Tolerating the unthinkable to gain a feeling of safety and certainty

Most Americans seem to be tolerating the unthinkable to gain a feeling of safety and certainty.

Trump is proof that many Americans are ready for a strong-man President that provides a feeling of safety and certainty. It seems many Americans have little appetite for debate or discerment. They don’t want to hear about the nuances, the outliers, the exceptions. Neither do they want to hear about the unintended consequences, long term implications, or theoretical possibilities of his actions, directives, or policies.

Most Americans seem to just want to feel safe, feel they can make money, and feel America is winning. In supporting Trump most Americans seem to be accepting of his shenanigans and misconduct. They seem to feel that his bad behaviour, Tweeting, and personal failings are but a small price to pay for the America they want. To these Americans, Trump is their ‘useful idiot’, expressing what they have been wanting to say publicly for decades but felt that the politically correct crowd had them in a corner. To them, Trump is implementing policies that may be a tad draconian, hurtful to some, or inconvenient for others, yet these policies make them feel safe and provide them certainty. (Whether they do or not is irrelevant; they make them feel good – and that is all that matters.)

These Americans seem to love that Trump does not complicate things, keeps it simple, and is brazenly blunt. They like that. They have better things to do than to be consumed with politics. They just want to vote for him. Again. And again. The alternative – they seem to be thinking – is unthinkable.

He is clearly playing to the American addiction to hyper consumerism, self imposed censorship, escapism in sports and entertainment, fear of the unknown, and simplistic dual thinking… And – to most Americans – that’s ok. 

Never mind that he is appealing to our worst selves:
– envy,
– greed,
– selfishness, and
– tribalism.

(That’s ok too. Whatever works, baby!)

Never mind he is questioning basic assumption of how our government works.
> Why should the judiciary be independent of Presidential pressure?
> Why can’t we use military force to accompany immigration raids?
> What is wrong with soliciting foreign assistance to squelch a political opponent?
> What do you mean the President can’t shift money around to pay for his political promises?
> So what if the President publicly favors one news source over another?
>If he can’t pardon friends after being indicted, what good is the Presidential power to pardon?
> Who cares that the National debt is mushrooming as we pay for corporate socialism and bail out farmers?
> Who says judges have to be Ivy League intellectuals or be impartial in the face of social issues like abortion and LGBTQ+ rights?
> Why can’t the Commander in Chief choose to align with Russia more than Europe, Saudi Arabia more than Mexico, Vietnam more than Cuba, Israel more than Palestine?
> Why shouldn’t a President benefit from the Presidency?

In most every case above, there may be a legal rationale to question it, or a practice or protocol that set precedent for presidential behaviour. But in most there is simply no black/white, hard and fast, universally accepted argument that is beyond question – as the recent impeachment trial demonstrated.

In Trump we have a new type of President: A strong-man who rules by brute force, Tweets, and brassiness. He does not need a Congress. The Judiciary is here to serve him. And so is the Military… And that seems to be ok with many Americans.

The only check to this situation that many other Americans see as right out dangerous and an affront on America is that old school process called ‘elections’. But, even elections are not beyond the President’s capacity to shape for his purpose of staying in power. Now he can direct voter suppression, social media fear mongering, and blatant propaganda.

Nothing short of a massive voter turn-out and clear landslide victory will get Trump out of the White House. And even with that, there is no guarantee he would not fabricate a crisis where he stays in power. If he wins in 2020 and is still around in 2024, we will definitely have a very different America for decades to come… And that seems to be ok with many Americans.

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Welcome to Trumplandia

Note: This one is a work-in-progress… I will add to it as different feelings come and go over the next few days…

Welcome to Trumplandia.

The United Sham of America.

Boys, grab them pus@#$.
Men, rape them women.
Rich guys, get richer by cheating.
Politicians, lie yourself to power.

It’s all about you, baby!
It’s all alright.
It is all alright because your President says it is. He has done it and therefore it is alright.
You too can do it.

Just don’t cross him. Or his wrath will be unleashed on you.
He will eat you, chew you, and spit you right out.
You might have been with him yesterday, but that ain’t good enough.
Thou shall be blindly with him. Or else.

He got you the wall, he got you the judges, Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, the economy is soaring, gays know their place, we are dropping big bombs and assassinating bad people. What more do you want?

Now go watch that Super Bowl, entertain yourself, buy more stuff whether you need it or not – you don’t want to fall behind the Joneses.

Heard about the new movie?
Seen that new car?
Tried that new gadget?

Don’t worry. Tomorrow there’ll be another news cycle.
Then, all of this will be but a figment of history. We’ll be on to the next crisis.
And summer will come early. (Climate change has its benefits.)

Welcome to Trumplandia.

If this is the America 1/2 the voting public wants, you can have it. I ain’t going nowhere. I will be a thorn on your side, a rebel with a cause, and part of the persistent opposition. Been there before – that’s where I come from.

See you at the ballot box – if there’s an election. For we now know that if the President feels an election can work against him, he can abolish it. Or postpone it. Or rig it. 

Because: If the President does it, it’s alright.

Welcome to Trumplandia.

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Let’s end this nightmare

Oh America what have you become?

I guess in many ways you have become nothing that you have never been. For you are a bunch of renegade misfits that have come together under different trying circumstances and are trying to become one people – or not.

Trump’s America is definitely not one America of different peoples singing kumbaya. His America harks to the illusion of an America controlled by whites for whites. In Trump’s America others are tolerated in as much as they remain subjected to whites’ demands.

Trump’s America is an aberration of the aspirational American Dream, that elusive lie we instill in our head from birth in – or arrival on – this land. The American Dream to pursue happiness is interpreted in many different ways by the many different peoples in America. Most realize that this ‘dream’ – this American experiment – is not supposed to work. Through the ages never has there been a nation of peoples from elsewhere coming together and coexisting as equal, with no sect disproportionally in economic control or political power. Yet dream on we must.

Other nation states have peoples more diverse than America. China, India, and Russia have more diversity than America. However, these are nation states where diverse peoples were in their native lands as the nation state grew.

America is different. This nation was formed by people who came from elsewhere, some forced others by choice. They were mostly destitutes, misfits, or renegades. They had no illusion of forming “a more perfect union” or a sense of “manifest destiny”; they were just seeking – or forced to endure – a new beginning. But the energy of ‘can do and possibilities’ quickly instilled in most that uniquely American drive to achieve the American Dream.

They clung together in klans, finding comfort in like minded communities – but mostly hanging around folks that looked like them.

The American original sin of slavery and the European pride quickly cemented whites as owners and everyone else as subjects… And that is exactly the America Trump wants to make again. Nevermind that the historical America Trump wants to bring back is a convenient figment of the imagination for most white. In that old America real control and power was concentrated in the hands of a few, mostly white Europeans – as it remains so today.

The  Trump America of today has little patience for the messiness that is the increasingly urbanizing, interconnected, complicated, democratic America. They seek the idyllic rural life, disconnected from those that don’t look like them, and where simplicity rules. Or, in the denser urban areas they seek to build vertical gated communities with police state security ensuring safety in the neighborhood.  But most important they seek predictability and clarity; they don’t want many choices; and, they are all comfortable with self imposed censorship to ensure they are all being formed – getting information – only from those that think like them.

Never mind that the America they yearn comes at the price of keeping others down, quenching dissent, and abhorring sharing power. Their America can only exist under the leadership of a strong man who is commanding, has no room for discourse, and no use for diplomacy. In their ‘democracy’ only their vote counts.

There is another America that could be.

There is the possibility of an America where rather than be governed by the politics of fear would governed by the values of inclusion, collaboration, decency, and mutual respect… An America where democracy would mean democracy… An America where we would learn from each others’ heritage rather than curse at cartoon characterization of our worst selves.

Trump’s America is the antithesis of all of that. It is no longer just the crassness of the top leader. It is not just about Trump himself. It is also about his policies.There is no policy position and no economic gain that can justify the damage this Administration is doing to the spirit of America.

As tarnished as that spirit is, as bruised as America’s history is, America still has unrealized potential to be harvested, a collective dream to which aspire… But four more years of this Administration could be the tipping point, taking America down a path of no return and turning the American Dream into the American Nightmare from which we may never wake up.

It is that dire. Let’s not risk it. Vote Democrat.

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What to make of this madness – regardless of impeachment

What to make of this madness – regardless of impeachment.

We have us a President that in the zeal to relate to the common man has degraded the Office of the Presidency to a reality t.v. showman who insults, demeans, and belittles anyone who disagrees with him.

His persona is one that has more in common with someone at a bar brawl than a person with the heavy responsibility of the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.

His demeanor is such that no parent can be proud of presenting him as an example to be admired, a role model, or an exemplary leader.

A President that blatantly lies. A President who refuses to indicate that he is willing to be President for those who did not vote for him – the majority of the votes in 2016. A President who clearly feels more comfortable spewing insults than singing praises; more often coercing than collaborating; and more likely to chew you out than to break bread with you.

… And all of this without mentioning his hateful policies.

Should this matter to the voters? Does it matter to the voters?

You can have a vibrant economy, a strong police state style feeling of safety, and less immigrants in the country. You can appeal to part of America with more conservative judges, increasing restrictions on abortion, and gays “in their place”. Fine. We get that a part of America vehemently believes in these things – and some believe in some of these things at most any cost.

However, will these God-fearing Americans be willing to give up on the “success” of Trump just because he is a conceited jerk with a warped sense of reality? Will they hold their nose and vote for him yet again? Or will they simply walk away and not vote at all?… Or, will they be so afraid of the alternative (i.e. a Democratic Administration) that they will be re-energized to blindly support Trump even if he shoots someone on 5th Avenue – or tries to make a deal with a foreign country to investigate his political opponent?

We don’t know. Nothing is certain. Don’t risk it. #RESIST and #VOTE.

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Trump’s latest Cuba ploy: Doing Putin’s bidding yet again

Is there any doubt that what Trump is doing with Cuba will lead to Cuba strengthening Cuba’s relationship with Putin’s Russia?

Here we go again. For sixty years – sixty years! – the U.S. has done the same thing to try to change Cuba: Used the same tactics. Employed the same tools… And failed miserably.

The only ray of hope was when Obama took a markedly different approach. It fast became evident that the possibility for substantive change was real. But, it seems that’s the last thing Trump wants – excuse me, what Putin wants – is real change in Cuba.

What Trump seeks in Cuba is simple: For Cuba to remain in Russia’s sphere of influence.

It is safe to say that Trump does not care one iota about freedom, democracy, and such ideals in Cuba – or in Syria; or in Venezuela; or in Ukraine. Or anywhere else.

All Trump seeks is to do Putin’s bidding. All Trump seeks is to establish a new world order. It is paradoxical that after all Tump’s criticism of globalization what he is trying to do is establish a new world order. All he is trying to do is establish a new world order where strong men control capital.

Forget communism, capitalism, socialism. Whatever you call it, Trump’s world order is one where a few strong men are in complete and total control of capital  – be them duly elected, be that they came to power via a military overthrow, be that they are from a country where the economy is centrally controlled or an economy that is more free market driven.

His mentor and guide is clearly Putin. And Cuba is paying the price. Dearly.

Can you blame the Cuban government for seeking security from Russia, oil from Iran, and infrastructure from China?

Clearly the fact that the Cuban government is totally dysfunctional, totalitarian, and mafia-like is not the reason Trump is against them. There are other governments that are totally dysfunctional, totalitarian, and mafia-like and Trump just loves, especially Russia – and Saudi Arabia. These are two countries Trump admires and obviously wishes he could be like them.

Yet Trump is bullying Cuba, abusing American companies engaging Cuba, and most important he is hurting the Cuban people in the island and their relatives in exile.

His latest move is to limit flight to Cuba only to Havana. Why? What will this accomplish but difficulties to Cubans in the island and extra expenses for their exile families?

I get that this will have the effect of convincing some Americans that the changing sands and instabilities don’t merit the hassles of arranging for travel to Cuba. First it was the cruise ships. And now this.

[1] Does Trump really think that this move will bring the Cuban government to its knees?

[2] Is he just trying to get some votes in Florida?

[3] Or is he simply ensuring Cuba turns to Russia?

I’d say to the first question, forget it; it is not going to happen. To the second, sure he’ll get a few more votes – but don’t discount the possibility that he will lose more. And to the third question: Bingo! That’s it. That is all Trump is looking for: To do Putin’s bidding yet again.

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The Great American Compromise of the 21st Century

(Did you ever think you’d see the day a President of the United States would so flippedly throw around terms like “treason”, “civil war”, “coup”, and such?)

You want to deal? I’ll give you a deal! Trump doesn’t run for president in 2020 and neither will Biden.

Where to start? The dizzying pace of news, half truths, lies and other concoctions that are coming at us in the last few days and weeks is nothing less than overwhelming, nothing less than impossible to keep up with unless you are a cable channel talking head.

Now we know that Trump reached out to a foreign government to do some research on a political opponent. It also seems like this has been a practice that others had done covertly in the past. But now we know the sitting President of the United States of America has done this. We have known through the years that these – and probably many more sinister and sleazy actions – have been taken by past Administrations and past Presidents. But now we know the sitting President of the United States of America has reached out to a foreign government to get political stuff to be used against his likely opponent in the presidential race of 2020… Are we supposed to just say “ah, that’s ok”?

And here we go with false equivalencies again. No other President in recent history has called for a Civil War if he is impeached. No other president in recent history has called for the arrest of a Congressman simply because they are starting an investigation against him. No other President in recent history has done so many of the things that this man Trump has done. Yet we insist on equating it all to the Bidens the Obamas. The fact is that the handful of alleged misgivings, alleged actions, unproven misconducts of others is being abused by this President as he insists on these false equivalencies.

This President continues to blatantly disregard precedent, instill disunity, and insult civility.

What to do? What to do?

Maybe the simple solution is obvious. Maybe neither Trump nor Biden should run for president in 2020!

Maybe – just maybe – the Republicans are salivating at that option! I am sure many good and well meaning Republicans would love nothing more than for this nightmare of Trump to be over. I am certain many well meaning Republicans would love to return to a time when we deliberate, argue, and civically fight about policies and what makes most sense for the well being of America.

I can see my fellow Democrats cringing at this choice. Clearly what Biden may have done – and clearly what is proven that he has done – is nowhere near what Trump has done. Again a false equivalency. Nonetheless in the spirit of moving forward and for the good of the Nation, getting neither Biden nor Trump to run for president in 2020 may just be the Great Political Compromise of the 21st century.

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We need to stop reacting to Trump – And start responding

I take pride in having authored each and everyone of the posts on this blog.

However, in thinking what I wanted to say at this time I ran across this one article that so captured my sentiments that I am making it my posting instead of authoring a new one.

We need to stop reacting to Trump – And start responding. There is a big difference.” American Magazine, August 26, 2019.

With a twist: I ask when you read the article to also read the comments. THIS is what we are up against.

The hard core Trumpistas have an army of people searching for these type articles to take over the comments section. It is relentless. They are hell-bent in discrediting any attempt to be thoughtful and discerning. Instead they comment with vile, angry language intended to insult, demean, and create a culture of fear.

Defending Trump is a perverse art-form. Since there is no reasonable way to actually defend him, the Trumpistas resort to deflecting, misinformation, and false equivalencies.

That is their arsenal. Beware. Be very aware. What awaits us for the next 18 months is a barrage of these tactics.

The Trumpistas want us to get mad at them. To argue with them. To engage them. They know that as long as we are wasting our precious time and energy getting mad at them, arguing with them, and engaging them we are not recruiting voters to go vote.

Don’t fall for the trap. Sure, it is impossible not to read comments like the ones to this article; or sneak in a few minutes of Fox News; or read a couple of their inflammatory articles. But, don’t fall into their trap of being consumed by them!

Instead think of who you can gently, empathetically, and authentically engage to ensure they vote vote vote. THAT remains our best chance of ending this nightmare.

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Whose Country is this anyway?

Clearly and undeniably Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America wants to make this country a country led by and for descendants of White European Christians.

It is what it is. That is what he intends to do.

The distinct difference from past Presidents is that they very much worked to ensure – rather successfully – that the power and wealth of the USA was in the hands of descendants of White European Christians. (The fact that White Jews have successfully gained power, wealth and influence is more an accommodation of convenience by the descendants of White European Whites than them welcoming diversity.)

Now Trump wants more.

He – and his close circle of White ethnic elitists – wants not only to stop illegal immigration dead on its tracks, but reverse the ethos that has existed in the American culture of welcoming legal immigrants by limiting it to the rich and educated – from the White European stock, of course. No one believes that Trump is welcoming rich and educated Chinese or Indians – much less Nigerians or Mexicans.

This is a last gasp of a diminishing demographic cohort in the USA – descendants of White Europeans. One relatively recent example where this happened was in South Africa as they dismantled apartheid. The Whites tried everything in the book to stay in power of the economy as the African majority gained political power. The White majority there also tried everything in the book to destabilize and corrupt the emerging African leadership, leading to today’s chaotic situation.

Similarly Trump wants to delay the inevitable demographic changes in America as long as possible. Even as the demographic changes come, he wants to institutionalize minority control of the economy, judicial system, and election results.

Continued control of the economy by the descendants of White Europeans is simply building on what has worked for them over the decades. This is a matter of keeping people of color from creating wealth – particularly multi generation wealth; making access to capital a biased process favoring Whites; transferring public wealth to the (mostly White) ultra rich via the tax system;  enticing a culture of rampant consumerism and living for the moment which disincentivises  savings; and segregating education by sinister, quasi legal methods. All this tactics have one clear goal: Keep people of color down – except token tokenism – regardless of their numbers and even if they become the demographic majority.

Trump has already widely succeeded in reshaping the judicial system to favor the future White minority. It is not just his appointments to the Supreme Court. It is his judicial appointments throughout the whole country. These appointments are for life. Therefore, for the foreseeable future we are stuck with a judicial system that bend hard to the right, favors the established class, and is simply not a friend to the plight of people of color. That will take decades to change even if Trump does not get re-elected. The damage is done. (And a lot more damage can be done in the next 18 months.)

One of the most sinister plot of the Trump Troops is to change our electoral system to ensure minority rule of descendants of White Europeans. These tactics are already evident in the various states where voting is made increasing more challenging, particularly for people of color and lower income folks; gerrymandering – albeit with the complicity of some Democrats – is ensuring Republican districts for at least the next decade; and, treating corporations as people (Citizens United) makes money the determining factor for the vast majority of elections – (and remember who has the money.)  

Whose country is it anyway?

The Trumpistas clearly want it to continue being a country controlled by descendants of White Europeans. And they will stop at nothing to make this happen. They will cheat, lie, and coerce their masses by enticing hate, distrust, and even violence against people of color. They will either intentionally or complicitely work with foreign powers (i.e. Russia) to make this happen. They will stop at nothing. Our best chance to stop this madness is to beat Trump at the ballot box next year – with the help and support of the many willing Whites that are people of good will and do not buy into Trumpism. And to do that we need a massive effort to educate, convince, and enthuse our own to vote vote vote. (That is, of course, assuming that Trump does not create an intentional crisis that will suspend the elections.)

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