Trumpian Chutzpah

Trump’s latest attempt to gaslight a nation and stoke racial tensions, as my grandpa would say, takes real chutzpah.

Three years ago, soon after Trump assumed the office of the Presidency, his Chief Strategist and Senior Advisor Steve Bannon delivered a keynote address at the Cons, Pricks and Christians show, (at least I assume that’s what CPAC stands for). At the time Bannon detailed the administration’s plan for the systemic “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

Far more specific than the figurative words of the NY BLM “leader,” Bannon specifically outlined how the Trump administration was engaged in an effort to irreparably change the relationship between government and its citizens. The first step of which was to select incompetents and purposefully place them in charge of various federal agencies with the goal of running them into extinction. This all supported his central theme; that the modern American political system, the one derived by our founding fathers and considered a beacon of freedom throughout the world, is outdated. That it requires replacement.

Black Lives Matter is correct. We need to be proactive in defense of this country we love; the values that have defined us for generations. We cannot afford to take “no” for an answer from those whose sole desire is to maintain the status quo. Those relics of the past who fear change and fight the inevitable. America is an ideal, a dream. A continual quest for the more perfect union. We are not a country that moves backwards. That clings to a past of ignorance and artificial divisions.

Our founders understood people were fallible and ignorant. Took for granted that all men, themselves included, were capable of horrible things. They also understood that we as a nation would be stronger when we overcame ignorance and joined together. They imagined a time where race, religion and creed would not inhibit opportunity. A day when all Americans would be free to enjoy their inalienable rights; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They challenged future generations to work towards the fulfillment of that dream.

We know the history. There’s been good times and bad but there’s no doubting we’ve continually progressed. We’re still living the dream. Reflecting on our past there is also no doubt that when we put aside those differences, focus on our similarities and work towards a common goal, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. No evil too great; tragedy too heavy we can’t overcome. Heck American ingenuity has been able to move mountains, free the enslaved, save an entire continent from a fascist madman, land on the mother effin moon and beyond.

There’s a reason people want to come live within our shores. That Trump and his caravan of criminal enablers wish to change that. That they seek to upend the melting pot and deconstruct us and divide us back into our separate parts. Many would say such behavior is “Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!”

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.

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.

The American Puzzle

Tune out the flash bangs and peer through the fog of tear gas and you’ll see a new America on the horizon. Change will not occur overnight. Systemic transformation takes time and patience. Progress is incremental and requires commitment and resolve. It requires proactive risk mitigation, resiliency and experimentation. The more care and meticulous planning you put into it, the quicker it occurs.

It’s like the world’s largest puzzle. The picture of a more perfect union painted on the box for all to see. The end state a foregone conclusion so long as we extend the effort. The first step is to build a framework that supports the larger picture. To align the like pieces in a shape and order that will govern and guide the upcoming transformation. A border of individual pieces comprised of all shapes, colors and sizes. In spite of the other differences each of these pieces also has one smooth side that marks its importance. That allows it too stand out from the thousand of other pieces in its midst. Enables the builders to quickly identify and link these pieces with its like neighbors.

The border now complete. Now comes the hard part. Like pieces assembled in support of the whole but the picture on that box still far from complete. Thousands of remaining pieces remain in the box. Most of which remain buried or are turned upside with no visible way to identify where they may fit in.

To make order from this chaos requires a detailed examination of each individual piece. A systematic methodology of review and assortment and a clean work space to ensure no pieces are lost along the way. A means to sort through and group like colors and shapes until the pattern of progress reveals itself. Slowly the pieces come together to reveal the future picture. As you move along frustration sets in. You feel like quitting but pull the box cover back out to remind yourself that the end result is worth it.

You get back to work. Mistakes are discovered, pieces are rearranged and even the strangest, most out of place shapes begin to fit in place. Eventually your sorted piles dwindle. The red, white and blue pieces are all that remain. They may all look the same but day after day through trial and error you plug away. As each section fills in your determination to see it through to the end grows. A beautiful picture begins to emerge before your eyes. A perfect union of shapes and colors, interconnected and dependent on each other to form the greater whole. It’s only a matter of time.

Cult of Facism

A cult of fascism now controls our Executive. One that takes no chances and scoffs at traditions and checks and balances. A President’s role is to represent all Americans, his constituency comprised of all citizens. To do otherwise is an abdication of his constitutional responsibilities.

When Trump boasts of record approval ratings within the Republican party people must peel back the curtain to dissect what that means. Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh and many others enjoyed near universal approval among their followers too. Such does not make them mainstream leaders or representative of a majority. In fact it’s easy to have a high approval rating when your denominator keeps shrinking. When only likeminded members are permitted membership.

Today’s Republican Party no longer consists of patriotic or principled Americans. They abandoned that sinking ship along with the dismissals of Boehner, Kelly, Tillerson, Mattis and Will. Those that remain have no central ideology such as fiscal conservatism. No foreign policy doctrine exists that guides their acts abroad.

On the other hand we have Democratic leaders that continue to point to traditional means as the path to victory. They refuse to act with the proactive urgency necessary to afford transparency but instead point is to the ballot box. They stare blindly ahead and refuse to sacrifice or “go low” even as their opposition chops off their legs.

Tradition and precedent have no place in our current environment. A bloodless coup has occurred in which the enemy has taken control of our most sacred institutions. This is not about political ideology or race. This caravan of corruption does not represent a political methodology or follow a philosophical party platform. They are a cult who advocate for nothing more than God, guns, and money. Anything that stands in the way of those goals is fair game in the “art of the deal.”

Cult of Facism

A cult of fascism now controls our Executive. One that takes no chances and scoffs at traditions and checks and balances. A President’s role is to represent all Americans, his constituency comprised of all citizens. To do otherwise is an abdication of his constitutional responsibilities.

When Trump boasts of record approval ratings within the Republican party people must peel back the curtain to dissect what that means. Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh and many others enjoyed near universal approval among their followers too. Such does not make them mainstream leaders or representative of a majority. In fact it’s easy to have a high approval rating when your denominator keeps shrinking. When only likeminded members are permitted membership.

Today’s Republican Party no longer consists of patriotic or principled Americans. They abandoned that sinking ship along with the dismissals of Boehner, Kelly, Tillerson, Mattis and Will. Those that remain have no central ideology such as fiscal conservatism. No foreign policy doctrine exists that guides their acts abroad.

On the other hand we have Democratic leaders that continue to point to traditional means as the path to victory. They refuse to act with the proactive urgency necessary to afford transparency but instead point is to the ballot box. They stare blindly ahead and refuse to sacrifice or “go low” even as their opposition chops off their legs.

Tradition and precedent have no place in our current environment. A bloodless coup has occurred in which the enemy has taken control of our most sacred institutions. This is not about political ideology or race. This caravan of corruption does not represent a political methodology or follow a philosophical party platform. They are a cult who advocate for nothing more than God, guns, and money. Anything that stands in the way of those goals is fair game in the “art of the deal.”

Who is ANTIFA

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As protests over systemic racial injustice erupt throughout the nation our so called President tweeted that “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” Since this declaration has nothing to do with preventing the death of George Floyd or the countless victims of police brutality and racial injustice that preceded him it begs the question who exactly are “Antifa?”

The term itself translates to anti-fascists and to my knowledge there is no formal membership or way to enroll in the “organization.” They can’t be tracked by political allegiance or party rolls. Often self professed believers would be seen at protests to express anger over systemic oppression and in particular global economic inequality. Short of the masks they wore and their unique message there was little way to differentiate them from other protestors.

So in the midst of an ongoing pandemic in which the majority of participants are masked it seems to warrant asking who Deranged Donald seeks to identify as a terrorist? Whose free speech and constitutional rights does he wish to suppress by executive order?

A quick scan of his Twitter timeline and it’s clear Trump believes socialists, radical democrats, chuck and Nancy, Mitt Romney, Hispanics, blacks, immigrants, LBGTQ+, people from California, Mexicans, Never Trumpers, reporters from CNN, MSNBC, and certain members of FoxNews, members of the intelligence community, members of the deep state, Bezos, Soros, journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, Mueller, Comey, people from Puerto Rico, women, Obama, Hillary, and Joe Biden are all “enemies of the people” and anti-Trump.

More than that, almost everyone within those groups believes Trump a fascist, or at least that he possesses fascist tendencies which they oppose. Is it crazy to think Trump believes them all to be Antifa? Do you see the slippery slope here?

It’s one thing for a talented manipulator to get into power. It’s a whole other thing to stay there. The tighter the noose around Trump’s neck the more desperate he grows and dangerous he becomes. Trump’s broad effort to designate an amorphous antifa a terrorist organization poses a clear and present danger to the foundation of our democracy.

Without a credible counter narrative to contend with this caravan of corrupt criminals will be free to project their own shortcomings onto the most vulnerable members of our society. They will use sound bites, click bait and propaganda to deflect from whatever scandal plagues them and otherwise fear monger, scapegoat and blame shift at whatever the cost. They will continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.