My biggest takeaway from the midterm election.

yourvotematters

I’m condensing and editing this from a Twitter thread I wrote the day after the midterm elections.  

Now that the midterms are finally over (although they aren’t really:  there are still votes coming in in some places, and there may even be recounts in states like Florida and Georgia),  my biggest takeaway is this: we can never, ever take democracy for granted.  We can’t assume it’s a gift that once given, just stays.

Because that is not the way democracy works.   It must be constantly maintained, not by politicians, not by pundits on TV, not by activists.  It must be maintained by regular people like you and me.  Unfortunately, for many years, we took democracy for granted and thought we could stay uninvolved in politics and let others do the hard work.  But once a large percentage of the population ceases to care to the point that they don’t even vote,  democracy is in trouble.   The very term democracy indicates that its existence depends on The People.   It depends on us.

Republicans were able to seize so much power because we let them.  Although other factors played a part in Trump winning, in 2016, we didn’t turn out in sufficient numbers at the polls to overcome everything that was stacked against us.   But those things were never insurmountable.   There are just too many of us.   Yes, Hillary won the popular vote (and I’m one of those people who think the electoral college should be abolished), Russians may well have influenced the results, gerrymandering and voter suppression  in some states is out of control, etc.  But, in spite of all the obstacles the GOP tried to set against us, the results in 2016 were still close.   Had we all voted (and not voted for third party candidates like Jill Stein), Trump would have lost and instead of becoming POTUS, today he’d be just another washed up and forgotten reality TV star who once ran for president.

But he is president, and now that we are stuck with him (for now), we are all learning an extremely sobering lesson in just how fragile democracy is, and just how easily one despotic man with too much power can start to dismantle all our checks and balances, and destroy democracy itself.   Many Americans, including myself, used to think about Nazi Germany and wonder how it could have happened.    We are now seeing in real time how it happened:  specifically, how seemingly normal people could come to support a murderous fascist tyrant.

We woke up, perhaps at one minute before midnight, but still not too late to flip Congress back to Democratic rule, which will mean there will be some vital checks put back on this presidency.  As a result, Trump, though he will still rage and threaten and bully the free press, our institutions, and everyone he doesn’t like, won’t be able to push through his tyrannical and cruel policies the way he has been able to over the past two years.  We will be able to relax just a little.  But we can never again become complacent.

Were it not for the efforts of the Resistance, and even more importantly,  regular folks of all races, creeds, religions, income levels, and lifestyles, turning out in record numbers to vote (many voting for the first time because they realized democracy itself was on the line) and had this election drawn a tepid turnout like other recent elections, we would have lost the House.   Instead of feeling hopeful and relieved, we’d be staring down into a black abyss of unfettered tyranny right now.

Had we lost, we would now be freefalling into fascism and Trump would have unchecked power, free to do anything he wanted to do. We would have lost our democracy and would soon become a dictatorship.

Things are far from perfect. We still have a heavily Republican Senate and a Judiciary that is moving further to the right and will most likely continue to do so as long as Trump retains the presidency.  But the good news is, Trump can no longer just do anything he wants, and he can’t break the law, because the new Congress will hold him accountable if he does.  The Russia investigation will continue, and the new Congress will make sure Trump doesn’t get to run away from or obstruct justice, unlike our current GOP Congress, which enables his crimes and lack of ethics.  He can also be forced to show his tax returns.  So even though Republicans are still top heavy in the Trump White House, we are in much better shape than we were before the election. Trump can scream and toss insults and threatens all he wants, but at the end of the day, he simply  won’t be able to get much done.

A Democratic Congress can also start impeachment proceedings. Before last night, Democrats had no power to do anything. The only power we had was our vote. And we exercised it in record numbers. Had it not been for us using that hard won right, and sitting at home, democracy would have died.

We’re not out of the woods yet though.   This isn’t over.  We still have a lot more work left to to do. Trump has done incredible damage which may take generations to repair.  Republicans (which has become a fascist party since Trump) still have too much power. But we, the People, took back some of that power with our votes, and that is a good beginning.

I hope we all learned a lesson that democracy takes WORK.  We have the right to vote, and we need to use it — or possibly lose it!   Losing our right to vote can happen much more easily than you think.  There are people in high levels in government that would love nothing more than to take away our right to vote.   We can never assume others will do the work of democracy for us. The responsibility falls on us.  A government run by the People requires the input of the People.   There’s no way around it.   Voting in record numbers is essential.

If we continue to vote in the kinds of numbers we had on Election Night, we can eventually overturn this entire sorry regime  and finally have the kind of inclusive, compassionate, prosperous, caring, honest, and fair government WE, not the oligarchs and religious extremists, want: one that works for the People, not just the ultra rich and corporations.

If you voted, you should feel proud that you helped to save democracy. I think last night proved that no amount of voter suppression or GOP cheating is enough to overcome huge numbers of people voting.

We still have a long road ahead of us and a country to save.  Let’s get going!

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Your vote does matter!

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In recent years, voting has become a low priority among many people, especially young people.   They believe their one vote doesn’t matter and some even believe elections are rigged and voting doesn’t count.

But it does.  It’s true there has been some unfair rigging of the elections in recent years, due to Republican gerrymandering, attempts at voter suppression, purges of the voter rolls (this has been a big problem this year but it’s also being caught and dealt with), huge donations to GOP politicians from SuperPACs, billionaire oligarchs, and probable help from other countries too.

But there are a lot more of us who hate what the Trump GOP has been doing and the way they have been lining up behind Trump and enabling his destructive policies and rhetoric, instead of providing a check on what he does.   The Republican Party has lost many people in the past two years, including some notables like George Will, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace (the last two formerly worked in the George W. Bush administration).  In spite of their conservatism, they have become voices for the Resistance.    Most of these former Republicans have decided to vote a straight blue (Democratic) ticket in the midterms to save our democracy from encroaching authoritarianism — even if that means they have to hold their nose about ideological issues that are too liberal for their taste.

These conservatives realize that at this juncture, a politician’s specific ideology is less important than where they stand about Trump vs. democracy itself — and the Republican Party is no longer the freedom-loving party of Lincoln, Reagan, or even John McCain.  It’s become a party that goes against most core American values, and celebrates racism, hatred, violence, ruthlessness, misogyny, corruption, misinformation, lies, greed, and exclusion.  Since Trump’s election, it has moved to the extreme right, into fascism.  This is not hyperbole;  it is the new reality.  Trump can do a whole lot less damage to our American way of life when there are some much  needed checks and balances put back into place, and right now, that means we need a majority of Democrats in the House and hopefully the Senate too.   It’s not ideological or partisan; it’s just common sense,  since the Republican Party has become so extreme and untrustworthy (and having all three branches of government under the control of one party is never a good thing anyway).

Smart conservatives realize all this, and will be joining Democrats and voting for Democratic politicians in this election.   Polls are also saying that many more Millennials are planning to vote than have in past elections (even though many still plan to sit it out).   They don’t want to inherit the bleak future that looms should Republicans maintain complete power.

So, in spite of attempts to suppress our votes, gerrymander districts, spread disinformation and lies about Democrats (that’s a whole other topic I may or may not write about), and fix electronic voting machines (this has been a problem in Texas in particular, with straight Democratic voters saying their votes were changed to Ted Cruz), I’m almost certain if we show up in great enough numbers, we can beat all the GOP’s efforts to cheat their way into a win (and cheat they must, since this party no longer offers anything of value to We, the People).

If you’re thinking about skipping voting, think about the future that awaits with an all- Republican government that’s in lockstep with Trump and lets him do whatever he wants.     Think about having no checks and balances on this president, and what that could (and probably will) mean for all of us, for humanity, and for the planet itself.    Even if you don’t care about yourself, think about the kind of future such an America holds for your children or grandchildren.

Elections have actually been won on one or two votes.   Your vote carries a lot more weight in a midterm election than in a presidential one, since you’re voting for people at the state, rather than national, level.   There are services offering rides to the polls, if it’s difficult for you to get there.    Don’t feel guilty about calling in to work that day (Election Day really should be a national holiday) if they don’t allow time off for you to vote.   Or vote early, if you still can.  If you’re not registered, in most states you can register the same day you vote.   So don’t let that hold you back either.

It may be more tempting to sit home than go out in the cold or the rain and stand on line waiting to do something that seems like it might not matter.   Don’t!   Your vote does matter.  If all of us who normally might sit out the midterms (I always did until now) give into what’s easiest and requires the least amount of effort in this election, all three branches of government will remain under Republican control and you or your loved ones could lose many if not all of the rights and freedoms you take for granted right now.    The safety net (including Social Security and Medicare) would also be decimated and possibly abolished at some point.  Do you want that for yourself?  Do you want that for your loved ones, who may be elderly or disabled and depend on those services (which are earned benefits, not entitlements) for their survival?  I know I don’t!   I have paid a portion of my paycheck into those services almost every year since 1976 and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let them steal my investment out from under me, to pay for the trillion dollar deficit they caused by their ridiculous and destructive tax cut for the rich!

Think of this too:  people have fought and even died for your right to vote.   Women and black people couldn’t always vote.   That right wasn’t won easily, and many people died fighting for it.   So to not exercise your right to vote is to disrespect the people who sacrificed their lives for you.

So, taking all this into account, if you haven’t already voted, please get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6th.   It costs you nothing except the gas, and requires only a few hours out of your day.  Isn’t that worth it to save democracy and prevent fascism from completely taking over?   If you don’t vote, you are voting against democracy, against progress, against our American way of life.  If you don’t vote, you are actually voting for unchecked power of a dangerous, despotic leader who has already done enormous damage and is only just getting started.

This is the most important election in a lifetime.   VOTE!

*****

Further reading:  

13 Ways to Get the Most Out of Voting in the Midterm Election

To the Young Men and Women of America: From the GOP

This is a very powerful and well written post from one of my favorite blogs, JohnPavlovitz.com.

Warning:  it may be triggering to survivors of abuse.

To The Young Men and Women of America, From the GOP

Taking a break from Trump and the news.

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Other than Meghan McCain’s moving tribute to her father at his funeral today, I’m not even watching the footage of this sad event. I’ve reached a point where I simply have no more capacity to cope with more unpleasant news. For almost two years, since Trump’s election, politics has been my #1 concern, so much so that it has squeezed all my other interests into much smaller compartments.

There is more to life than Donald Trump. I have been allowing him to live rent free in my head and it’s driving me crazy.  He has a way of doing that.  It seems like he’s everywhere, but is he really?  No, it just seems that way.   I think those of us who suffer from PTSD due to narcissistic abuse are especially prone to the kind of hypervigilance which can turn into obsessive thinking and a need to constantly scan our environment for dangers.

Taking a break doesn’t mean I’m no longer going to be part of the resistance. Of course I will! Morally, I feel like it’s imperative that I continue to participate and write about my experience and observations about what I see happening in my country. If we all just decided to pretend Trump doesn’t exist and ignore him, we will definitely fall into totalitarianism. Complacency and a pervasive attitude of “oh, Hitler can’t be THAT bad” or “there’s nothing I can do anyway” is why Nazi Germany happened. Germany learned the hard way but their democracy was restored and today they appear to have been inoculated against another descent into fascism. We might have to learn the hard way too, but I’ll be damned if I become a part of the problem. So I’ll continue to resist and write about politics.

However, obsessing and allowing Trump to live rent free in my head is messing with my sanity, and if I’m insane, there’s nothing I can do to help anyone, least of all myself.

So I’ve been doing other things: watching nature shows, taking walks, enjoying music, and spending time enjoying my family. I haven’t watched the news in a few days because I need a break from it. If it’s important enough, I’ll hear about it. Soon, I’m sure I’ll start following the news again because I must.
But it’s okay to take breaks from it once in a while and realize that no matter how bad things are, or how bad they get, there is still much more to life than the news and Trump. Trump will never “trump” my mental health.

Why I resist.

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Some people have asked me why I resist Donald Trump.

There are many reasons.  Perhaps the two most important ones are these:

I resist so my adult daughter can enjoy the same freedoms women have for the past 45 years and not have to go back to a time when they did not.  Even if you don’t believe in abortion (which is perfectly fine), it’s not the government’s job to decide what a woman can and cannot do with her body.   That’s up to her and her doctor (and perhaps her husband and/or church should have a say IF she’s conservative).   I also worry about governmental attempts to restrict access to birth control and contaception education (both which prevent abortion).

I resist so my gay son can love who he chooses and not be persecuted or discriminated against for that.

But there are other reasons why I resist too:

I resist so future generations (including my descendants, if there are any) can enjoy a safe environment and clean air and water.

I resist so we don’t lose our right to speak our mind and feelings freely without fear of censorship or punishment.

I resist so migrant children and babies aren’t separated from their mothers and fathers and put into cages and abused both physically and emotionally.

I resist because I believe healthcare is a right and not a privilege.

I resist because I hate racism, sexism and any other form of making others “less” for things they have no control over.

I resist because I hate the culture of cruelty and exclusion this administration is encouraging and enabling.

I resist because I don’t believe criminals, sociopaths, malignant narcissists, abusers, hypocrites, greedy Ayn Rand worshipping assholes, white supremacists, religious extremists, and Russian traitors should be running our government.

I resist because I think science is important and takes precedence over religion in matters that affect Americans’ health and wellbeing.

I resist because every working American deserves fair treatment and a wage they can actually live on.

I resist because religion and government should never be merged.  Every time in history and in every country religion and government become intertwined, it always leads to violence, fear and hate, terrible suffering, and war.   You are free to be as religious as you want to be, and you are free to share your beliefs with others, but you are not free to impose your religious beliefs on others who disagree with you.

I resist because I hate fascism, authoritarianism, and extremism of any kind.  Donald Trump checks every box for fascist/authoritarian traits.

I resist because I believe empathy and kindness are important in our leaders, and Donald Trump and his regime have shown absolutely no empathy or kindness.

I resist because I believe a good leader attempts to bring people together, not divide them and tear them apart.

I resist because a good leader cares about ALL Americans, not just their own base (actually, Trump doesn’t even care about them, they are just useful to him.  Being the malignant narcissist he is, all he cares about is himself).

I resist because bullying and good leadership do not go together.  Ever.

I resist because I believe humility and the ability to admit when you’ve made a mistake is important in our leaders, and Donald Trump and his regime have shown no ability to ever own or take responsibility for their mistakes, or for their cruel and deliberate actions.

I resist because I believe the vulnerable (poor, elderly, children, women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, disabled, sick, etc.) should be cared for and listened to, not silenced, demonized, and treated like lesser beings.

I resist because I believe every child has the right to a free quality public education.  If you don’t like public schools, you are free to send your child to a private or religious one (or homeschool your child, though personally I think there should be certain standards for that), but you are not free to restrict other people’s children from being able to access an education.

I resist because I believe the wealthy and corporations should pay higher taxes for the greater good.  In every moral and civilized society, that is the way things work, and that is the way things used to work here too.   Greed and the lust for power has destroyed all that.

I resist because I believe the Second Amendment must be tempered with good old fashioned common sense, and that means background checks and age restrictions on gun ownership.   We are not living in the Wild West.

I resist because the President is not immune to the rule of law, and our system of checks and balances should be functional, not complicit and enabling of his unethical and extremist behavior.

I resist because a free press is vital to democracy, and Trump is trying his damndest to demonize any press that is critical of him, while glorifying “news” outlets that do nothing but lie and spread pro-Trump propaganda

I resist because I don’t like the values Trumpism promotes: wealth and power reign supreme,  “might makes right,” toxic masculinity, nationalism and white supremacy, disdain for empathy and other “feminine virtues” as weakness, etc.

I resist because I used to feel safe in my country, but no longer do.

I resist because we are stronger and safer when we work with our allies, not against them.

I resist because I believe in democracy, not fascism.

I resist because I believe in truth, not lies.

I resist because Donald Trump is a terrible example for our children.

I resist because I believe in America, not One Party Rule or a “Cult of Personality.”

I resist because I believe that’s what the real Jesus would do.

Sorry, Trump supporter, I can’t be your friend anymore.

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Cartoon Credit: Unknown.

 

A few days ago, I unfriended an old Facebook friend because I couldn’t handle her constant pro-Trump memes and posts anymore.  Later, she asked me why I unfriended her.  I decided to be honest.  She replied that she thought I was being silly for unfriending people over something as shallow as politics.

But she missed the point.   I didn’t unfriend her because I didn’t agree with her politics.  Because it’s not about mere politics.  It’s not about Democrat vs. Republican.   It’s not about liberal vs. conservative.   It’s not about right vs. left.

It’s about good vs. evil.

It’s about whether you’re on the side of the bullies and sociopaths and applaud their scorched earth terrorist tactics vs.  being a decent fucking human being.  It’s about whether you’re on the side of a wealthy group of selfish criminals vs.  the average Joes and Janes just trying to get by.

So, if you still support the dictator sitting in the White House, you are supporting evil, and I can no longer be your friend.

I can handle mere differences of ideology, and in normal times, I have.   I used to have friends who were George W. Bush or Reagan supporters, though I never voted for either of them.  I could respect your differing opinion and agree to disagree with you, without it affecting our friendship, because I still knew that you were a good and decent person.

But if you still support Trump,  I’m not at all sure you’re a good and decent person, and you’re certainly not anyone I’d call a friend.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who separates children from their parents, many of whose parents were applying for asylum legally.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who puts young children in cages.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who wants to take away my healthcare.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who threatens to steal away the social security I’ve been paying into since 1976, leaving me penniless in my final years.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who threatens to steal away the Medicare I’ve been paying into since 1976, leaving me without healthcare in my final years, possibly to die penniless and in great pain.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who’s packing the courts with patriarchal  hardline conservatives who are waging war on women’s reproductive rights, not only threatening to overturn Roe v. Wade, but also outlawing certain forms of birth control. Their decisions will affect my daughter, who has medical issues that would make pregnancy very high risk and possibly dangerous for her.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who wants to bring back pre-existing conditions, making it impossible for my daughter, who has several medical conditions, to access healthcare — or for me to access healthcare, for that matter.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who is appointing hard-right judges who want to outlaw gay marriage and make gay people undergo conversion therapy or return to the closet.   That affects my son, who will no longer be free to live in a way that makes him happy or love the person he chooses.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who bullies the disabled.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who calls people who disagree with him unflattering names.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who has shown zero respect for women or POC.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who constantly gaslights his own people.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who thumbs his nose at the rule of law every single day.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a pathological liar.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a malignant narcissist who only cares about his own image and his own wealth — at the expense of the American people.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who admires the most brutal and inhumane despots and dictators of our time and aspires to be just like them.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who emboldens bullying  (by riling up his base at his rallies and inciting violence toward groups of people he dislikes)

A friend of mine doesn’t support a fascist who is destroying democracy and systematically shredding our 242 year old Constitution and Bill of Rights into so much hamster bedding.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who causes my PTSD to be triggered every freaking day.

A friend of mine doesn’t aid and abet evil, and that’s what you’re doing when you support Trump.

So, Trump supporter, those are just some of the reasons why we can’t be friends.

Sorry but that’s just how it has to be.

I’ll end this rant with the same words you like to spit at us “libtards” and “snowflakes” —

Get over it.

Help wanted! I’m looking for ex-Trump supporters.

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Former Trump supporters who had a change of heart and turned against Trump — or even joined the resistance! — seem to be pretty rare.  In fact, I don’t personally know of one Trump supporter who has changed their mind about him.   I’m sure there must be at least a few out there.   There just has to be.  Right?

My daughter’s ex boyfriend was a Trump supporter, and a few months ago I wrote about a conversation we had where he seemed to consider my point of view.  But he never actually changed his mind and to this day, he still thinks Trump is doing a good job (this is one of the reasons my daughter broke off their relationship).

Because former Trump supporters seem to be as rare as blue diamonds, I’m on a quest to find one, and publish their story here on my blog.

If you fit this description and want to tell your story, please leave a note in the comments.

I am only interested in stories from bona fide ex-Trump supporters, not people who  were lukewarm about him and decided to give him a chance — or from Bernie Sanders fans who voted for Trump as a protest vote against Hillary.

A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis

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I rarely share religious articles, since I know many or even most of my readers aren’t religious, but I think this one is so important I couldn’t let it pass by.  I also think the truths described in it are things we all need to remember in these confusing and dark days of our nation, regardless of your belief system.  If nothing else, they will help keep you sane.

I’ve been growing increasingly disturbed and even upset by what I see happening not just in our government, but in many of our churches, especially evangelical churches.  The Founding Fathers were wise to demand the separation of church and state, not because they were all atheists (they weren’t), but because when religion and state merge, they tend to corrupt each other.  It’s not just government being protected from religion, but also religion being protected from government.   As long as churches stayed out of politics, they tended to stay true to the teachings of Christ.   But something dark and unsettling is happening within Christian evangelism and it’s way too serious for us to ignore, because, Christian or not, it affects all of us.

Dominionism is a growing movement within evangelism that claims to be Christianity, but is more like what would happen if Christianity was turned inside out and stood on its head.  It’s an authoritarian, intolerant, unloving, unforgiving, punitive, and sociopathic belief system which seems to be equal parts Old Testament biblical law and Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness.  It’s the Prosperity Gospel with an angry, narcissistic, and unloving God.  Christian dominionism is not actually a religion at all — it’s a fascist political movement which is to real Christianity what the Taliban or ISIS is to Islam, and like the Taliban, it hides its anti-woman, anti-gay, white supremacist, violent, and oppressive ideology behind a facade of “Christian” religion.

We are close to a rewriting of the Constitution (Constitutional Convention) by these sick control freaks.   The Republican Party and Trump’s cabinet in particular are infested with these zealots.   They cannot be reasoned with.  They will not compromise.  They will not back down.   There is nothing they won’t do to achieve complete domination over all of us and of the planet.   Their doctrine dictates that doing evil things is okay as long as the end result (Christ’s return and the rapture) is achieved.    These people believe they are prophets and apostles who have been anointed to be earthly rulers and have been given permission by God to oppress and abuse the rest of us who are not part of God’s ruling class.   There’s nothing biblical or remotely Christian about any of this.

The dominionist movement is aided and abetted by the Koch Brothers and other oligarchs (both American and Russian) who aren’t religious themselves but whose insatiable lust for even more wealth and power dovetails perfectly with what dominionists want (complete control).    If they ever do gain full control over our government or are able to rewrite our Constitution, we’ll be living a real life Handmaid’s Tale.   The Kochs, Mercers, and other oligarchs working in cahoots with the dominionists will be either be exempt from the oppressive and draconian laws the rest of us will be subject to, or they can just skip off to another country.

As I said in the first paragraph, I’ve been getting upset about this abusive belief system and the threat it poses to my freedom and my life, and the lives, rights, and freedoms of the people I love.    Some days I feel like they really are going to win and I start to get anxious and depressed.   So I’ve been praying a lot about it.

The following article feels like an answer to my prayer  — a reminder of what it really means to be Christian in these times and what is expected of us (because it’s easy to get confused these days with all the misinformation), and at the same time a manifesto against the heretical perversion of Christianity called dominionism.    I feel strongly that if Jesus were here sitting next to me, these words would be exactly what he’d say to me.

A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis

 

 

We must stop snubbing never-Trump conservatives.

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Sign at the Rally for ACA (Obamacare), February 26, 2017, Asheville, NC

Most of us in the Resistance — though we largely lean to the left — have come to accept never-Trump conservatives as part of our movement.  A few of them — Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, and Robert Mueller (a Republican appointed by George W. Bush after 9/11 and whose decisions often have leaned conservative) — have become like heroes to many of us “lefties.”   That’s because we recognize that, while we may not always agree with their Republican politics, these are men and women of integrity and morals, people who believe in the rule of law and the Constitution as it was written by the Founding Fathers (and not as the Kochs and Mercers would like to rewrite it to benefit only themselves and their oligarch cronies).   These people, because they possess morals and ethics, never hopped aboard the Trump Train. They never caved to the pressure to vote for Trump in the 2016 election just because he had an R after his name, because they recognized that Trump was neither a conservative or a liberal, but something else altogether — something alien and threatening: a radical disrupter of the American way.  So, most of these conservatives wound up either not voting, or voting for Hillary Clinton — as both Bushes and many other Republicans did.

While we liberals (actually, I’m not that far left — I’m just left of center) may not agree with conservatives on specific partisan issues (how to best handle the economy, government spending, the social safety net, and cultural issues), what we have in common with the Never-Trump conservatives is a strong belief that democracy is the system that has always worked best, that checks and balances are necessary to keep a democracy in healthy working order, and that a free press and freedom of speech is absolutely necessary to avoid falling prey to despotic or authoritarian leadership.  We also all agree that Trump is a clear and present danger both to our democracy, and to our national security.    All of us understand that he is attempting to destroy the institutions and the checks and balances that have kept us (until recently) the leader of the free world.  We also recognize his potential danger to the world.    We have always known he was unfit to serve in any capacity where he is responsible for life and death issues affecting millions of innocent people.

There are, unfortunately, still some holdouts in the resistance who are distrustful or antagonistic of anyone with an R after their name, even when it’s evident they have never supported the Trump regime and may even be extremely opposed to it.    Now is not the time for people on the left to be purists.   It’s bad enough when I see infighting among different factions on the left (or really, anything to the left of center-right):  Hillary and Bernie supporters are STILL fighting with each other.  WHY?  Neither is sitting in the White House today.   But some of the hardcore Bernie supporters still seem to feel like Hillary would have been worse than Donald Trump  — that’s how much they hated Hillary.    I see a similar refusal of some people on the left to accept Never-Trump conservatives as part of the Resistance, but again, we can’t afford to be political purists, and we need all the support we can get, even if we disagree on specific issues.

I do understand the reluctance, because it’s kind of strange and surreal for someone who has always voted for liberal or Democratic candidates to look at someone who always voted straight Republican until the 2016 election as an ally.   But in times like these, when a strong resistance is necessary to help bring down the cabal of sociopaths currently running our government, we all must change our ways of thinking and be more inclusive, even of those whose politics may normally be vastly different from ours.   We must set aside the temptation to be political purists because purism is for more peaceful, stable times, not for times like these.

If we reject Trump and believe in our system of checks and balances,  then it makes no difference whether we are Democrat, Independent, Green, Libertarian, or Republican — at the end of the day, we are all on the same side and we need to stick together and fight to save our country from the claws of fascism and tyranny.  It’s the Trumpists who will never be able to join us, and together, we far outnumber them.

If you’re a conservative reading this who hates Trump, don’t be shy!  Don’t be afraid to attend our rallies, meetings, marches, and comment on our social media posts.   We’re not all the  scary dreadlocked and tattooed radical lefties you might think we are.   That we’re all anything-goes anarchists, closet Commies, or Antifa members is a myth the right wing media wants you to believe.

The reality is most of us are just regular folks with regular jobs, kids, grandkids, and we may even go to church.  Many of us are older or even retired.    We just don’t want America to turn into something we don’t recognize.  In fact, it could be said we’re the real conservatives, because we want to conserve the values America has always stood for, instead of the sordid and un-American values Trumpism represents.

*****

List of Republicans who opposed the Trump Presidential Campaign, 2016

 

The Century of the Self (video)

“The Century of the Self” is a good documentary explaining the history of how Freud’s ideas about psychology and human desire led to corporate manipulation that brainwashed Americans to crave things they did not need.  This in turn led to a culture of selfishness and instant gratification.     Paraphrasing writer Blythe Gryphon, targeted marketing based on psychological desires and needs

result[ed] in feeding the rapacious capitalism that dehumanized us, exalted hatred, and put a malignant narcissist in power.

In other words, we got the government we deserved.