It Seems We Have A Lot of Robinson Crusoes in The World

Ed Raymond

   Remember that old expression “Will wonders never cease?” No one seems to know when it was formed, but it first appeared in print in 1775. It is appropriate again when we look at our political situation in the United States. We have reality-TV nutcase Donald the Lyin’ King serving as real president who lies only when his lips are moving and his fingers are twitching, and then we have “Sleepy” Joe who constantly fibs about his past, present, and future. Among the many “wonders,” Trumplicans in Congress are adopting most of the worker policies developed and supported by that damn “socialist” Bernie Sanders in 40 years in politics, rescuing us from the disaster capitalism brought to us by billionaires and a deadly pandemic virus.

All of a sudden billionaires are realizing that their workers and servants aren’t filling their huge pockets with cash actually produced by those workers, and are not at home and on the road to tuck them into beds, to make their beds, to make coffee and scrambled eggs, to carry their luggage to an airport, to fly them and their private doctors and nurses in their private jets at $5,000 an hour to virus-free estates from their feudal estates scattered in big cities across the world. Heavens to Betsy! It’s up to us to provide health care to everybody, sick leave for all workers, medical tests for all (Bernie calls it Medicare-For-All), and such terrible policies like employment and unemployment insurance, food assistance, child care, and broadband and Internet access. Why, even Jeff Bezos of Amazon is actually thinking about paying his employees a living wage — as long as they keep working in his distribution center hellholes.

All of a sudden cruiseline and airline CEOs want to practice Bernie’s democratic socialism to pull their large asses out of the fires of disaster capitalism practiced for forty years by all of them. I see two loaded cruise ships are being refueled and restocked in Hawaii — as long as the crew and travelers are kept aboard ship. No one seems to know on what island on this planet they are going to land — with permission. It’s time to think about humankind and islands.  

John Donne’s “Meditation 17”     

When he was seriously ill in 1623, English poet John Donne wrote a series of essays and poems about death. The following poem is an excerpt from his “Meditation 17.” I taught this poem to my seniors in English Literature at Fargo Central High School because it sparkled with humanity — and it gave a reason why we eventually climbed out of the trees. At my present age I’m probably closer to death than 99% of the living on the planet, so I doubly appreciate what Donne is saying about us.     

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent;   

a part of the main.    If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as a promontory were.   

As well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”  

In plainer words, Donne is writing that all beings on earth are one with God. He is comparing suffering to gold, arguing we can never have enough of our neighbor’s pain: “No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it.” He is saying no one suffers alone, and being aware of another’s pain makes us stronger and more able to live.  

A Message From A Chicago Suburb For Donald The Lyin’ King And His Cult     

Conservative Democrat Dan Lipinski was running for his ninth term after he had taken his father’s place in Congress for Illinois’s Third Congressional District, a relatively well-off Chicago suburb called Archer Heights. But over the years he had voted against abortion rights, the acceptance of equality for the LBGTQ+ community, had an anti-immigrant record, had voted against Obamacare in 2010, and was against raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Lipinski was just primaried by a young progressive Democrat named Marie Newman. That, folks, should be a real message to Trumplicans and the moderate Democrats on the Democratic National Committee who support Joe Biden. Even the “moderate” suburbs tend to approve of Bernie’s revolution.   

I would like to remind the so-called “moderates” on the Democratic National Committee and the corporations backing the pundits and the selection of moderate “experts” on MSNBC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the New York Times and possibly several debates, that their Joe is not the nominee yet. We still have seven months and 32 primaries before the convention where selection is made. Will our lives be back to the terrible “normal” where half the families can’t come up with $400 for an emergency? What if it’s 80% of the families by November 3rd?

Over the last few weeks I have listened to the coronavirus press conferences of Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and one by Donald the Lyin’ King each day. Cuomo tells the truth for about two hours while King Donald continues to tell preening lies for two hours while his scientists behind him silently groan and are embarrassed. A few days ago a brain cell recalled a statement about truth by English Prime Minister Oliver Cromwell who served King Henry VIII. King Henry’s second wife Anne Bolen did not give him a son so he told Cromwell to get rid of her. Cromwell started rumors that Anne had slept around with four of Henry’s friends and her own brother. That was enough to get her beheaded. After her head hit the basket, A duke witness noticed Cromwell had turned pale at the act. He asked Cromwell: “What are you doing? If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?”

The Lyin’ King has demonstrated time and time again that he couldn’t speak truth at a beheading either. Cromwell died of natural causes in 1658 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His enemies regained power in 1660 and dug up his corpse so they could behead it. That’s the truth!  

The Lyin’ King’s Place In The Great Chain of Being     

The nutcase in the Oval Office has only one goal: the preservation of himself. Much of mankind has been enthralled by The Great Chain of Being, a theory of government developed by the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato. This theory put God on top (the Greeks loved all of their gods!), his angels next, and then came human kings and queens who were only answerable to God — and no one else. From here came the theory of The Divine Right of Kings.   

Our Lyin’ King president, according to the evangelical “Christians” who put him in office, was chosen by God to lead us out of some wilderness, therefore becoming known as “The Chosen One.” So Trump actually believes he is answerable only to God — himself. The Great Chain of Being includes everything on earth: from God, his angels at the top of the chain, to humans, to animals, to plants, to rocks and minerals at the very bottom of the chain. Humans are kind of in the middle of this mess.

The Lyin’ King is too nuts, ignorant, and confused to understand this theory of government, but he has an unconscionable, insane thirst for power. His ambitions for his own well-being have swelled dangerously since the 2016 election. Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21 has written about Trump’s “hugggge” thirst: “Financial self-interest is the only reason he ran. But power is a drug. Power is an addiction --- exercising power, flying around on Air Force One, having motorcades (and Defense Department parades of tanks and missiles!), having people salute you. He thinks he is the country.”   

But Trump does not understand what happens when a human violates The Great Chain of Being and attempts to rise above his position as ordained by God. If the wrong people are selected for government everything will go wrong in a country or province. The crops will be terrible and the animals will misbehave. The theory was if you had started life as a noble, farmer, blacksmith, or beggar you were in the place assigned by God for you—and your life. If the natural order was disturbed by someone attempting to change his life, all hell would break loose. The English believed the story that if the natural order was upset, horses in their stables would go mad and eat each other. Trump’s term of office does not bode well for us.  

It’s Time For Journalists To Cut Off The Incredible Shrinking Man  

What would happen if journalists refused to listen to or ask questions of the Lyin’ King? Their interaction with him does tremendous harm to all citizens of this country. Put him in an invisible “quarantine bubble.” Act as if he isn’t there. Call it the “Emperor-Without-Any-Clothes” screen. Force him to face reality by paying no attention to him. Self-cancel all White House briefings because they are a travesty of truth, justice, and the American Way. He has proven all his life that he is an incredible shrinking man when his mouth moves or he tweets. Do not repeat anything he says. I think it’s the only way to get rid of him. He certainly is beyond any medical treatment known to man. What is the cure for lying and self-aggrandizement? Certainly there is no current drug, vaccination, or breathing device that can cure such a lying, greedy virus.  

Fact: We Don’t Have An Adequate Working Public Health System     

First, It’s impossible to have a public health system when 95% of our medical care is based on the profit-motive and the so-called free market. Second, we can never have a public health system when the bottom 90% can’t afford all types of medical care because greed is a constant untamed virus running amok in anything associated with health care. According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials, local and state departments of health have lost 25% of their workforce since the 2008 Recession. On top of that, King Donald and his greedy cohorts cut the funding of the pandemic study section of the National Security Council and further decimated the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers of Disease Control.

Third, the administration failed to heed the warnings of our intelligence organizations that China had a strange virus in some cities in December, 2019. China had even made it public. The failure to warn the American public of that possibility has led to the scandal of insider-trading senators dumping millions of dollars of “recreational” stocks while Trump and Pence continue to make inexcusable excuses every day for not preparing the country for a pandemic.

The only good thing to come out of this disaster is the fact that Bernie’s democratic socialism policies such as universal health care Medicare-For-All and the benefits of good safety net for all will remain—if we ever get over the COVID-19. The virus has struck instead of all the pissants.