Wednesday, March 27, 2019

"Look at me!"


     I'm on vacation, technically. But before I put my feet up, enter radio silence, flip on the Greatest Hits reel and leave the blog to run itself—which might not be much, but is more than the folks reading the paper will get—I have to respond to Donald Trump's unhinged lashing out at his enemies, boosted by what he imagines, no doubt from watching Fox News, is an exoneration in the Mueller Report, when in fact—for those of us who still care about facts—it did no such thing.
     “There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, some bad things, I would say some treasonous things against our country,” said Trump, doing his trademark projecting his flaws upon others and counting on his fans not to notice. “And hopefully people that have done such harm to our country — we’ve gone through a period of really bad things happening — those people will certainly be looked at.”
     By "evil things" he means law enforcement seeing whether Trump was the co-conspirator with Russia as they meddled in the 2016 elections—the meddling itself is beyond question—or merely its grinning beneficiary. He means the media that covered those investigations. Which leads us back, again, to that question that can't be asked enough:
     Why did the Russians prefer him to Hillary Clinton?
     Right. Because Clinton could be expected to work for the benefit of the United States of America. While Trump, at all times in all things, looks to his own private benefit, including the frisson of pleasure he gets rolling like a puppy at Vladimir Putin's feet and having his tummy scratched.
     I glanced into my spam filter, and heard ululations of joy coming from Trump supporters—the true villains of this story—who think their man has been triumphant because the special prosecutor did not choose to charge him with collusion. How special for them. For those of us who have not inexplicably sold out our country, abandoned our critical thought and embraced a monster, we have to remember that Donald Trump remains today what he was last week and last month and last year: a liar, bully and fraud who narrowly squeaked into office by making a raft of promises he never intended to fulfill, not to forget a big push over the wall by his pals the Russians. That he is now, then and always, someone who trashed all cherished American norms—respect for law enforcement, acknowledgement of verifiable fact, toleration of the media—and flushed them down the toilet. It hardly needs to be said, and here in the Midwest, no matter how I wave my hand, I'll never catch his attention over the heads of all the East Coast media. But with Trump promising dire consequences for those who point out his galaxy of flaws, I wanted to make sure to stand up and be counted among the righteous. I'm proud to state it as loudly as possible: Trump is a betrayal of everything valuable in American life. This historical moment either ends badly for Donald Trump, or badly for America. There is no middle ground. 



  1. Great image, Mr. S--second time this month you've used a photo from Cleveland in the summer of 2016. That's the Indians' ballpark in the background.The marchers were mostly medical folks from the local hospitals, many living here on visas. They were terrified of having them revoked if His Orangeness won. Their outfit adopted the medical term of STAT...which also stood for Stand Together Against Trump. I'm somewhere in that sea of yellow shirts, which read "We value diversity too much to support Trump"--oh, if only xenophobic anti-immigrant sentiment were all we had on our plate. There are so many other bitter pills to have to choke down.

    I still have that shirt, which seems anachronistic now. So much else has happened in the past three years, none of it good. I met some wonderful people that day, and also at a night march after dark. Gotta many of them have either left on their own or been booted out of the land they loved?

    Donald Trump is destroying everything good about America, and is hell-bent on erasing the Obama Era from the history books...45 has a hatred for 44 that borders on the pathological. Today it's Obamacare he wants to dismantle, tomorrow it will be something else, and who knows what will happen the day after that? That old anti-Goldwater slogan is being revived once again: "In your guts, you know he's nuts..."

    Now we know one thing for certain--something we did not know a week ago--that he will remain in the Oval Orifice through 2020. There are only two possible outcomes: a) He loses the election, the national nightmare ends, and he's fitted for either a straitjacket or an orange jumpsuit --or-- b) The loco locomotive driver remains at the throttle, goes around the bend, and the wheels come off. At which point the American train finally leaves the rails and burns at the bottom of the abyss.

    There are no other options.

    Every day I wake up and wonder what fresh hell I will see on my screen, just like I did in 1968. I have never been much of a praying man. But I am becoming one now. If there really is a Higher Power, He or She needs to do more than just help America...He or She needs to save us from ourselves, and from the worst angels of our nature.

  2. I'm not the best of prognosticators to say the least, but it looks like my take on Putin's motivations have withstood the test of time. Another example of one of many Trump character flaws is his lack of anything resembling a moral center. As a result he has no ability to gauge the moral character of those he hires. Which explains why Mueller was able to convict Trump's people like, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen, and most likely Roger Stone.

  3. I have a reasonably intelligent cousin eagerly spiking the ball on the Barr collusion news, denying his hatred for Hillary, but saying he just wants to see her in jail. He has no answer for any of Trumps many lies or insanities other than a blanket dismissal of 'you liberals'. Truth and logic are out the window, blowing in the slipstream of our out of control political vehicle. If despite this ill wind, we cannot awaken a majority of reasonable and sane Americans, we face great peril that no bomb shelter can mitigate. Baby Boomers started strong, opposing foreign wars and intervention, working towards a healthier environment, greater personal freedom for all colors and kinds, seeing the errors of our parents and trying to do better. But many have crossed over to a reactionary track, joining the worst racist and bigoted dead enders of American apartheid to elect Donald Trump. If we reelect this asshole, what name will history attach to the offspring of Americas Greatest Generation?

    1. Yes, many Boomers have gone from being liberals or progressives to becoming rabid reactionaries, but how many? We're talking about a generation that numbered approximately 76 million people, most of whom are still alive. It's impossible to categorize them into one camp or to generalize about such huge numbers.

      Boomers are all over the map, both literally and politically. They include socialists as well as fascists, and all shades in between. And so many people are totally unpredictable, and, given enough time and life experiences, can change like chameleons. A relative of mine came home from Vietnam. At 22, he marched with John Kerry and the VVAW in 1971, and threw his medals and ribbons onto the Capitol steps. Now, at 70, he's a staunch MAGA-hat wearer and he's been a wingnut for decades. We were as close as brothers, back in the day, but that's ancient history now. A sad and all-too common experience in today's divided Untied Snakes.

      I don't blame my Boomer cohorts for "this asshole"--I mostly blame the Millennials--the Bernie Bros who rejected "Grandma" Clinton. They voted for Trump out of spite, embraced the lost causes of third-party candidates, or...worst of all...stayed home and sat out the most important dance of their lives. If that happens again in 2020, the America we know and love will soon become yet another fallen empire, on the dust-heap of history.

    2. It might make you feel better to blame Millennials for Trump's victory, but a much higher percentage of them voted for Clinton than did Boomers. And, currently, there are fewer of them than there are Boomers.

      Of course, like Boomers, they cannot be generalized as a group, either.

  4. Fewer Millennials than Boomers? Not anymore, according to the Pew Research Center:

    As of July 1, 2016 (the latest date for which population estimates are available), Millennials (defined as ages 20 to 35 in 2016) numbered 71 million, and Boomers (ages 52 to 70) numbered 74 million. Millennials are expected to overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million. The Boomers are beginning to die off.

    Generation X (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.


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