Monday, November 7, 2016

"What one turns away from"

I. Make America Bathe Again?

Even when I don't agree with them, the Economist makes me laugh, with its smart British snarkiness. Having looked more closely at the candidates now, I do agree with their endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.
And with their using sanitation history as an example of how life in the United States has improved:
"Around 80% of Trump supporters say that for people like them, American is worse than it was 50 years ago.
That is false:
half a century ago 6million households lacked a flushing lavatory. It is also a most unAmerican way to see the world."
Life without indoor plumbing, 1930s >

Question: "And how did you get water to it?"

Stan Jensen:  "We had carried it in, had a boiler thing that we heated the water in on the stove, the cook stove.
And we used that water.
Everybody used the same water, you know. [Laughs.] You didn't change water between baths." 

via Living Farm History

II. Here are snippets from the Economist article, "America's Best Hope", November 5, 2016:

"Many Americans would willing undergo [a presidential campaign] all over again––with two new candidates. Of course that is not on offer: the next president will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

"That alone would stop us from casting a vote, if we had one, for Mr Trump. As it happens, he has a set of policies that go with his personality.
[more examples…]
We would sooner have endorsed Richard Nixon––even had we known how we would later come to grief.

"Our vote, then, goes to Hillary Clinton. Those who reject her …because they detest the Clinton machine are not paying attention to the turpitude* of the alternative.  
Although, by itself, that is not much of an endorsement, we go further. Mrs Clinton is a better candidate than she seems and better suited to cope with the awful, broken state of Washington politics than her critics will admit. She also deserves to prevail on her own merits.

"Mrs Clinton has campaigned for an open, optimistic country. She can take heart from the fact that, outside Washington, there is more bipartisanship and problem-solving than most Americans realize, and from the fact that popular pessimism has far overshot reality. Around 80% of Trump supporters say that for people like them, American is worse than it was 50 years ago.
That is false:
half a century ago 6million households lacked a flushing lavatory. It is also a most unAmerican way to see the world.

"To hope that any good can come from Mr Trump's wrecking job reflects a narcissistic believe that compromise in politics is a dirty word …

"Hence our vote goes to Mrs Clinton... Partly because she is not Mr Trump, but also in the hope that she can show that ordinary politics works for ordinary people––the sort of renewal that American democracy requires."

[end of Economist clips]

Pikachu agrees.

As for Hillary being no better than Trump, Tumblr had a nice response---I posted it in the Comments to this post [because it's getting too long].

III. Fun with Etymology: turpitude, turnip, trump
turpitude (n.)
"depravity, infamy," late 15c., from Middle French turpitude , from Latin turpitudinem (nominative turpitudo) "baseness," from turpis "vile, physically ugly, base, unsightly," figuratively "morally ugly, scandalous, shameful," of unknown origin. Klein suggests perhaps originally "what one turns away from" (compare Latin trepit "he turns").
Not entirely unrelated to turnip!
c. 1500, turnepe, probably from turn (from its shape, as though turned on a lathe) + Middle English nepe "turnip," from Latin napus "turnip.
trump (v.2)
"fabricate, devise," 1690s, from trump "deceive, cheat", from Old French tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de "to mock," from Old French tromper "to blow a trumpet."
Brachet explains this as "to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying ...." The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe "blow the trumpet" as "act the fool," and Donkin connects it rather to trombe "waterspout," on the notion of turning (someone) around.

1 comment:

Fresca said...

from Tumblr, On Hillary being "just as bad" as Trump:

"It’s November 8 2016. Election Day. And you didn’t vote. You knew that trump is evil “but Hillary is just as bad”, you said. You hate both of them, so you refused to vote. “Neither deserves to win”, you said and by the way, it’s rigged anyway, right? You refuse to play that game and you feel quite good about it. You’re a rebel. It’s your kind of protest against the corrupt system!

You come home from work, with a smile on your face. It looks like your protest works: Some of your friends also didn’t vote or wrote in the name of a third candidate. You feel really good. Maybe you and your friends are enough to change the system! And if not, well, you’ve seen presidents change before and it never had too many consequences in your life.

You sit down in front of your tv, reach for the remote and your phone buzzes. It’s a text from one of your friends, the weird one who begged you to vote for Hillary - and your smile falls off your face “It looks like Trump will probably win. I’m so scared. My sister is crying.”

You suddenly remember that your friend’s sister is trans.

You turn on the tv and you can’t believe your eyes. The third candidate one of your other friends voted for is at 4%! That’s great, isn’t it? But wait.. Hillary is currently behind Trump? By 6%? Oh. You didn’t expect that.

Another text. A co-worker. “Two people called in sick. I think it’s because they’re scared to go outside in case Trump wins..”

One of your co-workers is black, one is Muslim.

You stare at the tv and you can’t believe what you hear. “Trump won.” It was a head-at-head race and Hillary almost won - but only almost. You can’t believe it. None of your friends were going to vote for him!

You want to go outside to think about something else - but you stop as you hear your neighbor crying on the phone. “I’m so scared i’ll lose the custody right when our marriage gets annulled”.

You suddenly remember that your neighbors are a gay couple with a cute little daughter.

But Hillary would’ve been just as bad, right? "