Leadership Matters

To truly make America great again, we will need to elect leaders who work for the people they represent. Leaders from across the spectrum that will not always share the lockstep conclusions of their political peers but will share in certain attributes.

Leaders who won’t take positions for convenience or to pander to their base, but because they are passionate about their beliefs and practice what they preach.

Leaders who emphasize collaboration and inclusiveness. The ones who do not fear diversity, but embrace it.

Leaders who welcome opposition. The ones who hold town halls and do not suppress feedback or dissenting opinions, but listen and learn from them.

Leaders who build a shared vision of the future. They do not think perception is reality, but rely on facts, science and logic to shape perception to match reality.

Leaders who own their actions. They do not finger point, blame predecessors or deny accountability for their decisions. They understand that once empowered the buck stops with them. Period.

Leaders who problem solve. The ones who do not act a prisoner of circumstance or play the victim, but innovate and experiment with new paradigms to limit or remove walls and obstacles.

Leaders who prioritize knowing their people, who serve their constituents . They do not view empathy as a weakness. They know it to be a virtue.

Leaders who extend kindness, who takes the high road when the other goes low. The ones who do not bully, but nurture.

Leaders who encourage teamwork. They do not ostracize, belittle, or build walls. They promote commonalities, break barriers and build bridges.

Leaders who lead with hope. They do not rule by negativity and fear. They grow consensus through transparency and communication.

Leaders who create opportunity for all. The ones who do not close doors or instill artificial barriers to entry, but rely on objective measures to reward and promote all those who merit consideration.

Leaders who safeguard open communications, and rights to privacy. They do not silence and threaten whistle blowers and leakers. They protect anonymity by offering hotlines and access to independent arbiters.

In the course of history there have been countless examples of leaders who chose to rule otherwise. Who ruled through fear mongering, authoritarian accountability and slogans. Who preyed on the weakness of the disenfranchised to promote their own agenda. Who gave voice to the extremes.

But riddle me this? Has such a leader ever been on the right side of history? Have they ever progressed our collective interests? Brought us closer to that more perfect union our founders dreamed of?

The answer, I hope, is obvious.

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First They Came

First they came for the illegal immigrants but I came here legally so did not speak up.

Then they came for the Muslims but I have a family to protect so did not speak up.

Then they came for the gangs but I’m worried about crime so did not speak up.

Then they came for the gays and transgender but we all know how strange they are and that Jesus hates the gay.

Then they came for the Jews. Because they always come for the Jews.

The GOP has a demographic problem. They may seem like they have a foothold on power today but make no mistake. What you see going on is a battle for their very survival. Their days are numbered unless they act now and McConnell, Pence and the rest of this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers know it.

This is not opinion. This is statistically factual. Within 30 years the vast majority of the GOP base, white Christian males and their subservient spouses, will make up a minority of our electorate. Surpassed by members of the very groups targeted above. Not coincidentally, groups outside of that very demographic.

This is a threat to the very privilege they’ve enjoyed for 250 years. They fear that change and will do anything to prevent it. Apartheid by gerrymandering and voter suppression will prolong the status quo but can’t secure it. To do that requires more permanent measures or means of elimination.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you

Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theory is a favorite weapon of the rising authoritarian. The most skilled and ultimately successful strongmen are able to wield conspiracy both as an offensive and defensive instrument. They use it both to legitimize those who sit on the extremes of society and then ostracize those who reside in the moderate center, the moral majority. It’s classic gaslighting and, no surprise, but it is a favorite tool of this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers that now sit at the controls of our nation.

Take Donald Trump as an example. Trump’s political rise was birthed by his embrace of conspiracy. Legitimizing the deplorables of society by giving a mainstream voice to a baseless race baiting accusation that the first Black President of the United States was born outside of the country. More so Trump proclaimed, it’s your worst dreams come true because he has proof that proof exists that Barack Hussein Obama is actually a secret Muslim born in and therefore loyal to the barbaric cause of a shithole African country!

Gurrrl please, Trump’s twitter avatar may as well wear a tin foil hat. His feed and timeline a virtual opus of dog whistles and baseless accusation against the deep state. That he now uses conspiracy to divide and assault our perception of Antifa, the Clinton’s or Epstein’s death, is par for the course.

What is unique about the coordinated response to Epstein’s death is how Trump and the GOP mouthpieces are able to fan both sides of the conspiracy with this one trigger. On the one hand you see Twitler using his favorite medium to sling some serious red meat fodder; his very contribution to the #ClintonBodyCount. On the other side we see clickbait headlines strewn across social media and the echo chamber of right wing talking points making the Sunday rounds bemoaning the “mainstreaming of conspiracy theory.” A carefully orchestrated symphony of disinformation.

Ridiculous. Epstein’s death is not what brought about the birth of mainstream conspiracy theories. Donald Trump is the one and only birther of all such things conspiracy theory.

Like all bullies this administration’s plan is to use false equivalents and misdirection to marginalize, delegitimize and, if necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Doing so allows them to present alternative facts and declare phony national emergencies, only now without the alternatives or independent oversight. Lies then become truth, and conspiracy and perception reality.

Focus

The greatest and most imminent threat to our national security lies within our shores. In the past we have chosen to turn a blind eye towards the danger and chase squirrels instead. To avoid the obvious we’ve focused on the imagined risks Muslim refugees, the Squad, immigrants, Iran and North Korea pose.

It’s easier to sleep at night when you can blame your ails on “outsiders.” The time, however, has come for all Americans to wake up. America doesn’t have a Muslim, Black, Jewish or immigrant problem. It has an America problem. 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 radical white Christian terrorism.

Better yet, let’s see our cowardly Comrade in Chief tweet about it. Sad!

Who is Keyser Soze

Ironically it was Kevin Spacey in a career making role who once uttered the words “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

The following statements about a sitting President of the United States are not in dispute;

1) He is the subject of an ongoing counter intelligence investigation and has acted in ways previously unimaginable of the world’s most powerful man,

2) The majority of our citizenry strongly disapprove of the man himself, his agenda and his job performance,

3) There is credible evidence that he may not have been legitimately elected by and may not in fact be working for the American electorate,

4) Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who has never once prior acted to advance America’s best interest, invested numerous Russian resources to help Trump secure the Republican nomination and win the ensuing presidential election,

5) Trump has passed along classified information and otherwise  placed our nation’s security at grave risk due to his wanton disregard for classified information, intelligence assessments and diplomacy,

6) He has politicized the Department of Justice, attacked private citizens and threatened political opponents and regularly denigrates our free press and intelligence agencies,

7) He openly uses presidential platform and powers to commit obstruction of justice and to profit off the office,

8) Whether the acts themselves are condoned is irrelevant. Domestic terrorists and white supremacists are compelled to act in the name of and in honor of Donald Trump. Martyr themselves and murder and maim victims for the causes espoused by this caravan criminals and corrupt enablers.

Each of these statements in an of itself present an unprecedented risk to our Republic. They demand a proactive and unconventional response. 

Perhaps it is I who live in a twilight zone but why legitimize the message and provide the theater that comes along with a traditional state of the union. How do we allow an unvetted sycophant to appear before Congress and make an open mockery of our Justice Department? 

Why do we continue to confirm the nominees of a man who is unqualified to nominate them? This shouldn’t be political. It defies logic. It’s understandable that Democrats do not want to be perceived as bad guys or unwilling to compromise but there are times when good leadership requires just that. The willingness to do something bold and unpopular. 

Donald Trump doesn’t play by the rules. He is willing to make up a phony national emergency, endanger our troops, divide this nation, incite a race war, go to who knows what length really if it means he gets to claim victory. You can’t give him the opportunity. 

The constitutional crisis is here! We can’t afford to wait for the coffee cup to shatter to realize Keyser Soze sat before us this whole time. We must take bold action. Consolidate and form a real opposition. Lead the people in daily protest from the steps of the capital. Shut down all government business until such time Donald Trump is brought to account and Democrats are permitted to complete investigations unimpeded

The American Taliban

Our so called President is no longer an unhinged narcissistic asshole that deserves the majority’s moral condemnation. He is a clear and present danger to our very way of life. A direct threat on the very freedoms and ideals that define the American experience.

A rising orange tyrant surrounded by military hawks and Christian dispensationalist who believe their highest purpose in life is to usher in the preconditions of Armageddon. An immoral empty vessel propped up by a fringe fundamentalist bunch of gun nuts united in their hatred of all things Obama and steadfast in their belief that theirs is the only acceptable way of life.

In other words the head of the American Taliban now sits in the Oval Office of the White House.

Do you feel the greatness?

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. Do not allow past experiences to lull you into a false  of security. The water is getting mighty warm. It’s time to jump out. 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. The 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.