"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." Orwell
"“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato
"The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant" Robespierre
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Worth A Thousand Words
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Dictatorship: It's Coming Unless We Stop It
As we look into the gray emptiness of a disappeared world, Puget Sound displaced by choking smog, the future of our planet looks back. Being blinded by smoke is a worthy metaphor for those who still deny climate change. “It’ll get cooler, you just watch,” said Trump this week. Just as the virus went away, “like a miracle.”
Thus was this column first intended: discussing the most demanding and dangerous challenges we face: climate change and an administration refusing to address it. Then the week happened. Climate change must wait. Until January, this country will continue to ignore it, anyway, no matter what we say or how obvious the need. So, not now.
Because, just in the last few days, Trump and his horribles have made it even clearer that the most urgent first step to saving our planet is to save our democracy; that he and his will do and say anything to prevent it from happening. This isn’t new; it’s just that the potential has been taken up several quanta.
Trump and his collaborators are actively encouraging armed uprising if he loses. And, he’s telling us, the only way he can lose is if Democrats cheat. That popular-vote-losing-by-millions “president” is telling citizens to ignore the polls: if he loses, it was stolen, and they must rise up. “You will see a backlash the likes of which you haven’t seen in many, many years,” he told Jeanine Pirro, who’s in a four-way tie for Fox “news’” most evil entity.
“Be poll watchers when you go there. Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do,” he says at his Covid-spreading rallies. (Speaking of which, he announced he’s not afraid of getting the virus because his podium is away from the crowd. You understand what that says about his concern for the attendees, right?)
It’s not just Trump. The former CIA guy in charge of finding bin Laden, and now, like so many Trumpists, a QAnon believer, has written, “Loyal Americans know their domestic enemies … and will be able to act swiftly to eliminate them ... The only thing I would be upset about if it came to war is that not enough Democrats would get killed.” Reflecting Trump’s racist demagoguery, he calls BLM “a semi-human mob.” This is the hate-filled, propagandized division Trump incites, because it works for him. And because it’s who he is.
Roger Stone, Trump’s favorite felonious fluffer, said that if Trump loses he should declare martial law. Calling on the FBI to block certain people from voting, and for federal authorities to seize Nevada ballots, he also said Zuckerberg, the Clintons, James Mattis, and others should be rounded up. Has anyone heard Trump disavowing it? No one who loves America can be okay with this. Those who are, don’t.
Michael Caputo, Trump’s unqualified choice for number two at HHS – but a big donor – who demanded scientists at CDC alter their facts to conform to Trump’s lies, later calling them “seditious” for refusing, said, “… when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at [Biden’s] inauguration, the shooting will begin… If you carry guns, buy ammunition...” Called out, he’s taking a “leave of absence,” from which he ought never return, because, like most Trump appointees, he had no business being there in the first place. Money and mendacity are the only credentials required for inclusion in Trump’s swamp.
What more would it take for current Trump supporters to remove their blinders? Their “president” and his acolytes are openly calling for insurrection should he lose; spreading falsehoods about the electoral process in order to discredit the cornerstone of democracy: the right to vote and have it count. It’s a truism: if Trump accuses someone of doing something, it’s he who’s doing it. If he’s the embodiment of narcissism, and ticks every box on the dictator checklist, he’s also the spitting definition of projection.
Barr, too. He’s urging prosecutors to charge some demonstrators with sedition; which, unlike exercising the right to protest, is exactly what Trump is doing, by dictionary definition. Choosing to encourage blood in the streets rather than accept defeat, ready to overthrow America if Biden wins, Trump has undertaken a coordinated campaign of faked videos and lies (“Looters and anarchists will be your neighbors.” “Biden is against God”) to incite his supporters to violence, in order to install himself as dictator. Millions of Trumpists seem to like the idea. The only person happier about that than Trump is His Excellency, Vladimir Putin.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
A Sinking Feeling
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Riots, anarchy, demonstrators and military-grade militias killing each other, cities on fire. This is what Trump wants you believe is “Biden’s America.” How many voters are that stupid?Because he’s describing his America. We’ve seen Joe Biden’s, when he was with President Barack Obama. You might not have liked their policies, but you didn’t see protests with armed citizens shooting at them; nor would they have been praised. Whoever fired the first shots in the recent horrors, it’s only from Trump and rightwing media that we’ve heard laudatory words for confrontational caravans and the Kenosha killer.
All of it – Americans facing Americans with eyes full of hate, fingers full of triggers – is on Trump and his media deplorables. His campaign began it, and they’ve promoted it ever since.
Who wouldn’t want to kill demonstrators if they were terrorists who hate America, planning to destroy everything you value, who rape your children before eating them? Other than the sex/cannibal thing, the believers of which Trump has refused to disavow, because “they like me,” that’s what he’s peddling.
Encouraging mindless fear and hate works, but only for Trump. With his malicious, self-serving encouragement, carloads of the deluded are pouring into “Democrat” cities, ready to defend against … graffiti, mostly.
This isn’t Biden’s America, nor is it Kamala Harris’ or AOC’s or Rachel Maddow’s. It’s Trump’s and Pence’s. McConnell’s, Hannity’s, Ingraham’s, Limbaugh’s. And Putin’s, who poisons opponents, to Trump’s silence.
If we can’t say who all the instigators of violence among the peaceful protestors are, investigators found rightwing agitators, aiming to discredit BLM and validate Trumpists’ rage, behind much of it. If lawful demonstrators could control the infiltrators, they would. It’s not what they want. Trump loves it, though. Kellyanne confirmed it.
It’s helpful to remember these encounters are in a few blocks of a few cities. There’s been some destruction, but neither those cities nor America are in flames. That’s not what Trump tells us, though, and it’s not what his angry and armed disciples like to believe. Unfortunately for us all, including them, the country they’re defending isn’t America. It’s Trump’s amoral autocracy.
In Trump’s America, like his rallies, his party’s convention was a festival of fear, loathing, and blatant lies. In his America, there’s no more briefing Congress on Russian election interference. His DOJ, we’ve just learned, quashed investigations into his financial ties to Russia. Crowdfunding sites are raising hundreds of thousands for a propagandized teenager who, illegally-armed, went looking for trouble and found it, in the lives of two citizens.
This is the greatness Trump has made. Every arm of government designed to protect us has become an instrument of “presidential” power, not the people’s. Even as we approach two-hundred-thousand dead from a mismanaged pandemic, people defend a “leader” still pushing fake cures and hasty vaccines, while refusing to call for the minor personal sacrifices that would end it.
Forced to become science-free, the CDC and FDA are mouthing falsehoods, and Trump just hired an unqualified, fringe doctor as his pandemic adviser. Trump’s America is ignorance.
In Trump’s America, stoking of racial animus is coming from inside the White House. And the Kremlin. Lacking attractive policies, Republicans are silent, because they think it garners votes. Two per person, if Trump has his way. Falling for the lies, Trumpists willingly pave the ever-shortening road to authoritarianism, while Putin does this.
Think it can’t get worse? How about an amoral, Constitution-ignoring, would-be despot gone fully unglued? If you saw someone raving as Trump did to Laura Ingraham, you’d back away. People in “dark shadows.” Planes filled with “thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.”
Never psychologically sound, Trump has descended into babbling lunacy, even as he questions Biden’s mental health and pushes faked videos to prove it.
It’s straitjacket-time, except his V.P. just said he “can’t remember” if he was told to prepare to take over when Trump was hospitalized. Right. That’d slip anyone’s mind. Pence is just another corrupt liar with whom Trump has surrounded himself. Barr, Pompeo, Wolf. Ratcliffe, Navarro. The ones not yet indicted.
Ignoring the obvious, many will vote for him anyway. No sane person can, though, without lying to themselves about an unfit promoter of division, now further unloosed from reality.
In Trump’s America, it’s lose-lose: if he wins, the Constitution becomes repudiated parchment; if he loses, believing his “rigged” lies, Trumpists will take to the streets, murderously deceived, ready to bring it all down.
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