Creativity Challenge 25
The Challenge here is to use your creative talent to bring light into the current distress in the world around you, in whatever form that talent takes. Please remember that we are reaching out to a world that is facing upheaval and possibly a great number of changes. Let us reach out to that world and bring it the lessons we have learned by becoming artists and writers. “The word for this challenge is Mistakes.”
One thing I have learned as a writer is that words have impact. They have impact on those who read them. Oftentimes, you don’t know what impact your words have had until much later, when one of your readers tells you what impression they had on them. I know I have often been surprised at what significance some story or article I have written has had on a reader; perhaps a story that was just meant to be light-hearted, but a story that touched a reader in some fundamental way.
Writers aren’t the only ones with a responsibility since their story or non-fiction article seems to have imprinted on one or more people. So do our politicians. This was particularly evident in the 2016 Presidential Election in the U.S. Did this election add to the distress in the world around us? Without a doubt. The reason it did is because it was filled with hateful rhetoric. By both candidates, but particularly by President-elect Trump. Not in my lifetime do I remember a candidate for the Presidency of the United States calling other candidates, in the primary, or the candidate running against him in the general election, humiliating names. It was childish, bullying, school-yard behavior but it apparently appealed to some of the baser instincts of some sectors of our population. Some of the American people, Trump supporters, actually chanted, “KILL HILLARY,” at the end of Trump’s political rallies. Whoever thought the American people were capable of that? Clearly, that was a mistake. A mistake just as horrible as if I had written a story with those words, but about another person who opposed what I was saying.
That is called “herd mentality.” I guarantee you that some people who were chanting that phrases were just following other around them. They really were not asking for Hillary Clinton to be killed. This incident, however, was an example of how riots start. How revolutions start. I could just have easily written a book that would give people ideas about their ability to riot or undergo a revolution.
Donald Trump made a mistake. He played on the fears of a sector of the American population. The people who attended his rallies had lost their jobs due to globalization and technological innovation and robotics. Their unions had not protected them. They couldn’t find another job without re-training to which many are resistant? Their unemployment benefits had run out and they had to work menial jobs to even keep a roof over their head. Trump has promised them that he will bring the jobs back to America. But here’s the secret. That will be incredibly hard to do. The old plants stand empty and will have to be completely refitted. Trade agreements with other countries that make our products will have to be violated or repealed. In order to bring back jobs, wages will have to be low due to the other high fixed costs. It will take far more than four years if it can be done at all. Trump made a mistake by promising something to get himself elected that he cannot possibly know if he can deliver.
If I made promises as a writer that I could not deliver and I was a writer working for an employer, do you know what would happen? I would be fired.
Perhaps the most shameful mistake that Donald Trump made regarding domestic policy, and te one closest to my heart, is the promise to the coal miners of Kentucky and West Virginia. He said he is going to bring back coal mining. Because of the desperation of the coal miners for work, they believed him. They could not see the con. That all he was doing was promising them the world in order to get their vote. He got their vote, but he isn’t going to bring back coal mining. He can’t put the coal back in the ground. A lot of the mines are closed because they are mined out.
What is really driving the loss of coal jobs? It is not the federal government. Coal production is decreasing because producing natural gas is a lower cost operation. Any coal miner also knows that decades of increased mechanization in the coal mines is also taking away many coal jobs. Mechanization and the use of natural gas is not just going to go away because Donald Trump was elected President. That would put ever-increasing numbers of coal companies in bankruptcy. The cost of wind and solar power, renewable sources of energy, is also falling. Of course, there are increasing environmental regulations. But does anyone want the environment polluted? Our air and water?
I have relatives, grandparents and cousins, who lived in coal country. We couldn’t drink the water there. It smelled and tasted like sulphur. My grandparents always kept bottled water. Does coal pollute or not? Try to argue that point to the contrary. That would be another mistake. For all of Donald Trump’s rhetoric about bringing back coal, he can’t do it unless he can find a way to produce clean coal. Many environmental scientists have worked on that problem for decades. They have not found a solution yet. If I wrote anything to the contrary, I would be making a mistake.
There are many other mistakes being made today regarding the current political situation in the U.S. But, that is a blog post for another day. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #creativitychallenge25 #DonaldTrump #2016PresidentialElection
*Post in response to Creativity Challenge 25