It is supposed to jolt you. The juxtaposition of the word "ugly" and the word "politics." But it probably does not jolt you. It seems perfectly logical. Both Obama and Trump have besmirched the word politics. Politics as Aristotle defined it is "practical science." Is there any more sensible and pertinent definition?

If we believed that understanding, we would not think twice about describing Trump as a subversive purveyor of uglliness.

Politics is not ugly

In my book, "ugly politics" is an oxymoron -- a contradiction, a misunderstanding.

Ugly is evil.

Ugly is not the traumatizing advertising that tramples self-esteem. Ugly is hurt and harm. Ugly is intentional trash talk. It's what Trump did yesterday at the UN. It is what he does on Twitter.

Trump has hijacked the aesthetic and turned it into a beauty contest. He has hijacked the good and turned it to evil.

Orwell incarnate

Trump tries to convince us that evil is good. Evil is not good. It is what happens when insult and innuendo find a home in our psyches. Our society is soaked in bile and our president is telling us daily that all is better than ever.

It isn't. It cannot be. Machiavelli was wrong and so are his successors. The cleverness that makes goodness work in a world like Trump's is what we need to bring down the beast.

Choose the least hurtful path

There was once a best seller called "The Ugly American." That title was a pertinent and proper aesthetic judgment. It described our latter-day American Machiavellians who will gladly consign kids to the battlefield to experience death and disfigurement.

The ugly American can appear with a nice smile and make nice till the cows come home. Deeds and expressions are what count. Sending kids to die is the most hurtful of ugly choices.

Trump is toxic

With Trump, deeds and expression are one. What he says is what he does. He trashes immigrants. He sends the police after them.

Could Trump change?

This has been the monster question because Americans are so hopeful. Let's just say that every time there is a flurry of hope, there is a massive reminder that this man is poison. I am tempted to say, "If you don't believe me, ask his wives?"

Sovereignty is a synonym for hypocrisy

The US is the maestro of armaments for the world. We celebrate our GNP when our GNP is based on hurt and harm. North Korea and Iran are as hypocritical as we are.

It is only by understanding that sovereignty is idolatry and that fallibility is universal that we even begin to untangle the mess Trump made of reality yesterday.

Start by understanding that beauty and truth are one. Anything else is bad philosophy and worse politics.

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