Forget about Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Andrew Cuomo is now the acting President of the United States. Trump continues to think that the job of president is “reality show moderator in chief.”
Andrew Cuomo, on the other hand, the governor of New York State and a former member of Bill Clinton’s cabinet, has been doing a morning update every day this week with facts, figures, and reassuring stories about his own family. He has been showing us what humanity, decency, and competence look like. CNN, MSNBC and even Fox News are carrying Cuomo’s morning updates live nationwide.
Now that America has figured out that not only has Trump been lying to them for years but that the Republican Party and their trickle down economics for the past 40 years has been a scam, the country is turning it’s back on Trump and the GOP. Every time Trump speaks, the stock market goes down even more and faster. America now gets it.
In Brazil, the people are demanding that right wing president Jair Bolsonaro step down because he did the same thing Trump has done in failing to prepare for a crisis that was obviously coming and then lying to his people about it for months.
Soon we will see demands that Trump step down and let somebody who actually knows how to run a government replace him. It can’t come fast enough.
Since Thom posted the above, DT has shown just how little he either understands what leadership demands of a President in these unprecedented times and/or just does not care or has no capability to care about putting anyone else at moral risk.
Frankly, I think he just does not give a damn.
He could suggest the lifting of social distancing only if he has no idea whatsoever about the way Corona unfolds on a population not defending itself. He could not entertain that thought if his concern were not exclusively for his take from the economy before it gets the dirty gold lucre of his 1% cronies cleaned out of its fabric. Which it needs anyway.
And the rest of us, how do we feel about this now? How do we feel knowing that Turtleface Mitch and all his little Republiturtles minus the Only Republican Man, Mitt, made sure DT could stay in office and work his devilish evil on the rest ofd us without control, without penalty?
And the rest of us, how do we feel about DT finally flying the true colors of his murderous pirate flag? How would we feel if we were at war with a growing enemy, but whose growth we were finally beginning to hamper so that new weapons could be field tested, weapons that could stop and in some cases destroy this enemy? And then how would you feel if the Commander in Chief said that in two weeks, since we would have all our miracle weapons then, he would tell our army to stash their arms and go home? Having some new weapons-possibly- would render any more direct action unnecessary. The CiC would respond that all will be well in two weeks. He simply ignores or bullies down anyone pointing out the state of affairs in China, Italy, France, Germany, Britain, etc. The CiC would then talk about his recocvery plan when we do not even have a “stimulus” plan to hold us together until recovery. And that, with no mention at all of the enemy still in the field and growing?
If his actions did not constitute a national emergency, then what could?.
Would we not be fearful for our lives? Would we not be furious, redhot angry that we suddenly had no protection? Aand then add: the Commanders Senatorial lackeys had sandbagged and destroyed the only constitutional weapon against bad faith incompetence in a C i C. How could we find recourse when that CiC had subverted the Justice System and Courts so that they would do his bidding without even being asked? Where within our own now dead system would or could we turn to find a course of action?
And what recourse then does that leave us against a CiC whose reckless actions manifestly endanger our lives? How do we handle being faced with the choice of moral action: do we just let go and hope that the CiC and his lackeys will lfind a way to save the whole shebang, or to act and commit immoral actions in the pursuit of an assumption of otherwise unavoidable calamity? Do we assume the CiC just made a correctable error and in his sympathetic humanity will learn and make amends, or do we assume that the CiC cannot act for anyone else and this can be handlled with actions which could not include ones otherwise immoral and illegal?
What is the key to keeping our economy from tanking in ways that will make the Depression look easy?
In. what ways have the Chinese, Italians, Germans, been able to slow down CoVId19?
In China, officials could tell employees to stay home and gets medical care because everyone has it. That then is THE indispensable lever in restricting the spread of CoVid19. McKinsey agrees on that score. Their is also a NY Times articles this am in which a very well known economist in Chicago says the same thing.
It makes me livid and scares me to death. And I mean to death very seriously because I am exactly the person who is most vulnerable to this disease. Sadly there could now be countless others who find themselves tied to the rails with the train coming.
If its spread in the US is not restricted and it spreads fast, then many more people than in China will become infected. But unlike in China, Germany, etc., many will have to go to work sick, because they do not have a uniform comprehensive coverage and will lose i income and maybe their jobs if they stay home sick. It will spread fast as people work to have the funds to be treated for the infections that raise the speed and degree of spread.
Isn’t that just great….
So: Fast spread fueled by sick workers trying to stay employed,is a real possibility here.
What other proof does anyone need that the accursed “free market” health care system in the US is a moral obscenity and a conduit for precisely the colossal national economic and thus also security calamity that the cynical, stupid, senile Republican advocates for that obscenity desperately want to avoid?
We cannot cure or stop this virus. There will not be a magical sudden appearance of some wonder cure. This is not a movie. The only effective tool is restriction. And to restrict, people must stay away from work when sick.
They cannot in the USA. Just think of it: the country with the world class academic training in managing pandemics will not let itself have the key tool to do that: universal comprehansive healthcare so that employees can stay home to recover with no fear of loss of jobs or income.
And it could wreck our economy and then the world’s. The sky could easily fall and not just on Chicken Little.
We do not have a health care system. We have a health catastrophe system, one of the best health care systems that the 19th Century can offer, owned and managed by Scrooges, Skinflints, and Sadists economic bloodsuckers. They and their Republican puppets have been able for years to intimidate, distract, b.s. and smoke out any reasonable understanding of how their system sets up the country for disaster. Yes, the Germans have it right: die Dummheit stirbt nie aus— stupidity will never become extinct.
The CoVid19 virus is showing us unequivocally what decades of rational argument have been unable to establish: our patchwork, sieve-like, rusty, creaky healthcare “system” might as free be a Big Gun aimed right at all of our Hearts. It is time we turned that gun around, aimed it at the asset-sucking leaches and vampires who own the means that limit our health and safety, and run them out of town.
Give us a break! A big bad thing called CoVid19 Pandemic is sprinting around the corner for the US. And two things are striking about our national DT: first, he is trying to make us believe that this is good because he delayed it; second—have you seen the look on his face in briefings with Fauci? Like a little kid who has lost his mommy in a Super Mal-Mart.
The nonverbals, Donald, are saying that the verbals are lying—once again. And those of us who have studied nonverbals tend to like the rule of thumb about nonverbals: the truth can be read nonverbally. Much easier than sifting through wordsmithed propaganda.
DOn’t believe me? Ask any successful actor — no not Trump, I said successful. Or dogs: they know that they can tell a humans exact emotional state by observing the left side of the face.
Try it out:
When Donald came to the White House, his stable genius told him that he shoukd eliminate the Pandemic operation at CDC. One wonders, why?
Let’s see — what was DT’s really big initiative at that time? Maybe two: 1.,trying to use Ukraine to Trump up lies against Joe Biden and 2., The Wall. It cannot have been to save money for Ukraine because he was pressuring them by withholding the committed, promised foreign aid.
So that leaves The Wall. And how successful was this initiative? Reports from locals, border patrol, whomever all, ALL say effectively that DT might as well have put up a huge block of Swiss Emmenthaler cheese —the one with all the large holes -or a fence made from large hole sieve mesh.
And now that eternal liar is strutting around saying that keeping people out earlier in his three year long temper tantrum substitute for leading — keeping them out postponed our engagement with CoVid19. Or it was his blabbing, before the truth about our state of total lack of the crux of preparedness, test kits, hit the fan.
We could have been prepared, the Germans weteandtgeybwere not hiding their efforts or resources. Die ZEIT, the online German newspaper I read, reported early during the Wuhan crisis, that a researcher in Berlin, probably at the Robert Koch Institut, had developed a valid, reliable test.
The question is: why did we not license it and use it here?
Simple:. There were no fireman in the firehouse when the flames erupted in the neighboring town. DT had closed it down.
Throw this in also: Germany, where weeks long exposure to the virus has been slowed to between 200 and 300 cases as if today, has no academic program to train for some key aspects of pandemic research and management. In Hamburg there is a team working on testing anti-CoVid19 substances. The team leader is a very skilled and well known researcher. But to get up to speed, even with the Ph D or MD and all sorts of other sub specialties, she had to leave Germany to get training at the #1 place on this earth for that: Massachusetts General Hospital.
Did we engage Mass General for anything back when we could have slowed this thing down? We still are using our scant supply for only the most severe cases. We still cannot test anyone who might have the virus, and that means that we cannot stop, hinder, or even slow this plague in the US.
Another cute little fact is this: the broken humans in charge have no policy about compensation fir this who get this but cannot afford to stay home. And they are not even discussing it! So more people will get infected right when we desperately need to reduce the infection rate.
Healthcare by Scrooge, the social Darwinism version of charity: let them die then, are there no work house, let them wait until succor trickles down from what’s left over after the 1% takes all they want.
When you find yourself eating stockpiled dehydrated foods while DT and his buddies feed their greasy gluttony with steak, when you are, wondering whether your pipes will freeze because everyone at the power company is sick and our shaky, , patchwork grid just shorted out, when you are locked away in your room unable even to pet your dog o hug your wife, when your aching tooth will just have to rot in your mouth because the dentist either won’t see you or is closed:
REMEMBER this is the gift, entirely 1000%, of our very own Stable Genius, Donald J Trump more aptly labeled the American case of DT.
And also NEVER FORGET:
our DT from the Genius Stable was saved from having been put back in his stable stall with all the other horses asses by Moscow Mitch McConnell and the Senile Senate Simpletons minus One.
These are the Servants of Self who want to continue to keep healthcare in the Unknowing States a loaded weapon, these are the Servile Skinflints who hold that loaded weapon pointed directly at my, your and our children’s and grandchildren’s hearts.
Was there ever a better case of de facto treason of the greedy, by the soulless and for the vultures against The People?
Let’s herd ‘em all up, lasso the herd leaders and drive ‘em all back into the Genius Stable with the #1 horse’s ass, ol” DT.
I know.I write about German things and especially Goethe a lot.A century ago that would have been the norm.German was taught in the secondary schools.Until the Kaiser thought it neat to try to link up with the Mexicans in WW1 to invade the US, it was a neck and neck race in public opinion as to whether we would enter the war on their side.
Germans, not Englishmen, were amongst the first immigrants to the New World.Buy the time the English got here, they were so settled in that nobody thought of them as foreign.
So right off the bat, pronunciation.I owe it to the last polymath (universal genius) of the Western world to get folks at least a bit closer to how he would have said his name.
SaY Ger-tuh,Go on, do it—out loud.
Add a little change to the [-er-]:as you say it, try wrapping your lips around it as if you were trying to say the [w] in [wood]. Yes, you who thinks this is rinky-dink, try it.
that little change is called an Umlaut, or altered sound.It appears in today’s German as two dots above [a]. [o] and [u] in certain spots:ä (or in older German ae), ö (or in older German as oe– like Goethe—today his name could and would most likely be written Göte or Göthe—[th] is pronounced just the same as our [t] in Getman) and ü (or in older German as ue).
OK, I am done doing German training for old time’s sake.
He was born in 1749 Johann Wolfgang Goethe, he died in 1832 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.The [von] was added when someone had been elevated into the nobility.The French use, I believe, the prefix d’ or de’ before a family name to indicate nobility, von (of or from) does the same in German.
What he did between those dates made him the very first international celebrity —Napoleon thought his first novel, The Sufferings of Young Werther, one of the greatest works in western literature.He wrote that at age 24—but I am getting ahead of myself.
When you read the short bio of him below, remember this:by our standards, his way of life was hard, possibly even primitive. The shortest way to describe life in 18th and early 18th century Central Europe is the titis of a great book about life before that time: A World Lit only by Fire.
you wrote everything by hand: no spell check, no moving paragraphs around, no grammar checks.Lots of crossings out, arrows, etc.Some of Goethes most famous works were written without any edits at all — including the most famous poem in german, considered by many (including me) to be a perfect work.
he wrote in German when the languages of culture then were French and Italian.
He did some jail time for having taken philandering too far and too lightly.
No easy way to compare notes with other like minded folks. Want to share a document? It had to be carried by a friend, or the Post–but only to the borders of the little dukedom in which you lived. It was one of 100+ German speaking little -doms in Central Europe, and you had to arrange visas permits, yellow coach mail service in every one between your home and the end target. Things were MUCH slower.
Getting sick could well be fatal. No antibiotics, not even antiseptic treatments: bleeding was a favorite, using leeches to draw blood (yours). Surgeons traveled like barbers, announced their arrivals with drums, music: no setting up ahead of time. Some were not too bad, most were quacks.
Democracy? No. At best, an enlighlened absolute monarch/ Goethe lucked out that way with a supportive, enlightend Duke in Weimar – -but still an absolute ruiler. Lots of mother-may-I to do just routine stuff, like go to the next -dom for a vacation.
Travel: by yellow coach (yellow easily seen, meant mail too). Dusty, hot, crowded over rutted, bumpy dirt roads that could and did break wheels, axles out where the only help was passengers and lawlessness was more likely than in town. Rest areas? No–inns, to feed horses, have a fast beer, climb. back up and rumble off again. Overnight: unlikely a room of your own. MOre likely sleeping in same bed with one or two others, and having o keep your valuables safe on your own.
Sanitation? Perhaps partly indoors and private, more than likely outdoors, or even just dump the night pan out the window into the street gutter. That may have been on the wane by then, and bathing … there was a reason for perfumes.
That’s just a short overview. Bottom line is double edged: a life hard physically, mentally, spiritually but at the same time, one that left anyone who lived it on its terms with a very up close and personal experience of all the pluses and minuses of human life. And one that landed in one of the most productive times for great art ever: Goethe, Schiller (poem of Ode to Joy in Beethoven’s 9th Symphon), Mozart, Beethoven and so on. A hard time alive with the spark of learning and creating.
Which is why Faust, which Goethe honed into a great work for a long time, is in its story of selling the soul to the devil not just some theory but the literary-distillation of an unassailable depth and breadth of living by its author.
That legacy is well worth studying, loving, embracing and advocating.100 years of wars with the Germans on the other side has left us out of touch with their huge contributions to Western Civilization. IT needs to be brought back. After all, we almost went into World War I on the side of the Kaiser. That is why I mention him so much..
“By the time he completed his studies, he had composed a satirical crime comedy, fallen in love with folk poetry, and developed a deep affinity for Shakespeare, the figure responsible for what he termed his “personal awakening.”
Throughout the 1770s, Goethe practiced a unique, progressive version of law across Germany, while maintaining a side career as an editor, playwright, and poet. He wrote his first widely-read novel, the loosely-autobiographical, joyfully-romantic tragedy, The Sorrows of Young Werther, in 1774, at the age of 24. The book was an instant international success. Napolean Bonaparte called it one of the greatest works of European Literature. It sparked the phenomenon “Werther-Fieber” (“Werther Fever”), in which young men throughout Europe began dressing like the tragic protagonist, and brought Goethe to the court of Carl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, where he would become an important advisor….
Despite his success and influence as a poet, Goethe expressed that he took no pride in his literary accomplishments, and believed instead that his work as a philosopher and scientist—in particular his theories about color—would be his true legacy. However, his writings—emotive, far-reaching, prophetic, and formal—stimulated generations of Western literature and thought. Randall Jarrell, who translated Faust from his Poet Laureate’s office at the Library of Congress, called him his “own favorite daemon, dear good great Goethe.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, deeply influenced by Goethe’s merging of science and art, called Goethe the “surpassing intellect of modern times,” and said of his life:
Such was his capacity, that the magazines of the world’s ancient or modern wealth, which arts and intercourse and skepticism could command,—he wanted them all. Had there been twice so much, he could have used it as well. Geologist, mechanic, merchant, chemist, king, radical, painter, composer,—all worked for him, and a thousand men seemed to look through his eyes. He learned as readily as other men breathe. Of all the men of this time, not one has seemed so much at home in it as he. He was not afraid to live.
Goethe died in Weimar on March 22, 1832. He is buried in the Ducal Vault at Weimar’s Historical Cemetery.”
We are nowhere near the end of the Trump-thumping we are taking.. We are not at the beginnig of the end, nor the end of the beginning. We may be at the start of the beginning. And that makes it all even more sad and urgent. We have already lost so much; it is such a great shame.
Towards the end of his life, the great German poet, scientist, lawyer, statesman etc;, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) became very enchanted with the energy, robust freedom and lack of a haunting past in the young American Republic. During those later years he wrote the following poem (here in English translation praising and expressing an important hope about us and our republic:
(If you want to know more about who Goethe was, read my post “Who is this guy Go-ee’-thee (Goethe)?
One of DT’s first targets for negation remains our fragile, wilting ecosystem. We must get it back under control —and fast—. Before DT touched nature with his cold, dead hands, an annual reduction of atmospheric hydrocarbons by 2% would have saved us-but we were barely making that. Now after he has negated our environmental protection, the yearly target for a timespan 4 years shorter than in 2016 is 5%. And we had been barely eking out a scrawny 2%…. If we fail now, there will not be a second chance, the resulting inhospitable, lethal climate will make this planet uninhabitable.
Let us remember the hopes and faith that so many had for us so many years ago.
But we can only get to the end of the beginning by accepting without filtering where we are today. That’s the first step.
To that end, today Goethe’s hopeful poem could only be written something like this:
Amerika, du hattest es besser…
America, you had it better
Than our old continent.
But you failed to save your forests and oceans,
You permanently poisoned pristine waters.
Shame! your present is blighted by leaders of
Useless remembrance and vain strife.
You misused the present in bad faith!
And your children will never write verse,
Condemned by drudge lackeys and their bumbling boss, to
end with a whimper:
as nature winds down in reverse..
Where indeed have all the flowers gone, long time passing? How much pain must good men endure, before they throw off this yoke?
The time for elegant analysis of why we are vulnerable to autocracy, to rule by whim replacing the rule of law has passed. We no longer need be concerned about the advent of autocracy and arbitrary rule. It is our government now.
What we need to know is that Barr and Trump are sparring about whether the President can intervene into cases being handled by the Attorney General. This may be about legal powers: I do not know. More fundamentally it is about norms for behavior. It is about maintaining one of the reasons for the revolution of 1776: making sure that the prosecuting arm of the highest executive function does not become both investigator and judge without jury or habeas corpus.
Trump has callously violated the rule of law and the life of liberty. That is not an inference, it is a manifest fact. Regardless of the toady subversion called the Impeachment Acquittal, if we want our almost three centuries of building, trying failing re-trying to have been for naught, we just let DT continue to intimidate and subvert. If we want to say that our national heritage leaders —Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Lincoln, TR, FDR, Reagan, etc — all were wrong, we just let DT continue to twitter his way to crony governance, crony economy, and broken nation.
The love of that tradition, pride in our achievements in that tradition, highest respect and honor to those who did their duties in liberty, who gave it all in war, who challenged us to be better with their own words and examples, who taught us what our past and our heritage are—that all was made part of my soul starting on De ember 7, 1941, three months after I was born. The lessons continued — uninterrupted but often taught in grave conflict and meted out in dangerous situations—until the 2016 election. It was there to see in Trumps behavior: read the motivational tea leaves—he wanted and wants to control it all. Worse, he believes he can do it— just as did Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and every other tyrant who has ever made life for the rest of us close to unbearable.
The hope that being in office might shape DT to our historical norms was in vain. It died when the Senate acquitted him and in so doing, thumbed their cowards’ noses to liberty under the rule of law. Breathing the sweet air of liberty has been the foundation, the sine qua non, of me, my soul. It is the first joy upon awakening, the last gratitude before sleep. It was The Default.
Now I can see that I was wrong. Shame on me for having been unwilling to accept that sad development. Shame on us for having spawned it.
One exception to that shaming,however: : a hesitant attaboy to the A. G for having told Trump to keep out of the Attorney General’s affairs, to stop tweeting about ongoing cases in the Department of Justice. That was the right direction, it was the right thing to do despite Trumps threatening response that he could take over if he wanted to.
Here are some of the examples of commitment to duty and the sweet land of liberty, that make me proud and drive me today:
The situation is clear, at least to me: this is unacceptable. It violates my own sense of self. Standing for our constitutional structure, honoring our heritage of democratic norms in leadership, defending them as the right moral way —that will always be what our duty is. It boils down to two important burning questions:
How much will I give out of love for the sweet clear mental, physical, spiritual air of liberty under law?
Do you and I know in our souls that it is our moral and patriotic duty to oppose Trump’s American Tyranny—and if we, the weak, do not, the US will be Trump’s forever? Am I clear that if we do not, then who will?
This is the time to be ramping up defenses against Coronavirus. Does it look in the picture above that Donald gives a damn about anything besides his fake tan? Well, he does not and we will pay a huge price for his malfeasance. Just when we face a pandemic with no treatments and need to put on the greatest push, he takes away the funding.
The German Robert Koch Institute reported yesterday that the number of cases of the Coronavirus in China (yesterday 45000 with 1100 deaths) had possibly stabilized. That was cause for tentative, cautious relief. In the same breath, however, it warns that a worldwide pandemic of Coronavirus is still entirely possible.
And today Die Zeit reporrts that a professor at the Berlin Charité said that the worldwide count had reached 60000 with ~1300 deaths from the virus. (ca 2%–about where it has been all along). He also said that a new variant of the disease is spreading, and that experts estimate high numbers of infections worldwide, although for most the infection would be mild and not life threeatening. The major concern was and is Africa where public health institutions are weakest. Africa could be the cannon that shoots the virus around the world and soon. The best estimates are, according to the DIe Zeit reports, that the virus could infect 60% of the worlds population.
From the report yesterday, it is clear tha despite all out efforts around the globe to hold back the virus and then to stop it, help is not just around the corner. There are three or four good candidates for vaccines, but human testing will not begin for ar least three months. And the WHO reports that a working vaccine distribution is probably still 18 months away.
The US had in 2018 a population of 327.2 million. That would mean 196, 320,000 people sick with corona virus. If the death rate remains around 2.1-2.4 %, that means 4,711.680 people dyiing from this. It could happen very soon. And there will be no vaccine.
We, those 327 million people, who rely on CDC and NIH to help us in such emergencies, have been thrown under the bus in the President’s budget proposal. Ir will reduce all Federal funding for just about every aspect of healthcare we have. And as is usual with the Reaganomics infected Republican minds, those least able to defend themselves will be hit the hardest. That means Trumps base still some Evangelicals and the blue collar sector. As they as a group will certainly rely at least as much as the rest of us on Medicare, Medicaid, federal aid, vaccines, hospitals which take Medicare and Medicaid, this time their boy will be goring their ox.
Listen up for once! Your Man on the White Golf Cart threw me and you under the bus so that his rich buddies and controllers can keep on sucking the wealth out of your pockets.
Wake up Red State dreamers! Forget all the blather from the highl paid verbal bullies at Fox News. Follow the one thing that their well greased propaganda cannot hide for long: the money. It is NOT GOING TO YOU OR ME. It is going to those at the top of the wealth pile here who do not need it, who have not earned it and whose loyalty is to their own assets, not us the people who do the work that keeps their systems alive.
Is this what a Great America looks like: 60% of its citizens ill, 2% dying and no resources, no care, nothing at all available to help?
Does a Great country have a President who will sacrifice YOU so that he can set up an economy to do only for himself and his controllers what he has never been able to do: grow wealth–?
What is wrong with your perceptions? Follow the money, it does not flow into your pockets or mine.
The emergency alarms are all clanging frantically. He is letting pollutin slow down cleaning of your air, when we must MUSTR speed it up to save our planet. And if that were nor bad enough, now he wants to cripple your health. Both the budget and its dangerous, callous, dead-soul champion are categorically unacceptable and deserve only maximum contempt . Pray for him, yes: and until God exacts His vengeance onto DT, give Donald the gold treatment: do unto Donald only Donald has done unto you.
Hoodwinked? Anybody with two eyes and a brain can see that the US is divided very deeply, as deeply as it was in 1861 when the Confederacy opened fire on Fort Sumpter.
Funny. I hardly ever meet up with a streetfighter version of Sean Hannity or Dr Rachel Maddow I’ve seen bumper stickers, some window decals, an occasional lawn sign. If you listen to the news and the politicians, everyone in the United States is either angel or devil.
Right, I’m wary of devils being around. You never know these daysif yuou are about to step on yet another political landmine until it is too late unless you are wary and hold back. It is not OK any more to be in error and apologize. So, with some, I parse my words when it comes to politics. But I’ve always avoided talking politics with strangers anyway, it is just that now it feels llike the choice is not mine any more, unless I am willing to pay a large price.. Some may like it hot so to speak, but it is not my cup of tea. Never was. Many do want robust debate but apparently the all-out, no-holds-barred, but we are going to have dinner tonight anyway debating of days gone by is just a memory now.
I can remember my parents’ monthly cocktail party with old friends. I heard afterwards that Bill was upset by what Jane said about his need for status as a Republican (what my parents were) or how Muriel and Jack, devoted New Deal Democrats, thought the Republicans in the group too wary of civil rights, and so forth. They discussed heatedly, but they all kept coming to those discussions at the monthly cocktail parties year after year. I wonder today if I am lucky or cursed to have known that political climate.
But i have a duty to participate. Democracy: use it or lose it. We are already all too close to the latter. I have to speak out about what I think I have learned, about my opinions, but not in attack. It is my duty to conscience, to this country and all who have struggled, suffered, died to keep the experiment alive and moving. It is my duty.
So, in that spirit, just what is our political constellation, once we turn off the 24-7-365 news that needs to attract viewers to stay on the airi and turn off the politicians whom Mark Twain called the only native American criminal class.
While trudging the hopeless, dusty path of the Big DIvide, I stumbled onto proof that the Big DIvide does not exist outside the Beltway.
We do after all know how the political landscape actually is segmented, and we know it in detail, and with very solid grounding. I read about it in Die Zeit online just around the time of the 2018 midterms.
It upset the applecart of all my assumptions about American political sentiment. It gave me hope — but it showed that if we want out of this dreary, dead mess in DC, we the people will have to get up and get going. Now.
It is all there to read, but it has not been talked about very much in the US. Imagine my surprise…. I was unable to google up any US talk about this more than a few sentences no matter how hard I searched. I first read about it in the reputable and very thorough German weekly online paper, Die Zeit (Time or The Times) in an article called Americas Exhausted Majority.
Is it that important? You bet it is. But you judge for yourself from what comes next..generally about these two questions:
The actual political segmentation of our country: what is it and how is it that we are set up to be hoodwinked by autocrats?
What are we going to do about it?
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US? PANE 1B: HOODWINKED. How? What is the real segmentation of our country politically? A study published on 1 November 2018 comes to a very different conclusion than the one we are being manilpulated to believe. Instead of a split society, the study, Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape [https: hiddentribes.us/pdf/hidden_tribes report.pdf, documents the US today as a society with highly nuanced political segments. I am summarizing here. The whole study is fascinating and ought to be crucial to political campaign planning. Get it and read it, and then do something — speak, write, volunteer for canvassing, party office work, whatever.
From the study:
The segments have distinctive sets of characteristics; here listed in order from left to right on the ideological spectrum:– Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.– Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.– Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.– Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic,conspiratorial.– Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.– Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.– Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,patriotic.
The Study Summary: from Die Zeit.online
In welche Lager teilt sich die amerikanische Gesellschaft? =
Into which camps does American society divide itself?
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Traditional Conservatives+Devoted Conservatives+Progressive Activists: the political leatherlungs, 33% of the electorate
The Exhausted Majority, the rest: 67% of the electorate. The ones who want this to stop, will find common ground and are ideologically significantly more flexible.
“The relevance of the segmentation is evident on a wide array of subjects, from issues of race and prejudice to gender and sexuality. Progressive Activists, the most liberal group, and Devoted Conservatives, the most conservative, show strong degrees of consistency within their ranks, while being almost perfectly at odds with each other. Middle tribes, by contrast, orient themselves incrementally on the ideological spectrum.
Further evidence of the relevance of core beliefs and their associated tribal identities is that tribal membership predicts differences in Americans’ views on various political issues better than demographic, ideological, and partisan groupings. This can be seen on subjects such as approval of President Trump, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and approval of the modern feminist agenda. On these questions and many others, the differences between the most ideological segments are greater than the differences between, for instance, self-described “strong Republicans” and “strong Democrats” ….. “ Members of the Exhausted Majority are considerably more ideologically flexible than members of other groups. While members of the “wing” groups (on both the left and the right) tend to hold strong and consistent views across a range of political issues, those in the Exhausted Majority tend to deviate significantly in their views from issue to issue.Furthermore, the wing groups, which often dominate the national conversation, are in fact in considerable isolation in their views on certain topics. For instance, 82 percent of Americans agree that hate speech is a problem in America today, but 80 percent also view political correctness as an issue. By contrast, only 30 percent of Progressive Activists believe political correctness is a problem.” ….“
Yet it would be a mistake to think of the Exhausted Majority merely as a group of political centrists, at least in the way that term is traditionally understood. They do not simply represent a midpoint between the warring tribes of the left and right. They are frustrated with the status quo and the conduct of American politics and public debate. They overwhelmingly believe that the American government is rigged to serve the rich and influential, and they want things to change.With that said, there is nevertheless one segment within the Exhausted Majority that matches the traditional understanding of centrism: the Moderates, who comprise 15 percent of the population and whose views are consistently very close to the center of public opinion.The Exhausted Majority may be the key to countering polarization. Traditional Liberals and Moderates instinctively support compromise. Their voices would be strengthened if the Passive Liberals develop greater confidence in the value of their participation. On the other hand, the Politically Disengaged are at risk of being drawn into polarizing us-versus-them narratives, especially given their comparatively high levels of distrust and suspicion.”
The study characterizes these groups as hidden because they seldom occur as part of the daily discourse, the extremes are much more likely to be heard. “The people at the extreme ends of the spectrum are more strongly interested in politics and are more likely to use the social media to announce their opinions.”’ says Miriam JuanTorres, one of the study’s authors. “They understand the political discourse as something binary and perceive the respectively widely separated opposite side often as just a caricature.”
Last night I saw a new documentary on Amazon Prime about the history of liberal and conservative. If you would classify yourself in any one of the Exhaused Majority groups, you must see this. All I will say is that we need to get ourselves loose from the tastemakers because the divide into the concrete of which the political preachers have buried our political feet, does not exist. We have been hoodwinked, and hoodwinked hard.
Read a foreign, well respecrted newspaper. Die Zeit has a good englilsh verson online. The knowledge and insightfulness of their reporters are impressive, without an axe to grind.. And you get to hear a different point of view, see how Germans respond to our doings here, and read a bit about our most important European ally (or now, with the clear distaste that the Germans show for our President and his cronies, an ally at a distance.)
Or google how to handle situations like this–and find the good list in Psychology Today:
Better yet, get a copy of On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder. This is the bible of democratic citizenry wanting to prevcent dictatorship in their own country. Kindle version available.
What if we all decided that we were fed up with the slanting, editorial comment posing as reporting, suggestive innuendo, character assassinaations and lies of the so-called News Media?
What if we in the finely nuanced dispersion of the real USA decided to ask others what they believed, why and tried to find common ground rather than being on attack or defense all the time?
Do we want our country and history back?
Well, what are we waiting for? Any or all of the actions suggested by any of the sources I’ve seen can do the one thing that will turn the tables: energize us, . the Exhausted Majority. Accepting this debacle does not mean being a speedbump. Remember: American ends in I CAN.
COMING UP:HOW OUR CULTURE MAKES US VULNERABLE TO AUTOCRATS.: PANE TWO: OUR CULTURAL INVENTORY, PART 1: SHE’S OUR QUEEN TOO..
COMING UP: OUR CULTURAL INVENTORY, PART 2, THE P-47 THUNDERBOLT SYNDROME
A graduate of the southern Michigan high school I attended recently found a copy of the school’s 1926 yearbook in aThrift Shop in South Carolina. When he told the owner of the shop that he wanted to send it to his and my home town’s Historical Society up there, the owner of the Thrift Shop gave it to him for free.
It contains many hand written thoughts from 1926. The Historical Society published a few of them in the newsletter I get every month. Ofthe ones in the newsletter, three spoke to me — (the Society preserved punctuation, spelling and sentence construction):
“Love is great, love is mighty, I only wish your night shirt
Was next to my nighty. Now don’t get excited or be misled,
I mean on the clothes line and not in the bed.”
“A good thing to remember a better thing to do -is to belong
To the construction gang and not to the wrecking crew.”
“Remember the word “American” ends in I can!”
Those are the sorts of thoughts and they innocently clever style that I heard and learned as describing being an American in my formative years, 1941-1951. They re-awaken and refresh me like a cool wind on a hot, muggy, air-polluted day. They are like pretty flowers growing in an opening you had not seen before in a dark forest.
Nothing in the world is good or bad, but thinking makes it so. (Shakespeare). How might we indeed bring good light into our current,national-cultural bad, narcissistic darkness if we had retained the abilities, values and simple clean morality of that long gone era! Where indeed have all the beautiful flowers of American thinking gone?
Violence is categorically unacceptable as a political tool.
Republicans in Power in DC: you no longer have any dodge and you no longer have any moral standing on which to rely. Your efforts to cobble together a governance, of, by and for nihilistic, greed driven fat cats has done what it was aimed at all along: created your own, towering Frankenstein’s monster, Agent Orange. Now there is only one choice: stand and be counted for demanding and acting on removal of Trump OR forever go down in the annals of history as proven venal cowards who stood by counting their bribes as the world’s longest experiment in multicultural democracy and constitutional self government was unceremoniously dismembered. You have already demonstrated the behaviors of venal cowardice. Now is the time you can change that impression or confirm its reality as the prime trait of your being.
(Former) Friends and Acquaintances of a Conservative Bent: I have refrained from talking sides until now. I thought that bridges might be built. It is clear today that your representatives and the Fool in the ‘White House do not want any bridges, nor do they have any interest in democracy or collaboration. If you support them, do not count yourselves any more as friends of mine and do not waste my time with your blabbering drivel.
Undecided People: are you deaf, dumb and blind? What is there to mull over? the only choice now is: support the domestic political terror or oppose it. But note that when you support that abomination, you are supporting people whose beliefs and actions are the antithesis of the freedom to speak and act that makes your choice possible — and with enough of your support, possible for the last time. Supporting those traitors you may well be participating in the killing of the world’s longest standing experiment in multicultural democracy, a nation that once was at the forefront of establishing government of the people, by the people and for the people across this aching globe. Selling your soul to the devils ask traitors is never a two way bargain in which you take away anything to keep, but the devils take away your soul. So you really want to be eternal losers?
Agent Orange: the best way to deal with a devil like you is to ignore you. So I am. Tweet on that, birdbrain!
For all but Agent Orange (he is not, never has been and never can be a President of the United States in any way but in title. After all there is nothing to an empty suit but hot air and appearance seeing to persuade you that it is real.): Remember these ominous words from Pastor Martin Niemöller coming down to us from the Thousand Year Reich that lasted 13 years:
First they came for the socialists (today: Mexicans), and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists (today: intellectuals), and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews (today: Democrats), 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.
If we do nothing to stop our own bomb sending Nazis, then we are complicit in the collapse of civil democracy, then we are complicit in any harm that comes to anyone from the actions of our own bomb sending nazis. Your collaboration born of complicity will not create a Big Bang for you, but you will do down with a whimper. No? Just look at the pictures of Germany in late April, 1945.