In 1919 William Butler Yeats published one of the most beautifully disturbing and one of the most anthologized poems in my ken.  The opening lines of “The Second Coming” seem prophetic in their aptness for today.:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

 “Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

…A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun…

…And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

The Beast 45 appears to have been imagined a century before it appeared.

Apparently written about WWI, the lines, unfortunately, seem timeless.

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Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 4, 2017 at 1:41pm

It's as if every nightmare, every possible bad outcome from a presidential election has come to pass.  I don't think anyone could have envisioned how stupid and incredibly inept and sadly lacking in empathy and completely disinterested in anything or any one other than himself - I don't think anyone could have imagined that.  I wonder if he's slowly losing his mind.  I'm quite serious.  I think he was a bad actor - yes.  but now, what we have is a man struggling to cope with reality.  and failing.  

Comment by Rodney Roe on October 4, 2017 at 2:19pm

A number of Psychologists have commented on the fact that there has been a progressive deterioration in his vocabulary to the extent that it is almost infantile now.  Additionally, he seems ignorant of almost everything.  The fact that he lies about everything, that he can't take criticism, that he is devoid of empathy, that everything revolves around him isn't evidence, to me, of mental deterioration.  He's just a narcissist, and always has been.  I do think he seems to be in the early stages of dementia of some sort.

Michelle Obama, talking to some group commented that there is a generation of children who never knew a president other than her husband, and those children "don't think this is what they were taught"  Indeed.

Comment by Ron Powell on October 4, 2017 at 3:06pm

And yet, whilst some of us wailed and railed against him  imploring that this individual not be allowed to become President,  there were those amongst us here who insisted that we give him a chance, that we wait and see...

“...Surely some revelation is at hand..."

Indeed...

Rarely, if ever, is the wisdom of those experienced in the effects of unsympathetic and callous and indifferent power and authority seemingly run amuck heard or heeded by those who are living in relative comfort and complacency.

All you need to do to see what has been wrought is open your eyes and gaze into the mirror that sits now in the White House:

Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 4, 2017 at 3:55pm

Wait and see was all one could rationally do.  Ron, perhaps you will share what you believe could have been done to put an end to this man's election.   In fact, I'm very interesting in learning how you worked your fingers to the bone to stop his election.  

Look...that's the rub and was at the time....one could, as some were doing rend one's hair and scream about not accepting the fact of trump, but short of locking and loading, there wasn't much else to be done but accept that he was the candidate for the right and hope he didn't win.  this problem was exacerbated by the candidate on the left, not being particularly compelling. 

Maybe I missed something.  Do tell. 

Comment by Ron Powell on October 4, 2017 at 4:24pm

Trump won the electoral college by roughly 78,000  voters spread over four states.

Had Clinton won just one of those states the outcome would have been different.

Wisconsin,  Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, how does a front running Democrat lose all of these states?

Too many people sitting on their hands assuming that the outcome was already determined and too many people hollering about the lesser of two evils thus creating a false equivalency,  false dichotomy,  and a false choice.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 4, 2017 at 4:34pm

she was a LOUSY candidate who stood for nothing.  he - at least - had a campaign.  he had a motto that meant something, evoked emotions: love of country, rebuilding the infrastructure, protecting the borders.  whether you believed him or not or agreed or not, trump spoke with passion about topics that mean something.  that give people chills.  he was willing to go out on a limb and BE something.  

what the hell does "stronger together" mean exactly? 

and as for the big four states, equivalency be damned.  she lost because she didn't have a campaign that reached those 78 thousand.  she lost.  that means he won.

Comment by Ben Sen on October 4, 2017 at 4:36pm

Check out a poem titled: A Ritual to Read to Each Other," by William Stafford.  It's even better!

Comment by Ron Powell on October 4, 2017 at 4:54pm

Perhaps your call for more boobage and buttage might have worked...

" I don't think anyone could have envisioned how stupid and incredibly inept and sadly lacking in empathy and completely disinterested in anything or any one other than himself - I don't think anyone could have imagined that. "

However some of us "knew" and said as much. 

All the signs were there and clearly visible.

We now have a Neanderthal from hell as President of the United States...

 

Who freely elects such a person president?

People who are on their way to hell in the handbasket full of deplorables, that's who.

 

There never should have been a wait and see or a benefit of the doubt period for this abomination.

That's much, much more than his supporters and followers gave Obama.

Everybody knows at least that much.

Comment by Rodney Roe on October 4, 2017 at 5:46pm

"...trump spoke with passion about topics that mean something.  that give people chills...."

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

I have to agree with FM.  Hillary lacked emotion.  She came across as an actor reciting her lines; lines that did not excite.  She needed a lot of "hope and change" or some message that excited people.  Bernie excited people.  He came across as sincere and had a message about righting what is wrong with the country.  People bet on the wrong horse.  I really wanted Hillary to win, but the longer the race lasted the less enthused i got.  A lot of Dems had that reaction.

What i want to know is whether anyone among the ranks of power in the Democratic Party get this.  If the don't realize that we are going to have to have a galvanizing young person with a stirring message in 2020 we are going to have eight years of hell.

I think the Republicans were as sick as the Democrats about Trump.  His continuous primary wins were like a slow motion train wreck for the spend-but-don't-tax-trickle-down-bullshit faction of the party.  The question is whether a party loyalist can ever beat a populist without splitting the vote.  That goes for the Republicans in the primary and for Democrats in the general election.

Will Bubba and Bobbi Jean ever believe in the media again?  

Comment by koshersalaami on October 4, 2017 at 6:01pm

What Trump did was speak to people who were afraid the country was changing in ways that left them behind. All these people who used to stay the Hell out of the way appeared to be taking over while their jobs and job security disappeared along with key aspects of their country's preeminence. 

Liberals love to look down on rednecks. Liberals don't look down on the Black poor or the Mexican poor but they do look down on the White poor. But as bigoted as some of the White poor may be, they have legitimate concerns. Bernie got that, but he was damned near alone. 

Trump really betrayed his constituents. They still back him because he still stands for them in public, but at every campaign stop they shouted Drain The Swamp! They were sick of lobbyist influence, but Trump handed Washington to the lobbyists on a silver platter. 

Hillary? The first problem Hillary had is one she shared with Al Gore when he was running: Both of them are horrendous public speakers. (Or were - Gore has improved.) On the other hand, if you're in a Senate committee meeting, you want one of those guys in your corner because they understand that environment very well. But that doesn't help them get elected. It's very difficult to inspire people if you can't talk to a group of them effectively. 

In terms of the election, between Hillary's bad campaigning, an insane amount of free press and a free pass from that press that Trump got, and a whole lot of voter suppression, Hillary didn't win by enough to win. Ron's point I think is that not enough Americans cared about stopping Trump to stop Trump. That was costlier than they expected.

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