It’s been a week or so since I wrote my last post. I’ve been busy finally putting my basement back together after our flood about three years ago. It took me a while to figure out a solution that would be easily removed on the remote chance that we get another event like that. It was a 100 year flood but with the changing climate there is no certainty that this will not repeat. Much advice came my way – try tile, put in carpet again and I can’t even remember the other proposed solutions. With every solution proposed to me someone else would tell me that no that wasn’t going to be foolproof. So finally, I came up with my own solution. I’ve put in carpet but using carpet squares with interlocking padding that can just be pulled up if need be and then put back down easily. I even discovered that the roll of carpet that was in the basement and was to big to move was a great fit for part of my laundry room.
I used that (and the Olympics) as an excuse to skip blogging sessions, but that really wasn’t the reason. The craziness of this election season finally got to me and I had to disconnect and figure out how to address it.
Our country is in a precarious place and a lot of context is regularly disregarded to the point of negligence. The Republicans in Congress hand in hand with Fox news have been ignoring facts and science for far to long. They have also been reframing the conversation to support their world view. The concept that you can have your opinions but facts are facts has fallen by the wayside. In many ways, I think this has some roots with the refusal to act on climate change. When there is a world changing event there should be two options to act or not to act. The Republicans took the third option to deny that there is a problem. Doing that meant that they had to deny the science itself. How do you deny science? The Republicans did it by saying that there was a conspiracy among climate scientists. The theory, as it goes, is that these scientists are making up a global disaster to get grant money. I’ve worked in the weather/climate world for over 20 years and as a friend put it a climate scientist could make a lot more money speaking as an expert against climate change then they do studying the climate. I know these scientists, even as a non-scientist in that world I know the science is real and that we have to act, act quickly, act seriously and act globally. The major conversation between our candidates should be how we attack the problem. Instead Donald Trump’s position goes a step beyond the Republican’s. He thinks accelerated climate change is a Chinese plot and that the only climate change we have to worry about is nuclear winter. The Republicans have taken the context away and refused to even acknowledge the problem. If gets cold so there is no climate change.
Then we go to the ever popular attacks on Hillary Clinton and, of course, on President Obama. Its amazing how certain lives are given so much value and others so little. The Benghazi attack has lost any context on what the initial issue was. Does anyone even remember that it began as an attack against President Obama in 2012 on how the administration relayed information about the attack. They said that President Obama was hiding that this was a terrorist attack versus the result of spontaneous attacks because of the video that was released at that time. That has been blown up so far out of proportion that no one remembers the original issue and it has become an attack on Hillary Clinton having not saved those four lives somehow and being called a murderer at the Republican National Convention. This is one of the areas where context has been totally lost. The media coverage after that attack were chaotic and Mr. Romney tried to use it politically and that spiraled out of control. If you go back to the coverage and even the debate where President Obama led Mr. Romney into the trap that he laid for himself – the line – Please proceed, governor – was a classic. The deeper issue will never be examined. The Republican Congress through austerity and a dislike for the State Department did not provide sufficient funding for security for their outposts around the world and State did what it could with what it had.
Of course, there is the email server. The context around that is so lost that it makes me want to scream. The facts, Hillary used an email server set up for her husband, the former President. The vast majority of her work was done through the secure mechanisms that we don’t know about. She didn’t use email for those top secret communications so she didn’t put any national security in danger. If you remember back to the Benghazi hearings there was a disbelief that she didn’t have enough email around that time period. She told congress that she didn’t do most of her communication via email. There are two areas now where people are saying she was dishonest – there were three emails that were marked improperly and were actually not classified. Then there are some email trails that were classified by other agencies that the FBI director placed his public judgment that she should have known were considered classified, but no one on those email trails made that judgment. Director Comney made that an indictment of State – that they should have known better – which is a difference between agencies and not an indictment of Secretary Clinton. Because two agency heads had different judgment Secretary Clinton is being judged as dishonest. There has been no questioning of FBI Director Comney’s judgement in making a public indictment of her while at the same time saying she did nothing wrong. The context matters.
I cannot understand how Hillary Clinton is judged as dishonest when every day in almost every sentence Donald Trump is lying. The media desperately wants an equivalency and they want Hillary Clinton to fall on her sword and admit that she lied somehow even though she didn’t and saying she did will mean that congress will try to indict her for lying. She is in a no-win situation. And I think that the female factor is a strong part of this whole campaign. A woman seeking power, especially in this country, is seen in a negative light.
The whole chant “lock her up” and worse that we hear from the Trump campaign and the Republicans is reminiscent of the Salem Witch trials. We have to remember that. We have to remember context. The media is being driven by sound bites not real situations and they are frequently ignoring the context of matters.
We have to keep context alive.