I‘m from the Heartland, from the lakes and woods of Minnesota. I lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin for almost all of the first half century of my life and I turn to you who make your lives working hard in the woodlands and farmlands and towns big and small and ask you, for goshsakes, can we unite and end this godawful Trump experiment?
There is a chemical, norepinephrine, released into our brains that dials us toward alertness but also potential anxiety. When we sleep and hit the dream state, it is dialed way back in our brain and we can wander mentally in whatever our subconscious ways we do. But if traumatic emotional residuals push it back into our brain we have nightmares. This Trump business is the longest lucid nightmare in our country’s collective mind and it’s time to wake up and smell the 25th Amendment.
Failing is one thing—Trump has done so many times but haven’t we all? This goes way past that into literally mortal danger for millions. This man literally is taunting another fake leader over in North Korea, daring him to kill your children so he can obliterate another country full of humans. My button is bigger than your button? Is this a bad episode of Get Smart? Who writes his material? Oh, that’s right, he does, at least the spontaneous stuff.
Artful Dodger Stephen Miller does his real speeches, you know, where he says things that include multisyllabic Latinate phrases and more literate insults. One wonders, by now, when Miller will join Steve Bannon in the Sad (!) affinity cloister of vindictive tell-all ad hominem Bromance Breakups.
This Trump business is the longest lucid nightmare in our country’s collective mind and it’s time to wake up and smell the 25th Amendment.
After millions of Americans working so hard to make progress in slowing climate chaos, and to recover from floods and fires intensifying from climate change, Trump is doing everything possible to accelerate toward more and worse hurricanes, bigger and more destructive forest fires, more frequent and massive floods, and the rising seas which will wipe out entire coastal cities. Inundation nation. I mean, when National Geographic, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and so many of the staid button-down institutions we trust are all—all—clamoring for some return to a bit of progress against this backslide, can we please recall what Mo Udall said years ago, “Nature bats last.”
I’m old and have enjoyed my decades. Everything now, however, is at risk for the young ones, and that is the crime against humanity being perpetrated right now, with clear intent, by an outlaw regime that just led us into a new tax-you-for-his-benefit era. I think about my favorite little ones—three-year-old Amolika, four-year-old Oliver, and five-year-old Xyler—plus a lot of other precious children—and I know you worry for your favorite small ones too.
This is bizarre beyond belief as we are treated to one shallow bit of petulant braggadocio after the next. He governs by immature, trash-talking tweets, calling himself “a very stable genius.” Is he 12? Indeed, I know no 12-year-old who is like this. By that age, most have learned humility and empathy. Not our Dear Leader.
Can we fix this? I think it will take the folks from across the US who are represented by rock-ribbed Republicans to handle it. Trump is highly unpopular across the country but this is not reflected in our embarrassing reality. Politics are one thing; playing with fire and fury and the fate of millions is another. It’s like watching a toddler pick up a loaded unlocked handgun, except this is a global gun, literally. This is a moment in the history—and especially in the future—of the country and the people. A moment of unity. If we can’t join to terminate this poor rule and go forward together there may not be much left to worry or disagree about.
Of course, it’s not quite as simplistic as those guys portray. Most of us don’t slide neatly into a slot. I don’t, and you probably don’t either. If you don’t fit, can you play? If you don’t subscribe to the entire ball of liberal or conservative wax will they let you on the Culture Wars battlefield?
I mean, I’m a peacenik but I’m a redneck. I’m anti-racist and I despise violent rap. I’m a professor but I’ve probably hung more sheetrock and taped it out (OK, back in my 20s and 30s) than 99 percent of Rush’s listeners. I’m a pacifist but I awake from dreams of turning over Donald Trump to ISIS. I believe in nonviolence but I’m just an old hockey player from Minnesota. I love diversity but I can’t stand religion that imposes its beliefs on the rest of us. It goes on.
And I’ll wager that in your lives and in your hearts, every single reader is just as complex in your own outstandingly unique way.
Can we all emerge, somehow, from our mega-binary zero-sum tried-judged-sentenced baskets of deplorables and America-haters to witness the truth that we share so much more than we don’t?
So, can we all emerge, somehow, from our mega-binary zero-sum tried-judged-sentenced baskets of deplorables and America-haters to witness the truth that we share so much more than we don’t? (OK, with the possible exceptions of billionaires and politicians who work incessantly if incoherently to divide us in order to rule over us?)
We all generally love our families.
We all generally love the freedoms of our country.
We all generally get annoyed when government tells us what to do.
We all generally wish the rest of the world well unless they don’t wish us well.
We all wish the best future for our children, our grandchildren, and, if possible, for every other child.
We all generally want fairness.
I’m certain there is a way we can meaningfully unite, and not in a war against The Other overseas or south of the border. Is there one struggle all Americans can see as worthy that is also not harmful to anyone else? That might be our chance to unite and to force our pathologically antipathetic parties to also join forces. If for no other reason than to break out of our culture war for a minute, it would be a worthy exercise, in my humble opinion.
The elites are clearly, demonstrably, incapable and incompetent to achieve this. Can we do it from the bottom up? Maybe health care for all? Maybe clean energy with lots more jobs? Maybe full employment with retraining scholarshipsfor all? Oh, SNAP! Maybe a mortgage insurance guarantee for all working families so they will never lose their homes? Or something different, something smarter than I have thought of? I want to believe we are capable, we are a functional culture, and that our creativity can outperform the elite successes in dividing us.
Am I right? Am I just a naive dreamer? Or can we have some friendly culture competition rather than these wars that are giving us the likes of Roy Moore, Donald Trump, Rush Limbaughand, I guess, gay socialist liberal jihadis on the other side of the gaping beaten zone between the trenches?
OK, I’m just a peace guy. I am not an Alex “no-conspiracy-too-nutty-for-me” Jones (like Trump is, for godsakes). In fact, when I edited The PeaceWorker for a few years, there were sincere attempts to have me fired for refusing to print the Dick-Cheney-did-it 9.11.01 conspiracy theories. I wanted some red meat–well, as a vegetarian, I guess I wanted some seared tofu–on my plate. Never got it. (Yes, I see the eager hands go up, I’m just saying there were no real journalists who had significant evidence published and those of us who have been activists for a few decades know from burnt finger regret not to make half-baked claims because they will damage one’s credibility.)
I also never claimed that Paul Wellstone was assassinated by the same CheneyRumsfeldBush cabal, despite enormous circumstantial evidence, including how amazingly handy it was for that flock of vultures right at that time. There were just too few real pieces of evidence.
So I am not much of a conspiracy guy (which, to real hardcore tinfoiler devotees, seals my fate and positively makes me a part of the conspiracy. I am aware.).
Now, however, I do subscribe to the notion that Russia interfered with the US election on Trump’s behalf. It passes all of my sniff tests. It does not move the BS needle on my Truthometer. Putin put Trump in office. All the meetings, the indictments, the lies from Trump and his family and so much more are overwhelming. It’s Mueller Time, as they say.
Yes, Hillary conspired, unwittingly, with her own iniquitous collusion to bump off Bernie and with her bloodstained foreign policy record. Like so many, I voted for her as a purely defensive and highly emetic act.
As expected, Trump is drastically worse in virtually every way, from health care-as-privilege domestic to oinker-in-the-China-shop foreign policy. A rhinoceros has more sensitivity and finesse. A salad roll has thicker skin.
The notion that Vladimir Putin interfered massively in our election is hardly out of character for that autocratic murderous charlatan and anyone who denies this is sadly sliding into his useful idiot bin. God, he has collected many.
Does understanding that Putin has hijacked the White House make us more likely to go to nuclear war?
Name the meddlesome crime of collaboration with foreign election tampering and impeach this imposter, this embarrassment, this pimple on the hindparts of democracy.
Oh for Pete’s sake! Wake up, lefties. Smell the sovereignty–Trump gave it away and we need it back. Putin is hardly going to press the End-Life-On-Earth button because he has been busted for effing up our election. Name the meddlesome crime of collaboration with foreign election tampering and impeach this imposter, this embarrassment, this pimple on the hindparts of democracy.
Putin will just watch Trump implode, laugh, and say it was a good tryski. We won’t go down in thermonuclear omnicide (well, we might, but not due to this), but failure to see this external interference is a failure to hitch it up to our work to take back our democracy (yes, again, I see the hands shoot up to remind us that the US has done worse than merely interfere with democracy elsewhere–it has overturned it in places like Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Chile and so forth, but that is part of the point, friends).
Do not doubt that our democracy is hovering in the balance. It needs you or it is through. In my nearly 70 years on this amazing Earth I have never witnessed a more dire, urgent, immediate threat to what we are rightly enculturated to love, the freedom of the USA, even with all its warts, its flaws, nefarious chapters, its lack of perfection.
I’m the first to resist our national terrible policy and I have the arrest record to prove it, but this is still my country and yours too, and we have a greedhead fake president who took foreign help to steal the highest office in our land. It is time to act. Impeach. And keep impeaching until we get an executive branch that hasn’t sold out democracy.
To paraphrase and tweak Malcolm X, we need to fix this “by any [nonviolent] means at our command,” and to note the quotable Winston Churchill, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. I dare you to try to find another sentence quoting those two together, but this is a real emergency! Saddle up, Americans.