Electronic Frontier Foundation
 Electronic Frontier Foundation
 Electronic Frontier Foundation
 Electronic Frontier Foundation

John R. HallDear gentle readers, you’ll remember from my article, “Has Anyone Here Seen My Old Friend”, that prior to launching this platform, I avoided social media like some dark age plague.  Not because I didn’t see the benefit in it –  I always did. It’s just that I have always thought that the world didn’t need me updating my timeline or tweeting about finer diners, dinners, drinks, ambitions, defeats, desires, or my preoccupation with earthly departure. That all changed with the birth of HuntingForThompson.com.

 

While I still don’t think the world needs to know why I am preoccupied with release from the imposition of this life, I have accepted that social media is a near perfect platform for self-promotion. Or in my case, it’s an ideal plateau for promoting HuntingForThompson.com. In spite of that, I equally believe that we would all be better off if our leaders ceased conducting diplomacy via social media – and if President Trump broke all his fingers … just to give us a much-needed break from his unrelenting tweets. Tweets which contain his unrequited love for Putin, containing false statements, vicious attacks on the media and all who dare to disagree with him or speak truth to him, and from his childish rants. Kumbaya Mr. President. Please, kumbaya for a change. Please stop scaring the living hell out of us each day….

 

Hunter S. Thompson, journalist, author, and predictor of the rise of the authoritarian Donald J. Trump (see “This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism. His Name Was Hunter S. Thompson”), also chimed in about social media. His thoughts on social media are published in The Atlantic. Matthew Hahn interviewed Thompson back in the Internet’s infancy days, August of 1997. When Hahn asked Hunter, “The Internet has been touted as a new mode of journalism — some even go so far as to say it might democratize journalism. Do you see a future for the Internet as a journalistic medium?” Thompson responded with:

I believe that the major operating ethic in American society right now, the most universal want and need is to be on TV…. And the trouble is, people will do almost anything to get on it. You know, confess to crimes they haven’t committed. You don’t exist unless you’re on TV…. Faulkner said that American troops wrote “Kilroy was here” on the walls of Europe in World War II in order to prove that somebody had been there — “I was here” — and that the whole history of man is just an effort by people, writers, to just write your name on the great wall.

 

You can get on [the Internet] and all of a sudden you can write a story…. You can have your picture on there too…. The Internet is probably the first wave of people who have figured out a different way to catch up with TV — if you can’t be on TV, well at least you can reach 45 million people [on the Internet] (see “The Writing is on the Wall” for Hahn’s complete interview with Thompson.).

Queen Rania of Jordan also chimed in on the role of social media by stating that “Social media are a catalyst for the advancement of everyone’s rights. It’s where we’re reminded that we’re all human and all equal. It’s where people can find and fight for a cause, global or local, popular or specialized, even when there are hundreds of miles between them.”

 

The reason for my return to musing about social media is that through a flesh and blood friendship, I was cyber-introduced to a kindred spirit. The relationship is strictly one of cyberstalking, but the good kind. On one such covert operation, I stumbled upon something about healthcare he posted on his Facebook page. He and Marie Pickett, a writer for HuntingForThompson.com, have credibility concerning their thoughts on healthcare. Both have, through their experience working within the murky waters of the business of healthcare, intimate knowledge and strong opinions about it. When frontline soldiers speak from foxholes, it behooves us to listen. With that (and with his permission to edit and republish his prose), I am honored to introduce to you, my cyberbuddy, Mr. Michael J. Bonnot. His edited Facebook post follows:

 

“I was told a couple of days ago, that ‘some of the smartest people I know voted for President Trump.’ That individual works in healthcare, as I have, along with my wife for over a decade. The smart people he was referring to are his friends and co-workers: doctors, nurses, surgeons, etc. This is not the first time I’ve heard statements like that, but this time I didn’t let it slide. I rebutted with:

 

Just because you work in a highly skilled profession and went to school more years than I have fingers, that doesn’t necessarily make you “smart.” Educated, yes. But “smart” describes more about how one lives life and the choices one makes. A list of educated and intelligent people would include Ben Carson, Ted Bundy, Napoleon, Osama bin Laden, Ted Kaczynski, George W. Bush, Hitler, Stalin, Bashar al-Assad, Nero, Saddam Hussein, Mussolini, David Duke, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Donald J. Trump, and so forth. This list goes on and on; coinciding with the history of educated/intelligent mankind. All of them were educated, intelligent, but smart … I don’t think so, for they were all blinded by hate and bigotry.

 

Such a comment (‘some of the smartest people I know voted for President Trump’) is highly offensive to me since I have worked so long in healthcare, wherein I have studied it and researched it – lived and breathed it! My point here is that I’m more than just “aware of the politics” of our healthcare system and hospitals. And it saddens me greatly to share that America’s healthcare system is essentially, strictly a coldhearted business. As such, the financial interests of healthcare insurance companies, hospitals, and the healthcare systems in our country trumps its patients’ needs. Healthcare decisions and treatment are not always made with the best interest of the welfare of patients in mind. This is especially true for our nation’s poor, and for those who remain uninsured. Like all businesses, healthcare must make money. If that means it must turn away people with injuries and illness due to the bottom line, make no mistake about it – the healthcare industry will do just that. And it does just that! There are so many other despicable things about our healthcare industry that many people are either in denial about, scared to admit, uneducated about, or simply do not want to know about.

 

The fact is, and this fact amazes me astronomically so, that these “intelligent people” voted for a man, President Trump, that is by any definition, and which he displays daily since taking the oath of office, is bigoted, misogynistic, bluntly racist, egotistical, a pathological liar, a womanizer, legally embattled, shady and corrupt, and is simply a celebrity business man with no record of ever helping his community or country, and who has never held public office in any form and avoided serving in America’s armed forces when called to do so.

 

Now, does that sound like a caring man? No. Of course, it doesn’t. So, go on and keep telling yourself if it comforts your psyche that you and many other “intelligent” people voted for the most least liked presidential candidate of all time. But have no doubt … and never forget, that millions of Americans, including myself, are here to remind you that Trump’s values do not represent America’s values. That is why he lost the popular vote by 2.86 million votes (also know that the only voter fraud is the restrictive voting laws enacted by the GOP).

 

I will continue to resist, to protest and to speak out every single day until America returns to its pre-Trump greatness, departing from the despicable road we are now on. That road is only concerned with stealing America’s greatness and wealth and giving it to the rich, to the powerful, to the sexually straight, and to the hypocritical GOP Christians.”

 

Thank you, Michael J. Bonnot – as a veteran of the U.S. Army who due to an ailment is unemployed and uninsured and unable to receive adequate healthcare, I stand with you. I also stand with all who seek truth, compassion, inclusion, respectful discourse in politics, and decorum in the Oval Office and from the President of the United States of America.

 

Post Scriptum: Happy Presidents Day, President Trump – enjoy it, it’ll surely be your only one to enjoy while in office.

 

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