How to Save our Democracy

Millions of people will have their rights taken away permanently if the GOP gains control. People MUST stand up. They MUST vote.

The MAGA dominated GOP has no use for Democracy as an institution. As detailed here and here, they fully intend to finish imposing a theocratic autocracy on the United States. We have only a short time remaining to save this country as a Democratic nation based on the rule of law.

The GOP is making no attempt to hide its plan nor its contempt for us, the citizens. Moves are already underway in many states to make abortion (including, in some cases, all past abortions) a crime, to eliminate gay marriage, criminalize LGBTQ behavior, outlaw contraception, and many more. If the GOP gets its way, they will enact laws to make these bans nationwide. And its very clear that the GOP-based Supreme Court will cheer them on and rubber stamp the elimination of any freedom not expressly documented in a Constitution written by slave-holding white plantation owners 200+ years ago.

There is only one opportunity to stop this from occurring. Democrats, Independents, and anyone from any party who believes in freedom MUST organize, turn out, and VOTE in 2022 against the GOP at every level, local, state, and Federal.

While is true that there are some Republicans who still believe in the rule of law, unfortunately they have become a minority in their party, and have no power. Instead, power is in the hands of the MAGA extremists who still spout the Trump lies and have no intent of ever giving up power if they achieve majority status in Congress. Indeed, in many states where they do wield power, they have so completely stacked the deck via gerrymandering that even when their party gets less votes they still retain power in the legislature. This is what autocratic minority rule looks like. The more power they obtain in the next election, the fewer free elections will ever occur in this country again.

The GOP knows that a majority of Americans does not agree with their agenda, but they are hoping that voters aren’t paying attention to what they are really doing. Their plan is that with gas prices up, inflation on the rise, and the stock market in free fall, Americans will blame the President and vote against the Democrats. This cannot happen. People must look beyond the day-to-day and see the big picture. Their very rights are at stake.

Millions of people will have their rights taken away permanently if the GOP gains control. People MUST stand up. They MUST vote.

  • If you believe in the rights of women – you MUST vote.
  • If you believe in the right to love anyone you choose – you MUST vote.
  • If you believe in the right to use contraception – you MUST vote.
  • If you believe in the right to worship as you wish – you MUST vote.
  • If you believe in the right to marry anyone of any race, creed, or gender – you MUST vote.
  • If you believe in the right of all citizens to vote – you MUST vote.
  • If you believe in the right to be free from senseless gun violence – you MUST vote.
  • If you believe in America – you MUST vote.

We ARE the true majority in this country. TOGTHER we can all protect our freedoms. Together we can defeat the MAGA-controlled GOP.

The Right’s Brilliant Master Plan

The pieces are all in place for the GOP to gain complete control of the US government over the next few years.

The Right has a brilliant master plan to take control of the United States in ways that reach far beyond anything before. The plan is composed of multiple interlocking elements that all work together to create a complete and seemingly unstoppable juggernaut. The plan is composed of the following key elements:

  1. Generate fear and hatred among lightly educated and poorly informed white people. There are many potential objects of fear: immigrants, muslims, blacks, Jews, hispanics, LBGTQ types, intellectuals, liberals, environmentalists, uppity women, socialists, hollywood elites, etc. The Great Replacement Theory that is so popular on Fox News wraps this all up in one tidy sentence. The beauty is that there are so many options and potential targets for your fear and hatred. You can even profess love for a few of the groups and still hate the others.
  2. Maximize the number of people who have guns, the power of those guns, and the lethality of those guns. Fear also plays a critical role here.
  3. Wrap the entire package in a quasi-religious set of eighteenth-century rights that have the effect of greatly reducing the chances that you or your children will be exposed to new and different (e.g. dangerous) ideas.
  4. Build a culture of lies so as to remove the dangerous viability of truth in any discussion. Call Fake News on those who speak truth. While Donald Trump is the absolute master of this element, there are many others who practice it with no shame or apologies.
  5. Promote autocratic leaders and countries as ideals to be envied and emulated. This eases the transition to their own planned autocratic form of government.
  6. Give the rich what they want – more money via little to no taxation, and the ability to protect themselves (see #2), so they will continue to fund all the other items even if they may not be fully onboard with the package.

Taken together, these policies have succeeded in created three archtypes of right wing converts:

  1. The mainstream Republican: This group, which constitutes 1/3 or more of American adults, is mostly onboard with the GOP agenda. They will vote Republican and if they have money and influence, will use it willingly. They tell themselves that they aren’t racists, but deep down, most of them are.
  2. The radical MAGA Right: This group, which before Trump was no more than a few percent of Americans, is now 10% or more and growing. What’s worse, many of these people have been elected to political office and many more are currently running to do so. This group has fully bought into the entire GOP agenda, and they are so radicalized that they don’t believe in the true exercise of democratic rights. They use the Great Lie that the 2020 election was stolen as the means to set themselves up to steal future elections. They believe in suppressing the vote, and if necessary, changing votes. They believe in storming the halls of government, kidnapping elected officials, stopping vote counts, etc.
  3. The MAGA Terrorists: This group is small but growing every day. They have lost all sense of reality, and are so radicalized by hate and fear that they will kill for their cause. Every time one of them commits mass murder in the name of the GOP, more are radicalized to this concept and the cycle repeats. The existence of this group is not an unintended consequence, rather the pinnacle of the GOP plan. The terror it creates is useful to the GOP in creating ever more fear. Today it is undirected and random. Soon, they will explicitly direct it.

The pieces are all in place for the GOP to gain complete control of the US government over the next few years. They are already in the process of destroying voting rights at the state level. The right to an abortion is about to disappear. Making abortions illegal will follow. LBGTQ rights will also be eliminated. By controlling the Supreme Court, they will continue to eliminate rights of those who oppose them, and put more guns in the hands of more zealots. By controlling elections, and increasing domestic terrorism, they will consolidate power to eliminate democracy in all but name. Then will come the next wave of repressive laws: rolling back the rights of women, LBGTQ, blacks, non-Christians, etc.

Although Donald Trump played a major role in bringing this plan to life, it is now much bigger than him. The next generation leaders of this GOP takeover are already in place: in right-wing news, Governorships, Congress, the Senate, and in every state legislature. This group needs Trump, but they realize that he’s too narcssisitic and dumb to play more than a cheerleader’s role. The next generation of committed, ruthless and smart GOP leaders are jockeying on all fronts to take control. Make no mistake that they are ready and waiting to take total and complete power. Their goal is to create a Christian dictatorship in which they control every act, and if possible, every thought of the powerless masses.

The GOP plan, evil as it is, can be stopped. It will take the courage of Democrats, political independents, and those Republicans who still believe in democracy. Voters must not be deceived into thinking this election is about mundane issues such as inflation or vaccines. This election is about freedom. If you believe in democracy, there will only be one chance to save it. Make your voice heard. Organize. Speak up. Protest. Most importantly, VOTE in 2022. Vote against the GOP and all it stands for.

They are Coming for You

What we’ve seen so far is just the beginning.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller

These words were spoken by a a German Lutheran Minister who was imprisoned by the Nazis in the 1930s.

As the Fascist-leaning Christian White Nationalist Republicans continue in their quest to control American society as a minority party, these words are relevant today like never before.

  • If you are African-American or believe that Black lives matter as much as any other lives – They are coming for you.
  • If you are Hispanic – They are coming for you.
  • If you are an immigrant from a non-Aryan (i.e. “shithole”) country – They are coming for you.
  • If you are Jewish or Muslim – They are coming for you.
  • If you practice any religion other than a Christian fundamentalist version – They are coming for you.
  • If you practice no religion at all – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe that all citizens should be able to vote without interference – They are coming for you.
  • If you are registered as a Democrat or are known to have Democratic sympathies – They are coming for you.
  • If you consider yourself LGBTQ+ – They are coming for you.
  • If you support the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to live their lives without discrimination – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe that climate change is an existential threat – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe that all humans have unalienable rights – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe Corporations and billionaires should pay their fair share of taxes – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.) – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe that women have the same rights as men – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe in following the lead of Science in masking and vaccinating to reduce the deadly Covid pandemic – They are coming for you.
  • If you believe in the right of women to control their own bodies – They are coming for you.
  • If you have ever had an abortion – They are coming for you.

In short, their vision is that this country will be controlled by a White Christian Nationalist minority that will have near-total control over the government and will rewrite our laws in such a way that others will have virtually no rights. It will be as if a Christian Taliban were to take control of the United States. Do all Republicans think like this? Of course not. But do those who think like this control the soul of the Republican Party? Unfortunately, yes they do.

The Republican Party has succeeded in installing the last three members of the Supreme Court (and five of the last seven), turning it into an an anti-voting rights, anti-citizen body that has already overseen the removal of many of our rights and is in the process of removing more of them. This gives then control of the powerful Judicial branch of our government.

Over the past few years, Republican led states have taken away rights from Americans. They’ve stripped voting rights, restricted the rights of local governments to enact laws related to gender equity, climate change, public safety, gun control, and education. What we’ve seen so far is just the beginning.

Now that are furiously trying to take away voting rights from as many people as possible, counting on “their people” to be the only ones who show up. They know they can’t win the majority of votes from all voters, so they control who can vote and therefore control the result. In case that isn’t enough, they are now putting biased mini-Trumps in control of elections so that they can directly manipulate the results after the fact.

And if the result of all this gives Republicans control of the Legislative branch, they will increase their assault on our freedoms and put themselves in positions of permanent power. If you believe in freedom in all its forms, you MUST register and you MUST vote for Democrats and against Republicans. We must preserve our freedoms in every way legally possible. The alternative is that we lose it all.

The Mob is Unleashed

President Donald Trump and his GOP friends  explicitly state that the Democrat mob will take control if the Democrats win in November and that America is in danger.

We are in danger from mob violence. But the source of danger is just the opposite from what he claims. The Trump-inspired mob is growing more visible, more brazen, and more dangerous every day. The examples are too numerous to count – whites calling the police or assaulting on law-abiding blacks or Muslims, men assaulting women because Trump said it was OK, right-wing white celebrities uttering racially insensitive comments, Proud Boy Fascist thugs beating up anti-Trump protestors, and many more.

Now it has reached a new level. The mail bomber arrested in Florida was an ardent Trump supporter who had acted to eliminate those who he perceived were on Trump’s Enemies List. Cesar Sayoc is just one example of the true danger to our country created by Trump and his vitriolic language. Make no mistake: this was an attempt by a MAGA disciple to undermine our Democracy by decapitating one of our political parties. The fact that this domestic terrorist was incompetent is just a fluke. Plenty of his extremist right-wing predecessors, including Timothy McVeigh, Dylan Roof, Steven Paddock and others have succeeded in their terrorist attempts.

There are 10’s of thousands of die-hard Trump supporters who believe that the rules of a Christian society and the laws of this country do not apply to them. They will do everything in their power to enable the President-for-Life desire of Donald Trump and an end to our Democracy. They have guns, bombs, and the tacit support of the Republican Party, Fox News, Breitbart, Limbaugh, and their ilk. This mob of modern-day Brownshirts are are still a small minority of Americans but their voice is stronger than ever because of their support from the GOP and its allies. Unlike the caravan of refugees from Central America, or heavily vetted immigrants from Muslim countries, these Trump-worshipping domestic terrorists pose a clear and present danger to our Democracy.

We, the People, must stop them before its too late. Now is the time. We must vote for Democrats who will take back our Country from Trump and the Fascists.

The Last Chance to Save our Country?

The election of 2018 may be the last chance to save the United States from the forces that are acting to destroy our 230-year old democracy.

Donald Trump expressed his intentions many times when he was running for President. He likes to say: “Promises made, promises kept”. And indeed many of his promises are coming true:

  • He promised to overturn Roe v. Wade. This promise is about to come true.
  • He promised to stop the flow of immigrants – be they Mexican or Muslim. This promise is slowly coming true – including family separations, and continuing efforts to build the wall.
  • He promised to eliminate regulations which hamper business. This promise is leading to the elimination of regulations that protect our air, water, food, pharmaceuticals, and everything else we buy.
  • He said that “Climate Change is a hoax”, and promised to halt all US efforts to address climate change. He has succeeded in removing us from the Paris agreement and in pushing us ever further into the embrace of fossil fuels.
  • He promised to punish China. And his sledgehammer approach has punished millions of Americans as collateral damage.
  • He promised to “Repeal and Replace Obamacare”. While that didn’t work out his way, he has instead worked to slowly dismantle and cripple the Affordable Care Act.
  • Mr Trump repeatedly told his supporters that every single undocumented immigrant – of which there are 11.3 million – “have to go”. Although they are no where reaching 11 million, ICE is rounding up and deporting people by the hundreds.

These efforts are slowly turning the US into a Police state. A place where the rights of Women, Blacks, LGBT, non-Christians, and indeed all Americans who don’t agree with him are being threatened. And the Republican-led Congress has no interest in taking him on.

So what else does he want to do?

  • He promotes racial separation and violence. By refusing to condemn the KKK and Nazis, he has given such groups a license to attack others. Trump-loving hate groups such as the Proud Boys now attack others on the street with impunity.
  • He has stated that 3 million people voted illegally in 2016, and he set up an advisory Commission of Election Integrity – with the intent of reducing the voting rolls. While the commission has disbanded, Trump still wants to reduce voting rights.
  • Mr Trump said he would approve waterboarding “immediately” and “make it also much worse”, adding “torture works”. Only strong words from his Cabinet members (most of whom are now gone) forced him to back down.
  • Trump calls the Press “the enemy of the people” and said: “What you are seeing and reading in the media is not what’s happening”. He has repeatedly called for new laws to limit what the press can say.
  • When talking to Chinese President Xi, he said: “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. . . And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”

In short, Donald Trump has, in two years as President, damaged this country to the core. But he wants to do so much more. Think of the damage he could do if he has two more years of control of all three branches of government. He will have a great chance to accomplish his many other goals –  including his primary goal of cementing his hold on power so that he can eventually become “president for life” e.g. Dictator.

There is only one force that stands in the way of Trump gaining so much power that he will destroy our democracy. That force is the will of the people. But that force will likely be rendered meaningless unless it is used now – in the upcoming election.

It takes courage to vote. But it took more courage to face the British at Trenton or the Japanese on Guadalcanal. The courage of the men who fought those battles helped created the America we know today. We are now engaged in a different kind of battle, but it is no less vital to the future of the United States. All those who believe in America must find the will and the courage to vote for Democrats who will defend it from the greatest threat of this generation.

 

Michelle Obama is Wrong

Michelle Obama is wrong. On October 11, 2018, she said: “Fear is not a proper motivator.” As noble as that sentiment might be, it is wrong. Donald Trump has proven to the entire world that fear is an excellent motivator. He has motivated his base by stoking fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, fear of the free press, and now – fear of all Democrats. And as a result, his party controls all elements of the United States government.

Now the vast majority of Americans have much to fear.

We fear that the norms of civil discourse and respect in our society are decaying – with the President modeling behaviors that nobody would want of their children.

We fear that society is becoming more unequal – with the 1% gaining more money and power and the remainder of us fighting for the dregs.

We fear that our healthcare options will be stripped away, leaving us unable to afford decent healthcare and financially vulnerable to a health crisis.

We fear that rights that are protected by the Constitution are being systematically stripped away by the Republican dominated Legislative and Judicial branches.

We fear that Women’s rights are being eroded, at first slowly, but now with increasing speed and severity.

We fear that the regulations that protect our food, water, the goods we buy, and the services we use are being rolled back in ways that jeopardize our safety and security.

We fear that pollution and greenhouse gasses are destroying the planet’s ability to support life for future generations.

We fear that people who are non-white, non-christian, or non-hetero will be discriminated against or worse with no legal recourse because the courts are not supportive.

We fear that those who have money and power can do as they please with disregard for the law and human decency with no repercussions.

We fear that those who speak up about the abuse they have suffered will be humiliated, dismissed, and hounded by the self-appointed right wing trolls.

We fear that the very fabric of our society has been torn, and it is only getting worse.

But we can’t let fear paralyze us. There is still time for hope and goodness to prevail. But the window of time is closing. The longer that Republicans control the levers of government, the more damage they can do.

Historians will look back on the past two years as a very dark time in American history. This election will decide whether that darkness will deepen and our democracy will fall further into the abyss, or whether the people will take back their country and begin the long climb back to the land of the free and home of the brave. All Patriots MUST VOTE. Nothing is more important.

 

Criminalizing Abortion

It is obvious that the Supreme Court is nearly evenly divided between liberals and conservatives. When abortion was declared legal in 1973 by the famous 7-2 Roe v. Wade decision, the court was much more liberal in its makeup. Four members of the court are now 70 or older (two liberals and two conservatives). It’s very likely that one or more of them will be leaving the bench in the next three years.

Donald Trump has already appointed one conservative to the Supreme Court, and if there is a vacancy, another conservative will certainly be appointed. And there are plenty of Republican-backed states who will quickly develop cases that will test the law.

Within a short time, Roe v. Wade would be struck down and states would be free to enact legislation banning a woman’s right to choose. At least seven already have such laws on the books ready to go into force. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade] Others will follow. The result will be a return to the 60s. Women will die from botched self-abortions and backroom hacks. Millions of unloved, unwanted babies will be born, ending up poor, uneducated, and very likely in prison.

But there’s more. The Republican war on women continues.

While a candidate for the Presidency, Donal Trump said “There has to be some form of Punishment” for women who have abortions [https://www.vox.com/2016/3/30/11333472/trump-abortions-punishment-women].  Although he was later told to back off on the statement, this is the real goal of conservatives. Some states are now in the process of enacting legislation declaring abortion to be murder. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, these will also become law. Think of the result – since there is no statute of limit on murder – anyone who had a legal abortion in the past could be charged with Murder – and since the abortion was clearly premeditated – First degree murder, which in some states is punishable by death. Anyone living in those states, or anyone who might travel to those states could be arrested, tried for murder, convicted and executed.

Think it won’t happen? Do you trust Donald Trump?