Well, here we are. 115 days until the election. I like to count down days, as those of you who hang out with me on Facebook probably already know. It is 60 days until football. (Possibly 425). 167 days until Christmas. 174 days until America swears in Joe Biden. 245 days until Leprechaun Crawl ’21. 353 days until I’m 53. 1220 days until Roger Stone would have gotten out of jail. 1555 days until Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can run for president.
I could go on and on. Hopefully, I do.
But Roger Stone won’t get a jail sentence. He got commuted. Getting commuted isn’t like getting pardoned – he’s still guilty AF but doesn’t have to do time, because he’s a friend of a despot. The Kim Family must be proud. What’s next? Kill Mary? I wonder if the 40% would even bat an eyelash at that.
No, I don’t. I actually don’t.
But numbers can be a funny thing. About 40% of Americans currently support Donald Trump according to the polls but, really, how many people actually do? I know some Trump supporters that don’t support him, at all, only his party affiliation. I know some Trump supporters that support him simply because he’s the current president. They supported Obama. They supported Bush. They supported Clinton. Of course they support him; he’s the president. Alternately, I know some people that would shrug and say “yeah” when asked if they support the president but might say “who?” when asked if they support Donald Trump. It’s long been said that Trump’s true following is closer to 20% of Americans and, probably, pretty close to 20% absolutely despise him, and somewhere around 20% of Americans float back and forth between the extremes. Another 40% probably couldn’t care less.
Numbers don’t lie, I’ve been told. Except for when they do.
Mark Twain famously quoted someone else when he said there are three levels of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Numbers lie. I mean, not literally, numbers aren’t politicians. The number 7,112,020 can’t look at you and say “OJ didn’t do it” because numbers can’t directly speak, much less lie. The same number, written differently, can tell you that today is 7/11/2020, but it can’t tell you that to your face spouting spittle in all caps. It is in the interpretation of numbers where all lies begin.
I have a good friend, bless his heart, that pours (pores?) over the Covid-19 data daily to prove that the virus ain’t that bad. If the numbers shift, he changes his points of data. One day it could be the infection rate, the next the death rate, the next the recovery rate, and on and on. The numbers tell him one thing – we’re in the middle of pretty serious global pandemic – but the data he chooses, from day to day, can tell him quite another. It’s being blown out of proportion, he might say. We’re being misled, he said once, on a global scale.
I worry about that particular phrasing most of all. It goes back to my theory about conspiracies which, you might recall, is this in a nutshell: there is no possibility of sustained global cooperation to further an insidious agenda. Hell, no two of us can agree on the smallest thing for longer than 10 minutes before it breaks down into an often-heated discussion about whether something is crimson or scarlet. Well, we might both agree to unfriend anyone who tells us it’s cardinal, but that’s another story.
The point is my friend is right, and my friend is wrong. We’re always being misled, on a global scale, by competing forces vying for our attention and dollar. On a local scale, too. The important task, for each of us who think, is to discern. There can be a really serious global pandemic going on and a competing confluence of manipulators utilizing the chaos to partake in agendas (agendi?). And Donald Trump can be an absolute moron and be on the perilous verge of tyrannical clout. More than one thing can be true at once.
Speaking of unfriending and Donald Trump, I have been dropped on FB by at least 3 really good friends recently, ostensibly because of the cad. Nevertheless, I persist.
I could go on and on.
I won’t, for now. I am 2 hours and 15 minutes from having to be at work. It takes me 8 minutes to drive there and about 30 minutes to get ready. I really should be there 10 minutes early. So of the 135 minutes I have left, I have 87 of them to finish this and then walk the dogs. And I just wasted 7 of them typing this paragraph.
I gotta go. Numbers may lie, they may tell the truth, but the numbers of minutes between now and then are always unforgiving. Like dogs that don’t get walks. There is no pardon for that. 😉