Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Legerdemain: The Fine Art of Illusion, Distraction, and Okey Doke

It's time to Break It Down!


Yesterday was a day the likes of which the United Nations, Americans, and the worldwide community have never seen. The point of this post is simple and direct. Keep your eye on the prize; do not lose sight of that with which we are dealing. I promise to frame it in succinct fashion.

The President of the United States stood behind a podium at the vaunted U.N. No American President has ever spoken to the world like this. In what will certainly be remembered as a unique United Nations General Assembly debut for an American President, the leader of the free world reveled in the self-possessed disruptive, bellicose, nationalistic persona this is uniquely his own. He employed the rhetorical flair the totally shattered and rearranged national political norms in this country ten months ago.

In this venue, it’s clear the working goal was to transform America’s global role on the international stage. Never before has a United States President displayed authoritarianism to the extent that actually threatened to wipe a country off the face of the planet. Reagan’s “Evil Empire,” and Bush’s “Axis of Evil,” pale in comparison. North Korea and Kim Jong-un (whom the President has given the sobriquet Rocket man) are on notice.

How the speech was received depended upon one’s political and ideological perspective. A cursory review revealed, unsurprisingly, that it played exceedingly well in TrumpWorld. The so-called non-politically correct straight talk was just what the doctor ordered.

One such voice, Nile Gardiner, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, praised the President for his assertive and aggressive delivery, and for scuttling the deferential multilateral Obama doctrine. Trump BFF Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, called the speech bold and courageous.

Of course, there was no dearth of alternative facts…I mean, points of view. Margot Wallstrom, for example, Foreign Minister of Sweden, said of the speech:

"This was a bombastic, nationalist speech. It must have been decades since one last heard a speech like that in the U.N. General Assembly. ... This was a speech at the wrong time to the wrong audience."   

Naturally, denizens of the other side of the deep and wide political and ideological chasm held a different view, as well. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, said of the speech:

“The goal of the United Nations is to foster peace and promote global cooperation. Today, the President used it as a stage to threaten war.”

The truth of the matter is, this is compelling stuff. But I cannot say often enough. There are other compelling matters with which we should be concerned. Three weeks ago I elevated ten items as examples of matters worthy of our continued focus, despite any array of distractions that might befall us. North Korea was on the list, by the way. But it wasn’t alone…and it’s still not. Each of the issues on that list is still vitally important. They were, and are:

1.    Various Trump-Russia investigations (Don’t be fooled; there are 5)
2.    North Korea’s continued missile testing and accompanying threats
3.    Donald Trump, Jr. and his scheduled testimony on his Russian meeting
4.    Paul Manafort
5.    Subpoenas for Paul Manafort’s attorney and his current spokesman
6.    Jared Kushner
7.    Trump business sought to build a Trump Tower in Moscow
8.    Transgender Troop Ban
9.    GOP push to limit Mueller’s investigation to 6 months
10. Trump’s Charlottesville response

That’s it. I would never imply that a United States President would start a war to deflect from his personal challenges on the home front. However, I fully encourage you to stay focused on what’s important, and don’t forget”Legerdemain: The Fine Art of Illusion, Distraction, and Okey Doke!” So I reiterate, I will not imply…but if you happen to infer or impute…well that just means you’re smarter than the average bear.

I’m done; holla back!

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