Bob Schwartz

The One and Only Question EVERY Republican Candidate Should Be Asked: The Role Model Thing

Republican candidates are going to be asked lots of questions about their attitudes toward Trump, his character and his policies. The answers will be a combination of party-line loyalty, evasion, gibberish or silence.

All those questions should be avoided, or at least not central. There is only one question these Republican candidates should be asked—one that is not hypothetical, one that demands a yes-or-no answer, one that has been asked in public opinion polls but is not (yet) a part of our political discourse:

Do you believe that Donald Trump is a good role model for your children and grandchildren?

We already know that in public opinion polls, many Republicans still say they believe he is. But those respondents are answering a poll; they are not answering publicly as candidates for office.

Any candidate who says they believe that Trump is a good role model for their children or grandchildren should be automatically disqualified for public office. In fact, if I were interviewing people for any job, I might ask the same question, and might reject the job candidates who say “yes” for the same reason: Without going into any of the other obvious character or moral deficiencies, Trump is demonstrably a chronic (some would say pathological) liar.

You can try to defend or explain away certain character or moral problems. But a lie is a lie (the Washington Post counts 4,229 presidential false or misleading statements so far).

So any Republican candidate who says they want their children or grandchildren to “be like Trump” are wishing on their beloved young ones a life marked by, among other shortcomings, telling a constant stream of lies about virtually everything. Are those candidates really the sort of people you want anywhere near your government?

The Economist Global Liveability Index 2018: The World’s Most and Least Liveable Cities

The brilliant and essential publication The Economist has just released its annual ranking of the world’s cities based on liveability (see complete list below).

The Economist applies a complex formula to assess liveability:

Category 1: Stability (weight: 25% of total)
Prevalence of petty crime
Prevalence of violent crime
Threat of terror
Threat of military conflict
Threat of civil unrest/conflict

Category 2: Healthcare (weight: 20% of total)
Availability of private healthcare
Quality of private healthcare
Availability of public healthcare
Quality of public healthcare
Availability of over-the-counter drug
General healthcare indicators

Category 3: Culture & Environment (weight: 25% of total)
Humidity/temperature rating
Discomfort of climate to traveller
Level of corruption
Social or religious restrictions
Level of censorship
Sporting availability
Cultural availability
Food & drink
Consumer goods & services

Category 4: Education (weight: 10% of total)
Availability of private education
Quality of private education
Public education indicators

Category 5: Infrastructure (weight: 20% of total)
Quality of road network
Quality of public transport
Quality of international links
Availability of good quality housing
Quality of energy provision
Quality of water provision
Quality of telecommunications

Like all ranking of places, your weighting of factors may differ and your needs and experiences may vary. Many of us are living in, have lived in, have considered living in, or have friends who live in, one or more of these cities. Your comments are invited.

The Economist Global Liveability Index 2018

1. Vienna
2. Melbourne
3. Osaka
4. Calgary
5. Sydney
6. Vancouver
7. Tokyo
7. Toronto
9. Copenhagen
10. Adelaide
11. Zurich
12. Auckland
12. Frankfurt
14. Geneva
14. Perth
16. Helsinki
17. Amsterdam
18. Hamburg
19. Montreal
19. Paris
21. Berlin
22. Brisbane
23. Honolulu
24. Luxembourg
25. Munich
26. Wellington
27. Oslo
28. Dusseldorf
29. Brussels
30. Barcelona
30. Lyon
32. Pittsburgh
32. Stockholm
34. Budapest
35. Hong Kong
35. Manchester
37. Singapore
37. Washington DC
39. Madrid
39. Minneapolis
41. Dublin
42. Boston
43. Reykjavik
44. Chicago
44. Miami
46. Milan
46. Seattle
48. London
49. San Francisco
50. Atlanta
50. Los Angeles
52. Cleveland
53. Detroit
54. Lisbon
55. Rome
56. Houston
57. New York
58. Taipei
59. Seoul
60. Prague
61. Lexington
62. Buenos Aires
63. Santiago
64. Bratislava
65. Warsaw
66. Nouméa
67. Montevideo
68. Moscow
69. Dubai
70. St Petersburg
71. Abu Dhabi
72. Athens
73. San Jose
74. Suzhou
75. Beijing
76. Tel Aviv
77. Tianjin
78. Kuala Lumpur
79. Sofia
80. Lima
81. Shanghai
82. Belgrade
82. Bucharest
82. Shenzhen
85. Kuwait City
86. Johannesburg
87. Doha
88. Rio de Janeiro
89. San Juan
90. Dalian.
90. Muscat
92. Pretoria
93. Sao Paulo
94. Bahrain
95. Guangzhou
96. Panama City
97. Qingdao
98. Amman
98. Bangkok
100. Almaty
101. Bandar Seri Begawan
102. Asuncion
103. Manila
104. Baku
105. Quito
106. Tunis
107. Hanoi
108. Bogota
108. Istanbul
108. Riyadh
111. Mexico City
112. New Delhi
113. Jeddah
114. Guatemala City
115. Casablanca
116. Ho Chi Minh City
117. Mumbai
118. Kiev
119. Jakarta
120. Al Khobar
121. Tashkent
122. Nairobi
123. Cairo
124. Abidjan
125. Phnom Penh
126. Caracas
127. Lusaka
128. Tehran
129. Kathmandu
130. Colombo
131. Dakar
132. Algiers
133. Douala
134. Tripoli
135. Harare
136. Port Moresby
137 Karachi
138. Lagos
139. Dhaka
140. Damascus

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Ranking 2018

Why Trump Is a Horror Movie and Not a Reality Show

Reality shows dramatize and exaggerate “real” human behavior and situations. People do and say bad, even horrible, things. We may be repulsed, we may find it endearing and entertaining, but when we watch reality shows, we are never scared.

The most frightening horror movies are based on a powerful premise: Within our seemingly ordinary life in our seemingly ordinary world, there is an inconceivable terror lurking. It may emerge at any time without warning. We must be always on our guard because everything that used to seem benign is now menacing. What is worst, on top of the constant uncertainty, is that we have no defense.

That is why when we watch a horror movie, no matter how prepared we think we are, we jump out of our seats anyway. That is why in America, while we long for the benign ordinary, we prepare each day for what is lurking, and still jump when it arrives. That is why Trump is a horror movie and not a reality show.