Blowin in the Wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

– Bob Dylan

Mankind’s inability to see the forest through the trees. Its repeated refusal to learn from the patterns of history. To think past current events and unwind the causal connections that expose the autocratic forces seeking to grind the wheels of progress to a halt. It’s uncanny how naive and unprepared the political establishment is in each iteration of the story. Traditional safeguards barely survive an initial attack from the rising forces of tyranny. The enemy rebuffed, but left unfinished, in time regroups. Reinforced by the most fringe voices society has to offer. The 20% of the extreme 20%. The type normally left out of legitimate party politics suddenly gets invited with front row seats. With no regards for archaic rules, judicial precedent, or outdated checks and balances the outlaws soon take over the asylum.

In past instances the Jedis always seem to make an eventual triumphant return. Truth and justice carry the day. The forces of darkness who sought to remake the world in their own image vanquished and alone. The unbridled greed and brazen lies upon which they rose to power now lay exposed at the naked emperor’s feet. Though often at great cost, each iteration of the story concluding in the same manner. In time ignorance yields to experience, xenophobia gives way to cooperation, greed temporarily bends to compassion.

Yet from the moment Donald Trump rode down that escalator something about this time seemed different; more sinister, more coordinated, more permanent. In part it has to do with the transparency in which the entire cult of the GOP operate. The brashness of the lawlessness. The openness in which they seek to rollback voting rights, hasten the destruction of the environment, proliferate weapons of mass violence, divide our citizenry into tribal identities, deconstruct the administrative state. The mission to create a Christofacist land of opportunity that preserves the privileged status of the white Christian male and demands all other inhabitants of the great melting pot observe it.

The tribal superiority mission of the modern day GOP is hardly what makes it unique from past enemies of progress. What is unique is that they have come so far to hijack the system of what was thought to be the very model of Democratic stability, and did so largely through non violent means. Trojan Horses currently parked in the Halls of Justice and outside the walls of the Capital rotunda. Enemy troops pouring out in plain sight and being ushered into positions of power by the very forces sworn to protect this nation from all enemies, foreign or domestic.

That is the part that baffles this time. While in the past the forces of freedom often failed to finish off the tyrant the first time, they always identified them as the tyrant. Once the mask was unveiled the enemy was always treated as such. There would be no pathway by which Annakin could legitimately regain a seat on the Jedi Council. No continued negotiation or offers of compromise with his accomplice Sith Lords.

Americans, if not the world, may soon discover the answer to Mr. Dylan’s query. Unless an unexpected hero steps in to save the day it may be that the only winds left blowin are the the winds of fire, famine, flood and radioactive fallout

The Pathway to Reconciliation?

The pathway to reconciliation is cast in a sense of purpose. Molded and shaped in immovable values and guiding principles. Maintained by pioneers who possess a bias for action and disciplined approach that maintains focus on the desired outcome.

The Democrats can no longer have it both ways. They cannot be both the party of progressives and the party of the political status quo in which progress is an impossibility. The Democratic Party must define their core values and proactively lead from them. The constituents of Manchin and Biden are not one in the same. Following midterms they must pick a side and support and fundraise for only those candidates that align to those values.

To be clear, this is not handing the election to the Republicans. Whichever identity Democrats choose the first act should be to recognize the legitimacy of the other party. In doing so you will force the current day GOP to the extreme right of the political spectrum. Moderates across the political spectrum will align to the party of Manchin and Cheney. Independents and progressives will align to the party of Sanders and AOC. Let each side nominate a presidential candidate.

Hold a joint conference in which both sides agree to recognize and stand by the results of the election. Continually celebrate the worth and value of the opposition while defending your own approach and solutions. Unite to ostracize the party of Trump and all who continue to align with it. Amplify the anti-American agenda and ungodly mission they wish to promote.

The current party establishment of Biden, Pelosi and Schumer must declare their neutrality. Pledge to stand down from future leadership positions and instead present the the win/win proposition being presented to Americans. Utilize their bully pulpits to unabashedly present a path to victory in the battle to restore the soul of our nation’s democracy. Two qualified successors for Americans to chose from. Two alternatives both committed to the mission and principles upon which our nation was founded.

Former Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton and Carter need lend their voices as well. Further highlight the bipartisan choice once again being presented to the American voter. A realistic solution to the quandary that 70% of our citizenry currently seeks an answer. How do we once again provide both conservative and progressive voters a candidate they can proudly vote for, instead of one they simply vote against.

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

Constitutional Russian Roulette

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Though accepted alternative fact that the Mueller report disproved all Russian conspiracy allegations and concluded it all to be a “Russian hoax,”nothing could be further from the truth. As the report actually reads it is evident that Donald Trump finds safety and opportunity in the chaos he stokes. The divisions he sews. 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.

The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. Each day he remains free serves as an affront to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of rule. Each #TrumpRally and “truth” he sends out, feeds the cynicism that fertilizes our apathy. So long as there is even a possibility that Trump may again seek the presidential office this country will be unable to unite.

Traditional checks and balances are not effective against unprecedented risks. The reality is that the Republican Party conspired across the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches to overturn the results of what was known to be a lawful election. In a desperate attempt to preserve the status quo and their privileged place within it long past the point demographics would otherwise allow, GOP representatives (and their spouses – looking at you Ginni T). sworn to protect the laws of our Constitution engaged in a coup attempt.

Problems do not get better over time. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well or ignore that our political system has been infiltrated by a party of extremists. It’s past time we recognize and accept that the experiment in individual freedoms and self governance has been hijacked by those who fear progress. Acknowledge that enemy forces have already successfully parked Trojan Horses within our sacred institutions. That their soldiers, who seek to preserve the status quo long past the point a functioning representative democracy will otherwise allow, have already seized the wheels of power within our Halls of Justice and disabled our Legislative powers. All they do now is abuse that power to ensure the conditions are set that enable the return of their Golden Calf who will sit upon the Executive throne.

The longer we play this dangerous game of Russian roulette. Ignore the obvious and enable the fantasies of the Raptureheads, Russian enabled military hawks and status quo dependent deplorables of this nation. The more likely a fatal bullet will fire at the very heart of our Constitutional Republic.

It is past time #LockHimUp

The Man, the Myth, the Monster

The plate tossing, steering wheel grabbing, secret service choking character we witness today is the embodiment of a leader who was able to skip the lessons of middle management. The art of empathy, humility, accountability and communication. A “stable genius” only in his own mind who was so poor at business he literally bankrupted both casinos and real estate conglomerates at the height of the economy. In every way the opposite of a man who embodies the original American dream.

As if it wasn’t obvious before, the January 6th Commission and the courageous testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson and other witnesses has stripped the emperor of all remaining undergarments. Exposed Donald Trump as a man of flawed character. The embodiment of the 21st century American dream. A child of the 1% with no discernible talent, skills or virtue beyond that of self promotion. A self aggrandizing narcissistic sycophant with an unhealthy obsession for celebrity and fame. A self hating man child who overcompensates for his shortcomings by bullying, intimidating and surrounding himself with “yes men.”

A man in constant need of validation because deep down he fears he will never live up to daddy’s expectations, never be truly loved. A man with an ego so fragile he can’t deal with dissent or opposition. Who spent a lifetime avoiding accountability and consequences by silencing critics with bribes, quid pro quos and empty promises. Who justifies his deplorable behavior through incredible displays of cognitive dissonance; scapegoating, and otherwise shifting blame to the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, and those less able to defend themselves.

Like most bullies this so called President stands for nothing. He is driven by vengeance, looking only for the next score to settle, fight to win. All he knows is how to marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Each Trump Rally and “truth” allows him to continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s ails. He is simply its most recognizable symptom. The dry cough of the national pandemic that is the Republican Party. It’s time we vaccinate the public from the poison they spread before it chokes what little life remains of our system of checks and balances #LockHimUpNow

Enough Is Enough

At what point do you decide enough is enough? It’s a recurring thought that haunts many a waking moment of mine. I think back to my greatparents and other Jewish ancestors of Eastern European descent. Did they foresee what was to come? What was the final straw that led them to conclude their young children would be better off raised by distant relatives in a far away land, then they would if they were to remain at home?

I would never imagine a day would come where I’d feel shame and contempt for my country. Where I would question not my place in it, but my daughters. Do I really believe this to be the country where they are most likely to reach their full potential? Is this the environment in which their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is most likely to be recognized? Do I trust America to provide them with the skills and external nourishment, societal recognition and community support necessary to thrive in capitalistic land of opportunity and global marketplace?

It wasn’t that I ever believed in “American exceptionalism,” but I did the American spirit. Did trust in our collective generational need for progress. Our nation was birthed as an aspiration, an idealistic dream by men aware of their own fallibility. The arc of our nation’s history has always reflected an upward trajectory. Each generation inching closer to the hopes espoused and mission established not in our Constitution, but in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence.

It was that spirit of progress that propelled my patriotism. That steadfast belief and optimism is reflected in much of my early writing. While the risk to our democratic institutions was evident it still seemed almost an impossibility that progress itself could be unwound. I knew Trump would be an obstacle to progress and posed a national security risk. Understood no future gains in social equality would be made under his watch, but it didn’t fully occur to me that the dividends already paid in the quest to create a more perfect Union could be repossessed so easily.

So when is enough, enough? When does your homeland appear so unrecognizable that you begin to fear it? At what point do you refuse to surrender your values and seek out better alternatives for your children? For that’s how much we as a nation have lost. Where once our shores served as the beacon for the world’s oppressed, now it is our inhabitants who pulling out the binoculars to search foreign shores for that very same offer of security.

It’s difficult to find a happy ending. Perhaps I’m the only one who’s noticed but “Vote blue no matter who” is not an effective strategy when the enemy already has a Trojan Horse parked and emptying soldiers into the halls of our legislature and justice. It makes me wonder, “when is enough, enough?”

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.