If you have the choice between skepticism or cynicism, I hope that you will opt for the former.  You see, the former is critical thinking from a positive, informational, inclusive point of view.  Cynicism, on the other hand, is merely negative and destructive in its origins.  One regenerates; one tears down.

There are news briefs that, on rare occasion, send me into a blind rage over the meanness of their point of view.  They threaten to bring out the cynic in me, and I hate that.  There was a short blurb the other day about Tiger Woods.  It wasn’t all that long ago when Mr. Woods was golf.  He defined the sport.  When you win one out of every four tournaments you enter, where the field starts with 50 or 60 entrants, well, that is domination plain and simple.  And then his infidelities and insecurities were exposed and he was reduced to “human.”  Capable of failure and worse, just like the rest of us.

When he was arrested for driving erratically recently, we forgave him for mixing too many pain-relieving drugs badly.  Right up until the moment when it was revealed that he had reserved the entire male inpatient unit at Jupiter Medical Center for his rehab stint.  Say what?  It was bad enough that he had chosen to use his influence and his wealth to see to his personal comfort.  But to force others trying to face their own personal demons out onto the street to satisfy his imperial whims?  That is hubris writ large.  Asshole!

Speaking of hubris and imperial imaginings, our political head of state is opening a new brand of hotels called “American Idea” to cater to the less-than-wealthy in the heartland.  It’s a sort of rip-off of those who supported him.  No planning, no strategy . . . except to capitalize on the moment.  Adam Davidson’s summation of the project’s “rollout” in The New Yorker seems exactly on point:

“Like many things in the world of Trump, the event was both corrupt and inept.  Trump Hotels had nothing to offer but words, and nearly all of those words were about the President.  A normal company would have chosen to wait a couple of years and then launch properly, but the Trump Organization is not a normal company, and it has other considerations.  Given that a brand launch typically takes three years and that a Presidential term lasts only four, the executives may feel that there’s no time to lose.”

Those sorts of things make the cynic’s blood in me curdle with anger and frustration.  Eventually, the skeptic in me will come forth and nudge of bit of learning and experience into the equation.  But that is not likely to come quickly under these sorts of circumstances.

©2017 Richard Paul Hinkle


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