[Vision2020] Trump vs. Obama: A question of character

Nicholas Gier ngier006 at gmail.com
Sat May 12 21:36:39 PDT 2018

Hi Ted,

Yes, it was sort of like shooting fish in a barrel.  Obama's decision not
to prosecute the Bush and Company was not because of any moral flaw, it was
a political decision within his grand, but naive plan for cooperation with
the GOP. Incredibly, he still believed this in his last State of the Union


On Fri, May 11, 2018 at 7:44 PM, Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com> wrote:

> While comparing Obama to Trump regarding personal character and behavior
> easily reveals who is the better person, the Trump phenomena reveals truths
> about the systemic ethical flaws still existing in a society founded on
> genocide (native Americans) and slavery.  These historical facts, which
> many wish to dismiss as no longer morally operating in mainstream culture,
> are among the cultural causal variables that placed Trump in the White
> House.  Trump is thus a manifestation of a long-standing underlying
> ideological psychology easily manipulated by a demagogue.  It is tempting
> to demonize Trump while overlooking the overall moral character of the
> United States of which Trump is merely a current manifestation.
> Of course to exhaustively defend the claims I've just stated is way beyond
> the scope of this post, and likely my intellectual ability.  Nonetheless,
> Sunil's comment Wed. this week, about what is a major moral flaw in Obama's
> behavior as President, is instructive to illuminate the theme of Trump as
> an expression of the moral character of the United States based on
> foundational historical behavior.  If we as a society still marginalize and
> avoid responsibility for fundamental moral failings, no one should be
> surprised by the rise to power of a fundamentally morally flawed leader
> like Trump.
> Relevant commentary by Jeremy Scahill at website below.
> On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 10:48 AM, Sunil Ramalingam <
> sunilramalingam at hotmail.com> wrote:
> You’re both talking style over substance. I’ll give you an Obama choice I
>> find beyond unseemly. His decision not to prosecute torturers in the Bush
>> Administration has allowed the nomination of a war criminal for the
>> position of head of the CIA. That’s not unseemly, that’s repulsive and
>> disgusting.
> ----------------------------------------------
> Jeremy Scahill: Obama Paved Way for Haspel to Head CIA by Failing to Hold
> Torturers Accountable
> StoryMay 10, 2018
> https://www.democracynow.org/2018/5/10/jeremy_scahill_obama_paved_way_for
> ------------------------------------------------
> Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
> ***** Original material contained herein is Copyright 2000 through life
> plus 70 years, Ted Moffett.  Do not copy, forward, excerpt, or reproduce
> outside the Vision2020.Moscow.com <http://vision2020.moscow.com/> forum
> without the express written permission of the author.*****
> ----------------------------------
> On Fri, May 11, 2018 at 5:14 AM, Moscow Cares <moscowcares at moscow.com>
> wrote:
> Courtesy of today’s (May 11, 2018) *Moscow-Pullman Daily News* with
>> thanks to Nick Gier.
>> ——————————————-
>> His View: Trump vs. Obama: A question of character
>> By Nick Gier
>> YouGov Poll recently asked people which living American they admired the
>> most. Barack Obama was on top with 24 percent, and Donald Trump was a
>> distant second at 10.7 percent. A CNN/ORC poll just after the election
>> found that 66 percent did not believe Trump was an admirable person.
>> YouGov also surveyed 37,000 people in 35 nations and found that Bill
>> Gates was most admired, followed by Obama and then Chinese President Xi
>> Jinping. Trump was in 17th place. Obama ranked far ahead of Trump in every
>> country except, you guessed it, Russia.
>> In the same survey, Michelle Obama was admired most by Americans (she was
>> second in the world), followed by Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth and
>> Hillary Clinton. Melania Trump was in 9th place.
>> What is the reason for Obama's popularity? In January, a Quinnipiac Poll
>> found 50 percent gave Barack credit for the improved economy, while only 40
>> percent said Trump was responsible.
>> I don't think, however, that bringing the nation out of the Great
>> Recession is the main reason why so many people admire the Obamas so much.
>> I believe it is a matter of character. As Michelle put it so well: "When
>> they go low, we go high." Barack's comment about Red State voters "clinging
>> to guns and religion" was the exception to the rule.
>> A 2017 C-Span survey of 91 presidential historians ranked Barack 12th out
>> of all presidents. Abraham Lincoln was first, Franklin D. Roosevelt third,
>> John F. Kennedy eighth, Ronald Reagan ninth and Bill Clinton 15th.
>> Significantly, it was Barack's moral authority that impressed them most,
>> citing working with Congress and foreign affairs as weaknesses.
>> The Obamas have endured savage attacks with dignity and restraint. Trump
>> started the lie that Barack was born in Kenya, and 43 percent of
>> Republicans still believe this baptized Christian is a secret Muslim.
>> In 2016, the Washington Post listed 22 insults to Michelle, the most
>> egregious being "she is an ape in high heels" and has a "gorilla face." Can
>> anyone imagine Trump staying silent in the face of charges such as these?
>> The most reliable comparative measure of truth telling is found at
>> Politifact.com. There, a careful analysis of Trump statements has found
>> that 68 percent are false, mostly false or pants on fire. Trump has a
>> record number of pants on fire, four times more than Mitt Romney, his
>> closest competitor. In contrast, Barack's statements are in the false
>> categories only 26 percent of the time, with only 9 pants on fire.
>> A January Quinnipiac poll was the most detailed survey of Trump's
>> character traits. With regard to the president being a role model for
>> children, 90 percent of respondents believed that is was important, but
>> only 29 percent thought that Trump qualified for this role.
>> This same survey found only 33 percent believed Trump provided the nation
>> with moral leadership; just 30 percent maintained he was level-headed; and
>> only 34 percent claimed he shared their values.
>> In a hard-hitting column in The New York Times, conservative Bret
>> Stephens declares "Trump is empowering a conservative political culture
>> that celebrates everything that patriotic Americans should fear: the cult
>> of strength, open disdain for truthfulness, violent contempt for the press
>> and hostility toward high culture and other types of 'elitism.' "
>> Stephens regrets to announce the GOP's new mottos: "Character Doesn't
>> Count" and "Virtue Doesn't Matter."
>> How much longer will Autocrat Donald Trump drag his party into the
>> gutter, and how much longer can the American Republic stand his attacks on
>> the judiciary, the press, the CIA and the FBI, one of the most respected
>> national police agencies in the world?
>> ——————————————-
>> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
>> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
>> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
>> Tom Hansen
>> Moscow, Idaho
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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
shall never sit in.

-Greek proverb

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.

--Immanuel Kant
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