Comment of the Day: “From The Signature Significance Files: Trump And The Teleprompter. Seriously, How Can You Even Consider Voting For A Guy Like This?”


I am behind in my Comment of the Day postings by two or three, and was trying to decide which to post first. After the previous post, the answer became obvious.

Fattymoon is a teacher, an idealist, an activist and an intellectual as well as an honest, sincere and occasionally bitter and disillusioned man. We met here on the blog back when I was criticizing a movement he strongly supported, Occupy Wall Street. Like a few other regular visitors to Ethics Alarms—not nearly enough—who have remained civil, provocative and predictably adversarial at the same time, he has been a font of thoughtful lateral thinking  with a heavy dose of whimsy.

I was startled that his response to one of my posts about the ethics black hole that is Donald Trump sparked this reaction from Fatty:

Me, I’m watching this farce unfold from the sidelines and I’m laughing my ass off.

To which I replied,

How, exactly, are you on the sidelines? Doesn’t it bother you, accepting for the hell of it that such a thing is possible, that an entire generation is on the way up and the nation and world isn’t on the sidelines?

Here is Fattymoon’s response, and the Comment of the Day, to the post, From The Signature Significance Files: Trump And The Teleprompter. Seriously, How Can You Even Consider Voting For A Guy Like This:

No, it doesn’t bother me one iota, Jack. I lost all faith in presidential politics, and politics in general, when Obama failed to live up to his promises/my expectations. I consider him a traitor of the first magnitude. I would rather have seen him stand up to Wall Street and other Bush atrocities and pay for it with his life than what actually went down during his presidency. At least he would have died an honorable man.

You pissed me off when you denigrated the Occupy movement, of which I was a part.

You piss me off when you denigrate Bernie Sanders.

I applaud you for tackling the Trump train, but your efforts are ineffective.

If you recall, I supported Trump until he advocated torture. I loved the way he threw monkey wrenches into the system. I love reading his hourly tweets. And I know the man for what he is. A shaman of the highest order. Is he a dark shaman? I don’t know.

Truth is, you, and the populace in general, deserve whatever you get. Why? Because for too many years you’ve voted in lying liars. (I don’t include myself since I only voted twice for president, McGovern and Obama.) To this very day I call for armed revolution and don’t give a fuck who knows it. Maybe Homeland Security will make me a return visit at one in the morning. But, this time, I ain’t inviting them in. Ain’t got no guns. No drugs. I’m perfectly legal. They’re gonna have to break the door down.

Just writing all this pisses me the hell off.

You and others wanta stop the Trump train? Then do it. Whatever it takes. Do it. Play dirty if you have to. (Yeah, I know, ETHICS stands in the way.)

Me, I just don’t care. The very stupid populace brought this shitstorm upon themselves. And, just maybe, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

Ya know, I had a near death experience in 2011. Let me quote what I was told…

“The news had begun, so I knew it was some time after 4 p.m.. As I listened to NPR’s “All Things Considered” I realized
that, as I lay dying, the world was exploding. I caught the distressed undertone in the reporters’ voices, a catch in the throat, as it were, as they reported on the flash points in the Middle East, the flooding along the Mississippi, the demonstrations, the misuse of power, the senseless killing. The dream I’d had the night before — I was repeatedly putting
out fires in the kitchen — was an indicator of world events as well as thestate of my own psyche.
There was a voice. It said I was being given a gift. I could leave now and avoid all the insanely bad shit queued up in Earth’s timeline. I liked the idea. Just go and be done with it. Like rolling off a log… that peaceful,
easy feeling…”

(I decided that, no, I didn’t want to die just then because my wife would come home and discover me dead on the couch and that would freak her out and there was still stuff I wanted to do, so I argued and cajoled until I was blue in the face.)

“At some point there was an imperceptible shift, accompanied by a final message which went something like this — Oy! Alright then. I’m tired of your whining. You don’t wanna go, so stay here already. Meshugana! My body slowly inflated. My pants leg ballooned to human form. I was back.”


So now the shitstorm. Can it be stopped? I don’t know. But I know one thing. It will take something big, something unexpected, to stop it. And, honestly, I just don’t see it in the cards.


20 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “From The Signature Significance Files: Trump And The Teleprompter. Seriously, How Can You Even Consider Voting For A Guy Like This?”

  1. I think I would classify this as a rant. Sure, Trump is probably Darth Vader in disguise and Hillary is the Wicked Witch of the West and Sanders will probably turn out to be one of her flying monkeys. My impression is that a near death experience is supposed to make you more compassionate to all beings, including ones that you dislike intensely. Time to stop crying about your favorite toy that was taken away away from you Fatty.

  2. FM: You might want to seriously consider availing yourself of the services of a good psychiatrist or psychologist.

    • And I’m not trying to make some snarky comment about your politics. “Suicidal thoughts” are not a good symptom.

  3. a near death experience is supposed to make you more compassionate to all beings

    seriously consider availing yourself of the services of a good psychiatrist

    A deep and lengthy personal and professional experience with near-death experiences, mostly those that were medically reversed, tells me that nothing in particular is “supposed” to happen. The relief makes life more interesting and worthwhile to a lot of people: they speak about it, rave about it. The ones who return to a life of pain, debt, or dependency, the world uncaring and unchanged don’t say so. To many, life is now more threatening to you and yours. Sometimes the “recovery” requires the tying up of loose ends, like clearing out the basement or making a will or getting in touch or finishing/trashing that novel or having a profound spiritual awakening that requires the five great vows of a Jain priest. Mostly, the only permanent change it makes is for people to pull further into their personal circle and more deeply into the philosophies that mattered to them all along. Some who were concerned with the world (not just themselves) in the first place, and thoroughly unhappy with it, come out — or come back — fighting mad.
    Like fattymoon.
    So now the shitstorm. Can it be stopped? I don’t know. But I know one thing. It will take something big, something unexpected, to stop it. And, honestly, I just don’t see it in the cards.
    We’re playing with the same deck, just slightly different hands (for one thing, I gave up on public demonstrations about three decades ago).
    Seeing forthright truths, logic from rational premises, analyses, wit and (sometimes) utilitarian conclusions, like fattymoon’s, in print these days is a rare and beautiful thing. So is allowing argument, betting on the other side. That’s why I keep kibbitzing in Jack’s game. You never know who’s coming to sit in.

  4. Thanks, Jack.

    My comments above ARE a rant. But, Wayne, my NDE was not typical to what you may be used to since I never entered the light, I didn’t spend time sitting in Jesus’s lap, I didn’t meet my mom and dad, and I certainly wasn’t infused with love. I characterize this NDE incident as me wrestling with an angel, and I won. Or, did I lose?

    And that’s why I sit on the sideline, guffawing. The angel was right. The shitstorm is gathering strength. Expect the unexpected. I hold a ringside seat. It was of my choosing. Whatever happens… bring it on.

  5. I really enjoyed your comment, fattymoon. It resonates with many of my own feelings, although I’ve never had a NDE. (Sometimes I wonder if we’re ALL having a NDE, given the shitstorm that’s already here.)

    I can’t recall, though, your support of Trump and I am incredulous. I would be grateful for a reminder of your reasoning on that, as it seems to be the “one of these things is not like the others” element.

    • Patrice, I was delighted to witness Trump’s campaign last year and earlier this year for one simple reason – he upset the apple cart. I’m married to Stella Mayorga, who is hispanic. nevertheless, Trump’s call for a wall to stop illegal immigration, his call to deport millions of illegal immigrants, his mocking tone, his verbal attacks against, well, seemingly, most everybody… had me in stitches. But things went way south when he called for our nation, our people, to embrace torture. That I cannot abide. So now I’m anti-everyboy (though I like Bernie) because I finally realize that nothing will ever change. Unless it does… see my reply above with the link to Jordan Duchnycz’s Spirit Science.

  6. “To this very day I call for armed revolution and don’t give a fuck who knows it. Maybe Homeland Security will make me a return visit at one in the morning. But, this time, I ain’t inviting them in. Ain’t got no guns”

    This statement, right here? This is the symptom of so damn many of the problems facing our country right now. I’m not saying that to attack FM as an individual, here, but rather as representative of a mentality that provokes the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair. So please, when reading this post, understand that all directed comments towards a “you” are directed towards anyone sharing that mentality, not at a specific individual.

    You call for armed revolution, but you don’t have arms with which to join one.

    You call for changes to who is elected to office, but you then say “but I only voted twice” with the clear implication that you’re not to blame for how things are.

    You say you are on the sidelines.

    What your words showcase is that you lack the conviction to act, or even be prepared to act, on your beliefs. And you brandish that truth like it is a flag that you should be planting on a hill, or some undiscovered country. Like you are proud of it. When Yeats wrote that “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of a passionate intensity” it was a LAMENT, people, not a compliment. Having no will to act on your convictions and beliefs is not a virtue.

    James McHenry, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 on the behalf of Maryland, wrote of an exchange he claimed to have witnessed after the close of the convention. “A lady asked Dr. Franklin what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it.”

    There are reasons for the if, in Franklin’s reply. And one of those reasons is the mentality that says “There should be armed revolt by someone. Not by me. I don’t have the means. But by someone”, and “I hate the people who get elected. Mind you, I don’t vote, so it’s not my fault bad people get elected.”

    What is it that is lacking in these mentalities?
    Conviction, which in these cases, means more than being willing to say you have a belief… it means being willing to SHOW others how sincerely you believe what you say.

    You’re not willing to take up the responsibility for the things you believe. That’s why you call for an armed revolution without actually being prepared to engage in one. It is why you call for for better elected officials when you aren’t willing to participate in the process of choosing them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can understand not wanting to take up those responsibilities. They’re huge, heavy burdens. That’s why we call them civic obligations and duties, not rights. And when you pick up a huge burden like those, you run the risk of it failing, as Obama failed the people who voted for him.

    But you did try. Don’t stop because your attempt wasn’t a success. Not everything does succeed the first time around. Ever tried lighting a fire with flint and steel? It doesn’t usually work the first time you strike them together. It may never work, because of any number of things that might be outside of your control. But one thing is certain… If you stop trying after that first strike, it CANNOT work.

    The future is not a spectator sport. There are no sidelines for anyone to stand on, as long as you’ve got skin in the game. But you can chose between hanging out in left field picking dandelions, or paying attention to what’s happening with the other players and taking part.

    Don’t expect anyone to take your complaints about their performance seriously, if you choose to pick the dandelions.

  7. I find FattyMoon’s ideas, experience and perspective interesting for a number of different reasons. One is that it shows a particularly revealing realtionship to spiritual and metaphysical questions. Makes me think of Harold Bloom’s investigation of American post-Christian religiosity. America as Gnostic Nation. It provides an interesting glimpse into how a person actually locates themselves in this theater of a world, and then in relation to both politics and existence.

    He doesn’t need the services of a ‘good psychiatrist or psychologist’ but if anything the influence and stimulation of (another) psychological shaman. The psychiatrist may be, ultimately and existentially, lost as well. I am convinced that both Yahwey and Jesus are not psychopompish enough (as they are defined). It requires a darker Hermes. I accept the idea that psychic experiences are an ‘invitation’ if not a command to engage with such levels of meaning. In this sense his experiences are authentic and are in themselves therapeutic.

    The idea that it is the low-life populists that have produced Trump is an interesting idea. Reminds me of Gustav le Bon, or Lothrop Stoddard: there is a whole school of intellectuals who have little more than contempt for the lower levels and no faith in their capacities to live intelleigently or make intelligent choices. It is a grounded but profound pessimism. ‘Democracy’ and ‘the demos’ are not friends but enemies, and they are to be harnassed channeled, never let loose.

    Along these lines I have in front of me a terrifying volume I found in our Library of Dangerous Volumes: ‘Degeneration’ by Max Nordau (1895) Chapters include: ‘The dusk of nations’, ‘the symptoms’, ‘diagnosis’, ‘the psychology of mysticism’, ‘tolstoism’, ‘the Richard Wagner cult’, ‘the psychology of ego-mania’, and finally ‘therapeutics’.

    It seems to me a valid exercise to attempt to define: What went wrong? If there is degeneration in the body-politic it stands to reason that it can be traced back to its roots. Richard Weaver traces it back to Occam and nominalism. ( It stands to reason that the area I have to work in is within my own psyche. Well, that is my view anyway.

    Eventually this world and all worlds disappear into Heraclitian destruction. A hero holds to one of the constants, one of the Eternal Truths, even though everything is melting away. That is a heroic and at least somewhat optimistic perspective.

    • Alizia, some of what you said goes over my head but in my heart I think you’re onto something. I’ve read a fair bit of Carl Jung’s work. I wonder what he would say about Donald Trump… maybe something about him being our collective shadow?

      • Myself, I find Jung problematic when it comes to politics and such. His subjectivism is extreme. Yet I agree with you that there is an attraction to see Trump as a manifestation of a repressed aspect of the American Self.

        That is pretty much how the New York intellectual elite regards him, and thus they show what I think is their contempt, in essence, for America itself. Or their fear of America.

        I think it safe to say that such a manifestation of populism (or acute populism since, as far as I can tell the presidential race is and has been populist for ages) will not end well. It can’t, almost by definition. At this point democratic impulses give power to a tyrant. That is the historical lesson, isn’t it?

        But it is possible that there is some political space that will be opened by Trump. It has already happened. He has opened up various doors on the right and to the right of conventional conservatism. The problematic aspect of this though is that the right, in America, and conservatism in America, is mostly a white concern. This points to increasing polarity. But I’d suggest that a whole aspect of the ‘shadow’ is to be found there: repressed impulse.

        The Republican party, as we have known it, seems to be crumbling right in front of our eyes. And then this complete Wild Card appears. (Or the two events coincide). Conservatism, I have been discovering, is in deep ideological trouble. What does it even mean?

        I cannot see how these eruptions could bode well for the republic, and everything points to the simple fact that the republic is in trouble. But the manifestation of the ‘shadow’, or the eruption of it, and I mean in a person’s life not in a nation’s, is always difficult. There is always the danger of psychosis. But if one makes it through without the self falling to bits, one emerges stronger. On a national level? Who can really say even what is happening? No one knows.

        What is a realistic prejection of what will happen? It does seem more likely that, even at the last moment, the Trump-impetous will fail. It would be like electing The Joker. Fear and caution will prevail (?) I wonder if it makes sense to predict that H. Clinton will win. A safe choice but then the festering will continue.

        It is hard for me to imagine Trump as Pres. But it is not impossible, if one believed in Providence at any level, that it might not ‘turn out well’, somehow.

        The thing about the shadow, in Jungian terms, is that it has to be integrated with the conscious personality. The shadow is of course the satanic and demoniac aspect but according to Jung it is also the source of power and knowledge.

        • You said, “The thing about the shadow, in Jungian terms, is that it has to be integrated with the conscious personality. The shadow is of course the satanic and demoniac aspect but according to Jung it is also the source of power and knowledge.”

          From What is the Shadow by Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D

          ‘‘The shadow,’’ wrote Jung (1963), is ‘‘that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden personality whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our animal ancestors and so comprise the whole historical aspect of the unconscious’’ (cited in Diamond, p. 96). The shadow is a primordial part of our human inheritance, which, try as we might, can never be eluded. The pervasive Freudian defense mechanism known as projection is how most people deny their shadow, unconsciously casting it onto others so as to avoid confronting it in oneself. Such projection of the shadow is engaged in not only by individuals but groups, cults, religions, and entire countries, and commonly occurs during wars and other contentious conflicts in which the outsider, enemy or adversary is made a scapegoat, dehumanized, and demonized. Two World Wars and the current escalation of violence testify to the terrible truth of this collective phenomenon. Since the turn of the twenty-first century we are witnessing a menacing resurgence of epidemic demonization or collective psychosis in the seemingly inevitable violent global collision between radical Islam and Judeo-Christian or secular western culture, each side projecting its collective shadow and perceiving the other as evil incarnate.

          We’re in a world of trouble, aren’t we, Alizia?

  8. The sentiment expressed in that post agrees with how at least 40% of the voting population feels right now in America. General disappointment in the system as it stands right now.

    They all have their different ways of dealing with it, some go FM’s way and just give up, some vote for trump (Remember, the fact that he isn’t a politician is seen as a good thing to his supporters, because they’re all so frustrated with the lack of progress they have seen from politicians), possibly hoping he’ll actually light a fire under the system and get things moving again, possibly just hoping he’ll just light it all on fire indiscriminately and watch it all burn.

    Some of us vote for Bernie for the same reason. He’s a politician but if you listen to his speeches he comes off as the most compassionate and caring one. After eight years of Obama we (speaking as/for the progressives) really do want the change we were promised, Bernie looks like a way forward from there.

    And some of us, for reasons I do not understand(Well, duh I wouldn’t, I support Sanders), stand with Hillary still. This is why I say 40% and not 100%, because clearly, if people are willing to vote for her (enough that she is looking to close up the nomination after the seventh), there is still a large bloc that isn’t completely disgusted with the current system and wants it to continue. Maybe they believe she can change things from the inside, I don’t know.

    FM is obviously more radical, wanting everything to burn down is too extreme for me, but at the same time, I understand how you could get to that point, where you feel like the only option is to smash the system into little charred bits and rebuild it.

    I’m young, haven’t gotten burned enough to give up yet. But as we end up with more Hillary’s, I will probably get there.

    I know you’ve written on a lot of this before, and one thing you have been quick to point out is part of the problem lies with us, the public, and you are right, we let this happen. Some people recognize it, some people don’t, but everyone wants the bad times to be over, and no one knows which way to choose.

    • I haven’t given up, Anonymous. Just sitting out this round. Biding my time.

      (If I’ve contradicted myself in this or previous posts concerning Donald Trump, well, like the rest of you, I’m a walking contradiction. Makes life interesting, yes?)

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