What I Thought Was A Stand-alone Novel…

has become the first book in what appears to be an endless series. Damn. In 2015, The bad guy, a.k.a. Antagonist Trump, showed up. His own party laughed at him, mocked him, cursed him openly. He got stronger and stronger, saying things like “I’m gonna drain the swamp!” and “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” He came out with his MAGA hat, and the liberal media had a field day. But then, he got elected. His party loved him, said he was great, and hey, they had really liked him all along.

Our antagonist, with his sycophantic enablers, failed at many things, but he did manage to pass a trillion dollar tax bill that would get the rich, richer. His working class followers loved him for it. He denigrated women. He mocked the disadvantaged. He championed right-wing extremism. He laughed at climate change. He advanced racist policies. Remember “shit-hole countries”? Midway through his presidency he lost the House to Democrats–a ray of hope broke through the clouds.

Using the highest office of the land, he unsuccessfully attempted to extort a foreign power in order to get dirt on his 2020 opponent. The House brought impeachment charges. His Republican enablers, knowing he was guilty as hell, blocked witnesses. Bad boy got impeached but not convicted. He geared-up his hate-campaign. Things seemed to be going his way in spite of the sheer insanity. He was stuffing the Supreme Court. He was boasting that he had built the economy. (He hadn’t) He was boasting he had built a “beautiful wall.” (He hadn’t.) He smeared the media every chance he got. But then something happened. In China. Wuhan.

What could have gotten him re-elected, had he gone with the scientists instead of his own imbecilic and murderous mentality, put him lower and lower in the ratings. COVID 19 killed the economy, killed Americans. Trump attacked and blamed Democrats. He politicized the virus and thus watched millions more die. He didn’t give a damn. He became a super-spreader. He had to get re-elected…then it would go away. Tony Schwartz was quoted as saying that Trump would “burn the place down rather than leave.”

Trump tried to dismantle the Post Office. He pushed voter suppression. He incited a riot to take over the government of the United States. It all failed, and he left in disgrace.

End of story.

But it’s not. I watched a YouTube podcast this morning that showed President Biden slipping on the ramp to Air Force One–once, twice, then falling the third time. Dammit. Was that a sign? Was it symbolic? What will this next plot reveal? Trump is fading, but the bad guys are still out there like so many zombies, foaming at the mouth, screaming their lies, tearing the air with their now dull claws. Joe Biden and his team are moving us forward, but it’s slow going against a mountain of issues.

The story hasn’t ended. It only paused for a bit. What will the next volume bring? Anyone care to guess?

Just Waiting

These buzzards are roosting just behind my neighbor’s house. Some folks call this a “wake.” My neighbor’s doing fine!

So why did I choose the above picture? I chose it because this post has to do with Marjorie Taylor Greene–but only indirectly. Republican Greene won a free and fair election to the United States Congress, representing Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. The previous congressman from that District, Republican Tom Graves, served ten years then decided to step down, stating that “his work was done.” He voted not to impeach Trump on both counts. He voted against every Democrat Bill that came up in the House–except for a Covid Relief Bill for small Businesses. For that one, he didn’t even bother to vote. I suppose the struggling small-business folks in District 14, weren’t worth the bother. But then, what did they care? Seventy-four point seven percent of the population voted Marjorie Taylor Greene into office in 2020! A woman who, literally, only a few hours ago tweeted:

“The DC Swamp and the fake media are attacking me because I am not one of them. I am one of you and they hate me for it.”

Okay. Several things are obvious. She is muddled; she has internalized Trumpism and she represents the voting people of Georgia’s District 14. She represents their beliefs and their values. It is those persons that I am concerned about. How can they be convinced that to be a Republican doesn’t mean they have to HATE Democrats? How can they be convinced that Trumpism has no relationship to Truth? How can they be made to see that calling AOC a “liar” does not prove MTG innocent of hate-speech?

How can we get them to see the “wake” of buzzards, waiting for their wounded Republican party to die. It’s not the buzzards I’m worried about. My concern is: what will rise up in place of what used to be called the Republican Party? And what new vile monster will be their leader?

Meanwhile…

A church sign here in Alabama.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has noticed the “muted response” from the Christian community regarding Trump’s disastrous presidency: his lies and bullying, his horrific mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis, and his attempted overthrow of American Democracy.

I say muted because there were a few God fearing folk to pop up here and there to advise their Christian flock to beware of the possible godlessness of the powerful Republican loving Christian Nationalist movement. Back in mid-December 2020, Beth Moore, a leader in the Southern Baptist organization tweeted that Christians should “move away” from Trumpism and Christian nationalism.

Given what has happened in this country between mid-December and now, it appears that not too many Christians heeded her Tweet.

So, what is going on? Well, I didn’t have to look too far for a possible answer. Here in North Alabama, a small church sign revealed one approach to the conundrum of being a Christian and supporting a racist, sexist, xenophobic, criminal ex-president–and that is: declare oneself a citizen of heaven! How ingenious.

Now that Democrats control the executive and both branches of congress, Christians can declare themselves non-citizens of America and hence no need to listen to anything those sinful, cannibalistic pedophiles have to say. And hey, if you die from COVID, then YAY, you’re a citizen of heaven.

But I’d like to hear your thoughts about what is really going on with the Christian Nationalists. They’ve been mighty quiet lately.

It Is What It Isn’t

Early Alabama Morning

It has become a well-known fact that voters who marked Joe Biden for president went on to vote for their incumbent Republican state senator. (Georgia’s a fascinating example.) Hence the loud hollering of anarchist Republican Senators to “throw out” thousands of ballots was an excellent example of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater!” In this case, the “baby” being the Republican senator, a fact that fits well with the metaphor.

But it’s interesting to think about those voters who, in the recent election, voted a split ticket. Given the fact that Trump recast the Republican Party into the Cult of Trump, why did those voters cast a “split-ticket”? The obvious answer is that some Republican voters are as sick and tired of Trump as their political counterparts: the Dems. Nevertheless, as traumatized and depressed as they are, the Biden-voting Republicans maintain a belief in the GOP. Like the high-toned Christian lady who hates and despises her lying, fornicating, racist preacher, she still steadfastly believes in Christianity. That unshakable adherence to the “System” defeats the most aggressive, fact-based, logical, and sensible explanation–that the belief-system is the root cause and the worthless individual is nothing more than a particular effect.

What that boils down to is that the Biden-voting Republican may not vote for Trump in 2024, but they might–just might–vote for something worse: a Trump-like person with brains.

Am I wrong? Let me know your thoughts.

I’ve Got a Feeling

Like our cat, Tora, above, I’ve got a feeling something else is going on with Republicans other than the known facts that:

1. They are mental and moral cowards, lacking spines.

2. They profess love for America while actively working to destroy Democracy.

3. They are terrified of Donald Trump whom they secretly hate and despise.

4. Their thirst for Power fuels their absolute intolerance for the Constitution.

5. Law and order are code words for crushing any and all opponents.

There are undoubtedly many other “facts” that could be listed in the above, but those are a few that come to mind. How many of you remember back in 2012 when Texas petitioned, unsuccessfully, to secede from the union. Republicans were nutcases back then as well, but now it’s reaching a new level.

I can’t help but think there is something else afoot, besides the elected Republicans’ insane fear of tRump and his base. The “something else” is the Christian Nationalist movement which under the dictatorship of tRump has gained a great deal of power. (If you want to know more check out Katherine Stewart’s new book The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.) When a deranged Rudy Giuliani held a recent rally, his even more insane side-kick Sidney Powell got up and blathered on and on about co-conspiracies and ended her speech with the remark, regarding the ultimate triumph of the good Republicans over the evil Democrats: “It will be biblical.”

It was for me a horrifying moment of clarity. A major force behind the Republican take-over of American democracy is the Christian Right. The evangelicals have a strangle hold on tRump’s base. And the base has a strangle hold on elected Republicans. The evangelicals paint the world in black and white…of course, we all know which side they consider to be “right.” Not only hard core MAGA folk love that message, but the fringe bunch as well. The ones you don’t see at the marches or the rallies or threatening the children of decent politicians .

The religious message for many church-goers is simple. God is in control. Once you convince them as evangelicals and preachers did that DJT is an agent of God then the rest is quite simple. But the problem with “belief” is that, more often than not, it isn’t based on reality, but rather on fear. And a belief driven fear will not easily disappear from the hearts and minds of many current Republican voters.

Who are these people? They are not the hard-core base. I think half of the 71 million voters for Trump are people who are muddled. They are people who believe in the simplistic notion that “God is in control.” If their preacher suggests the tRump is an “agent of God” then well, I guess so, huh?. Ultimately, they don’t give a hoot in hell about Trump. They don’t worry about his Border Wall or whether or not black people matter. No. Their concern has to do with the firm belief their church and their religion are under attack, and they are hammered over and over by Fox News that it is “Liberals” who are the evil, godless, baby killers out to destroy God and Country. The binaries are so simple:

GOOD EVIL
GodSatan (the enemy)
WhiteBlack
Heaven (spirit)Earth (matter)
Day Night
MANWoman
UP Down
RightLeft
RepublicanDemocrat
ConservativeLiberal
ChristianNon-Christian
FaithScience
IgnoranceKnowledge
The pastThe future
HeavenEarth

Hence Republicans consistently trumpet their preposturous Godly virtues, assuaging the fears of good Christian voters. Did you hear tRump crowing about the vaccine the other night? He was full of God bless this and God bless that. The same man who ignored the virus ten months ago and who is responsible for the current back and forth death march of COVID 19 across this country. He tweeted: “I’m saving the world!”

Our greatest hope lies in the hands of our youth. I absolutely believe the upcoming election in Georgia will prove that fact. A large number of our young voters, age 18-21 are not slaves of the church and do not agree with the Republican message of hate and fear-mongering. And the good news is that in 2022 and 2024 the numbers of motivated and politically savvy young voters will have exponentially increased.

FIVE DAYS OUT

Look at it this way.

So, tRump is advocating illegal voting practices. “Send in your ballot,” he tells his admiring followers, “then show up at the polls and try to vote.”

At this point, I’m wondering, just wondering, did it ever occur to tRump that ONE major reason people are voting early is: TO NOT HAVE TO GO TO THE FUCKING POLLS!

Okay, I’ve ranted. Now my question. Do you think they, republican voters, will actually follow through with that bullshit?

Will they, after receiving the ballot, filling it out and sending it in, will they, on November third, when they could be at home drinking beer and eating pizza, drive to a voting place and stand in line in cold weather for a length of time to illegally try to vote– again…just to “test” the mail-in vote system. Will they “really” do that?

Or, and maybe this is fantastic thinking on my part, do you think that just maybe they will NOT do that and in fact, they’re NOT doing the mail in vote, period because their neighbors, Ed and Wilma, might suddenly show up or cousin Bubba could pop in just when they’re filling in the ballot, and they don’t want anyone else, including their spouse, to see how they are voting. They want to vote in person, in secret, because in secret they want to vote for Biden while showing public support for tRump. Is that possible?

Why am I suggesting that? One interesting and “observable” phenomena has occurred down here in deep red North Alabama. When I drive past the trailer lots, the farm houses, the small brick homes, I don’t see the Trump/Pence signs. I don’t see anti Biden signs. I don’t see the bumper stickers. I don’t see the t-shirts. In the Fall of 2016, that stuff was everywhere down here. Trump signs were prominent in every other yard, as well as “Lock her up” and “Hillary for Prison” signs. Trump bumper stickers were rampant. There were Trump slogans splashed against rear truck windows and tailgates. Even in the midst of the Hillary Clinton hysteria the Trump support was immense. Now, four years later, almost nothing.

Admittedly, there are not that many Biden/Harris signs either, but I think most dems down here , like myself, don’t put up signs because we don’t want to set up targets for gun-toting, liberal hating, evangelical republicans.

For the “hard core,” it is what it is, but their wives, their sisters, their quiet younger brothers, people who may publicly support Republican views, privately intend to vote for Joe Biden and that Black woman with the funny name.

I ask again. Could this be possible?

Got my Ballot. Sent it in. Now the wait.

Eight days and counting. Waiting for the Blue Tsunami.

There are so many issues out there. For instance, even if tRump loses, there’s still COVID-19 to deal with, and the Orange SOB is making sure to kill as many Americans as he can with his maskless rallies and his touting herd immunity.

But let’s be positive! Let’s say he does lose. One possibility occurred to me, one potential scenario that just might, ironically, bring us all together: Donald J. Trump.

How so?

After the last debate, Trump was at a rally, whining about the possibility of losing. He said one thing that made me stop. No, it wasn’t the bit about leaving the country–which he just might try to do. It was something else. He turned to his red-hatted, cheering followers and said something to the effect that if he loses, it will be because “you let me down.”

Whoa!

I realized he’s already started the blame-game against his base!. How bizarre is that? I sat up. Of course. It makes all the sense in the world. It’s pure Trumpism. He never takes the blame. He’ll never say to his MAGA lovers, “I let you down.” Hell no. He’ll blame them. He’ll turn on them. He’ll attack the world. If he loses, he’ll see all of mankind as nothing but “losers and suckers,” and he’ll say so. I really believe that. And the world will hit back…very hard.

If he loses the election, I think we can rely on Donald to make things right via his unabated hatred of all things American…especially his followers. He will turn on them, revile them, call them names. And when he does, all those gun toting, Bible thumping right-wingers will forget how much they hate liberal Democrats, and they’ll turn on him, the chosen one. He’ll wish he’d never been born.

This is a prediction.

But the first thing is–he has to lose in a big way.

What do you think? Is it possible?

GAME CHANGER!

Foreboding!

This morning I was stunned to hear the news. What happens now?

Does Trump stay in the race? The man is seventy-four years old with obvious issues. Will the Republican Party try to stop the election?

Will Pence jump in and run for president?

It is assumed that he caught COVID from Hope Hicks. Who else did she infect besides the president and the first lady? We see her with Jared Kushner as well as Stephen Miller getting on the helicopter.

Whom has Trump infected? He met with senior advisors as well as key republicans, Jim Jordan among them.

And now his message that COVID will soon disappear is horribly ironic.

Personally, I do not want him to succumb to this virus. I want him to live and face defeat at the hands of Joe Biden, and I want him to face the consequences of his executive insanity.

What are your thoughts?

What if…

Asian kids
American kids

What if COVID-19 threatened the lives of the young rather than the elderly? What if it were children who bore the mortal brunt of this pandemic? What then would be our feelings toward wearing a simple cotton mask? Or social distancing? Or chucking our children back into closed-space classrooms? 

I have recently viewed pictures of university students massed together, drinking, laughing, dancing, having the time of their life in the midst of a pandemic. They know their chances of dying from Corona Virus are slim. While at the same time, adults in the 40, and 50 age range gather at a church to set up outdoor platforms for a Sunday service, and not of them is wearing a mask. Not one. I have seen this. Only a few days ago, I found myself waiting for a traffic light to turn green. While waiting, I turned to see a family of five, two adults herding three children into a restaurant–none of them wearing a mask. 

Who are those 200,000 American dead? They are, mostly, the elderly who had underlying conditions, or not. How did they contract COVID 19? Many contracted the disease when they refused, for whatever reason, to wear a mask in public. But then how many simply got the virus from another person, a close friend visiting, a family member coming home from work, a son or daughter home from school, public and/or university? 

I haven’t seen much on this idea of agism in America. We all know it exists, and we all know that, generally speaking, Americans don’t revere the elderly. We worship youth. Well, that’s my thought experiment. What if it were youth who became mortally ill as a result of COVID-19? I think it would be a vastly different picture than the one we see now. And NOT “rightly so.” 

I think we need to move away from MAGA and simply examine how the young and middle aged Americans really feel about the elderly. I doubt if that many people agree with Bill O’Reilly who in a radio interview with Sean Hannity in April 2020, rationalized that the death rates were low and many of the victims were “on their last legs anyway.” No, I don’t think so, but I wonder what is the prevailing attitude toward the 65+ group?

We know, without question, that if it were children dying, we would all wear masks. We would all social distance, and to the best of our ability keep our children out of harm’s way. But too many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, do not show the same reverence of life toward the elderly. I think this is an issue that will emerge out of this disaster. 

What are your thoughts? 

p.s. the pictures above are: 1. Children I met in Japan, two years ago. And 2. Children I bussed from school to an after-school program here in Decatur, one year ago.

“It is what it is” says our president

Republican tanager vs. Democrat Bluebird.

Nicolle Wallace, in an interview with Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education, made this remark, regarding America’s attempt to jump start the school year. “This could have been Donald Trump’s moonshot.”

She was referring to the high anxiety parents and most school officials are experiencing with the back-to-school effort across the country. Trump would be practically guaranteed a second-term as president, if he simply came out and said:

That the safety of all American children regardless of race or religion should be our first concern, and I pledge to cease my mindless twittering and absurd belief in conspiracy theories. Starting now, I, Donald J. Trump, will spend every waking moment discussing with scientists and educators, (jBetsy DeVoss will not be allowed in the room.) a realistic plan to insure the complete safety of every child, teacher, staff worker, and administrator in our schools nationwide. I am calling for a round-table bi-partisan meeting to pass a bill that will provide upwards of 200 billion dollars for all American schools to upgrade their facilities and provide them with whatever it takes to create a healthy and enduring learning environment for now and years to come.

Of course he’ll never say those words. (I made them up.) Trump can’t say those words, and we all know why. He’s morally bankrupt. I could add a lot more but it hardly matters anymore. But more to the point–his lack: of empathy, of intelligence, of decency, all of the above, serve as a road map for his staff and advisors, who can’t say those words either.

Trump has surrounded himself with sycophants who, being true to their sycophancy, cannot utter any words other than “yes master” or “no master” depending on the remark. I think, as others have already stated, that Trumps’ advisors will, once he’s out, forget him within an hour or less. What will they be thinking? Well, they will be thinking as he does. “How can I gain from this experience?” They will not be considering the national carnage left behind, nah, screw that.

LIke their now worthless host, they will be mulling over self-aggrandizing possibilities. “Maybe I’ll write a book-like John Bolton!” America created Trump, and Trump has infested America with Trumpism, another form of lethal virus.

What are your thoughts?