I’M BAACK! AUGUST 29, 2020

On November 8, 2016, the homo sapiens living in the United (?) States of America hit me over the head with a twelve pound sledgehammer. On November 9, I posted my surrender. On January 26, 2017, I was briefly prodded from my depressive state by the elephantine hypocrisy of one of William J. Bennett’s current perfidious discharges. Another assault on this poor little guy’s sense that, even among Republican puppies, butt-sniffing ought to have limits.

So I turned my attention to writing another book and plunging into other activities. But I continued to follow, with the fascination with which a mongoose watches a cobra, that which had nearly incapacitated me – the rise in America of something having an uncomfortable number of the characteristics of Fascism.

I watched a pathologically narcissistic psychopath take complete control of the souls of politicians, pundits, and street-level citizens, particularly and most distressingly, evangelical “Christians.” Though I am agnostic, I expected more of them in that I was intimately familiar with their creed. It angered me to watch them reimagine Jesus of Nazareth as the Republican Jesus. And I became not the Puzzled Puppy, but the Confused, Saddened, Distressed, Disillusioned, Despairing Little Cur Without The Energy To Ask For An Ear Scratch.

So I distracted myself to the greatest extent possible, but I got tired of such a long name. I wanted to be the Puzzled Puppy again.

Actually, what first moved me to get out of the doghouse was John Lewis’ last essay in which he wrote that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice and fail to stand up for what we truly believe. King said this in many different ways, including the simple statement, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Or, in the words of Elie Wiesel, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

I have and will continue to chastise others for their indifference. I have not been indifferent; I have been working in other ways, but I can do more. Where are my blog posts that put me on record as being with the good guys? Have I barked at the danger? In my personal life, yes. But I can write, so I need to sit down at the keyboard.

My goal is to raise my voice loudly, regularly, and often before the election. Of course, goals without action are just dreams. But I feel like I’m wide awake.

Finally, I realize that very few people, if anyone, will read a blog with three and a half-year gaps in it. So be it. This blog is for me. To do my duty.But I do hope that someone out there forgives me for my negligence and reads it.

Donald Trump and his hoards of enablers don’t puzzle me. They are, to use a phrase he likes, stone cold immoral. They are absolutely unpatriotic, un-American, and borderline if not over-the-line treasonous. They are autocrats in search of a banana republic. And if they can, they will make us one.

Will we let them do it?

I don’t know. I’m just a Puzzled Puppy.

***

To begin, I will repost what I wrote on October 3, 2016. (Did I get anything right?) This will set the stage for much of what I feel needs to be considered. As one can sadly see, not much has changed:

SPITTING IN THE FACE OF JESUS  OCTOBER 3, 2016

To: Christians, Evangelical and Otherwise, Considering Voting for Donald Trump

Mothers, hide your children! Particularly Christian mothers who sincerely believe in the teachings of Jesus.

Donald Trump is coming.

Let’s look at what we relearned about him from the first debate and subsequently. 

Let’s begin by stating that the philosophical beliefs that define this puppy’s very core concur almost completely with the teachings of Jesus with regard to how we ought to comport ourselves in this life. I believe that most puppies feel this way.

This leaves out, consistent with my agnosticism, those parts of His message pertaining to the supernatural or to the worship of supernatural beings.

So, to be clear, I’m unqualified as a spokesman for Christianity and disqualified from being considered, in any way, a theologian. 

I simply believe that Jesus Christ was one of the greatest human beings ever to walk the face of the earth, and that His conception of what constitutes morality, of what we ought to do and what we ought not to do – of, very simply, what is right and what is wrong, is as good as it gets. And I’m qualified to discuss this.

Unfortunately, a huge number of self-identified Christians appear to disagree profoundly with the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is particularly true for Christian supporters of Donald Trump, given the incontestable fact that virtually all of what he preaches and epitomizes spits directly in the face of the Carpenter of Nazareth.

To begin with, Donald Trump doesn’t have exactly a stellar record of paying carpenters for their work. He calls this “good business.”

Trump doesn’t pay taxes. He calls this “smart.”

Trump doesn’t give any appreciable amount to any charities or any church.

Jesus would certainly never have praised Trump as He did the poor widow who gave “all she had.” Jesus instructed His followers to be generous and to give to the poor, mandates which were hardly sidebars. He had very little interest in real estate.

He said, “Woe to you who are rich,” “No servant can serve two masters,” and something about a needle and a camel.

I doubt that Jesus would have rooted for a mortgage crisis which brought misery to millions, even if it would have enriched Him.

And as far as my exegesis has taken me, Christ never said or implied anything consistent with the phrase, “You can’t be too greedy.”

If I read the gospels correctly, He believed in sacrifice for the greater good.

In that Christ was not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, it’s doubtful that He discriminated against blacks or the poor in His housing projects, though almost “everyone else did it” at that time.

It appears that Jesus was a moral leader who was rather impatient with greedy opportunists. If He returns, Trump needs to bolt down the tables in his tower.

Jesus was rather disappointed that His disciples couldn’t stay awake with Him for an hour in the garden, about twice as long as Trump was able to stay awake during the debate. I was more puzzled than normal – shocked, actually – when Trump rebuked Secretary Clinton for taking the time to prepare for this event. So I did some preparation of my own and came up with a short quiz for Christians regarding this topic:

            QUESTION: Which of the following Bible verses applies to which candidate?

  • “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise…it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (Proverbs 6: 6-8, NIV)
  • “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” (Proverbs 18:9, NIV)

To return to the New Testament and the specific teachings of Jesus, when did He say that a person ought to be judged on how she or he “looks”? When did He ridicule a woman for having “that face”? When did He call someone a “fat pig” and then unapologetically double down on it, again and again and again?

When did He call someone “disgusting” and say, “I think everybody would agree that she deserves it”? I point Christians who are thinking about voting for Donald Trump to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32)

The moral of this story, central to the very heart of the meaning of the New Testament, conflicts directly with the daily actions and statements of Donald Trump for the entire arc of his life up through at least as late as Friday, September 30, 2016, when he erupted into a “tweetstorm” in which, rather than forgiving her for simply belatedly revealing the truth, he said the following about a 39-year-old woman who had offended him:

  • Background: Had previously called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” in reference to her Hispanic heritage. Had ridiculed her in public for gaining a few pounds, including making a disgusting video of her being forced to exercise to lose weight in front of cameras while Trump and various other lechers leered at her.
  • Called her past “terrible.”
  • Called her (she had won his beauty pageant) “the worst I ever had.”
  • Said she had gained a “massive” amount of weight. Fact check: She had gained a few pounds.
  • Trump, a serial philanderer and vulgarian who often brags of his sexual exploits and infidelities, a friend and party partner of Hugh Hefner who has appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine, falsely accused this woman of making a “sex tape.”
  • Puzzlement: Donald Trump, who’s currently married to a former nude model, finds it scandalous that a contestant in a “beauty pageant” he sponsored may have made a “sex tape,” which to date has not been shown to exist. (Regarding his “pageants,” in case you didn’t know it, these barbaric spectacles involve females who are required to remove most of their clothing and parade half naked in front of such pulchritudinous body judges as Donald Trump, who also oversee their weighing and measuring like animals being examined at a county fair.)

I’ve often imagined Jesus tapping a pen on a clipboard while profoundly evaluating the size and shape of his female disciples’ breasts. Haven’t you?

I could go on for volumes but let me conclude:

First, before you vote this November, ask yourself this: How many of the women you love, your mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, nieces, and friends, are overweight? Remember this: Donald Trump thinks they’re fat pigs. This overweight male finds overweight females disgusting. And he thinks it’s more important to lash out at them than to prepare for the incredible responsibilities he has chosen to undertake. So go out and vote for him. But please don’t ever tell me you did. Do you know what disappointment looks like in the big, sad eyes of a puppy?

This race isn’t about politics or party, or even about issues on which we can legitimately disagree. This race is about the very soul of the United States of America. It’s about who we are.   

By the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, the Sermon on the Mount, and any other of the teachings of Jesus, by anything any of us were ever taught in our churches, synagogues, mosques, or schools, to say nothing of Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other philosophy of morality, Donald Trump is an unmitigatedly, unrelentingly, absolutely immoral man.

No one is perfect, certainly not Hillary. And she is a politician, which I would define, to paraphrase Graham Greene, as an animal which, when cornered, becomes eloquent.

But absolutely no one displays the cornered rat’s eloquence more skillfully than Donald Trump, whose crude and vulgar rhetoric is used to project his most egregious flaws onto his opponents. No one has seen more vulgarity in Bill Clinton than The Donald, and no one has stretched the truth more painfully to characterize Hillary Clinton as being as dishonest as he.

Hillary’s serious and unfortunate faults noted, there’s absolutely no doubt that Donald Trump is far and away the most overtly and acutely immoral human being who has ever run for the office of President of the United States of America. He consistently says and does evil things without remorse.

Quite literally, like the people in our world who frighten us the most, he doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong.

And it defies logic and common sense to believe he ever will.

One observer (Brian Fallon) asked, “What kind of human being is this?”

For this puzzled puppy, I don’t see how a person who reports losses of almost a billion dollars on a single tax return can call himself a businessman. And I don’t see how a wealthy person who pays no federal income taxes can call himself a patriot.

This man is not great. He has done no great things, only greedy things. He is not qualified in terms of his knowledge or skills for the job for which he is applying. He is temperamentally unsuited for the presidency in ways that ought to terrify anyone living anywhere on the planet.

Trump is a demonstrably immoral man. And his demonstrations occur daily, often hourly. Any evangelical or other Christian who votes for him ought to be ashamed.

Donald J. Trump serially spits in the face of Jesus, both as I know Him and as Christians know Him. And if we elect this great deceiver, there isn’t enough sackcloth and there aren’t enough ashes to cover our hypocrisy and shame.

Or maybe the concepts of right and wrong don’t exist anymore. I don’t know. I’m just a puzzled puppy.

My next post will be a letter a friend of the Boss wrote to his elderly parents expressing his acutely painful disappointment over their support for Donald Trump.