In the Eye of the Beholder
Ted Folkert – October 15, 2020
Donald Trump is a case study in the subject of wealth creation at all costs – without remorse, without compassion for others, without restraint, without any thought of the common good. It would be interesting to have him define the term “the common good.” He would stumble over that one for hours without a definition. Actually, he would probably consider “the common good” an unnecessary subject or condition, believing that all that matters are the rich and powerful and that those not included in that definition are merely only necessary in assisting the wealthy in wealth creation.
Donald Trump’s idyllic board of directors to join him in leading the world probably include Vladimir Putin, Mohammed bin Salmon, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, and other actual or would-be dictators, people he has expressed admiration for and tries to snuggle up with, with that look of sincerity and hardy handshake. Others who we know he admires include Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, Kelly Anne Conway, Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, Rudy Giuliani, Roy Cohn and others. These probably wouldn’t make the board of directors. They are just sycophants, useful hangers-on, some seeking fame and fortune by exciting the right-wingers with the vitriol they need to spread hate and disinformation to the public – and some for inexplicable reasons such as selling newspapers or enticing TV audiences. As H.L. Mencken once said, “If they say it isn’t about money, it’s about money.” I guess we could say: “If they say isn’t about power, fame, and fortune, it’s about power, fame, and fortune.”
Trump actually admires and channels dictators who have the populace groveling at their feet and shrinking in fear of evoking displeasure. These are the types of world leaders we thought we had helped to reduce in the world as the US became a world power. But never doubt that they are still alive and well and do not seem to be fading into the past. Of course, this is the way Donald’s lecherous father raised him, the way he taught him to use his ill begotten wealth to control everyone in his path and continue to pile up riches to the amazement of the entire world. These lessons had to be reinforced time and again as Donald failed at most every endeavor which he pursued, all with the renewed financial backing of his father, backing which continued to be forthcoming regardless of his failures and which culminated upon his father’s death with an inheritance reported to be about 500 million dollars.
Everyone certainly wants a comfortable way of life and opportunities for their families, but what drives the race for riches? The drive for wealth and more wealth has to be about power and personal image – fame rather than fortune. The reason for such an analogy being that wealth only buys things and how many things can one person buy and enjoy. The more things you buy which you don’t have use for only creates unnecessary management of such assets. So what is the point? How does that make life more enjoyable? If you have all of the pleasures and necessities of life, what more can make life more satisfying, more enjoyable? Some believe it is merely keeping score – that it is all a game and when the game ends the one with the most toys wins.
Most of those of us considered the working-class are basically career-minded, seekers of a reasonable standard of living – people who have no inclination of fame and fortune. Careers are not all valued by money. They are often valued based upon the way that we perceive them.
This is a reminder of that famous story about the circus worker who was shoveling manure and someone asked him why he didn’t get a real job. His response was: “What, and leave show business?”
Maybe those who consider themselves worthy purveyors of political correctness have no remorse about the ultimate results of their actions. Maybe they find solace in their mistaken but useful belief that they are saving those of us who struggle in the trenches of toil from the trenches of poverty.
Show business must be alluring at all levels and fame must be perceived in the eyes of the beholder. Who decided that occupations should be rated by the level of monetary compensation? Is the job of the guy shoveling manure less important than that of the executive? It depends upon your time and place. If you are walking around the circus grounds, do you need an executive? Do you need someone shoveling manure? Who is going to contribute more comfort and importance in the moment – someone providing relief from smelling manure or stepping in it, or someone signing his paycheck? This is a case where the executive needs the guy shoveling manure more the guy shoveling manure needs him. So, who gets to decide which one is more important? Well, it depends on your time and place, and, of course, odor and messy stuff. Basically it depends upon perception, the eye of the beholder.
And some of us think that the rich and powerful who think like Trump are the ones shoveling manure. How much pride and fame and fortune can one wring from outsmarting, outmaneuvering, and separating those less fortunate from their money – those who don’t understand the true values which life offers, values which do not include dishonesty, debauchery, and trickery – values which include doing something which makes them proud to be a useful part of society, someone who cherishes the wholesome life which includes that famous cliché which we call the “Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” the cliché which the Trumps of the world really means “Do unto others before others do unto you.”
Vote for Joe Biden. Four more years of Trump, especially without a second term as a goal, could be devastating for the working-class in this country. This, as some have said, is the most important election of our lives now.
We must have a new president to lead us to a government of sanity and world leadership again.