Monday, December 14, 2020
Monday, September 28, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
Seven reasons to vote every Republican out of office
No Republican House or Senate leader tried to restrain Trump’s financial misdeeds, including his apparent receiving of foreign emoluments, promoting of his own properties, and his daughter’s and son-in-law’s serving in government while feathering their own nest. Congressional Republicans laughed off repeated possible violations of the Hatch Act and cheered a political convention that turned the White House into a GOP playhouse. Republicans facilitated corruption.
Republicans with rare exceptions (e.g., Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who wound up leaving the party, and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah) refused to acknowledge the evidence of obstruction of justice in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. Other than Romney and Amash, no Republican would acknowledge the ample evidence presented in impeachment proceedings suggesting that Trump had violated his oath by extorting the Ukrainian president for personal gain. Republicans thereby enabled Trump’s abuses of power.
Republicans routinely echoed Trump’s Russia propaganda and castigated the U.S. intelligence community. They parroted a Russia-based conspiracy theory that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 election. They did not seek Trump’s removal or even censure for siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who falsely denied Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has refused to raise with Putin the bounties that Russia reportedly placed on the heads of U.S. troops. Republicans subverted U.S. national security.
We have heard and seen Trump publicly slur American prisoners of war, ridicule commanders as warmongers and enlist the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a political stunt in which peaceful protesters were forcibly cleared outside the White House. We have heard him publicly call the late Republican senator John McCain a “loser.” We have seen unrebutted reports of Trump’s contempt for military personnel (“suckers,” “babies”) and his aversion to including wounded veterans in a parade. Republicans have supported a commander in chief unfit to lead men and women in uniform.
Trump has openly incited racism; tried to stoke White people’s fear that Blacks and other minorities will “destroy" suburbs; denied overwhelming evidence of systemic racism in policing; insisted on retention of military base names of traitorous Confederate generals; cheered White provocateurs who went into Portland, Ore., with paint guns; deployed camouflaged federal agents in unmarked vans to Portland, where they illegally grabbed protesters off the streets; singled out majority-Black countries for crude insults; and praised “very fine” people on “both sides” of a clash between White nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville. Members of his own party in Congress almost uniformly avoid repudiating Trump’s blatant appeals to racism. Republicans have thereby helped foment racial division and violence.
We have heard Trump admit that he understood the severity of the coronavirus threat but downplayed it to the American public. He refused to take prompt, aggressive action and peddled dangerous quack remedies. He goaded governors to reopen their states prematurely and scorned mask-wearing. Knowing that the virus was an airborne, deadly disease, he continued to hold rallies without social distancing or a mask requirement. His actions almost certainly contributed to the death toll of 187,000 Americans — tens of thousands of lives might have been saved by prompt, effective leadership. Republicans have indulged his prevarications and still refuse to hold him responsible for the deaths and economic ruin that have occurred on his watch. In short, Republicans have put their own political survival above the lives of Americans.
Trump has sought to delegitimize the November election in advance, fanning patently false claims of massive fraud in voting by mail and telling Americans he will not pledge to respect the results. He vowed to hold up funding for the U.S. Postal Service so "that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.” Republicans have not condemned such utterances, let alone vowed to ensure Trump’s exit if he loses. Republicans have thus helped undermine the central attributes of democracy — free and fair elections, and the peaceful transfer of power.
There is no doubt that if President Barack Obama had committed any of these offenses and Democrats had been as derelict in their constitutional and moral duties as Republicans, the entire right-wing media and political universe would have called for Obama’s impeachment and removal, and for the defeat of every spineless member of his party. Over and over again, Republicans’ hunger to retain power at all costs has triumphed over their obligations to their fellow citizens. They have put Americans’ lives and the nation’s democracy itself at risk. In doing so, they have lost the moral authority to hold power. All of them.
Friday, August 14, 2020
It’s about common decency.
It’s about truth versus lies.
It’s about honoring our system of government and how the founders intended it to work.
It’s about checks and balances.
It’s about empathy and compassion.
It’s about serving all of the people, not just a minority subset of them.
It’s about being a humble public servant.
It’s about the rule of law.
It’s about the common good.
The shattered families and friendships are not about political differences. It was never about that. Political differences are as old as the country itself.
This isn’t about policy differences. We’ve always had different ways of looking at the same issue.
This is deeper and more sinister. A large portion of the United States population has decided to hitch their wagon to a person who has done absolutely nothing to deserve their support or their vote. A person who drives wedges between us rather than doing the job of the President, which is to unite us. A person who has no desire to govern the country but only to wallow in the adulation of people wrapped up in the cult of his personality.
The MAGA hat wearers support him because of his lies. Because of his crassness. Because of his lack of intellect. They love it when he tweets and retweets all the things they think but, up until now, didn’t feel comfortable saying out loud. I don’t care about them. Not one bit. They are the minority of the minority. Their glorification of the con artist isn’t surprising. It’s just professional wrestling to them. It’s entertainment, not politics. They don’t care one iota about the workings of their government. They just want to be part of the show.
But what of the rest of them? The rest of his supporters. The ones who don’t wear the hat or wave the campaign flag? The ones who don’t treat him like a rock star?
I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how otherwise good, moral and yes, intelligent people can continue to support him. I lay awake thinking about it. How can they not see what I see? A small-minded man totally driven by his insecurities. He ran for President for the attention and publicity. He never thought he’d actually win. But now that he has that microphone and people all over the world are watching his every move, he is not about to give it up easily.
An amoral person will not think twice about lying, cheating, and stealing to get what he wants. He’s been doing it his whole life. He doesn’t hide it. He does it out in the open because he knows it throws us off.
And other amoral people will cheer him on. Because it validates them.
But what about those people we thought we knew? What of them? What are we to think when they tell us they still support him? What does that tell us about these people we thought we knew?
I don’t have the answer to that. I spend hours each day worrying over it. Trying to figure it out. Trying to see what they see. But it’s impossible.
This isn’t about politics. It’s about character and goodness and generosity and empathy for each and every human being. It’s about holding on to what is great about America, if you can even manage to find it anymore.
Why are the good people in that minority of Americans willing to trash everything? Why do they want to tear it all down? Why do they think that’s necessary?
This election is the most critical in American history. You can argue about others, but this one right here will decide if the great American experiment can be revived. It’s currently on a ventilator with little chance of recovery if this administration is allowed to continue. You can kiss everything that we thought was great about America goodbye. Unhook it from life support and bury it.
And while the majority of us will mourn it’s passing the minority of the minority will cheer, yell, and pound their chests because they got exactly what they wanted. More of the show, more of the entertainment.
And the others? The ones we thought we knew? What will they think? Will they quietly celebrate the passing of America? Or will they finally realize that they were the ones who unplugged the life support?
Two men are vying to be our next President. One lies as easily as he breathes. One cannot manage to show an ounce of empathy or compassion. One cannot put his own needs and desires aside for the greater good of the American people. One is tearing apart our institutions on a daily basis. One spends every waking moment trying to game the system. One enjoys dividing us.
The other is the exact opposite.
This is not about politics. And if you think it is, you would be wrong."