Category: Politics

Weird Scenes #118: The Lighter Side of Covid

Weird Scenes #118: The Lighter Side of Covid

 

Bernie Farber (L) and the author, as feckless hippies

My dear friend Bernie Farber has been in a nursing home for a few weeks, recovering from an accident. Bernie and I go way back – and I mean way, way back, almost 52 years when we were both bratty young writers for the fabled “underground” newspaper, the Chicago Seed. A smart, funny, dedicated guy who just happens to be a brilliant writer. I rarely reread my old stuff, but I reread his.

When I first heard he was in a nursing home, I felt a strong sense of dread followed by a wistful wave of nostalgia. For the past nine months just about the worst place one could be, Covid-wise, was in a nursing home. We’ve got better procedures now, but thankfully we now have the vaccine. By “we” I mean Bernie; he’s slightly older than I am, but folks in such environs will be getting the shot before I do and that is quite fair. As a science fiction fan and a lawyer who quotes from Star Trek, Bernie has no problem welcoming the shot.

Mindy Newell (R) and the legendary Trina Robbins

The nostalgia part kicked in when I realized Bernie was one of the last people I had seen before the quarantine. I was back home this past February, which now seems like a century ago, and I saw Bernie the day before I drove back to the Atlantic Northeast. When I got home my daughter put barbed wire around the doors and I haven’t been out of state, or even out of the house but for my car, ever since. Ah, the good old days!

Another friend who will be getting the shot around the time this is posted is comics writer/editor/groundbreaker Mindy Newell. That’s because in her secret identity Mindy is an operating room nurse, and that makes her a first responder, so she gets the shot so she can go on saving other people’s lives. Coincidentally, Mindy also is a Star Trek quoting science fiction fan. Talk about “live long and prosper,” huh?

Batman and Robin meet Sammy Davis Jr, sans 7 Hoods

So I want to thank Bernie and Mindy and the thousands of highest-risk folks out there who are, as a matter of fact, our beta testers. I trust the process by which this vaccine was approved, but, still, I figure the first person who used a parachute had thoughts when he first looked down. Science is not faith-based. If you’re among the first to get the jab, you’re opening some important doors for the rest of humanity, as well as for your friends and family.

I have no doubt that there will be so many celebrities taking the shot in public this week you’d think it was being given by Batman and Robin while they were Bat-roping it up the side of a building. Most of our former presidents, arguably save one, will be getting it – Democrats and Republicans alike. Prominent doctors will be going on-camera, starting with Anthony Fauci, putting their money where their mouths are. We’ll probably see a lot of show business folks doing the same thing. That’s great: we need something in the neighborhood of 75% of us to get inoculated before we can pull the death count down, and we all should get the shots as soon as each of us can.

The Multi-Colored Rainbow Religious Sacrament

However, I can predict some of those who will not. Some will bitch about religious freedom, but these people are self-serving assholes. We don’t let Mormons do their polygamy thing, we don’t permit those whose faith structures indulge in human or animal sacrifice to do their thing, and only members of the Native American Church can use their faith as a reason to score some peyote. Religious freedom stops where the next person’s freedom begins – and vice versa.

Some of the death-loving idiots who will refuse to get the vaccine will be seen on television on January 20, 2021 when, unless plans change, our former president Donald Orange Skull will have a massive Loser Rally in his newly adopted home state of Florida, the retirement home of Al Capone and Ted Bundy. Given the fact that some 74,000,000 American racists voted for the lying piece of shit, I think it is safe to assume that almost all of them will refuse to wear a mask, will not engage in social distancing, will decline to get the vaccine, and/or will be carrying handguns.

So I figure around February 1st, which henceforth I shall call February Fool’s Day, the rabid right will have more of its best and brightest lying in bags in refrigerated trucks.

You know what? I’m fine with that. I make my own bed.

 

Weird Scenes #117: If Elvis Can Do It, So Can You

Weird Scenes #117: If Elvis Can Do It, So Can You

Between the politicians polarizing power trips / We’re just too pure and peaceful to decide / So we got our heads together while the planet fell to bits / Now the one side left to take is suicide / We are lemmings / We are crazies / We will feed our flower habits pushing daisies – Lemmings Lament, written by Paul Jacobs and Sean Kelly, 1972

O.K. I’ve had it with the Covid deniers. I mean, totally and to the point where I now believe it should be legal to shoot the unmasked. I call that self-defense, although if I were in Florida, I’d call it “Stand your ground.”

I’ve also had it with the anti-vaxxers, but I’ve been on that page for quite a while now. In this case, I’m a bit more sympathetic. There are whole communities who have been taught that government vaccine programs were evil, and in a few but incredibly important cases, they are right. I get that. And I suspect that many of those same people are just as tired of going to funerals as I am – virtual funerals truly are the worst.

Nonetheless, these folks are taking an unnecessary risk. I’ve said I’ll take the shots as soon as I can after Dr. Anthony Fauci gets one. Now that presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Biden are turning the event into a 2021 supergroup, I’ll even stand in line to get it.

This brings to mind a story, one which should lighten the mood a bit.

Back in the middle of the last century, we had a serious polio epidemic, also known as infant paralysis, because it primarily (but not exclusively) affected children. 58,000 cases were reported in 1952 killing more than 3,000 and crippling tens of thousands. It was a very big deal, believe me. I was born in 1950 and I clearly remember the hysteria that enveloped our nation during the first half of that decade… particularly as it was my ox that was getting gored. Polio had killed or maimed a horde of people since it was first noticed in 1894, and the medical mechanics industry shifted its efforts towards building very small iron lungs in an attempt to save these babies and children. Continue reading “Weird Scenes #117: If Elvis Can Do It, So Can You”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #070: Vince McMahon Can Twitch My Ass

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #070: Vince McMahon Can Twitch My Ass

As the seasons turn, and we remain locked indoors, awaiting the eventual end of the plague (either the coronavirus or Donald Trump’s presidency… I’ll take the end of either at this point)… I’m left once again watching professional wrestling. Since the beginning of the pandemic, both the WWE and AEW have chosen ways to bring back the crowds. AEW is selling a very small amount of tickets for socially-distant, attendee-testing-at-the-gate fans to enjoy tapings of AEW Dynamite in Daley’s Place (the amphitheater at the base of the stadium where the Jacksonville Jaguars play). The WWE has opted instead to drain Orlando of its power grid by way of their Thunderdome “stadium” — with the arena where the Orlando Magic play basketball now housing the ring, and an insane amount of LED boards where a virtual audience and piped-in crowd noise are filmed during their tapings.

This weird new normal has created some interesting times — if perhaps some less-than-stellar product. But some pro rasslin’ is better than none. I’m not apt to complain there. Something happened not long ago in the WWE though, that has caused me to sour that much more to their ever-dwindling-in-quality-product. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #070: Vince McMahon Can Twitch My Ass”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #113: Blame The Pollsters?

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #113: Blame The Pollsters?

I get it. We want to have the election results at, roughly, 7:01 PM Eastern Time on election night. More so this year — the Blues want their long national nightmare to come to an end, and the Reds want to get back to uncovering pederasts in the basements of Democratic Party pizza parlors. We all have important stuff to do.

So we’ve got to find a meaningful way to twiddle our thumbs. We can blame Covid for screwing up the process, but we really don’t want to piss it off. We can blame long lines or rigged mail deliveries or drive-by militia members sorely deprived of pizza. Or, being a gaggle of pussies, we can do what we’ve been doing since Florida discovered Chads without Jeremys twenty years ago: we can blame the polls.

This is stupid. The polls are not the province of seers. They do not, and are not supposed to, tell you in advance who is going to win any election. If you’ve got money riding on the outcome, and I used to before my daughter started warning my marks, looking to the polls for relief is a waste of good mojo. The polls are nothing more than tools for political organizers and for reporters desperate to fill time or space. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #113: Blame The Pollsters?”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #112: My Slight Change In Plans

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #112: My Slight Change In Plans

There may come a day I will dance on your grave / If unable to dance I will crawl across it / Unable to dance I will crawl / Yeah, unable to dance I will crawl – “Hell In A Bucket” written by John Barlow, 1982.

As we have approached election day – both presidential and “off-year” – for the past 48 years I have been writing about why it’s important to vote. I have managed to squeeze in this biannual sermon no matter where my words were being published. I have even gotten away with it at DC Comics, as well as on the air whenever somebody was silly enough to stick a microphone near my lips.

This time I’m doing the same, but I’m tweaking my usual message a little bit. This year people are particularly pissed, paranoid and peaky – even more so than usual, and for good reason.

Machiavellian Mitch “Moscow” McConnell has stacked the Supreme Court with a gaggle of far right-wing gangsters who have no regard for the words in the United States Constitution and the principles that make America unique. The chances of getting a fair count next week are event smaller than they were four years ago, when a minority of voters overruled the majority and shoved an unqualified, obnoxious Mussolini wannabe down our throats. Together, the two managed to nearly destroy the America we were taught about in school… while nearly destroying the schools themselves.

They haven’t finished the job, but there is still time to stop them. We’ve got exactly five days.

People are so upset that upwards of 80 million have voted already, many waiting in line between two and ten hours or more to do so. That is more than the total number of votes cast when I started this braying back in 1972.

Not all these people are voting against the fascist takeover – some are right-wing and/or religious bigots who conflate Donald J. Trump with Jesus H. Christ. It has been my impression that neither Trump nor McConnell actually speak for Christ, but I’ll leave that to those who care. Their führer has been encouraging them to wait and vote in person on election day, so that his numbers at the time of poll closing will be at their best, relatively speaking, and then he can declare victory, even if it’s untrue.

The fact is, by the time most of us who follow this sort of thing go to bed next Wednesday morning, we are quite likely to be lacking an informed, educated guess as to the winners. We probably won’t have to wait as long as we did in 2000, but we might if the Republican zealots can once again throw this to the Supreme Court.

That, of course, will be a horror show, one that will piss off millions of people no matter how the ruling(s) go. And by “piss off,” I mean “Katie bar the door.” Once again, gun sales are up – and do not infer that these increased sales are to Trump enthusiasts such as the Proud Boys and Boogaloo Marching Chowderhead Societies.

Way back in paragraph two I said I was tweaking my message a bit. Well, a promise is a promise.

In my previous pleas I said that whereas I had (usually obvious) preferences, you should vote either way. I still believe that is the proper thing to do… but “proper” isn’t the same as “appropriate.”

Trump, McConnell and Company have gone to great lengths to put their truly racist and bigoted programs into effect. I won’t bother to enumerate as the list is greater than our bandwidth and, besides, if you’ve read this far you already have made up your mind about all that. You might want to rid this nation of Latinos, Muslims, LGBTQ Americans, abortion, young Blacks who do not know their place, health care, public schools, reasonable prices for life-saving prescription drugs, for-profit prisons, lower taxes for the bottom 99% of Americans, and all this talk about global warming. Your having such a desire is your prerogative. I’m not in favor of hiring brain police; you believe in what you want.

Just don’t be surprised, shocked or offended if the sane majority tends to consider you a racist, a bigot, a sexist, a science-denier, et al… because that’s what you’re voting for.

That is what you are.

Have a happy election day. Bring a book, and remember: it is illegal for anybody, for any reason, to attempt to intimidate or force you out of voting.

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind  #111: Conspiracy? 2 Years In 2 Hours – In 2 Parts!

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #111: Conspiracy? 2 Years In 2 Hours – In 2 Parts!

In this space yesterday, “we” began “our” marathon response to the question “since you were actually on the Chicago 7 Trial staff way back in the stone age, what did you think of Aaron Sorkin’s movie The Trial of the Chicago 7?” I provided the backstory to explain what the trial was all about and how it came to happen and ended that installment with the response “I have yet to see it.” Today, I shall attempt to explain why. Let’s see how that goes…

Part 2!

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.

Overall, I really like Aaron Sorkin’s work. His West Wing was brilliantly produced, written, and performed. Same thing with The Newsroom. His scripts for A Few Good Men and Charlie Wilson’s War were first-rate. I thought the pilot for his Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen — sadly, the show itself suffered from unanticipated problems. I desperately wanted to see his version of To Kill A Mockingbird on Broadway but, sadly, I am not independently wealthy. I have a rant-in-waiting about Broadway, but this isn’t the time.

So I’m sure I will see The Trial of the Chicago 7. Well, probably, but first I’ve got to vault over a few roadblocks. I’ll start with the Mt. Denali of speed bumps.

Yippies Anita Hoffman and Nancy Kurshan, burning a judge’s robe in front of the Chicago Federal Building 1970

Noted director King Vidor could not turn Leo Tolstoy’s 1440 page novel War and Peace into a two-hour movie. Planning for the 1968 Democratic National Convention demonstrations in Chicago had started before the beginning of that year, the subsequent Chicago 7 Trial ended about 26 months later, and the appeals process that reversed the few convictions and the ridiculous contempt of court sentences ended in 1972. I’m not sure a 20 hour series could have happened, but, damn, the teevee version of the NXIVM / Keith Raniere horror show was just picked up for a second season so, maybe.

What do you cut? It almost doesn’t matter. Too much important stuff happened in the courtroom to accurately put the story across in two hours. Moreover, not all of the important stuff happened in the courtroom. The public impact was felt on the streets and in the many demonstrations that occurred all over the world (Fun Fact: I spoke at many of them). It was felt in the media which, just like the Vietnam War, shifted away from blind support of the prosecution as the Trial progressed. It was felt in the offices of the Conspiracy Trial, a block and one-half east of the courtroom, and it was felt in college campuses all over the place. How people were moved by the Trial was more important than the courtroom’s political polemics.

The Trial was not going to set any game-changing judicial precedents. The government’s dog-and-pony show was too well orchestrated to allow that to happen, the response by the defense was predictably organic, and the loony actions of Judge Julius Hoffman (such as his granting government motions before the prosecution made them) could be, and was, attributed to his obvious mental health difficulties. Government persecution of those out to change the status quo was nothing new… and, you should note, did not end with the Trial.

The Chicago Seven — et al — did not hold the trial in order to make a political point. The trial was not our decision, and the defendants did not indict themselves. In other words, they started it and we reacted on our own terms. Did we try to turn the tables and show the affair for the mockery it was?

You bet your damn ass we did.

Abbie Hoffman once said to me, and I’m paraphrasing a little bit, that he could do a hand-stand in front of the Chicago Federal Building on his way to the courtroom and the media would report it as having been performed in court in front of the judge and the jury. That reflected a significant part of our operating philosophy in challenging the government. We never played the victim; offense is the best defense.

But something significant did happen in court that changed the world and validated the protest movements. The Trial went worldwide, but I think some important subtext was lost and, by now, forgotten.

I’m sure Sorkin covered how Bobby Seale was treated. He was put on trial without a lawyer. His attorney was recovering from major surgery. Julie Magoo decided to assign Kunstler and Weinglass, who represented the others, as Bobby’s lawyer. Seale rejected that and demanded he represent himself, each of which being his right. When a prosecution witness was cross-examined, Bobby would get up to do his proper lawyerly activities. He acted calmly, quietly, and for a civilian professionally. Judge Hoffman lost his shit and, within a few days, had the defendant bound to his chair with a heavy gag stuffed into his mouth.

Oh, wait. Did I mention Bobby Seale was the only Black man among the eight defendants?

We could see the reaction in the tearful faces of several of the jurors. It was a reaction of horror, silently screaming “what the hell are you doing to this guy?” Moreover, you can see the reaction in the faces of several of the U.S. Marshalls in the courtroom. At least one of them later joined us at some of the rallies held outside of the Federal Building.

That moment, the moment Judge Julius Hoffman lost his mind, was the moment the government started losing its case.

But as you can see from our current dilemmas, the government did not learn. Sociopathic megalomaniacs running and ruining the lives of common folk for the benefit of the few on top is nothing new, and the government will continue to do just that as long as they can.

Then, as now, the people’s constitutional right to protest was not recognized by the government. The only rights you have are the rights you successfully exercise, and if you do not stand up for those rights you have none at all. Remember that the next time a woman dies from a back alley abortion.

Remember that as you stand in line to vote.

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind  #110: Conspiracy? 2 Years In 2 Hours…

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #110: Conspiracy? 2 Years In 2 Hours…

Part One!

Over the past week or so, I’ve been inundated with emails, texts, Facebook messages, and the like asking for my reaction to Aaron Sorkin’s movie The Trial of the Chicago 7. It’s nice to get that attention, but I have yet to comment in public. Well, Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind allows me the opportunity to prattle to my friends without having to engage in redundant or even repetitive keyboard tapping.

For those who came in late, the Conspiracy trial (a.k.a. the Chicago 8 trial, a.k.a. the Chicago 7 trial) was a heavy-handed attempt by President Richard Nixon and Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1969 to intimidate, incarcerate, and obliviate the still-surging protest movement which, at that time, mostly was focused on opposition to the Vietnam War and on civil rights.

We believed the choice of the Democrat’s smoke-filled room, Hubert Humphrey, was a criminal warmonger. He was the vice-president who stood beside President Johnson and cheered him on knowing, as L.B.J. knew beyond a doubt, that the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that turned the Vietnam conflict into a full-blown war was complete and utter bullshit. My source on that is Johnson’s Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, who later copped to it in his memoir. This was confirmed by the NSA, among others. It’s a fact.

Combined, the Civil Rights and the anti-Vietnam war movements quickly led to a major reinauguration of the feminist movement, to the establishment of gay rights movement, as well as many other such programs that encouraged Americans to stand up for themselves.

It was a heady time to say the least. Those invested in the status quo do not like having their oxen gored. Yet they do not like to be revealed as the right-wing self-absorbed bigoted assholes they are. As Lenny Bruce said, “I’ve got to do business with” the common people.

So Nixon, Daley and their coconspirators hand-picked eight people they decided were leaders of the Democratic National Convention protests held in Chicago. The one where the whole world was watching the cops gas and beat lawful protestors, as well as the media, Women for Peace, Teachers for Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, unaffiliated hippies and aging beatniks, and gawking bystanders alike. Not to mention Jules Feiffer and Hugh Hefner.

A special commission was appointed to investigate what happened. Their Walker Report stated “The nature of the response was unrestrained and indiscriminate police violence on many occasions, particularly at night. That violence was made all the more shocking by the fact that it was often inflicted upon persons who had broken no law, disobeyed no order, made no threat. These included peaceful demonstrators, onlookers, and large numbers of residents who were simply passing through, or happened to live in, the areas where confrontations were occurring.”

This greatly upset ÜberDemocrat Mayor Daley. During the riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr four months earlier, Daley gave his police the authority “to shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail in his hand … and … to shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting any stores in our city.” This, too, upset him and he was not about to just ignore the Walker Report.

In the presidential election held shortly thereafter, ÜberRepublican Nixon squeezed out a victory beating Humphrey by seven-tenths of one percentage point. With that overwhelming mandate, Nixon decided to keep Daley’s Democratic hack federal attorney Tom Foran in office and they had eight radical “conspirators” prosecuted for conspiracy. In the words of defendant Abbie Hoffman, these eight, who had never met together previously, “couldn’t even agree on where to have lunch.”

(Full disclosure: I worked with and for Abbie during the trial and for a couple years thereafter. He personally financed the first comic book I ever published, Conspiracy Capers, edited by Skip Williamson as a fundraiser for the Trial. It’s a small world, ain’t it?)

I was on the staff of the Conspiracy Trial. I was one of the first four hired, and I focused on working with what was then referred to as the underground or alternative media, which was akin to the social media of today. I had a background in this stuff as I was on work-release from the journalism program at my college, at the time of the police riot I was a precocious and obnoxious lad of 18, and I had been on the staff of the Chicago Seed for, oh, several months. I also had been on the staff of the Chicago Defense Fund, an effort by a bunch of lawyers to deal with all the legal poo that happened in the wake of said police riot.

One of the things I did for the CDF when we heard these indictments were going to come down was research the backgrounds of that district’s federal court judges. I noted that one of them, Julius J. Hoffman (who looked like Mr. Magoo’s great uncle) was so right-wing, so paranoid and so asinine that, given the immutable laws of dialectics, he would be a great boom to the protest movement — although not-such-great news for whomever got indicted. For example, Julie Magoo had found the last 27 people (give or take) who came before him for avoiding the draft guilty as charged and sentenced most of them to the full term.

Judges are supposed to be selected by lottery so, as fate would have it, Julie Magoo was selected to run the trial in his Mies Van Der Rohe sculpted courtroom. The one Abbie referred to as “the neon oven.”

I was a participant in the Democratic Convention demonstrations and, as a reward for my effort, I enjoyed a ham-fisted police truncation across my left hip; I still suffer from the consequences 52 years later. But it helped me get myself ready for the year (start to finish) I spent on the Conspiracy Trial staff.

All this is why I’ve been asked by so many decent people what I thought of the Sorkin movie. To this, I respond:

I have yet see it.

I’ll tell you why tomorrow.

With Further Ado #117: Oh Demokratia! Voting is Your Super Power!

With Further Ado #117: Oh Demokratia! Voting is Your Super Power!

It’s a rainy day here and one of my first thoughts was, “Am I ready to stand out in the rain if it’s like this on Election Day?” And just yesterday the absentee ballots for my Mom and Dad arrived at their house. They’ll get them into the mail ASAP. It’s that kind of season. I think we’re all planning ahead on how to ensure that our vote counts.

Everywhere there seems to be a focus on it.  Even in this past Sunday’s Prince Valiant. The classic newspaper strip was created by Hal Foster and now capably continued by Mark Schultz and Thomas Yeates.  In this week’s adventure, Aleta, Queen of the Misty Isles, remarks upon a unique form of government she had heard about. It’s an idea where self-rule by the common folks.

“Oh, Demokratia!”, she exclaims. And they she remembers that the Greeks “tried it that centuries ago! It worked well for a time…but then the people grew lazy and timid, and decided to just let a tyrant do their thinking for them.” Continue reading “With Further Ado #117: Oh Demokratia! Voting is Your Super Power!”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind  #109: Constitution Much?

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #109: Constitution Much?

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. – The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment 1, enacted 1791, up for virtual repeal, Fall 2020.

Our Constitution is supposed to be the supreme law of our land, yet the above paragraph has never carried the full weight of law, certainly not as written. That’s a shame, as these 45 words are very specific, clear-cut, and quite elegant. They mean we can’t pass laws that favor individual religious philosophies, no matter how unpopular they may be, or laws that obstruct other religious philosophies, no matter how popular.

Freedom of religion always means freedom from somebody else’s religion: your right to exercise your religious beliefs ends where the next person’s religious rights begin, and so on to all 332,000,000 Americans. It does not say “except for Mormons, Santerians, Scientologists, Muslims, Jews, and whomever else offends the beliefs of those who run things.” Marginalizing them as “cults” is bigotry.

Therefore, Supreme Court designate Amy Coney Barrett is, arguably, the most unAmerican and most dangerous person in the nation today.

This is not because Ms. Barrett is conservative. Some of my best friends, as they say, are conservative. It is because she is fully committed to ramming her specific religious predilections down everybody else’s throats. According to the New York Times, she is a member of the People of Praise group and is accountable to a personal adviser, called a “head” if male and a “handmaid” if female. Husbands are the heads of their wives and therefore run the family. Current and former members say that these advisers direct all important decisions, including who its followers can date or marry, where they can live, whether to take a job, and how to raise their children. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #109: Constitution Much?”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind  #108: What The Hell?

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #108: What The Hell?

He is the president but wants to be the king / Know what I like about the guy? Not a goddamn thing / I want to know, how can four years seem so long? / Lord have mercy, what the hell is going on? — What The Hell?, written by Elvin Bishop, 2020

It’s not Trump. History tells us most dictators and despots are deposed after a while, one way or another. Mental and emotional basket cases in major positions of power such as our president have been a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, they’re like Kleenex. Pull one out, the next one pops up immediately.

This is because a certain percentage of our population is weak and incapable or unwilling to think for themselves. They possess a powerful need to feel superior to others, so they buy into a system of venomous bigotry that marginalizes and sub-humanizes various groups of people they deem inferior because they do not possess the same skin color, religious philosophies, sexual orientation, gender and/or ethnicity as “real Americans.”

I used to think humans were basically good. Sure, we’ve all got our foibles, and there are a small handful of true deviants out there that require observation, but overall I’ve been pro-humanity. I stuck to this for two-thirds of a century. Silly me. I have been the great native naïvitist.

Then, about 63,000,000 Americans voted for Trump. “Say what?” I said. It doesn’t matter that Clinton received three million more votes than Trump. America is not and never has been a democracy. We are a republic and republics can be manipulated quite easily. The proof is in the White House right now. The proof is at the Trump rallies, the Republican QAnon fanatics running for office, the Bugaloos and their fellow agent provocateurs, and on the Supreme Court — the “highest” court in the land even now, 120 years after the Court stopped serving itself cocaine wine.

The fact is, Donald J. Trump could be shot dead at high noon on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue (instead of the other way around, which, you will recall, Trump said he could do without suffering any consequence) and we would still be left with those 63,000,000 paranoid goose-stepping hating cowards marching around this nation supporting the murder of Black people by police, the religious totalitarians who believe their so-called values and only their so-called values are kosher, the environment is doing swell, the Covid virus is a Democratic Party hoax, the liberals are going to confiscate your guns, and the people who think everybody on welfare are thieves and people not wealthy enough to afford health care deserve to die.

Yeah. Herd mentality, indeed.

The America we were taught to love and respect in school and in our houses of worship and on television barely existed on its best day. That’s what an experiment in progress is all about. It’s time to put the lie to that one. We’ve had our moments, but today America exists only as a fool’s paradise.

Watch the next five weeks as what’s left of the Republican Party lies, cheats and steals its way to cementing their dictatorship. One nation, by the people, for the wealthy, one nation under Trump and his cackling puppeteers.

I’ll vote because I haven’t missed an election yet. It’s a habit. Voting used to be an act of optimism but, today, voting is an act of rebellion. Maybe some good will come out of it; clearly, it’s worth the shot. It might be our next-to-last bullet in the chamber before that second Civil War starts.

So. Riddle me this. Who was worse, Hitler or Trump?

That one is easy. When the chips were down, at least Hitler had the decency to commit suicide.