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Posts Tagged ‘Inauguration’

Hitting the Bullseye …

I tell you what, those Women’s Marches yesterday were exactly what about 51.1% of America needed: a rallying cry shouting out that the country will not allow itself to be steamrolled by a juggernaut of egoist, portfolio-first plutocrats. Friday’s Inauguration was less of a ceremony signifying the peaceful transition of power, and more of a funeral for a friend. Saturday’s rallies were a fusillade of fireworks signifying “Hurray! We’re not dead yet!”

I hope this catharsis ripples across the whole country, and boy, it certainly looks like it. Look at Boise, Idaho, one of the deepest of the deep-red states! [photo from the Idaho Statesman]

0121-wmarch

But We’re Not Playing Darts

When you listen to those who hate the notion of a Trump presidency, chief among their list of grievances is all the insulting comments he made during his candidacy and throughout his whole life. “They’re rapists”. “He’s not a war hero.” “Shut down all Muslims.” and, of course, “Grab her by the pussy.” He is a vulgar, vulgar man, of that there is no denying. One of my good friend’s sons is autistic, and Trump’s mocking of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski [I’m not going to link to it because that incident is one of the most revolting things Trump has ever done — PAD] sent her into such a rage I wonder if her husband thought she was having a stroke.

So the grievances are clear. He’s a hate-filled shit and deserves to be treated like a hate-filled shit. Unfortunately, the country isn’t currently imperiled because the President of the Unites States is a hate-filled shit. History is replete with hate-filled shits sitting in the Oval Office: Andrew Jackson, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, so many others. All had tempers, all could be extremely vulgar. Even both Roosevelts had tempers and less-than-savory views on one ethnicity or another. We suffered through all of them, and some of the worst of the hate-filled shits were actually some of our greatest presidents. That’s not the actual threat to the country.

The real threat that’s out there isn’t vulgarity. The threat we face is much more dire. Donald Trump, his staff, his Cabinet, and his ideologies represent a clear and present danger to fundamental, long-standing American principles. Just a few of the items on the list:

  • the refutation of NATO and acceptance of Russian neo-imperialism
  • the disruption of trade and support of economic isolation
  • the disregard of science, not just in global warming but in vaccinations, air pollution, public health, and other things
  • doubling-down on the economic, geopolitical, and ecological unsustainability of oil
  • the magnitude of danger associated with mass deportations and the foolishness of a “big wall”
  • transitioning the education of our children into profit centers for private industries
  • the abandonment of the poor and disenfranchised, whether in terms of the ACA, Medicaid, unqualified HUD management, or any of a list of other initiatives
  • a migration of the nation to plutocracy (just take a look at the Cabinet)

The weapons in their arsenal that they are already using against us?

That last one is really important here in context of Women’s March: the Left has been angered and spawned to action because of cold and calculated expertise in doing so. This is the Right’s current stock-in-trade: using anger and insult to attract and inspire followers and incite opponents into losing their reason. They’ve been doing it a looooong time and do it FAR better than the Center or the Left will ever be able to. That type of tactic simply isn’t in the playbook of the rest of us, and we shouldn’t be using it, or we’ll lose even more.

We Need to Play the Real Game — by Rewriting It

I’m convinced the defeat of the Trump administration will actually be achieved by rewriting political discourse. That’s exactly what he did: he rewrote all the laws of campaigning and won the Presidency (and leaving us standing there, with our jaws agape, wondering what the hell just happened). This is what the rest of us now have to do: we have to change the rules. I’m not entirely sure what it will take, but I’m thinking it will be a combination of these

  • the abandonment of sound-bite, sensationalist, trope-filled news media. They are powerless and ineffective and are actually aiding in the downfall of reason (i.e. they’re making you stupid).
  • the resurrection of fact-based, data-driven journalism. The truth shall set you free, and (as we’ve seen) it pisses off Donald Trump to no end.
  • moving away from protest. Protest is a reaction, and risks playing into their hands (witness the failure of Black Lives Matter because of violent protests).
  • moving towards direct legislative and legal action.

That last bullet is the real problem. The Center is sadly long dead because they did not have strong leaders. There are scant few moderates left in political office, and they are not coalesced. The Left lost because they’ve been failing to build a grassroots political organization at local and state levels and do not have a strong base. This is why the Right has been able to take power so handily.

What’s really needed is direct intervention in politics. Directly calling the offices of members of Congress. Directly challenging laws in court. Directly using FOIA and other protections to force the release of key documents. Directly participating in local politics (especially school boards) and grooming tomorrow’s elected officials.

It is time we fought back. We just need a new game plan.

 

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[Edited to fix some horrible formatting choices that made it look like my opinions were President Trump’s comments — PAD]

A Punch to the Throat

When I was about 13 years old, I finally had enough. I didn’t care that I was small, scrawny, had Coke-bottle glasses, and had never been in a fight in my life. I was sick of being pushed around. So I let my anger boil up, and I stood up, fists clenched, ready to fight. That red-haired shit (whatever his name was, at this point I don’t care, I only hope he’s in one of those shitty private prisons somewhere) took one swing and punched me in the throat. I dropped like a rock, right to the ground, completely powerless, lying on the ground.

When something like that happens, it’s not cinematic. There’s no color-graded slow motion, no violin music, no anguished looks or hammy overacting. You just go :flooomph: and hit the ground, in the most undignified fashion possible. Then you wonder just what the hell hit you.

A Punch to the Gut

So there I was, joke-tweeting the inauguration silliness from my satirical account, when along came the time for President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address. Now I make no bones about hating this man, and one of the things I hate most is his big, fat mouth and the crap that flows out of it. But this is special, this is different, this is an Inaugural Address, and like it or not, he’s duly-elected and is President. I made a concerted effort to put down the Twitter and listen to the man, as fairly and as fully as I could, even with my own biased viewpoint.

After it was over, barely twenty minutes later, I was horrified. Truly, deeply horrified, right to the core of my being. My brain was locked right up, I was speechless, and I had a pain right in the gut. It was a metaphorical punch to the throat, and I was lying in the grass in a lump. My next tweet from my joke account was “That was ****ing revolting.” Yay, comedy!

Expectations

Politicians, pundits, and the “socially active” always have these grandiose expectations for the content and tone of these inauguration speeches. Some want to “bring the country together”. This was a big one this year: it was such a nasty and divisive election, a lot of people felt he needed to do this. Some want to “expand on the vision” (a favorite of the intellectual right this year); or “bring gravitas” (which is code for “learn to communicate like an adult and not like a preteen troll”).

I, like a lot of Americans, kinda don’t have any expectations for political speeches any more. It’s yet another speech with another set of platitudes. I always have a private list of buzzwords and tropes, and giggle when one is hit, because I know the press will talk about each one, and the giant circle-jerk we call  “political discourse” will continue. After this shitstorm of an election, I’d love to get back to the same, old, tired political discourse for a while. It would be comforting.

Well, all those expectations went right to hell.

Instead of any of these same-old tropes, Donald Trump double-downed on the shitstorm. I would love for a future historian to find this blog and decide to call this inauguration address “The Shitstorm Speech”. Oh, that would be grand.

Realities

Here’s what we got from Donald Trump on this historical day:

Donald Trump has no intention of uniting a divided country

This speech has the same tone & timbre as all his campaign stump speeches. Same style, same content, same delivery, everything. This means several things: 1) he’s targeting those people who found his style appealing in the first place, and has no interest in broadening his base; 2) he’s totally doubling-down on everything that pissed off half the country in the first place (i.e. if you’re black, or gay, or latino, or a woman, go f&ck yourself); and 3) he enjoyed the combative nature of the campaign and wants to keep it going. This third one is most troubling. Most candidates hate the trail and want off it as soon as they can, because it is combative and nasty. He likes being combative and nasty.

Donald Trump wants to inflame the people

Someone go back in history and find a President using the term “American carnage” in any public, non-campaign speech. Carnage? Jesus Christ! Half his speech was dedicated to painting a picture of America like we’re such a miserable, forgotten hellscape. Yeah, we got many problems, but “American carnage”? That is a massive stretch, even with our problems. I dare anyone from his tribe of miscreants to prove that American carnage describes our situation . But there he is, crafting America as a place of death. “Carnage”. “Tombstones”. “Lives Robbed”. Good lord, it’s Grand Theft Auto: Fifty States Edition! There’s only one reason to take things in that direction: he wants to give his base a motive for hating our country (not “our country”, as in the patriotic slogan on a t-shirt, but our ACTUAL COUNTRY as it stands today).

Donald Trump is providing targets

All throughout his speech he’s tying this faux bleakness to our ruling politicians of both parties in a grotesque, attack tone. Usually, inauguration speeches attack ideas or ideologies that are not to their liking; Trump makes it personal. He doesn’t come right out and say  “It’s all their fault!” while pointing at everyone around him on the Capital steps, but damn it, it’s close. I think if he had a big enough private army, he could have easily had the entire Congress, Judiciary, and bunch of old, retired presidents executed on the spot.

Donald Trump wants to ignore the real targets

You can also read into what he left out. Grab your loudest “government cynic” hat, and think the worst of your government. Do politicians work for themselves? Well, yeah, but on who’s behest? Those who fund their campaigns. So they’re beholden to those moneyed interests. Who are these moneyed interests? Well, for shorthand, it’s the 1%. These are the ones who wanted NAFTA and the TPP and the banking loopholes and all the other crap that, either in reality or in Trump’s universe, has created this “carnage”. But not a shred of anything in his speech about the effects of money on politics. Why? Well, because to him, Big Money is good, and the rich are better than you. Why do you think his Cabinet is populated by CEOs, Wall Street bankers, and people who hate public school kids, people on Medicare, and anyone who works at more than minimum wage? They are “great”, and aren’t “the problem”, in Trump’s eyes.

This is why you inflame people: you make them stupid so they miss the real target.

Donald Trump is suggesting illegal, tyrannical revolt

At first glance, his statements about “our government is controlled by the people” is awesome. Yes, it is supposed to be “our government” and “our country”. But then he vomits up “January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.” Whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA! America does not have rulers! Even “carnage America” does not have rulers, and that INCLUDES the people. We are a nation of laws and rights. The ONLY thing that “rules us” are the laws and regulations that are put into effect by our elected representatives,under the auspices of the Constitution, and constrained by the Bill of Rights and other Amendments. This notion of “we are the rulers” is the type of dangerous talk that gives “populist” a very bad name. That shit’s not me being a “libtard”, that’s historically traceable to the most infamous of tyrannies. All of them were started with this kind of talk

Enough

I can’t analyze his little speech any more. I could on for pages about his comments and executive orders on loyalty and patriotism. Tyrants give me ulcers. This man is a menace, and he must be stopped. God almighty, I hope we find a way.

 

 

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