They wrapped him in a pretty package Glitz and glamour, golden words Written on the fronts of buildings In his mind, it's all absurd. They marched him out in front of cameras He claimed he didn't like it there Fluttered over onto Twitter All his grievances to air. News is dead, except for FOX, He typed in looming letters large. Put dissenters in a box Bound with lies, said he's in charge. Fighting words at all his rallies, Never gave an inch of grace. Lock her up and yes, we're coming MAGA fists up in your face. Republicans were first to falter. One by one the statesmen fell, Sacrificed on Donald's alter On the path to Trumpian hell. Lock her up, the MAGAts chanted, Led by their besmirking boss, Leading our first competent woman To a devastating loss. "Out with government!" Donald shouted, "You're the ones to lead this place." As he smiled inside with glee Knowing that he held the ace. "First I'm going to stop the Muslims" Chaos reigned throughout the land As students, moms and dad and doctors Could not return as they had planned. Next I'm going to bring your jobs back Donald said before the crowd, Pulling out a planted speaker All those lies were soon avowed. "You're my people," Donald shouted, "For you I won't claim a check!" MAGAts swooned and not one doubted, But Donald had done stacked the deck. His golf trips soon were high in number, Dragging along his secret staff, Playing US fiscal plumber His properties earned as Donald laughed. Not everyone was blind to cheating Stories ran about Donald's fraud But nothing stopped the sheep from bleating, "Donald has been sent by God." Prayers were lifted in his honor. Hands were placed upon his head. As slyly he evaded questions About which Bible verse he'd read. "You're my people! God has sent us!" Trump decreed with forked tongue. As he separated parents From their children, oh, so young. "These aren't people. They aren't like us." Peering through the chain link fence, Were small brown faces, wide eyes crying, Trumpist gain at their expense. Someone will check him, we all whispered, Hoping Congress would do their job. Despite impeaching, no removal. Congress now ruled by the MAGAt mob. Coronavirus now infects us, Spreading wide across the land Help was absent, supplies lacking, Just like Donald Trump had planned. For four long years our country's suffered Under Trump's despotic reign. Hopefully we've learned a lesson To never hire his like again. Democracy's a fragile system Meant to be shared by everyone, Voters at the ballot box, Not raving madmen with a gun. So enter science, education, Civics classes so in need. With a new administration Ramp it up with lightning speed. Restore faith within the system Build it back up brick by brick. Teach our children not to fall for Chicanery or glitzy tricks. Lest a people so deluded By the Piper's mesmerisms End up walking off the cliff, And taking the whole country with them.
These past 4 years have been excruciating. It’s no secret that I don’t believe Trump is president material. Never have, never wiil, and he’s completely met (or exceeded) my expectations in this. Before he descended that elevator I’ve known. From the moment he took to the podium with his doomsday speech about American carnage I’ve known. Most of the people I know have known. Which begs the question, how can so many not see?
I had a brief messaging conversation with someone I love dearly. I tried to bring up some things Trump has been widely known to have done. He wouldn’t even read my message. He read a couple of lines, pictured CNN (which I don’t even watch), and stopped reading. Good job FOX. Good job right wing radio jocks. Your job is complete. If I ever wanted to brainwash a population, the first thing I would do would be to convince them that everyone but me was misinformed. That everyone but me was spouting false information. I can’t even get this person to listen to NPR.
I have to admit to a penchant for steering toward the liberal side of things. I follow certain anchors on MSNBC, but I know I have this bias, so early on I found Republicans that I trusted who also don’t think Trump is presidential material, who also know that he’s leading this country down a dark path. I followed them. I read what they have to say. They are conservatives. They believe in limited government and strict adherence to the Constitution. They provide balance to my leanings. I can accept and respect their position because I know where it comes from. Many things I disagree with. Some I agree with. I’ve always believed we were a better country when we strike a balance between the disagreeing factions.
FOX News watchers rightly believe that the other news channels have an agenda. What they fail to see is that their chosen news source has one as well. They have been convinced over the years that their chosen news source is the holy font when it comes to information. I’m sure the Murdochs are thrilled.
It’s always a good idea to consume news with a critical eye. Question what you are being told, and if you only watch one source, be it conservative or liberal, break out of your bubble and ground yourself with a different take.
I found this article on the subject interesting. It’s notable that Republicans see everything outside of their bubble as being biased, while Democrats are more flexible on this issue. Scroll down to the bottom to see the graphs. My takeaway is that you can’t really go wrong with checking in with NPR News.
I don’t know how we come back from this great divide. With so much technology and access to information, confirmation bias is a very real thing. It’s cementing ideas in people’s heads. Somehow we have to find common ground. We have to be able to discuss differences with an ear to understanding. I hope it’s not too late.
So… where do you get your news?
P.S. If you want a humorous take on the right wing side of confirmation bias, I recommend Jordan Klepper Fingers the Pulse from the Daily Show.
So, who watched the debate?
My son told me they talked about it at a work meeting this morning, where it was described, aptly, as a sh*#show. I told him I felt that by watching I had volunteered to be flogged. He didn’t watch. He’s better about self-care than I am.
I’m curious how anyone can support Donald Trump. Each time a scandal comes to light, each time he gets up on stage and spews his hateful, divisive rhetoric, I think that will be the end of his support. I wake up to hearing the same excuses, rationalizations, and justifications for his abhorrent behavior. My neighbors on three sides have Trump flags flying. At this point if you are still a Trump-supporter, I’m questioning your humanity.
It was torture watching our bully president rage over both moderator Chris Wallace and former VP Biden. His whole demeanor was aggressive and mean. He repeatedly name-called and dehumanized democrats by calling us crazy, left-wing liberals. This democrat (me) is a human, with a view that you should help others and be a good steward of both money and natural resources. Come over for coffee sometime. I’ll show you my garden, such as it is. You can meet my dogs. They are sweet. I’ll tell you about the peaceful protests I’ve attended, what they’re really like and what prompted me to go. What name-calling and depersonalization do is to make someone the other, to make him/her less than you. It’s the first step toward being able to commit atrocities. Don’t think I haven’t wondered who’s coming for me.
During the debate, Trump got personal. It was awful hearing him steamroll Joe Biden and dismiss his son Beau in order to smear Hunter. I thought Biden had a classy parent comeback. He acknowledged that Hunter had dealt with his drug issue and that he was proud of him. What a great dad! Those boys had to be dealing with a lifetime of trauma after losing their mom and sister. Their dad did everything he could to alleviate their suffering, but nothing can make up for that. Some of us are more resilient than others.
If you want to see the fruit of the tree, turn the spotlight on the Trump kids, none of whom were wearing masks during the debate, in direct violation of the rules set by the venue, showing at the very least a contemptuous lack of respect.
Joe Biden is not a perfect candidate, but he has what it takes to lead this country. He’s not going to be a cult figure. We don’t need any more of those. He does have experience. He knows people, and knows people who know people. He has experience on the world stage. He knows how to form coalitions, and he understands that shows of force and belligerent attitudes don’t push our country forward. He will hire experts and defer and delegate. This, my friends, is leadership. Getting on stage and yelling the loudest is not.
Please vote blue. We desperately need a reset.
Side note: In looking something up, I found that there’s a whole Wikipedia page devoted to Trump nicknames. This grieves me. This man should not be leading our great country.
I’m exhausted. I know I’m not alone. There’s been a constant barrage of norm-breaking, lies, and corruption from this administration. It’s easy to feel outraged. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Every day it seems there’s a new story. More chaos. It’s so easy to feel powerless. But we’re only powerless when we give up our power.
So do something small.
Wajahat Ali posed the question on Twitter, what will you do, Democrats? The responses ran the gamut. Hold them to account. Take to the streets. March on Washington. I agree with all of those things, but realistically, I won’t be doing most of them. I will count on my own elected officials to hold them to account. I won’t be flying to Washington. I may hit the streets, masked up and with my sanitizer in my pocket. But one thing I can do is help my local democratic group. Starting Friday, I will be filling out cards and mailing them. Old school, as my kids like to say.
Ponder the inspiring words of Kamala Harris in her VP acceptance speech at the DNC.
What will you do?
P.S. In 28 hours after Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, Democrats raised over $90 million. This was thrilling news.
Speak with your feet in the street and shout with your credit card out.
Let me start off by admitting that I’ve never been much of an athlete. I tried track in high school and got 4th out of 4 by hanging back to encourage a teammate during the mile. (She had the nerve to sprint ahead of me at the finish!) I was the kid shooting granny-shots in middle school basketball during the last 5 minutes of a winning game. So maybe my view is skewed, and maybe I have this wrong, but allow me an attempt at an analogy.
I remember during that middle-school basketball experience learning how to plant my body in front of my opponent to impede his progress. I don’t remember the name of the move, but I do remember that it was risky. Placing yourself in front of a charging, basketball-wielding player intent on hitting the goal might cause you, upon contact, to go flying across the court. It was also tricky. Not fully planting your feet would cause a foul call upon you. Your job as defense was to plant your feet firmly and road-block your opponent.
Progressives are now playing defense. Not only that, but we are playing against the team that is known for playing dirty, and they’ve probably bought the refs. But we can use and must use this play.
It’s time to dig in our heels and not chase down the players. It’s time to plant ourselves firmly in front of the player with the ball and not move. He may, and probably will, get around us, but hopefully we’ve given the blockers time to move into position to successfully throw the ball back to us. The opposition may score a few points, but this is a game we must win. Our democracy depends upon it.
There’s a whisper growing louder
(Have you heard?) –
Voices lost now being found
Sweeping up the scattered words,
Whipped by robust winds –
They are landing in the streets.
Upon people of all walks of life
They’ve found a pulsing beat
The heartbeat of America
A promise to deliver
As immigrants and native souls
Create a human river.
Words splatter over painted signs,
And rise from voices strong
Of dedicated people
Who sing their country’s song –
They sing of lofty principles
Inscribed on fragile paper,
By men of foresight long ago
Lest they dissipate like vapor.
These words are seared upon the hearts
Of freedom loving folk,
We are all created equal
And won’t accept the yoke
Of stubborn inequality,
Of silencing our voices.
Remember soon the season comes
When we renew our choices.
Until then we claim these words,
We use them as our tools,
Of building our foundation
That precludes your silly rules.
We stand together strong and proud
And raise collective fists
Declaring our autonomy
And pledging to resist.
Join us. https://www.indivisibleguide.com/
When confronted with the Holocaust, one question many of us have is why didn’t the German people see this coming and stop it? Sane people recognize that Hitler was a madman. He somehow managed to pull people into his cause, to harness the energy of darkness and squelch the light. He was given license to commit atrocities against millions of people in a dark cloud of torture and killing that hangs over humanity to this day. So why didn’t the German people stop it?
Maybe they didn’t see it coming.
I remember as a child playing outside all afternoon. The sun would be going down and twilight descending over the land, but we could still see, so we remained outside. Only after coming into the light and looking out did we realize how dark it had actually become. This is what is happening to my America right now. Twilight is descending in the form of bans and firing of the acting A.G. It is enveloping us with the inclusion of an avowed white nationalist as a major player on the security council. Darkness is encroaching with attacks on our free press. For the moment, we can still see, but for how much longer.
Someone recently told me she couldn’t understand why people are protesting. She made a comment that good people had jobs and couldn’t be leaving their jobs to spend their lives protesting, insinuating that protesters are not working people. I pointed out that when a cause is sufficiently important, even working people make the time to protest. I live too far away from a major airport, or I would contribute one of my days off to joining in to protest the Muslim ban (or travel ban, or whatever alternative reality label you want to slap on it). I recognize the injustice of the EO, and I will add it to my ever-growing list of things to stand up against, policies that are not reflective of our American identity of leadership in the world and inclusion (ultimately) of our immigrants.
May we learn from Hilter’s Germany. Resistance begins with us.
As I finished typing this I got a notification that the senate had approved Mnuchin and Price without Democrats present by suspending the rules. Welcome to your new America. I encourage you to support your free press. Subscribe to a newspaper. Support the ACLU. Above all, resist.
What a year! What an election! My recent posts make no secret of where I stand on Donald Trump’s presidency. If you voted for him, I hope you can reconcile the damage he is going to do to this country. If you voted for him and have buyer’s remorse, join us. It’s not too late. (Hey, it happens. My vote for GWB was followed by immediate regret.) If you didn’t vote for anyone, shame on you. If you voted for Hillary… or Gary…or even Jill, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Our marching orders have arrived, and they are pink.
I’m sad to say, I didn’t get a hat. I know I can still knit one. It may come in handy in the future. I’m relatively sure there wasn’t a run on pink yarn in my conservative town. Fortunately the color of my rain jacket happens to be the color of the resistance.
My original plan was to march in Portland with a friend, but her plans changed. Her husband would be joining her, and they were making a weekend of it. Figuring out the logistics of parking and meet-ups was too daunting. Then the Portland inauguration day protests took a violent turn (damn anarchists), which made me reluctant to head into the masses solo. I would go to Eugene instead.
After spending all of Friday cooped up and feeling powerless, binging on chocolate and watching news shows, I woke up Saturday refreshed and with a clear focus. I turned on a live stream of the DC march and was immediately infused with hope. I made one last plea for companions to join me and got no takers. My male support system doesn’t do pink. (I’m still working on that.) No biggie. I might go alone, but I sure wouldn’t be alone.
I was early and went directly to the parking garage suggested on the Facebook page. I found myself in a line of cars circling in vain up and around the structure. I finally found a parking spot blocks away from downtown, pitying the people who arrived later.
The meet-up area in front of the courthouse was packed. The crowd had overflowed into the still-active road by the time I got there. People of all ages, ethnicities, and genders were packed like sardines. I normally avoid crowds at all costs, but sometimes you have to make a sacrifice for the cause. I couldn’t hear any speakers, so at that point it was a matter of waiting, of lending my presence to a movement, of giving substance to my voice.
Marching orders were slow in coming. People around me were getting impatient. We didn’t know if it was a lack of organization/communication or if there were that many people who had filled in behind us. A drone hovered overhead and all eyes looked up and pointed signs. Finally a group to the side of me decided to peel away and walk down the next street, and slowly but surely, we began to move, a long, slow parade of people with hand-made signs touting different agendas who all came together as a statement that differing ideas were okay, but dividing us was not.
There were chants of not my president. I couldn’t lend my voice to that one. For better or worse, he is my president, but that doesn’t give him license to do whatever he wants. As America Fererra said, the president isn’t America; we are America. Lest anyone forget that, there were chants of this is what democracy looks like. That one I can get behind, and that one I will defend with everything at my disposal.
And so I marched. I marched with young and old. I marched with gay people and straight. I marched with mothers and children, fathers and sons. I marched for the future, for inclusion, for justice. I marched for the world I want my children to live in.
There is strength in numbers. We’ve shown we are strong. We must resist. Failure is not an option.
It’s a new day, America.
I watched our new president’s inauguration speech this morning on YouTube/PBS. Being the stubborn person I am, I refused to watch it live and increase any potential ratings. As I watched, and you must watch to get the full effect, I started hearing ominous background music in my head, the kind that comes at the start of The Hunger Games or any other movie where you know the politician in charge is up to no good and you’re all going to be screwed.
The gist? We’re going to make America great again, damn it. How are we going to do it? Well, with police and military, protectionism and patriotism (read nationalism). In this speech we found out that the blood of all patriots is the same color regardless of the color of their skin. (Do I need to add that the blood of everyone else in the world is also the same color? Such rhetoric.) We’re going to end the “carnage” of inner city drugs and gangs and make sure Americans are first.
I don’t know about you, but I found the use blood and carnage in an inauguration speech horrifying, especially given the tone. This is not your Obama hope and inclusion speech.
America, I fear there are dark days ahead. Women will march tomorrow in solidarity, sending a message that our voices count to a man who claims to be for us, the people, but has a penchant for sexual assault and misogyny. And it won’t just be women marching, but the men in our lives who support us. We won’t be silenced.
But I imagine they will try.
One part of the president’s speech rankled me.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
I consider myself a patriotic person. I am not a flag-waver, singing “Proud to be and American” at the top of my lungs. I’m a quiet patriot. If you come after my country, I will be there to defend it through words or whatever implement I have on hand. But I understand that in our country, there is room for dissenting views. That’s the essence of the First Amendment. What will constitute a “total allegiance” to the USA, and who will decide what loyalty to our country means? For example, to me, loyalty to our country means honoring the free press and the constitutional amendments. It also means working with the system and not refusing to even hear a supreme court nomination. It means listening to our intelligence community and giving credence to the work they risk their lives to provide. I imagine under the Trump administration, “total allegiance” will take on a more sinister tone of agreement with the powers that be. I hope I’m wrong.
Our allegiance is to the United States of America, to its institutions and its Constitution, an ideal put to paper that we must defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Yet we must be very clear about what that threat is. Burning a flag is deplorable, but not a threat to the greatness of the United States. Clamping down free speech is.
It’s a new day, America, a day to ask yourself if you are willing to risk exposure and speak up against any and all attempts to destroy our freedoms? Stand up. Speak up. Don’t risk losing those rights.
Today was the day that life as they know it in the White House Press Briefing Room ended. pic.twitter.com/Yt12yo7w07
— Lawrence O’Donnell (@Lawrence) January 19, 2017