Today, after a divisive campaign (to say the least) is election day when Americans will elect their next president. The bi-partisan distrust of the two major political parties, namely, the Democrats and Republicans, the power brokers of this nation, raises the question: How long can such a divided and acrimonious United States of America last as one country? Indian history offers a not so optimistic answer.
To explain, I shall show two maps – a geographical map of British India at the time of partition (top, left) and the political (“Red and Blue States”) map of America (top, right). What is important is that you see the distribution of the two colors – yellow and green on the map to the left, and red and blue on the map to the right.
Serious religious differences resulted in the breakup of British India into two countries – predominantly Hindu India (shaded yellow) with predominantly Muslim Pakistan (shaded green) on either side of India (East and West Pakistan). East Pakistan became the new country of Bangladesh in 1971.
So, coming back to the political discord in America, blue states (mostly on the two coasts), have more than the necessary 270 electoral votes to elect a president – no red states (the middle part) needed. A rather discomforting thought!
Lying in bed several Sunday mornings ago, I browsed NY Times review of three religious books (or, should it be “books on religion”, to be more politically correct*). One of them titled AGNOSTIC: A Spirited Manifesto caught the attention of my drowsy mind: spirited agnostics?
I know this contribution of mine does not match the gravitas of René Descartes who, also lying in bed, developed the Cartesian coordinate system after observing the movements of a housefly.
* Please await my soon forthcoming post on the phrase “people of color“. Thanks for your patience.
The main point of this message is that every American must exercise great caution when s/he casts aspersions on another American’s patriotism. Therefore, it is quite disappointing to read a rather reckless opinion on the GOP presidential nominee’s love of country in one of its leading newspapers, of which I am regular reader.
I am NOT a Trump supporter, primarily because of his and his party’s policy positions and statements on important issues (to me, anyway) such as health care (replace “Obamacare” with what?), economics (based on the failed trickle down theory), environment (that global warming is a myth) and immigration (a religious test for entry into this country appears unconstitutional). As for my personal thoughts, Mr. Trump’s actions and words are, or appear to be, unethical, narcissistic, bigoted, misogynistic, clueless of solutions to serious issues that currently plague this nation, quite crude in language and style, . . .
But, is Trump unpatriotic? In the absence of concrete “unpatriotic” deeds by Mr. Trump, and given that I have no access to inner thoughts of people, I am obliged to at least give Mr. Trump (and, for that matter, Mr. Bruni) the benefit of the doubt. To rebut just one of his reason’s for doubting Mr. Trump’s love of country, i.e., the unpatriotic act of draft-dodging, it is important to note that two of our recent past presidents conveniently managed to avoid going to Vietnam.
When did, given our country’s history, being bigoted or controversial raise doubts of one’s patriotism? In conclusion, “Is casting unfounded aspersions on the patriotism of a politically conservative candidate the last refuge of a liberal journalist?” (adapting lexicographer Samuel Johnson’s statement “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” for the occasion)
is in trouble. So, what else is new. There is an old song that goes well with title of the NY Times article. In this case, the threesome are the people and the nominee – who in love with himself, counts for two.
Mindless testing of the young to improve K-12 education is the rage these days, at least in Ohio. It is like measuring snakes with a straight edge. Sure, you will get some numbers. But are they meaningful? This video about learning and passing tests from two species (crows and monkeys), should be an eye opener to those who have bet the educational farm on testing as the sole way to assess and improve education. The big lesson: Every child learns differently depending on his/her experiences. The time for individualized testing, like personalized medicine, has come.