Recovering from the Trauma of DT and Creating A More Democratic Nation

When I listen to the news, I still find myself ready to cringe. We’ve grown used to one attack, one shock after another, continuing assaults on our lives or humanity. It’s been such a relief since President Biden was inaugurated. But the trauma of 4 years of DT, culminating with the domestic terrorist attack on January 6th and his escape from being prosecuted in the Senate for his role in inciting that attack will not go away easily.

 

This is partly because the threat is still here. The politics of hate is all still here. We face a domestic terrorist movement built on hate, lies and a grievance mentality that have walled off about one third or more of this nation from the truth. As Bill Moyers put it, “a democracy can die of too many lies.”

 

And we have a mutating virus that has killed over half a million people. Ken Burns said that we face three viruses: COVID-19, white supremacy, and misinformation.

 

An article by Jeremy Adam Smith from the Greater Good Science Center talks about how to recover from the trauma of the Trump years. These last four plus years have been extremely traumatic, especially 2020. What we face now is grief. We grieve not only the lives lost but the loss of hope, sense of security, and the activities and contacts that sustained us. Many of us have lost our livelihood and home.

 

And we can’t simply let go of grief. Smith quotes psychologist Frederick Luskin, who said, “When we lose something, human beings have a natural reintegration process, which we call ‘grief.” We must integrate it, feel it, suffer it, and understand both the fact of the loss and how we feel about it.

 

We can ignore it for only a short time. We have gone through hell. “January 6 happened, and it can never unhappen. COVID-19 happened. At this writing, 466,000 Americans are dead, and they will never come back.“ “The research says that people who go through horrible experiences but keep it to themselves suffer more, not less.” Sharing the load with others can help lighten the load. Caring, compassion for ourselves and others will lighten the load.  Recognizing how the trauma has affected us can change so much for us all. But even more is needed, more ways of speaking.

 

The DT and GOP attack on our rights and freedom has been building since Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problem.  Government is the problem.” Fareed Zakaria, in his book Ten Lessons for A Post-Pandemic World says anti-Federal feeling and distrust in centralized government is in the DNA of this nation and Reagan re-invigorated that sentiment. After all, the American Revolution was a revolt against a King.

 

But Reagan also re-invigorated a concentration of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands. So his assault on government actually was a masked assault on democracy. It was an assault on the power of the people in favor of the power of the few, the rich. It was in favor of people who want to be kings⎼ or dictators. Or who want a dictator to rule.

 

This anti-federal feeling also led many people to not participate in government. In 2020, we had the highest rate of citizen participation in recent history, 66.7% of eligible voters voted in the presidential election. This was the best turnout since the early 1960s. That means that even in this most meaningful and contentious election, about one-third of adult Americans didn’t (or weren’t allowed to) vote⎼ or speak. According to the Pew Research Center, the U. S. is 30th out of 35 developed democratic nations in terms of the percentage of people who voted in recent years. Since voting is the primary voice of the people, we were censored by ourselves or our government.

 

Our representatives are supposed to represent the interests of all citizens, but they don’t always do that and we’re in trouble if we think of democracy as letting our representatives do all the governing for us. Nor can we allow the GOP to win by preventing us from voting. For example, the lawyers for the Arizona GOP in a Supreme Court case admitted recently that without suppressing the vote, they lose.

 

Many of us hope and/or expect President Biden will get pandemic relief passed, protect voting rights, re-build infrastructure, re-structure health care, free young (and older) people from overwhelming debt from schooling, end Global Warming⎼ and end the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, end the concentration of privilege and power in the white, rich and male (that has existed ever since, or before, our nation’s founding). Do we intend to hold him responsible if it all doesn’t happen, and quickly? Or hold democracy itself responsible? The GOP would love that.

 

On FB recently there was a meme saying, basically, “Why did we elect Biden if he can’t even get us a guaranteed minimum wage of $15 an hour?”  Why? We know why. Four years of DT is why. Just look at how Biden is managing the pandemic. Despite all the challenges, he is assuming responsibility, one thing DT never did, and doing it with compassion and competence, while recognizing the need to fight inequities in our health care system and government.

 

Biden is a president, not a dictator or wannabee dictator. To pass the New Deal, F. D. R. needed not only Congressional action but the support of the people. And in February the research firm SurverMonkey reported 72% of Americans supported not only pandemic relief but most of Biden’s recovery plan.

 

But as Fareed Zakaria pointed out, our legislative system only works when there’s a willingness amongst our representatives to work cooperatively and to compromise. This isn’t the situation today. The GOP have made cooperation almost impossible. 147 of the GOP in Congress voted to overturn the 2020 election and a few still refuse to recognize that Biden won. Some even assisted in or supported the 1/6/21 assault on our nation, assisted in an attempt at a coup. They are a coup itching to happen.

 

We are still recovering from DT and we need a break. But the forces lined against Biden are powerful and desperate. So, let’s support his efforts while pressuring him to foster policies that sincerely meet our needs. We have a new administration that is more inclined to listen to us and do what serves us, so let’s take advantage of this opportunity. Led by Black Lives Matter protests against the murder of George Floyd, racist policing, and the policies of DT, Americans created the biggest sustained protest movement in modern American history. Millions of voices together can help turn this system around.

 

As we take responsible action to change the state of the nation, to make calls to Congress and find other ways to speak, we consequently act to overcome the trauma of DT and change the state of our hearts and minds.

 

 

 

 

 

Vaccination Frustration: Holding Accountable Those Who Deserve It

Do you want to be vaccinated but can’t even get an appointment?

 

As we hear about friends or neighbors who are the same age as we are and in the same priority group getting vaccinated before us, it can feel like we’re in a competition and losing, or we’re repeatedly doing something wrong.  Because potential relief is so close, we can feel the threats of the virus even more strongly.

 

We had grown almost used to wearing a mask. It had become weirdly “normal” to stay home or stay at a distance from anyone not in our pod, and to think of other humans as potential carriers of an infection that might kill us if we didn’t take precautions, including washing immediately after leaving their presence. For many of us, a compulsion to wash our hands has become a life-saving aptitude.

 

But now there’s a vaccine. Not a cure, but a preventive measure that could protect us from getting sick or dying. Or protect us from some of the strains of the virus. We had grown accustomed to the restraints. Now, the wounds are raw once again.

 

And the new strains add another level to the threat, another unknown. Who knows if the preventive measures we have used in the past will protect us in the future?

 

Last week, I spent hours trying to get a reservation for an appointment. I have spent more time on getting a reservation for a vaccine than I would have, in pre-COVID days, spent on planning a vacation.

 

I was on the website for a local pharmacy for hours and was so excited when I finally found an open appointment. I had just finished filling out the online form and had pressed submit, only to then be informed that the time slot was no longer available.

 

Then my wife and I were able to reserve a time slot at a state-run venue. After doing so, my wife received a recorded message on her phone saying she wasn’t eligible for the vaccine. We are the same age and in the same priority group. We answered all their eligibility questions to their satisfaction⎼ or so it seemed. Now, we will have to call to object or keep on searching for new appointments.

 

How many of us are experiencing the same frustration?

 

It would be easy to try to blame someone. But who do we blame? Biden has been president for less than two weeks. DT and his administration totally mismanaged the pandemic for a year. They put our lives at risk, often refused to take any responsibility for the pandemic. They  undermined this nation in a great variety of ways as well as undermining the incoming administration, so it is DT and his followers who we would blame.

 

To read the whole piece, please click on the link to The Good Men Project who first published it.

From Snow Dancing to Sun Shining: The Day We Saw an Inauguration of Hope

I woke up to snow, huge flakes dancing, not falling, but spinning in the wind. Playful. I haven’t seen the heavens be so playful for years. But here it is, the earth dancing. To see trees and people, snow and wind, different ways of being coming together, dancing together.

And now the sun shines.

A new President was inaugurated today, pledging to speak the truth and act with decency. To recognize the threat of white nationalism instead of hiding it. To advance and protect democracy instead of undermining it. Amanda Gorman spoke. She danced with truth in her words, personal strength and insight. Poetry replacing shouts, incoherence, and lies.

Two moments today when so many of us felt tears break out. May this be a new America. May we win the new Civil War or, as President Biden put it, Uncivil War, even better, may we defeat the impulse to go to war, to go to hate, to go to self-serving greed.

This is our chance. May we take it.

DT, the would-be dictator, the only President in our history who incited an attack on our Congress, our nation, the Congress and nation he swore to protect, the President of hate, lies, and grievance, is now gone from the White House if not from our memory or pain or nation. We must do everything in our power to make sure no one like him is ever given power again. “Never again.” To make sure those guilty of assaulting Congress in an attempt at a coup or to stop Congress from recognizing the will of the people, or who incited and assisted the assault, or worked in Congress itself to destroy democracy- they need to be punished, not out of vengeance but justice.

We need to make sure DT is never allowed to approach a government office again, except for a courtroom. We need to let the whole nation see his crimes.

What a morning and afternoon. We needed this. It’s a lesson and reminder⎼ we must be prepared⎼ to fight, to speak out. To take to the streets not to destroy the power of the people but to secure it. Not to thwart the rule of justice but to make it rule. Not to force a lie on the nation, not to mock truth but proclaim it. Not to kill but heal. That these efforts can and did, for now, succeed. We did succeed.

We need to take a breath. We need to dance. We need to sing.

And then speak out once again, for impeachment in the Senate and for new policies. To quickly have a new cabinet approved. To care for those who are sick and to protect us from becoming sick. To pass new relief legislation. To protect the nation from the violence of internal hate as well as external. To pass new legislation to protect our voting system, right to vote and right to equal justice. To improve our infrastructure. To fully fund an equitable public education system that protects its students and teachers, teaches the history and responsibilities of freedom and democracy, and fosters critical thinking. That makes good health care available to all. And that protects our earth. Our home.

A new day. The inauguration of hope has begun. Let us make it so.

 

 

**Here is a list of those we can call. The first 5 are probable votes for impeachment. The next 6 possibly possible. If you think of anyone else, let us know.

Sasse 202-224-4224

Toomey -202-224-4254

Murkowski 202-224-6665

Romney 202-224-5251

Collins 202-224-2523

 

McConnell 202-224-2541

Grassley 202-224-3744

Lankford 202-224-5754.

Portman 202-224-3353

Capito (202) 224-6472

Thune 202-224-2321

 

This blog post was syndicated by The Good Men Project

End the Shocks and Remove the Presidency of Hate: Hopefully, an Administration of Justice, Rationality and Democracy is Coming

I am almost disappointed in the impeachment. Almost. Although there is great hope⎼ ten GOP did vote to impeach DT and President-elect Joe Biden will (hopefully) be inaugurated next week. But DT is still in office, and 197 Republicans, all but 4 of the rest of the GOP in the House, voted against impeachment.

 

Despite being attacked by a mob intent on violence and vengeance against fellow Congress members, and intent on stopping the operation of the Congress to which they belonged, many GOP remained silent or even tried to deny or cover-up DT’s role in the violence.

 

Some claimed impeachment would make matters worse, totally ignoring the deleterious effect of the continued lies about stealing an election and the incitements to further violence by DT and other members of their own party.  A few, like Rep Matt Gaetz of Florida, tried to equate the Black Lives Matter protests and the Capitol assault, equate protests over the murder of African-Americans with a deadly attack on the government of the U. S.. The lies and racism supported by these GOP was an assault in itself.

 

Washington Post Columnist Greg Sargent wrote that the GOP claims that impeachment would further divide us is part of an attempt to obscure their guilt, and blame the violence not on the people, like DT, who fueled and directed it, but to a generalized divisiveness. It’s not a generalized anything, but one side, DT’s side, declaring civil war against everyone and anyone who opposes his efforts to steal power for himself.

 

Such statements by the GOP during the impeachment debate followed a week of lies, distortions, and blatant efforts to cover-up DT’s culpability. It began by trying to claim, crazy as it sounds now, that it was members of a non-existent group of Anti-fascists who assaulted the capitol dressed as DT’s supporters. It continued with the Department of Defense creating an official timeline for the public that expurgated all of the actions and incitements by the President and other GOP.

 

The January 6th Assault on the Capitol was the latest in a long line of deliberate shocks administered by the DT administration. The Assault on the Capitol⎼ it sounds like a movie title. From the beginning of his run for office until now, DT has done everything he could to attack democracy, the rule of law, our humanity, our trust in others, our lives, and our hope for the future.

 

He started back in 2015 with racist attacks on President Obama, falsely claiming that if he had lost the 2016 election, it was due to Democrats committing voter fraud, while simultaneously calling for Russia to interfere in the election. He continued to ignore or lie about the threat of COVID while thousands died daily. He made a phone call on 1/02 to threaten a public official into manufacturing votes for him, and later urged on an actual assault on the Capitol building and the Congresspeople meeting in that building.

 

This wasn’t the first time he called for violence. Last year, for example, his comments contributed to attacks on the Michigan statehouse and an attempted kidnapping of the Governor. And he continues to cite malignant, irresponsible falsehoods, deny that he badly lost an election, deny that the only large-scale fraud was committed by him, deny any culpability in violence. According to the Washington Post and other news media, intelligence agencies, Governors, at this moment Right-wing and White Nationalist groups are planning ongoing attacks and a possible disruption of the inauguration all based on the alternate reality DT created for his followers to preserve his power.

 

Is he deliberately trying to use the Shock Doctrine, using “the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks” to force his way on the American public? Or is he simply shouting, tweeting who he is and spreading his diseased mind?

 

In an article called “What the Science of Addiction Tells Us About Trump,” the author, James Kimmel Jr. describes how the brain of someone who carries a long-term grievance or who desires revenge is like the brain of someone locked into an addiction. Harboring a grievance, defined as a perceived wrong or injustice, real or imagined, activates the same neural circuitry as taking a narcotic.

 

And this revenge addiction can be easily spread. In the case of DT, we have a politics of grievance meant to manipulate feelings of hurt and humiliation into an addiction to hate and a blindness towards the truth, just like a heroin addict might not see the reality of what the drug is doing to them. Kimmel says DT primes our brains for revenge. He is addicted to being aggrieved and blaming others.

 

Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate are not only attempting to hold onto power but are also addictions that undermine or destroy community. They make everyone feel threatened, not only those the hate is aimed at, but those who allow it and those who hold to it.

 

I don’t know if DT is deliberately applying increasing shocks to the citizens of this country (or the world) or it is just his malignant, addicted and demented sense of self-importance, but for the health and well-being of all of us, he must be removed from office and his agenda of hate ended. The assaults, and the lies and crimes that incited it, must be investigated and prosecuted not for revenge but to discourage further violence and place justice and the rights and well-being of “we the people” first.

 

We need an inauguration of hope. We need to do all we can to pressure more of the GOP to speak honestly about the election (and COVID), put democracy first, and treat the new Biden Administration as people⎼ if not as partners, then at least not as enemies. We need to pressure 17 GOP Senators to join with Democrats, to remember their oaths, and complete the impeachment.  To protect our voting system and prevent future DT’s. To protect us from the virus, rescue the economy from the super-rich, end institutional racism, and create a more democratic nation.

 

This post was syndicated by the Good Men Project.

 

Hate, Sedition and the Big Lies Cannot Be Allowed to Win

Last week, we saw the cost we pay for hate and lies. Of course, we’ve been seeing this for four years.  But last week was too much. The cult of DT followers attacked the U. S. Capitol. They committed violence and many aimed to do even worse. An article in the Atlantic talks about one of the attackers shouting into a megaphone, “I wanna see executions.”

 

Yet, now we have GOP Congresspeople trying to excuse violence directed at their own worksite, at their fellow workers⎼ at the Capitol of the U. S., at Congress. Those who attacked the Capitol meant direct harm to the representatives of us, the people, and this nation. We cannot allow the harm done and intended by these acts to be distorted or forgotten.

 

We don’t know all that happened or all who were responsible for it, but there are photos and videos from different sources. Many of us turned on the tv to check on the Georgia Senate victory and were horrified to see the attack play out in real time, almost in slow motion. We saw gallows set up to hang Congresspeople, hang the last remnants of democracy, and proclaim a lie as King. Congresspeople and their staffs were huddled behind doors not only locked, but barricaded with furniture, where our political representatives called the Pentagon and other institutions of our government to get help from those supposedly sworn to protect them and received none.

 

Many of the would-be executioners believed the lie about who tried to steal the election, but those in Congress had no such excuse. They were cooperating with a noose.

 

One of the first attempts to cover-up and distort what happened began almost immediately. Almost immediately, instead of blaming the guilty⎼ DT, his White Nationalists and lie-addled and fascist supporters⎼  DT allies in Congress and media tried to blame Antifa, a group that does not exist unless you call those who oppose Fascism and White Nationalism a group. They might as well blame half of this nation⎼ and maybe they do.

 

About the same time, those bearing some responsibility for the horror began to attempt to distance themselves from it. DT was one of the first. Even as the events were happening, he was convinced by WH staff and others to call it off, to stop the violence. And he finally did so while continuing his lies about the election. “I know your pain.” He tweeted. “We had an election stolen from us.” “But you have to go home now.”

 

The next day, facing calls for impeachment and being cut off from his Twitter feeding, he condemned the attack on the Capitol and sacrificed his supporters on the street to his last gasps at power. Many GOP, who for years supported his slow coup and attempts at undermining the constitution, tried to distance themselves from him. Were they just letting the anger and outrage calm down before they could assert more disinformation or lies?

 

Other GOP finally had enough of him. Even before the attack began, Senator Romney had called on the GOP to stop lying about the election and stop the malignant attempt to interfere in the certification of the Electoral College vote. And afterwards, Senator Murkowski called for DT to resign.

 

Then there were attempts to re-write history. In an administration of lies, these are amongst the worst. DT’s Defense Department published a timeline of events from Wednesday, but they excised DT’s part in inciting the violence.

 

Journalist Steven Harper filled in what was blanked out, including DT’s tweets and statements at rallies beforehand to spread the lies, and how he urged his supporters to come to Washington. “It will be wild,” he said. The DOD left out the contents of DT’s 90-minute speech urging the crowd on: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” They left out DT’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani provoking the crowd by talking of settling the election with “trial by combat.”  It took 90 minutes from the time the Mayor of Washington, D. C. called for help before the DOD decided to send it.

 

Twitter and other social media feeds and news reports indicated the believers in the lie are planning further attacks. They have clearly not given up the lies and grievances they are addicted to or their attempt to stop the will of the majority of the people from being honored.

 

And now, many of the GOP are proclaiming Democrats are playing politics, dividing the nation even further, by calling to hold DT responsible for sedition by inciting attacks on the U. S. Capitol and Congress itself. Supposedly, trying to stop the man who incited violence against his own government from being in office or inciting such violence again in the future⎼ this is supposedly making matters worse? Those who spread lies are responsible for what is enacted in their name. These GOP are trying to protect themselves from being held responsible for their own misdeeds. As an article in the Atlantic Magazine makes clear, the GOP own this attack.

 

So, who is dividing the nation even further?

 

We don’t want to give White Nationalists and the GOP who support them anything to use to make DT somehow a martyr for their hate. After all, some of them have already turned against DT. The 25th Amendment, or forcing DT to resign and admit his lies would be preferable. But impeachment is the constitutional remedy for crimes such as his. And if it’s the only vehicle at hand to hold him accountable and get him out of office before he could do any more damage, then so be it.

 

We are hurting, as individuals and as a nation. We are fearful not only of getting sick but of violence directed at us because we want our rights, our vote, our future, our nation protected.  In order to heal, to feel a bit safer, we cannot allow these crimes and this disinformation to win. The truth of last Wednesday and what led to it, or as much as we can discover, must be spoken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politics as Civil War: DT Must Be Impeached Immediately or Removed Via the 25th Amendment

Mao said “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.” A variant of a quote by Clausewitz is “War is merely the continuation of politics [policy] by other means.” But yesterday in the U. S., blood was shed. We have in DT’s USA, politics as civil war. After 4 years of him treating politics as a slow coup, as a way to seize power for himself alone, his words and actions descended into blatant incitement to violence and close to Civil War.

 

And this followed his phone call on January 2 where he threatened and tried to force Brad Raffensperger, the GOP Secretary of State of Georgia, to “find 11,780 votes.” In a manner demented by his total focus on himself alone, he continued to try to steal the election, by spouting again and again that the election was stolen from (not by) him.

 

Before Wednesday, DT urged people to come to Washington. Saying it was “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 election,” riots were incited.

 

And then on Wednesday morning, he did it again. His lawyer, Giuliani, told the crowd, “Let’s have trial by combat.” DT then added “we are going to have to fight much harder.” He said, “We will never give up. We will never concede when there is theft involved.” He warned Vice President Pence to not allow Joe Biden to be certified as the winner of the election, despite all the facts pointing to that reality. He repeated a worn out claim with no basis in fact that Chinese Socialists were trying to take over the nation. He said he would be there with them.

 

But as they assaulted Capitol Hill, he was present only in memory, repeating his lies in their minds.

 

DT’s civil war is largely by white Christian nationalists who favor a dictatorship versus the rest of us.

 

4 people are dead. Not only those who assaulted the Capitol must be prosecuted. The law enforcement officers who somehow let these terrorists into the building to attack not just the building but stop members of Congress from doing their duty⎼ and their superiors, who either did not plan sufficiently or who did not immediately get reinforcements to the building⎼ those responsible must be prosecuted. Then there is Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and other Senators and House members who, even after this violence, still supported DT’s sedition.

 

And even after all this, DT continued to incite the destruction of our democracy by repeating his malicious lies or distortions. He told those who had stormed the capitol, “Go home, we love you, you’re very special.” “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long.”

 

We are in the middle of a pandemic that is killing almost 4,000 people a day. And all this President and his supporters can focus on is stealing power at any cost. This looks like deadly negligence to me.

 

The politics of grievance. The politics of hate. This is what it leads to. Isn’t threatening a public official, interfering in an election, sedition, negligence, incitement to riot crimes or impeachable offenses, and enough to get him immediately and legally thrown from office? Maybe invoke the 25th amendment? Then it would be his own supporters who are seen as acting.

 

If this nation, if we let him go free, we permit the division and hate to continue. Who knows what he or his supporters might try next? But it must be done in a way that we don’t make him a martyr for hate. We don’t let him steal anymore headlines. Not only must he personally be discredited but his brand of politics.

 

And share this with Congress members. Call them. Tell them you’re glad they’re safe. Now, our nation must be made safe, from DT.

 

Please read Heather Cox Richardson for a more in-depth treatment of yesterday’s frightening events.

 

This post was syndicated by The Good Men Project.

A Holiday Wish: Ending the Deeper Dark

It’s snowing. Large flakes lazily fall. But in the distance, some light breaks through dark grey clouds.

 

News reports say tomorrow in the late afternoon, a snowstorm will develop. A large storm will be carrying over a foot of snow to the Northeast, maybe the biggest storm in the last few years.

 

Such storms generate great anticipation and emotion. Especially early in the season, there’s excitement along with trepidation. We wonder if the storm will really appear. Is the excitement, and danger, as real as we hope or fear? We often get so caught up in the human social world we forget the power of the universe that cradles us. Such storms can wake us up to this fact.

 

In normal years, we’d also wonder⎼ will schools be closed? This year everything is different. What will the effect of the snow be on remote learning? We will marvel at what nature can do, but many schools (and too many businesses) are already closed, at least to in-person attendance.

 

As we enter the darkest time of the year here in the northern hemisphere, we leave behind an even deeper darkness, a more intense cold. The pandemic, which is now killing more people per day than the 9/11 attacks, may by summer be ended due to vaccines and the policies of a new administration. The incitements to hate, violence, and attempted destruction of our voting system by the present President will be replaced with a true concern for others. For the last 4 years, DT has shown us what an utter lust for power can do to our nation, shown us the darkness and division that descends on people when a ruler is concerned only for himself.

 

But as we move toward the solstice and the darkest day of the year, we are moving also toward the spring. The winter reminds us we can endure and act.

 

I guess this is one reason I write blogs. It is a wish made physical and sent out into the universe to make explicit there is reason to hope, love, and care.

 

President-Elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated January 20th, although just saying it, making it real like that, excites yet scares me. I don’t want to jinx it….

 

**To read the whole piece, click on this link to The Good Men Project, where it was first published.

How Low Can You Go?

It is embarrassing. DT’s behavior is so obviously desperate, based on nothing but fear and a level of self-centered greed that should astound anyone who looks at it. And the desperation and blindness to anyone’s interests but his own is even getting to many of his most loyal supporters. But after 4 years of experiencing just how bad DT can be, we shouldn’t be at all surprised by his latest behavior.

 

Or rest our attention. I have been sleeping better each day with each step taken toward securing the constitutional peaceful transition of power. But who knows what despicable actions he might yet take?

 

In a recent tweet he attacked Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia for not using his “emergency powers…to overrule his obstinate [Republican] Secretary of State…” and claimed matching voter signatures to mail-in ballots would yield a “goldmine of fraud.” He also tweeted to Brian Kemp to “call off the [Senate runoff] election[s].” He was directly trying to stop an election. But the Governor and Secretary of State both refused to do so. Cody Hall, Kemp’s communications director, said the Governor does not have the legal authority to override (or cancel) the election. The only goldmine of fraud was coming from the White House.

 

Former Georgia Representative Allen Peake defended Governor Kemp and the way he handled the election results, and attacked DT, saying “I, for one, am tired of Trump’s whining. Man up, admit you got beat and do what’s right for the country.” And conservative columnist George Will earlier remarked that DT will end his presidency as he began it, by whining.

 

Trump likewise attacked Governor Ducey of Arizona for certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win in that state. While holding a press conference announcing the certification, reporters dimly heard the tune of “Hail to the Chief” which was the ringtone Ducey linked to calls from the WH. Ducey took out his phone from his coat pocket, saw who was calling, shook his head and continued with the press conference.

 

Even some of the most ardent DT sycophants are breaking with the President’s overwrought and baseless claims and attacks on our constitutional system. The latest was Attorney General Barr, who said, in an interview with the Associated Press, that the FBI and U. S. attorneys have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

 

Even Vice President Pence might, according to the Daily Beast, be backing away from DT. His name no longer appears with DT’s on their fund-raising appeals. And “sources” close to Pence say he “privately views the Rudy Giuliani-led legal operation to overturn the 2020 election through the mass disenfranchisement of votes as counterproductive and doomed.” Why not illegal and immoral? “The vice president doesn’t want to go down with this ship.”

 

As far back as November 6th, GOP began to push back against DT’s false election claims, beginning with Senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, and Pat Toomey, amongst others. And by 11/10, 9 GOP Senators and 5 Congresspeople recognized Biden won the election.  But, as of now, many congressional GOP still haven’t publicly acknowledged Biden’s win….

 

To read the whole post, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

No Congressional GOP Dare Call it Treason

As most of us know by now, DT was elected in 2016 with the help of a foreign power, the Russians. Even a bipartisan Congressional panel has recognized that. And despite Russian influence, he was not re-elected this year. Their interference in the 2016 election was in the headlines so often, and with so little apparent effect in holding DT accountable, many of us grew sick of hearing about it. And certainly since the election, despite denying it extensively, DT has acted to serve Russian interests, to serve Vladimir Putin.

 

For example, as spelled out in detail in the impeachment hearings, DT held up military aid to Ukraine, at a time when Ukraine was fighting Russian incursion. And he did that in order to force that nation to manufacture negative headlines on the Bidens. DT also decided to unilaterally withdraw U. S. troops from Germany as well as Syria, the latter of which left the area open for Russian troops and influence. And of course he failed to do anything to hold Putin accountable for his placing bounties on U. S. troops in Afghanistan. The examples could go on and on.

 

Now, we have another blatant act of support for Russia. Last Sunday, DT illegally withdrew the U. S., from the Open Skies Treaty, passed in 1992 to promote stability through transparency. It allowed the 34 member states to have unarmed flights over the other nations to collect data on what the military forces of other nations were doing.

 

DT claimed he withdrew the U. S. from the treaty because Russia wasn’t adhering to it. He pretended he was being tough and withdrawing from the treaty was punishing Russia for its actions. But he was actually strengthening Russia and punishing our European allies⎼ who depended on the information from the flights for their national security and objected to DT’s unilateral withdrawal from the treaty.

 

Rachel Maddow pointed out that not only is DT ending the flights, he’s destroying the planes so the Biden Administration wouldn’t be able to immediately start those flights up again once they took power in January.

 

We still have satellites to observe the Russian troop deployments, but it is unclear if this would provide our European allies the same degree of information as the flights. Without the flights, the defense capability of our allies could be diminished. And after four years of Trump putting “America First,” and continuously disrespecting or openly attacking our European and democratic allies while praising dictators, they feel abandoned by us.

 

DT has withdrawn from other treaties and organizations that for many years have served the interests of both the U. S. and our allies. Organizations like the World Health Organization, and treaties like the Paris Accords, the nuclear arms control treaty with Russia called the Intermediate-Range Forces Treaty, and, of course, the Iran Nuclear Deal.

 

And just as frightening and despicable are his actions at home⎼ dividing the nation, inciting violence, racism and so many other forms of hatred, and lying about the 2020 election in order to undermine the election system. For the last 4 years, he has been turning Main Street America into a second class nation….

 

**To read the whole post, please go to the Good Men Project. Thanks.

Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks Not Only for the Food and the Friendship but the Peaceful Transition of Power

We can celebrate. Yes! Ok, maybe there are restrictions and shadows, big ones at that. But we can do it. Smile. Dance. Step #2 towards a revived future and a revived nation has been taken.

 

Step #1 was the election day⎼ or days. In some states, early voting started a month before November 3rd, and then counting went on, in some places, until this Monday. Actually, there are a few states still counting. And it is clear Biden won, or clear to anyone not wearing DT colored or white (nationalist) colored glasses. Biden won by 5.3 million popular votes and 74 electoral votes, 306 to DT’s 232.

 

Step #2 came 16 days after election day when Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration, a DT appointee, declared President-elect Joe Biden the “apparent” President-elect. DT managed to freeze, incite chaos and anxiety, try to blatantly undermine or cancel the election, for almost a month. Then, on November 23rd Murphy contacted the White House and sent a personal letter to Biden. Resources as well as information and access, will now be granted to the President-elect. He can officially start the huge effort to take control of the executive branch of the government and begin planning how to safeguard this nation.

 

An adult with the inclination and ability to care about the well-being of others is now President. We can celebrate. November 23rd should have been declared a holiday. It might be the day that saved our nation from the Civil War that our present and soon-to-be past President drove us toward.

 

Step #3 will be January 6th, when the Electoral College will officially meet and certify the winner of the election. Step #4 will be January 20th, Inauguration Day. Step #5 will be when the tough process of executive actions and legislation to end the pandemic, improve health care and the economic position of millions of Americans, and create democracy is clearly underway.

 

DT was the first shadow on the holiday. COVID-19 is the second. This year, Thanksgiving needs to be masked and social distanced and attendance limited.

 

For 42 of the last 43 years, my wife and I had Thanksgiving with the same group of friends despite living in 3 different areas, all in driving distance of each other. Three of us went to college together, were on the same floor of the same freshman dormitory at the University of Michigan. We became close friends. Two of us shared an apartment for the last 2 years of college. We had almost no classes together, but many discussions, protests, social events. And the friendship has continued after we left Michigan. Others have joined us, most notably and joyfully our wives.

 

I looked forward each year to our time together. Looking forward to Thanksgiving gave me life and breath over many years of working long hours. But this year it can’t happen.

 

Instead, we invited 2 friends, a couple, former co-workers of my wife who live near to us, to join us. Actually, the invite was more synergistic than one couple inviting another. Although it took planning, it also took checking the weather report so it would be warm enough to leave windows open. We had to think about what would be safe. We brought out 2 leaves for our kitchen table to make it so we could sit more than 6 feet apart.

 

So, I wish us all, everyone, a wonderful holiday. I wish us all not only wonderful food but wonderful discussions. For those who can’t do it this year due to the necessary health restrictions or for whatever reason⎼ I wish that our new President, with our help, will not only end the coronavirus pandemic but the pandemic of hate and economic injustice. So we, more of us than ever, can share such a holiday in the future.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to us all. And may the transition of power be even less anxious and more peaceful and constitutional than it’s been.