24

The clock is ticking. The future of American democracy hangs in the balance as the tension ratchets up by the hour. Jack Bauer best be on his way if the American dream is going to survive this next round of Russian roulette. The chess pieces are in motion and the seconds pass as the so called President of the United States tweets of an active coup.

A clear and present danger is on the loose and par for the course, the opposition is on vacation. Democratic leaders sent back to their districts to lay the groundwork for the battle ahead. The rest of us left defenseless to fight the battle at hand. How many times must this cycle play out? At what point will a real opposition step forward. One that accurately identifies the risk at hand. Who understands that traditional checks and balances do not work against an unconventional threat.

The worst approach to mitigate an unprecedented threat is to wait it out. The time to impeach Deranged Donald was yesterday. Time and again history will prove that appeasement and rule of law do not protect against crazy and corruption. You need to force the rising threat to play defense, not allow them to dictate the rules of the game. This isn’t difficult to grasp!

We mock Dubya for ignoring reports which warned of an impending terrorist strike yet since the time President Obama was informed that a potential President of the United States was under active counterintelligence investigation by the FBI for his dealings with Russia the entire Democratic establishment has settled on a wait and see approach.

Newsflash: Donald Trump is determined to remain as President of the United States and will declare martial law in response to an active “coup”, dissolve Congress for their attack on our democracy, suspend freedom of the “corrupt and dishonest” press and go to whatever means necessary to ensure he is never impeached. Never allow the shield of Presidential immunity be stripped from his title to make himself vulnerable to arrest for crimes, financial or otherwise.

It is bad enough that we ceded power to an illegitimately elected President. That we gave up the role of Commander in Chief to a known national security threat. At least then most believed the risk posed by a Trump administration to be a minimal, a few lean years and then a restoration of order. Now, however, there is no denying what is at stake. The identity of a nation. Our shared beliefs and values suddenly up for debate. The reality is this isn’t a political fight, it’s a moral one.

Tune out the misinformation. Ignore the false equivalents. You’re not living in a bubble. You’re not misunderstanding the desires and needs of most Americans. Make no mistake, we are the majority. Trust your eyes. Trust facts. Trust intuition.

Tick, tick, tick

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Never Forget

Prior to the ascension of Donald Trump I had never used Social media as a platform, but consider me an alarmist. The only thing I ever learned in Hebrew school was “never forget,” and I haven’t. We all have a responsibility to speak out.

All of America is faced with a simple choice, #Resistance or #Appeasement.

America has a long history of standing up to bullies and Nazis. The vast majority of us teach our children that name calling and excluding other kids on basis of race, gender or religion is not okay. We take pride in the melting pot that is America. Recognize that diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants, minorities and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over. Americans are waking. We know who we are. And we like it that way.

This is not about politics. Look at Trump’s words. Log into twitter and review his timeline of tweets. It is repulsive. You’d be ashamed of your child if that was the method they used to become class president. He is a man of flawed character. He does not share OUR values and we must stand up together and punch him in the nose.

All in #GOP, including the so called “moderates” who serve this administration, need to declare yourself an independent, a freedom fighter or whatever heroic name you wish to give yourselves. Find the courage within you. Make clear to the Divider in Chief that you stand for the people and the constitution and he will have trouble if he continues to mess with either.

This shitshow has gone on long enough. It’s time to cut commercial and bring the adults back into the room.We can no longer afford to play Russian roulette with our values, our democracy or the lives of our future generations

Cognitive Dissonance

The pathway to perdition is caked in the blood of those who thought it could never happen to them, never on their native soil. Those who refused to believe their eyes and ears as the boundaries of civility slowly erode. Those who willfully chose to accept alternative facts and alternative charts rather than deal with the hard realities of life and be forced to confront some unpleasant truths.

Ignore the blatant patterns and lessons of the past at your own risk. History rewards early adaptors. Movies are made about those who risk everything to flee over mountains rather than join up with the rising authoritarian. Statues erected of those who resist in plain sight. Those who smuggle refugees across borders, hide entire families in their crawl spaces. They are the heroes of yore and exemplars of man’s perpetual progress.

The same cannot be said for those who bury their head in the sand. No honors will be awarded to those who appease the madmen in his quest for absolute power and silently benefit from the new power structure being erected to serve the ruling elite. Those everyday citizens who temporarily fall victim to the allure of the golden calf; who normalize the inane, illogical, and inhumane policies of the rising authoritarian, until one day the spell is broken. They wake up to find lifelong friends or coworkers have been rounded up or deported simply because their name showed up in an immigrant database, designated a clear and present danger. By that point it’s too late to resist, too late to play the hero. By then they are relegated to the shadows, to play the roles of the nameless extras that looks glance sympathetically, biding their own time as the horrors around them unfold.

The Gaslighting of America

Peer past the latest tweetstorms and staged drama orchestrated to distract you from reality. At heart Donald Trump is a reality show star. It’s the only thing he’s ever been good at. The ability to script fake storylines and pass it off as reality.

To manufacture drama and faux conflict through the introduction of alternative facts and other stressors designed to produce outlandish sound bites and bombastic over exaggerated reactions to everyday situations. To carefully edit select moments of a person’s most vulnerable moments to create archetypical characters. To cavalierly misrepresent a person’s character and intent in order to make a show entertaining to the masses; keep them coming back for more. There’s no denying he knows how to spin a good yarn, keep people talking.

Not only that but Trump has the perfect temperament for it. He holds no real convictions or loyalties and is convincingly able to take any position necessary to advance a storyline. Cross whatever line so long as it furthers his own agenda. 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 man has never learned the virtues of empathy, humility, accountability and communication.

My fellow Americans, we need to wake up and stop reacting to the newest scandal being scripted by this White House. Tune out the latest episode and ignore the narratives being pushed by this merry bannon of deplorables. Change the channel and end this shit show.

Tune back into the American story instead. The one piloted by our founding fathers nearly 250 years ago. Pitched on hope, equality, opportunity, freedom and in building a better tomorrow. Rooted in resistance to intolerance and hate. Understand that story is now in danger of cancellation. Only a coordinated campaign by “we, the people” will guarantee its renewal #Resist #TheResistance

The Strength of Adversity

My grandpa used to say you only appreciate what you have once it’s gone. Witness the policies being pushed by Trump and the caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers he led through the gates of our White House and it grows apparent how true that is.

My generation grew complacent. We took our freedom for granted, grew cocky. Unlike prior generations mine was never forced to sacrifice for this nation. We sat on the sidelines as others less fortunate and with fewer opportunity served on our behalf, committed to public service. Our best and brightest eschewed politics for the private sector and accompanying big dollars and country club lifestyles. A whole generation unwilling to fight the special interests and bureaucratic ineptitude we neglected our constitutional responsibility; our roles as citizens of a Democratic Republic. We eschewed the need to stay engaged. The necessity of informed consent.

As it turns out freedom is hard to sustain if you’ve never known its opposite. The 1960s generation understood how fragile freedom was. The baby boomers and flower children of the counter revolution. The hippies and beatniks who protested American intervention in Vietnam, marched for equal rights and demanded transparency of a corrupt government. They fought, sacrificed and died defending America’s soul. In the end history smiled on them and recognized them as heroes of progress. The students of Kent State, the marchers in Salem, Muhammad Ali being stripped of his championship, MLK, Woodward and Bernstein, Rosa Parks….

These were the patriots who moved our nation forward and progressed us to the point where a Barack Obama could be elected President, see a Hillary Clinton win the popular vote. It was they who allowed the Gen Xers and Millenials of today to fall into the trap of overconfidence. They shielded my generation in the audacity of hope. Insulated us in a bubble filled with dreams of a brighter future for all. A belief and awareness that though far from perfect, we were a free people. Unaware of what its like to live through and with real adversity.

In reality, they turned us soft and cynical. Who can fault them? America was a dream founded on hope and optimism. A continuing quest to form a more perfect union centered on the concept of individual liberty. A land of exceptionalism to serve as a beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s oppressed. Heck “Operation Enduring Freedom” was the landmark conflict of our generation. No surprise we were nose blind to the stench of the emerging kakistocracy.

A new normal is starting to emerge. An unknown adversity beginning to seep over our old routines like an infestation. The daily attacks on a free and independent press. The restrictions on the right of assembly. The merging of church and state and suddenly slippery slope placed on the right to be free from religious persecution. The dismantling of checks and balance. The refusal to perform even routine vetting of the sycophants and “yes (mostly) men” being placed in control of our collective national security. The wag the dog foreign policy, trade wars, and alienation of our traditional allies and refusal to condemn Russia and other hostile actors. The tweetstorms, bullying, false equivalents and continued normalization of hate. The willful blindness and acrobatic feats in cognitive dissonance as our leaders attempt to normalize the inexplicable.

The good news is Americans are waking! Our youth are waking to the dangers this regime poses on the very freedoms they once took for granted. They feel the adversity in their life. The impacts of growing up in constant fear that each day may be your last. That a terrorist attack, a nuclear bomb, a random gunman or maybe even a police officer is always just around the corner.

That fear is driving them to discover what America is truly about. As their friends and loved ones face deportation and harassment they are forced to confront the truth. To understand that we are the great melting pot. That we have a responsibility to take care of one another. To stay informed and engaged. 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.

This is not to say we will come to appreciate Donald Trump, but when all is said and done we will be stronger because of him. As a nation. As a people. Adversity does that. It builds character and empathy. It challenges preconceived notions and erases ignorance born by privilege and circumstance. It forces you to grow resilient, battle tested, and breathes self-confidence into your bones with the knowledge that you can defeat it. That you will persevere past it. Live beyond it. Reclaim your freedom. Outgrow it.

By definition progress knows but one direction. It’s only a matter of time #Forward

United Against Hate

America is not red states & blue states when it comes to all things. We are the United States. United against Nazis, klansmen, white supremacists & their ideologies of hate. United in pride for our immigrant heritage and in our standing as the beacon for hope and liberty to all throughout the world

Don’t take the bait this time. Ignore the rhetoric, sound bites and tweetstorms. This is not a political fight. It’s a moral one #ProudToBeAnAmerican

The Boiling Frog

According to lore if you place a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump right out and escape its impending doom. If, however, the frog is put into a pot of warm water and then brought to a slow boil it will not perceive of the danger until it’s too late. The poor frog is cooked to death.

The lesson of the story isn’t found in the frog’s death, but in its life. It’s that the frog never thought to escape. It was always just a hop away from freedom but chose to remain passive. Why? Because it couldn’t even perceive of the danger that lay ahead. Welcome to America’s democracy.

The warning signs are all there. From the inept Cabinet picks and partisan judicial nominations. To the war on the free press and creation of Sean Hannity’s Ministry of Propaganda. To the reckless wag the dog foreign policy. To the manufactured inquiry into Obama’s deep state. Deranged Donald has done more to destroy our democratic institutions, strip away individual freedoms and erode our standing as the beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s oppressed and underprivileged than any modern American leader.

Moreover, the majority of us understand that there is more to this Russia story. That Deranged Donald craves nothing more than power, adoration and fortune and will go to any lengths to protect his legacy, his bank account and family name. That he acts as if compromised by Putin in everything from his repeated refusal to implement sanctions, to his hiring of Flynn and Manafort, to his flagrant obstruction, to his shady real estate dealings, to his passing along of classified information, to the secret meetings, to the tipping them off of impending military operations, all the way to the outright refusal to directly say anything negative about his Puppetmaster Putin.

Put aside that alone may mean he has de facto command of the two most powerful military forces the world has ever known. That he will never permit the liberal witch hunt to end in his removal from office. Consider only what we know instead. That Russia continues to actively promote his agenda through misinformation campaigns on social media and by actively seeking to interfere in our midterm elections. That American intelligence is aware of this activity. That our so called President has done absolutely nothing about it! Why may that be? Might it be that a free and fair election may not be in his best interest. That the thought of a Democrat controlled House alone keeps him up at night with worry that the naked Emperor will be exposed. It’s the one contingency he must not allow.

It’s time for the majority to wake up. We must not allow past experiences to lull us into a false  of security. The water is getting mighty warm. It’s time we jump out of this simmering cauldron and recognize what is at stake. Traditional checks and balances do not apply to unconventional threats.

We cannot afford to sit back passively and wait for a long off Election Day to voice our displeasure. We need our citizens to engage in bold and direct action. National strikes, sit-ins, daily ooemonstrations and other disruptive but non-violent methods are required. We need to leave our comfort zones and make proactive sacrifice. The freedoms we take for granted can literally be wiped away with a stroke of a pen; an impulsive tweet, or the push of a button.