Saturday, May 20, 2017

Does President Donald Trump give “patriotism” a bad name these days?

I got my jolt for the day from the results of a new poll by the Morning Consult group with regards to what we think of President Donald Trump.
The blunt-spoken confusion of Archie Bunker, or ...

No real surprise here; most of us don’t think much of the Trumpster – only a 41 percent approval rating in this poll. By comparison, the Gallup Organization’s daily tracking poll Friday had Trump at 38 percent approval.

THE BAD NEWS for Trump goes further, as people were asked whether various terms applied to Trump’s presidential performance. Those included “arrogant” (77 percent), “reckless” and “not willing to admit mistakes” (both 60 percent), “strong leader” (43 percent), “knowledgeable” (41 percent), “has the judgement needed to be president” (34 percent), “trustworthy” and “steady” (both 32 percent).

But then, there was the term “patriotic.”

To which 53 percent of those people surveyed by this particular poll said “yes” (34 percent said “no” and the other 13 percent presumably are clueless and can’t make up their minds).

That just strikes me as a bit of a contradiction. Someone whose performance is so negatively thought of can also be thought of as “patriotic?”

NOW BEFORE ANYBODY starts sending me their rants, I realize that the ideological right has done a number with the concept of patriotism – spinning the idea of love of one’s country as being the same as supporting their social issue ideals.

Even though one could argue that many of the people with different ideals are trying to make this a better, more fair country – and in some ways one more closely tied to the ideals written into both the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

That is a statement I don’t doubt will offend many of those conservative ideologues; that their rants on social issues aren’t what this country is supposed to be all about.
... the 'Vulcan logic' of Mr. Spock?

That may well be what is being reflected by the idea of people thinking that Trump’s political trash talk makes him a “patriot.”

IF ANYTHING, PEOPLE have a questionable comprehension at times of the Constitution. Such as that esteemed political philosopher of 1970s television, Archie Bunker (played by actor Carroll O’Connor) who once in a discussion about gun control responded to wife Edith (actress Jean Stapleton) who thought the Second Amendment referred to not making graven images by saying, “That ain’t the Constitution, Edith. What you says is the Gettysburg Address.”

Before you denounce the point as being that of a fictional character from four decades ago, famed television producer Norman Lear who created “All in the Family” has said that Trump shows “utter contempt” for the Constitution.

All of which makes me question how we’re defining the concept of “patriotism” these days. Is it really nothing more than blind faith to someone no matter how absurd the utterances from their mouth in public become?

Consider that the same Morning Consult poll showed 58 percent of people think Trump’s decision to share classified intelligence information with Russian government officials was “inappropriate” and that 50 percent think Trump was wrong to try to sway former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

ARE THESE REALLY the actions of a patriot? Or do we really not fully comprehend the concept of supporting one’s’ nation?
TRUMP: 6 percent say he's patriotic & don't like him

Which to my mind has always meant holding the nation’s needs above that of any one individual – while Trump always comes off as thinking that HIS needs outweigh the masses.

Writing that last line reminded me of yet another cinematic moment; “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” As in dialogue from the 1982 Star Trek film “The Wrath of Khan.”

Perhaps Trump, and many in our society would be better off if we’d pay heed to the words of Mr. Spock, rather than Archie Bunker!


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