Tag Archives: High Plains Blogger

Love, not hate, fuels anti-Trump rhetoric

I am an old-fashioned fellow in many respects.

I love pageantry. I love singing the National Anthem. I enjoy military parades. I take pleasure in shaking the hands of World War II and Korean War veterans. I revere political tradition and decorum.

Thus, when I criticize Donald J. Trump, it is not out of hate — as some critics of this blog seem to believe — but out of love. Not for the president, mind you. But for the office he occupies and my love of the tradition he has managed to trash almost since the moment he pulled his hand off the Bible at his inauguration.

Critics of this blog purport to read my mind and delve into my heart when they accuse me of spewing hate-filled rhetoric. The thing is, they don’t know me. Some of ’em, though, do like referring to me by my first name, as if to suggest some form of faux familiarity with me. They don’t understand why I say what I do about the president.

One does not go to war for a country he hates. He does so out of love for the country. I got the call to go to war for my country in 1969. I didn’t do so gladly, but out of a sense of duty to the nation that ordered me to go far away and participate in a war that was raging when I arrived and was still raging when I left.

It’s my love of country that fuels my anger today at what I see happening to our political institutions, to our national mood, to the tribalism that has consumed so much of the dialogue between and among various segments of our vast and diverse population.

Who’s responsible for that? It has to stem from our national leadership. It comes from the very top of the political food chain. It starts in the White House, where Donald Trump now resides. It festers in the policies coming from the Oval Office, where the president makes command decisions.

Do I love what I see and hear coming from the White House these days? No! Of course not!

Hatred, though, is not the spark that ignites the rhetoric coming from this blog. It is a deeply held love of country. I want a return to the tradition that I grew up admiring and revering. It cannot happen until we get a change in the leadership at the top of the political chain of command.

I don’t expect to change the minds of critics who’ll continue to ascribe hatred to the rhetoric they will read here. However, it is how I feel. Take it or leave it.

Time for a vow on Trump posts

I have struggled a bit with this, but I am going to make a vow that I hope I’ll be able to keep as it regards future blog posts on Donald J. Trump.

It is that I need to stop making specific reference to my view of Trump’s complete, absolute and abject unfitness for the office he has occupied for nearly three years.

It is abundantly clear to me — it has been clear for some time, actually — that I ain’t changing the minds of those who disagree with me. Those who continue to support Trump are likely to keep doing so until hell freezes over. Even then, I am not entirely certain their minds will be swayed.

Trump once boasted he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” and he wouldn’t lose any votes. Those of us who weren’t stunned speechless at such idiocy laughed out loud. “Yeah, you tell ’em, Donald!” they said between guffaws.

So … I have decided to throw in the towel on that particular score. This blog will continue to look critically at Trump’s performance as president and at his conduct on the re-election campaign trail — presuming, of course, that his presidency survives the upcoming trial in the Senate on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

It’s just that I have grown weary of stating what I consider to be the obvious about his suitability as president. I am preaching to the proverbial choir to those who agree with me. To others, well, they are ignoring my angry rants. That’s their call.

If I ain’t gonna persuade ’em to what I believe is true, then I am no longer gonna try.

I intend to keep using this forum to make the case that we need to elect someone other than the incumbent to the nation’s highest office.

Blog about to close out a record year

The year is about to pass into history. We’re getting set to enter the third decade of the 21st century. What a year it has been.

With that I want to take a moment to look back on High Plains Blogger’s year.

For starters, I set another record for page views and visitors to this blog. It’s my fourth year in a row setting records from the previous year. Two stupendous months in early 2019 set the pace.

I cannot predict if another record will fall in 2020. Some of that depends on the news that will unfold.

We have an election coming up. We’ll have a trial in the U.S. Senate (eventually!) to determine whether Donald Trump remains as president. My guess is that he will. So he’ll keep this blog full of grist on which to chew for the coming year. That’s how the president rolls. He craves being the center of attention, so he’ll likely be at or near the center of this blog’s attention.

I also want to thank those who have chosen to read this blog’s musings. Some might call it spewage. It all depends on whether you agree with yours truly’s world view of politics and public policy.

Moreover, take my word for it that I appreciate the constructive criticism I get. Some of it, though, isn’t so constructive. Some folks prefer to scold me. That’s OK, too.

All told, though, critics keep me humble. They serve to remind me in real time that the world is full of diverse points of view. Some of us choose to express our view out loud and for the record in forums such as, oh … blogs!

I appreciate those who take the time to read this blog. I appreciate even more those who spread the blog’s word among their own social media networks. All told, I have posted more than 12,800 blog items during the life of High Plains Blogger.

Let us proceed toward a new year with a tinge of optimism. That’s how I prefer to look toward the future. If it disappoints, though, I’ll be ready to unload my frustrations through this venue.

We’ll all just be able to enjoy the ride.

Still intending to argue vigorously against current POTUS

 

I have declared my preference for civil political discourse over much of what we’re getting today.

My intention is to turn down the volume a tad on High Plains Blogger. I have been challenged to follow the Golden Rule more than I have at times. I apologize for the times I have failed to adhere to the teachings offered in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

I know that Trump doesn’t adhere to the Golden Rule. But you know what? I believe this blog is better than the example that POTUS sets.

All that said, I want to be crystal clear about one important point: I have no intention of letting up in my critique of the current president of the United States.

I still want him out of office. I want him gone at the earliest possible moment. My preference would be — given current circumstances — for the U.S. Senate to convict him in the upcoming trial that senators will conduct; the House of Representatives has impeached Donald Trump on one count of abuse of power and one count of obstruction of Congress.

To my way of thinking, Trump has committed both offenses. He needs to go.

Short of that, I want him out of office no later than Jan. 20, 2021, when the next presidential inaugural takes place. I prefer that someone else would place his or her hand on the Bible to take the oath of office.

I am going to refrain, though, from using some of the snarky language I’ve used too frequently in this blog.

I am acutely aware of the language that Trump uses when denigrating his opponents/critics/enemies. I don’t expect him to direct any of those epithets at me directly, given that I also am aware he likely doesn’t see my rants. That doesn’t give me license to fire off the kind of baloney he uses to insult and degrade others.

Thus, I intend to travel onto a higher road.

However, I intend to remain faithful to my stated desire to do whatever I can to ensure that Donald Trump leaves office much sooner rather than much later.

‘Trolls’ are out there, but not sure they’ve found me

Someone who I do not know has begun following High Plains Blogger and has emerged as an individual I gather appreciates the point of view expressed in this forum.

Lately, though, this person has begun questioning the quality of the “trolls” who criticize my point of view. This individual believes I should get “better trolls.”

I’m an old guy and I am not entirely sure what an Internet “troll” really is, so I looked the term up. Here’s what I found:

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion, whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.

This definition has me wondering: Do I even have anyone who follows this blog who fits the description mentioned? I am not entirely sure that I do.

I have plenty of critics. They weigh in frequently when I criticize the president of the United States. When they do, they often draw responses from other High Plains Blogger readers who take them to task for what they say. When those exchanges begin, I generally stay out of the way; I’ve mentioned already on this blog that I prefer to let my commentary stand on its own and let others have the last word.

Now and then, though, the back-and-forth gets pretty darn fierce, even ferocious. That’s when this particular individual — again, someone I do not know — takes Internet foes to task, all the while urging me to “get better trolls.”

Even though I have been blogging for about a decade now I do not know how to do what this individual is asking of me. Nor do I even fully believe I have “trolls” as defined by the example I have provided who are weighing in regularly.

Whatever. I’ll just keep plugging away and take the brickbats along with the bouquets. Hey, it goes with the territory.

Impeachment fatigue is setting in

I am considering whether I want to take a break on this blog from commenting on the impeachment of Donald John Trump.

I am running out of ways to express what already is known: that I believe Trump is unfit for the presidency; he deserves to be impeached; congressional Republicans are all wet in their defense of this guy.

The world out there is huge. It is full of issues, crises, good news, tragedy and other matters that deserve High Plains Blogger’s attention.

I cannot promise that’s what will happen. I am just suffering what can be described only as impeachment fatigue.

Your blogger will have plenty to say when the Senate trial commences. There might be a comment or two coming from this venue before then.

I am just worn out.

Facebook becoming infected with negativity during The Season

I’m getting a bit of buzz from my network of Facebook friends who are complaining about the negativity they’re seeing on the social medium as we enter the Christmas holiday season.

I am going to agree with them … to a point.

I use Facebook to distribute by blog. Facebook will get this post, too, as soon as I’m finished with it. I won’t refrain from posting political commentary on this blog, which then will shoot into cyberspace via Facebook and other social media. What it produces in the way of commentary, of course, depends on who’s responding to any particular blot post.

What I have sought to do during my involvement with Facebook is to avoid getting tangled up in too much negative give and take. I post the comments, folks respond either happily or angrily. If they like what they read, that’s nice. If they dislike what I post, that’s fine, too.

As for the complaints that are sneaking into some of my Facebook friends’ comments, I will honor their concern only insofar as to avoid engaging in rhetorical swordplay with those who oppose whatever thought I toss out there.

I acknowledge also that I occasionally get a bit too wrapped up in Facebook rants. I read ’em. I might acknowledge some of ’em. I won’t get into the type of name-calling and insult games that some of my cyber acquaintances play.

Go for it, boys and girls. Just count me out.

My sentiment … exactly

Truth be told, I couldn’t really say this any better. But I am going to weigh in nonetheless.

I get occasional comments from critics of this blog who suggest that I should respect the presidency more, that I should cease with my criticism of Donald Trump because, after all, he is the president of the United States.

I also want to disagree a bit with what this Twitter dude says. I do “refer” to Trump as “president.” What I cannot do it attach the words “President” and “Trump” together. Still, I don’t have a sufficient issue with referring to him as president.

He won the 2016 election the way you’re supposed to win it: He collected more Electoral College votes than his opponent and he won enough of them to be elected.

My problems with Trump — and they are many — deal with the way he has behaved while campaigning for president and while he has served as president.

The recent Twitter image that he sent out with his noggin photoshopped on Sylvester Stallone’s chiseled “Rocky III” body is just the latest case in point. I watch those campaign rallies where the president riffs incessantly about Hillary, the so-called “witch hunt,” Democrats in general, the so-called “fake news,” the media in general and, oh yes, impeachment. This kind of rhetoric is so very un-presidential.

That just peels the first layer of skin off the presidential onion.

The manner he uses to treat his Cabinet members, the insults he hurls at war heroes, a disabled reporter, the intelligence agencies, a Gold Star family. How does one respect the individual who behaves in such a manner?

That behavior, as I see it, doesn’t reflect negatively on the office of president. It does, however, reflect totally and exclusively on the individual who lacks any understanding of the decorum and dignity that the office requires of the individual who occupies it.

If I get pounded yet again for my statements about the president, well, bring it! “My deep respect for the nation’s highest office,” as the Twitter messenger known as @USMCLiberal notes, “is precisely the reason I show zero respect to #Trump.”

Discussion and debate over Trump crimes has become futile

It is crystal clear to me that we have crossed a line as this saga over Donald Trump’s conduct as president of the United States is playing out.

The line defines the terms over which both sides can debate and discuss the merits of the argument over whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

I believe he has committed multiple impeachable offenses. I believe he deserves to be kicked out of office. However … I am not going to have a vote in either of those decisions, other than being able to vote for or against the elected representatives who will make that decision ostensibly on my behalf.

U.S. Rep. Van Taylor of Plano and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas are up for re-election in 2020. How I cast my vote in the election next year well might depend exclusively on how they vote on Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial. They’re both Republicans; they both have defended the president against the onslaught of the evidence.

Do you get my drift here?

But I am going to continue to speak out through this blog, which I distribute on various social media platforms. I likely won’t seek to change anyone’s mind. I realize at this point in this drama that folks’ minds are made up, they have dug in, they won’t be swayed to change by those on the other side of the great divide.

As I told a High Plains Blogger critic who challenged my lack of discussion on this impeachment matter, I already suffer from high blood pressure; I take a mild medicine to curb it. I do not need to t have my BP spike over angry exchanges.

I am not enjoying this process as it is.

About to set a blogging record

I am going to boast for a moment or two about this blog. Forgive me if I sound a bit self-serving.

Probably in the next 24 hours or so High Plains Blogger is going to set a record for page views and unique visitors for a single calendar year. What makes this bit of news boast worthy is that we still have two months left in this calendar year.

2019 will turn into 2020 soon. By the time it does, this blog will have shattered to smithereens the record it posted in 2018, which beat the mark it set in 2017, which was greater than the readership it had in 2016.

That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news (I refuse to call it “bad) is that I will have set the bar extremely high for the next record to be broken by the time 2021 rolls around.

My hope is that 2020 proves to be a banner year, too, for High Plains Blogger. I enjoy writing it. I thoroughly enjoy being able to spend the time that full-time retirement allows me to spend.

I am likely to have just a tiny bit less time over the next year. I have taken on a freelance writing gig for a local newspaper group. I will continue to write for KETR-FM, the public radio station based at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

My interest in maintaining my personal blog remains high.

I had two stupendous months earlier this year, in January and again in March, that enabled me to set this record. I cannot predict what events will transpire during the remainder of this year or next year that might send blog traffic through the roof.

I’m just proud of the record I am about set. I am hoping to maintain interest in this blog.

What’s left now is merely to offer a word of thanks to those who read these words and those who find them worth sharing with their own social media network of friends and acquaintances.

As for what’s ahead, well … let me at ’em.