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Correspondence with my friend Mike in Columbus, Ohio

(from Mike) – I am anxious to hear about your elections and the new PM. She sounds like someone you would have supported. What is your perspective?

We are dealing with our bufoon of a president. Several senators and Dubya Bush have come out to say enough is enough. Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona gave a great speech in the Senate chamber yesterday. It is worth a listen or a read. While Flake is a very conservative senator, he has a moral compass and a respect for the presidency. He sees Trump as a disgrace to the office, a liar and a bad influence on kids. Hopefully this will be the beginning of something that will force Trump to resign. I fear as he gets backed into a corner he could try somethng militarily. I can imagine a scenario where if he gave an order that was beyond what the Joint Chiefs could agree with that they would defy his order. These are crazy times in America.

Mike

 

Mike,
In Reagan’s time, I wondered if the USA had come as close as anytime to a military coup, worrying about what ideological thing Reagan would do.  But he instinctively recognized, I suppose, that his desperation and brand of insanity was not main stream enough for that just yet.  I have kept my eyes out for signs since then.  Trump might be the one, as you suggest.   These things come in swings over the presidential terms, with discomfort moderating open desperation but not reversing it.  This is the ideological crusade factor.  The desperate want to challenge the electorate to find the insanity acceptable, consciously, not only try to hide the worst cases.  Trump has taken on that mantle, or more appropriately, the electorate has recognized Trump as that messenger.  It’s not only the mega-rich who are in this space, though the mega-rich are the leaders, the ‘gods’ of this desperation, if you will.

I had not heard of Jacinda Ardern until a few months ago in a by-election in Auckland.  She had become well known to some, however, through significant coverage in a multitude of women’s magazines, which I never read.  I kind of see this as a women’s revolt, though no one else is saying it that way.  She is of the Obama type, exuding a sense of holding on to a previous progressive principles image, which actually had been rejected by the mainstream, led by her Labour Party in 1984 through the neo-liberal coup, led by one Roger Douglas.  Her slogan was “Let’s do this!”  But I expect, like Obama, it is trying to hold onto an illusion, and they won’t actually do much.  There will be some changes but perhaps not significant.

It could be a bewildering ride over the next three years.  Labour did not ‘win’ the election, National did. (See my blog for my analysis of the main factor in the election, completely ignored by most.  It was mainly about climate change.)   The election was not a vote for change, though Ardern cleverly claimed it had been.  But in an MMP environment National’s win proved to be not enough.  National’s ‘support parties’ pretty much faded away because they were National’s support parties, and the other smaller parties also lost support, especially the Greens.  You had to be here to understand what was going on (see my blog).  But, New Zealand First, which had been in the political wilderness and was one of the parties to lose support, decided they would support Labour as that would give NZF more influence than if they went with their natural partner, National.  The Greens lost much support but, in the strangeness of things, were able to help Labour/NZF deny National the opportunity for a fourth term.  This would never have happened if the Greens had kept their usual lead over NZF in the election.

On another matter, I could post you a USB stick containing two hours of my birthday party including the clips my friend did of me and my narrative, along with the video clips which were the basis of ‘my story’.  It fills up a whole stick.  There’s also a Google cloud where I could put it and send you the link?

Good to hear from you,
Dick

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