American UnExceptionalism

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Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast. This is our American heritage. What “we, the people” have chosen to accept. The dreams of our ancestors transformed into 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 tribal interests and corporate lobbyists.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “animals,” “enemies,” and worse. So long as we see targets and avatars in our crosshairs, rather than sons and daughters,

This is us.

So long as a pro-life agenda only includes the unborn the living will be expendable. So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. We maintain that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocal, but act to curtail and reverse the guaranteed freedoms of the 1st, 4th and 5th. So long as it is harder to purchase allergy medicine then it is a bullet,

This is us.

So long as we sling false equivalents that fail to differentiate between those who protest for equality and freedom, with those who represent hatred and ignorance. So long as we see the good in klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Promote and legitimize their message of hate and violence. So long as we conflate the history of the Confederacy with that of the United States,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics will otherwise allow. Erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as we allow the bully to play the role of victim. So long as we censor and shame the whistle blower and shield the accused. Enable and fail to hold the criminal to evade account. So long as we value celebrity and fame over character and virtue,

This is us.

So long as we falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but delay student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics. So long as ratings driven entertainment is consumed as a “fair and balanced” news source,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage. So long as oligarchs prioritize profits over people and individual tax savings over the public good,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our waterways with plastics, rollback environmental protections and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we are more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

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.

This is us

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Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “animals,” “enemies,” “thugs,” and worse,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics would allow. Erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as the leaders of our nation think it acceptable to bully, threaten, tweet racist dog whistles, and challenge one another to school yard brawls. So long as we elect those who deride a Civil Rights icon on social media but silently accepts the endorsement of hatemongers, white supremacists and nationalists,

This is us.

So long as you falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but oppose student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as “we, the people” includes Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Bain, Monsanto and Bayer and not Trayvon, Fatima, Colin, Mary and Tom,

This is us.

So long as we listen to the sources that broke the Bowling Green Massacre, but dub the one that broke Watergate as “fake news,”

This is us.

So long as we value profits over people, peddle snake oil over science and bail out Wall Street instead of Main Street,

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our rivers and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. We lobby that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocable, but tweet against and act to curtail the 1st and 4th,

This is us.

So long as we offer thoughts and prayers for all of God’s children, but sit nearly silent as antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and hate crimes are committed in her name,

This is us.

So long as we declare “Mission Accomplished” all while knowing it has hardly begun,

This is us.

So long as we ridicule and deride the opposition, chill the whistleblower and eliminate independent watchdogs; so long as we reject diversity of thought and opinion.

This is us.

So long as we value haircuts, manicures and beers over the health and safety of our grandparents, the immunocompromised and the must vulnerable members of our society,

This is us.

So long as we’re more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

Perception and Reality

I once had a boss who was very fond of the phrase “perception is reality.” Used it as an excuse to justify his inaction for almost any employee related conflict. No point in meeting to explain whatever employee issue was being raised that day “perception is reality” he’d say. It drove me crazy each and every time. While it’s true that perception is an individual’s sense of reality. Let’s also be clear, reality is reality. I may perceive the Earth to be flat, but science tells us otherwise.

A transcendent leader, one interested in building consensus and committed to the common good, understands the dangers of false perception. They work tirelessly, oftentimes over communicating with their “constituents” to shape perception to match reality.

Unfortunately, perception is no less important to a leader of ill intent. One who seeks to act only in his own self interest but is nonetheless dependent on the support of the masses to advance his/her agenda. They too work tirelessly to shape perception, only in their case success depends on perception matching a false reality. One that will justify their action and prevent ultimate accountability. One that manipulates others to act against their own self interests.

Our Comrade in Chief and his merry bannon of deplorables have made a career shaping perception to match a false reality. Led by the talentless tycoon turned “reality” show President who bankrupted both real estate conglomerates and casinos at the height of the economy and whose greatest accomplishment is being born into privilege this White House continuously tries to undermine transparency and prevent informed consent. They know the only way to mask incompetence and to hide ill intent, is to mask it. To use misdirection, doublespeak, sleight of hand, technology and sound bites to distract and manipulate the way the brain processes information. Their very hold on power dependent on this perception.

Informed consent is the constitutional responsibility of the American citizenry. Whether dealing with issues of sensible gun control, impacts of climate change, or treason it is our job to push past the sound bites, propaganda and words of those entrusted to represent our interests and find out the truth of the situation. To expose the illusionist and ruin the trick.

Though he didn’t really make the Statute of Liberty disappear David Copperfield once captured the country’s attention when he made the world perceive that he had. Millions clambered for answers wanting to know the truth. Donald Trump on the other hand has in reality rendered Lady Liberty’s words “moot” yet the country continues to chase kneeling squirrels. To quote Twitler, “Sad.”

Competent Incompetence

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Trump’s response to the corona pandemic is not incompetent. Incompetence implies failed effort. It suggests an attempt by this administration to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to faithfully defend and protect the health and security of all our citizens against threats both foreign and domestic. The word does not apply to our current situation.

Trump and his caravan of corrupt criminal enablers made no effort, incompetent or otherwise, to faithfully protect all American people from this pandemic. Rather they quite competently treat the threat as an opportunity to tighten their grip on power and further their own agendas. Whether furtherance of the permanent oligarchy being erected under our noses, the elimination of voices of dissent or the assurance of the paper tiger king’s reelection all their efforts and sound bites speak to these goals.

Trump’s actions are premeditated. They are meant to suppress voter turnout through fear, disease or otherwise. Far from incompetent what you see is designed to eradicate political enemies and voter turnout through suppression and fear. Make no mistake. These acts may be described as unpresidential or as a dereliction of constitutional responsibility but they are not the result of inability.

To dismiss poor behavior or sloppy work product as mere incompetence is the easy way out. It prevents a deeper analysis of motive and ill intent and suggests that by simply replacing the person we will improve the result. No larger lessons learned or systemic change need result when the cause of failure is mere incompetence. The quicker we as a nation realize what ails our nation goes beyond mere incompetence the sooner we may be able to heal from this cancerous mass.

The “Yes We Caine” Mutiny

The GOP no longer functions as a political party. Weak on national security, big deficit spenders, they stand for nothing but guns, God and money. The consolidation of racist status quo dependent deplorables and self avowed “God before country” Raptureheads hellbent on a new world order under a single tent. The entire Republican Party little more than a caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers. The American Taliban rises.

Our traditional checks and balances are no match for the unconventional threat we face. Our Democratic leadership ill prepared to hold to an account an Executive that 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 2020. The constitutional crisis is here. The battle begins now.

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. Take matters into our hands and start a “Yes We Caine” mutiny to rid our Republic of an unhinged captain.

A peaceful resistance requires sacrifice. To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must demand answers. 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. Take comfort in our history, trust in the experiment in individual freedoms.

Progress knows but one direction and never includes a return to the past. It’s time we move forward.

The Big Picture

Trump continues to act with the knowledge that he is not only Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in world history, but he may also have half the military might of the world behind him as a fail safe. He knowingly uses whatever means necessary and proactively uses all the powers of his office, regardless of optics, to squash any attempt to legally remove him from office. He ignores subpoenas, responds to document requests with sharpied graphs and selective memory transcribed non-transcripts of taped phone calls, and otherwise obstructs and avoids any actual attempt to hold him to account for his heinous acts.

It’s clear from his tweets, words and behavior that the Don truly believes himself above the law. He does not behave as one bound by tradition, precedent or rule of law. In fact from the time he took the public stage he has acted and behaved as one who knows the fix is in. Remember despite being double digits down in the polls he made clear that he would contest the results of the election if he was not the winner.

To Trump’s credit he’s been quite transparent all along. Review his twitter feed from a different perspective and it almost reads as if it is both a self confession to treason and a whistle blower report (the good kind). In many conversations from “Russia, if you’re listening” right up to his present day public echo of “China if you’re listening,” Trump openly flaunts his treasonous behavior for all to see. It’s what makes his threats of Civil War and cries of a coup, and accusations of treason so dangerous.

When you see the completed puzzle you realize that these are not random pieces, projections or the rants and raves of a lunatic. Trump’s words are more than empty threats and part of a greater design. They are the culmination of the best laid plans. Years of careful planning and coordinated efforts by those who do not hold America’s best interests at heart. Enemies both foreign and domestic whose agendas and values do not thrive in a representative republic such as that envisioned by our founding fathers. The consolidation of God before country Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks and the racist status quo dependent deplorables all under the GOP big tent. Donald Trump nothing more than a golden calf to shepherd the message; a Trojan horse in which to deliver the troops and a Midas god to deliver the gold to his puppeteers.

Continue to play the scenarios out and they only grow more horrifying. It’s not hard to see how a new world order emerges. A global oligarchy controlled by a fascist few. An international caste system of haves and have nots in which the world’s most valuable natural resources are controlled by the world’s most powerful nations led by white supremacists, missionaries and colonists. The many working for the few. A permanent military state in which any remaining illusion of individual freedoms would be just that.

When viewed through this prism almost all of Trump’s forreign policy decisions suddenly make sense. The wag the dog drama, escalated rhetoric, and ensuing peace agreements with traditional hostile nations a fait accompli. Russia (Iran) and China (N Korea) in control of their rogue pawns as they formalize their growing international influence through negotiations. Traditional allies pushed aside to make room at the table.

All roads lead to Jerusalem.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen

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.

Carpe Diem

Initiation of an impeachment inquiry should not be a political decision. A sitting President has torn the Constitution into shreds. Sent the scraps to our immigrant camps so the inhabitants no longer have excuse to complain about the lack of toilet paper and menstrual pads.

Nancy Pelosi must demonstrate to the world that America remains on the side of morality, law and order. She must seize the daily headlines and shine light on all of the crimes and corruption that trickle down from the caravan of greedy oligarchs, religious fundamentalist and white supremacists that comprise the whole of today’s GOP.

The Democrats need to choke the oxygen that feeds this cabal. Take control of the narrative and sensationalize the crap out of impeachment inquiry. Make it a spectacle each and every day. The purpose is not conviction, heck the majority of the Senate jury, are defendants in the inquiry; architects of the entire coup.

The only way to defeat a bully is to face it head on and let the world see how weak it really is. To strip it of power you must first publicly expose the naked emperor so the world sees its insecurities. Laughs at its own naïveté and moves on to better things #HistoryHasItsEyesOnYou