This isn’t over. This wasn’t a protest. This wasn’t a riot. This was, and still is a bloody coup attempt.
Wednesday’s attack on the nation’s capital was designed to negate the presidential election results, and disabled the current and the incoming government. People were purposely killed. Many law enforcement agents helped to enable the breach. Democratically, and currently sitting members of the House and Senate supported it, and engaged in disinformation tactics to further it. The President who initiated it is still in power for 11 more days. His VP refuses to invoke the 25th Amendment. The leader of the Senate is hinting that he would not be calling the Senate back in session for any sort of second impeachment. The siege of the Capitol Building that was very likely meant to remove specific people in the line of succession. And 99% of the people who stormed the seat of democracy are still free to plan, and to act.
I just drove by a gun store near my house here in NH, and the normally sparsely populated parking lot was packed. There is a longer line to get into the gun shop than there is at the grocery store down the street.
But, news outlets keep telling me that it was just a protest. And politicians tell me that these people are just trying to protect their toilet paper supply. I’m sure it’s fine, right?
I published the following post on November 5, 2016. I thought I would republish it today.
It’s clear that I have been unsually quiet over the last couple of weeks leading up to this election. While everyone else is doubling down with only days to go, I’ve done the opposite.
I’m fried. Burnt out. Frazzled.
I tend to think through things to see their logical end. When it comes to this election there are really only two possible outcomes since no third party candidate is even within shouting distance of being able to pretend they have a chance. And so, as everyone in the world has noted, there is going to be a President Clinton or a President Trump. Except that’s not the two outcomes I have been thinking about…
If Donald Trump loses, his supporters have hinted, or just plain came out and stated, that they will revolt. And since many of these same people are also armed and more than willing to use their weapons on someone who isn’t American-looking enough for them (or just give them the beat down anyway, as has been happening more and more lately), there is no reason not to take this threat extremely seriously.
Of course, if Donald Trump wins the same people have also made it just as clear that they will take the results as a mandate to get to right to work cleaning up the country and ridding it of anyone who doesn’t look, act, or sound American enough for them.
In other words, the same crap is going to happen regardless of who wins or loses. We are virtually guaranteed of increased violence against certain people based on their looks, their faith, the way they talk, and even what they think.
And so, what I have been musing on is not the election so much as the results. The political pundits have been honing their ability to divide people over the last few decades. The idea has always been to identify the differences between “us and them” and amplify it until people feel that the choice is no longer just political, but existential as well. The resulting divide has already harmed families and friendships, and caused irrevocable damage at the cost of a swing vote or two. But because these political operatives live their lives in this cesspool of divisiveness, they’ve forgotten that everyday people don’t. As a result, voters don’t see things as “just politics” anymore. What was once a “get out the vote effort”, has now become a road map for lasting civil strife in America.
I started this blog with far more noble intentions than bashing on an orange fascist. I wanted to explore the similarities that we all have, deep down. I wanted to unify, not divide. Instead, I too followed the same tainted partisan schisms, in an effort to somehow keep hate at bay. Only, you can’t stop hate, you can really only increase understanding. Understanding leads to familiarity, and with familiarity comes caring and concern. Until we can finally recognize that we are all humans seeking the same basic needs (clean air and water, food, clothing and shelter, as well as safety and security), then we will listen to the political static. We will follow the hyperbolic narrations that are designed to turn our neighbors into enemies, and politicians into saviors.
Unless we are willing to cross the street and shake hands with our political opponents, we are most assuredly heading into a dark period of our history. It will really all hinge on how many kind acts we can perform for one another, regardless of politics. If we can’t do that, then the election itself is meaningless. Hate has already won.
You know, even an idiot like me could see that this was coming from miles away. The idea no one saw this coming is just wrong. Those who didn’t see it coming were either not paying even a little bit of attention, were whistling past the graveyard, or they were quietly hoping.
This was predictable, and it’s not over. Donald Trump has always been willing to do whatever it takes to stay out of prison.
He has just over 14 days left in power. He needs to be removed as soon as possible.
So, the only organization that has called winners and losers in a U.S. Presidential elections on election night have been news organizations. They make predictions based on the percentage of counted votes that the States themselves make public. But suddenly this president is demanding that “we accept the call that’s made on TV the night of the election.”
Okay, so ignoring the fact that anyone who voted 20 years ago knows that’s not true. And ignoring the idea that most people prior to the mid-20th century must have just stared at the blank spot on the wall where their future TV would go, and waited for some answers from it. And ignoring the fact that the only reason he is president right now is because of the electoral college, which does not vote for at least a few more weeks (you’d think he’d want to wait around for that one, right? [*cough* *cough* 3 million votes *cough* *cough*])…
Putting all of that aside, you’ve got to wonder why the guy who has been doing his best to delegitimize “the fake news media”, suddenly wants to hang all of his hopes on what they have to say tomorrow night.
Editorial comment: Somehow a very important few words disappeared from the first sentence when I first published this. The first sentence has been changed to reflect that I meant ‘on election night’.
Today I saw two fairly typical rural New Hampshirey kind of guys (white males, beards and baseball caps, obligatory work boots, and a variety of apparel from famed designers such as Mossie Oake and Coco Flanell) slogging hip deep through the roadside tick-grass dragging a massive sign that proclaimed: “Asians for Trump”. These guys were in the process of hammering it into the ground directly between myself and a bunch of very beautiful fall leaves. I absolutely hate political signs.
I suspect if I had actually pulled over and pointed out to these guys just how dense their political irony was, it would be as welcome from me as breaking the news about where fortune cookies actually come from.
The problem is that publicly voicing any sort of political speech these days is just as likely to get you shot, as get you are to get run over by a muscle car or big-ass truck with giant tires and a Punisher sticker on the back window. All while sustaining a barrage of colorful potty words, and various observations about your appearance and pedigree.
I am afraid that no matter who wins this presidential election, there will be violent reactions across the country, leading to far more deaths than there should ever be in a country with free and fair elections. And if you’re wondering just how many deaths should happen as a result of free and fair elections, the answer is zero.
Today I woke up to stories about anonymous police forces patrolling the streets of our nation’s capital. When asked who they were, they replied simply that they “work for the federal government”. Further investigation seems to suggest that they are from the Bureau of Federal Prisons. So what are they patrolling for? Who are they tasked with protecting?
This is probably related to the fact that only a few days after the President of the United States steamrollered masses peaceful protesters in from of the White House with tear gas and rubber bullets (citizens and press alike), apparently because His Orangeness was suddenly gripped with the overwhelming urge to go pose with a Bible like a grumpy Billy Mays trying to hawk some overstock.
Of course, that gem had been done in response to news reports that Trump and his family had been whisked away to a bunker for their safety after a horde of protesters broke through some barricades the night before in their attempts to have a word with him.
Needless to say, that too had a prequel: The senseless death of George Floyd at the knee of a white police officer. This event wasn’t so much a ‘spark in a tinderbox’ kind-of-thing, it was more like a “a bonfire in an ammo dump”, if you catch my drift.
Because, why? Because, before all of these things there was the countless other things that have happened. There has been three and a half mother fucking years of this slow moving coup. And they’re getting away with nothing more than Trump smashes a bunch of dishes in front of a camera, while McConnell and Barr run out the back door with the jewelry.
Why has everything suddenly escalated? Why is becoming more authoritarian with each passing event?
The election is coming soon, and the idea U.S. citizens voting almost entirely by mail is now a very real possibility, and therefore a very real threat to the GOP. They weren’t counting on COVID-19 helping to level the voter suppression playing field. But they’re not fighting like this just because they’re worried about losing their jobs.
Nope… They’re worried about a whole lot more than that.
Yesterday, Donald Trump showed the world just how focused he is on corruption. And never before have a U.S. president’s actions been so illustrative.
We might have doubted how focused on corruption he was when he sent his neighborhood buddy and newly anointed personal lawyer and fixer, Rudy Ghouliani to Ukraine to uncover the deeply hidden evidence of corruption that only someone like Rudy could identify. But, despite our doubt and his having one of the best intelligence organizations in the world at his fingertips, Trump intuitively knew that only Rudy could produce this kind of evidence he needed.
However, yesterday when Donald Trump decided to pardon Rob Blagojevich, Bernie Kerik, and Michael Milken, he was showing the world just how devoted he was to corruption. Trump was resigned to the fact that, despite the deep lessons that he and Susan Collins knew that he had learned during his impeachment, it was necessary for him to forge on and continue to work on corruption in ways that only he alone could.
Don’t for a minute believe that this is somehow a real world equivalent of the mass breakout of Death Eaters from Azkaban. This is a carefully orchestrated summoning of individuals with unique talents, who are now indebted to Donald Trump, and who will help him get done what he needs getting done.
Don’t be fooled by this flurry of seemingly crazy and unrelated pardons, it is by no means a smokescreen for the upcoming pardons for Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. It’s just a happy coincidence in Trump’s personal crusade with corruption. Nor is this some sort of public celebration of his exoneration by Mitch McConnell’s Senate. And it most definitely isn’t a giant middle finger to the millions of Americans who have always been able to trust that in America no one is above the law.
Why do I feel like Mitch McConnell is the kind of guy who has been harboring a deep, poisonous resentment ever since the third grade when he ended up being the only boy in the town’s history who didn’t get invited to the Sadie Hawkins dance.
One day years from now as he lay dying, he‘ll probably even get to have his own little villainous Rosebud moment as he drifts off…