Thursday, September 24, 2015

On Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and the founding principles of the USA

Re-posted on a friend's FB page was the following.
I'm breaking my ban on Donald Trump reposts for a reason.

As the primary season proceeds, and the front runners emerge, it's becoming obvious that this is a turning point election for our country.

America has a very mixed history. We were founded on slavery and slaughter, but also on the rights of man and common sense. On usury and exploitation, and on equal opportunity and aspirations of universal brotherhood. On Cavalier privilege and Quaker humility.

This election is shaping up to be a true turning point: will we choose the path of barbarism, of slavery and privilege, of racism and sexism, of oligarchy and neo-royalism, or are we going to choose the path of contrition, rebirth, and equality for all?
It's really coming down to that.

There's a certain irony in the dichotomy of Trump the arrogant aryan vs. Bernie the humble son of holocaust survivors. The robber baron vs. revolutionary.

If you stand on the sidelines and watch, I've a dreadful feeling you may have only a very brief time in which to regret it. This isn't one of those spectator sport elections.

Imagine it's 1932. Imagine you're in Berlin. Imagine there's an election coming up. Imagine you already know what will happen if one side wins more than the other.
That's what's going on here.

You only get to do this once.

My first reply was this.

Dave: Trump is a loud, anti-intellectual appealing to those who do not or will not think deeply. Sanders is an avowed follower of Marx and Kant, the intellectual and spiritual forefathers of Hitler's Germany, a man who should know better but does not understand the lessons of history or the foundations of freedom. Neither one has any place anywhere near the leadership race for the President of the first (still only?) country in history founded on the principle of individual rights (not founded on slavery or slaughter).
Commenter 1: There is no resemblance between Fascism and Democratic Socialism. The former is state-run corporatocracy that marginalizes the individual and celebrates the ruling class, and the latter is a populace-run democracy with a contract between its individuals to provide a strong foundation for individual growth. When the basic needs of civilization are met for all individuals, those individuals can flourish.
Commenter 2: To the responder above, I've listened to supporters and many people feel that, precisely because they take pause at Trump's audacity, they have been " made to think." They rightly hear the middle of the road, carefully constructed murmuring as white noise and big fat lies. I understand this sentiment well before i comprehend people who in their heart, admit that Sanders is not only saying, but can back up his active record, with the humanitarian and egalitarian basics that American democracy is supposed to stand for yet dismiss him as some sort of irrational fluke. Some people are finally using their own EARS, and not accepting the narrative that keeps being said, but not done. Its up to us now to search our "souls" and use out MINDS to sort out what is refreshing and or jolting, and make educated decisions while we have the opportunity to entertain these "new" voices and act on them according to the good of WE the people, not simply ME and my bias/money/fear/advantage/security/party line.
Original poster: OK, now tell me how the USA was NOT founded on slavery and slaughter please.
Commenter 2: Apropos Marx and Kant: fallacious statements sir. Sanders is far from anti-semite, look him up, and Marx was anti-organized religion (and the dictates of their presumed leaders) in general. Nazis were not socialists, as the christian far right is not republican; they both use books, erroneously, to support their positions and bolster support, and overtake systems. Sanders has never claimed to be anything other than a Democrat candidate. There is a socialist party. He'd run as one if that were his bent.
Dave: My words had nothing to do with Jews, but were far broader. What I meant was that the express ideology of the Nazis was National Socialism. Their ideas were more than inspired by the philosophy of Kant, Hegel and others of their ilk. The separation of ideas from their basis in reality, the impotence of the human mind, the destruction of the concept of knowledge, sacrifice of individuals to the collective, the denial of self, the denigration of happiness, the elimination of individual thoughts, actions and goals, the requirement for a government of "enlightened" few who can see the truth and impose their visions on the populace, ideas that were systematized and elaborated by Kant. Marx was simply a completely confused economist who did not understand the industrial revolution and set out to reverse all its progress so society could return to its control and command form, but this time with the undefinable masses as lords of all creation.

The notion that political leaders like Hitler were misusing books (philosophical ideas) is incorrect. Explicitly or not, society operates on such ideas as they are essential for thought and action. The type of ideas that are dominant determine the direction of the society.

The American society is presently on a trajectory towards religious dictatorship. After the more overt form of collectivism, communism and other variants of socialism, failed in the 1990s, an ideological vacuum has formed and has been filled alternatively with religious or nihilistic foundations. Bush was the former, Obama the latter. Obama and his ilk cause the destruction of principles, thus causing the population to progressively clamour for order and a return of principles. The religious right and left are responding as the self-declared owners of principles. What is all too missing in action, having been forgotten and having only a small voice today, are the founding principles of the USA, principles which had it right in political and economic turf, but were not properly recognized and certainly not defended on moral foundations. The hope for the country (and the world) rests on a rediscovery of those principles, this time expressed with a proper moral foundation so they can be seen as not only the most practical and functional for the advancement of human life in all its aspects, but also as right and proper for human life.

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