This is my response to our national shame: the election of (s)trump(et). Why a shame? If you have to ask that then you probably don’t want to read, and will likely not understand, this blog. Go forth and do good things then. The rest of you read on…
As the incredibly insensitive pun goes, what do you say to a person with two black eyes: Nothing that hasn’t already been said twice.
Yes, a sterile version, but I think that there lies a more profound intent behind the pun that may now extend to any and all. Our trump-voting and supporting contingent are in the throes of Stockholm Syndrome in the utmost, and our world has seen this all before. Oh, Nietzsche, you should feel righteous indignation toward this iteration in the eternal recurrence.
With the nearly daily barrage of betrayal and corruption coming out of the White House at nearly fire hydrant volumes and force, I am saddened to see that only a few repugs are publicly voicing concern. However, as was written, they are reluctant to toss this creature aside until they have achieved their purgative goals. Sad, isn’t it, that the best for the nation and the world is second to prayer in school and the destruction of Obama’s legacy?
What is worse is that we all know that had President Obama or HRC done even 1 % of 1% of what our cheeto-faced troglodyte is accused (and documented) of doing, there would have been utter pandemonium on the Right. They would have been leading marches to lynch BHO and HRC. Yes, I do know that I used “lynch” and I did mean to given the types of creatures that inhabit the repug party.
I am not stating anything revelatory, but merely posting exposition. Whatever the outcome, we as a country need to take a hard look at ourselves. While bigotry and misogyny has long been the understood invisible elephant in the room, I don’t think that we can afford to move forward with this same attitude.
I have heard so many apologists for trump supporters FROM OUR SIDE! I am sorry, but I cannot accept any defense for their behavior and they should be held accountable for it. This thing in the WH made clear his disregard for anyone other than nice white voters. Decent people don’t do that. You, oh my brothers, do not go around insulting the disabled, intimate the beating of protestors, and make insinuating remarks about others. We have seen so far the arrest of reporters, the beating of protestors, the gathering of hate groups to protest against decency, the nepotism and despotism worthy of any 3rd World Dictator, the passing of our allies’ intelligence to a hostile foreign power, and the firing of men and women, trying to root out this cancer. This behavior from him and his sycophants is what I expect from IS or AQ or conservative Islamic countries. I expect this of Putin.
Yet, here we are.
Here we are, in the 21st Century, in a country once held in highest regard for its forward and innovative thinking, for its democracy and fairness, that is in free fall in respect, dignity, and regard by other free countries.
Yet, we meekly go back to our jobs, grumbling about how he is ruining us, quietly sit while white supremacists (NOT nationalists!!! Never couch the evil that men do in softer tones) walk brazenly in the open.
As Edmund Burke stated, “he only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Be better, be loud, don’t let them seize the narrative any longer least we find ourselves huddled in an attic, while a Horst Wessel ode drowns out our suffering and pleas for mercy.
trump, King of the Deplorables. Elevated to the highest office in the US for our collective sins.
When I first heard that term “Deplorables”, I have to admit to it being a cringe-worthy moment. First blush had me thinking that she had misread the public animus at politics as usual. However, a mere six months later, and I feel that she correctly pegged the nom de guerre for these supporters.
Where do we stand now, my brothers (collective term, ladies, you are brothers, too)? A country swallowing the bitterest of pills as men and women, whom we would generally not allow around our children, are dictating policy. The world laughing at us! Oh, Lafayette, if ever we needed a savior at our darkest hour, we need you now. America, our home, the World’s democratic beacon, Her candle, Diogenes’ descendant, is flickering precariously in the hurricane forces of fascism.
This past week has the world bear witness to our most dirtiest laundry: Yates describing the flippancy of a hubristic, political neophyte; the roll-back of a decade’s worth of progress; the firing of the FBI Director (who is almost single-highhandedly responsible for the quasi-election of the feckless fop –ironic isn’t it? No deed goes unpunished to paraphrase) at the recommendation of Sessions, himself a criminal; and what better picture (worth more than 1000s of words) to show the utter contempt for US than that of a smiling, laughing, and self-congratulatory group of white men at the passing of a health careless bill that many on the modern day and American-style NAZI party have admitted to not reading!
This period could be the prequel to any dystopic novel ever written.
How Russia Elected the President of the Unites States or How I Came to Love the One State. This should be the next book to hit the shelves –before reading is banned, of course. Oh, you firemen of 451, I hear you readying your torches now.
World War II was the Greatest Generation’s time. They defeated tyranny and created something that shook the world. After that, our fathers and mothers rested on the laurels of their parents and created a permissive environment where the shadows of xenophobia and hatred could fester.
We are the children of rape by a thousand thousands fathers. This rape is a crime perpetrated on American ideals by fear-mongers, by grifters, by the hyper-elite, and by our own lack of vigilance.
Our system, our “representatives”, our “checks-and-balances” are no longer in working order. The time for talk is at an end. In the military, what I suggest now, is called “energizing the network” and it is not for the faint-hearted. Go, get up, as that movie of our halcyon youth chided us, and scream in voice and action, that you are angry and you are not going to take this anymore. As it stands now, in case you missed it, you have nothing left to lose. We are at the brink of war with several countries and several transnational violent extremist organizations, we are one misstep away from our own Reichstag Fire and the fall into totalitarianism, we are on the verge of extinction as the United States. As I queried my students not long ago: What is the single greatest existential threat to the United States? To my surprise, they responded with “we are.”
Do not go quietly into that night.
My absence from posting is the result of a confluence of events, none of which are related to the topic at hand, but caused me to refrain from writing for a short time. These events have, however, given me pause to think about how they affected me and how they shaped this posting.
First, I lost a friend: A very dear friend. The loss was as a result of my more staunch support of, as Malcolm X would have said, change by any means possible. I had to think about how I felt and feel about the matters of state and my personal relationships. Truth be told, this was not the first time that my personal beliefs have impinged upon my life. A dozen years or so, a woman with whom I was deeply in love challenged my love with the statement of “Do I accept Jesus as my personal savior?” My first reaction was to laugh, which by the way was the wrong one, because I did not think that she was serious. She was. I could not bring myself to say so even though I knew that that question was the make or break moment. I don’t feel that way about religion. Needless to say, I was given the opportunity to enter the dating pool again.
So, while then it was more clear-cut as to the binary nature of the question, I am more hurt now in my decision because it was not a request for a yea or nay: it was only a tone-it-down.
Hurt, but unrepentant. There comes a time in every person’s life when they are presented with something so anathema to their core and central beliefs that they must, absolutely must, stand with conviction not for their own relative safety and comfort, but for the righteousness of the act.
We live here in the US, where political rallies are infiltrated with white supremacists and hate groups; our purported elected president is an amoral and wholly undignified person; our country is being raped by men and women, who have no vested interest in our well-being or that of America collectively; where a leader is openly hostile to the greater proportion of America, what disagrees with him; and our way of life is being systematically whittled away.
So, no, I am unable to subsume my loathing of these people for my own comfort. I wholly support whatever actions are necessary to return America to democracy. I am old, so I have no fear of pain or death at this point.
I am writing this from a hotel in Boston proper, literally overlooking the site of the Boston Massacre. Remember that from high school history classes? Ironically enough, home of the Boston Tea Party and The Sons of Liberty –fighting against tyranny. Having experienced the Obama administration and the disrespect by the right toward him, I am somewhat humbled by being at ground zero of the American Revolutionary War, fought against a mad tyrant by men and women, who wanted representation and self-determination so badly that they took up arms against their own government. Earlier, I stated that I was experiencing a sense of irony. I said that because the rabble that sought to slander President Obama and his good works, did so because the respect for life and decency by that man was anathema to those, who find gay people, minorities, and intellect nothing more than sub-human.
Moreover, the founders of our nation, and this is more than just Founding Fathers to me because this Nation was formed not through fancy words written upon hemp paper, but through the sacrifices of whites, blacks, Hispanics, straight, gay, man, and woman. This collective determined that the injustices and perturbations had grown beyond the acceptable: corruption, nepotism, murder, and the dilution of their voices in the political process.
My visit caused me reflect on more recent, but equally powerful events.
Yesterday. Had we not bore witness to the righteous inclusion of those same “minorities” in our world? Had we not kindled a flame to light the world that was chasing the shades of kleptocracy, racism, ethnocentrism, and of xenophobia? Did we not, the goodly and enlightened, clasp hands with one and other in a pledge of solidarity, echoing the sentiments of never again?
Today. The light is not extinguished, but it is most certainly shielded. We clasp each other now, not in joyousness, but in fear. Our proud nation transmogrified from a shining example of democracy and intellectualism into an absurd parody akin to Moon Over Parador with our golden-hair plugged leader raping our ideals, our character, our people with the hubristic phallus of his febrile utterances and actions.
Tomorrow. The Tree of Liberty must be from time to time refreshed with the blood of tyrants and patriots.
Disenfranchisement of the masses is one of the greatest threats to our democracy. While the term is used more to describe the removal of a right to vote, it also means the attenuation of an individual’s voting power/influence.
During the framing of the Constitution, the drafters of the document and of our government had envisioned each congressional district to represent approximately 50-60K people. Today, congressional districts sit at about 700K citizens per.
I am sure that there will be more than a few repuglicans, who will argue that the Founding Fathers could not have imagined the US as being as large as it has become. One of which, I disagree with in its entirety. Remember, they had come from over-crowded cities before coming to these shores. They were ever hopeful of America’s growth and expansion. There is ample evidence to support the discussion that THEY saw the importance of a growing America –through immigration, might I add. James Madison, argued that the Constitution actually depended upon this pluralism –in number and representation:
“This freedom arises from that multiplicity of sects which pervades America,” he stated at the Virginia ratifying convention, “for where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.”
What we have seen over the course of nearly 250 years is the dilution of this plurality DESPITE growth. Now, instead of a group of people oppressing the minority, it is one person, who can change the fate of nearly 700K people, and when working in concert with other like-minded oppressors, can affect the fate of the United States.
It is time that we look at other avenues of inquiry beyond Third Parties, rogue politicians or limiting contributions by person or entity. By returning balance back toward the people in terms of true proportional representation, we can limit influence of hate groups, extreme party politics, the wealthy, and most of all politicians.
We can have a responsive and beholden to the people government, but only if we, The People, stand up and take charge of the system for a short period in order to re-establish our Republic. Sic Semper Tyrannis.
I find it interesting that no one has compared the current catastrophe known as our every day since the ascension of our glorious Verlierer (German for “loser”, which is a much better way of describing trump that trumps Führer) to that of the Gilded Age.
The first Gilded Age has its start somewhere around the end of the Reconstruction Era and in the middle of the Victorian Era. The G.A. saw a period of rapid economic gains for the wealthy and there was substantial growth in wages across the demographics, but especially in the industrial worker. Life had the appearance of overall growth in almost all areas, but the truth was less ideal. The G.A. hid serious social problems from several economic depressions (1873 and 1893), increased economic stratification, growth in political corruption, technological advances that parred the work force (machines are more efficient and cheaper). Railroads were very similar to the internet today: moving finance, moving people (albeit not the physical aspect of humanity for the internet), and changing the way that American governed and made money.
It was the age of laissez-faire capitalism, the great industrialists (Mellon, Carnegie, Morgan, and Vanderbilt –just to name but a few): An age that demanded ruthless competition and social stratification.
The rich and powerful codified and hardened their rule and the rest of America suffered from their greed.
Do you not see similarities?
Our profanely inspired (yes, profane) confuser-in-chief seems to be in pursuit of a new Gilded Age. An age of decadence, the Ursprung of Gekkoism, and an age that saw the excesses of wealth, gilding over the true social and economic issues of that time. Why not? How better to deal with the serious issues of our time than with hyperbole, ambiguity, antimeria, and aposiopesis?
Like the Gilded Age of the early 20th Century, we are witnessing now a sharp spiral into sharp partisanship, racial tension, the return of big(ly) business –albeit they never really left, but governed from the shadows, the rapid growth in technology and its pervasive nature into all aspects of our society, the mischaracterization and defamation of immigrants, and not the least of all, the miasma of greed and guile in our political system.
We will bear witness in the next several years, something we are only beginning to see now, the rape of American middle class wealth and power, as politicians and businesses raid everything we own for their own profiteering. The poor will truly become the people of Oliver Twist –orphanages and debtor prisons are likely not far behind.
This is all more than just a probable; this is more than just possible –If we let them.
Looking to politicians to solve our problems is really anathema to the good order of things in our lives. You don’t ever entrust the fox with guardianship of the hen house.
As politicians and the wealthy put the gild on our prisons (with or without windows), are we going to meekly enter into those cages? Those cells? Those boxcars?
To quote and to proffer for renewed consideration, these hallowed words from the American patriot, Thomas Paine:
These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Do we stand or shrink?