The Party of Pompeii

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 expanded even as the risk of explosion grew greater. 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. The city continued to prosper, its sustained success taken for granted by entrusted leadership.

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 and thousands of its residents lay 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, independents, Democrats, progressives and conservatives alike best take note of this cautionary tale. Like Pompeii our traditional checks and balances are no match for the unconventional threat we as a nation face. Though the danger 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 party of Trump is not interested in the preservation of the American dream. Their end goal is not to advance the experiment in self governance and individual freedoms that has sustained America for near 250 years. What this caravan of corruption and criminal enablers hope to establish is a hodgepodge Christofacist theocratic oligarchy which protects the privileged status of those in control of today’s status quo, while simultaneously promoting the moral code and virtuosity of those who serve God before country. Fulfilling the dispensationalist agenda of that hypocritical band of fundamentalist glory seekers striving to create a holy army to unconditionally serve in the rapturous war to end all wars.

These merry bannon of misfit Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks, and true deplorables all consolidated their forces under the tent of Trump. The only man with an ego so large that it can consume and tame such a wild divergent group of anti-Democratic self interests. A conman so skilled in the art of the deal that he was able to reward the desire of all those whom he served so long as they remain willing to hold their nose and bury their heads as to how their gains were obtained.

Welcome to modern day Vesuvian threat that is the entirety of the modern day GOP. A party that for years smoked and billowed warnings to our Constitutional Republic now finds itself on the outskirts of our most sacred walls. The very infrastructure which has held our citizenry together lay melting beneath the literal heat emanating from our darkened skies and apathetic hearts. The evidence lay bare for all to see that this imminent threat has 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 2022. The constitutional crisis is here. The battle for the soul of our nation is ongoing. We cannot simply continue to react to the latest trauma. The danger grows nearer each day. There is no guarantee remaining safeguards will contain the threat through December 2022, let alone November 2024.

Our Republic’s survival requires proactive action and sacrifice. It requires the immediate arrest of Donald Trump before he may claim such act Is in retaliation for his announcing an intention to once again seek the office of presidency. The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. Further delays to safeguard our nation only ensures more than the blood of the oppressed and protestors will spill. More than the bodies consumed by a preventable pandemic that will fill our morgues. The carnage levied against our citizenry will leave gaping scars on America’s soul visible for generations to come #LOCKHIMUPNOW

What if…

What if…

Two simple words that comprise one of the most powerful phrases in the English language. Once the mind enters a “what if” wormhole it may be lost for hours. Occupied in an endless maze of regrets and gratitudes. What if I had been there…What if i hadn’t quit…What if those chads didn’t hang…What if she had said yes…What if I spoke up…

Donald Trump is far from an original. The recent past alone provides a litany of would be authoritarians who proved capable of hijacking democratic institutions to slowly consolidate power. That Trump is the first to so blatantly do so from the Oval Office hardly makes him unique in his technique. He seeks to divide the citizens of this country along racial, socioeconomic and political lines in order to deflect from his own scandals and advance the agenda and interests of a select few. He uses his bully pulpit to marginalize, belittle, conflate, delegitimize and, if necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Doing so allows him to continue presenting alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Though his tactics are tried and true the danger posed is no less real. Donald Trump and his merry bannon of deplorables pose a clear and present danger to the experiment in individual freedoms our founding fathers set in motion generations ago. He makes no secret of his intent; his desire to deconstruct and eliminate outdated democratic institutions. To rip the very fabric of America’s soul from its identity. To dim the light that serves as a beacon of hope and freedom to the poor, disenfranchised and oppressed who suffer across the globe.

The right to a free and independent press. The right of assembly. The right to be free from religious persecution. The necessity of checks and balances with three equal, though often inept, branches of government. These essential ideals are all under attack. The realization that we are the great melting pot. That diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger can change its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over. Yet that is what appears to be at stake.

To those who continue to support this cabal of God before country Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks and status quo dependent deplorables, understand this. All you are doing is identifying yourself as a dinosaur. Painting a scarlet letter on your sleeve that your way of thinking and very belief system will soon be relegated to the history books. Think carefully about your next move.

The pathway to perdition is paved in ignorance. Do not suffer that fate. Do not remain passive. Do not be left to wonder what would have happened had you spoken up earlier. Future generations need never question where you stood when our Republic was hijacked

Simply turning off the faucet doesn’t make the water safe if the tub is already filled with septic infested water. To do that requires additional action. You can either drain the tank and start all over again or dilute it with so many chemicals and purifiers that it enables you to easily identify and remove all pollutants from the larger body of water.

President Biden and Democratic leadership have to understand that simply removing Trump from office did not eradicate the threat to our Republic. They need to proactively identify and communicate with the American people just who the enemy is in “the battle for the soul of our nation.” For surely they were not so naive as to if think the enemy was limited to but one man. Surely they are not caught unawares by the breadth and depth of the enemies forces. It would be impossible to believe that by now they have not witnessed the Trojan Horses parked in the center of the Capital Rotunda and adorning our Halls of Justice.

So how to explain the reactive environment in which America now finds itself? More importantly, how to turn the tides? For starters President Biden needs to bring back a weekly fireside chat to speak directly i Americans. Take over the major networks, all streaming platforms and social media sites to deliver a direct and clear message to Americans. Speak only to the 60% of the audience that wishes to preserve the dreams of our ancestors. Read direct from our Declaration of Independence. The unassailable vision of a land in which all inhabitants are provided equal opportunity to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Next identify the clear and obvious risk that now faces that uniquely American vision. Name those who wish to snuff out the hopes and aspirations upon which our nation’s identity was borne. Question how policies which seek to control and restrict an individual’s personal choice, advance the status quo and serve the interests of the controlling few are consistent with our founding values.

To shape perception requires a clear plan forward that will again align our country politic with mission. A clear mitigation strategy of how Democrats will work to remove all vestiges of Donald Trump and the GOP stink that poisoned our wells. Whether they choose to drain the poison spread by a treasonous slug through impeachment of all those he was not qualified to nominate or dilute its influence through expansion of the court and other legislative maneuvers matters not. So long as there is a clear and actionable plan presented that will purify our most sacred institutions and necessary checks and balances #ProtestTheGOP

Lights? Camera? We Need Action!

Donald Trump’s guilt or innocence is not a political question. Whether to charge him with a crime or not should not be dependent upon public polling. So will someone please explain to me why our DOJ and elected Democratic officials continue to play Russian Roulette with our nation’s national security? Why allow a clear and present danger unfettered access to the outside world?

It is obvious to the majority of patriotic Americans that Donald Trump does not have America’s best interests at heart. That he bears ill intent towards the current administration and the powers that be. That he knowingly attempted to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power and incited an insurrection intended to do just that. That he built his reputation on the art of the deal and happens to possesses access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets. A pretty valuable asset on the black market! So riddle me this, why do we allow such a character to remain free? How is a nation to heal when it’s abuser continues to menacingly stalk us and threatens to reappear to finish what he started?

While I applaud the Committee’s showmanship and preparation and begrudgingly offer newfound respect for the Cheney name, it is difficult for me to understand the end objective. Eighteen months after committing the crime I’d prefer the alleged criminal be tried in an actual televised criminal prosecution. We are long past the point of probable cause, the standard upon which arrest is usually predicated upon. Rather the legal strategy, evidence and motive has already been gathered and presented in such a public setting that it will become exceedingly difficult to impanel a non-biased jury in the event the DOJ ever did see fit to bring charges.

Given the witness testimony and unimpeachable evidence it is clear that not just Trump, but the vast majority of the GOP if not directly engaged, served as accessories after the fact in a seditious conspiracy to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to President Elect Joe Biden. Yet even with this knowledge cemented by the efforts of the Commission what is being done to prevent its reoccurrence? The time to act was yesterday but to date no legislation appears to be advancing that will restrain Donald Trump, or any other candidate who may be under active investigation for treason, from pursuing the Office of Commandeer in Chief. Do Democratic leaders understand that if the GOP reclaim control of the House this Fall then ALL efforts at accountability are kaput. There will be no “we’ll get ‘em next time” in which to settle the score.

If the sole purpose of this committee is to establish guilt without accountability then I fear that a misguided strategy. If the hope is that it will spur DOJ to file charges that too is a dangerous assumption. A skilled attorney could make an argument that the entire affair prejudices the likelihood of a fair trial to such an extent that it may actually make it less likely that criminal charges against Trump actually ever get filed. For not only may the entire jury pool be prejudiced by this orchestrated affair, but sensational anecdotes that have nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the accused may be used by Trump’s PR team to discredit and impeach otherwise reliable witnesses.

We saw an example of this in the aftermath of the Cassidy Hutchinson testimony. Disputed accounts of the sensational 2nd hand and otherwise irrelevant detail of Trump’s attack on a Secret Service agent now being used to discredit her entire testimony. Extemporaneous details that have nothing to do with Trump’s actual guilt or innocence being offered to support claims the entire affair is a bipartisan “witch hunt” and “deep state conspiracy!”

Even a domesticated dog grows dangerous when cornered. When they fear the end is near. To tighten the noose around Trump’s neck now as he remains free and unemcumbered seems yet another reactive move. A response to the narrative already written by this merry bannon of deplorables. It’s time to be proactive in this fight. In this battle for the “soul of our nation.” It is time to force the inevitable confrontation between those who seek to preserve the status quo and those who seek to preserve the American dream. To start this nation on a path of reconciliation requires the immediate arrest and subsequent public trial of Donald J Trump #LOCKHIMUPNOW

Cycle of Cynicism

There is no quick and easy fix here. This is why effective leaders do not allow catastrophic risk to ever materialize. They don’t wait to expand the court, or remove procedural obstacles. They have a bias for action and an unwavering zeal to defend their core objectives and values.

It pains me to be a cynic. To wonder aloud if Democrats are not complicit in the degradation of our values. Accomplices to the turning back of progress. It is undeniable that the party’s failure to stand in unison in defense of Obama’s nomination of Garland to the Court has a direct correlation to current events. It was obvious then that Democrats chose the path of least resistance. That rather than force a constitutional showdown they gambled on an 2016 election victory. A path they continue to follow time and time again despite the fact it is now overgrown with thorns and poison ivy, and infested with ticks and venomous snakes.

Perhaps that was the plan all along. The objective to allow the red path to grow so thick and hazardous as to leave sensible travelers with one remaining choice. Force future hikers to “Choose blue no matter who!” Is it possible our representatives would so callously play Russian roulette with our democratic values?

I’d hate to think that the case but we all know what happens next. This doesn’t end with the reversal of Roe and removal of abortion rights. This is about the establishment of an American theocracy. If Biden and the Democrats are serious about leading America in a “battle for the soul of our nation,” well, as the wise Rafiki says “It is time.” For I have seen thine enemy and its name is the GOP.

That’s right. Trump isn’t the sole enemy in the battle for the soul of this nation, the entire GOP is. To continually capitulate and surrender ones value to the enemy is nauseating. “We, the people” need proactive leadership. This isn’t a battle. It’s a war. Tim’s to take advantage of our majority while we still can.

The Verge of Collapse

America is on the “verge of a constitutional crisis.” Let me tell you what that looks like. You recall the old road runner cartoon? Remember when Wile E Coyote would race over a cliff and pause suspended in mid air for a minute? The camera pans in on him as he looks around and slowly becomes aware of where he is.

Well that moment between wide screen and close up as Wile E sits suspended in a jogger or thinker’s pose. That split second before we see him grow despondent in the realization that gravity is about to catch up with him to send him plunging in freefall to the ground. That moment of clarity is what’s known as the verge of going over a cliff.

That’s the problem with being on the verge of something. Often by the time you realize you’re on the verge, it’s too late to change course. The same way Wile E Coyote didn’t grasp his fate until gravity took hold, we as a nation seem to misunderstand our circumstance.

We’ve already gone over that cliff. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis. Still suspended in space, but well past the verge. The conditions for our fall are set. The only thing missing is an opposing force to ushers in that moment of clarity. The gravity that awakens our senses. The “resistance” that forces the fall.

Try as we may to deny it, it’s time that “we, the people” brace for the plunge and spark the resistance. Force the issue and go on the offensive while we still have the majority and freedoms to do so. Start by demanding President Biden sign an Executive Order establishing a federal right to choice and accessible safe abortions. Make clear that any state official or law enforcement officer who attempts to interfere with that right will be arrested by Federal Marshalls.

To win a “battle for the soul of our nation” will require bold actions that evade current controls. Democrats must take inspiration from the GOP playbook. It’s no longer prudent to go high each time the opposition goes low. So long as we control the House and Executive the GOP is powerless to hold Biden to account. Even if the House flips the worst that could happen is Biden gets impeached for overstepping his authority, but they still fail to remove him from office. We’ve seen that dance before.

This battle is but a part of bigger war of which the winner will determine whether our nation remains a representative democracy or transforms into an autocratic theocracy. It’s time we recognize our circumstance. Accept our reality. Let gravity take effect, drop us down to the opposition’s level, and bring the fight to them #ProtestTheGOP

Senseless Sensibilities

There is so much to be angry about. So many daily injustices that assault our senses.

Our eyes bear witness to the daily horrors broadcast on an endless 24 hour loop. The images of pain and sorrow seared into our brains. The embrace of the survivors, the anguish of the mothers. The blood of the victims reflects a translucent red off the tears that well in the pockets of our lids.

Our ears deafened by the incessant dog whistles and barrage of divisive propaganda, sound bites and alternative facts that fill our sound waves. The hate filled rhetoric of those meant to serve and inform the general masses. Leaders who choose to use their bully pulpit to promote tribal divisions. Who orchestrate their words to effectuate their own agenda’s of self interest, and to manipulate the ears of the ill informed listener.

Our nose raw from the acrid smells of scorched earth that burn your lungs with each inhale. Respiratory diseases and sinusitis at record highs as allergens, pollutants, and air borne irritants invade our protective cilia. Wears it down to create an unobstructed tunnel through our nasal passageways in which the stench of greed, corruption, caviar and old-fashioned American whiskey flows through.

Our tastebuds dulled by the chemicals, sweetners, artificial flavors and countless other toxins ingested through our food supply. Numbed by the poisons of insecticides, hormones and infected cattle and poultry fed with the cannibalistic remains of their ancestors. Our tongues forever weakened. Left to savor only the most bitter and sour of spices and flavors.

Our sense of touch forever altered by past experience. The aftermath of a pandemic necessitating an infant’s need to relearn hot from cold. Each handshake, hug, or sensual encounter triggering moments of sudden awkwardness. The unwanted grab, hug, pinch or assault that for far too long not only went ignored, but we’re encouraged and worn as a badge of honor at the 19th hole and gym locker rooms. The generational trauma of past institutionalized race based, gender based or religious based attacks forever ingrained on our present and future begins our. A need for skin to skin contact replaced by the distance of text messages, emojis, snaps and TikTok dances.

While the battle for our worldly senses may be lost there is one sense that remains uncorrupted. Hidden, but accessible to us all. A collective humanity and flow of consciousness free for all to tap into. A shared lifeforce that contains the knowledge and wisdom of history’s trials and tribulations.

The majority of us share a collective thirst to sip from that reservoir. To bathe in its energy and lap up its infinite knowledge and power. We just need a guide to show the way through the shield. A hero among us able to read the signs, interpret the prophecy and answer the call of history. For ultimately progress, by definition, knows but one direction and though often unseen the evolution of that more perfect union will ultimately continue its advance #Forward #ProtestTheGOP

Sitting Ducks

I feel like a sitting duck lost at sea. Adrift. Bobbing along the water. Frantically paddling towards an endless horizon of gentle waves. Hopeful to find a safety net on which to regroup. A beacon of hope and freedom to escape the schools of predators lurking just below the surface. Targeting my every move. Plotting my demise. Awaiting the apex predator’s order to strike.

Perhaps it’s the circle of life. In the words of Lin Manuel “Empires fall. Oceans rise!” Perhaps it’s just our time. Yet it all feels so avoidable. Like the experiment in individual freedom and self-governance is being cut short prematurely. For the evidence suggests it wasn’t the system itself that was flawed or failed. It was the people who ran it. The political scientists themselves that betrayed the experiment’s controls. That engaged in sabotage and deceit to pollute the fair result.

History will cast the final verdict. Assign blame and cause as they rewind America’s entire 250 year history. How our nation achieved such unprecedented aspirational highs, international influence, steady social progress and advancement of democratic values in such short order. And conversely how we just as quickly rolled them back. Reverted to base human tribal instinct. Diluted the experiment with elements of God Over Politics dogma, Guns Over People faux patriotism and Greed Or Power influencers. Strange coincidence how all may be best summarized as “the GOP.”

It’s time to acknowledge what we have become. We are a nation long past constitutional crisis. An empire well beyond “national emergency.” We are a country adrift at sea without a lifeboat. Our enemies have us surrounded. Biding their time. Waiting to strike. And with no sign of a last minute rescue mission at hand, it appears as if the dream is coming to an end. The audacity of hope replaced with our children’s worst nightmare. The words of our founding fathers distorted by the echoes of rapid fire semiautomatic blasts. The experiment in individual freedom and self-governance snuffed out by a cabal of tribal interests and corporate lobbyists #ProtestTheGOP

Crisis Point

America is in the position we are in today, the dreams of our ancestors unraveling faster than a ball of yarn rolling down a staircase, because of a complete and total failure of leadership. Ineffective risk mitigation, unclear purpose, self interested representation, poor messaging and a lack of accountability. Common issues that extend across both of our national parties.

While commendable that, in this age of McConnell, Democrats exist as the only party that seek to advance a representative democracy and serve as the only public officials who act in a manner consistent with our Constitution. It does not necessarily make them effective leaders. Patriotic, yes. Moral, perhaps. But to be effective requires a successful outcome that advances your agenda. It requires monitors and controls be in place to proactively identify and mitigate risk to mission. No matter how true NASA’s intent one cannot claim the launch of the Challenger a success.

America is long past the point of constitutional crisis. In the past decade this country has seen an unprecedented rewinding of progress. A reversal of social gains, LGBTQ+ protections, women’s rights, environmental controls, foreign diplomacy advances, education reform, and unprecedented wealth disparity. Democrats, and the vast majority of this country may still embrace the hopes and dreams of our founders, but the reality is they done a piss poor job in proactively preserving them.

“We, the people” remain the majority and must act as such. Choose to help make AMERICANS great again. Reject those who wish to hold on to a past that will never return, and demand action of those who choose appeasement. It is past time that America confront and acknowledge the enemy that resides within.

You either stand on the side of hope and opportunity, or you wish to defend the status quo and legislate its existence long past the point demographics would otherwise allow.

You either trust in a free and independent press, or you believe transparency is the “enemy of the American people.”

You either side with science, reason, the Constitution and facts or you choose to rely on propaganda, bigotry, corporate lobbyists and faith.

You either believe in American history and embrace the stories of Hamilton, Lincoln, Douglas, King, Kennedy, Ginsburg and Obama or you rebel against it and worship at the altar of Jackson, Lee, McCarthy, Duke and Trump.

You’re either a patriot who seeks to advance the American dream or you’re a traitor who rejects the land of opportunity and her founding principles.

That’s the thing. This caravan of corrupt criminals and self righteous enablers who have succeeded in dimming the beacon of hope and freedom that once illuminated America’s shores do not define America anymore than the fanatics of any religion represent the greater whole. Perception is not reality. Democrats failure to confront an ugly truth only allowed the cancer to metastasize and spread throughout our nation. We need to stop equivocating. We can no longer say that there are “good people” on both sides. There aren’t. This is a question of morality. As Joe Biden says this is a fight for the “soul of America.”

Time For a “Plan B”

It’s time to get our heads out of our asses to realize this isn’t a traditional political fight. What Americans want, what we need is a bonafide opposition. One whose success is not predicated on the results of elections, but in the restoration of our individual freedoms. One who fights not because of what may be won, but because of what will be lost; our values, our soul, our democracy.

The sane and rational people of this country must unite in protest not just in solidarity for women’s rights, or black lives, or LBGTQ+ equality, or in response to the next school shooting. “We, the people,” the majority of us, have evolved beyond the prejudices of our ancestors. Believe in the vision of America espoused in our Declaration. One which requires the equal application of the rights and laws of this country regardless of race, religion, gender, or national origin. One rooted in the principle of separation of church and state and a representative government formed of the people. A common enemy exerts disproportionate control to attack these very principles.Isn’t it time Americans unite not in defense of a cause, but in defense of our democratic values and in opposition to the authoritarian rule that Republicans seek?

It’s time to be proactive in this fight. To use the tools and weapons we have at our disposable right now. To sit back and wait for a far off election places thousands of lives at a risk. It is an abdication of present day Democratic leadership and duty. To continue to play the music and ignore the problem as the deck chairs sway will not get us out of this predicament. It will only exacerbate it.

Every single elected Democrat and Independent representative needs to lead this country in mass protest. Organize a week of coordinated national protests and demonstrations against the assault on the rule of law and individual liberties orchestrated by the GOP. To create a safety net for ordinary citizens to call out sick and engage in sustained civic activism will require a top down effort by Democratic leadership. The majority can no longer afford to remain silent and sit back. The “good people” of this country must make our numbers known and to do so will require bold action by those leaders who profess to love the ideals upon which this nation was founded.

Let Biden empty his re-election coffers and have his PACs buy screen time to simulcast targeted messaging to encourage participation. Use the most incendiary language possible to make the stakes plain to all. Paint, not just Trump, but the entire Republican Party as traitors and unAmerican. Weaponize fear and use the prospect of a GOP mid-term takeover as akin to the end of the American dream. Paint a picture of what life for young children will look like in a country without hope or opportunity. Pull no punches. Be specific and make clear that GOP surrogates serve God before country. That they seek to erect a caste system within our shores. Repeat, rinse and do it over and over again. Talk of nothing else but the abdication of the GOP’s constitutional oath to protect the health and safety of all constituents.

Biden himself must also engage in more direct communication with the American people. Our country is in crisis. What better time to bring back a Friday night fireside chat. Take over networks and streaming services to appeal direct to the American people. Use the time not only to present his own agenda, but to make clear that all Americans are encouraged to take part in efforts to stand up to the authoritarian threat. Make no attempt to court the Trump wing of the GOP. Instead place the protests into appropriate context. Make clear that it is an opportunity for all, regardless of traditional political label, to distance themselves from the modern day Republican brand, the GOP of Trump, the Guardians Of Putin.

Let Nancy use the power of the purse to withhold critical funds precious to GOP causes. In the same way McConnell led GOP regularly held government hostage and treated people as pawns, so too must the Democrats. Cut off those programs and causes that most benefit and are important to red states. Strip the funding, grab the nearest microphone and make clear that without concessions we all suffer. Put pressure on this caravan of criminal enablers to compromise with the majority for a change.

Time is running out on the American dream. To prevent a minority takeover of our Representative Republic requires bold and immediate action. We must demonstrate our collective numbers and strength. We must identify the GOP for the threat to our collective freedom they truly are. Set aside tribal causes and unify in protest against the common enemy.