Rich Wilhelm

Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Living in America?

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2017 at 8:55 pm

I dropped by the local McDonald’s today for a quick lunch. I should avoid fast food, but McDonald’s has a new menu item that I had to try. The Mac Jr. To understand why I need to try this burger, I have to go back a few decades, to the early 1980s.

During those years, I worked at McDonald’s. When I’d go on breaks, I’d often make what I called (at least to myself) a “Li’l Mac.” Basically this was a single burger Big Mac and, at the time, I found it to be delicious. Just the perfect burger, particularly if I wasn’t working long enough hours that day to qualify for a complete Big Mac during my break time.

Incidentally, during my Li’l Mac-making years, President Ronald Reagan was talking tough about Russia. Remember when Reagan joked that he had just signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever, and that bombing would begin in five minutes? That was cute, right?

While I sampled the Mac Jr. (not bad, but it’s no Li’l Mac),  the muted overhead television was showing CNN coverage of President Trump’s freshly signed travel ban executive order. You know the one, in which people from certain Muslim-dominated countries, are not going to be admitted into the United States. Of course, excluded from the travel ban is Saudi Arabia, the country from which most of the 9/11 hijackers emerged, but also a country with which Trump has done a fair amount of business. But I’m sure there is some other, alternative reason, having nothing to do with Trump’s business interests, that led to this exclusion.

As I watched the reports of uncertainty over which huddled masses are actually allowed to be in this country right now, James Brown’s 1985 hit song, “Living in America” was playing over the sound system. A song that was a huge hit back in Reagan’s America.

This is not some alternative fact that I cooked up to insert irony into this essay. It actually happened.

James Brown did not write “Living in America,” but one of the key lyrics (written by Charles Kaufman, Charlie Midnight and Dan Hartman) notes,

“You may not be looking for the promised land/But you might find it anyway/Under those old familiar names, like…”

Brown then shouts out the names of nine major American cities. Some of which may even be “sanctuary cities” today.

It’s probably worth noting at this point that “Living in America” was featured in Rocky IV, the movie in which Russian boxer Ivan Drago kills American boxer Apollo Creed in the ring. Rocky then steps in the ring to avenge Creed’s death. Cold war metaphors abound.

Speaking of which, Trump plans on speaking with Russian leader Vladimir Putin today. I’m sure that will go well, given that both Trump and Putin are upright, decent guys.

So what’s my point? I’m not even sure that I have one yet, other than thinking that, as much as I did not love Ronald Reagan or his policies–and I will not pretend I did–I don’t think Reagan would recognize the dark, cold, and pessimistic vision of the United States that Donald Trump endorsed this week each time he signed an executive order. This is in no way “morning in America,” and in the end, these actions will not “make America great again.”

Living in America? I’m not so sure that I  am right now.





There Is No Way in Hell I Will Ever Vote for Donald Trump

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2016 at 12:40 pm

There is no way in hell that I will ever vote for Donald Trump. For any office, anywhere, anytime. Voting for Donald Trump is a thing that I simply will not be doing in this, or any other lifetime.

If you are committed to vote for Trump, if you really believe that he will “make America great again,” well then, go for it. I am not writing this to stop you.

I am essentially writing this so it is part of my own permanent record. If people stumble onto this blog one year, 10 years, 50 years from now, I want them to see that I was not down with Trump. I want to be able to see it for myself.

[I would also like to note that if the Republicans had chosen any of the 129 other contenders to run against Hillary as their nominee, I probably wouldn’t have felt the need to write this essay. But Trump, well, he’s just special enough for me to want to go on record.]

If you look through my 2016 entries here on The Dichotomy of Dog, you’ll see that I was relatively prolific from January-June. I had committed myself to posting an entry at least once a week and I basically did that.

I kept up with the blog during that period because I was personally going through some things (both good and bad), and we were going through some things as a family (also both good and bad), and I wanted to capture my thoughts on those things, at least those thoughts that I was willing to share.

What you won’t find in any of those entries is a mention of Donald Trump specifically, or the presidential primaries in general. I wasn’t going for political pontification, but Trump and company were always in the background of my thoughts as I was working through the personal stuff.

However, I can no longer allow the blog to exist without making the aforementioned statement:

There is no way in hell I will ever vote for Donald Trump. For any office, anywhere, anytime.

The reasons why? Far too many to count. Mostly though, the man is simply unfit to hold the office and he has conducted himself in a way that has proved this, over and over again.

Now, I know: Hillary Clinton. I have mixed feelings, though if you are a Trump fan, I think it’s a safe bet to say that I like Clinton more than you do (also, it’s a safe bet that I like Yoko Ono more that you do, but that’s a separate essay). Clinton has clearly made mistakes, including some big ones. Yes, I have reservations. But Clinton has my vote. We have had flawed presidents before and we have survived. We will survive Hillary Clinton. In fact, I think we’ll be fine, but I will dial that feeling down to “will survive” for the sake of this entry.

We’d probably survive Trump as well–the U.S. is resilient like that, which is part of the greatness Trump believes is gone–but I believe we’d collectively be a nastier, more morally diminished society by the end of a Trump term.

Finally, I am not saying that Trump hasn’t tapped into a legitimate anger. He has, and that should be addressed by Clinton. This anger, or at least the part of it that isn’t based solely on racism, xenophobia and/or general looniness, should be a part of the national conversation, now and into the future. The Democrats talk about inclusion, and that inclusion should clearly include many of the economically disenfranchised people Trump is reaching. However, based on pretty much everything Donald Trump has said and done over the last year, and over the course of his lifetime, he is not the man to lead this conversation, since his only real focus is how to manipulate the fear and anger to achieve his own ultimately shallow aims.

So, once more, and this is the last time I will say it, because from now on I will simply refer anyone who wants to know my views to this essay:

There is no way in hell I will ever vote for Donald Trump. For any office, anywhere, anytime.





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