With great resistance, mariner must turn his attention to Donald. It has become a spiritual duty. The mariner prides himself on not following policy backed by ulterior motive, hearsay rumors, unjustified gossip, fake news, inadequately thought out if not childish tweets, Facebook abuses and a campaign of empty commentary based on vapors of nothingness backed only by petty, childish name calling. In cultural reality, this makes the mariner old fashioned and increasingly irrelevant to the essence of American culture in 2017.
Mariner vets his information first by reliable sources, then by cultural valuation, then by his own twisted rationale. Mariner has the assistance of his three reliable cohorts, Chicken Little, a compulsive alter ego, Amos, a skeptic of the first order, and Guru, incapable of evaluating an opinion without tracing it out to its ultimate end – usually the end of the Earth or beyond.
All three requested a meeting yesterday to complain about Donald. Chicken Little said, “I’m afraid of him.” Amos said, “Don’t these idiots in government understand he’s a sham? Why won’t they just trash him?” Guru said, “If you value what’s left of decent human values in government and an economy that can launch any positive future, his narcissism, his identity with wealth and his fetish with gold are inadequate to make the transition.”
Well, what can the mariner say? He agreed to make Donald the subject of a post even though he believes it will be tantamount to urinating into a 100 mph gale.
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After listening to and reading all feasible news sources, reading a few relevant books, and applying his unique cultural valuation, the mariner arrived at this overarching view: Donald is a symptom, not a cause. The Christian caveat about casting the moat from one’s own eye before judging other people applies absolutely to the American citizen’s philosophy of government. “Americanism,” the spirit our founding fathers sought to underwrite freedom, democracy, liberty and prevent oppression, tyranny and populism, the mariner fears, has run its course. A civil war, four significant failures of the nation’s economy, internationalism of economy and a planet that has never balanced its global population with reality in any manner, has eroded the spirit (meaning the spirit of the individual) to the point that the US has retreated to the classic mores of the Roman Empire: leaders of any ilk make their own rules, have their own rights and privileges, are not responsible for the wellbeing of citizens except to stratify liberties to given classes; the common good is an extraction of “What’s good for me?”
This has become a nation (and an international community) that folks like Donald can thrive in. He is in his element. Ethics, morality, practicality and the job of caring and sharing left a few decades ago. Righteousness is found in “the deal.” Donald has only two platforms to sustain morality: Whatever happens, it must have an element to it that benefits him personally; second, he must glean an image of egotistical success and supremacy – even if it is only in his own mind. This second principle is a weakness that smart leaders will take advantage of in areas that truly affect morality and fairness but are of no interest to Donald. As the mariner said, among us, he is among his kind.
Debris lies all around.
Just recently, it was mentioned that the nation who fostered modern democracy ranks 27th out of 35 functioning democratic nations; out of every 100 voters, 43 don’t and 16 are denied the privilege.
The nation’s economy is at its peak and expanding as an oligarchy; out of every 100 voters, one shares in 90% of the nation’s wealth. Turned around, 99 voters share .001% of the nation’s wealth.
The cultural engine, business, aggressively moves away from any cultural responsibility; taxes are avoided to the point of hiding massive profits like pirates in places outside the world of visible commerce and salaries are at their lowest as a percentage of GNP for as long as such records have been kept.
The ethos of religiosity and the divine worth of a soul are but a skeleton, a memory of their worthiness. The driving factors of organized religion are rife with the distractions of ritual and selfishness. The individual soul is not worth saving at the expense of self-gratification or sacrifice. For every deal made by Donald, religion makes a hundred deals to avoid the responsibilities of compassion, sharing, and weaving the fabric of empathy.
So our culture has come to this in 2017. Acknowledging that a thread, a residue of graciousness still exists, our body of faith, of compassion, of industriousness, of sharing, of tempered discipline, lay on the planet’s trashed floor looking like a carcass picked over by our vulturous selves.
There is little left in man’s coffers. The mariner speaks occasionally of ‘world bounces.’ What is left to bounce to? The bread of life needs a starter but searches an empty refrigerator.
Welcome, Donald. Make us a deal.
I’m with Chicken Little.