Thursday, July 28, 2016


I read up some on Bernie Sanders yesterday.  I learned that he decided to study Political Science because he himself had learned about a man named Adolph Hitler whose political ascension resulted in the death of 50 million people in World War II, six million of whom were Jews, killed because they were Jews.  So, Sanders figured that politics was important to study.

I am occasionally intrigued by the phenomenon of memory.  What do we remember and forget--and why? I have been blessed with a remarkable long term memory, yet my short term memory has become frighteningly abysmal.  I write e-mails to myself to remind myself that I took a pill--and really that is nothing.  I have ceased being surprised when I see that I have already taken out the garbage when I go to take it out because I had made a mental note to take it out, but have--incredibly-forgotten that I already have done so.

But my long term memory is still good. I was unnerved recently--and did comment on this in an earlier blog (though maybe I just thought I did) about how I guffawed when I heard a story, only to be informed subsequently by the raconteur that I had similarly laughed at the same story a while back.  That incident aside, I am surprised now and again when an event that happened years ago remains vivid in my mind, yet those who shared the moment have apparently forgotten about it.

I've some college cronies who use me on occasion as the go to human google for trivia about our past.  I got an e-mail a week or so ago from someone who contended he had a certain role in our fraternity whilst another contemporary disputed the claim.  I remembered vividly the accurate information.  I'm forever being tapped at one of our reunions by someone wondering what was the name of so and so, and where we had our fraternity weekend in 1968, or who started on our high school basketball team or who dated whom. Fair enough that this is all is trivia. But how does amnesia happen when it is not trivia.

I am puzzled by the resilience of Donald Trump's candidacy. The guy steps in excrement every week and yet he is still neck and neck for the presidency of the United States. Yesterday he said that the Russians should try and hack our e-mails. Today he said he was kidding.  A month or so ago, he praised Saddam Hussein because he "knew how to deal with terrorists".   Uh, no.  Saddam Hussein did not know how to deal with terrorists. He knew how to deal with dissidents. Hussein was a dictator and did what dictators do. They destroy those who oppose them.  Is that what Trump admires?

I get the importance of political power and the need for parties to try and gain it.  Yet this guy is not a Republican really.  He is an independent who was able to get the nomination because people have amnesia.  Even the casual high school study of the third reich, even the laziest high school student, knows that Hitler rose to power because he used a scapegoat--Jews--to get the Germans to coalesce around a foul nationalism.  So Trump is not using Jews--using the Moslems and Mexicans--and sleeping with the Russians.

How do you forget the important stuff?

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