Burned by Lies: A Society in Danger

You put up a problematic candidate, your reasoning for doing so, problematic, and you are bound to face problems, in current circumstances bringing about possibilities that no one should want to have to face, let alone suffer.  There is no worse candidate than Donald Trump.  Hillary Clinton is the better candidate by a long shot.  But Hillary is not a good candidate and for many reasons, the secrecy issues one set, the arrogance even more disturbing because it is the arrogance that is responsible for justification of actions that are predicated in arrogance.  To run for president aware of the kind of baggage one carries, with knowledge of the damage to candidacy that revelation of what the baggage contains and the consequences of a loss would mean, that is arrogance heaped upon arrogance.


My friends and not friends who have insisted from the beginning that Hillary is the right candidate have, from the beginning, simply ignored certain ugly truths about Hillary, not all of the ugly of Ms. Clinton’s making but an amount of it her making and enough her making to make it particularly toxic because what she had made gives those against her substance that gives enough of a degree of credence to the unfounded or unproven, the possibly, maybe false, the stuff that is not of what she has done but what it is possible she has done viable as truth.


I am truly tired of suffering for Ms. Clinton and I have suffered for her for a very long time, for the way she has been treated, for the kind of treatment she has received that ignores the good in her, the good deeds she has done.  I love a good part of the life she has lived and I give her a huge amount of credit for being a diligent and hard-working humanitarian.  To watch this good person Hillary under constant attack by those who simply hate her for being Ms. Clinton has been rather hard to stomach.  The humanitarian and seemingly selfless Hillary of her humanitarian side has done incredible good works and those good works have benefited in significant ways good numbers of real human being.


That the humanitarian Hillary is not the whole of the Hillary the public knows is something of a tragedy, a tragedy because it is Hillary who undercuts her own goodness, yes, by some of her actions, some of those seemingly selfish—and a little selfish at times is not a crime at all—but, more than by action, by what has to be categorized as attitude, the attitude that is of arrogance, that arrogance made public, a refusal to acknowledge the problematic aspects of the career, the reasons for the reasonable suspicion of her forthrightness and integrity.


At this very moment, after many months of difficulty dealing with those who refuse to deal with the problematic nature of the Clinton candidacy and the candidate, of being in a state of consciousness  where right answers to the questions being raised by this election cycle are almost impossible to find, at this point, with the announcement that the FBI, less than two weeks before the election, will re-open the probe into the e-mails because there is sufficient reason to believe that newly found e-mails may be problematic security-wise, I really do not know what to do with myself, do not know how to deal with the confusion and anger and fear that is my current state of mind.


I can blame the Republicans for putting up for election the very worst kind of candidate, a truly terrible human being.  I am mad and madly trying to deal with pronouncements of election rigging, the illegitimately of the process, the acceptance of the unacceptable by people who are the most acceptable of a stripe, the portents of obstruction of democracy by these people in regard to supreme court nominees, the undermining of democracy, a system of governance that necessitates good sense and a strong sense of fairness on the part of those involved in the societal decision making process.  I can blame that ugly crowd that supports Mr. Trump, that favors him because of his ugly mind and his dastardly deeds.  I can blame many individuals and groups for setting the conditions by which a Donald Trump becomes a nominee for the presidency.  Show love for the beyond crazy evangelicals and tea-partiers, for the gun lobby and for racists and sexists, give them credence by failing to undermine their legitimacy by pointing directly at the stupidity of the thinking, this, yes, in the name of political correctness and righteous tolerance of all points of view, do such and you get what we have got.


But this is only a part of the cause, another being those who tolerate bullshit of the kind that is the democratic party and the Clinton candidacy.  The tolerance of that bullshit, made undeniably real in the e-mails that that nasty Assange has been releasing, made undeniably real by FBI probes and so on and so forth, has made it impossible to distinguish bullshit from truth, has legitimized that terrible tactic that makes bullshit the operating truth that a nation comes to live by.


At this point I am beyond answers and almost beyond hope.  Yes, the rightwing bullshit machine that was created by the likes of Lee Atwood and Roger Ails and Carl Rove and Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Bachman and Sara Palin and Jason Javits and Mark Levine and idiots in office like Mr. Inhofe and Mr. Gomert has been dominant in building the great confusion machine that twists truth and encourages faith in demagogues, thoughtlessness, and reaction rather than reason is responsible.  But they alone are not the cause of the miserable reality that is the reality in which we are currently living as a body politic.  Those like the Clintons and their friends like Wasserman-Shultz and the rest of the democratic party elite have countered bullshit with their own brand of bullshit and when there was a dire need for sound reasoning and the promotion of reasoning as a tool for discovering truth,


Truth.  The conservative game to make truth malleable on a grand scale for the sake of political and economic gain has had a terrible effect on democracy.  Manufacturing doubt to create truth out of lies has become an industry that makes political consultants and lobbyists very wealthy and their spinning of truth accepted practice in the United States of America.  Those truth spinners appear regularly before the public to explain how they go about spinning and they are respected for their genius even when their deceits are acknowledged.


Truth.  Hilary could have told the truth and if she were a truth loving being, many of the actions that carry the air of nefariousness would not be a problem today because the actions would not have taken place and there would be no good and legitimate reason for anyone to think that what one was hearing and seeing wasn’t really what actually was.


There have been so many terrible moments during this campaign that my world has been turned ugly.  I live day by day aware of the fact that ugly behavior is a regular part of the real in which I have to live and that ugly behavior is being made to be something else by those who want me to believe them and in them.  I receive more than a hundred e-mail pitches a day and these days most are not for bogus herbal remedies for the pain I feel and the hurts I suffer.  Most are for dollars to support candidates who tell me they are telling me the truth, most of whom undermine their credibility by using claims of closeness to the party line and the party candidate to sway me to allegiance with their cause.  Some of those are pitching truth as they understand it and with them I would stand if I could verify their sincerity and their allegiance to my causes, their sincere concern for my support of that for which they stand and not my five or ten or twenty dollars alone (hey, want to make if monthly?).


Donald Trump and those who have worked so diligently over the past many years to make his candidacy possible are despicable, terrible human beings and truly patriotic in the sense that they do not like at all the idea of democracy in which is embodied the true American ideal.  Those who are already planning to delegitimize the election process and the process of advice and consent, in some kind of hell is where they should be.  And those who fail to understand how backing a candidate who refuses to be fully candid, who has come to be a player in the wretched game that is being carried out in the stead of a truly democratic process, fair and of and by the people, they should join them because their deceptions, little and bigger, add to and make normal the practices that keep the people from building that more perfect union the founders envisioned a few hundred years ago.


Three Years Old:Who Created Trump?

More from Posts to Diane Ravitch Blog

Posted on February 22, 201

Stephen Lafer

February 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Indeed, the NCLB miseducated are coming to me wanting to teach English and wanting to teach it as it was taught them, for test readiness and little else, as readers who read (some of the time) what is assigned to find the answers in text that they think the teacher cares to have them remember, as writers whose duty it is to please but not inform or convince. Not their fault. And, I am hearing, not the fault of the teachers who taught them to be so passive in their learning that even the most provocative ideas cannot penetrate the aura of boredom. Not their fault and, as I am hearing, not the fault of the teachers who are also bored! Paulo Freire says that oppression can only be lifted through the will and actions of the oppressed. I read that teachers are not at fault and that what teachers did under NCLB was the fault of others, of administrators (who would also say that they too were the victims and not perpetrators) to superintendents, to people who were influential in shaping government educational policy. So, really, no one was responsible for NCLB and what those of us who spoke against it had to take our for 10 years of resistance, our miss-teaching of teachers because we were not teaching them to teach to NCLB.


I got kicked around by my colleagues and our administrators for my attempts to teaching the teachers to be thoughtful and to grow to be able demonstrate the potency of English language arts skills by calling upon teachers to use these abilities themselves to resist beyond terrible mandates. Like too many of my colleagues, and the teachers with whom they were assigned to work in internships, my students wanted to fit in, get the praise, reap the rewards for passivity, for capitulation and avoid punishment for standing up for sane practice. While a good many teachers in service and those in the process of becoming teachers knew what they were doing was not what should be done, they did what they were told to do—and wanted me to tell them that it was okay to do because that is what good boys and girls do, they obey authority no matter how idiotic and harmful what they are asked to do is..


To let teachers off the hook, to say they were not responsible is to degrade the already degraded stature of the teacher. Whereas the teacher should be the model of good citizenship, it is necessary for the teacher to understand what constitutes good citizenship and good citizenship in a real democracy has nothing to do with passive acceptance of authority. It has much to do with advocacy and, for English teachers, this is particularly important because it is in the English class that students learn to fight the good fight with words, with the proper words, with effective strings of words that are of a mindfulness that NCLB seemed intent on undermining. One only has to look at the final reports on Reading First to see how anti-thoughtfulness, pro-banking (method) NCLB was. Any real patriot would have understood that NCLB methodologies and NCLB means of assessment were not for the purpose of helping people grow up to be thoughtful participants in their societal duty to play a role in moving the nation toward union more perfect, ever more able to bring every citizen a reasonably good quality of life.


It is true that teachers were mislead by many of those in a position to lead, people of stature in the world of American education who, for whatever reasons, bought into and sold with “research” the virtues of a virtue-less agenda. Indeed, it shouldn’t be difficult for a thoughtful person to see that NCLB, or the methodologies receiving approval under the NCLB regime, were not intended to inspire individuals to think for them selves, to think critically and voice the results of that critical thought for the purpose of aiding the decision making process through which, in truly democratic nations, the institutions of the society are given orders as to how to  operate. NCLB, tied as it was to the post 9-11 era of deceit shrouded in fear, was one part of a campaign to prove to people that they should not think for themselves because it was impossible for them to understand the nature of enemies lurking around every corner, and, too, to know that they were not able on their own to decide who their friends might be.  The successful student in the context of an NCLB authorized curriculum was one who listened to what others had to say, what those in authority had to say without ever questioning who those authorities were or what their motives might be.


NBLB was about softening up an already softened public, a public already tuned out to nature of the world, already susceptible to the lies of advertisers and politicians who employed the tools of the advertiser to sell deceitful policies.


The teachers? Even before 9-11, were, as individuals and as a profession, probably not as critical and critically diligent as they should have been to teach in and for the society that was  evolving before their eyes. Too many were using the texts provided them by school districts who bought from textbook publishers whose nature and prerogatives we rarely investigated, the force of  the Texas textbook censors making sure that the nation would suffer no information that the Gablers (look them up) and their friends (evangelicals, right wingers, etc.) did not want them to have. How many teachers had their students do research into the biographies of textbook authors and how many had their students investigate the process by which textbooks were chosen and whose “truths” it was that those books were telling?


Please, let us let no one off the hook for the way students have been untaught thoughtfulness. Let us do such so that we may begin where the new beginning needs to start, with the miss-education of those who teach by the schools in which they were taught. This would be a first step in de-schooling, a necessary process to remove the clouds that obscure the real goals of education that is humane, that is truly humanizing. What we need after we cop to the charges is to recharge ourselves, to find again our imaginations so that we can think beyond what we think to be the possible, what we have been told are the limits (“peace is not possible, there must always be those who are poor…”). We need to rethink the research, all of it in light of the fact that “research” served as the foundation for NCLB and many other rotten initiatives that took the light out of the educational process. We need new goals and goals of a truly humanistic type, goals that take into consideration the value of our individuality, of our potential as creative, innovative, thoughtful, and, yes, compassionate beings with the capacity to change the world and not simply live in a world manufactured for us by those who pretend to know who we should be and become. Truth be told, they don’t know shit about who I am or who you are.

And that is a very good thing, if you really think about it!