Empowering Fascists,Racists, and Bigots…

2016-10-16_09-41-50.pngWhen I came across this posting on Facebook recently  it struck me as the biggest harm done by the current political environment. I might also add conspiracy theorists to the list.  Putting evil words in your opponents mouth does not make it a reality.

Of course Mr. Trump and his poisoning rhetoric is the source for most of these things.  But Mr. Trump could not have spread his contempt for our country  and almost everyone  except old white uneducated males, and of course himself, if it has not been for the GOP voters who rushed him to the presidential nomination.  That is the main point for this post.

Mr. Trump by his hateful rants has given an emancipation proclamation for white supremacists, racists and bigots. He is telling them that it is alright to openly hate others different from you. He clothes this proclamation in “throwing off being politically correct”. As most things coming from Mr. Trump’s mouth that is flat out wrong.

But in the end it is not about the GOP party but instead about the GOP electorate, that is those who voted to put this guy in office. That is why the fascists, racists and bigots have been able to take control of the GOP.  If the party is to survive this political season they have to broaden their base and ideology. They cannot continue to drive blacks, hispanics, women, handicapped, and most other minorities away from their party.  They can no longer keep a segment of the populace in their fold simply by their  placid rhetoric. Actions are required, maybe radical action…. but this time sane radical actions.

But then again recently I saw the GOP Speaker of the House say that if Hillary is elected that she will take the country down in flames with all her evil intent.  Even though I put the primary cause of this current toxic environment on a radical fringe in the GOP electorate there is still plenty of blame for the leadership.

Another thing that is poisoning our political processes is the mantra that the other party is EVIL and intent on destroying our nation.  To some extent both parties have a hand in this toxic stew.  We as a nation have to accept as we have in the past, particularly before 1980, that the other party loves our country as much as they do. They just have a different approach to doing what they think is necessary to preserve and even enhance our greatness. We need to recognize that this is not a good guy/bad guy scenario. Like it or not we are all in this together…

Our primary view should be what is good for the nation, not what is good for the party. Parties mean nothing in the overall scheme of things…

 

The Republican Establishment…

I am one of those people who need to thoroughly study a situation before I make any serious decisions.  And then there are people like Mr.Trump who are convinced they can reinvent the world without bothering to study it. That is a very dangerous delusion but is inherent in a pathological narcissist. They think they know everything already so no study is necessary.  Mr. Trump  proudly admit that he doesn’t read books or much of anything else for that matter.  What does matter to him is what others say about “him”. He pays attention to that and little else it seems.

Donald Trump’s near meltdown in Monday’s debate surely gave queasy stomachs to Republicans who have bowed before his candidacy despite their better judgments. Trump threatens to give conservative appeasers a very bad name.

Let it be said that at least some in the party will be able to stand proudly after this god-awful election is over. We’re witnessing real courage among those members of the party of Lincoln willing to say openly how genuinely dangerous a Trump presidency would be.

For those whose livelihoods depend on building big audiences among pro-Trump rank-and-file conservatives (think radio talk show hosts and commentators of various kinds), joining the Never Trump camp carries real risks. For liberals, opposing Trump is about the easiest thing in the world, so we should honor the daring of our temporary comrades.Unfortunately, the Never Trumpers are a minority on the right. More typical are House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the most prominent among the GOP contortion artists who are hedging their bets.

Source: E.J. Dionne Jr.: Never Trumpers in Suburbia Remain a Problem for the Republican Establishment – Truthdig

It is heartening to see so many  large newspapers who are traditionally Republican come out and say Mr. Trump is just not equipped to be president. If there is any hope that his candidacy will not permanently stain the GOP brand it hinges on more than just retired and past leaders and newspapers renouncing him.  When so many endorse him out of fear of repercussion if they don’t they are obviously putting party or maybe self over principles.  None of this seems to matter to the 25% or so of the nation’s electorate who would probably vote for Hitler if he were the party’s candidate but  I hope it matters to most of the rest of us.

It is nice to see that after the first debate more and more who are long time party advocates rejecting this particular GOP candidate. Yes, I too believe that fundamental change is needed in areas of how we govern ourselves but Mr. Trump is NOT the person to latch on to to make that happen.  He is far too unstable at his core.

That being said I am becoming more and more confident that he will be thoroughly beaten a month from now. I HAVE FAITH…

Enough said about this topic and Mr. Trump. I hope I never use his name in another post on the site…. Question Everything….

Congressional Pensions??

2016-08-29_15-51-30.pngWhen our founders set up our government their intention was that its citizens would come to the nation’s capital for a period of time  to contribute to the running of the people’s business and would then return to their normal lives.  Of course that is not what is happening today. There are way too many people  in our congress who are now collecting very lucrative pensions even after even relatively short terms in congress. There are those like Strom Thurmond, who have been there for decades and seem to want to die in office. John McCain first comes to mind in this category.

One of the major problems with this current mode of doing business, or more appropriately not doing business, is that the common good of the nation is forgotten in the process. Our representatives primary goal is to do everything possible to stay in office. The money needed to do that is what causes most of our problems.

The gridlock that we find ourselves in today is primarily due to two causes: unlimited terms in office and the gerrymandering that makes it possible.  When it seems that there are so many around that are very upset with the current political situation, I am really somewhat hopeful. If the GOP is decisively defeated in the coming election I am hoping that will cause a primary shift in the way all those yahoos think inside the beltway. They will finally understand that creating gridlock will not keep them in office.

With that renewed sanity, some there just might take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The party that is able to do that the most successfully will have the best chances of survival. No longer will the party over principles rule the day as seems so endemic today.  The second thing that then needs to be accomplished is for the Supreme Court to declare gerrymandering to be unconstitutional. Then it is up to us, as citizens, demand term limits similar to what was instituted for the president more than a half century ago. If more than eight years is too long for a president it should also be too long for members of congress.

The second shoe that will drop with term limits is to eliminate congressional pensions. No one will be around long enough to need them. Representing the people will finally be considered a limited time privilege and not an occupation as the inventors of our form of government intended.

I am a dreamer aren’t I????

It often takes some catastrophic event to cause paradigm shifts in how we do things. I am hoping that will be the case in the coming months and years.  WE simply can’t continue down the current road if we hope to survive as a nation.

Owning Our Dark Side….

Its time to do some overall reflection the two political conventions just ended and then to move on to other things.  The contrast between the two could not have been greater.  One was about hatred and fear and the other was about future possibilities.  One was about living in the past, the other about preparing for a better future.

I am really starting to feel sorry for my Republican friends. They ended up with a egomaniac at the head of their ticket. How that happened was for the most part their own making but I’m sure 90% of those who claim the GOP banner are good decent people. But it is that ten percent who are now the face of their party. Trump, Limbaugh, O’Reilly are the face of it and it is to my mind an ugly face.

And Trump is getting plenty of help, even as many Republicans fret that he’s digging them further into a hole they’ll struggle to climb out of. On Monday, Michelle Obama said, in the most moving passage of an extraordinary speech, “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.” It was part of her argument that the greatness of America lies in its ability to change, to overcome its weaknesses and its sins, to be forever a work in progress. Yet some on the right couldn’t hear that as a redemptive story; all they heard was a black lady complaining about slavery again.

The next day, Rush Limbaugh, the country’s most popular radio host and a relentless race-baiter, complained that when it comes to slavery, the Obamas are “never going to let it go,” so determined are they to make white people feel bad. That evening, the most popular personality on the Fox News Channel — Bill O’Reilly, whose angry-old-white-guy persona is a living caricature of the prototypical Republican voter — felt the need to assert that “Slaves that worked there [constructing the White House] were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government.” That outreach to minorities is really coming along great.

Even if you think Republican policy ideas are superior, there’s just no question which party is the inclusive and welcoming one. Democrats may have their problems, but on the national level, their multi-racial, multi-ethnic, interfaith coalition represents not just America’s future, but its present as well. Maybe one day Republicans will figure out a way around it, but it won’t be by doing what they’re doing now.

Source: Why Night 2 of the Democratic convention was a glorious contrast to the RNC

2016-07-27_10-13-00.pngAs indicated above one of the basic problems with our country is that  like Limbaugh and O’Reilly we for the most part won’t own up to our darker side.  Too many flatly deny any wrongdoing. That is one thing that Germany has over us.  They have learned that it is healing to recognize that Hitler was a part of German history. They don’t deny it or try to sweep it under a rug. They mourn it with the rest of us.

We Americans are yet to really admit that we annihilated  a native-American population of millions through genocide in order to steal their land.  We as a country, but especially in the South, have failed to openly admit that we enlsaved millions in order to make our lives easier. When we don’t own up to our faults there is little possibility that we can truly learn from them. This is one of the lessons that I wish my Republican friends would learn.   Its not about guilt as Limbaugh shouts…