Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Sound Of Minds Closing

By the time I retired from my surgical practice, there was no operation I did exactly as taught during training. New studies are done. New technology happens. Because science is, by definition, skeptical, and because modern healthcare is science-based, it would be shocking if doctors weren’t always questioning their knowledge and open to change. (This is characteristic of no practitioners of homeopathy, by the way, or acupuncture, reiki, et woo, to whose followers the attraction is, evidently, that they’re unchanged over generations; no testing desired.)

I was taught by surgical innovators and pioneers. But time keeps happening; even their wisdom, it turned out, could be found wanting. I mention this because the sentinel characteristic of Trumpism and most of today’s Republican Party is the opposite. Once inculcated, Foxotrumpian lies are inlaid like a parquet floor. Nearly two years later, Trump still tells his adoring crowds he won by a landslide, making him either the most outrageous liar or the most delusional person ever placed in office by the Electoral College. Following suit, R candidates are calling fraud in their upcoming elections, even before the vote. 

In marginally more enlightened Washington State, thirty percent of Republicans believe Trump’s indisputably debunked Big Lie. Nationwide, the percentage is much higher. You know what, by electoral standards, WAS a landslide? The 57-43 vote to remove him from office in the second impeachment. Yet, at Trump rallies, his three-monkeyed drones still brandish signs saying he won, while chanting “lock her up.” 

Remember Arizona legislator Rusty Bowers, who famously refused Trump’s demands to break the law, later said he’d still vote for him, but more recently expressed reluctance? Confirming everything I’ve ever written about Trump’s no-longer conservative party, they expelled him; a leader in their legislature, a lifelong actual conservative. “Rusty has failed in his specific actions,” they said, “including co-sponsoring Democrat-led bills.” And declared him, “… no longer a Republican in good standing,”. Following the law, speaking truth, cooperating for the common good: unacceptable, in the eyes of the GOP.

I’ve had “conversations” with Trumpists who refused to watch the January 6 hearings. Not interested. Pre-dismissed. It was a peaceful protest, totally overblown. Right: we heard, and they didn’t, that Pence’s security detail were calling their loved ones to say goodbye. One-sided, they claim. Yet, as Vice-chair Cheney said and they’ll never see, “The case against Donald Trump is not made by his political enemies. It is instead by Donald Trump's own appointees, his own friends, his own campaign officials, people who worked for him for years, and his own family.” Like Rusty Bowers’, Ms. Cheney’s political career is likely over. A truth-telling, lie-rejecting, brave and ethical Republican. Oxymoron.

As a doctor, always aware I could be wrong and making sure as possible I wasn’t, I find Trumpists’ refusal to learn incomprehensible. And worrisome for our country. If my mind was similarly closed, I’d have still removed gallbladders through eight-inch incisions and kept victims hospitalized for a week. If I’d clung to the received wisdom that bowel surgery patients require a tube down their nose for days, ignoring later studies showing they retard recovery, I’d have had lots of miserable patients and, deservedly, lost my surgical privileges.

Among the reasons Trump didn’t want to call off the rioters, as we learned and the ignorers won’t, is that it would “give the media a win.” So much for duty to the Constitution and the rule of law. So much for thinking outside his own troubled head, a dereliction of duty and failure of leadership the hearings made clear as our air once was. After his “team normal” insisted, he gave a speech acknowledging Congress had certified the electoral votes. But refused to say the election was over.

A person who did watch is Rupert Murdoch, creator of the propaganda network dba Fox “news.” His New York Post editorialized, “Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again,” and his Wall Street Journal wrote, “Character is revealed in a crisis, and Mr. Pence passed his Jan. 6 trial. Mr. Trump utterly failed his.” No wonder Trumpists refused to watch.

Cynical as it gets, they’ve nominated, to be among only one-hundred senators, carpetbagging Dr. Oz, famous for selling phony cures and housing Turkish nationalists in a secret condo, and Hershel Walker, talented only in football and domestic abuse. They’ve invited Hungary’s dictatorial leader, whose top advisor just resigned over a disgusting, neo-Nazi speech, to speak at CPAC. When a “major” political party idolizes authoritarians, purges its few honest leaders, and keeps its members deliberately ignorant, there are consequences for us all. Until we no longer have it, voting remains our only means to resist. 


  1. Just stopping in to say hello. I tested positive for Covid two weeks ago, thought I was done with it but tested positive again yesterday. It felt like a not-very-bad cold for the most part, but the cough has lingered which is why I went for an official test. I'd tested negative two times in the last week with home tests, but the cough...

    So, I'm isolating. Again. At least we have AC at home.

    1. Nice to hear from you, Mary, tho it could be under better circumstances.


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