Deconstructed Melting Pot

America has long been known as the great “melting pot.” A mix of diverse people and cultures blending together to live side by side and given equal protection under the law. A country that despite its imperfections welcomed immigrants of diverse nationalities, races, ethnicities and religions into our mixing bowl. Whether warranted or not a country perceived by citizens throughout the world as a land of hope and opportunity. The American identity that of a multicultural experiment in self governance. A representative democracy for the people, by the people.

Donald Trump seeks to deconstruct this identity. Wishes to remove the individual components of the melting pot and divide them into separate parts. Like demagogues of the past he seeks the preservation of his own unique identity above all else. He preys on tribal insecurities and brandishes fear as his greatest weapon. Warns the like minded that individual identities will be lost if the pot is stirred too well. That those who have enjoyed their privileged place in society, the white Christian male, will cease to matter once blended into the others.

The vast majority of Americans have the good sense to understand how flawed this way of thinking is. Are sophisticated enough to recognize that America is at her best when our ingredients are mixed together. To preserve our identity, to pass this experimental recipe on to future generations, requires that we quickly join forces to demand a new chef. One who seeks to unite rather than divide. One who accentuates our complimentary flavors and combines them in a such a way to make clear to the world that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The Art of the Interview

It doesn’t taken long for incompetence to expose itself in a workplace. Particularly when the incompetent one sits at the very top of the organization. The inability to manage a budget, mitigate risk, think strategically, effectively communicate a shared vision, establish clear roles and responsibility with aligned standards of accountability, and engage your workforce is typically readily apparent within a few months of transition.

The first test for any new leader is team building. The need to recruit a team to implement a sustainable and cohesive organizational structure that will support the Executive’s central mission. This requires extreme vetting of a pool of qualified candidates; extensive interviewing until you are confident in your selection. A poor choice at the senior levels may cripple a project and place it in a permanent state of reactiveness, and at heightened risk for catastrophe.

One would assume that those who elected our CEO President did so thinking he’d excel in this area. Trump even told would be supporters not to worry about his lack of experience because he was going to surround himself with great minds. Experienced leaders he would rely on to guide him in international affairs, and matters of economic and domestic politics.

We all know how this has turned out but who are we to judge? Let’s instead review Twitler’s own timeline to get a true sense of how spectacularly awful Trump is at team building and routine vetting. Let’s for a change assume Trump is being truthful in the way he describes the character of those HE placed in control of the national security of this country and entrusted with our most sensitive secrets.

Let’s start with National Security Advisor John Bolton who according to Trump had a reputation for being a “wacko” and a man who “likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them.” Trump goes on to now describe Bolton as a man “who was all washed up until I brought him back and gave him a chance.” Next time perhaps hiring a “sick puppy” who was fired by President Bush for “incompetence” to lead our National Security team isn’t the greatest strategy.

Remember Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump now describes him as a man who is “dumb as a rock and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State.” Even worse he lacked “the mental capacity needed” for the job and was “lazy as hell.”

Makes you wonder what type of interview process took place.

“We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the U.S., and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “General Mattis did not see this as a problem. I DO…” Trump went on to rage that “Mattis was our Country’s most overrated General. He talked a lot, but never “brought home the bacon.” He was terrible!”

It’s true you and your leadership team won’t see eye to eye on every vision, but a shared sense of vision is one of those things that should be confirmed with your incoming Secretary of Defense.

The man he selected to defend and enforce our nation’s laws as Attorney General is “mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner…(who) couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama.” Turns out Sessions had a nasty way about him and lacked transparent communications as evidenced by his subsequent refusal “to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said.

You’d have thought he’d have learned the art of the interview in business school but alas.

Then there’s The Mooch and “Wacky Omarosa,” also known as the “highly unstable nut job” he hired as his Communications Director and the “not smart, lowlife” who served as Advisor.

Which is better than the man he nominated to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell who Trump questioned by tweet, “who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?”

Yikes, talk about a bad hire.

The list goes on and on. By his own admissions it is clear that Donald Trump is incapable of performing the most basic job requirements of a Chief Executive. That our country is now ravaged by an uncontrolled pandemic, racially divided and headed down a path of insolvency and low morale is the inevitable result of what happens when you leave an ineffective or immoral leader in place.

This isn’t going to get better with time. Incompetency breeds incompetence. In fact the Mooch himself said it best in describing another former Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, “the fish stinks from the head!”

Indeed it does. The quicker you lop it off the faster the grown ups get back into the room

Oklahoma, Not O.K.

It’s a disgrace that the leader of the free world is incapable of shame or empathy. At this point it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’d jeopardize the lives of thousands simply to satiate his own ego by holding a rally in the midst of a pandemic. He’s proven this to be character throughout his entire life. It is no longer breaking news.

People are dying by the tens of thousands. The number of dead Americans more than those who perished on 9/11 and our past three wars combined. To expect Trump to suddenly turn self introspective and wonder what he could do differently to stem the tide is a pipe dream. It will not happen. His brain is hardwired to deflect, scapegoat and perform acrobatic feats of cognitive dissonance that enable him to project his own shortcomings on perceived enemies.

Look around the world and behold the new American exceptionalism. Exceptional at failing to protect our citizens from this pandemic’s deadly grip. Exceptional at ignoring scientific conclusion and best practices to stem its spread. Exceptional at prioritizing greed, party and profits over people and basic human rights.

The Rise of the Domestic Terrorist

It’s always easier to sleep at night when you can scapegoat minorities and blame your ails on “outsiders.” The time, however, has come for all Americans to wake up. America doesn’t have a Muslim, Black, ANTIFA, Jewish or immigrant problem. It has an America problem. The greatest threat to America’s national security comes from domestic citizens who cloak their hate behind a badge or drape themselves in a white hood, confederate flag or MAGA hat.

We need to do some internal soul searching of our own. An extreme vetting of our backyard. Identify the weeds before they take over the lawn. Trump trounced on HRC for not saying the words radical Islamic terrorism. Let’s hear him call a spade a spade. Let’s hear speak about the rise of these white so called Christian domestic terrorists. Better yet, let’s see our cowardly Comrade in Chief tweet about them.

The Story of Pompeii

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Many of us are familiar with the story of Pompeii. The Italian city built in the shadow of and ultimately buried in the destruction of Mt. Vesuvius. Prior to the volcanic eruption Pompeii was a bustling resort town and home to many of Rome’s most enlightened citizens. Though residents of Pompeii were long aware of their volcanic neighbor and the volatile threat it posed they took for granted that they would survive any eruption.

The city flourished and grew even as the risk of explosion grew. More than 15 years prior to its fateful eruption Vesuvius rumbled triggering a powerful earthquake in the nearby town. Yet through acrobatic displays of cognitive dissonance and incredible displays of hubris the residents remained steadfast in their belief that they were safe from the dangers bubbling beneath the surface and the city continued to grow.

Even in the midst of the powerful eruption that took place in 79AD residents of Pompeii had time to flee yet faced with an unconventional threat they failed to understand the immediate dangers that lay ahead. The folly of their ignorance cost them their lives. Within days of its eruption, the city buried in ash and molten lava.

Centuries later the city was remarkably excavated. It’s people preserved in ash for history to note the expression of surprise on the faces of the deceased as they were suddenly faced with the reality of their situation.

Americans take note of this cautionary tale. Like Pompeii our traditional checks and balances are no match for the unconventional threat we face. Though the risk in front of us may be made of flesh and blood the risk is no less real. The destruction left behind will be no less predictable or deadly.

The caravan of corruption and criminal enablers now in control of America have no care for tradition, precedent or the rule of law. As a nation we need to accept a basic premise. The fight to save our Republic must not wait until November 2020. The constitutional crisis is here. The battle begins now.

Donald Trump finds safety and job security in the chaos he stokes. The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. It’s more than the blood of the oppressed and protestors that will spill. More than the bodies consumed by a preventable pandemic that will our morgues. The carnage levied against our citizenry will leave gaping scars on America’s soul that will not be erased with a mere change of administration. That will be visible for generations to come.

It is time to call all hands to deck and seize back control of America’s future. To preserve the American dream requires we, the people return to our patriotic roots. Take to the harbors and throw the tea overboard. Throw on your life vests and refuse to take a backseat in our political future. Prepare not just to march on Washington, but to sit and sleep there too.

Our Republic’s survival requires proactive action and sacrifice. Those brave enough to do so must continue to take to the streets in peaceful protest. For those worried about the pandemic or in a vulnerable demographic take to social media and broadcast your very own virtual protest.

The important thing is we begin to act as a coordinated majority! To stem this toxic sludge our efforts must transcend race or class. To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must end this nightmare of an administration before its poison consumes us all. We must recapture the audacity of hope and hold those who wish to trample on our ideals to account.

The spirit of the American people has been a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world for over two centuries. Our diversity our greatest strength, the backbone of our success. We must be proactive in our response. Emboldened by our founder’s vision and the lessons of history.

A Confederacy of Hate

A confederacy of hate and white supremacy exists in America and occupies our most sacred institutions. It hides behind the cloak of religion, justice or patriotism to prey on minorities, the underprivileged and those who dare challenge their superiority. It kneels at the altar of misplaced relics of hate and ignorance that run counter to the American dream. It relies on conspiracy theory, fear and alternative facts to connect with constituents who previously sat on the fringe of society and lacked a mainstream voice.

This caravan of deplorables use tried and true methods of organized dogma, scape goating, propaganda and slogan to radicalize new members. They encourage recruits to arm themselves with military grade arsenals and practically dare them to try out their new toys on the deep state, disenfranchised minorities and radical liberals who seek to prevent their ascension.

The time has come for all Americans to protect their standing in the world. To make clear that this group of radical domestic terrorists do not define this great nation or her people. We are the land of the free and home of the brave. Let’s act it.

We cannot wait for a far off Election Day. The constitutional cris is here. The time has come to reconcile America’s identity crisis. To call out and differentiate the majority of us from those who now seek to define our values. Who wish to hit a pause on the progress button and redefine a once great nation’s dreams and ideals.

The Divider in Chief

Trump made his fortune as a CEO and reality show producer. Messaging and storytelling are two areas he knows well.To his credit, Trump has been scripting this shit show since 2009. When coming off his 6th bankruptcy he found himself a cash strapped real estate tycoon trying to rebuild an empire at the height of the Great Recession. As fortune would have it our first Black President had just been elected and the entire #GOP was on the cusp of self destruction. Enter the one time Democrat from NY ready to strike a “deal.” The fiscal conservative with no convictions or beliefs beyond money and power. Let the dog whistles begin. Cue the birther movement.

This attempt to divide America is no accident. Trump knows an indictment awaits his return to civilian life and his best hope is to hide behind the shield of executive immunity. To use the resources of the 1% and the insecurity driven hate filled strength of the deplorables to silence public dissent and suppress any efforts to otherwise remove him from office. After all what’s a few conspiracy theory shout outs, and race baiting tweets in exchange for a loyalty oath from the majority of this nation’s gun owners and private militias.

These are the very people who now answer Trump’s dog whistles and overt calls for Civil War. Evangelical con men and opportunists dressed as patriots while dripping in snake oil. Conspiracy theorists and racists who under past administrations were typically ignored by mainstream media. You know the type; KKK members, absusers, people who proudly fly the Confederate flag and hang rubber testicles off their tow hitch. Victims of society looking for someone to blame. Some reason other their own inadequacy to explain their sorry lot in life.

These are the deplorables now emboldened to action by both the words and silence of our Divider in Chief. They draw the swastikas, burn the mosques, drive their vehicles into the protestors, patrol our borders and cheer as migrant children are locked in cages and martial law is enacted to keep the peace. They are the ones who silence opposition through force and chill the fight of moderates with fear tactics, threats and intimidation.

Trump and his caravan of criminal enablers know exactly what they are doing. They know their audience and are playing to their base. For Trump it is all about power and money; a means to ensure his freedom and demand the adoration he desperately craves. For the Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks and other domestic terrorists the prize is something far greater and scarier.

This isn’t a political fight, it’s a moral one. Brace yourself for the storms to come

The Paper Tiger King

The dog whistles turn into bugle calls as the beat towards Civil War goes on. Trump’s Tulsa MAGA rally and defense of Confederate statues but the latest attempt. All Americans must understand who Trump is and what we as a nation and the vast majority of our citizenry are up against. We must come to grips that Trump has never been more than the paper tiger king in this battle. The Joe Exotic of American politics propped up by a supporting cast of deplorable characters.

Trump of course is the perfect rube. A literal caricature of every villain of every film ever made. A billionaire product of affluent affirmative action who sells himself as a man of the people. A self proclaimed tycoon who was placed directly at the top of the business pyramid. Never understanding what it means to actually lead. To advance on merit, not name. Able to skip the lessons of middle management, the art of empathy, humility, accountability and communication. A genius only in his own mind who was so poor at business he literally bankrupted both casinos and real estate conglomerates at the height of the economy. In every way the opposite of a man who embodies the original American dream.

As if it wasn’t obvious before, Trump’s lack of response to the global pandemic that is the Coronavirus has stripped the emperor of all remaining undergarments to expose that Donald Trump is a man of flawed character. The embodiment of the 21st century American dream. A child of the 1% with no discernible talent, skills or virtue beyond that of self promotion. A self aggrandizing narcissistic sycophant with an unhealthy obsession for celebrity and fame. A self hating man child who overcompensates for his shortcomings by bullying, intimidating and surrounding himself with “yes men.”

A man in constant need of validation because deep down he fears he will never live up to daddy’s expectations, never be truly loved. A man with an ego so fragile he can’t deal with dissent or opposition. Who spent a lifetime avoiding accountability and consequences by silencing critics with bribes, quid pro quos and empty promises. Who justifies his deplorable behavior through incredible displays of cognitive dissonance; scapegoating, and otherwise shifting blame to the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, and those less able to defend themselves.

Like most bullies our so called President stands for nothing. He is driven by vengeance, looking only for the next score to settle, fight to win. All he knows is how to marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Each evening press conference allows him to continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s ails. He is simply its most recognizable symptom. A permanent oligarchy hides behind this act and is being erected under our noses. Each day we report on his words we help spread the poison and not only does the body count rise but we choke what little life remains of our system of checks and balances.

An Unconventional Threat

By all historical and logical standards Donald Trump’s chances of reelection should be close to zero. Past presidents who enjoyed far more initial support were doomed for far less egregious sins. Yet that’s the thing about the Trump presidency; history and precedent do not apply. Time and again opponents and rivals of Trump have used traditional checks and balances and common sense to contain and mitigate an unconventional threat.

There’s a consistent misunderstanding of who Trump is, both as a leader and a person. An almost willful ignorance of what motivates him and sense of denial that convinces others that his agenda is consistent with past presidents. As a result the common analysis is that he’s a loose canon, crazy, illogical and just plain out of his mind. Critics marvel at his incompetence and use quotes such as the one above as proof he knows not what he is doing.

Here’s the truth of the situation. Donald Trump and his caravan of corrupt enablers know exactly what they are doing. They find security in the chaos and uncertainty they sow. They use it to their advantage to consolidate power. They are not blind or ignorant of the risks they create when they withdraw from alliances or dismantle safeguards. Trump himself is no religious zealot. Quite the contrary. He understands cause and effect in the real world; is not blind to science and statistics.

It’s what makes the responses to the risk of this pandemic and systemic racism both so bone chillingly scary and predictable. To Trump the inherent threat of an international conflict, environmental disaster, civil unrest or natural pandemic is not one he seeks to mitigate but to exploit for political and personal advantage. In action and word he actively courts disaster and endangers our nation’s citizenry. Views the ensuing discord as an opportunity to silence dissent and secure his grip on power.

A New Paradigm

This isn’t about politics, it’s about the sustainability of the human race. There are fanatics on all sides. No political party, religion, race, nationality or creed has a monopoly on crazy. To progress requires we push those voices to the perimeters for the time being. Ignore divisive rhetoric peddled by those who seek to advance personal agenda or religious prophecy.

The challenges of the future will not be solved with nationalism, faith and walls but will require coalitions, common sense & compromise. For humanity to survive the impacts of climate change, overpopulation, antibiotic resistant pandemic and drought will require we as a species to collaborate and cooperate.

To innovate for the future we need to look past our differences, cast aside tribal instinct and lean on compassion and empathy. Those who cling to the naive notion that it will never be your child; karma will take note of your hypocrisy. Your children will bear the scars. It may be unpleasant but Mother Nature does not discriminate.

To protect everything dear requires a paradigm change. To prepare for what is to come we must flip our perspective and begin to wonder “what if that was my child” as you take note of the fleeing refugees, cast judgment on the protestors, observe the destructive force of fire, flood, wind and ice, and the tangled bodies of those left in her wake.

To preserve the dream, America needs to lead the world into an age of rationality. One where science, reason & logic triumphs over faith, bigotry & fear.