I’ve been thinking a lot about what I hope to accomplish with these posts. In the beginning, they were just my own private memoirs not meaning to be shared with anyone outside of possibly my own heirs after my passing. Then, as my wife’s illness became more server and her passing near, combined with the extraordinary turn of events politically with Trump’s election, I started to realize that life is short and whatever one’s intentions, he’d better act on them and not assume that he has forever to accomplish them. I was deeply disturbed by what I saw as a lack of civility in the political discourse. I felt the need to act in some way to alert the public, young people in particular, about the danger of not pursuing a healthy dialogue and debate with people whom we disagree with and to avoid the temptation to look at life only through the narrow prospective of your own opinions and those of whom you agree with. I thought by sharing my way of thinking in a well thought out, respectful way, I could influence others to take a closer look at the American values that have guided us through most of my life and not discard them in favor of the more destructive confrontational approach to life that I saw us devolving into.
I’ve come to understand that there is a clear distinction between ranting and raving against a policy or person for the stated purpose of venting your hatred of that person or policy and merely expressing your opinion about the behavior of a person or expressing your discontent with a policy. In both cases, they are only opinions, the former designed to hurt, the latter designed to communicate an idea. The only way to decipher intention is to exchange, to dialog, and to have some back and forth.
At this point, it’s hard to evaluate how successful I have been. The feedback I get would lead me to believe that many have been impressed with my thoughts and possibly make better decisions about their government and politics as a result. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed good friends turn into something completely unrecognizable to me and completely out of character for them. My friends’ behavior along with Trump’s slow but steady assault on democracy and the rule of law gave me, and I’m sure many other Americans, the sense of witnessing a horrific catastrophe developing in slow motion. Sadly, the attempted coup on January 6th by Donald Trump and his subsequent acquittal by the senate Republicans confirmed all the admonishments of impending danger I have posted over the years.
I’m going to take a stab at summarizing the significance of all this. Though what I have to say is not really very uplifting, I believe that one shouldn’t advance any communication unless you offer possible solutions to avoid any undesirable outcomes one may forecast and I will do that as well.
It is important to understand that the choice before the Senate in the impeachment trail was not whether or not Donald Trump was guilty of an attempted coup and the overthrow of a democratically elected government. That he actually did that is undeniable and no amount of semantics regarding the word “fight” can mask what we all saw happen over a two and a half month period between the election and the insurrection. The real question at hand was whether or not democracy should be defended or a fascist white nationalist dictatorship led by Donald Trump should be defended. While the majority voted to defend democracy the overwhelming majority of Republicans voted to defend Donald Trump. It now must be clear to all in America and abroad that the United States is teetering between whether to be a democracy or a fascist, Jim Crowe structured dictatorship of minority rule under Donald Trump. World War II has come back to America.
I want to be clear. I am a peaceful warrior and my hope is that democracy will win the day without violence. But make no mistake. There is only one issue in American politics at this time. The majority of Americans who still believe in democracy must be clear and mature about that. Don’t get distracted by what Biden can or cannot do with the economy and COVID and all of the practical things that concern us all. I feel confident that Biden and the House and the 57 senators who voted to convict Trump will do all they can to forward those initiatives. However, it must be understood that the only objective of all the congresspersons who voted in the House and Senate to acquit Trump is to undermine the opposition in anyway they can, even if the American people are hurt in the process. Donald Trump is the fruit of Mitch McConnell’s labor of six years of doing exactly that during Obama’s terms as president. Don’t expect some bipartisan miracle from them. As a citizen who believes in democracy and the rule of law, your only obligation in politics is to identify those who support Trump’s fascist Republican Party and do all you can to see they are voted out or not elected in the first place – nothing else matters. Any positive outcome you want to see happen with the environment or the economy or civil rights is only possible if democracy survives.
Peaceful sustainment of a democratic United States will be a difficult task. As I’m writing this post today, Trump fascists in state legislatures all over the country are working hard to disqualify minorities from voting and amending their state constitutions to allow their legislatures to overturn national elections if they don’t like the outcome. If you want a peaceful defeat of fascism, you must register to vote by any means necessary including being certain that your I.D. passes your state’s muster for voter eligibility, force local officials to provide sufficient poling facilities through peaceful civil disobedience if necessary, supporting all legal initiatives to defeat Trump Republican measures to restrict mail-in voting along with other voting issues and you must do all of that as though your life and your country depend on it, because they do. I’m not just talking to black and other racial minority voters here. I’m talking especially to white voters. The Democrat’s victory in Georgia was delivered to a large degree on the strength of white suburban voters. Don’t think for a minute the Trump white nationalist Republicans will not use the same tactics on your community if given a chance to do so by complacency on your part. All who value America, as a free democracy must regard every vote to protect it their vote. Don’t just leave it to the black, Hispanic and Asian communities to defend their votes alone. We must all show up in droves to protect every vote for democracy wherever attempts to negate them show up.
I’d like to end with a word of caution to the black senator from South Carolina, Mr. Tim Scott, who sided with the Trump supporters in the impeachment trial. Historically, fascists come to power by forming coalitions with moderate conservatives. The first thing they do when power is achieved is to get rid of all conservatives, even killing some of them because they despise them more than the opposition (I believe they’re calling them “RINOs” these days, meaning Republicans In Name Only). That could very well be Mr. Scott’s destiny if his adopted Trump White Nationalist Republican Party is successful. Anyone who thinks you can compromise with fascists doesn’t understand the concept. To compromise on anything contrary to the decrees and pronouncements of the master race is punishable by death. I realize Sen. Scott probably felt he had to vote the way he did to stay in the game. But trust me Sen. Scott. The Trump fascists realize it too. Watch your back and please, be careful.