Last night, on the last day of April, 2022, I sat contemplating the current events of the day, these calamities affecting our country and our world. These are events that are probably even more threatening and dangerous than the events that preceded World War II in the 1920’s and 1930’s and perhaps even more unsettling than the most harrowing incidences that occurred during the cold war. We pretend they cannot be what they most assuredly are because it is too unbelievable to us that it could be happening all over again.
In those days there had been a clear, unmistakable understanding of good and evil; the dividing line between Real Freedom vs. Oppression, Americanism vs. Nazism, Capitalism vs. Communism. You could be easily defined as American or Un-American based upon that reliable unit of measure. But the differences today are now more confused, ambiguous and blurred. Propaganda has replaced facts and facts have become alternative.
It’s a time where liberty and justice and the rule of law is less important than making something “great again.” It is a time where any despicable republic damaging means available to make it “great” is accepted without a blink of the eye or a critical thought to evaluate just how destructive it will be to a system of government built on a promise to keep government free of corruption with a focus on truth. It’s a time where many lack any consideration of just how great American had always been. It’s a time where there is a failure to understand that we have a founding document that contains an implied guarantee to all people of any race, creed or cultural heritage that they have access to that freedom, to those unalienable rights and regardless of how painfully long it took for that guarantee to be fully realized.
It’s a time where Jim Crow laws have been reintroduced based upon the insecurities of a totalitarian infected American political organization. It is a time where a political party fearful that it will lose power takes drastic un-American measures to remain in power and despite its once more honorable past where it had been an American Party dedicated to freeing the slaves, the very ancestors of the citizens it is now attempting to disenfranchise. It is a time where the honesty of the first Republican has been abandoned for dishonesty, dishonor and a lack of integrity that knows no bounds. It. Is a time where abuse of power for petty vindictiveness is now an honored attribute. It is a time where a perfectly corrupt phone call is hailed as a perfectly fine phone call.
It is a time where the freedom to have irresponsible reckless disregard for others is more important than somebody else’s freedom to live without the threat of dying in an overcrowded hospital from a deadly disease. It’s a time when imaginary bone spurs used as an excuse to avoid service to their country is more honorable than real bone spurs earned in a war with real sacrifice. It is a time when half the country has abandoned the ideas of our Founding Fathers by mocking their efforts to create a nation of laws rather than men. It’s a time where conservatives wrapped in corrupted garments of red, white and blue vote for unsuitable stewards of our system of government. It is a time where idolizing disgraceful purveyors of disinformation and lies is the accepted norm.
It is a time where some Christians support the most un-Christian leader this country ever has known, justifying their betrayal to their otherwise noble beliefs by citing that all politicians lie without regard to the fact that no employer would select the most dishonest, disgraceful, untrustworthy candidate as their hire for employment even if they did believe all the people being interviewed have lied at some time in their life. It is a time where totalitarian ideas are embraced by insurrectionists and Fox News hosts with the errant belief that it somehow makes them American Patriots. It is a time where up is down and foreign, Anti-American Ideas are somehow accepted as being wholly American.
There is nothing American about Totalitarian Authoritarians who think a Free Press is the enemy of the People. There is nothing American about supporting the head of a brutal totalitarian regime invading another sovereign country where unacceptable death, destruction and genocide against a civilian population are documented for all the world to see. There is nothing American about glorifying and defending an insidious, unjustified and internationally illegal assault against a smaller nation that has committed itself to freedom and democracy.
There is nothing American about siding with an undemocratic country that is attempting to deny a smaller democratic country it’s right to self-determination. There is nothing American about supporting a candidate who sought to overthrow a free, secure and fair election. There is nothing American about accepting a lie as the truth.
All these actions are un-American. They are anti-American. The criminal monster that is Putin is the model that the top leader of the Republican Party aspires to be. It should be a wake-up call to all conservatives who believe in honor, decency and, most of all, respect for the rule of law as described by our traditional understanding of American democracy and our republican form of government. But it doesn’t seem the wakeup call is being heard. Why? What excuse could they possibly have? This is what I contemplate, on this first day of May, 2022.
House Representative Troy Nehls from Texas had this to say right after the Capital Insurrection: “I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police barricading entrance to our sacred House chamber, while trying to calm the situation talking to protestors. What I’m witnessing is a disgrace. We’re better than this. Violence is NEVER the answer. Law and Order!”
Nehls shared these thoughts right after the January 6th insurrection. Now standing “shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police” is out of fashion with him after realizing that pledging allegiance to the criminal mastermind, his “Dear Leader,” who incited the riot in the first place is better for his own personal political career. Nehls picked the “Dear Leader” over our nation’s flag.
Rather than protect our nation’s principles, the Rule of Law, Law and Order and basic common decency, Nehls decides it is better to incite more violence by promoting the abhorrently absurd and insane idea that the Capitol police officer protecting him and his fellow congressional members on January 6, 2021 is a “murderer.” Nehls stated this on Monday, October 25, 2021 in an interview: “The video was quite clear; it was murder” in reference to the officer who had shot his gun in defense of the congressional members and against the insurrectionists attempting to violently break into the Capital building.
But, really, the only thing this latest news interview with Nehls shows is something else that is “quite clear.” Nehls is absent any honor these days. No longer guided by traditional American principals where our Constitution and our laws are more important than any single man, Nehls’ absurd claim helps to further divide and damage our country all for the sake of his own personal political benefit. Now that is a “disgrace.”
My sincere hope is that the peddlers of the Big Lie all end up destroying their political careers along with their fascist embracing political party too. That needs to happen for the sake of our country’s system of government and for the restoration of the ideas that truly made this country great: common decency, respect for the rule of law and respect for the ideals of our Founding Fathers regarding what is just and equitable. We need that “City on a Hill” to shine again.
And this is what we don’t need: we don’t need congressional members promoting insidiously inaccurate claims that have no merit. We don’t need tawdry efforts to protect insurrectionist inciting individuals from prosecution. We don’t need dishonest politicians diverting attention away from the sins of an autocratic con artist and onto the sights of a law enforcement officer where wild accusations unjustly and inaccurately exist to malign that officer’s reputation. Mostly, we certainly don’t need any more prostrating ring kissing sycophants devoted to a disgraced, law-breaking former office holder lacking in all manner of character but abundantly prosperous in excuses made up of bone spurs.
So, we need to move this congressional overstocked product now: Ubiquitous Sycophants for Sale.
With his unsolicited warning last week where he alleged Big Businesses are inappropriately becoming involved in politics, McConnell fails to realize that the positions companies are taking against Republican efforts to attack the right of every citizen to vote freely and without burdensome restrictions is not based upon a desire to become political. Instead, it is based upon a desire to remain ethical, decent, responsible but, most of all, it is based upon the desire to remain American. Any red blooded American who believes in self-rule and the ideas of our Founding Fathers also believes in the concept that the right to vote should be made available to all American citizens.
For corporations like, Delta Airlines, MLB, Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Ford, Bank of America and hundreds of other large companies, this is not political. This is a basic right that all real Americans hold sacred. We should be making that right to vote easier for all American citizens…not more difficult. We should not be thinking up clever and insidious ways to reintroduce Jim Crow laws into our society.
In no way should the right to vote become just another inaccessible luxury to people without means, denied to people who cannot afford a car or who do not have the affluence to take time off due to unpredictable work schedules. It is a basic ternate of our American form of democracy that we consider all people. It is written in our Declaration of Independence. It is written in our Constitution. Even in cases where people do not have a license to drive because obtaining a license for something they cannot afford to use would be impractical; we need to consider these citizens.
The Republican Party has made us keenly aware of the fact that it is now the Anti-Democracy Party. The Republican Party seems to be on a terrible, un-American crusade to promote authoritarian ideas. The Republican Party lies about election fraud just like any two-bit authoritarian regime would lie in order to maintain its control.
Ironically and disturbingly, the Republican Party is committing its own fraud while doing so. It has a propaganda machine that rivals the one Nazi Germany had in the 1930’s. It promotes slogans that are just as dishonest and scary as the ones the Nazi’s promoted about winning World War I. It touts criminally inclined Reality TV Bone-Spurred autocratic leaders, giving them lead positions in their organization. The Republican Party offers these Teflon Dons immunity from anti-corruption, abuses of power and sedition laws the Dons have violated. The Republican Party is charting a course for itself that has more in common with Russia and the present anti-democratic military state of Myanmar than it does with any American ideas about liberty, justice, democracy and principles that all men are created equal.
McConnell fails to realize that participating in the democratic process is a right of every citizen even the ones that vote against him and even when he finds Big Businesses no longer will go along with his Party’s Anti-American efforts to corrupt and neuter our 244 year old experiment in self-rule. Anyone that fails to speak up for the right to vote freely and conveniently fails in their duty to be loyal to our American ideas of democracy. It would be a dereliction in citizenship for anyone not to speak up.
That’s why these companies are taking a stand against Republican efforts to dismantle our voting rights. Big Business’s reaction against these Republican efforts is not political. It’s American. It’s done out of a sense of duty and loyalty to the ideas put forth in our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution. Voting rights are truths that are self-evident.
Republican Senators may play to their misinformed Base during this impeachment phase by being unwilling to prevent a dangerous and seditious politician from ever holding public office again, but it will be the majority of Americans and history who will be the final judges regarding how little these Senators really care about justice, integrity, principles and the ideals of our Founding Fathers regarding their responsibility to be a check against absolute power and criminal abuses of power. These Republican Senators will be judged by their failure to honor their oath to protect our nation from insidious tyrants who attempt to thwart our Constitution. That will go a long way to justifiably put an end to their disgraceful and otherwise pathetic sycophantic careers as they cower in front of the disreputable beast they have deliberately chosen to pledge allegiance to.
The rest of America will then go forward to pledge allegiance to our more noble ideals that that justice is blind to wealth and power and that all men are created equal as represented by our nation’s flag. And those Pathetic Sycophantic Careers dedicated to lies and despotic ideals positioned against our democracy will just fade away forever into history as prime examples of how weakness of character can be the greatest threat to our republic and to any republic based upon constitutional law and self-rule.
The Oregon State Republican Party embraced a lie, a big lie. That Big Lie is that Trump really won the White House in 2020 but, due to voter fraud, the Democrats dishonestly captured the White House. Even after sixty of their Republican lawsuits were thrown out of the courts for lack of voter fraud evidence and even after more honest, honorable Republican Election officials testified to the integrity of the 2020 election, confirming the Democrats won the Presidency, the Oregon Republican Party promotes the Big Lie. But, then, on top of that lie, these Republicans take it a step further by promoting an even bigger unacceptable lie that equates the Democrats’ control of the government by the democratic process to Hitler’s takeover of Hindenburg’s government in the 1930’s with a reference to the “February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag” in a despicable resolution censuring the ten Republican Congressional Members that voted to impeach Trump.
We saw the Capital Riots in real time with our own eyes one month ago today, caught on live TV and by the rioters themselves with posts to their social media accounts. We know who is responsible for those riots. We know who is responsible for attacking and vandalizing our Capital Building. There is no doubt it was Trump supporters and there is no doubt they were incited by incendiary statements made by Trump and his dishonest band of corrupt lieutenants on that tragic day and for months earlier before the riot with their dishonest and unfounded claims of voter fraud.
It is a sick, twisted, dishonest, unethical, morally corrupt and demented argument that the Oregon Republican Party makes to say that the blame for the insurrection belongs to someone or something else and that the Republicans who had enough honor and dignity to respect our laws to impeach Trump are somehow traitors. Who is the traitor: someone who picks country over Party or someone who picks Party over country? To the contrary, in the view of the majority of Americans, these courageous Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are valiant heroes. They chose to defend our system of government. They chose to defend self-rule and our Constitution over the corrupt aims of a dishonest tyrant spreading a Big Lie about the election he lost and then inciting a riot after he failed to get his way with his many attempts to corrupt the election results.
And with these statements of false equivalency, these not so respectable Republicans in the Oregon Republican Party signing this resolution of censure against their more honorable colleagues are, interestingly, the ones who are committing the fraud they claim others are committing. The Oregon Republican Party fails to acknowledge reality. The Oregon Republican Party fails to recognize that the real traitors are the ones supporting a corrupt lying tyrant over the Constitution of the United States of America.
The Oregon Republican Party has pledged its loyalty to an inciting tyrant. The Oregon Republican Party has expressly rejected the ideals of our Founding Fathers that are prohibitively against destructive autocrats who divide the nation to steer a course towards “permanent despotism.” The very thing President Washington warned against in his Farewell Address about the corrosive path that can result from partisan affiliation that threatens our democracy is the very insidious thing the Oregon Republican Party is embracing with open arms. Their Party is more important than our country.
Ironically, it is the leaders of the Oregon Republican Party who are the ones most mimicking the actions of Hitler by embracing the Big Lie in the same way Hitler embraced his twisted Big Lie that the Jews were responsible for a conspiracy that made everyone think Germany lost World War I when, in the Nazi’s delusional minds, Germany actually had won it. Sound familiar? To add more confusion, the Nazis themselves referred to the proposition that the Germans lost World War I as the “Big Lie.” This act of paying homage to Hitler and his Nazi’s reprehensible propaganda tactics by the Oregon Republican Party comes complete with the dishonest conspiracy theories that are at the base of their warped belief system. Truth does not matter to the Oregon Republican Party just like it does not matter to most nefarious Political Parties positioned against democracy that you can name in the historical record.
There is only one way this story ends if it is not properly addressed. We’ve seen it before. It’s written in history and it is easily accessible for your evaluation. And to be clear, it’s not a good ending.
The Oregon Republican Party’s delusion will either serve to destroy their Party or serve to destroy our country. One scenario is less tragic than the other but both are very tragic. Either way, it does seem the Oregon Republican Party is bent on destroying our country in ways that are not too dissimilar from the ways that the Nazis destroyed their own country by using matching dishonest methods of creating doubt and division among its citizenry. These methods are not only offensive but they are truly un-American. It is why the Oregon State Republican Party, itself, needs to be censured.
Today is President Reagan’s birthday. President Reagan would be greatly saddened by how far his beloved Party has travelled away from that shining “City on a Hill” that he often spoke about. That city of truth, union and diversity that once welcomed all has now been replaced with a gloomy, dark, decrepit city full of lies and corruption where power for the sake of power is idolized and only Republicans who devote their entire being to Trump are welcomed.
When considering how much our system of government is based upon compromise and respect for the individual, this extreme polarization has no place in American politics but this is especially true when one side of that polarized fray is based upon a dangerously unacceptable lie that the losers won an election that they clearly lost. Such unfounded and outrageous notions are a clear threat to the very existence of our 244 year old experiment in self-rule. Such notions need to be rejected outright and, those perpetuating them, need to be condemned.
Apparently, real men are back and here is what they are saying…
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…just have draft-dodging bone spurs.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…think celebrated captured and tortured soldiers from Arizona who fought in Vietnam are not heroes.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…have despotic, undemocratic fantasies that the election they just lost and they, themselves, are having trouble rigging, was…rigged.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…think that soldiers who died or who were maimed while serving their country are ‘losers and suckers.’”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…fire their defense secretaries for adhering to American ideals of honor and respect for the Constitution over loyalty to a single self-aggrandizing, vindictively insecure individual.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…fire their heads of cybersecurity for contradicting their unfounded and un-democratic lies about voter fraud.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…fire naval commanders at sea for trying desperately to keep their crew safe from a deadly disease.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…hire former New York City mayors with damaged reputations as legal counselors to spread lies and attack and undermine our democracy.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…ignore Federal laws (18 U.S. Code § 1513) as they fire in retaliation decorated military intelligence officers testifying to the truth.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…demand more loyalty to themselves than they do to our Constitution.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…are good with a Sharpie Pen when hurricanes strike.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…unsuccessfully pay-off adult film actresses to keep them quite.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…are still looking for all those boat owners in North Carolina.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…ignore bounties placed on the heads of their soldiers.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…think democracy is too inconvenient and too inefficient.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…corruptly extort presidents of foreign nations by using U.S. government resources for their own personal and political gains.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…just get impeached.”
“Real men wear masks. Those who don’t…brood inside an oval office; launch endless, frivolous electoral lawsuits and never man-up to concede with honor.”
Well, there you have it. “Real men” wear masks. Doing their duty, they are protecting the ones they love, their fellow citizens and, to the extent that masks self-protect, themselves as well. All “Real Men” agree that you should wear a mask too. However, and for some reason we still don’t quite understand, after all these years, “Real Men” still don’t eat quiche?
He is the “Conspiracy Theorist in Chief.” From Birther Stories to Deep State delusions to dangerous hallucinations about Election Fraud to hordes of imaginary caravanning terrorists at the border to his support of QAnon’s insane theory about a secret cabal of leading Democrats involved in a nefarious network of human trafficking, he is the king of misinformation and other flights of dangerously un-American despotic fantasies. As confirmed by his doctors in the white suits, this makes him uniquely qualified to identify elephants, but, leaving him without much ability to identify anything ever having to do with the truth, especially when it comes to COVID-19 (“Did I tell you, Bob, how dangerous this disease was in February, much deadlier than the flu but I’m down playing it because, you know, I don’t want people to panic? Plus, I like calling things that are the truth a hoax”).
Thirty one instances of suspected voter fraud out of one billion votes from 2000 – 2014. Something needs to be done about this according to fringe elements of the political spectrum. To them, that fraction of a percentage of probable voter fraud cases is way too high. For all you who are partial to statistical numbers: 0.0000031% of those votes are suspected of being fraudulent. The study was conducted by Loyola Law School Professor, Justin Levitt. Levitt is also the author of an earlier study on the same subject entitled, “The Truth about Voter Fraud.”
Similar studies confirm these results including one conducted by the Bush II administration. And the few cases that do exist may surprise you regarding who is committing these crimes. For example, a truly egregious, well publicized instance of voter fraud was committed in 2018 by Republicans in North Carolina. To increase the irony, it involved absentee voting. And then, just recently, the Republican Party in California somehow believes that they are exempt from State laws protecting registered voters against voter fraud when they decided to sponsor ballot boxes that are not owned or officially sanctioned by the State of California.
The California Republican Party is misleading voters into believing that the Republican operated drop boxes are official ballot boxes. The leaders of any other group of people involved in similar nefarious activity would be automatically hauled off to jail without a second thought since this action is typically regarded as a felony in California. Lastly, the President himself is encouraging his supporters to vote twice which is also a felony. It’s disturbing to think that a presumably respected long standing national Political Party would decide that turning to a life of crime is the only way it can win elections. It seems the ones making the most noise about voter fraud are the ones who are most often committing it.
Traditionally, the majority of absentee voters have been Republicans (including the President and the administration’s own Press Secretary—talk about Black Kettle complexes). So, if anything, voter fraud would have favored the Republicans not the Democrats if there were any merit to this erroneous claim. The assertion that there is rampant voter fraud being made by President Trump has no basis in fact. At 0.0000031%, voter fraud is virtually non-existent. The claim made by the President is itself fraudulent, dishonest and irresponsible.
Why would the President risk upsetting or alienating Republican voters and, really, all voters, by threatening to take their absentee voting rights away? Because Trump wants to give his Base something to rally behind and to hate. It’s what all demagogues do. It’s what all despicable people do who have no ethics, no morals to guide them and no integrity. If there’s nothing to hate, they’ll invent something to hate. It also sets the stage for Trump’s attempt to discredit the election results should he lose the election. This is something only a despot would do.
Even if voter fraud was rampant instead of the incredibly miniscule percentage of 0.0000031%, why would you throw the baby out with the bathwater? If you were truly concerned about election fraud, why not address the voter fraud in productive ways that improve the security of voting by mail? That way it would increase the confidence in the legitimacy of those votes. If you found the majority of voter fraud cases occurred at Polling Places, would that cause you to outlaw Polling Places? Such an action would be absurd and a deliberate attempt at destroying our right to self-rule.
We are in the middle of a pandemic that Trump initially labeled a hoax, a pandemic Trump failed to take seriously and then failed to do anything about for months. As a consequence, local governments were forced to take extreme measures absent any real leadership from the Federal government. It was a disease that Trump knew how deadly it was at the time he was calling it a hoax. This revelation caught on tape by Bob Woodward shows the dishonesty of a man who is willing to sacrifice the lives of the people of his own country in favor of what he deems to be his own favorable political fortunes. The destructive suggestion that voters should physically go to the polls to expose themselves to the very real chance that they could contract a deadly disease, a disease causing hundreds of thousands of deaths here in the United States, when there are more reasonable and safer ways of voting available to us is probably the single most irresponsible action a President has ever made in our lifetimes. This point especially resonates when you consider the President himself caught COVID-19 as a result of his own irresponsible recklessness.
For this reason and many other equally disturbing reasons, Trump is a dangerous threat to our democracy and to our country in general. Trump is especially dangerous when he advocates against our right to vote. No respectable American President dedicated to self-rule would ever advocate such a position.
Only a totalitarian leaning despot afraid of losing power would argue that your right to vote in the manner prescribed by the laws of your State should be taken away from you. If that’s not an offensive affront to our democracy, I do not know what is. A President who is against voting safely and securely should make you pause to reflect upon the stark possibility that we are truly a democracy in jeopardy. But it’s not in jeopardy because of voter fraud. It’s in jeopardy because of a different kind of fraud. And that fraud is the current occupant living in the White House.
The new administrative order that excludes the CDC from directly receiving data from hospitals around the country that is reported to the Federal Government is a clear attempt by a desperate individual in an ill-conceived plan to improve his political fortunes at the expense of the nation’s health and safety. By controlling the data being reported by hospitals, Trump expects he can hide and manipulate the data for his own personal benefit to spin the narrative in any way that he sees fit just like he’s always done. The truth is Trump’s enemy and just like the Devil, Trump will do anything he can to hide the truth from you by painting you a fluffy, Sharpie picture or a safe secure wall to show you how he is most able to so keenly keep out the invading hordes of foreign body antigens even if it means injecting disinfectant to do it. His objective is to deceive you into believing his many fanciful lies that will, ultimately, only lead to your own doom in the end. The story is all too common and all too familiar. It’s the story of a despot.
Meanwhile, the CDC doctors and other medical doctors around the country are left handicapped. Without access to this vitally critical information required by health professionals to aid in their efforts to stop the spread of this virus as quickly as possible, they are prevented from effectively doing their job as they work fervently around the clock to help reduce the tragically increasing number of deaths that keep occurring each day because of this pandemic. Hiding that data increases the risk faced by health workers and it also increases your own risk in being counted as a victim of this pandemic.
Trump’s disturbing self-serving, ego-centric pursuits are destroying this nation and its people by the hundreds of thousands as ICU beds fill up and places to put the bodies of those who have succumbed to this disease dwindle. Trump’s unacceptable behavior is not only becoming a more deadly menace to the effectiveness of our health system but it’s beginning to compromise our national security too. As we continue to become sicker, we are distracted from other nefarious players in the world who are already working to take advantage of the precarious situation. For example, consider the bounties placed on the heads of our military personnel in Afghanistan. The failure to act on that bit of intelligence is further indication of Trump’s inability to recognize dangerous, adversarial threats to our nation from nefarious foreign sources when it contradicts his own fanciful notions of how “he wants it to be.”
Had Trump prepared our nation like he should have months ago, had he not tossed the Pandemic Playbook prepared by the Obama Administration in the wastepaper basket when he took office, had he not fired the Pandemic Response Team in 2018, had he listen to his intelligence agencies, had he listened to the pandemic experts, had he not thought it a hoax and used his hoax story as a less than clever tool to make fun of the “Left” for the benefit of his political reelection campaign, there is every reason to believe we could have avoided the extreme shelter-in-place measures that local governments were forced to take because of Trump’s incompetence and failure in leadership. Then, later, after it appeared things were looking better, had Trump taken the advice of his experts at the CDC by not promoting the opening of America too soon and by not ignoring his responsibility to set a good example by wearing a mask, we could have avoided this sadly predictable but entirely avoidable resurgence of the virus. The unnecessary and economically destructive epidemic mess we are in is entirely the fault of Trump and his anti-science politically corrupted cronies who place their faith in ignorance and made-up tabloid conspiracy theories rather than science and reality.
Trump’s new campaign slogan seems to be: “Make America Sick Again.” It is apparently working in disturbing ways and in ways not too dissimilar from the actions that the Kremlin and/or other comparative totalitarian states might take. I’m sure the idea to control the data has nothing to do with Trump’s inexplicable peculiar fondness for Putin?
With reports about unmarked, unidentifiable Federal Agents kidnapping protestors in Portland, Oregon, questioning them, not charging them and then letting them go, we are left to grapple with yet more incomprehensible un-Democratic actions and abuses of power by a President who just does not seem to have a grasp of how democracy or the rule of law works in America. These unacceptable Gestapo like tactics are right out of a despot’s handbook. They are meant to intimidate the less powerful and used only as a means to deny citizens a voice; tactics a tyrant in a banana republic would embrace without a second thought. But, in America, it’s a violation of our Bill of Rights and of our Constitution. Is this an indication of how CDC personnel and other doctors who promote advice regarding how to decrease the risk of COVID-19 and/or other pandemic disease will be dealt with in the not too distant future when their advice contradicts the advice Trump wants to promote?
Dangerous despots are easily recognizable. We have thousands of years of history to reference in order to learn how to spot them. And this is a sure sign of one. In banana republics or in Russia, it would be a common, everyday occurrence to keep medical data intended for public review and public safety hidden from the masses. But, whoever thought it could happen in America where we are supposed to have safeguards in place to prevent this type of thing from ever happening?
This is a dangerous and an alarming turn of events that should have all Americans, regardless of Political Party, very concerned. Every American citizen who believes in freedom and liberty and the health of their loved ones should be demanding that this unacceptable and un-American self-serving action by Trump be properly reversed and corrected immediately. There is no excuse for threatening the public welfare or our stability as a democratic republic in this irresponsible way.
Freedom of information needs to be preserved. That is the American way and it’s the only way to fight this virus effectively. The CDC and the public needs to have direct access to this hospital data restored now. It’s time to just say, “No,” to “Make America Sick Again!”
Black Lives Matter not because other lives don’t but because other lives are not targeted for the color of their skin in the same way black lives are targeted. Other lives don’t garner the same automatic prejudicial suspicions nor do other lives need to worry as much about being mistaken for being a dangerous perpetrator that immediately justifies the use of excessive force against them by law enforcement officials. That latter presumption too many times has resulted in unnecessary and unjustified tragic deaths. Saying “All lives Matter” against this context then becomes an offensive remark if not as great as someone who had employed the use of an unspeakable derogatory word in their smug response to this legitimate call for justice then something very close.
Only the naively ignorant or people who have white supremacist sentiments buried in their subconscious think that “All Lives Matter” would be an appropriate response to the idea that “Black Lives Matter.” Perhaps this response that “All Lives Matter” might be said without ever realizing how dismissive they are being of the just cause that is so appropriately and passionately articulated by the “Black Lives Matter” movement. But make no mistake, responding with the statement that “All Lives Matter” is an offensive refutation of the notation that the equality and respect that is granted to all other American lives is also required to be granted to black American lives too.
The message that “Black Lives Matter” needs to be properly heard. It needs to be properly respected. It needs to be properly understood. And real reforms towards that end need to be properly implemented.
“Black Lives Matter” is not exclusive. “Black Lives Matter” is an inclusive call and, indeed, it is the God given American right to be included in the contract specified in our Declaration of Independence that emphatically states: “all men are created equal.” Along with the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is the inference that all have the right to be treated equally without prejudice in the eyes of the law, to be recognized and respected as human beings that matter
But this contract has fallen severely short when it comes to Black Lives as demonstrated time and time again when tragedies at the hands of law enforcement are more often experienced by Black American lives and less often experienced by other American lives. That’s why the only response to “Black Lives Matter” is, “yes, they absolutely do matter.” No other flippant, dismissive, knee-jerk unthoughtful, foolishly un-clever counter response can ever be acceptable if you truly believe in the rights of all people regardless of skin color, if you truly believe in the words in our Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and if you truly want to celebrate our nation’s independence today as a proud American dedicated to the self-rule and the rights of all people.
So, let’s celebrate our 4th of July, our Independence Day, 2020, in a social distancing safe way but also keeping this in mind: “Black Lives Matter” so that all lives can share in our inclusive American contract defined in our Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.”