Being Awful a Prerequisite for GOP

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Growing up in Northeast Ohio in the 1960s and 70s, one thing my mother always taught me was to be polite. Yes, the golden rule is what many call the practice: Treat others as you wish to be treated. I’ve tried my level best to adhere to that mindset my entire life. Maybe I’ve fallen short here and there, but when I depart this earth at some point, I’ll have no regrets that I fulfilled my mom’s hope for her youngest son.

I’m beginning to wonder if the golden rule is slowly slipping away from us as a society. We don’t seem to care for our fellow human beings as we should. When you think about it, we’re not on this earth for a very long time. Why wouldn’t we at least make an honest effort to make it a more hospitable and friendly place?

When it comes to the modern-day iteration of the Republican Party, it seems as though the golden rule is being replaced with: I’m going to be as awful as I can to others because it makes liberals and people of color mad. I think of the 1991 film, Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert De Niro, where his character is testifying before congress and asks the pressing question: “Don’t you have an ounce of decency?” Sadly, the GOP of today does not.

This past week showed us how bad things are getting these days. One of the most admired Americans of his generation, Colin Powell, passed away from complications associated with COVID-19. Most of the reporting concerning Powell’s legacy has been positive, although, and rightly so, his performance during the run-up to the first Iraq War has been harshly critiqued. Yes, it hurt his legacy. But it doesn’t take away from his lifelong dedication to serving America in multiple capacities.

You’d think a living ex-president would be effusive to praise him for that service and offer diplomatically and professional condolences. However, you would be sadly mistaken because one of the ex-presidents does not abide by such minimal standards. He’s not up to the task, nor does anyone even expect him to be.

The King of Crass, or, more commonly referred to as the disgraced 45th president, weighed in on Powell’s death with his usual smart-ass and despicable rhetoric, calling Powell a RINO (Republican in name only), berating him for his Iraq War mistake, and deriding the media for treating him so “beautifully.” He then ended his “tribute” by whining that he hoped the media would treat him the same way when he’s gone.

Of course, it’s nothing new. He acted the same when John McCain, John Lewis, and long-time Congressman John Dingell passed away. There’s something about people who honorably served their country that seems to get under the skin of the 45th. Perhaps it’s because he, himself, did not?

But that aside, I’m sure his followers loved every minute of it. That’s right, get them, President Trump! Tell them all like it is! Many aspiring and current GOP politicians simply follow suit.

J.D Vance, who’s running for the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat in Ohio, showed his true colors by making an off-handed joke about actor Alec Baldwin on Twitter, not even 24 hours since the horrific gun accident on the set of a movie Baldwin was filming. Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan, who’s also running for the Senate seat, responded on Twitter in kind: “Someone died, you asshole.”

Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert also leveled a low-life crack at Baldwin a mere few hours after the shooting because, well, she’s Lauren Boebert. That’s what she and fellow buddies in Congress Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz do because they’re so damn good at it.

There are other examples, of course. A recent chant associated with the MAGA crowd surrounds an incident at a NASCAR event where a driver named Brandon Brown was being interviewed by a female reporter, who alluded to the “Let’s go Brandon” cheer she was hearing behind them. Only, it wasn’t “Let’s go Brandon.” The crowd was actually saying, “F-Joe Biden.” Classy, eh?

The incident has become a calling card for the Trump crowd, as they’re all saying “Let’s go Brandon” now, whether at football games or on social media. It’s also being printed on T-shirts. Florida Republican Congressman Bill Posey even got into the act by repeating the disgusting “Brandon” euphemism at the end of one of his floor speeches. Senator Ted Cruz, never losing the opportunity to be a jerk, also praised the chant.

The once-proud political party that used to call itself “the family values” party has all but left the United States of America. In its place is a vile and disgraceful group that seeks to destroy anything or anyone who might be associated with the left. If you’re on the left, you must be the enemy. You must be an un-American traitor if you vote for Democrats, especially if you didn’t vote for Trump.

The four years of carnage left by the former president merely accelerated the rapid decline of our social norms and etiquette, which had been steadily eroding for years anyway. But it was his rudeness, his inability to never rise to the moment when America needed decency, that leaves us in our current predicament.

Now, with statehouses across the country suppressing the vote at lightning speed and setting in motion a future where any election victory can be overturned at will, we find ourselves sitting on the precipice of a democracy that may not be able to survive. If indeed democracy is destroyed, what will take over will resemble what the Taliban seeks for Afghanistan.

Oh, it may not be quite as vile or violent. Still, it most certainly will relegate minorities and especially immigrants, to permanent second-class citizens that harken back to the days of slavery. Does that sound too harsh? Maybe so.

But these people in power now, those who call themselves Republicans, are a hateful group. They do not like the non-white among us, and Trump bullhorns have long replaced the dog whistles. They simply don’t think they need to hide it anymore. If a sitting president can be a hateful SOB, why the hell can’t they be as well?

Being an awful and cruel person has now become somewhat of a prerequisite for membership in the GOP. Now, of course, it’s not all Republicans. There are still some decent ones out there, even a few in congress. Liz Cheney should be commended for sticking up for the principles of democracy, as should her lone Republican counterpart on the January 6 Committee, Adam Kinzinger. They’re as close to true Republicans, at least those who existed decades ago, as you can get these days.

Unfortunately, though, they’re nothing more than a distant whisper in the wilderness. Cheney, Kinzinger, and a few others aren’t cruel or awful enough to suit the MAGA folks and surely are getting the usual death threats and insults we see promulgating in America every day. From local school boards to health care professionals, nobody is exempt from the onslaught of ridicule, violent outbursts, and outright hatred we see now.

I’m not so sure what changes the current troubling trajectory we’re on. Perhaps it’s too late. The old saying that the genie is out of the bottle probably rings true in this regard. Maybe an indictment or two against the former president might begin to whittle away at the Svengali-like hold he has on millions of folks in America.

Or, it might make them even more awful and radicalized. It sounds like we’re in a lose-lose proposition if you ask me.

60 comments

  1. Jeff, that golden thing may be slipping away, but we still must adhere to it. It truly is the way to get heard and possibly heeded. If we shout at the wind in rebuttal, we will not be heard. If we name call in rebuttal, we will not be listened to. We must respond the way we want to responded to. We must find common ground, even with the thickest of skins.

    I find myself reaching out to people to applaud good behavior and asking them to do more of it. They need to know being politically courageous or trying to help people is being noticed, not just by the folks who need to hear it more, but don’t. My latest effort was last night to Neil Cavuto of Fox who encouraged folks to get the vaccine – I also let his peers at the network know how much I applaud his efforts.

    There will be many legacies of the most recent former president, but one will be his modus operandi to berate, belittle and name call people who dare criticize him. That is not a way to be taken seriously and certainly not adhering to that golden thing. We must not emulate this poor behavior. It is not presidential-like and it certainly not very Christian-like.

    Keith

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree Keith. That’s why I gave a shout out to Kinzinger and Cheney. They deserve it. I don’t care that I disagree with them on most of the issues. Because on this particular one, the preservation of our democracy, they are spot on and deserve to be applauded. There were even 9 GOP Congressmen and women who voted to send a criminal referral to the Justice Dept for Steve Bannon. That’s not a lot. But it’s something! It shows there are still some R’s who stand for principle. As you said, we must encourage this behavior.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Hi Keith, I understand your message but feel I must make two simple points.

      These days, among those who are most often acting ‘not very Christian-like’ are Christians themselves. Christianity has become a right-wing political position on social media. It’s so bad that if Jesus was on Facebook, he’d likely ‘Unfriend’ at least 90% of the Christians on the platform.

      My other point is that one isn’t required to be a Christian to not engage in poor behavior.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohio Realist, thanks for your well thought out comment. As someone who is a Christian and who works with many Christian volunteers to help homeless working families, Christians are an imperfect lot just like any other group. They are also fairly diverse, so the various sects have interesting points of emphasis. What happens on social media is the promotion of bad behavior, which sells far more easily than good behavior.

        In my volunteer work, I have seen the most wonderful of ministers, rabbis and imams and people of all faiths and no faith I have also seen a few that are less than altruistic. Religious leaders who are inclusive show religion at its finest. Unfortunately, those who are exclusive show religion at its worst.

        To your point, calling oneself a Christian does not give anyone a right to be a jerk to others. It is contrary to the main tenet of their bible as it is in other religious texts. I am not a fan when passages from religious texts are taken out of context to put groups of people down. This is especially true when we consider almost all religious texts were written by imperfect men, even if divinely inspired.

        Keith

        Liked by 2 people

  2. you and other progressives, over the last 4 years of a president you didn’t like supported the media who called him all kinds of names and even chimed in with your own chants of hitler, homophobe, zenaphobe, and the list goes on and on into the eternity of space.
    and yet you have the nerve to say that people are horrible because they’re saying f*** Joe Biden? People are angry and they have a right to be. In case you haven’t noticed, gas prices are up, prices on everything are through the roof, people are quitting their jobs because of a ridiculous vaccine mandate that he has no business putting in place, and though I understand that the president isn’t directly responsible for the issues of inflation and that anyone who actually believes such a notion is just stupid, consider that his closing down of the dakota pipeline, on day one, which is significantly impacting energy reserves which has a cascading effect on everything from trucking to distribution and everything in between is something that effects all of us. Are you happy that things cost more now than they did a year ago, even though there are no more mean tweets from the account of the whitehouse? Do you take glee in the fact that there are supply chain issues and that it’s taking longer to get things repaired and delivered but, hey, that man with the orange hair isn’t on television anymore to annoy the hell out of you?
    You talk negatively about the effects of things like trickle down economics which you claim don’t work but willfully ignore the secondary effects of such policy decisions implemented by a person who obviously doesn’t really have any business being president in the first place because everything he does is just horrible.
    your hipocrasy couldn’t be more blatent, obvious and demonstrative. Thank you for continuing to display the very reasons why I have absolute contempt for the ideas embraced by the democrat party. Remember, it isn’t personal, it never is. As I’ve always said, it’s your blog, you can be a hipocrit all you want but I also have a right to call out that hipocrisy when I feel compelled to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Scott, as usual, for your delusional and misinformed viewpoint. You leave a lot to unpack here but I’ll just weigh in on a few of them.
      You’re right, we did call Trump names and call him out for lying thousands of times. What should we have done, sit back and take it all? Sorry, no way. He’s the purveyor of being a despicable SOB, and I will treat such a person the same way. I assume that’s the way he wants to be treated or he wouldn’t be such a horrible person.
      The pandemic. Did you know we’re still in it? Did you know the former president basically washed his hands of doing what needed to be done? Did you know that people who aren’t getting vaccinated are allowing it to fester and possibly mutate-mostly in Trump’s red state rural America? Did you know nearly 200 million have been fully vaccinated since Biden was elected, with close to 80% right now having at least one shot?
      Did you know more jobs have been created since he’s been president than any president in modern times-during the same point in their presidencies?
      Did you know child poverty has been nearly cut in half?
      Did you know we’re on the precipice of passing massive physical and human infrastructure bills that will help this country deal with issues the middle-class and working poor so desperately need?
      Yes, inflation sucks right now. So do the supply chain issues. Most economists think it’s a temporary thing. We ought to be seeing improvement in 2022. I hope that’s the case.
      You however, I think, hope the issue stays bad, just so you can tell me how bad and incompetent Joe Biden is.
      I’m going to have a wait and see approach to this Scott. I know you can’t wait to pounce. That’s ok. I get it. But things may look a lot different in a few months. And if so, I expect you to come over here and applaud Biden for it. Will you?
      Btw, the supply chain issues are a global thing right now. Did you know that? Or, is Biden responsible for Europe, Asia, and Africa too?
      Thanks to the disgraced 45th president, our piss poor performance during Covid is directly related to his politicization of masks, vaccines, and lockdowns. He’s caused thousands of deaths due to his massive incompetence. Thank God the smart people are back in charge. It’s gonna take months and years to recover from the worst president in US history. Hopefully you’re gonna root for America’s resurgence. Frankly, I’m not so sure.
      Have a good day Scott. Thanks again for the debate.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Tell me please, Scott, why you want to destroy the planet you call home? The continued use of fossil fuels is killing us. Fighting the pandemic by doing nothing is killing humanity! What good are personal rights when there are no people to have those rights? You are not looking at long-term outcomes. Maybe since you won’t be around to see those outcomes you don’t care what they are. As long as you can keep what you have right now, is that the extent of your mental vision? I used to respect you, Scott. You seemed like a nice guy. Now you are only out for you. You are only one of nearly 8 billion people on this world. You are only one of quadtillions or quintillions of living beings on this world. What makes your needs so special?
      Are you, like Trump, a hater of Greta Thuneberg? She has the same right to live a good life as you have, but your life choices are going to affect her life without giving her a choice! Maybe you don’t care about the future of this world, or THE FUTURE OF LIFE ITSELF? If you don’t, step aside. Live your little life as you please. But don’t get in the way of those who choose to give Greta’s grandchildren a place to live too! That is what a real person cares about.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. rawgod, no where in my comment did i even mention anything about not caring for other people. I am very conscious of the environment, we have solar pannels, do you? I don’t let my cleaning ladies mix the recycle in with the trash so that it all goes to the right places and gets sorted correctly, do you pay that much attention to your environment? I doubt it on both of these points. Have you ever considered the possibility that the reason green technology isn’t as effective as fossil fuels is because, maybe, just maybe, it isn’t developed as well or would hold up to the standard that people require to live their lives on the planet? Did you also, ever consider that maybe it is the fossil fuel industry that sabatages the further development of such technologies just so that they can maintain their precious profits and lavish lifestyles?
        This thought hasn’t escaped what you incorrectly perceive as a narrow mind.
        That’s the problem i have iwth you and others like you, you infer things that simply are not true, apply them to slam home a political agenda and, at the end of the day, you’re demonizing people who may have a bit of a different worldview than yourself, much like trump and his maga supporters.
        You know who I don’t like? you. not because of what you believe, I just don’t like you and if you don’t like me either, that’s just fine but do it for the right reasons. If you don’t like that, you can kiss my ass.

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      2. Scott, are you not proving what my post was all about? That last line is unacceptable. Please refrain from personal attacks. That’s not what we’re about here. I like debating you and you’re welcome on this blog. But not with that kind of rhetoric. Ok?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am glad to hear you care about the environment. What I was reacting to was your comment about the closing down of transcontinental pipelines. These pipelines do two things: first, they perpetuate the use of the fossil fuel industry, making it easier to keep on using fossil fuels than to create and improve green energy sources. Second, they break down, and when they do, they damage the soil and life systems of whatever the area is that is covered by oil spills. That might not seem important to some people, because they don’t live where that oil is spilled. But tell that to the ants and plants and rodents and other animals that were killed by the spill. Their lives are as impirtant to them as our lives are impirtant to us.
        As for solar panels, you can afford to put them up. I have wanted them for year, but I live on a barely subsistence level income. I cannot afford to have solar panels. You want to be nice and help your fellow man, buy and install solar panels for everyone who wants them. Do you do that? If you say yes, then I applaud you. If you say no, then I ask exactly what are you accomplishing by having solar panels on your dwelling, but no where else? The difference your solar panels is making is miniscule compared to the difference that could be made if everyone in Texas had solar panels, or if everyone in the world had them. Most people cannot afford them.
        Nor can I afford an electric car. We drive a HONDA CRV that is 9 years old because it was what we could afford last time we needed a car, and because it was one of the most fuel efficient cars available in our price range. My spouse was working then. Now she too is medically retired, as I was then. If our car broke down today we could not afford a new one. There are no buses where we live. Neither of us are greatly ambulatory. How will we survive without reliable transportation? I hope we never have to find out!
        Did I ever consider the fossil fuel industry is working against green energy technology? Not the right question. Did I ever think the fossil fuel industry wants to see itself being replaced by green technology? That idea never crossed my mind. Of course they don’t want green technology, and are actively trying to prevent it from ever becoming widespread. But I am doing my best to spend as little money as possible within that field and still live a semi-decent life.
        Do I have people to sort my garbage for me? Wish I could afford it. No, I separate it for myself. I only throw out want cannot be recycled. I try to buy only those things that can be recycled. But the issue does not stop there. Our nearest recycling centre is 300 kilometres away. So we save up all our recycling, and when we have to make a trip to the city for medical purposes, we load up the car with all our recycling and we transport it those 300 kilometres. You know anyone else who does that?
        This is becoming a pissing contest, and I don’t like pissing contests. I do what I can within the limits of my life. I’m betting you could do a lot more than you do, but I doubt you would ever consider it. Whatever.
        I remember in 2017, when Trump lowered the taxes for people with wealth. Until that day I never heard you say one good thing about Trump. Suddenly you became a MAGAt, and everything changed. Maybe you were always like that, I don’t know. You certainly hid it well. Now you rant and rave about Republican platforms. The oil and gas industry supports Republican platforms. Seems to me you are speaking with a forked tongue. That is your choice! But put your money where your mouth is. That is an option not many people can afford.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Sadly, looking across the Atlantic and using the perspective of thousand years of conflict between communties it is the MAGA wing of the Republican Party who have brought anger, and blind rage to the equation. I can only draw one curent parallel in western democracy with the sight of a substantial number of voters denying the results of the Presidential Election, and that is on the UK’s vitriolic and conspiracy ridden section of..and here’s joke bub…The Socialist Left wing. Still, they are not carrying guns which is some comfort.
      The Founding Fathers worried about some rabble rouser and a mob…..It’s come to pass in the form of a wing of the Republican Base. They will be the death of the USA. Blind, visceral, ignoble hatred.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I have not been up to reading blogs for several weeks now, but lying awake at 4:00 a.m., I decided to read this one of Jeff’s, for the title intrigued me. What Jeff says here is spot on and echoes my own thoughts exactly, only he says it far better than I could. Thank you, Jeff!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. No, thank you Jill!! Wow, so good to hear from you. I hope this means you’re slowly getting back up to speed and progressing nicely. You’ve been missed-big time!!! Please continue to be well and I hope to be reading one of your awesome posts soon!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I am most often a silent follower, but will add my comment here…for whatever it may be worth. “Do onto others as if you were the other” was an Amish saying that was taught to me in my earliest years and something that has been passed onto my children and young grandchild. Sadly, this does not appear to be a priority in the behavior of many members of today’s GOP. This post is your usual informative and thought provoking offering. Might I also say, I found your reply to one of the above comments equally informative and ‘spot on’. Thank-you!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much Ellen and I appreciate the kind words. I love the Amish saying. If only the GOP would adhere to such wise and thoughtful words. They’ve really gone down a dark hole of which I’m not sure they will ever emerge. Pathetic and sad.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I was a Catholic before I became an atheist, and the one thing that I have retained from my upbringing is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Unfortunately, to do good things unto others, or at least to do them no harm, you need to have empathy, and I believe the MAGA crowd have none. Or perhaps it’s so skewed that they can only feel for each other. We humans embody everything we project onto both angels and /demons/.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Many years ago (circa 1970) I felt the need to revise the Golden Rule to bring it home more completely and responsibly. It is a bit more wordy than Ellen’s Amish statement, but I will give it up to your consideration anyway:
    Do willingly unto others only those things you would willingly allow others to do unto you.
    I hope you see the difference.
    Meanwhile I cannot understand why Republicans are hell-bent on destroying the nation when if they do destroy it they will not have a home worth living in any more than will the Democrats. No democracy means NO POLITICAL PARTIES of any kind. They seem to think if they destroy democracy they will have an open road to power. They seem to forget or not even consider that where chaos reigns, chaos will bring it’s own solution, regardless of what the destroyers want.
    I hate to even suggest it, but maybe that is what the land known as the United States of America needs. The great experiment has proven a failure, in my mind. Unscrupulous politicians have been around for hundreds of years (likewise in most democracies), but Trump and his MAGAts have taken unscrupulosity to its extreme. To allow such stupidity to go on unchecked can only create disaster, and disaster happens to everyone regardless of political leaning.
    Maybe, just maybe, by letting America fall, something even better will be created. It is a risk I would be willing to take. How much worse can it get than what you have right now?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting points Rawgod. It’s intriguing to think what would happen if it all did fail. I’m still going to cling to the hope that it will not. To me, it seems Dems are the last hope to make sure it doesn’t fail. And I know more than anyone how damn frustrating they can be sometimes. Clearly Congress needs to enact Trump-proof legislation that would have been totally unnecessary if he was never elected. We got the guy the Founders always feared.
      It’s not going to be easy Rawgod. It all could come crashing down in 2022 and 2024. I do not discount the possibility that it might happen. Democrats MUST end the filibuster, at least when it comes to voting rights, and hell, maybe other things too. I just don’t see any other alternative. I do want to save what we have. I still believe in the ‘idea’ of America. It’s getting very tenuous though.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good question. It seems like, in the past, we’ve taken some steps forward here and there, only to swiftly go in the other direction. The idea we can all sit around and sing Kumbaya is not realistic though is it? Too many differences, too much animus, and too much history of treating others with disdain. I’m beginning to think that social media might be the final nail in the coffin for the whole thing. Now, anybody can say any damn thing about whatever. Lie, or not. Truth, or not. If only our elected leaders could do something about it. It’s so complex an issue I realize Facebook and others will be hard to regulate. But, it needs to be done. It could be too late though.

        Like

      2. Social media, to me, is just another nail in the coffin of democracy, though it did not have to be. It is a logical advent of the discovery of the Internet. The Internet has done so much for humans, in particular making it able to allow two totally disparate people as you snd I to communicate as we are right now. Without the Internet this conversation would not even be imaginable. However, the Internet has also allowed all kinds of other conversations to have taken place, conversations you or I or both may wish had never become possible, such as organising the actions of certain people who swarmed Congress on Jan. 6th of this year.
        Dhould social media be controlled? I doubt it. That references 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and other such fiction pieces. It begs the question, Who controls the Controllers?
        I would not trust even myself with such a task, despite being sure I could tell the difference between life-affirming and life-denying communications. Nothing can ever be perfect where humans are involved. But, because of who we humans have made ourselves to be, separate from all other living beings, we have no idea how to take all other living beings into account when we make decisions that we think only affect us — to take that idea to its extreme. Who can truly trust themselves to do only good? I’d like to think I can, but that would just be my ego talking.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. That’s an important point uv brought up RG. If you accept the right to free speech for humanity then I suppose one must accept all speech, the good, bad and ugly. So long as it does not cause direct harm to others ie yelling fire, death threats etc. Opposing POVs should be embraced and appreciated, and ideally everyone should be civil enough to self police their own speech and end divisive vitriol.
        Social media is a blessing and a curse in my opinion, it works for all when there is a basic level of maturity and respect shown by all participants. Sadly that is not the case these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. everyone should be civil enough — I think most people would agree with this. However, as many (most?) of us have seen or experienced, the opposite tends to be the much more common approach in today’s political “discussions” between opposing parties. Online is the worst, but even face-to-face encounters can get pretty nasty.

        Just from personal experience, I see much more anger and yes, even rage, spew forth from Republicans over Democrats. HOWEVER, this doesn’t excuse either one!

        The current political environment seems to be bringing Neanderthal genes to the surface …

        Liked by 2 people

      5. totally agree, seems to me whatever political affiliation ppl ascribe to, many are sadly brainwashed by incessant highly politicized media rhetoric, to the extent that most cannot think for themselves and simply revert to their robotic tribalized indoctrination. I pray the masses remember their humanity, employ a modicum of reason. Feels like a virtual civil war right now on the internet, i choose not to engage.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yeah, finding a correct way to regulate the internet might be the most difficult thing for elected officials. It’s such a minefield. Where do you draw the line? Maybe breaking up Facebook? That could be the easiest route but even that is wrought with Constitutional issues. I agree with you that overall, the internet is a positive thing. We just need to find a way to not make us a bunch of haters, or even more important, not to be an outlet for radicalizing people. That, to me, is the biggest threat. Figuring out a remedy is beyond challenging.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. But you and I ARE radicals too. Maybe not to people like us, but to those who want the world to stay the same as it has been for the past few centuries. And therein lies the problem. Who can stand in judgment, and say “This method is better than that method.” To us, our position is obvious. To MAGAts, that position is obviously wrong.
        As much as it hurts me to say it, I think the world would be better off had the Internet never been disvovered. Where would I be without it? I have no idea, but I survived over 40 years without it, and still became me. The Internet hasn’t changed me, but it has opened up my world, for better and worse.
        Humanity has a bad habit of letting technology outstrip its social consciousness, and these present FACEBOOK/Social Media investigations are possibly the biggest part of it, along with those nations that stopped using the gold standard as the basis of its currency. Not that money was ever a good invention, but now there is so much electronic money in “existence” that it can never again be turned into bills and coins. But that is another discussion…

        Liked by 3 people

      8. All compelling insights rawgod. I’ll just leave you with this. Around 17-18 years ago, one of my best friends and co-worker and I had a conversation about the then, beginnings of the internet. I remember his statement vividly: Jeff, the internet is the “devil.” It was his way of saying that it would be the beginning of the end of humanity. I didn’t quite agree with him to that extent but I, too, was a little worried. Turns out he wasn’t that far off.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent post, Jeff!! (No matter what Scott says … 😛)

    I’m not happy about being in my “later” years, but when I think about where things are headed if the Repukes have their way? Let’s just say, I won’t at all mind being absent from “their” version of how the U.S. should be run.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Nan. Things are looking pretty bleak indeed. I think Dems who are running next year need to hammer home over and over that they are the party supporting democracy, while the GOP is the one supporting one man hell-bent on tearing it all down. I think it’s a winning message.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s bad Jeff.
    There are people not fit to even run for the lowest of small town positions in the Republican Party, and not even having the guts to admit they were angry that an African American won the presidential race, twice with a majoirty, and have not got over it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agreed Roger. I’ve always said that the election of Obama was the catalyst for all of what we’re experiencing now. Trump knew it, and capitalized. And here we are….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I fear that human beings have always been like this – some kind and caring, others selfish and cruel – but when the all of society said ‘no, that’s /bad/’ the cruel ones were forced to at least act caring or be ostracised. Now, they’ve been given carte blanche to be themselves…and they are. 😦

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Indeed, we’re seeing the worst of America, unfortunately. This pandemic has really been the icing on the cake, it seems. We’ve been going down the rabbit hole of being rotten to one another for years, especially now that social media has taken over our society. Now, after 4 years of you know who, the division seems all but unrepairable. My hope for something better is diminishing by the day. But, I’m not giving up.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Absolutely right on all counts. Compassion, empathy and even simple manners have been declining in our society for years, which is bad enough, but now exacerbated by the rapid rise in openly mean-spirited and hostile behavior, especially from the MAGA’s.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Scott, I’d love to agree with everything you said, but then we’d BOTH be full of crap.

    Judging by the opinions you expressed, you missed the entire premiss of Jeff’s article while proving you fundamentally don’t ‘get’ the horror of what Trump and his enablers in congress have done to our country, and you probably never will.

    There truly is no talking with you unless and until you understand for yourself that Donald Trump was the very WORST thing that’s ever happened to our country.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Greetings!

    Just stumbled across your blog. Looks very interesting.
    According to “About Us” – Our goal here is to convince or persuade those voters who in most elections are on the fence when it comes to choosing a candidate. Sometimes you vote Democratic. Sometimes you vote Republican. Sometimes you vote independent. Sometimes you write in a candidate not even running. And sometimes, unfortunately, you do not vote. We realize your vote is sacred and personal. In turn, we will go to great lengths to present factual and thoughtful analysis, as well as current news that we hope will enlighten and educate.
    My Spouse and I were lifelong Yellow Dogs Dems, until we became Independents–not long after Dem Party and MSM treated Dean so unfairly regarding “the scream.”
    Frankly, since then, I’ve had little use for politicians of either legacy party.
    Having said that, love policy discussions, especially, pertaining to my professional fields.
    Are commenters welcome, here, if they’re not partisan?
    (I am fact-based, which I’m prepared to back up, if/when I make a policy statement.)
    Just asking, ’cause I’d like to put in my 2 cents, but, definitely don’t want to aggravate anyone.
    😉

    Blue

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Blue! You’re absolutely welcome here and disagreement and debate is what it’s all about. I’ve had many a discussion with folks who disagree and usually it’s quite civil. And that’s all I ask. Be civil, and don’t call names, and everyone is welcome here.
      I get your point, btw, about feeling disappointed with the Dems. I’m a lifelong Dem and probably will be till I depart this earth. However, I’m very intrigued about there being a viable third-party alternative. I think we may need it now more than at anytime in our history. It’s just so damn hard for any party to gain entry. The two parties have made it damn near impossible. But, maybe, just maybe someone, or some group, can find a way in. I think it might curtail some of the extremes on both sides. What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Jeff–

        First, thank you for the gracious and welcomig reply. I apologize for the delay in answering, but, we’ve had a bit of an emergency with our furbaby–an adolescent Golden.
        (She has a birth defect–“renal agenesis,” born with only one kidney–so, we have to treat any medical problem she has, a bit more seriously than might normally be called for. Naturally, I’ve been tending to her, hoping that the meds prescribed will help her. Finally, this evening, she seems a little bit better.)
        You posed a very interesting question. I wish I had an answer, but, I don’t. If there were to be a successful leftist third Party, IMO, it would need to be totally independent of Dem Party Establishment influence, in order to gain serious traction. And, it would need to originate from a true grassroots movement.
        (IOW, not be an astro-turf entity, which I suspect the People’s Party is, based upon the founder’s bio. He’s worked to elect both John Kerry and McAuliffe–neither of whom are my idea of liberals or progressives.)
        Which is not to say that the People’s Party doesn’t serve any useful purpose, or, has ill intent.
        Missed a lot of news today, but, hoping to find the final version of the BBB proposal/bill (if there is one). What little reporting I’ve seen, is a bit contradictory.
        Heard on XM Radio this afternoon, that the expanded Part B Medicare services (dental, vision & hearing) didn’t make it into the final bill. But, this evening, read a piece in my cell phone news feed which claims that “hearing” coverage was included in final proposal. It’s possible, I suppose, that it’s a referece to the EO (Executive Order) that the President signed this summer.
        “US President Joe Biden signed an executive order today that could make hearing aids less expensive and easier to purchase. The comprehensive action from the White House, which includes 72 initiatives, directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue proposed rules for over-the-counter hearing aids within 120 days.” (MedTechDive)
        “Biden pushes for cheaper over-the-counter hearing aids in sweeping executive order”
        https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/biden-pushes-cheaper-over-counter-152400909.html
        Hopefully, by sometime next week, there will be a final “final text.” If so, I’ll share what I can find.
        Oh, almost forgot–think I signed up to follow you Guys. In time, guess I’ll figure out if I followed the instructions, correctly. 😉

        Blue

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for the follow Blue. I’ve also done the same for your blog.
        I agree with you that any new political party on the left ought to be independent of the Democrats. I’d also say that a more centrist party might be the type of political party that could actually have a chance to succeed.
        Me personally would still most likely stay a Dem, as I’ve had for my entire life. But at least it would give those disaffected with both parties an outlet. Does that make sense?
        Maybe it would actually help the the two main parties by keeping them in line somewhat. I don’t know. I could be completely naive that it could ever work. Probably never will in my lifetime. We shall see.
        Yes, the sausage making process going on with the Dems right now is beyond frustrating. I still think we’ll get a deal on both bills. But it certainly hurts their cause the longer it goes on. Because then, the process is what the media reports, not what’s in the bills themselves. They better get their you know what together soon.
        Good luck with your pet. We have two dogs ourselves and can tell you that I’m incredibly attached to both of them. Our oldest, he’s 13.5 right now, and in a sort of slow decline, has been such a great dog for us. It pains me that we’re probably going to lose him in the not too distant future. I wish we could have him around forever. And I know you feel the same about yours.
        Take care Blue, and welcome aboard!

        Liked by 3 people

  12. Jill sent me over, from her sickbed – and it was a most interesting read! Bravo for making it quite clear for the many ‘already converted’ or convinced. The rest probably won’t bother to read you.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. just another example of your great “president” in action. How much prouder can you guys be of this horrible biological unit?
    I don’t want to insult the class of the human species by including him so biological unit is the closest I’m able to approximate.
    congratulations for continuing to support this administration.

    Like

    1. For once Scott, you actually are reporting on something that’s true. So, I guess that’s progress.
      On the surface, I’d say the previous despicable administration did this shit to be as mean as hell to immigrants, supposedly to keep them from trying to come in. Perhaps if they had a more humane policy we wouldn’t be in this predicament?
      That said, it seems like a lot of $$$$$ we’re talking about here. I suppose they’re making the assumption that it’s better to settle than to fight it all out in court and the amount could be much worse.
      I’ll wait and see how it all plays out. In the meantime, this gives you and your far-right radical friends something to be angry about. Mission accomplished on that front. Enjoy

      Like

  14. jeff, how many times do I have to tell you that I am not a far radicle right individual? If i branded you as a socialist, you probably wouldn’t be happy with me so stop doing the same to me just because we don’t happen to agree on very much politically. by the way, I guess you’re okay with biden proposing to give immegrants who were separated from their families close to half a million dollars a piece or a million for each family? His pole numbers aren’t great and that’s not just from the right but independents and even some democrats aren’t happy with his administration. I honestly don’t even know why I bother to frequent your blog, it’s pointless for me to even say anything because you regard almost every letter of every word I write as that of a mad man and someone not worthy of debate. so i’m out, i’m done, I have better things to do than trying to engage with people who aren’t interested in any other opinions then their own. good-bye.

    Like

    1. I call you far-right Scott, because most of the stuff you send me from youtube and other sites that is associated with the radical right. I’ve suggested numerous times to you that there are neutral/moderate sites that provides accurate and balanced news, but you rarely share anything from those sites. So why wouldn’t I assume that’s where you are politically? That you lean far-right for the most part. And that’s perfectly fine and is your right.
      I told you I’m not ok with giving families $400k or whatever they’re proposing. And btw, that’s exactly what it is, a proposal. Why don’t we wait to see how they ultimately handle it?
      Immigration is complicated Scott. It’s been that way since Reagan last attempted to reform it in 1986. Think about that for a minute. 35 years! We had a bi-partisan bill passed in Senate in 2013 that would have done a helluva lot of good. But the GOP didn’t bring it up for a vote in House. Big mistake.
      Building a freaking wall was NOT the solution. We need comprehensive reform. The way things are politically these days though, it isn’t gonna happen most likely.
      Do as you please Scott. You’re welcome here if you choose to participate. Take care and good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m probably way out in “left field,” but it seems those on the “conservative” side are so busy screaming SOCIALISM! that they’re unable to stop and take a deep look at how the current proposals will benefit EVERYONE. What is being discussed is not, as many of the “old-timers” believe, a form of communism!

        Unfortunately, there are way too many who are so afraid they’re going to lose a “freedom” that they’re unable to look beyond the propaganda and listen to the facts.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, you’re not out in left field Nan. You speak the truth. It’s amazing how they label everything socialism and they don’t even know what the hell it is. Yeah, “Biden’s a commie and socialist.” ….whatever. You cannot cure stupid

        Liked by 1 person

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