Weekly Letter to President Obama
Copyright © 2010
ofthisandthat.org. All rights
INAUGURATION, January 20, 2009
Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape
To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.
The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.
Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.
--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
--- Native American proverb
October 21, 2016
Mr. President: In 19 days the election, and what to many Americans is a political
nightmare, will be over. But will it? Who can imagine Trump graciously disappearing
from the scene if he loses, or for that matter Hillary. He is likely to parlay his greater
celebrity into a new enterprise, and she into another run with the same political
cronies at her side. The character of these candidates and the language of politics
both outrage, although the seeds for the latter were sown a long time ago.
Rush Limbaugh was a disc jockey in the 1980s, until he initiated a career in radio
commentary. No holding back was his style. Blend in humor, extreme right-wing
positions and a gloves-off stance in his criticism of his opposition, and he now
commands an audience of 13 million listeners and numerous imitators ranting on local
radio across the nation. It has accustomed vast numbers of Americans to a tone of
disrespect alien to civil discourse and polite disagreement.
On the television front, Roger Ailes a long-time Republican political operator helped
Rupert Murdoch in building up his Fox News into the top rated cable news channel.
Mr. Ailes' formula used the Limbaugh script jazzed up for television. Sean Hannity
and Bill O'Reilly, the loud conservative commentators, delivered the red meat to an
increasing viewership, while serious journalism supplemented them with increasing
respectability. The previously invincible Ailes might have been forced out due to
numerous sexual improprieties but the channel's significance is now undeniable -- it
hosted one of the presidential debates in this election.
Andrew Breitbart, after stints at the Drudge Report and Huffington Post, started
Breitbart.com. With current Alexa rankings of 134 in the US and 746 globally, it
remains one of the most successful right-wing sites. Its formula also appeals to the
outrage of the deprived -- Donald Trump's favorite demographic. Again, in the
footsteps of Limbaugh, the site targets liberalism -- 'limousine liberals' taking
advantage of hard-working Americans, shipping jobs overseas often in league with
RINOs (Republicans in name only) who have betrayed their constituents.
Young Andrew Breitbart died of a heart attack in 2012 at he age of 43. The site has
been run since by Stephen K. Bannon, who is now the official chief executive of the
Trump campaign. It was Mr. Trump's poke-in-the-eye to the Republican
Should he lose the election, can anyone seriously believe this penultimate spinner of
outrage will retire in silence. No, his enhanced celebrity and his billions open up
another business opportunity an entrepreneur like Trump is unlikely to miss. Trump
TV comes to mind. If Andrew Breitbart did do well without any financial backing, the
prospect of a well-funded Trump media behemoth is not difficult to imagine. After all,
the time is ripe as the audience for Fox News and Limbaugh et al continues to age.
The new investigations of Hillary Clinton's emails attached to a sordid case has cut
her lead into a virtual tie, and there is now a distinct possibility Trump will win. And if
Well, we have come to expect the unexpected. Obama 'change' became 'more of the
same' and the Nobel Peace Laureate has bequeathed seven wars, a refugee crisis in
Europe, hundreds of thousands dead and confrontation with Russia, the other major
nuclear power. Amidst all the spewed hatred, Trumps views on Putin and Russia
might well diffuse this dangerous tension.