2018: The Reckoning – Resistance and Renewal

2017 will be remembered as the year of  “This is not normal.”

A minority of Americans, thanks to the antiquated relic of an electoral college system that remains in our Constitution as a vestige of slavery more than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, elected an insecure man-child conspiracy theorist, reality TV actor,  Twitter troll, grifter and con man president of the United States. A man who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder and delusions of grandeur, and who is a pathological liar. The 47 most outrageous lines in Donald Trump’s New York Times interview;
In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claims
. More ominously, he exhibits dangerous authoritarian tendencies. Donald Trump is a demagogue who aspires to be an autocratic strongman like the man he most admires, Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Trump has actively sought to undermine our democratic institutions, political norms and values that have defined America for more than 240 years and to replace them overnight — to “disrupt the status quo” as he calls it — with the crypto-fascism of “Trumpism,” an authoritarian cult of personality.

Trump has been enabled in his undermining of our democratic institutions, political norms and values by a supplicant Tea-Publican Congress which also exhibits authoritarian tendencies in its exercise of one-party rule, and by a fawning propagandist conservative media entertainment complex, and too often, by a cowered mainstream media.

Trump is enabled by a small but significant base of adoring sycophant supporters in his authoritarian cult of personality. For them, he can do no wrong. Their loyalty is to Trump alone, not to the country, not to democratic governance, not to the Constitution. Trump is what metastasized from an existing cancer in the American body politic.

This is not normal.”

The Trump era represents an existential threat to our democratic Republic and all that we hold dear as Americans. It is time for American patriots to rise up and to come to the aid and defense of our country, and of our Constitution.

2018 must be  a year of  reckoning, a coming to terms with what Americans have inflicted upon themselves in recent years through their own indifference and neglect of our democratic institutions, political norms and values. Too many Americans have failed their basic civic duty as a citizen to participate in our democratic system of governance. Too many Americans have failed to do the bare minimum required of a citizen by failing to vote. Democracy is not a spectator sport, it requires your active participation.

There must be a resistance to the creeping fascism of “Trumpism.” We must not go quietly or submissively into the darkness descending, we must and we will resist and “rage against the dying of the light,” to paraphrase Dylan Thomas. We will defend our country, our Constitution and our American values against this rot from within.

There must be a renewal of  Americans’ faith and commitment to long-cherished democratic institutions, political norms and values that define us as Americans: a restoration of our nation, if you will.

Warren G. Harding ran for president after the end of World War I, the most destructive war in the history of mankind at the time, on the theme of  “a return to normalcy” in 1920. Harding’s promise was backwards looking,  a nostalgic longing to return the United States to its prewar mentality of isolationism and nationalism in a world that no longer existed after it had been swept away by the carnage of World War I and the U.S. had emerged as a major world power. (This nostalgic longing for isolationism and nationalism is a key component of the white nationalism of Stephen Bannon and “Trumpism.”)

We should reject Harding’s framing, of course, but this notion of  “a return to normalcy” has a powerful appeal after Donald Trump and the exhausting disorientation caused by the chaos theory of  “Trumpism.”

I would define this “return to normalcy” as a forward looking renewal of  our faith and commitment to long-cherished democratic institutions, political norms and values that define us as Americans.

The preamble to our Constitution begins, “WE the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …” America is always a work in progress, always looking with optimism to the future, always striving to achieve perfection. As President Barack Obama said, we must “continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.” Americans strive to achieve our highest ideals, not to turn away from them or to reject them as the personality cult of “Trumpism” does.

It is not too much to demand that our president behave like a normal president. It is not too much to demand that our president not be a pathological liar who cannot differentiate between fact and fiction (“fake news”). It is not too much to demand that our president not assault and undermine our democratic institutions, political norms and values. It is not too much to demand that our president not engage in the childish behavior of a daily Twitter rage against anyone whom he feels threatened by or wants to insult. Donald Trump, however, is mentally and emotionally incapable of doing this, on this we can all agree.

It is not too much to demand that our politicians behave like normal politicians — a commitment to democratic procedural norms and bipartisan political compromise for the betterment of all Americans — not the ideological abuse of power personified by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose policy of total obstruction under president Obama has given way to the full fruition of his authoritarianism, rewriting the rules of the Senate and disregarding the Constitution in order to get his way by any means necessary.

Nor the ideological abuse of power personified by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who takes a perverse pleasure in denying millions of Americans access to health care, and whose dream it is to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as we know it, so that he can redistribute even more wealth from disadvantaged Americans to his wealthy benefactors, the plutocratic campaign donors of the GOP, as we recently witnessed with the deeply unpopular GOP tax bill.

It is not too much to demand that the media behave like a normal media and fulfill its constitutional role as “the watchdog of democracy” by holding Donald Trump and his enablers accountable for their words and deeds, and to call them out for their lies and abuses of power. The media should not serve as a  propaganda arm of the GOP and of Donald Trump, as the conservative media entertainment complex does, and too frequently is parroted in the mainstream media. The media have a moral obligation and a civic duty not to normalize what is clearly not normal behavior and thereby gradually erode and diminish our democratic institutions, political norms and values, and our very sense of decency.

Donald Trump will not be on the ballot in 2018, but “Trumpism,” an authoritarian cult of personality, will be on the ballot, represented by those who support and defend Donald Trump. 2018 is a referendum on “Trumpism” and Trump’s enablers. They must be removed from elected positions of power at every level of government, from local school boards and city councils to the halls of Congress.

Americans have a stark choice to make in 2018 of what kind of country we want to be: the vibrant democratic Republic that our Founding Fathers left to us, or  surrender to despair and the creeping fascism of “Trumpism,” and replace our democratic Republic with an authoritarian autocracy.

For true American patriots, this stark choice is an easy choice to make. We will defend our democratic Republic and our Constitution.

Turn your anger into action. Run for an elective office. Do not allow a Tea-Publican in elective office to run unopposed for election. Make your case to the voters and give the voters a clear choice on election day.

Volunteer your time and energy on the campaign of your choice. If you have no time available, then give financially what you can afford to the campaign of your choice.

Write letters to the editor of your local newspapers, call into talk radio programs, and engage your contacts on social media. Take to the streets and march for a cause you support. Speak up and make yourself heard.

It is time for American patriots to rise up and to come to the aid and defense of our country, and of our Constitution.

Let’s make 2018 a happy new year.

28 thoughts on “2018: The Reckoning – Resistance and Renewal”

  1. The people are waking up. Here is the lede of a 12/28/17 Newsweek story, “President Donald Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, have at least one thing in common: identical approval and disapproval ratings in one national poll after their first year in office.”

    Trump has passed his tax reform plan, which will put more money into the hands of all but those in the upper income tax bracket. As people see Trump’s promise come true and the left’s propaganda proven false, his popularity will rise even more.

    Who would have thought that Trump’s approval would match Obama’s at the one year mark, especially when Obama had a media that fawned over him and Trump is the target of most media sources?

    Happy New Year.

    • “The people are waking up.” – Oh, my, Johnny, you should take this back. Really, do yourself a favor and claim it’s a typo.

      Basically, there are Republicans and Democrats. Republicans approve of Trump more than Dems, and Dems approved of Obama more than Trump.

      How is that “waking up”. The “lede” is that there’s a right wing base and a left wing base.

      Good lord, you really need to start thinking before you post, you’re constituents and students can read these, and the internet is forever.

        • I know, I’m Don Quixote.

          But it’s weird, right? Kavanagh makes these kind of statements all the time, so does pretty much every “conservative” I know IRL, see or hear or read in the media.

          But what they “know” doesn’t mean what they think.

          It’s mental laziness, and he makes f’n laws for a state in the USA. (Sigh).

          • Yes he does. He also likes to complain that his questions don’t get answered while avoiding questions put to him. Most recent example is when he stated that a Supreme Court decision made the interpretation of “general welfare in the Constitution to mean whatever any current Congress wanted it to mean. The good Senator was asked to cite the ruling and language that backed up his assertion. His response? I’ll paraphrase Sir Robin’s minstrels:

            Brave Brave Kavanagh. Brave Brave Kavanagh.
            When accountability reared it ugly head
            He bravely turned his tail and fled.
            Brave Brave Kavanagh.

            Two turds in a bowl he and Trump are!

          • I wonder what he’d say if we remind him that Obama inherited Bush’s decimated economy, the worst recession since the Great Depression, and that Trump inherited a great economy from Obama.

            Trump takes credit for the economy, why aren’t his ratings higher than the Black Guy’s?

            All those rating prove is we’re tribal.

            And that Kavanagh is kind of a troll. He posts here to antagonize liberals, fails on a tremendous scale, but keeps trying.

            Fountain Hills must be so proud.

        • I doubt I said that about the general welfare clause. Please cite the date of the blog post so we all can look at it.

          • Sorry for the delay in the cite. Go to the US Supreme Court decision South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987). It gave Congress wide latitude in interpreting the clause. However, I concede that “whatever” was overreach on my part but clearly saying that the drinking age in any particular state is a “general welfare” issue gave congress very wide latitude.

            I will take the hit on this one.

      • Once again you avoid my major point and a surprising one at that, which is that Trump has the same ratings as Obama did after one year in office.

        Your thoughts?

        • I addressed your point, which is that you don’t understand that a certain number of R’s will support their POTUS, and a certain number of D’s will support theirs.

          It’s entirely to be expected that Trump and Obama’s numbers are relatively close.

          Those people are called “the party base”.

          You’re reading something into the numbers that isn’t there.

          It’s embarrassing that you do not understand this.

        • John said, “Who would have thought that Trump’s approval would match Obama’s at the one year mark, especially when Obama had a media that fawned over him and Trump is the target of most media sources?”

          Yes, John, it was only one poll. Well, I just polled myself and my poll is in total disagreement.

          Perhaps it is better to let the statisticians and mathematicians do the heavy lifting when it comes to polls. There are good reasons why they are aggregated and weighted.

          Happy New Year yourself.

        • And one last thing, these are not the Trump tax cuts.

          Trump promised to raise taxes on the wealthy and get rid of the carried interest deduction. Over and over he said these things on the campaign trail.

          This tax bill did not do that. This is the Paul Ryan tax bill.

          A completely needed tax cut for corporation with record amounts of cash on hand that will be used to justify cuts to entitlements.

          The GOP is 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.

  2. HI Blue Meanie: Do you blog under any other title? I discovered you while I lived in AZ, and now that I’m in California, I like to share your blogs with interested friends. But you know, there are two strikes against them paying attention. BLOG FOR AZ??? Californians think it’s local Arizona and/or right wing.
    Yes, I copy the info out, but I want to tell them how to find you in the future. Do you publish elsewhere concurrently? Thanks!!!

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