Friday, April 1, 2016

All Fools Day

Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

Cato the Elder, Plutarch's Life of Cato 

In the search for intelligent life, this may be a good credo. There is certainly a lot to be learned these days. And though it would be nice to avoid the obvious fool in the name of Trump, what better example of a fool is there today? For decades the GOP has been veering from dumb to crazy to stupid to extreme, to now whatever you call the Trump-brand of Republicanism, it is telling that the base of the party has become so extreme that even the GOP leaders are taken aback and in a state of panic. Of course, this is the same leadership that promoted this craziness, but they promoted it with winks, nods, and dog-whistles instead of Team Trump’s megaphone and swinging fists).

Even the right wing National Review is freaking out about the leading Republican candidate in a piece subtly titled, “‘Mental.’ ‘Utterly Stupid.’ ‘Trump Only Cares About Trump.’"

GINGRICH: Tweeting about, or repeating a tweet about Mrs. Cruz is just utterly stupid. It has frankly, weakened everything that Trump ought to be strengthening. It sent a signal to women that is negative, at a time when his numbers with women are already bad. 
[National Review's JIM GERAGHTY:] Oh, what’s that? Trump’s Twitter behavior is “utterly stupid”, Newt? Thanks for noticing; six days ago you were telling the media there was absolutely nothing about Trump that worries you. Maybe your previous comparison of Trump to Reagan was frankly, fundamentally, profoundly wrong from A to Z.

This condemnation from the staunchly right-wing Republican National Review. But as has been pointed out, Trump is not an anomaly of the Republican Party, he is the logical and predictable product of the GOP

Donald Trump didn’t suddenly change in the past few days, weeks or months. He’s the same guy he always was, the same guy that most of us in the conservative movement and GOP have been staunchly opposing for the past year. He didn’t abruptly become reckless, obnoxious, ill-informed, erratic, hot-tempered, pathologically dishonest, narcissistic, crude and catastrophically unqualified for the presidency overnight. He’s always been that guy…

The National Review just listed what has been the MO of the GOP for several decades, but now they want to try to distance themselves from their fraternal candidate? 

The best part of the NR piece is this kicker:

Trump supporters, no one should let you off of that bandwagon now.  You should be handcuffed to that Titanic you volunteered to crew.

The same can be said of the GOP as a whole, not just Trump and his supporters. Which brings to mind this apt quote which can easily be applied to the GOP and its supporters:
Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?
(And, just because I like Gary Larson)

Over several election cycles, Republican voters have supported candidates that are "reckless, obnoxious, ill-informed, erratic, hot-tempered, pathologically dishonest, narcissistic, and crude." In the process of supporting these candidates, Republican voters have also exhibited these same traits. 

Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l'admire.
  • Translation: A fool always finds one still more foolish to admire him.
  • Variant A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him. 

The Republican leadership in the party and the right-wing media have created today’s Republican base that now supports Trump. And why shouldn't Republicans support Trump? All the things that other Republicans only mutter under their breath, Trump says out loud. The hard-core tribalist right-wingers love it. The GOP leadership hasn’t yet figured out a way to tell Trump and his supporters, “Yes, we agree with you, but we’ll lose the general election if you can’t put some political spin on our true intentions.” Republicans as a party are looking in the mirror for the first time and what they see is very ugly. It will be entertaining watching these fools as they alternately fight and dance with each other. 

As a P.S. Some final foolish thoughts for All Fools Day:

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

  • A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

  • A prosperous fool is a grievous burden.

There are three kinds of fools in this world, fools proper, educated fools and rich fools. The world persists because of the folly of these fools.

  • The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

  • Any fool can make a rule
  • And any fool will mind it.

All quotes from -

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