Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, March 20, 2023



Let’s believe them.

If there’s one axiom everyone should know and understand in politics, it’s this…

Believe what they say.

Period. Full Stop.

Believe what they say.

We should believe Florida Governor Ron DeSantis when he says what is happening in Ukraine was not a full scale invasion by Russia, but rather, a simple “territorial dispute”. Forget the the video and pictures you’ve seen of Russian soldiers and missiles destroying lives and buildings hundreds of miles from the Ukraine/Russia border.

The millions of people in Ukraine who have been displaced, killed and left homeless by the year long Russian attacks are not dying as a result of a war foisted on them by an invading aggressor. Instead, according to the Florida governor and potential US presidential candidate DeSantis, all of that mayhem and destruction is simply a territorial dispute.    

We should believe him, pure and simple.

Anyone who cannot see that what he said was both inaccurate and wrong should never be anywhere near a command position of the US military. Either Governor Desantis is woefully uninformed, intentionally stupid or lying to win the votes of a small minority of the GOP base.

Either way, he has shown himself to be an unqualified and unserious candidate to be President of the United States.

But there’s more. As there always is.

Recently former President Trump stated…

“The State Department, the defense bureaucracy, the intelligence services, and all of the rest need to be completely overhauled and reconstituted to fire the Deep Staters and put America first.” 

And this…

“…the greatest threat to Western civilization today is not Russia… it is probably, more than anything else, ourselves and some of the horrible, USA-hating people that represent us.”

We need to believe the former president. He wants to decimate the the Defense, State and other US departments built to defend us in the face of foreign aggression. But not only that, there’s another kernel within his statement many have missed.

He wants to replace those people he deems insufficiently “America First” with his people. The best people as he boasted in his first presidential campaign. A cursory review of how this might work out is to look at the “best” people Trump hired in his first campaign and administration.

Six of those best people have been indicted on 51 counts of, among other charges, lying under oath, money laundering, tax fraud, witness tampering and working as a foreign agent.

The former president has shown himself to be more interested in personal loyalty than in hiring the “best” people. When he says we should reconstitute the entity of the US defense system, ultimately pull back from NATO and support Russian Dictatorial President Vladimir Putin, we should believe him.  

We should also believe him when he says the greatest threat to the US are people who essentially disagree with him. People like you, me and your parents. Fellow Americans. In the eyes of Donald Trump, according to his own statements, he believes his fellow American citizens, those with whom he disagrees, are a bigger threat to America than Vladimir Putin.

Like Governor DeSantis, Trump should also not be allowed anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. His unseriousness about our defense departments and his whole scale dismissal of the love millions of Americans have for this country rightly disqualify him.

In closing, I am not saying we cannot improve our defense and state departments. Everything from procurement to spending should be considered. As should our inclination to solve all the world’s problems with military force. Jesse Jackson in his 1988 presidential run advocated for reforming how much the US should fund security of Europe, and by extension, NATO. Former President Trump rightly worked to reset or open relations with North Korea.

The US is not, nor should it be on any unreversible path.

But the inability or unwillingness of both Governor DeSantis and former President Trump to seriously address these issues, as evidenced by their actual words, shows that both of them are unqualified to be President of the United States of America.

We should believe them. 


Les Carpenter said...

If a significant number if citizens believe the lying liars, well, isn't it then true we are, in reality, our owm worst enemy?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Les, yes.

Dave Miller said...

Hey Les!

Look, you need go further than FreeSoul to see what happens when someone wants to believe something. He thinks Silver and CI are squishes.

It's that attitude, devoid of any amount of self introspection that is attacking us and our country. All of our country. The country of conservatives, liberals, goof balls, geniuses and more.

I'm all for healthy skepticism. Heck, it's in our founding DNA. But a starting point that ascribes the worst to ppl different from you, without any foundation, it crazy.

I still maintain there are way more "I want to and can work with you" ppl, than the bomb throwers. But they talk the loudest and seem to control the room.

What can we do?

Les Carpenter said...

Hi Dave,

My response to your question what can we do is this, nothing. People are going to believe what they wish to believe. And the believing is founded on societal conditioning, dualistic thinking, and ego driven self interest. Societal conditions has many branches such as parental, scholastic, friends, workplace, etc.

I also think the number of flame throwers and bomb throwers are dwarfed by those who want to and can work with you types. The flame and bomb throwing minority of course are the most vocal. One thing i do agree with Silver on is there is fierce competition between republican and democratic flame and bomb throwers. The positions are different but the methodology is the same. And yes. i can lob bombs as well as the next when i am triggered by what i view as idiocy and delusion. Which is why i am trying, without great success, to wean myself away from the crazy internet and and the destructive social media platforms.

WE are a great melting pot. Which is one of our nations greatest strengths. Yet there are those who, regardless the actual reality, believe that a homogenous culture is superior to a diverse culture such as we have in the USA. Because that is the belief system the response is othering of those that do not look like, talk like, act like, or believe as the majority white population of Western European descent do.

Skepticism is fine. However, creating false or fake data to support ones skepticism is not. And on this front i truly believe the republicans (neo-fascists) are the most egregiously guilty of this.

Dave Miller said...

Les... avoidance of the struggles, is not necessarily a solution. Better, I think to internally seek a way better balance the idiocy and the normal, understanding few will be convinced in this era, much like the mid 19th century, to switch sides.

Les Carpenter said...

Yes Dave, seeking and eventually achieving internal balance is the goal for me. I've arrived at the recognition that few people are gong to change their minds and beliefs after a certain age. I've heard this age to be 49 years on average. Although i do not know who or what process arrived at that number. So, if the number is close to accurate, the future health of this nation depends on the folks younger than 49 years of age. Because the 50 and over crowd for the most part tend to resist change. However, the only constant in life is change.

Never into religion as a younger man, as an older man i have grown to realize spirituality, compassion, and wisdom practices provide that inner balance and peace that makes life fuller and more meaningful.

I fully support the term (and practice) coined by Thich Nhat Hahn that is known as Engaged Buddhism. Eastern spiritual philosophy and practices have much to offer the west. Only time will will tell if we have the wisdom in the west to incorporate the wisdom available to us frm the east.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Les and Dave M.,

Do you think America has gone beyond the ability to listen to each other ever again?

I admit I live in a bubble here in true blue Massachusetts. But I also live in a very diverse part of Boston/Cambridge. In my neighborhood there's old, young, middle age, black, brown, and white, Asian, Arab, Latinos, Eastern European, North African, Italian, etc. and we all do well and enjoy our neighborhood.

Heck, Boston's mayor is of Chinese heritage, Janet Wu, and our governor, Maura Healy, is a lesbian! Our attorney general, Andrea Campbell, is a woman of African heritage. All the major constitutional offices in Massachusetts are headed by women!

Les Carpenter said...

IMO Shaw the USA is not beyond the ability to listen to each other with the goal to understand and arrive at solutions. Of this depends on whether or not the folks of the USA in large share still have the ability to compromise for the benefit of the greater good. Many in America are, in fact, far to individualistic with priority on the i, me, and mine rather than the we. Really only time will tell and the future rests with the youth of America anyway.

I do not like cities, except to visit. But Boston, and your diverse and neighborly neighborhood is how the entire country ought to be. Unfortunately it is not. And there are factions in America that are adamantly opposed to the diversity on which Boston thrives.

America could use a good dose of Tibetan Buddhism mixed in with its Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Atheism, and the minor spiritual paths