Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Explaining the Inexplicable

Donkeys in a pasture
Image courtesy of Franky242 and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When it comes to politics, nationalism, and economics, everyone, it seems, (including me) is seeking to explain “the Donald Trump…”, the “Bernie Sanders…”, “The Brexit … ” phenomena. And, when it comes to enigmas, I am the first to admit I am no Winston Churchill or Alan Turing – and not to offend Polish readers, I’m also not a Marian Rejewski, a Jerzy Rozycki, or Henry Zygalski…the cryptologists who initially cracked the  “uncrackable”  Enigma, the Nazi Code Machine.

If you will please bear with me for a few paragraphs or so, I am going to digress here, to tell you an ancient Armenian saga. And when I finish, I am quite certain, you will not need the political pundits or the cryptologists to explain the poppycock Donald Trump or the ground-roots popularity of Bernie. (Now that is what we call political bias, Mr. Mooradian).

Eons ago, while sharing his wine and lavash and cheese with me under the mulberry tree, the centenarian Armen Dye, whose role as groundskeeper and gardener and in-house philosopher at the famous Pioneers Palace in Yerevan, told me the following story. It went something like this:

…Once upon a time there was this not-to-wise farmer. His name was Ashot. Ashot had a donkey (ehshe) which he used to plow his field and carry his produce to market. Ashot usually fed and treated his loyal donkey well, and the donkey repaid his master, laboring without stubbornness or complaints, and you know how stubborn a mule can be.

However, one evening Ashot was distracted and forgot to feed the animal. The following day as he worked the field, the donkey, decided to stage a sit-down strike. The animal folded his legs, and slipped to the soil. Ashot immediately realized the injustice – he had not fed his loyal laborer and the ehshe (ass) had no other recourse but to halt production. The farmer promised, after pleading, even begging, that once they got back to the barn he “would take care of him”.

But once in the barn, Arshot became belligerent – “How dare this ass make demands of me – I am the boss here. He must obey me.” So he didn’t feed him that evening. Or the next. Or the next. And the farmer realized that by not feeding the jackass he was also saving a lot of money.

Several days passed, then one evening Ashot heard a loud terrible sound come from the barn. He rushed out and a cold shill enveloped him. He glanced down at the animal. It had died. In tears, Ashot moaned, “If only you had worked one more day, I would have fed you.”

Labor is sick and tired of waiting…

The jobless remain jobless, and have given up hope of finding a job….

If you’re “fortunate” enough to be employed these days, and dare to ask for a raise…forget it. Your boss will tell you “This isn’t the time for raises.” And then you learn that the corporation is planning to move its operation overseas.

Political candidates seek power “to make changes and get rid of the elitists,” they assure us that they want office to care “for the poor and downtrodden.” But, once in office do they not become the “rich man’s friend?”

Once in office, politicians enact anti-labor laws such as NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement – then add salt to labor’s wounds by joining TPP – The Trans-Pacific Partnership – so why do we wonder or why are we stunned when England’s voters decide to turn up their noses at the Europe and vote to exit the EU!

As Tony Blair, the ex-Prime Minister of England noted on “Morning Joe” the other day… “The elite today are so disconnected (with the labor class). We’re living in a bubble. And this isn’t only happening here in England. It’s happening everywhere….in France, in Italy, in Germany…in Romania…everywhere…”

And, dear Mr. Blair…it has been that way now in these United States for decades. How else can you explain the popularity of a Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump?

In time, the “elite” evaporate; the people, however, have been here since the beginning of time.

One doesn’t need the services of a cryptologist to understand this: Workers today are sick and tired of waiting for the crumbs to fall from the rich man’s table. And they have worked to put the rich man there; now, they want a seat at the table. Fear not those who rush for the crumbs that fall from the table. Fear those, who stand back and watch…

Yes, that last paragraph, I updated from what the brilliant Oscar Wilde wrote in the late 19th Century. The chair of the middle class has been snatched from beneath us and the nation is plummeting into a black hole by the senseless and irrational behavior of a divided Congress.

In the tinderbox of the world, it would be wise to remember the words of an undelivered speech of one of the greatest presidents of our country, Franklin D. Roosevelt, written shortly before his death: “Today we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace…”

Do you think it’s possible?

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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In the beginning…

US Capitol Building
Photo courtesy of
Stephen Melkisethian and Flickr under the Creative Commons License

Month by month, state by state, seventeen of the United States’ most brilliant political and business icons provided the American electorate a brief history of themselves to convince the voters that they had the solutions to this nation’s ills and were best qualified to lead this country for the next four years.

Only time will tell.

To quote the veritable statesman Adlai E. Stevenson, “In America, anyone can become president. That’s one of the risks you take.” (Stevenson was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president in 1952 and 1956.)

This primary season’s elite cadre of 17 Republicans included candidates who have served our country as governors and US senators; one who is the brother of and the son of two former presidents and another who was also a religious leader. There was an ex-CEO of a major corporation and a billionaire who has distinguished himself as a builder of hotels and casinos, as well as the host of a popular TV show. In addition, this historic group included a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon.

For almost a year now, the nation has heard and read of these and tolerated the Republican candidates: Their names are familiar to most of us: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasick, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.

Most of us looked forward to the Republican debates, expecting to find substance and gather information about the candidates’ credentials that would lead to solving our problems. Unfortunately – no, that is too innocent a word – tragically proved to be nothing but a sham!

It was a shameful, dishonorable, embarrassing, humiliating show by would-be candidates whose shabby political ignorance was echoed, not only here throughout our beloved nation, but heard in every corner of this earth.

They not only slandered their colleagues, but raised the ire of women and even children in the use of their foul and shallow language. Candidates spoke in the most unconventional way; often not completing sentences. Those sentences lacked substance, digressed from the questions, issues and solutions to this nation’s myriads of problems. Instead of concrete and direct answers to questions, they gave fraudulent responses, attempting to mask their ignorance with dangling participles left floating in the air.

And in this notable lot who, under pressure, collapsed were the young, good-looking, presentable and articulate, Marco Rubio, senator from Florida, and Dr. Ben Carson, the soft-spoken physician whose gifted hands saved the lives of hundreds of children and opened the way to groundbreaking medical advancements, the director of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital’s pediatric neurosurgery. There was John Kasick, the Governor of Ohio, who described himself as “one of the chief architects” of the last balanced budget. Ted Cruz, a Harvard graduate who has argued cases before the US Supreme Court, who would spank “naughty” children, who advocated that “Children should be seen and not heard,” manipulated factoids and offered them up as facts. This learned scholar, disavowing any knowledge of the events, employed campaign consultants who spread false information that Dr. Carson had suspended his campaign in Iowa, when he had not; that Gov. Kasick had agreed to suspend his campaign in Indiana so that the Texas senator could challenge Trump one-on-one, when he had not.

This 2016 Republican group has been fodder for today’s press and will continue to be for future political writers of history.

Did I forget something or someone?

Of course not.

There is one…Donald Trump…the only one left standing of the elite 17, whose caustic tongue cut down his rivals one by one.

I personally would like to see Trump in the Oval Office. Wait, please, bear with me. I believe it will be a farce and the news media will have material for years to write and talk about. Much has been said and written about the billionaire who wantonly, slanderously cuts down anything and anybody who stands in his path.

If ignorance is bliss, then Trump must be a happy man. He is definitely unique in the history of American politics.

It appears, as the saying goes, “What you see is what you get!” But I wonder…all of us wear masks to a greater or lesser degree at times. Trump’s immediate circle of family, friends, political strategists, and advisors have assured us that the Mr. Trump seen on the political stage and on his reality show isn’t the real Mr. Trump. They maintain that the future builder of the Great Wall is passionate, virtuous, lovable, and a champion of the people, as proven by the numbers who have supported him at the voting booths in the majority of the states.

“Mr. Trump will be presidential,” they say, “once he and his beautiful wife are awarded the keys to the White House.” So, friends and foes will embrace this Republican Adonis, whom they believe will soon “Make American Great, Again!”

Yet his stage persona mirrors the painting of Dorian Gray, created by the fictional Basil Hallward, of Oscar Wilde’s imagination. Who has the key to the attic, where we can see the true nature of the man or beast, where good and evil stand side-by-side? That evil and that good is in all of us.

Now there is one.

But, look to the horizon…there is more to come.

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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Stranger than fiction

Sleepless man
Image courtesy of Graur Codrin and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It happened one night…

I had watched the 11th Republican Party Debate, wrote a blog post, and then headed for bed. But I couldn’t sleep. The 2012 Republican candidate for President Mitt Romney’s scathing criticism of the current Presidential primary candidate Donald Trump played in a loop in my mind’s ear.

In the aftermath of Romney’s awakening, the political cauldron exploded. It seems that the conscience of the Republican hierarchy – or is it “aristocracy” –awakened. The establishment doesn’t want Trump…but the genie is out of the bottle…or is it more like Pandora’s box has been opened.

I sought solace in sleep; but to no avail.

The seductive sleep nymphs refused to allow my conscience to shut down. “Only the innocent sleep…” they whispered. They tried to lure me back to my computer. I refused to get out of my warm bed.

Seconds later, I found the computer on my lap, open and running, waiting for me to try to put this chaos into words.

“Write!” one of the nymphs ordered. “No sleep until you do!”

“If you’re going to dictate this, why don’t you write the whole damn post yourself. Why use me for your dirty political tricks?”

“You have credibility.”

“And, you don’t?” I challenged the nymph.

“Unfortunately, we don’t. Those who believe in us are those who write epic novels and the poets.

Point well taken.

“Did you not see what those people did to that African American who protested at one of the Trump rallies? Didn’t it remind you of that fateful night in 1949 when you watched from your third-floor window in the American House in Yerevan? How the army of KGB officers tossed those children and old women and men onto those trucks? Who used their clubs and rifle butts to crack the heads of those children and old women? You must remember; how could you forget.”

I wanted my mind cleared. I wanted those thoughts to go away. I didn’t want to get involved. Go haunt and taunt others. I am sick and tired of writing and fighting. No one listens, anymore. Just leave me be.

The sanctimonious Mitt Romney had spoken. He had labeled billionaire businessman Donald Trump a “fraud” and “phony” and said that he, Romney, “…will never stop until we keep this con man from taking over the party of Reagan and Lincoln and the conservative movement.”

There was silence in the bedroom…but I knew from the epic stories about them that the night nymphs didn’t give up without a fight. I knew I couldn’t compromise with these ethereal messengers of my mind and believed that the sooner I carried out their dictates, the sooner sleep would be mine. I could hear them mumbling, but nothing coherent seemed to emanate from these ghostly figures of my mind…until I heard…

“Caesar had his Brutus…”

“And King Charles I, his Cromwell…” said another.

“And Donald Trump, his Mitt Romney!” chimed in a third.

The voices continued, “Treason! Treason!”, rising above the maddening Republican masses. “To deny our anointed one the sacred garland of victory, and his right to challenge the heretic queen could awaken Kydoimos, God of Confusion, Uproar, and Hubbub, whose wrath would surely doom our conservative cause and end our momentum toward obtaining the kingdom!”

What are you saying? That it wouldn’t Make America Great Again? Well, maybe, then, it could make America whole again…

“May I go to sleep now?” I wished.

“There is still one more task…Obama’s legacy.”

Sorry, out of my jurisdiction.

“You must give him a message from Lord Cromwell. Mr. Obama has had enough sleepless nights,” the nymph continued as a sheet of paper feathered its way into my hand.

I read it. “No way…” Did Cromwell actually do this? Well maybe.

It seems that the Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland got so sick of Parliament sitting on their royal derrieres and getting paid for doing nothing, that he stormed into the chambers and told his lawmakers:

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice……and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money…Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place…Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a period to your iniquitous proceedings in this house…In the name of God go!”

I can dream now, can’t I?

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

Save