America’s Exceptionalism — Its DIVERSITY — Will Save Us From The GOP’s Authoritarian Power Grab

In his indispensable book “On Tyranny”, Timothy Snyder lays out the fairly predictable tick tock that democracies experience while succumbing to authoritarianism. It’s impossible not to see us well into that experience. Someone claiming to tweet for German film maker Werner Herzog put it this way (Herzog doesn’t do social media: the tweet itself is spot on in its thinking regardless of who really tweeted it):

The lack of literal accuracy aside (a third v a third v a third), that is how authoritarianism ultimately works. A minority of the population declares war on another minority of the population and uses the rest of the population to achieve that goal. In a place like Germany, that was easy to accomplish since the authoritarian minority — Hitler and his acolytes — were going after a genuine minority (and an isolated minority at that) — the Jews. The rest of Germany had zero investment or interest in protecting Jews from the authoritarian minority since, in the eyes of those Germans, the Jews were outsiders anyway. Screw em! Hitler’s brown shirts also were aided in their rise by the general nature of the German character. That “character” was forged over the course of a thousand or so years by the various Germanic tribes — the same ones that brought down Rome — slowly melting together (with a few localized idiosyncrasies) into the nationality we recognize as “German”. The same thing happened across the border in France. Since the end of WWII, Italy has had 66 governments (that’s one every 1.14 years); that’s because Italy is still less a country than a contrived federation of city-states — the same city-states they’ve been for 1500 years; only fascism could hold the federation together). Back in Germany, that thousand years of fusing together produced a “German tribe” with certain distinct and distinctive attributes — like a willingness to go along with the group because it’s the group.

America hasn’t been around anywhere near long enough for that complex process to happen — for a coming together of disparate local tribes to form a true national character. Never mind judging America for what it was or is — that’s like judging a little kid’s future based on what that little kid (precocious as it is) has accomplished so far. It’s premature actually. My suspicion is America is still the diamond before the pressure of the surrounding rocks turns a bunch of carbon into valuable crystals. We’re still a great idea poorly executed. What else can one call “All men are created equal” when “all men” only includes white, Christian, land-owning MEN. Oh, right — we call it “originalism”.

The crisis we’re in flows directly from white panic and rage. Having built the entire southern economy on the back of slave labor, the whites getting rich off that economy were not going to surrender their claim to power just because Lee surrendered their army at Appomattox. The Confederate Army may have shuffled off into history, Confederate ardor, as we know, did not. And Confederate ardor is pure, unadulterated racism. This has always been the wellspring from which undemocratic and anti-democratic ideas flowed — the desire to keep America white (like it “used to be”).

The Right Wing’s money — the Kochs, the Mercers and the rest of their ilk — turns up its nose at such overt racism. They’d never sport a Confederate flag. But they sure do love the Confederacy’s ideals. And the Confederacy’s whiteness. Our founders were racists who sacrificed their higher ideals because they thought one could negotiate with racists and racism. You can’t. Racism automatically won because racism NEVER compromises — especially when it’s riding a cash cow. As the Reagan era — that “shining, racist g city on a hill” — ended with a whimper, the right wing money saw demographic doom ahead. The GOP had finally evolved from the Party Of Lincoln into the exclusively white, Southern-Strategy-Dixiecrat Party. That party, per the recent census, is shrinking. That is, it’s membership pool is shrinking.

What’s a white’s only political party to do in a country that’s diversifying as rapidly as America was and is? If you’re white guys, you do what white guys have historically done back in the white homeland, Europe: you turn fascist. You circle the white wagons around your whiteness and you count on everyone else’s whiteness to pull most of the white population together defensively. It always works.

But, the white guys in America have a problem the white guys in Europe never had: a majority population who ISN’T them. That doesn’t have their collective history. That has zero interest in white guys behaving like bullies, monsters and fascists. In other words, the very “third” the authoritarian Republican third is counting on to do their dirty work simply doesn’t exist in America. Instead of a a sea of compliant white people dully staring back at them, America’s authoritarians see diversity. They see the thing that really and truly makes America EXCEPTIONAL. The thing that never happened in any country in the world before in human history: a gathering of tribes to form a single nation: E Pluribus Unum.

Out of many, one.

E Pluribus Unum was the ingredient missing from all previous authoritarian power grabs. It made the power grab not only possible but likely to succeed. Add that ingredient to the GOP’s power grab and their likelihood of success plunges because there’ll be no minority to stand by silently while the GOP bullies all those other minorities. And all those minorities the Republicans are counting on quietly bullying into submission? They’ve banded together — into a majority! Because that is how democracy works.

If the Republicans do somehow bludgeon their way back into power, they’ll have a massive insurrection of their own to fend off — a democratic insurrection dedicated to wiping out their authoritarian (wet) dream state. And the authoritarians, armed to the teeth, can’t take a whole lot of comfort in being armed to the teeth. This is America. Everyone is armed to the teeth right along with them. And the Right Wing better not count on having America’s professional soldier class in their corner.

These are terrifying times — no argument. But we can project ahead based both on history and how it is on the ground right here in reality. It’s already too late for white male hegemony to succeed long term in America. It was too late at the country’s founding. The majority’s wokeness cannot be un-woked. Every other group now grasps what the radical whites are up to and we will never, ever go along with it.

As I said, America’s diversity is its exceptionalism. It’s also our saving grace, too.

Our Right To Vote Is A National Security Issue

Winston Churchill put it this way: “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.” It’s damned hard to pull off. Mind you, Churchill spoke those words about democracy sucking immediately after he LOST AN ELECTION. That’s the hard part about democracy — the peaceful transfer of power when opposing politics replace each other. The instinct to refuse and hold onto power runs deep — far deeper than the learned ability to hand power to people we hate because, this time, THEY won the election. That’s the constant challenge to political power — to hear the Will Of The People and to understand it as such. In a democratic republic like ours, political power is supposed to serve our needs, the needs of We The People. We’ve designed a system that, while it bows to the will of the majority, still it protects the minority. That’s what bit Churchill in the ass. The majority will rule. But, on the other hand, while Churchill lost an election, the majority didn’t get to kill him just because he lost. Democracies don’t work that way.

In America however, strangely, the majority doesn’t necessarily rule. In fact, in plenty of places, the majority almost is prohibited from ruling. That’s exactly what gerrymandering is supposed to do. That’s why in states like Wisconsin, Democrats (as they did in 2020) can receive 46% of total votes cast in state Assembly races yet end up with only 38 of 99 seats after winning two new districts. That’s a massive under-representation. It gets worse in Wisconsin’s senate. There, in 2020, Democratic candidates secured about 47% of total votes, but only picked up 38% of the seats on the ballot and now control only 12 of 33 seats. The sense of futility this creates causes voters to stay home come election time — very much the point of the exercise. Permanent minority rule doesn’t happen all by itself, ya know.

The whole reason we’re experiencing this crisis in America is because white people refuse to share power with others. The right wing money saw a generation ago that a diversifying America would spell the end of white hegemony. The more political power and money flowed into non-white hands, the sooner those non-white hands would expect power and money — not for themselves but as part of the commonweal. What scared the crap out of rich, white, Christian America was the idea that Black, brown, Asian, female, LGBTQ Americans would step onto a level playing field each day. White America has always believed — wrongly — that life is a zero sum game. If some non-white person is getting something, that’s because something therefore is being taken away from a white person. Those thinking this false premise can’t imagine a rising tide floating all boats because they’re so deep into every man (like them) being entirely for themselves.

Republicans launched an all out assault on our right to vote because, they know, that’s where our power lies and where THE power lies. In the vote. If the Republican money thought they could have done this any differently — if they could have taken shortcuts — they absolutely would have. It’s democracy that’s caused them to take the long road to their authoritarian dream state. Consider how incredibly short-sighted the Republicans and conservatives are being (not exactly a rare occurrence). What do Republicans think they’ll ultimately accomplish AFTER they’ve fully broken our democracy?

Have they considered that this will finish off what’s left of the middle class? If Republicans could finish up this wet dream of theirs and actually accomplish a state of permanent minority rule, here are a few things that would happen: America would break apart. The dynamic parts of the country (the blue states) have zero desire to hobbled (as they have been all along) by red states who couldn’t invent a fart if their lives depended on it. Take away our representation and feelings of “no taxation without representation” will erupt. You know damned well that permanent minority rule will benefit the rich guys to the detriment of everyone else.

Our allies were all thrilled to have Joe Biden in the White House. For starters, he’s not a traitor. Every single country but ours is hip to the fact that a Russian intelligence asset has been sitting in the Oval Office, doing Russia’s bidding. As the DoJ prosecutes more and more of the January 6 insurrectionists, they’ll penetrate the veil separating the foot soldiers from the inside planners. Never mind what happened on January 6, what happened on January third, fourth and fifth? That’s when the planning happened. That’s when the planning meetings took place at Trump’s hotel near the White House and INSIDE the White House. Planning, you say? Inside the White House… Hmmmmm… wouldn’t that make this whole thing a conspiracy — and an inside job at that?

Our allies rely on our constancy. It’s hard to make alliances with a schizophrenic whose dominant personality right now denies the existence of any other personalities. The whole world now knows better. And the whole world can see the Republican Party doing everything it can to make America a one-party state: theirs.

The rest of the world relies on a dynamic, democratic America. The America that would result from the GOP and Trump getting their way is not an America anyone in the world wants to see except Putin, China, Kim Jong-On and Rudy Giuliani. They do not want to witness the Republican Party stabbing the rest of America in the back. They do not want the America that the Republican Party would shove down America’s throat.

Finally, let’s remember WHO is behind this assault on America’s right to vote — a hostile foreign government that has openly declared cyber war against us. Cyber war IS war. Anyone thinking you need bombs or bullets to win wars anymore is going to lose every war they ever engage in going forward. If Russia were to shut down our power grid today, we’d sue for peace tomorrow if not sooner. Russia especially sees our right to vote as a threat.

Americans, understand, are not themselves asking “should our democracy continue?” For the majority of us, it isn’t a question. It’s only a question to those who can’t make democracy work for them. Perhaps if the GOP emerged from their rabbit hole they’d have better luck winning elections on the strength of their ideas. Or not. Regardless of whether they’re in or out of any particular rabbit hole, their ideas just plain suck.

Our right to vote is a lot of things all at one time. We need to celebrate that fact — and bake it deep into the architecture. More important, we need to protect it way better than we have. And we need to see clearly that what the Republicans are doing to our democracy now isn’t political in nature, it’s criminal (for a political purpose). Their assault on our voting rights isn’t them expressing a political opinion about how America should be. It’s a mugging. An act of rape. Murder in the first degree.

And treason.

Is our right to vote a matter of national security? You’re damned right it is!

The Bottom Line Will Always Be “Because Russia Made Us Do It”

Simple fact: any analysis of Donald Trump, the Republican Party and anything that’s happened to America between 2016 and today that doesn’t factor in Russia’s direct involvement in MAKING Trump POTUS is 100% masturbatory. Personally, I have better things to do than watch or listen to that. But for Russia, Donald Trump would NEVER have been president. Russia didn’t just “interfere with” or “attempt to interfere with” our election. They flat out INTERFERED with it. The moment any sort of interference whatsoever stepped onto the playing field, the whole game changed as it had to. Foreign countries simply are not allowed to do what Russia did. It is literally AGAINST THE LAW. That we still haven’t prosecuted anyone for this is a testament to the GOP’s terrifying success at normalizing treason.

Make no mistake: everything about Donald Trump’s presidency, how he got there, what the Republicans did every step of the way is steeped in treason. Trump repeatedly did things that were as treasonous at their core as they appeared on the surface. Everything about his relationship with Vlad Putin must be scrutinized. The Republicans knew even before they nominated Trump that Russia OWNED him. They said so out loud. On June 15, 2016 — a month or so before the GOP nominated Trump, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said as he entered a meeting of GOP leaders: “There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” No one in the room disputed Kevin. Quite the contrary. Everyone present agreed to do what then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan suggested — that they keep that terrible secret “in the family”.

From that moment forward, while the entire GOP did everything humanly possible to obstruct every single investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia, Trump and most Republicans deepened their connections to Russia, making Russia’s success here THEIR success and their success Russia’s success. The Republicans know what they did is wrong, illegal and fraught with very real legal jeopardy. They know that a treason conviction carries the possibility of capital punishment. They know for a fact that what THEY did, what they’re still doing, is TREASON. That’s why they’ll do anything to stop the truth from getting out into the sunshine.

The Republican base doesn’t care what happens to American democracy. They’re one goal here is permanent minority rule. To them, Russia is like a white knight coming to rescue them. Literally — a knight who’s main attribute is his whiteness. They are happy to ignore the fact that Russia has been plotting to undermine our democracy forever (though it wasn’t that long ago when Republicans were the loudest anti-Russian voices) because our democracy has been their problem since the country’s founding. Keep in mind — what we call “Republicans” today used to go by other names in the past. The current GOP is NOT the “Party of Lincoln”. This version of Republicans began when Nixon pushed his Southern Strategy and finally got the Southern Democrats to finally come out of the closet as Republicans.

The Right Wing money — the Kochs, the Mercers — saw a generation ago that conservatism was headed for demographic extinction. The more diverse America becomes, the less political power white people will have. To white people, sharing power equals losing power. They’re not interested. They’d rather just seize power altogether and drive the bus cliffward from there. Permanent minority rule may condemn America to a future of mediocrity and decline but Republicans don’t care. So long as their bank accounts are fat, they’re good to go.

The good news is that Merrick Garland’s DoJ (and justice will always creep compared to corruption; it has little choice if it wants to maintain its integrity) is well down the road to prosecuting January 6 perps from both inside and outside Congress. They’ve already flipped lots of insurrectionists. There will be a paradigm shift when the very first sitting Congressperson suddenly has an indictment drop on their head. The very real threat of very real legal jeopardy will, of necessity, change the conversation. Those corrupt, treasonous, Republican Congressmembers will learn as the actual insurrectionists already have: defending yourself against federal charges is really, really expensive. Lose your house expensive. Bankrupt your whole family for a generation expensive.

When that fact thuds home, each and every perp will start looking for a deal. Except there won’t be any more deals.

Suddenly the rats will realize they’re all in it by themselves. The other rats have already flipped and scored all the best deals. Only confession will be left to the stragglers. And the deal will be “you confess. Or else”.

The Republicans don’t fear their base deserting them. They fear their base turning on them. Alas, as Republicans are about to learn, when you build a Frankenstein’s Monster out of spare parts, the parts don’t always do what you expect them to. The parts can have minds of their own. And, though the Republican base won’t care if the politicians repping them do the right thing, they will care deeply when/if the dots connect multiple instances of Republican behavior before and during January 6 to acts of outright treason.

Considering how deeply involved Russia was in every other part of Trump’s White House, does it really pass the smell test that where the January 6 insurrection is concerned, Russia had zero involvement? Considering how much Russia had at stake and the toothlessness of the responses to all its prior actions, it would stretch credulity to imagine Russia had no part in the January 6 Insurrection. Russia was absolutely a player playing.

And Trump and the Republicans were happy to let Trump and Putin play them.

Maybe More Americans Would Behave Like Responsible Adults If We Taught Them “How To”

On paper, it seemed so easy. After a year and change of locked down lives and a locked down economy because a pandemic was ravaging the human world, humans created a viable solution in record time: a vaccine. All any of the humans had to do to begin the process of arresting the pandemic was get the shot. Considering the carnage, this should have been a no-brainer. Alas, that did not account for the multitudes of brainless humans. The pandemic struck America at the exact same time a right wing coup d’etat was in flagrante. That coup d’etat is the right wing’s Hail Mary shot at establishing permanent minority rule. That has always been the point of this exercise. The hard core right — the fomenters and backers of this tragedy — have always viewed democracy and the structures needed to maintain it with disdain. On the left, we have a tendency to be pedantic and abstract about democracy; that’s why we always seem to bring knives to gunfights. It’s the middle where all the action is. Or, in America’s case — where the inaction is.

The difference between America achieving herd immunity and not achieving it just now is a few percentage points of the American public going along with the majority of us and getting vaccinated. Some of those people are rushing to get vaccinated now in the face of the Delta’s terrifying surge. Three previous viral surges didn’t convince them? A viral surge with a cure in hand? THAT’S what it took? One more just to drive the point home? How does a person become so immune to good information that they don’t know how to process it so as to act in their own best interests?

There’s plenty of data that’s easily accessible to back up the bromide “a rising tide lifts all boats”. We live in a world broken by crony capitalist corruption. What does it take to infiltrate minds so that those minds can 1) connect those obvious dots and 2) do something about it that would be both in their best interest and in everyone else’s best interest, too? My simple suggestion — education. We make it a national policy — as part of every American’s education (whether public or private) — they must experience a thorough (but not uncritical) education in American democracy: how it’s supposed to work, how it’s worked in the past, how it’s working now — and what we need to do to continue improving it. We need to introduce early (and often) that Americans have something billions of other humans would die for and have died trying to get.

We need to bake a love of democracy into the very architecture of our education system. Anything that threatens our democracy should be understood in that context. These are complex ideas but they can be synthesized down to bite-sized, actionable directives like “vote”. Or “register to vote”. Or “run for office”.

If more Americans embraced the foundational concepts of democracy — the US that makes democracy a democracy — they’d have a clearer sense of where individual liberty and the commonweal’s needs interplay. There must be a point where the commonweal’s interests supersedes any individual’s. Otherwise the group could always be taken hostage — an unacceptable option. But then, why would anyone think that freedom comes totally free? That’s how a six year old — or a libertarian — sees freedom: “you’re not the boss of me”. It simply isn’t true — it can’t be — that freedom comes with all benefits and zero obligations. If that were the case, why wouldn’t every human society do that? Because it simply isn’t how freedom works.

Freedom takes work to MAKE it work. And the work involved requires training because it’s so challenging. If we don’t teach our children how to do it, they’ll never learn as adults and, in time, the very ideas will get lost — which is exactly where we are. America did indeed stop teaching civics a while back. Somehow (hmmmmmm… I wonder how….) we decided that Americans knowing how their country worked (or what it even looked like on a map) was unimportant. Civics became like sex education — something best taught at home in the minds of some Americans.

And you know which Americans I’m talking about — the ones threatened by information (especially new information with science behind it).

Like I said — the hard right were never reachable. We need to stop chasing them down their rabbit holes. It’s the middle who need to be addressed here — those who (perhaps understandably) have long taken democracy for granted. It was here and so were they. That’s the extent of their investment in it.

So, let’s give them a reason to invest more by instilling a few “economic” principles into their thinking.

Like every good investment, you have to pony up first in order to collect your payoff later. The ponying up part is where most of the heavy lifting comes in; we all agree, the “learning” and “re-learning” and “learning it again” part is absolutely no fun. But that’s where you bake in the sense of responsibility. And — much more importantly — the sense of how obligation and benefit balance each other when democracy is working properly.

The only problem with what I’m proposing is that it’s never happened in America. It’s an ideal but — in my defense — it’s the ideal promised by “All men are created equal” if we understand it to mean “In America, all people are created as equals”. We could say that they’re equals before the law (that’s really all any government can really assert). Though the American ideal has always remained an ideal and not our actual reality, that it’s flame was maintained till now is a good sign — especially considering who’s maintained that flame: Black Americans especially. Though the benefits of American democracy have forever been denied them, Black Americans have maintained their faith in it because, having been denied those benefits, they appreciate how essential they are.

How ironic that America, while enslaving a significant part of its population was also super-educating them how to be the best possible Americans. If it didn’t hurt so damned much, it’d be hilarious.

Mitch McConnell’s Impeachment Calculus Has Everything To Do With MONEY And Nothing To Do With Politics

Dear Mitch McConnell: Karma is a stone cold bitch, no? She laughs at sad little treason turtles like you. I bet you can hear her laughing now. Five years ago, you sat atop your Yertl-like throne, unequaled view of the swamp, lots of that Koch money warming your cockles (your wife’s cockles actually, you haven’t any). Permanent minority rule wasn’t in sight yet, but if it ever DID come in sight, you’d be ready, the judiciary already tucked into your turtle shell via all the lifetime appointments you denied Obama but jammed through under Trump — including three undeserving SCOTUS judges. Those were the good ol’ days, weren’t they, Mitch? Flush with money and power, all your secrets safely hidden away. But, the lure of Donald Trump — or was it the trap you’d already stepped into?

That’s the great mystery that putting you under oath will answer one way or another: WHEN exactly, Mitch, did you first climb into bed with Russia? You’ve been taking Russian money into your various PACs for years — legally. Ah, but that was THEN and this is about to be NOW — when that money stops being innocent because TREASON. I know this is a sore subject, Mitch (considering the consequences), but you will need to answer questions — UNDER OATH — about your odd relationship with Oleg Deripaska. And, even innocent-seeming dollars flowing from guys like Len Blavatnik will need to be examined. We need to know where EVERY CENT came from.

Not everyone’s as hip to the scam as you, Mitch. Some people can be “useful idiots”. Then there’s Oleg…

Deripaska’s an oligarch. He has direct ties to the Russian GRU, its military intelligence agency. The only person dirtier in this scenario would be Vladimir Putin himself — a guy, I bet, Oleg can get on the phone and whose calls Putin absolutely will return. We know — there’s proof — that Oleg played a direct role in Trump “winning” the 2016 election. We KNOW (cos there’s proof) that Paul Manafort — Trump’s CAMPAIGN MANAGER — put into Deripaska’s hands proprietary polling data focused on four states: Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Already, we’re deep into CRIMINAL territory — handing polling data about Americans to a foreign intelligence agent. And one thing Manafort definitely knew about Deripaska? He was a FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AGENT.

And — we also know — at this very same time, Russia is likely following the script for a CYBER WAR drawn up by Putin a few years before. Putin, don’t forget, is an intelligence agent by profession. He pretty much ran the KGB as the Soviet Union collapsed. It was Putin’s “insights” — gained from BEING a KGB agent — that gave him all the leverage he needed to take power in Russia. Putin comes from a “winner take all” world where losers usually get killed. He’s a Russian Nationalist whose wet dreamski is to restore “Greater Russia” to the world stage as a “playah!” That’s never going to happen.

This makes Putin nothing more than a schoolyard bully punching way above his weight. Take oil out of Russia’s economy and Putin goes broke. No money equals no power in Putin’s world. See? Even for Vlad Putin, it comes down to money.

Mitch’s goals are simple to understand. First, he needs to stay out of prison. That’s going to be out of his hands. Once a rejuvenated Department of Justice — running efficiently and in pursuit of Justice under Merrick Garland (such a deliciously ironic choice) — starts pulling threads on the vile Republican Corruption Sweater, people like Mitch are going to spend money on lawyers. Lots of money. The Republican Party is about to make a generation of lawyers fabulously wealthy from coast to coast.

All those seditionists the FBI’s now sweeping up? They have to LAWYER UP. Defending themselves against these charges will be staggeringly expensive — far, FAR more expensive than anything these yahoos have ever imagined. They’re about to be terrified by the words “billable hours” because they’re about to start piling them by the boatload. That will bankrupt their families for a generation at least. And even if they get through it all, scathed but not sentenced to prison? Think their job prospects are good? We’re going to learn things about them that most employers wouldn’t dare hire and wouldn’t want in their work forces anyway.

Expensive. Money. Hey, it’s America, right? YOUR America, Mitch…

And did you hear how corporate America is reacting to your party’s refusal to acknowledge that Joe Biden, the soon-to-be POTUS, won a free and fair election? I KNOW you know, Mitch. They’re fleeing you like passengers fleeing the Titanic as it sank. Trust me — no one’s climbing from their lifeboat BACK onto you. Your ship’s going down, Captain — and Karma’s riding shotgun — enjoying every moment.

Remember the agony you felt that night John McCain stopped you from ripping ACCESS to health care for MILLIONS OF AMERICANS (you weren’t ripping away their care, of course, because America doesn’t have a health CARE system thanks to greedy mf’s like you, we have a health INSURANCE system)? Sure ya do! I bet this is a kajillion times worse. And what makes it hurt even more? You know the spear tip has only scratched the surface. When Merrick Garland begins to wield that spear tip like a scalpel on your soft, treason-turtle underbelly?

Never mind all that corporate cash no longer filling Republican coffers, that corporate cash will stop filling YOUR coffers. Yeah, sure — Elaine’s got dough. But you don’t want to be a kept “man”, do ya, Mitch? Oh, you do… that’s right — you HAVE been kept up till now — mostly by all the corporate cash now abandoning your party because who in their right mind wants to co-brand with corruption, sedition and treason?

The following corporations have all formally announced that they will no longer give money to a political party living in a dream world — trying to force that dream world upon reality (where all the corporation’s customers live):

(The is list is non-exhaustive and was compiled using the committee’s publicly available IRS Form 8872s: 1-800 Contacts): 3M, Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, Autozone, Bank of America, Best Buy, Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Capital One, Charter Communications, Chevron, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Comcast, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Dominion Energy, DraftKings, Ebay, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Farmer’s Group, FedEx, Freedom Financial, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, Honeywell, iHeartMedia, Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Juul, Kwik Trip, LegalZoom, LexisNexis, MasterCard, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Motorola, Mylan, Nationwide, Novo Nordisk, PayPal, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Raytheon, Reynolds American, Sheetz, SmileDirectClub, Square, Target, TIAA, T-Mobile, Tracfone, TruGreen, UnitedHealth, UPS, Visa, Volkswagen, Waffle House, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Waste Management, Waymo, Wells Fargo, and Yum Brands.

Object lesson: Bill O’Reilly. Though The O’Reilly Factor generated more than $446 million in advertising revenues from 2014 through 2016 (according to one report), The 21st Century Fox board fired O’Reilly in April 2017, saying “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.” Those allegations had to do with sexual misconduct, predatory behavior and various forms of sexual abuse involving employees and co-workers — you know, stuff guys like Bill O’Reilly had gotten away with FOREVER!

But, as the Atlantic piece points out, the companies that advertised on O’Reilly’s show heard clearly from their customers — women mostly since women make the majority of buying decisions in American households — that they would no longer buy products advertised on O’Reilly’s show or in any way associated with O’Reilly. Regardless of how valuable O’Reilly was in the here-and-now, what corporations like Ford and Coca Cola understood was that O’Reilly’s value was about to plunge significantly. And, so, they bailed on Bill O’Reilly, the short term money be damned.

For corporations with long term strategies? This is how they MUST think in order to be around for any sort of “long term”. It’s just money.

What will Mitch do about trying Trump in the Senate? He needs to deflect some of the shitstorm coming his way. Should something else catastrophic happen now — when the power to remove Trump was in Mitch’s hands — that, too, will fall on Mitch. That will make it even harder for Mitch to ever, EVER convince corporate money to donate to him or his party EVER AGAIN. It’s just math. And money. And power.

Mitch also knows: to oppose Trump is to invite a literal threat of physical harm from absolute, flat-out lunatics. Bad enough Mitch is about to have the DoJ poking about his moldy, old turtle shell, he could also have loyal Trump soldiers out for his blood. The news media — always light years behind the story — still think Mitch is all about finding his way back to the majority leadership in 2022 in the usual mid-term slump for the ruling party. That is such pre-2016 thinking. That also forgets that after January 20, the DoJ will be functioning again and asking reluctant Republicans very hard questions under the glaring light of being under oath.

The tell? They’ll all start pleading the fifth — cos there’s soooooooooo much there with which to incriminate themselves.

And, hey — what about all those Republican legislators who CLEARLY have violated the oath they took to NOT take part in any seditious behavior. By their oaths and by the law they can no longer be part of any government anywhere in America. Ever again. Ask yourself — when Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley get EXPELLED from the Senate — doesn’t that mean THEY’RE NO LONGER SENATORS? Yes, it does. It also means the governors of those states will have to appoint temporary successors — which, in some states, also will initiate another election — in an environment where Democrats are surging and Republicans are losing — and more and more of them are literally going to jail.

We’re already learning how complicit Republican legislators were in the coup d’etat — literally giving them vital intel, some EVEN IN REAL TIME! Despite that fact — despite KNOWING that fact — 197 Republicans STILL voted not to impeach Trump. See where this is going? How are those Republicans going to pay for their next election campaigns? The RNC won’t be cash-flowing them — the RNC’s about to be broke with most of its members worried about legal bills.

Mitch must thread a needle here just to get from today to tomorrow. He really can’t strategize too much into the future because he has zero cards to play — and all the indications are, his hand won’t be improving.

What will you do, Mitch? My money’s on you “aspiring to conviction” without having to get your hands too dirty. I’ve noticed — you haven’t pushed for the whole Republican block to march in classical Republican Lock Step like you had them do during “Trump Impeachment Number One” because, well, you don’t wield anything like that power anymore. Because of Trump.

Also remember — to convict, one doesn’t need 60 votes, one needs 60% of the Senators present DURING the vote. If only 48 Democrats showed up while every Republican stayed home? The Democrats would only have to make sure that 60% of them voted to convict — which, of course, they would. These, too, are things you know, Mitch.

To your credit, Mitch, you’re an excellent politician. Can’t take that away from you — you know how to count. By tacitly allowing your people to “stay home” instead of voting? You could convict Trump without having done it yourself. In your mind anyway, Mitch, you would have a teensy bit of plausible deniability — the Republicans’ favorite operating principle. Considering your options? It’s all you have. I bet you take it.

Not that it will save you in the long run.

At the end of the day, Mitch, your “legacy” such as it is will be that your name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use when they want to call someone a “traitor”. In that way, Mitch, you will achieve the “immortality” you sought.

Just now the way ya pictured it.

Republicans Have Crossed A Line From Beyond Which There IS No Return

That headline is wrong. The Republican Party has crossed MULTIPLE lines from beyond which there IS NO RETURN. The moment the RW money decided to make permanent minority rule its mission — that was a line of no return. The moment Moscow Mitch McConnell stated out loud that denying Barack Obama (the president a MAJORITY OF AMERICANS voted for) his judicial choices was his proudest accomplishment — that was a line of no return. The moment current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a GOP leadership meeting a month before the 2016 GOP convention and said “I think there’s two people Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” and no one thought to get the FBI on the phone — that, when then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan said “let’s keep it in the family”, was a line of no return.

Hell, when Donald Trump said — out loud — that “Mexicans are rapists”. THAT should have been a line of no return — literally and figuratively.

How many affronts to our body politic and our physical bodies do we have to endure before something akin to a survival instinct kicks in? If only one Republican stood with Donald Trump, defiantly denying the election’s results, that would be bad enough. With very few exceptions (and I’m not entirely sure about Mitt Romney), every single Republican member of Congress would go right along with Donald Trump’s attempted coup d’etat if they thought Trump might could possibly get away with it. That’s the Republicans’ constant tell — they do everything based on what’s in it for them and never what’s best for the people they’re supposed to be publicly serving.

Here’s a line they’ve crossed: by denying the validity of this election — which some of them WON in — because Trump lost, they’ve made any future participation in ANY election completely dubious. Why take part in an electoral process you think is bullshit? Or is it only bullshit if you lose? Hmmmmmmm… now, why does that smell funny?

What the dishonorable “gentleman” from Missouri — Josh Hawley — is doing? It’s horse shit wrapped in bullshit wrapped in sedition.

Are we to accept as “normal” that we can never know for certain whether the Republican candidate in an election will accept his defeat? Speaking personally here — HELL, NO! If I own a shop and you walk in and regularly steal from me, I’m going to stop you from “shopping” in my store because you keep proving yourself a thief. The Republicans have just demonstrated — are still demonstrating — that openly stealing elections is not something they feel ashamed about. When — after January 20, 2021 we have a functioning Department of Justice — we begin to shine some light on everything Trump, we will learn — take it to the bank — that without Russia’s direct involvement, Donald Trump would NEVER have become POTUS. Foreign countries — especially hostile ones conducting CYBER WARS against us — cannot win American elections.

Treason cannot win American elections. And, TREASON is yet another line pretty much every single Republican — Mitt Romney included — has committed. Sorry, Mittens, but “See something, say something” — that’s how conspiracy works. “See something, say nothing” — as you’ve done? You don’t actually have to “know” something to be considered part of a conspiracy. You only have to suspect your confederates are up to something in order to be liable — should you do nothing. Has Mitt called the FBI to tell them what he suspects? No? WHY?

That’s how the spider web of conspiracy will ensnare almost the entire GOP before the investigations are finished. We’re talking TREASON here — which still carries the death penalty — THANKS TO DONALD TRUMP! I bet he had hoped to use it on all his political enemies — more than half of America in other words. Oh, the delicious irony when Trump’s own bloodlust comes to haunt him personally.

As my old pal the Crypt Keeper used to say, “Be careful what you wish for, kiddies, you may just get it!”

The Republican Party’s behavior here whether by intention or not would set a precedent. They’d never have to lose another election. They’d simply contest the result endlessly, making governing nearly impossible. They’d always have “holding their breath till we all turn blue” in their pocket.

How can Republicans — having revealed the authoritarian pricks at their core — ever campaign as anything else? They have forever BRANDED themselves as corrupt, seditionist TRAITORS. Or do some Republicans plan to run in the future as “old fashioned” Republican who only fantasize about undermining the republic — they’d never, ever actually do it? Anyone putting that “R” next to their name — or seeing common purpose with people who do — is “co-branding” with everything the Republican Party has done and is doing — up to and including TREASON.

If our press could aggregate this story — growing their foundation of knowledge about Donald Trump and the Republicans as new, evidence-based information came in — they’d have stopped asking WHY the Republicans have followed Trump down this terrible, terrible road. They’d know already. They’d have reported it so that WE’D know. The entire Republican Party — to a man (and woman) — has betrayed the America the rest of us live in and aspire to.

How does a party guilty of such total betrayal “run” in an election? At some point, should they win, they’ll have to SWEAR AN OATH to uphold the rules we all agree we’re living under; how shall we take oaths sworn by people who’ve sworn not to stand by their oaths? That’s the question our news media asks us every time they even talk about elections in 2022 or 2024 — when they suggest Republicans would be the ones running against Democrats. How will America choose — between patriots or traitors — in the next election?

The only reason we still have to listen to anything any Republican has to say is because our news media is convinced both sides do what the Republicans are doing. That’s what they apparently think — whatever terrible, corrupt, treasonous thing the Republicans are up to? The Democrats are doing the exact same thing — we just can’t see it yet.

“Both sides do it” robs itself of perspective then smugly asserts that it can see inside everyone’s head though the only heads such “journalists” ever gaze into is their own. They are projecting their own moral ambiguity onto everyone else. That ain’t journalism, it’s cowardice.

The GOP has already poisoned itself. Its death throes will stretch out across 2021 and probably 2022. There’s a lot of terrible behavior to investigate. On the bright side, we’ll be clearing the prisons of drug “criminals” (their records wiped clean) and making space for (checks notes) pretty much the entire Republican Party.

The next line these craven Republicans come to, they better NOT cross. Their toes better be on it as they become (prison) wards of the state.

Republicans Have No Choice BUT To Destroy Our Whole System Of Government; A Peaceful Transfer Of Power Will Put Them In Prison And They KNOW It

What’s a stone cold criminal to do? In time, our news media will catch up. They’ll realize that they’ve spent four plus years slowly normalizing an authoritarian coup d’etat. Had We The People not turned out en masse to say “NO!” to the Republican Party’s shot at setting in concrete a state of permanent minority rule, that concrete would now be setting all around us. The Republicans knew even before they made Trump their presidential nominee in 2016 that he was dirty — monetarily compromised by Vladimir Putin. They’ve done everything they could since then to cover up both Trump’s complicity and their own. In every way, shape and form, the entirety of the GOP is now a full-fledged criminal enterprise.

Trump himself will go from being “unindicted individual one” in the Michael Cohen case to “Indicted individual”. Trump knows what he’s done. He’s not confused on this point. That’s why he’s worked so hard to obstruct justice — because he KNOWS what the price will be. His guilty conscience enters every room an hour before he does. Trump will do everything he possibly can to remain POTUS because the alternative is going to prison for the rest of his stinking life — seeing his children go to prison — seeing his company implode — losing literally everything. The Republican Party has put itself in the very same boat — right alongside Donald.

Conspiracy works this way: “See something, say something; see something, say nothing?” We need to know WHY. Who are you protecting by NOT saying what you’re obligated to report? That is the petard on which every single Republican will be hoist.

Pick a Republican — any Republican — even a Mitt Romney. Mitt may be isolated to a degree from most of the other Republicans for having dared to vote to convict Trump during his impeachment trial. But, Mitt knows way more than he’s letting on. At the very least, he suspects way more. Even if all Mitt has are vague suspicions that his fellow Republicans are criminals, he is OBLIGATED to say something.

We tend to forgive rich white guys when they DON’T rat each other out. Other people who keep each others’ secrets — who they associate with and why — are called “fellow travelers”.

People like Mitch McConnell, Steve Mnuchin, Steve Bannon, Matt Gaetz and Jim Johnson — all privileged white guys — have it in their heads that they will NEVER go to jail for anything. Well, Matt Gaetz knows better. That’s because Matt scored a DUI in 2008. How many times you suppose Matt Gaetz has gotten AWAY with DUI over the course of his drunken, privileged life? Do you suppose any of the 17 AGs who threw in with the state of Texas’ ludicrous lawsuit cum coup d’etat thought for a second that THEY might have to answer for their staggeringly anti-democratic actions?

Hell, no. Republicans have gotten it into their heads that they can and will get away with everything.

And yet…

They have to know they’re in a spot here. On the one hand, they lost the presidential election by a ton. Let’s stick a pin in the “Yeah, but…!” results that, so far, have kept the senate in their hands. As I wrote here — we need to forensic a whole lot of internet-connected voting machines and put a whole lot of Republican-run voting machine company executives under oath. The Republican leadership may be craven and corrupt but they’re not stupid. They know Trump lost this election. They KNOW they don’t have the support their vote turnout says they do — a significant portion of it in certain places is entirely fictitious. They KNOW this. They know that their minority is even more of a minority than the rest of us think.

The know their ludicrous Texas Hail Mary is an insult to every American and to the Supreme Court itself.

Why else would formerly semi-respectable people do such utterly self-immolating things?

If our news media scratched its head any harder while trying to figure out WHY Republicans are still so dedicated to Trump, they’d leave permanent divots in their heads. They even use the term “coup d’etat” though they don’t seem to associate it with its more “illegal” aspects. The way the news media tosses it off, a “coup” is this season’s style motif. When they list all the possible reasons Republicans might be acting the way they are, “because they’re criminals” never seems to stick.

But that is what the Republican Party is — a criminal enterprise bent on ending the greatest experiment ever in human self-government and turning it into the authoritarian, theocratic shithole of their dreams.

Hey, Republicans — I sure hope ya like succotash! It’s going to be what’s for dinner — for the rest of your stinking, corrupt, treasonous lives.

Dear Republicans: We The People Are Angrier At You Than You Realize

The Republicans are now all-in on their power grab. The soft coup d’etat they started in 2016 has reached it’s moment of truth. There’s no going back anymore. Either the Republican Party will finish what they started — and bust a cap in American democracy’s noggin — or they’ll balk. Because, really, creating a state of permanent minority rule and then RUNNING IT SUCCESSFULLY requires more governing skill than any Republican is capable of. Republicans hate government because the suck at governing.

What scares the Trumpanistas more than almost anything is what will happen when Team Biden restores a functioning Department of Justice whose mission is actually justice (and not being the corrupt president’s consigliere). Think of all the oversight that never got done because of corruption. Think of all the investigations into Trump and all his cronies that AG Bill Barr either derailed or killed. Think of the counter intelligence investigation into Trump and his relationship with Russia that neither Team Mueller nor the FBI ever began because Rod Rosenstein — a real snake in the grass — made go away.

Take Russia out of the 2016 equation and Trump never gets past the primaries (never mind “winning” the presidency). Without Russia, Trump does not win. What more does one need to know? Russia won the 2016 election. And that cannot stand. Neither can the political party that aligned themselves with a hostile foreign power carrying out an open act of cyber war.

That’s something else the Republicans don’t realize they’ve done. The anger at them isn’t simple. It isn’t about one thing. It’s about a whole bunch of things — that ultimately come down to one thing (greed). But, as we stand here in the midst of the most important election this country will ever have, what will strike us is how many terrible, criminal, corrupt things the Republicans have done — and how much they deserve to be punished for every last bit of it.

Were it just the treason alone, of course, that would be bad enough. Perversely, the catalogue of Trumpian criminality is so vast that we’ve already forgotten that Donald Trump is the first president EVER to run for re-election having been IMPEACHED for cheating in the very election he’s now running in. We ain’t in Kansas here, Toto. Even Kansas isn’t in Kansas anymore.

Republican greed and selfishness have now resulted in actual American death. Their response to the pandemic can never be forgiven. They’ve effectively gutted the rule of law. That can’t be forgiven either. We will get it back in working order though — and when we do, Republicans will be shocked by how many of them suddenly have giant legal problems. Pretty much all of them will actually. See something, say something. See something, say nothing? We have to ask “Why?”

Why did so many Republican say nothing when they KNEW it was morally, ethically and legally wrong?

We’re angry now because we see the Republican Party and Donald Trump cheating out in the open. We see how we outnumber them. We see how we are the majority and they are not. That they are still trying to impose their will over us — well, frankly, that’s really pissing us off. Having been on the receiving end of sexual assault when I was 14, I know what this feeling on the back of my neck is. Donald Trump and the Republicans may not be physically assaulting us but the impact on our minds is no different.

We feel under assault because we are under assault. And, having told you to stop repeatedly, Republican Party, now that we’ve gotten to our feet, we intend to make you stop. You will not like how this ends.

I’m not saying the feeding frenzy around the Republicans as the accusations start to land won’t be fun to watch. It absolutely will be. The catharsis will be exquisite. That’s what will drive us, drive our fury: our need to catharsis our way past this moment of epic awfulness.

There’s an “uh oh” moment coming to the GOP as more and more Republicans realize that not only are they losing the election, but also they’re entering a winter wilderness of shame, investigation, indictment and financial hardship. You can already hear them begging for a deal if only to lighten their brutal sentencing.

And the sentencing for what the Republicans have done will be brutal — at least it will seem that way to them. As we all know, most Republicans are nothing but soft, white underbelly. They’re bullies at heart, good at kicking their victims when they’re down — but only if someone is holding them down. They’re charmless sociopaths out on a joyride.

In their calculus, the Republicans must think we’ll feel obligated to keep what they did because… that’s how criminals think. They don’t want to give back what they stole but then — IT’S NOT UP TO THEM. We The People are the victims of a crime perpetrated upon us by the Republican Party. In 2016, We The People voted one way — for Hillary Clinton and whatever she wanted to make of her presidency — but, instead, were given Donald Trump because the Republican Party had conspired with Russia to alter the results in three key states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

We will arrive here: Donald Trump is not now nor has he ever been the legitimate president. He had no right or business taking any oath of office (that he would break even as he spoke it). He’s the only fake in our fake news cavalcade. Having never been the legitimate potus with the legitimate authority vested in him, at no point did he ever have the authority to sign legislation into law, make presidential pronouncements, put together a cabinet or even nominate judges. IOW Donald Trump never had the authority to nominate a single one of the unqualified hacks he nominated up to and including Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barnett.

There really are a thousand very good reasons for Americans to be angry at Donald Trump. What he’s done to this country is, well, criminal.

How To Level An American Playing Field That’s NEVER Been Level

The playing field in America has never truly been level because the “men” in “All men are created equal” never included all “men” and definitely never included women. It’s hard to even field a team to put on the pitch when the majority of the players have been banned from the stadium to begin with. America’s fatal flaw wasn’t the idea of a grand experiment in self-government, it was who we excluded from the experiment when we started it. If you really want to get depressed, think of amazing women, skilled, smart like Stacey Abrams, AOC and Susan Rice — then think of all the Stacey’s, AOC’s and Susan’s whose skill sets we left on the table, never bothering to educate them, nurture them or encourage them. Think of all the great ideas America never bothered to develop simply because of racism, bigotry and misogyny.

Leveling the playing field is, ultimately, good for everyone playing on it. Want to see just how exceptional America really is? Let’s put everyone onto the same field of dreams.

Those who really can’t compete — white guys apparently — might lose more often but, if they’d just give innovating and thinking outside the box a try, they might find themselves — because they’re being forced to compete — competing better and winning again. This Progressive won’t mind so much losing an argument to a moderate (conservatives can’t compromise) whose ideas, having been forced to compete with everyone’s, simply are better than mine.

That’s the whole mentality behind a completely level playing field. It really does put us all into the same game with the same rules.

Imagine a “game” where some turtle-faced nitwit insists the rules work one way for him and his rich friends but completely different for everyone else.

Imagine a game where we measure the field and all its features the exact same way — where both sides have to run ten yards to score a first down rather than one side having to make ten while the other gets first downs just for showing up. Imagine a game where no one gets born on third base and thinks they hit a triple.

Gerrymandering prevents the field from being level by breaking up potentially dominant Democratic voting districts into far less threatening districts dominated by some distant, rural Republican enclave that outnumbers the segmented Democratic area by just enough to be forever insurmountable. Gerrymandering is permanent minority rule’s whip. And, boy do they love cracking it over our heads every election.

And then there’s electronic voting machine fraud — the ultimate, silent, un-leveler of any playing field anywhere. As I wrote about here, it would take no more than three people to pull off a successful conspiracy to use voting machines to pad Republican vote totals — to perpetually make it appear as if there were more Republicans than there, in fact, are. Padding totals consistently would create a false narrative that those mean Progressives better be checked because of all the worried, socialism-fearing Republicans. Except, of course, a lot of those worried Republicans don’t exist and never have.

Republican-manufactured, internet-accessible, corruption-vulnerable, virtually unregulated electronic voting machines don’t fill one with confidence when contemplating their integrity. That’s because the manufacturers have none theselves (between donating to Trump and Republicans and having those same Republicans sit on their board). Neither do the Republican-run states who’ve bought the damned things and insist on using them instead of far safer, far more reliable hand-marked paper ballots. It’s also because Trump INSISTED that HIS VOTERS forgo voting by mail and USE THE VOTING MACHINES INSTEAD.

Talk about thinks that make ya go “Hmmmmmmm…”.

Sorry, but a man who lies every time he opens his mouth, projects massive criminality twenty-four-seven and who was IMPEACHED for cheating in the very election he just ran in cannot be trusted. If you’re ears didn’t prick up the instant Trump insisted HIS voters vote via machine then you haven’t been paying attention. You need to sit down till the rest of us fix this; you’ll only ever get in everyone else’s way.

The solution to our problem is this: in order, fix 1) Equality, 2) Justice and 3) Hope. You can’t have justice without equality. Fix equality first, you can have justice. If everyone believes justice is fair, they’ll have hope. Hope will create purpose and the will to realize all those Big Plans we’ll need to realize if we’re ever to regain our place in the world.

First order of business though — let’s remove the bully not just from the playing field we’re on but from the zip code we’re in entirely. Hell, let’s kick him off the planet if we can. No one will miss him.

Consider that a slam dunk.

America Is Divided But The MAJORITY Of Americans Were Not Divided About Donald Trump

Chicken Little — journalism degree in hand — dashes hither and thither squawking “the sky is falling!” or, as he now puts it, “America is hopelessly divided! What are we all to do?” Shhhh, calm down, Chicken Little. Stop believing your own hype. Stop believing that “both sides do it”. They don’t. That brand of “journalism” has destroyed your sense of perspective; it’s convinced you that you can’t possibly arbitrate between bullshit and truth for your audience; THEY’LL have to decide for themselves if bullshit can be truth and truth can be bullshit. Just for the record, no, it can’t and no, it can’t.

“Both sides to it” is bullshit. And bullshit can never be true. Cos it’s bullshit.

The gun-toting, Christo-fascist, liquored-to-their-bloodshot-eyeballs Trumpanistas do not care about representative democracy and never have. Let’s be generous and call them 30% of America. That’s the slice of America that still approved of Richard Nixon on the day he quit because of Watergate (actually it was 29% — I’m being even more generous!) The truth is, the hardcore-iest of the hardcore Trumpanistas are a thin slice of the larger half-baked tranche. When you stop and do the math — who they are vs who we are? It’s batshit crazy insane that “these people” hold the sway that they do.

I wonder if it’s because they’re all white (or white aspirational)?

The slow but steady attrition of gerrymandering, minority rule and elections stolen from the majority brought us to a place where that disempowered majority finally had enough. Donald Trump himself said the unspoken but true part out loud: when more Americans vote, they vote for Democrats. If too many Americans vote, Republicans would never win again.

Wow. Donald Trump got one right. He spoke a truth.

Why do you suppose Trump thinks that? If more Americans took part in the decision-making process, they would NOT struggle with their choice. They would choose a Democratic, PROGRESSIVE way forward over a Republican, REGRESSIVE way back to what we were: a country that compromised with SLAVERY. Seen as a trend line, a diversifying America is NOT divided on that subject and hasn’t been for a long, long time. That’s the MAJORITY I’m speaking of.

“Both sides do it” insists on giving equal weight to both sides of an argument regardless of any argument’s actual heft. That’s why climate science and climate denial got to share 50-50 screens on every single news network. Quick note to the news networks who apparently don’t understand how the visual medium works. Anything presented in a 50-50 screen is saying (even if unintentionally) “these two things are equal”. If it’s two people making diametrically opposite arguments? Those two arguments (climate science and climate denial) could BOTH be equally valid.

Just like that, NEWS NETWORKS gave credence to rubbish. They said, in the visual language, “this argument could be true”. Bullshit could be true.

Oy.

Once you’ve gone there, there’s not bottom. Mexicans “could be” rapists. Women might “like” being grabbed by their pussies. Children might prefer to grow up in cages, separated from their parents. Voters might not care if their president shoots them on Fifth Avenue — as a bizarre way to keep their vote. Once you chase a rabbit like this down its festering hole, you’re lost. That’s why our news media could never tell the Donald Trump story. It’s why they can’t today.

This story will happen IN SPITE OF our news media mostly and NOT because of it. The majority of heroic reporting on Trump has come from WITHOUT mainstream American journalism and not from within as it should have.

I watched MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhl report the other day how the spontaneous celebrations that broke out across America once Joe and Kamala’s election was a fully established fact that those celebrations weren’t about Donald Trump, they were about a hopeful return to normalcy. My response to Stephanie (through my TV — I don’t think she heard) was “What the HELL are you talking about? I was IN one of those spontaneous celebrations (masked and distanced — but needed see and feel the vibe). I know for a fact what and how WE were celebrating. I wasn’t an observer, ya see, I WAS A PARTICIPANT.

But Stephanie — an observer apparently who didn’t speak to ANY participants — adjudged our motives for us. We weren’t doing it for OUR reason, we were doing it for HERS.

She was “both sides doing it” it to us. The one time we WERE reacting politically, Stephanie (to whom the left is ALWAYS being political rather than reactive) had us being purely reactive.

Um, no, Ms. Ruhl. Everyone as far as I could see and hear at the street celebration I attended was there because of the relief we felt at RIDDING OURSELVES of Donald J. Trump. Please get that distinction. We had to do this OURSELVES because our news media couldn’t. Wouldn’t.

We have to look into this. We will. As badly as the news media has reported on Trump, they are reporting on us. They’re gravitating toward the most visible — the loudest, gun-totingest, bleary-eyed Trumpanistas — the ones with the most white, Christian male grievances to grieve over. Stories of angry white people are easier to tell than stories of everyone else — struggling to get into or stay in a game that remains entirely stacked against them and for the RICH, white, Christian men who are actually oppressing everyone.

Even Charles Koch now realizes how deeply he stepped in it. Charles isn’t being contrite as much as he’s being strategic. He’s seen the same handwriting on the wall that the 21st Century Fox Board of Directors did when they fired Bill O’Reilly on April 19, 2017. The handwriting was female. It belonged to America’s women. They make up most of the buying decisions in American households. If you lose them, you lose. And Bill O’Reilly — a sexual predator — had lost America’s women.

More precisely, Bill O’Reilly lost his advertisers. His show lost its advertisers because all of them saw they’d lose their clients — the companies that made the products being advertised. And those companies didn’t want to lose their customers — all those women making all those buying decisions. It was between Bill O’Reilly and staying in business. We all know who won. That victory should be shouting at us. It is — if only we’d listen to it.

I’ve written here about how I believe our view of the American electorate walks in the door skewed because of who owns most of the voting machine-making companies (and who’s on their boards and to whom they make healthy political campaign donations). Please don’t ask me or anyone to trust people with an aversion to transparency, a cash-paying love for an authoritarian fraud and vehement resistance to Americans using much more secure hand-marked paper ballots to vote. Something about them smells.

If I’m even half-right about Republicans padding their numbers, our perception of who we are and how we vote has been significantly perverted. They’re still as crazy as we think they are, but there are a lot fewer of them than we’ve been told.

That, ya see, is the point of the exercise. Republicans now are like an animal whose sole defense is to puff up its feathers. That “defense” is still just feathers. Republicans aren’t who they present themselves to be. They’re neither growers not show-ers.

We, on the other hand, are both growers AND show-ers. Our numbers grew (significantly) and we showed up — both on election day and after to celebrate.

Hey, Stephanie Ruhl — you’re a good reporter when you stick to matters financial. The moment you wander away from that beat, you lose your super powers. Completely. We’re in a forgiving mood though (with some people). We’ll blame your j-school education instead of you. We’ll assume you were sharp as a tack before “both sides do it” blunted your analytical skills. If you HAD wandered into one of those spontaneous celebrations BEFORE reporting on it and characterizing it, I feel certain your eyes and ears would not have betrayed you.

Four years ago, the MAJORITY of us (and had this many Americans voted, the disappointed majority would have been significantly larger) were shocked when the minority got to rule. We protested. We tore at our hair and ripped at our clothing. But we allowed Trump to take his place in the White House. We now know we were bamboozled. The whole country was — by a man who always favors”me” over “we”.

This past election day, We The People spoke clearly in the loudest, clearest, most steady voice a shitload of voter suppression allowed: “Ding dong, the witch is dead”.

Hear, bloody HEAR!