OpEdge to take a sabbatical, but will return in a few months with an exciting new project

I wanted to let my OpEdge readers know that I’ll be taking a break from posting articles for from three to six months. I’ve been working on a novel for a number of years and am partway through a very polished second draft. I’ve decided it’s time to focus all my efforts on getting the novel ready for publication.

Composing the OpEdge articles distract me from the novel in two ways. Obviously, it takes a lot of time to develop ideas, research, write, edit and post the articles. But perhaps more significant: When I write expository prose I try always to remain logical and rational. I try to seek the truth and base my statements on facts. The voices of my novel sometimes get very emotional. They lie—to themselves and to others. A few are mentally unhinged, and most have a lot of pretty strange ideas based more on unproved myths than on observation and analysis. It’s getting progressively harder for me to switch from one mode of thinking and writing to the other on a regular basis. Perhaps my brain is slowing down—blame it on aging!

I think I can complete the second draft of my first novel in about three months, but it may take as long as six. So for the next few months my esteemed readers will have to do without my insights and rants. But I promise to return, fresh and ready to recommence the battle.

For the past several years, I’ve been thinking about how to turn the material I have created for OpEdge into a book. I recently came up with an idea, which will animate the direction I take OpEdge when I return in a few months. I won’t share this new twist with you now, but will reveal that it will involve popularizing important research that the mainstream news media tends to ignore.

In my absence, I have an easy way to determine how you should stand on any economic or social issue: If the current administration proposes it or is for it, it’s probably a bad idea. If the current administration dislikes it or wants to dismantle it, it’s probably working well and helping America.

I’ll be back.

If election proves country not ready for woman prez, we’re lucky to get Trump instead of someone on same page as Ryan & McConnell

I had the strangest dream last night.

I was sitting on a bench against the wall in a large ballroom filled with people dressed in formal wear. I was watching the glitterati and listening to the band play swing music when Donald Trump sits down beside me, shakes my hand and starts to brag about what a great job he is doing to make the country safe. He stands erect, looking strong and in control in his blue silk suit, power red tie, large gold cufflinks and spit-polished black wing-tips. He’s friendly and self-assured. His eyes cast the kind of look people give to those with whom they have reached a complete understanding.

I start to rip him a new one. I tell him the country is already safe and that he is threatening the economy with his immigration policy, his threat of tariffs, his meddling in the Affordable Care Act and his desire to lower taxes on the wealthy.

Trumpty-Dumpty looks shocked and embarrassed that someone disagrees with him. He winces at every fact I cite as if they were darts piercing his flesh. He tries to respond to me after I spout that all crime, violent crime, and terrorist acts have declined, but he can only manage to sputter weakly the words “carnage” and “Chicago,” then falls silent. His body, once projecting power, seems to soften and sink into itself.

I’m reciting a list of studies that prove public schools outperform private ones when suddenly he jumps on my lap and starts to cry. He bawls like a toddler, furiously kicking out his hands and feet, now suddenly short and stubby, and shaking his head. He turns to me, his lower lip protruding like a pregnant abdomen, his cheeks wet with running tears.

That’s when I wake up.

That’s the dream, exactly as I experienced it.

The background to my nocturnal encounter with a Trumpian incubus was an epiphany I had earlier in the evening: that the country might be lucky that Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote. Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Mario Rubio or any other Republican would have been worse, because unlike Trump, all are vocal supporters of cutting back Social Security and Medicare benefits and all would have been happy to throw people off healthcare insurance or give them significantly worse coverage. Trump has said he is against cutting Social Security and Medicare and that his healthcare plan will give universal coverage at lower costs. Moreover, we already see that Trump’s unprofessional and chaotic style of leadership impedes legislative action. I imagine that Cruz or Bush would have taken a much more organized approach.

Trump has done many terrible things, to be sure, and is promising more. But other than immigration, we can be fairly certain that other Republicans would have done much of the same. Dismantling environmental and financial regulations, denying rights to transgender people, stopping investigations of police misconduct, building up the military, cutting social welfare programs—all the Republicans wanted these things. The difference is they were competently knowledgeable about how to get things done in government. They also seemed sane and therefore commanded more intellectual respect.

The premise upon which I build my (completely facetious) case that Trump may be a blessing in disguise is that the United States is not ready for a female president and that any Republican—the oily Cruz, the mealy Bush, the self-righteous Kasich, the dim-witted Rubio—would have beat Hillary Clinton by virtue of the fact that they are men and she is a women. It’s a dismaying and horrifying thought—that so many men and women would refuse to vote for a woman, or would hold a woman to a much higher standard of conduct and achievement than they would a man. But how else to explain how someone with Hillary Clinton’s track record, beliefs, record of ethical conduct and obvious skills could lose in the Electoral College to an ignorant, inexperienced, erratic, racist, misogynistic and self-centered buffoon?

Large numbers of people voted against their best interest. They voted for their worst instincts. They voted for lies. All, so they could vote for a man.

Very depressing.

I think I’ll go back to sleep and verbally slap The Donald around a bit.