We live in Bizarro World.
It’s been awhile since I posted here regularly. I’m not sure when I’ll be resuming in earnest but, in the meantime, here’s something I thought you’d want to see. It’s an ad from Democratic moneyman (and possible Senate candidate) Tom Steyer.
Here’s the guy who’s setting the agenda for the United States of America. He’s a stone cold fascist and an unrepentant white supremacist. The only appropriate response to this president (Trump or Bannon, take your pick) and this kind of regime is resistance. Period. Full stop.
(And if you need a primer on resistance in the age of Trump, here’s a great place to start.)
I’m going out on a limb here so bear with me: My biggest worry these days is that the most serious threat we face will be something that’s not on most people’s radar right now. I believe it will be something that takes place away from the glare of the Washington spotlight, likely drowned out of your newsfeed by the ongoing cacophony of Trump tweets and the outrage du jour over Spicer’s latest misdirections and deflections.
I believe that 2017 will see unprecedented restrictions on voting rights—aimed explicitly at Democratic voting blocs—enacted on the state level. Republican majorities in one state legislature after another will enact impediments to minority voting that will dwarf in scale and scope anything we’ve seen so far in states like North Carolina.
And here’s the thing: No one in the Justice Department is going to lift a finger to stop it. The protections of the Voting Rights Act have been dismantled, relics of a different era with different values. And if this is going to be stopped, it will have to happen state by state. If it isn’t stopped now—and if I’m right about the nature of the threat—then the resulting system will probably include some sort of voting (for the right people, at least) but it will be anything but a democracy.
I’m not big on the concept of generational identity but my generation—the so-called Baby Boomers—has certainly been lucky (or unlucky) enough to witness a large number of newsworthy events over the years. They include:
- The assassination of President Kennedy
- Beatlemania and the 1960s cultural revolution
- The Vietnam War
- The first moon landing
- The only presidential resignation
- The impeachment of President Clinton
- The Bush/Gore election fiasco
- The 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S.
- The election of the nation’s first black president
As we slowly vanish from the scene, however, those of us who are still alive are glimpsing perhaps the most newsworthy event of them all: The United States of America’s descent into despotism.
Van Jones puts it out there:
Happy New Year!
I’m reconsidering my last post. I’ll write more later (I’m in a motel room in North Carolina at a family funeral at the moment) but, in the meantime, here’s a short essay by Robert Reich that really lays the relevant issues out quite clearly. (And, if you’re in the mood, a bonus read from The Guardian: Not the new normal.)
How does Bernie Sanders think we ought to respond to what happened last Tuesday? I’m glad you asked. He was on the Late Show last night and the interview is worth watching in its entirety. Here’s Part One:
And here’s Part Two:
Holy sweet Jesus, how did we fail to put this guy in office?
And, by the way, if you’re interested in positive and specific ideas about how to move progressive causes forward in the era of Donald Trump, you can’t do better than the suggestions that John Oliver laid out on Sunday night: