Is the GOP that Loony, that corrupt, or both?

There is certainly plenty of evidence to support the latter. Let’s be perfectly clear here. There is not so much as a feather, a sliver of fingernail, a hair’s breadth, a whisper of a breath that any fraud whatsoever occurred during the 2020 election. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won. Fair and square. the people have spoken. Overwhelmingly, by over 8 million votes. Every election official in every state has verified that it was an honest election. That’s not even open to question.

The only place where any fraud occurred— and this is of course not unusual— was in the mouth of Donald J Trump. Lies coming from Donald Trump are nothing unusual. As a matter of fact, they are the new normal in American politics. What verges on insane, is that Trump, serial lying, thoroughly immoral, completely corrupt, snake oil salesman extraordinaire and wannabe dictator that he is, commands the almost complete fealty of what was once upon a time (a long time ago in a parallel universe far, far away) a legitimate political party. The manner in which the entire Republican Party continues to suck up to Donald Trump’s obvious lies and clear attempt to fashion a coup, would have at one time been unthinkable. But here we are.

Let’s say this again. There is not and has never been even the slightest doubt as to the legitimacy and honesty of this election. As a matter of fact, if you’re looking for fraud, you should be looking at the various tricks pulled by the Republican Party, such as closing down vast numbers of polling places, gerrymandering in the extreme, attempting to intimidate voters not to show up through the actions of the white supremacist and Neo-Nazis that the GOP now embraces. Or perhaps always embraced, but now do so openly.

The election was above board. But Donald Trump throws out wild, baseless, lies, and as if he were the Messiah himself, the second coming, the Republican party jumps on the wagon. The Republican Party is behaving like a sad, tragic, but very dangerous overstuffed clown car careening downhill. It’s not enough for them to just keep their mouth shut and let Donald Trump rant and rave. For many of them, it becomes necessary to expose themselves as being equally corrupt and uniformly bound to the lies that Trump tells.

The latest of these, is Missouri’s Cole County Assessor, Christopher D. Estes. You know, we like to think that someone in as important a position as that of County assessor, is of sound mind. But recently, when Georgia state senator Elena Parent posted that the Georgia election, just as had all of the election officials in all of the states, had been shown to be honest, aboveboard, and with no hint of fraud, Mr. Estes could not resist shining broad doubt upon his mental acuity by accusing her of being treasonous, and part of a coup. He even implied that this heinous crime was worthy of execution. I’m assuming he did it with a straight face.

I’m not a great important man like Mr. Estes. I’m not an esteemed County assessor. I’m just a former schoolteacher who knows a thing or two about delving into the facts and the truth of a situation. And I have to wonder whether Mr. Estes is mentally infirm, or corrupt, or I don’t know, maybe under the threat of violence and possible death from Trump and his supporters. Because what he says has absolute no basis in fact. None. Zip. Zero. As Hitler preached, Mr. Estes and his fellow Republicans continue to accuse “the others” of that which they themselves commit.

But Mr. Estes is not alone. This is the point we have reached in terms of the Republican Party itself. Other than a handful of the top leaders, Mitch McConnell—the Benedict Arnold of our time—Ted Cruz, and a few others, I would like to think that the rest of the GOP still possesses at least a modicum of morality and sense of ethical conduct. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Looking for an attempt at a coup? The GOP is doing it right out in the open.

How can an entire party allow themselves to become willing, apparently even eager, accomplices to the kind of corruption and dishonesty that is the stock in trade of Donald Trump? Were they hijacked? Shanghaied? Or is Trump exactly the Al Capone of politics they have been waiting for? Can they really be that stupid, that ignorant of the genuine, repeatedly proven facts? Are they possibly in actuality that mentally unbalanced? Can it be they are so corrupt and bent on controlling the country that right and wrong have lost any meaning for them? Is there no decency left in them?

Are they being bribed? Are they genuinely in fear for their lives and the lives of their families if they dare step out of line? Is Donald Trump running some kind of new Mafia family, with Neo-Nazis and the Proud Boys and KKK as his enforcers? If these questions sound fantastic, I would have agreed not too long ago. But the obvious willingness to be a part of one of the most astonishing system of lies ever inflicted upon American democracy and government; the clear complicity in what can only be described as an all-out attempt to stage a coup against the American democratic process and fashion a dictatorship in place of it, make these questions, no matter how distasteful or fantastic they may sound, necessary.

The real facts are clear beyond refutation. The states have said so. Republican Governors and election officials have said so. The courts have said so. The Supreme Court, with three Trump-appointed justices, has said so. We are left with only one genuine, crucial question. What in the name of Hell is going on with the Republican party? Whatever it is, it ain’t good for America. You can take that to the bank.

11

12:01pm – 01/20/2021 – KEEP IT SIMPLE

Keep it simple. 12:01 pm, 1/20/2021Like everyone else, I’ve been riding a terrible roller coaster of highs—Biden wins!—and soul twisting lows—what if Trump refuses to go, what if GOP legislatures manage to void the popular vote, and various opinions on the spectre of constitutional crisis.

Then I woke up this morning and had an epiphany of clarity. Let’s, as the military says, keep it simple stupid. And let’s recall the logic of Occam’s Razor: the simplest answer is usually the right one.

In the latter case above, if GOP legislatures do indeed connive to override the popular vote with rigged electors, we have a problem. In that case, there is going to be hell to pay, and possibly a full Uncivil War. That is the worst case scenario, and one that is probably very unlikely. For that to happen, the Republicans will have to get past actual judges, as in state supreme courts. History tells us that judges, even Republican judges, are much harder to pervert than are politicians.So let’s put that possible but highly unlikely nightmare aside and deal with the more likely situation.

What if, after votes are recounted and re-audited ad infinitum and Joseph Biden is reaffirmed over and over as the President, Trump says he won’t go. I’ve been reading a plethora of hand-wringing discussions about the Constitution not providing for such a bizarre situation. I think they are all missing the point. Remember Occam’s Razor. Remember what the Sergeant says, keep it simple stupid. The answer is right in front of us.

The founding fathers weren’t so dumb after all, at least not in this case, but their ghosts are probably thinking we are.12:01 pm, eastern standard time, January 21st, 2021. Joe Biden is President and Kamala Harris is Vice-President. The entire power of the federal government is removed from Donald Trump and vested in them. All of the people who work within the government, including the Congress, (except for a few Trump toadies) know this. The FBI knows it. The Secret Service knows it. The National Security Agency knows it. The U.S. Military certainly knows it, and I can’t think of anyone more united in their dedication to the Constitution rather than an individual than them.

The entire structure of our government knows who will be President the moment Joe Biden finishes taking the oath. We should, and can, expect their heads to swivel from Trump to Biden with the smoothness and certainty of a Swiss watch movement. Donald Trump will still be defiant. He will still be loud. But he will in that instant lose every ounce of power he possesses. He will be squatting on property which is not his. Whether he leaves on his own or is politely but firmly guided out of the White House by the FBI and Secret Service, he is done and gone.

But what if he exhorts his demented followers to violence in his defense, as he may do? And what if they respond, as many of have threatened to? The answer to that is, again, simple. There is no need to make it complicated. They will be committing armed acts of sedition, and should be dealt with accordingly. With whatever force is necessary. Police? Absolutely. National Guard? Most assuredly. 101st Airborne? Marines? Navy Seals? Absolutely. Because any way you look at it, armed sedition is armed sedition. It is treason. There should be no confusion or hand-wringing about how to deal with it.

It would be sad, and it would be unpleasant as hell. But I remember Ben Franklin’s statement: “We have given you a republic. If you can keep it.” In retrospect, this is exactly the kind of situation the good doctor probably envisioned as a possibility. I don’t think he felt he should have to explain it. Americans have voted. The voice of the majority is clear and decisive, by six million votes. The peace of the nation is not now in their hands. The responsibility for that is in the hands of that segment of Trump voters who threaten violence.

They can parade, carry banners and flags, raise their voices. They can do all of this, peacefully, and that is their absolute right. Raising up arms and resorting to sedition because they are unhappy about losing at the polls, is not. It must be met with whatever level of force is necessary.12:01 pm, 1/20/2021—Keep It Simple.

TERRORISM – The Accurate Word for Voter Intimidation

Terrorism. I just saw this on Yahoo news. Let’s be very clear here. These are truly deplorable people. They are domestic terrorists. Police intervention must be immediate and firm.
A couple (more if necessary) of uniformed officers (police, sheriffs, marshals, FBI, U.S. Marshals, etc.) should be positioned at every polling place where this may or does take place. They should position themselves between these domestic terrorists and people arriving to vote, and clearly assure voters they are not in danger and should not feel intimidated.
There must be absolutely no question about who is in charge.
Any one of these people who steps out of line even a little bit, the tiniest bit, must be immediately arrested and charged with terrorism.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/armed-groups-show-polling-sites-113500449.html

Why You Can’t Talk Facts and Sense to Trump Supporters

I want to use my own blog today to suggest you read an excellent piece by another WordPress blogger, anonnynonny. “GoodTrouble.” I hope he/she doesn’t mind my sharing their post with attribution. If so, just let me know, and I’ll remove it. The piece is titled THE CASE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP, and is on point.

https://goodtrouble974588398.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/the-case-against-trump/?fbclid=IwAR2Y-3-LIq1q-Dd1km4xbzqiGseuUSwU7dpwMDeimSS4sLye2WtPKbFSsA8

This is an excellent blog piece. It says everything I have been saying and writing about Donald Trump for four years, and of course I’m not alone. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve made the exact same points, but to Trump supporters nothing gets through to them. Ignorance is their game, and hypocrisy is their shame. I’ve reached the conclusion that Trump supporters generally fall into one of four very different but intertwined groups. In no particular order they are: 1- the wealthy, because he feeds their wealth and buttresses their power; 2- the racists and white supremacists, because he is one of them and feeds their hatred and ambitions; 3- the far right “Christian” extremists (Think evangelicals and southern baptists), because he feeds their twisted bibliocracy and vision of a theocratic America; —Groups 2 and 3 are also immensely tribal.— 4- The group I call the FIGS, the Fearful, Ignorant, and Gullible, who are afraid of change, intellectually limited, and ill-equipped to deal with complex issues. They who the hand-wringers who fear progress itself because it is the virtual definition of big change. They are unable to process and analyze issues for themselves (example: they have little understanding of what the terms capitalism, socialism, and democratic socialism actually mean), and as a group very (Christian) religious. They accept the ‘guidance’ of someone they look up to (their minister, their family leader (usually male), or some other authoritative, charismatic individual to tell them what to think and believe. Donald Trump gives them exactly that kind of person. Once he has his hooks into them, they are his. These four groups are also masterfully, powerfully manipulated by the Republican power structure, which over the past fifty years has evolved into the nasty group, a virtual Hydra, it is today. Today’s Republican party is founded on two foundational principles. 1- Pure Darwinism. Only the strongest shall, or should, survive. 2- Extremely weak federal government, controlled by extremist “Christian” theology centered on white people, pure capitalism in its most extreme version. The most ambitious and successful shall dictate the economy and the country for their own profit and empirically decide what the working classes shall receive for their labor. Refer back to #1 above, and think pure Darwinism enforced by the most ruthlessly ambitious. No, I’m not a Marxist, and this is not any kind of ‘insane socialist’ rant on my part. It’s actually what is considered the latter days stage of unrestricted capitalism. Latter days as in complete collapse of semblance of democracy.

When you are asked, Where were you when America’s lights went out?

If you are a Trump supporter, I fervently hope you will read this post.
I am a retired teacher, 40 years worth. I always promised my students that one thing I would never do is lie to them. and I never did. I’m telling you the same thing. I beg of you, see this creature for what and who he really is.


Every word that comes out of your hero’s mouth about election fraud, and Democrats rigging the election, IS A LIE.
This is not surprising because he lies about everything. 20,000 so far and counting since the 2016 election.

Please read this paragraph. “I spent 38 years as a Republican lawyer going into precincts looking for evidence of fraud. There are, to be sure, isolated cases, but nothing like the widespread fraud that would somehow invalidate an election or cause anyone to doubt the peaceful transfer of power,” Ben Ginsberg, who helped litigate the 2000 election on George W. Bush’s behalf, told CNN’s John King on Thursday. “So what’s different about this is a president of the United States going right at one of the pillars of the democracy without the evidence that you have got to have to make that case.”


I know you probably hate progressives, liberals. But much of your hate is based on lies that you have repeatedly been told by Trump and his allies.
Donald Trump has been lying to you, gaslighting you (look up the term if you don’t know it.), and he does it for one reason and one reason only. His own benefit. Why do you think SO MANY lifelong notable Republicans have left the party and trying to make you see this charlatan and tyrant for what he really is?


Donald Trump is laughing at you and manipulating you. He tells you what he thinks you want to hear in public, and considers you suckers and losers in private. He is depending on you being ignorant, staying uninformed, and not really thinking, just soaking up whatever lies he chooses to tell you.

There is still time for you to see him as he is, to save our republic, our environment, our children and grandchildren, from this truly evil man, this dictator in waiting. Please. Start thinking for yourself. MAKE HIM give you actual evidence. “Believe me,” is not evidence. “Trust me,” is not evidence. “Everyone knows,” is one of the most classic fact-free lies told by snake oil salesmen and dictators for thousands of years.


He is a lying, cheating, fraud in the same mold as was Hitler. and he is destroying our democracy, our economy, our very environment, while telling you one lie after another to the contrary.

He is using you. And he has but one goal, to be America’s first dictator. Please, start fact checking him (elsewhere but Fox News). You owe it to yourself, and you owe it to your country and your fellow citizens to free yourself from his lies and his cult of himself.
Please. Stop reacting to his lies just as he expects you to, and start reading, watching, and listening to the real facts.

Please, and again, please. Don’t let him mesmerize you any more. Don’t be a clone of his personality and a robotic follower of his charisma. Please be the independent critical thinker I’m sure you consider yourself to be. Ask yourself, does this vile person really reflect who you are?

For the sake of all of us, for the sake of the planet, and our children and their children, you have a responsibility to do that.

And you might want to start by reading this.

https://www.nationalsecurityleaders4biden.com/

No More Room For Nice Guys

If you have read this blog before, you will notice I have changed the name from Reflective Thoughts to The Wallace element. The URL remains the same.I made the change because reflective implies calmness. I am not calm. I don’t think I will be calm for a long time.

I am mad as hell. Let me repeat that I am mad as hell. We just lost a beloved, marvelous and iconic Supreme Court Justice in Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman who was a giant on the Court. And only a couple of hours after that sad event, may she rest in peace after all of the amazing work she’s done, America’s own Nazi-esque president, Donald Trump, who doesn’t deserve to carry water for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was announcing that he will nominate a new Supreme Court justice within a week

Of course Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham were saying that we absolutely should fill her seat now, right now.

You may remember that when Justice Scalia died in February 2016, which was nine months before the election of 2016, Mitch McConnell announced proudly, and crowed about, his announcement, “Mr. President, you will not fill this vacancy.”

McConnell justified his misuse of his position by saying that it wasn’t proper to fill a vacancy in an election year, because the PEOPLE should have a voice. Well listen to what the old reprobate has to say now. Things are all different now because HIS man in the White House, Herr Trump, promises to nominate a very far right justice to replace Justice Ginsburg.

The delusional and fanatic hard right has already stolen two Supreme Court seats.

The first was given to Neil Gorsuch, and the second went to Brett Kavanaugh, a man with severe questions about his qualifications and his moral qualities making him unqualified and unfit for the post. Now they want to steal a third one.

But wait just wait a second here. Time out! This is an election year! According to the distinctly less than honorable McConnell himself, and Lindsey Graham, we are not supposed to select or appoint a new Supreme Court justice during an election year, because the PEOPLE have a right to have a say.

But surprise surprise, they tell us. The situation is all different now. Why? Lindsey Graham likes to say that “You were so mean to Brett Kavanaugh about his drinking and debt and questionable income and sexual assault history, that we think we should have the right to go ahead and place a new justice on the court. Since Democrats were mean to Brett Kavanaugh, so Republicans should get a gimme, a freebie. Mitch McConnell is at least a little bit more honest. He simply says right to your face that it’s different now because his man is in the White House.

I saw something posted on Facebook the other day that made an impression. This individual said, ” You liberals don’t get it. I didn’t want that seat vacated by Justice Scalia in 2016 to be filled because Barack Obama was a progressive and I’m hard core far right. But now we have a far right president who will nominate a far right individual I approve of to fill that seat, so I’m all for it.

He went on to say, and this is the important part, “What you liberals don’t understand is that it’s all about power. And we want that power. It’s just that simple.” Hi might as well have added that this is the reason the far right calls liberals snowflakes, because they on the right know the game and are ready to be ruthless, while those on the left don’t and aren’t.

You know what, he was right. `He was absolutely 100% correct. It’s about power. Whoever has the power wins, and the other poor sucker, that other dumb loser, plays by plays by the winner’s rules, however they wish to make them up.

One of the biggest mistakes the Democratic Party has made ever since 2016, is, again, simple. It’s civility. It is the kid gloves syndrome, the old fashioned and obsolete philosophy that we must follow certain protocols, that there are certain considerations and traditions and practices that are just the proper way to do things and always have been. Thus, the Democratic Congress remained polite and civil ever since McConnell’s outright theft of a Supreme Court seat. and have continued to do so since Donald Trump stole a crooked election. Oh sure, they have made some noise now and then As my grandfather would say, they’ve flapped their gums. But they have remained determined to take the high road, to do things the “right way.” They have almost exclusively played nice with Donald Trump, a man who is as corrupt as they come; A man who is a bigot, and a racist, a man who has been accused of sexual assault by over 20 women, a man who has been investigated almost constantly by law enforcement, a man who asked for and willingly accepted the help of a foreign nation, a man who makes fun of the disabled and doles out nasty nicknames for anyone who disagrees with him, a man who encourages white supremacists and Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan and promotes violence on their part, a man who uses the federal police in much the same fashion as Hitler used the Gestapo.

The result has been that for the last four years, actually five years if you count 2016, and you should,when for eight months, Mitch McConnell, who now insists it’s proper to install a new justice of his and Trump’s choosing less than two months before a new election, refused to even hold hearings for Merrick Garland; for the last five years the Republican Party has functioned essentially as a mob.

This mob has exactly one goal, and they make no bones about it: to gain complete power and stage coup of the American Republic, for the radical white supremacist and religious extremist minority of American citizens to rule over the majority.

What this mob wants is for far right religious extremism, which can only be compared to the Taliban and ISIS, to tell all of America what they must do and cannot do. What this mob wants is to enforce the bigotry of racism, the bigotry of sexism, the bigotry of persecution or even murder of anyone who is not of their preferred sexual orientation or the right skin color. What this mob wants is a drastic far right violent white nationalist control of America. I can’t say it any simpler than that. They have broken every rule every long-standing protocol of Constitutional procedure, that exists. Donald Trump himself has defied Congress time after time; he has taken the unprecedented step of telling White House employees to ignore and defy subpoenas. He has defied the Supreme Court itself. Mitch McConnell has railroaded an impeachment process that was a farce, refusing to even allow witnesses. He has functioned as a virtual dictator, a one man goverenment, and will continue to do so if he is allowed. This mob recognizes no right or wrong, only an unquenchable quest for absolute power. That is exactly like Nazism..

They cannot be allowed to succeed, or the American Democratic Republic is lost. It is reported that in 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving Independence Hall on the final day of the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” to which Doctor Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

In the year 2020, a thoroughly corrupt, far right Republican mob the likes of which we have not seen since the Civil War, is on the cusp of taking that democratic Republic from us. We cannot, you cannot, the Democratic Congress cannot let that happen. It’s long past time for the Democrats in Congress to play hardball. If Trump is reelected and/or Republicans maintain their Senate majority, we are already lost. But if Democrats succeed in taking the Presidency and the Senate, they must be prepared to play this terribly serious game exactly as Republicans have taught them. The goal is to win, and the goal is to exercise the power. They must begin by restructuring the Supreme Court.

63 Days

It IS happening here, just as it happened in Germany when a supposedly intelligent and thoughtful populace sold their souls to Adolf Hitler.We have 63 days.

 

Note: This post is a day late. I wrote it on September 1, 2020

63 Days…September 1, 1939, Hitler started WWII by invading Poland. This was six years after Hitler took power, becoming Chancellor of Germany in 1933.

We have a Nazi in the White House:…openly promoting white supremacy and theological government, and ruthless authoritarian rule……openly urging his supporters to act as Hitler’s brown-shirts, promoting their violence……openly promoting a rigged election guaranteeing his reelection, while shamelessly lying and accusing his opposition of exactly what he is doing…… openly defying the Constitution, the Congress, and the Supreme Court……openly destroying the American economy for all but the wealthy and the favored……openly destroying the environment for the benefit of the wealthy and those who pander to him……openly turning away from our allies of generations to join the ranks of Putin and other dictators……openly killing thousands upon thousands of Americans through incompetence and plain sociopathic cruelty……openly psychotic.

If this American monster gets a second term, those who vote for him and empower him will be among the first to say, in the aftermath, in the remnants, “But I didn’t know.” These people must never be allowed that excuse. They know exactly what they are doing.

America is facing its greatest crisis since the Civil War. The hate of racism and white supremacy, the dementia of blind nationalism, the greed of the wealthiest, and the minority who embrace twisted religious cultism, have come together in an assault on the Constitution and every good and positive and progressive quality that America is supposed to stand for. Nazis parade, armed and threatening, in our streets. White nationalists create mayhem and commit murder in the midst of peaceful protests. These low-life nation destroyers have the support of the very man who is supposed to speak for all of us, but aligns himself with only the most egregious few.

The greediest and wealthiest among us support this criminality and the destruction of our environment in order to increase their wealth, while half, or more, of working Americans cannot afford a house or even a decent apartment rental. While those working Americans go bankrupt trying to pay outrageous medical and pharmaceutical bills. Millions of Americans face the destruction of the Social Security and Medicare they depend on for their very lives.

All of these users and abusers are being encouraged, and led, by a man of such small mind, such evil intent and lack of any kind of morality, that he could qualify as the anti-Christ. This demon nourishes and empowers the demonic instincts, the pettiness, selfishness, blind hatred and violent criminal impulses of the smallest minds among us. The greater America, the sane and thoughtful American majority, must stand up at the ballot box and stop this segment—yes, they are deplorable with a capital D— and the psychotic gangster who both seduces and feeds off of them. Otherwise our democracy, and every decent quality our flag stands for, including our very freedom, will be ground into dust and blood before this is over.

It IS happening here, just as it happened in Germany when a supposedly intelligent and thoughtful populace sold their souls to Adolf Hitler. We have 63 days.

 

Yes, GONE WITH THE WIND Should be Shelved

I think GWTW is perhaps the greatest example of cinematic art in American film. Scripting, costuming, cinematography, scoring, grandness, emotional impact. I do not think you’ll find a purely American film that is better in the eighty-on years since its release. I understand the sad irony of having Hattie McDaniel’s wonderful performance shaded by any restricting of this movie. But I will add these bits of information about her award.

Loew’s Grand Theater on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia was selected by the studio as the site for the Friday, December 15, 1939 premiere of Gone with the Wind. Studio head David O. Selznick asked that McDaniel be permitted to attend, but MGM advised him not to, because of Georgia’s segregation laws. Clark Gable threatened to boycott the Atlanta premiere unless McDaniel were allowed to attend, but McDaniel convinced him to attend anyway.

McDaniel received a plaque-style Oscar, approximately 5.5 inches (14 cm) by 6 inches (15 cm), the type awarded to all Best Supporting Actors and Actresses at that time.[33] She and her escort were required to sit at a segregated table for two at the far wall of the room; her white agent, William Meiklejohn, sat at the same table. The hotel had a strict no-blacks policy, but allowed McDaniel in as a favor.[34][35] The discrimination continued after the award ceremony as well as her white costars went to a “no-blacks” club, where McDaniel was also denied entry.

I believe that in terms of racist impact, GWTW is—and always has been—more dangerous than D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation.” Griffith’s film so powerfully exhibits the hatred, destruction, and vileness of racism that it delivers to any intelligent audience the exact reverse of the message Griffith intended. GWTW, however, does just the opposite. It paints this romanticized picture of a lovely south and a mostly benign image of slavery that makes it easy for people to accept the “Slavery wasn’t all bad, slaves were happy and well cared for…” illusion. Though it vividly depicts the destruction of slavery and the old south, it does so with a nostalgic sadness. It does little, if anything at all, to address the reality of slavery, or the Jim Crow era that followed. I don’t think the film is going to disappear, in the same way as Disney’s “Song of the South” rightfully did. I believe it may have a prologue and perhaps even an epilogue attached and still be available for purchase. It will undoubtedly be seen on University campuses and in film schools. But the sad reality is that as individuals, and societies, grow and mature, some things that were beloved along the way must be examined under a bright light recognized as the negative reality they hid, instead of the romanticized fantasies they presented.

Does that word mean what you think it means?

Facebook post 06122020

There is a word, a pretty important word, that I think needs clarification. Even Donald Trump uses it, as a slam against the left, because it’s an accusation that the left regularly uses against the right. The word is bigotry, and both sides are correct in accusing the other side. But it’s deceptive. You see, when you look up bigotry, the simple definition of it as provided by Merriam-Webster is “obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices.”

So when you’re accusing somebody of being a bigot, you need to delve a little deeper and specify what kind of bigotry you’re talking about. What are the opinions and prejudices that you are accusing them of? Let’s do that.

The bigotry of the right is devotion to authoritarianism, racism, sexism, hatred of homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, and in short in a kind of sexual they don’t personally approve of. The bigotry of the right is support of white supremacy, and intolerance of anyone who does not believe religiously as they do.

The bigotry of the left, conversely, is rejection of all of the above. Or to put it another way, the bigotry of the right is based upon hatred and intolerance because of who you are, while that of the left is based on how the right behaves, and its refusal to acknowledge the basic universal and constitutional principle that all men, and women, are created equal.

The bigotry of the left insists on separation of church and state, and this is in line with the founding fathers. The bigotry on the right, meanwhile, insists on combining church and state, and is adamant that that their personal religion be the church of choice.

The bigotry of the left calls for the love of all people, while the bigotry of the right calls for the love only of those of whom they approve.

The bigots on the left believe that every citizen working a full-time job is entitled to a living wage, one that allows them to plan for retirement, affordable health care, and affordable higher education. The bigots on the right believe the exact opposite, as proven not by their words and protestations, but by their actions.

You see how this works, then. The question we’re dealing with, is not bigotry per se, but the principles and beliefs upon which each side’s bigotry is founded.

I hope I have provided some clarity. As for myself, I happily admit to being bigoted. And I will take the bigotry of the left over that of the right every second of every minute of every day.

An Open Letter to Joe Collins, Republican

Well, it happened again. l sat down with my first cup of coffee, opened my email, and there was a campaign slug from a Republican. This one is Joe Collins, and he’s running against Maxine Waters in California’s 43rd district in November. His salutation was “Friend”
My response to Joe is this open letter.

Joe,

Your campaign letter to me opened with “Friend,”

I’m not your friend, Joe. I never will be, and I do not want Maxine Waters gone. The Republican party has not been the friend of Americans since Eisenhower, the last great Republican. Today’s GOP is a sludge of greed and corruption. Don’t talk to me about tax breaks. Republican tax breaks go to the 1% and the wealthiest corporations. The $1200 given to each American in the recent stimulus bill was an insult, while the ultra-wealthy were favored, even to the point of allowing rich corporations to steal help intended for small businesses. Your Republican party today is a disgrace. It is the farthest thing from concerned about “average Americans.” It has become a sludge of corruption, racism, and the destruction of the middle class. Ike would be ashamed of what the Republican party has become, just as have the many prominent Republicans who have renounced the party of Trump and McConnell It is a party that has waged class warfare against the middle class begun by Nixon, supercharged by Reagan, and now reached the level of traitorous obscenity when working Americans have to have two incomes, two or three jobs, to survive, and then barely; a party that daily endeavors to twist and nullify the intent of the founding fathers for this to be an America where all men—and women, are equal; a country where  LGBTQ people, those who dare to not be evangelistic cultists, and the entirety of the American working class that is denied decent wages while being charged exorbitantly for both housing and health care—are considered as nothing more than servants to corporations.

 

Your party is not the party of Lincoln. It never was. It is the party that opposed Lincoln. Check your history to find out how the two parties morphed in the decades after the Civil war. Today’s GOP was the Democratic party of Lincoln’s time, only worse. No, don’t call me friend. The Republican party has become an abomination.

 

You will never have my support, only my disgust. I was long an Independent, with progressive leanings and a tether rooted in cautions conservatism. The GOP has changed that. Your foundations in a conservative philosophy that can only be described as Medieval, your fealty to wealth above the common American, your hatred of everything—and anyone—not rooted in evangelistic ignorance, your disdain for the rights of women, and anyone who isn’t “straight,” your inability, or refusal, to face the fact that civilization either grows, changes, moves forward, and evolves, or perishes in a pool of their own ignorance and obstinance, is astounding.

 

No, Joe, I’m not your friend, and you are not the party of Lincoln. You the opposite. You are not the party of Eisenhower. You do not deserve to invoke either of those names. The GOP today is the party of regression, destruction, corruption and hate. You are the party of a particularly onerous fascism. You are the party of Trump, and you are the party of Hannibal Lector. Your leadership is rooted more in 1930’s Germany than in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

 

Do not refer to me as “friend.” You don’t deserve either my friendship or my respect. We need a hundred more Maxine Waters in the House and the Senate, and a hundred fewer decayed Republicans.