August 31, 2017

Of Revolutions Past and Future...

American school children are taught about the American Revolution - the Boston Tea Party, the Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence, Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, Valley Forge, the crossing of the Delaware - the whole glorious chronicle of our colonial forefathers' rebellion against tyranny.

Indeed, it may be that the American Revolution is an American child’s first encounter with history.

Yet much of what is taught is not entirely true. Indeed, perhaps more than any defining moment in American history, the War of Independence is swathed in beliefs not borne out by facts.

One common myth is that Americans of all stripes took up arms out of patriotism.  In point of fact, many men preferred to remain home, leaving General Washington despairing of “compleating the army by Voluntary Inlistments.”

Indeed, mindful that volunteers had rushed to enlist when hostilities began, Washington predicted that “after the first emotions are over,” those who were willing to serve from a belief in the “goodness of the cause” would amount to little more than “a drop in the Ocean.”

Hence the ultimate conscription policies enforced across the colonies.

We are poised, I fear, on the brink of another such revolution, one that will likely be waged by those caught up in the kind of “first emotions” Washington referenced.

But neither their cause nor the end result will be liberty.

Our country is led today by an individual engaged in an ongoing, rarely-paused exercise in dividing and alienating the majority of Americans, while fueling the white-hot fire of his minority base.

Oligarchs demand dismantling regulations and cutting taxes for the wealthy. Bannonites want no less than the deconstruction of the State. The religious right crave conservative Supreme Court justices. Blue-collar voters quixotically imagine reviving waning industries. The lunatic fringe - the white nationalists, supremacists, racists, Nazis - see Trump as a means to realize their perverted world view.

And he has embraced this twisted tribe.

Indeed, it would seem he is in the process of raising an army of sorts, and he doesn’t need conscription, and they are remarkably well-armed: According to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action - “Each month of Trump’s presidency has seen over two million firearm-related background checks.   Unprecedented.

Why?  Why is he doing this?

Well, should something emerge from Mueller’s investigation that implicates Trump and poses a threat to his tenure, he’ll likely position any attempt to remove him from office as a political coup.

While the oligarchs and sell-out “establishment” Republicans will likely – finally - abandon him, his base will embrace him.  Those with weapons or simply unhinged or otherwise disenfranchised - the ones he keeps encouraging and applauding - will not forsake him.

The lunatic fringe will see attacks on Trump as attacks on themselves.  

If Trump tells them that the “establishment” is acting unfairly and conspiratorially to remove from office their last and only champion — which he would have them believe — the likelihood of revolt, of revolution, is quite real.

We can only hope that such "revolutionaries" will be met with more than Washington’s “drop in the ocean,” lest unborn generations of children are indoctrinated with all-new and much more sinister myths than those that stem from America's first Revolution.

February 14, 2017

This is a Call… (Whither America?)

Ok, so this may be a bit {understatement} of a departure from past posts.

{Reminder: All opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone}.

It should come as a surprise to virtually no-one that our nation is divided, painfully so.

The division is not between R’s and D’s, but between haves and have-nots. 

The challenge is, of late, that the latter, in some cases knowingly, in others not, have harnessed themselves to a fatally-flawed leader, understandably so in terms of the rhetorical “manna” he floated from on-high.

The 2016 campaign and election was not pretty.  On the D side, we saw an idealistic interloper derailed by a political machine.  On the R side, we saw a political machine derailed by an idealistic interloper.

On balance, I’d say that we, as a nation, got the worst possible outcome.

Whereas Hillary would have preserved the status quo – not necessarily a good thing, mind you - Trump represents the erratic unknown, based on his historical personality and actions and associates.

I do not believe that Trump can possibly maintain office for four years, short of undoing the Constitution and all of the rights associated with it, e.g. the end of America as we know it.

He is an impulsive, divisive, addled, inflammatory, personally-absorbed individual that might as easily fry the planet as not.

That is not a partisan statement.

{dramatic pause}

America is at a post-partisan moment in time.

What do we do now?

Meh, what do we NOT do now?

Attacking Trump is not the answer.  He is well-aware that his mandate is weak and growing weaker with each random whim he projects.  The more he is attacked, the faster he will seek to undermine the Constitutional provisions that protect us as citizens, the faster he will seek to cement control.

{Oh, and don’t take that as forgiveness for the abominable violations of our rights as citizens promulgated by the Obama Administration, as inherited from the Cheney Administration, and further enhanced upon}.

Rallying to the D’s is not the answer.  They are equally-compromised, if less erratic (which does, however, promise some near-term comfort).

The answer is something new. 

This will not be a quick fix.

Whether you are a have or have-not, whether you may identify yourself as either, or even have the faintest clue what I am talking about, America is imperiled.

The two-party system is broken.  Both parties are ultimately managed by those that contribute, those that have mountains of cash, those that have real (e.g. money) power. 

Trump hijacked one of those two parties, and it has, temporarily, bowed/cowed, to his control.

Either he ultimately capitulates (unlikely), or he takes us to the edge.

The answer is: Reject them both.

This is the digital age.  Anyone reading this is likely of the digital generation.  You guys aren’t cowed by anything.  Push back. 

Reject Trump with emails, tweets, DDOS, whatever mechanisms possible to undermine his ability to further hijack our nation.

Don’t succumb to the “opposition” (D’s) as you’ll only enable a different flavor of the challenge (albeit at least a near-term safer one).

Unite yourselves.  You know how to do this.  You do it all of the time, via social media or otherwise, for any number of purposes.  Your aggregate voice is greater than that which supported either establishment candidate.

It’s your country now.

Stop him at each step. 

Stop him from marginalizing the Judiciary. 

Stop him from appointing Supreme Court Justices that will crush your personal freedoms and rights. 

Stop him from undoing the multiculturalism that defines America. 

Stop him from fear-mongering us into conflicts that could spiral out of control into global catastrophe.

Again, do not allow yourselves to be co-opted into the “opposition.”  

Craft your own future, your own coalition; promote America’s upside, not downside.  Think for yourselves – sh*t, it’s what you do.

The old model is broken.  Two and four year cycles are broken.  They may be reborn at some point, but now is not the time to wait, because too much waiting may mean opportunity stolen.

Speak, and act, now.  Now.  We don’t have to take this lying down.  Those are yesterday’s rules.

This is a call…