Wednesday, January 5, 2022

We Can't Wish It Away

Entering the new year, so much needs saying that it’s been hard to choose where to begin. Serendipitously, help arrived from a reader, who provided the hook on which to hang this, the first column of 2022. Not that she’ll read it. Here, in part, is what she wrote in response to my year-end “predictions” column: 

“… You just dwelled on the negative and made your article downtrodden. Yes, it’s important to tell the facts, but we the people need more optimism and encouragement. To keep our heads high, fight for the good things in life, support each other, keep our faith and maintain a positive outlook to conquer each day… Thus, I am again bypassing and not taking the time in my day to read your articles.”

I sympathize. Plus, it was an order of magnitude better-written than what I typically receive from critics. So I appreciate it. If what I write were actually impactful, though, written my way or less “downtrodden,” reaching enough minds, in all fifty states, to change even a few about the imminent dangers of Trumpofoxification (it isn’t, of course), what she said would be sad. Because it reflects why we are where we are: people in the middle, like her (presumably), who’d rather not think about it, who’d rather hear sweet affirmations that it’s all okay, to justify doing nothing. 

Well, me too. Approaching the limits of tolerance, I’ve tried to turn it off, to stop caring, “to maintain a positive outlook to conquer each day.” (That desire also explains the attraction of mind-numbing drugs, and why, as existential uncertainty mounts, addiction and overdoses are increasing.) But, as I wrote back to her, my concern for the future of country and grandchildren compels me to keep thinking about and facing actuality, rather than ignoring or Pollyanning it.

It’s like witnessing a violent crime: too old and powerless to jump into the fray, at least I’d shout from across the street and call 911. Which would accomplish more than opining into the wind, but writing is about all I can do. That, and donating to people and institutions offering truth and solutions instead lies and obstruction. How nice if that lady, and people who think similarly, did the same. A few dollars, even. America needs commitment, not blinders.

Blinders, in fact, must explain why 68% of Republicans want to reelect Trump. Of all the dangers facing America, he’s the most immediate. In the long run, climate change is worse, but first things go first. Take it from Liz Cheney, a lifelong, hardcore conservative in all things, including Trump, whom no true conservative should ever have supported.

Confirming that he sat in the Situation Room on January 6, watching the insurrection on TV with delight, serially rejecting pleas to call for a stop to it, she stated the obvious: he must not be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office, ever again. His was unprecedented dereliction of presidential duty; anyone who thinks otherwise is no patriot. Nor a believer in democracy.

Proving the point, Trump just endorsed for “reelection” Viktor Orb├ín, Europe’s most brutal dictator. Anyone denying he’s a sociopath who wants to be like Vik, or Vlad, is delusional. Or, like my pixel pal, deliberately tuning it out.

Even if Trump were to lose, if he becomes the Republican nominee, which is likely, it would cement the permanent descent of that party into madness. And if he were elected, it wouldn’t herald the end of democracy; rather, it’d be because the end had already happened. It’d be because the Republican assault on free and fair elections, federal and state, had succeeded in destroying them. It’d be the beginning of autocratic rule by people whose views are rejected by the majority of Americans; people who barricaded the avenues by which we might return to majority rule.

Because the thing is, horrifying as the insurrection was, it was always part of a larger plan, an ongoing blueprint for overturning and preventing legitimate elections. And an indicator of why Republican leadership is so confident it can get away with undermining every Constitutional safeguard of democracy, while convincing people they’re doing the opposite. This level of brainwash-powered deception and acceptance of it appears irreversible. And 1930s ominous.

People of both parties say the country is heading in the wrong direction. The difference is that, for Republicans, it’s because of believing Trump’s perseverating and rightwing media-enhanced election lies, mandates necessitated by their own selfishness, baseless warnings of communism, and preposterous conspiracy theories. For Democrats, it’s because we’re seeing, clear-eyed, democracy imperiled and faltering. Surely, it’s the wrong time for silence.


  1. OK...So if FOX has only dedicated 88 seconds in 72 hours about Hannity. Does this mean 'news' only happens 88 seconds a day at FOX? Or does labeling someone "a journalist" count as 'news' being spewed? It seems Alex Jones "performance artist" werked as cover. Suing to be allowed to lie also werxed for FOX to head off any unwanted attention. It seems like you could run down 1000 people with a train and call yourself "Mother Theresa" and be good as gold!

    Simple as this...If Drumpf and his minions get away scot free, they will try again and call it fair game.

    Here's a snippet of the story...

    Despite his lawyer’s protestations, it’s not clear that Hannity was acting as a journalist in his messages to Trump’s inner circle. The host himself has described himself various ways over the years. “I never claimed to be a journalist,” he told the New York Times in 2016 when asked about his friendship with Trump. A year later, however, he described himself to the Times as “an advocacy journalist, or an opinion journalist.”

    Fox News calls Hannity “an opinion host” and doesn’t refer to him as a journalist.

    A Fox News spokeswoman declined to comment on the network’s coverage of Hannity.

    “This is an indisputably newsworthy story” argued Mark Feldstein, a University of Maryland journalism professor. “How can you not cover that?” He criticized Hannity for withholding his behind-the-scenes insight from Fox News viewers as well as Fox News’s decision to give little coverage to the fallout."

  2. Remember the time they stole the govt.?
    It makes a lot more sense now yes?

  3. I've seen a woman on several shows over the last few days who is a professor at NYU and an expert on authoritarianism and fascism. Ruth Ben-Ghiat illuminated something for me I hadn't previously understood. All the folks around Trump, are long-schooled in overthrowing governments. Over the years, America has intervened in other countries' elections and processes. I'm not well enough read in historical incidents to elucidate them right now, but I'll bet Smooth is. Juntas and installing powerful people in offices, supporting them where we have no right to be. Who do we think was in on that? The Mike Pompeos, William Barrs, Mitch McConnells, et al of the last 40 years have all had their fingers in those pies. Not to mention the military, but again, I don't know much about how all that works. What really hit me was her assertion about the financing of those governments and operations, which brings us to Trump. Isn't it more than implied that his business and properties were used as money-laundering venues for foreign nationals? That blew me away. Of course, he's been in the thick of it for years, and tearing down the administrative state is part of what they need to do.

    Sid, you know I feel much as you do in the sense that I find myself too old to jump into the fray, but I can at least provide some small monetary assistance. I still despair. I'm as worried as ever. I don't pray anymore about anything, but speak to whomever I can about how much danger I believe we are in.

    Happy New Year? Oh, and BTW, the Herald printed my letter. It isn't my best work, and you all who know how I really feel about stuff will notice how I held back.

    1. I saw, appreciated, and admired your letter. Tried to see if I had an email address or a Facebook message link, but struck out. Glad you posted this, so I could respond.

      The rumors, if that's what they were, of his money-laundering for various mobs, have been around for a long time. So have the ones about paid-for abortions. I don't doubt either one.

    2. Hmmmm, I'm still on Facebook. One of the slow-to-catch-on types! I'll see if I can find you there.

    3. Yes, there's many times where something I've seen or heard in the past, applies to today. Not in pieces, but whole cloth examples. I am often discouraged because I am often dismissed or misunderstood. I try to plow through it and continue to be a voice, albeit an extremely frustrated or discouraged voice, but a voice none the less.

      Pinning articles is fine. But it's often not explained fully in ways not seen in the type. Not broken down simply. Not put in ways that are memorable. Too many $10 words and other hang ups.

      The kids and the poor will be the ones who save this country. It won't be the "job creators" or the well to do and the happily retired. It won't be alt right political terrorists.

      Let's take something like this...

      "Jordan’s decision follows a similar rejection by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the only other lawmaker whose testimony the committee has requested so far. Although Thompson initially indicated the committee might pursue various “tools” to force recalcitrant lawmakers to comply, he has since suggested that the panel may have little leverage against lawmakers who don’t cooperate voluntarily."

      "Instead, Thompson has indicated the panel will use the “court of public opinion” to reveal lawmakers’ conduct ahead of and on Jan. 6 — via obtained messages and testimony — and leave it to them to explain why they didn’t cooperate with investigators."

      This tells me that we are going to do nothing. That we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over till Democracy is so weak "It'll be like drowning a baby on a bathtub". Grover Norquist said that over a decade ago. The "Select Committee" and law enforcement is facilitating that process nicely.

      If Biden was any more scarce he'd be dead. If the courts were any slower they'd be stopped. Is any of these "patriots" being charged with a criminal enhancement for trying to take the govt. by force? Nope, don't want to anger them "patriots" too much I guess. They might do something "patriotic" again and succeed.

      I think if we choose our words better it'll all be OK. If we just forgive the "Patriots" and cuddle with them as fellow Americans it'll soon pass. If we radical libs would only confess our sins. Then and only then will America be great.

      I'm sure it's all gonna be fine now. Why didn't I think of that sooner? Wasn't beat down enough I guess.

    4. Here's the second half of the history lesson...

      I really love these Frontline documentary style reporting. They are perfectly produced little nuggets of good TV.

      Pay very extra close attention @3:36

      I'll tell you what to think about the exchange soon to follow. Again, do nothing and in fact facilitate...(fill in the blank)...

      What you will witness is a legit journalist asking a legit question. Pay attention to the demeanor of the overweight thugs in fancy hats. Do they look concerned to you? Does the one thugs wishy washy excuse of "Well, we all got different assignments...."

      Oh? Looks like you have the exact same assignments. Do nothing seems to be the assignment everyone has. Now wonder to yourself...Are they following orders? Who's orders are to assign everyone "different" orders. I once took orders for a living. And even though we all help vastly different job titles, we all had the same mission. We all knew the mission and everyone stuck like glue to the mission to the last person. If there was nobody left but one person. That person doesn't surrender or do something "different". The complete the f mission!!!! Argh!

      The reporter said "There's pepper spray and violence" and the thugonomics told him that "were just trying to maintain order right now." was the safest bet that Drumpf will stay in power. White power that is...It's Charlottesville after all. And a White Power/KKK/Proud Pee pees et ilk event.

      The coup de gras was a muscle car running people over who disagreed.

      Not a lotta peace kept that day.

      Now you should be even less impressed with "law enforcement" in Charlottesville.

      That's what you should be thinkin'...But alas, all them KKK types are nothing but angrier and more lost.

  4. A Decades long plan

  5. Here's a history lesson.
    It's all facts...Verifiable facts.

  6. Joe Manchin is in for it now...I think the unions and others are going to play hardball finally. But there's still the platitudes and appeasement crowd. There's also the seemingly endless number of deplorables in WV.

    "Phil Smith, the United Mine Workers’ chief lobbyist, responded, “We’re still swinging, but we’re swinging in a smart way and in a way that will provide a real future for fossil energy workers in West Virginia and throughout the country.”
    "Union officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering mine owners, said Mr. Manchin should not be listening to the West Virginia Coal Association, which includes some of Mr. Trump’s staunchest supporters.
    That’s a remarkable rift. The idea that BBB is in the interests of mine workers — but against the interests of owners — has been forced out into the open."

  7. Now this is a man after my own heart!

    "In an interview with France’s Le Parisien newspaper, Macron shared his thoughts about France’s unvaccinated population. He did not mince his words. “The unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off,” Macron said. “And so, we’re going to continue doing so until the end. That’s the strategy.”

    The English translation hardly does the comment justice. In French, the verb he used is “emmerder,” which means, quite literally, to cover in excrement. The ire is difficult to translate, but in French it is crystal clear — clear enough to have launched an entire polemic after the interview published last Tuesday."


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