not resonating with his audiences. At best, you might describe the democrats as a middle-of-the-road party but far-left (socialism) would be a stretch.

The last time there were complaints about how far left the democrats had gone was in the New Deal years of Franklin Roosevelt. He is among the most revered of American presidents. He used to laugh at the claims that he was a socialist. He would explain that his wife Eleanor was the socialist in the family.

As for Trump’s complaint that today’s protesters are trying to wipe out American history, he has only himself to blame. From the Women’s March that took place the day after his inauguration, to today, America is seeing a growing unrest.

The country is seething. Protests against police brutality and lack of accountability are growing. The confusion and lack of leadership during the pandemic is targeting the incompetence of the man in the white house. Change is in the political air of America.


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The options for Mr. Trump.

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Donald Trump has the media guessing. As America heads towards its November election, president Trump is watching his options narrow. As he just plays more and more golf, you cannot assume that he is not doing some thinking. In fact, with the way he plays golf, he has lots of time for thinking.

It is unlikely he will do a Nixon. It is just not his style that he would want to be the second president after Richard Nixon to manipulate the succession and leave Washington in disgrace. This man has never admitted to a fault in his life.

Brazen defiance is more his style. ‘Lie, cheat and steal’ is his mantra.

After all, he never believed he would win the presidency four years ago. He was just as surprised as the rest of us. I think the better you knew the man, the less likely you thought he would win.

It is most likely that his basic problem with re-election today is the pandemic. He has yet to find a comfortable way to handle it. None of the rest of us know how to handle it but to Trump it represents a special challenge. He desperately wanted to ignore it. He knows he kicked that can down the road and now he cannot catch up with it. It is too late to look sympathetic. It is too late to take charge. He can no longer deny it.

But there is nothing like a good lie to solve Mr. Trump’s problem. He is probably scheming on how to accuse democrat candidate Joe Biden of launching covid-19 on America to help him win the presidency. That will be fun, listening to the remaining Trump supporters screaming ‘Lock him up’.

Trump’s most serious mistake is that he seems to be taking the early public opinion polls to heart. To take his loss of support as anything other than an early warning sign, is a waste of good time for scheming.

It is quite likely that the rumblings of civil war if Trump is not re-elected are something of an exaggeration. The likelihood can be measured in the average age of those overweight Trump supporters who think he can make America great again.

Maybe Trump just needs to keep thinking, out on his golf links.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Donald Trump is no Dick Nixon.

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

Before events where so rudely interrupted last week, we were thinking of letting the Toronto Star’s Tony Burman know that no matter how he tries, president Trump could never be as politically smart as former president Richard Nixon. Tricky Dick, as Nixon was known, could make a ‘Law and Order’ campaign platform work. With expert advice, with all the right cue cards and with desperation, Trump could never run as a tough guy.

While you have to agree with Burman that Trump appears out of options for this fall and that polls show where he is losing support, you would be most unwise to consider the bastard done with.

We know that Trump is no politician. He is not a person who cares about democracy. He is not a person who cares about the truth. He has a highly inflated opinion of his own importance and competence.

When Tricky Dick was finally forced to resign, it was a dark and dreary three-act play in the White House. In 2021, when Americans finally rescue that failed icon of democracy from Donald Trump, there will be nail marks across the carpets of the oval office—when Trump and his clacque, kicking and screaming, are dragged out to the curb for the next garbage collection. It will not be proud moment.

Americans need to worry more about the detritus Trump leaves behind. They need to worry about the believers across America who, in their ignorance and self-indulgence believed that Trump would restore the legendary greatness of the America that took place under Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. Trump was not even working with the right party. Unlike the republican’s fabled Dwight Eisenhower, Trump cannot even play an honest game of golf.

If Trump wants to emulate Richard Nixon this fall, he should be made aware that his hero not only lost the Vietnam War but he also lost the White House.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Pestilence rides the pale horse.

Friday, June 5th, 2020

The cull continues. The deaths mount. Do the continuing failures of those who govern America take precedence over the battle with covid-19? Does pestilence allow a time-out for protest? And what of the other three horsemen? Is famine reserved for other parts of our world? Is the war with the police but a minor skirmish of the war to come?

My Bible reading as a child never got as far as the Book of Revelation. I do not know if this is the Apocalypse?

Mr. Trump continues to fortify the white house. The choppers are on alert and make their presence known overhead. The army stays in readiness. They are making the white house the final battleground.

And in the meantime, pestilence rampages unstopped, across an uncoordinated, defiant America.

The only positive we have noted lately is the speech presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden gave the other day in Philadelphia.

It was a message of hope. It was a presidential speech. It was inclusive, not divisive. While he named Mr. Trump as the problem, he did not over do it. He asked “Is this who we are? Is this who we want to be?

We can only hope that a lot of Americans give those words the thought they deserve.

Biden has a difficult task ahead. He has to use the anger of America as a positive force. He has to get it focussed on the November election.

What America has now seen is that Donald trump is not an instrument of change. He actually imperils America’s future. His promises ill-considered and hollow.

He is a hypocrite and a sociopath, a misogynist and a liar. He endangers world peace. He blames others for his errors. He insults America’s friends and cozies to its enemies. Maybe it is Trump who rides the pale horse.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Trump’s Terror.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

We were spell-bound Monday evening watching the television coverage of events around the American white house. We had heard recordings of what he had said to many of the U.S. state governors earlier in the day and dreaded how it might play out through the evening. This was the belligerent and threatening Donald Trump that we were watching.

We were rapidly coming to the conclusion that the man is intent in launching another American civil war. Though, he brought no honour to it. He is no Abraham Lincoln. He had military and massed police forces at the ready around the white house.

The police practiced their cotillion moves to the surprise of the few spectators come to see the events of the evening. The big surprise was the Secret Service and their back-up of city and park police using flash-bangs and tear gas to clear the most peaceful protest of the week in Lafayette Square.

It was not until Trump and his Men in Suits sallied from the white house through Lafayette Park and across to the boarded-up St. John’s Episcopal Church, that had been cleared of protesters. The ‘Hypocrite-in-Chief’ wanted a photo op of himself, in front of the church, holding an old Bible, he must have found in the white house. He is always thinking of the looming election these days. He needs that picture to impress the religious conservatives across the U.S. They like to think their Mr. Trump is at that church on Sundays instead of usually playing golf at one of his East Coast resorts.

But it was the anti-Christ in him that lead him to demand that the governors come down hard on the protestors. He wanted them to deploy the National Guard to ‘dominate’ street demonstrators. He told them, he would send in the army to do the job, if they did not.

For Canadians, the most telling scene of the following day was the question to prime minister Justin Trudeau outside the cuckoo clock at Rideau cottage. The media wanted to hear his reaction to the American president’s actions. He made them wait. You could easily imagine the range of thoughts as the PM considered possible answers. His answer was to never say the name of the problem.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Trump will not go gentle into that good night.

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was talking about older people and death in that often-quoted poem. It is much to far ahead of the election to make a confident prediction but I can cheerfully suggest what might happen when Joe Biden beats Trump in November. When all avenues for dispute are closed, the man child best be carried down the White House driveway and thrown bodily into the street.

There was an excerpt from David Frum’s new book about Trump in the Toronto Star yesterday. I must admit, from the first words I read, I disagreed with the premise of the book. Frum claims that Trump is challenging the very tenets of democracy in America, “perhaps irrevocably.” I would suggest to you that Trump has never bothered with what passes for democracy in the United States. He ignores it.

It is like Mr. Trump’s understanding of truth. It does not seem to exist in his vocabulary. It is for others.

Frum seems to see the on-going corruption of American politics as a class war. It is unlikely that David Frum is a member of the one per cent, but he appears to identify with them. He does not accuse Trump of creating the conditions he exploited to gain power. Trump is a user. He is no politician. He is not even a nice person.

But I was watching the TV news from the United States on that November evening four years ago. You saw the Trump family and it was hard to tell who was the most surprised. Trump has never been a good enough actor to feign that surprise.

In the Frum excerpt, he explains the legal means at Trump’s disposal with which he could have carried out some of his objectives. The fact that nobody seemed to be telling Trump, or if they were, he was not listening, must have thwarted many of Trump’s plans.

A friend called while I was writing this and when I told him what I was writing, he offered to buy me a copy of the book. I was pleased with the offer but explained to him that I always waited for the remaindering of political books. I have never read one that cost me more than $7. That is a good average of what they are worth.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Mr. Trump’s Stupid Wars.

Friday, May 29th, 2020

It is hard to say what the Americans have done wrong to deserve this. They have the best equipped standing army in the world and they elect a guy like Donald Trump as commander-in-chief. It’s enough to make you cry. That jerk could not understand the strategy for a snowball fight against seven-year old girls. What he is doing loose in the free world is the wonder.

The scary problem is who told him to launch a trade war against the Chinese? It is a dumb idea. It is bad foreign relations. It is a war that neither side can win and neither side can afford to lose. The only thing worse would be to threaten the use of nuclear weapons.

You get the impression from this that if the Chinese leadership had a better sense of humour, all could easily be resolved. The problem is that through the 19th century and into the 20th, the Chinese knowledge of Europeans was taken mainly from the British. They saw the Brits as stuffy, humourless and dull. And the Brits accused them of being inscrutable, so they worked on it.

And just try to convince them of the benefits of democracy when the Americans elect an incompetent like Trump. Well, nobody says that democracy is perfect but Trump is certainly pushing the envelope.

The hardest part of this is that the Chinese cannot understand an aberration such as Trump.

But neither do we. Our major problem is that Trump is not a politician. If he was a politician, we would have some idea as to what he might do next. Nobody knows what a spoiled child will do next.

I think we should take the advice of the child psychologists. Distract him. Let him go to war against Twitter. Who cares? Maybe Facebook can get in a few good licks. Let him build a moat around the white house to try to keep out the democratic party interlopers. And you only wish that Trump would go stick beans up his nose.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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