The coming storm

There’s a storm brewing just over the horizon.  I’m not talking about a weather related storm.  I’m talking about the decision America makes on its future beyond November 2020.

I’ve written and rewritten this several times because I keep seeing and reading things that trouble me intensely.  I don’t think we’re there yet as a country, but I see America lumbering towards the point of no return on constitutional order.  Right now, I don’t think people truly grasp how bad things are.

For starters, we are have a president who has spent too much time trying to explain his way into making a very bad lie into something truthful.  Yes, I’m talking about Hurricane Dorian hitting Alabama.  This is a narcissist at work for everyone to witness.  Instead of offering a believable mea culpa saying that he was remembering information that was outdated at the time(s) he repeated it, he keeps on digging that hole exposing his obvious disconnect with the truth.  His followers will undoubtedly believe him as they are trained to do.  They are better trained than performing circus animals.  Meanwhile, people with active synapses are wondering why he’s chosen this hill to lie on.

The problem is that it’s not just this one lie.  It is a pattern of lies.  His current Press Secretary was recently caught in an obvious lie while trying to attack the Washington Post.  In an op-ed for the Washington Times, Grisham accused the Washington Post of not covering Trump’s DMZ visit by, get this, linking to a report from the Washington Post regarding the Trump-Kim meeting.  In what kind of world does that make sense?

It’s not just recent lies either.  There were the lies told to Senate committees during confirmation hearings by Trump appointees.  There were the lies told by other members of the administration to Congressional committees during numerous hearings.  If you remember, Mueller expressed his thoughts that Trump’s written answers were not truthful.

It’s apparent that this lying is coming from directions at the top.  We’ve seen federal employees offering lies to cover for Trump this week alone with the Alabama lie.  Cohen told us about Trump’s way of ordering people to lie as well.

If these people are willing to lie about insignificant and meaningless crap, then what about issues involving national security or other major concerns?  We’ve endured three years of lie after lie after lie, and Congress has refused to hold up to its Constitutional duty as a co-equal branch of governance responsible for oversight.

For those seeking impeachment, I believe that ship has sailed with nobody aboard.  There are major areas where Trump could have been impeached, but the House made a major error, in my honest opinion, in not calling out those areas in the time when they should have acted.  There’s evidence of emoluments violations when you see country after country seeking to specifically stay at Trump properties in order to stay in his good graces.  There’s the treason angle of giving aid and comfort to adversaries with his constant kowtowing to Russia.  For those who want to say we’re not at war, then I’d suggest they look up cyber war and how Russia has been attacking us for years upon years.  Recently, Trump has even tried to strong arm Ukraine by withholding finances to get them to investigate Joe Biden.  Rudy Giuliani admitted as much about his recent trip to Ukraine.

As we can see, there is no superhero in tights coming to save us.  We must save ourselves, and the way to do that is by the ballot.  Republicans know this, and this is why we see constant shenanigans involving voting access.  They’re doing everything they can do to stay in power, even to the point of trampling on the constitutionally protected rights of others by keeping them from voting.

I don’t generally play sides in politics, but I see 2020 as a defining point.  We either stick with people who will lie to you and tell you the sky is green and grass is blue, or we vote them out.  Personally, I’m tired of the lies and the stuff that goes with it.  Make sure you have your registration and IDs ready to vote these liars out.  I know I won’t let my vote get redrawn by a sharpie.

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Conversation on gun violence

Shoes left by people running to save their lives during the Dayton shooting

I’ve been thinking over the weekend about the recent mass shootings, and I’ve come to the idea that we’re talking about these incidents all wrong.  One mass shooting is one too many, but based on how you define a mass shooting, we’ve had an average of more than one a day in this country.  I think we get so bogged down into our own biases on gun and gun ownership that we will never find a solution to avoid the needless deaths that we endure year after year.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve been shooting guns since I was in elementary school.  Back then, our local US Junior Chamber chapter (known as Jaycees) used to sponsor gun safety courses where we were taught how to properly shoot and handle guns.  From learning to shoot with a pellet gun, I then graduated to shooting .22 rifles and so on.  I won’t say I love guns because it’s not really love.  I enjoy target shooting, and at one time, I considered taking up competitive shooting as a hobby.  I also contemplated applying for a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and opening up a gun shop and range years ago as well.

America has a problem with guns that, despite the obsession some have, we refuse to address head on.  So, I will offer my solution to the problem as I see it.  If you agree with this, I have no problem with you passing this on to other people.  The ideas I am about to share are not 100% mine, and I will not claim that this is my solution only.  The ideas I will express are things I’ve gleaned from listening to all sides of the gun debate, and I believe this is the course we can take to appease everyone without trampling on any protected right.

Let’s start with the causes of gun violence.  First of all, I’m going to dismiss the video games crap for the dumbassery that it is.  Video games are distributed world wide and played by kids and adults all around the world.  If they were truly an issue, we’d see violence all around the world and not just the US.  Mental illness is a contributing factor in spree shootings as well as domestic violence and suicide.  Socio-economics would entail the gang/drug violence issue as well as violent crimes like robbery and such.  Suicides also would fall under this issue.  Ideological radicalization also plays a role, and we’ve seen this in instances like the El Paso Wal-Mart, the Pittsburgh Synagogue, and even the Congressional softball practice shootings.  Suffice to say there are any number of causes that can go into what leads into a shooting.

So, knowing the causes, how do we address them?

Mental health:

Let’s move to a single payer system where every single citizen and resident has medical coverage.  Period.  The notion of people losing their current private insurance is crap because they can have the same exact coverage they have now with the premium simply going to a different payer instead of their current insurance provider.  They could also end up paying less for the same coverage as Dr. Frank J. Lysy has pointed out that a single payer system could result in administrative cost savings over the current system we have.  There could be additional savings with the providers not having to staff a full office of billing experts to deal with different insurance companies.  Those savings could then be used to provide better care to patients.

The efficiencies in moving to single payer could also be used to expand mental health services in this country.  We can expand treatment methodology to get away from over-dependence on pharmaceuticals and be better equipped to see issues before they arise.  I will add that not all mental health issues are the same, and not all mental health patients are violent or prone to commit violent acts.  Evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people will help us determine whether anyone poses a threat to themselves and/or others.  This gives us an opportunity to help people before things turn bad.

Socioeconomic issues:

This one is for the “but Chicago” crowd more than any other group.  Yes, urban violence is a big contributor to the death totals from guns in America.  As much as people love to point out the deaths, I don’t see those pointing to the issue offering solutions, so I’ll help you out.

Let’s reform the justice system to where justice is truly blind.  There have been documented cases of the school-to-prison pipeline, and that tends to disproportionately affect minority (black) males more than any other group.  When you saddle a kid with a criminal record, you drastically cut that kid’s chances of leading a normal, productive life as a US citizen.  Urban criminals don’t get the benefit of the “he’s a good kid” defense and receive a slap on the wrist that suburban, rural, or wealthy kids get.  We have to make sure the penalty reflects the nature of the crime, but we cannot continuously sandbag kids and expect them to be model citizens.  When you can’t get a job, you still have to find ways to survive.  I’m not condoning or even advocating criminal behavior, but I do understand why some of it occurs.

Along with the justice system, we need to rid ourselves of the for-profit prison model.  It serves no purpose beyond making some rich to the detriment of others.  It would also benefit us if we moved from a punishment based system to a rehabilitation based approach.  I know that it may not be possible to rehab everyone, but if we can teach and encourage people to be better citizens, then why would we not do that?  A lower crime rate lessens the need for people to walk around packing heat like they’re Terminators.

Ideological radicalization:

We all love the 1st Amendment right to free speech.  However, that right is not unlimited nor does it protect people from the repercussions of exercising it.  There’s a fine line between hate speech and incitement speech, IMHO.  I may not direct you to act on an ideal, but I can pump you so full of ideological rhetoric that you feel it is your duty to act upon it.  Therefore, there is no way to crack down on hate speech itself by the government without violating the 1st Amendment.  Private companies such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are not under the same obligations as the government when it comes to speech.  They can control what is allowed on their platforms, and they can determine whether or not people have access to information that would radicalize them online.  If users put pressure on their finances to better control extreme hate speech, I’d wager that we would see a reduction in online radicalization.  As I’ve heard some places, deplatforming does work.

Solutions:

I offer a three pronged approach.  Reforming our justice system, moving to a single payer system, and going back to the 2nd Amendment.  Now, you’ve read the first two, and I know you’re scratching your head over the third one.  I specifically left that one for last.  That was to ensure the last thing you’d remember was all about the 2nd Amendment.

I propose we go back to the original intent of the 2nd Amendment with some tweaks.  The 2nd Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  I believe that’s the answer to moving from a debate on gun control to gun responsibility.

When you say gun control, some people automatically knee jerk to gun confiscation.  Gun responsibility puts the onus right back onto the gun owners.  If you know about urban violence, most often the guns used are either illegally purchased or stolen.  I wholeheartedly believe that, if you want to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, then you are 100% responsible for any and everything that happens to the gun(s) you purchase even if they’re stolen from you.

So, let’s go with the notion that every gun owner has volunteered for their state militia.  That’s pretty much in line with the 2nd Amendment because that well regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state.  How many times do we hear people claiming gun ownership is a safety valve against government tyranny?  We simply need to make gun owners be about it instead of talking about it.  A gun purchase or gun ownership automatically puts you in your state militia which would be different from the actual military or National Guard.

These militias would be required to have armories where every gun and ammunition would be stored.  The armories could be attached or associated with ranges and even shoot houses where the owners could practice their marksmanship with teachers on hand to assist.  When a person wants to go hunting or something, they simply check their gun(s) and ammo out of the armory signaling they are responsible for all actions involving what they sign out.  Once they’re done, they can check them back in.  This cuts down on the ability for people to steal guns and move them into the illegal gun market.  At no point does this impede a person’s right to bear arms.  It also provides a ready militia for the state if there’s ever a need to call them up for defense.

You could even throw enhanced background checks in the mix to ensure that only those who are legally able to obtain and own guns are the ones who are getting them.  Last time I checked, expanded background checks was polling around 90% among Americans.  Given that, I cannot understand how leadership in Congress is able to do nothing without repercussion.  I guess some people don’t truly care about these things until they are personally impacted.  By that time, it’s too late for those who have died.

If you like or dislike this, let me know.  If you have any ideas, suggestions, or thoughts of your own, please share them.  This is a problem affecting all Americans, and it will take the efforts of all Americans to get this solved.  The sooner we solve it the better.  There are lives that matter.

Mueller hearing observations

Image via thehill.com

After watching part of the hearings, listening to and reading the political after-chatter, and sleeping on things, I figured I’d jot down a few observations.

First, I don’t think the public opinion will be swayed either way after all the dust settles.  America has turned away from being an intellectual country to one that wants to be entertained.  Yesterday’s hearing was just that, intellectual and not some form of reality entertainment show.  People are going to have the same impressions today that they had yesterday.  Those who read Mueller’s report will have their views.  Those who read Barr’s summary and listen to the Entertainer-in-Chief will have theirs.

For those with the intellectual curiosity that had not read the report itself, the following points were all exposed yesterday:

List courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine:

Here’s a list of statements Mueller affirmed as accurate:

  • Russia engaged in a sweeping and systematic effort to influence the 2016 election.

  • Russia reached out to the Trump campaign as they were trying to accomplish this.

  • The Trump campaign welcomed help from Russia.

  • Donald Trump Jr. said the campaign would “love” dirt on Hillary Clinton provided by Russia.

  • Trump called on Russia to hack Clinton’s emails.

  • Trump praised Russia’s release of the Democratic emails hacked by WikiLeaks.

  • Trump’s campaign based a messaging strategy around the hacked materials.

  • Members of the Trump campaign were trying to enrich themselves personally during the campaign and transition.

  • Paul Manafort was trying to achieve debt forgiveness from a Russia oligarch.

  • Michael Flynn was trying to make money from Turkey.

  • Trump was trying to make money from a Trump Tower in Moscow.

  • Numerous Trump associates lied about this, including Flynn, Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, and George Papadopolous.

  • Manafort encouraged others to lie.

  • Mueller’s investigation was not a “witch hunt,” as Trump has claimed.

  • Russian interference was not a “hoax,” as Trump has claimed.

  • Russia wanted Trump to win the election.

  • Russia informed Trump campaign officials of this intention.

  • Russia committed federal crimes in order to help Trump win.

  • The Trump campaign lied to cover up their dealings with Russia during the campaign.

The thing is, if you took the time to read the report when it came out, you already knew these things.  There was basically nothing new learned yesterday.  For the intellectual crowd, yesterday was a wash.  There was no damning statement from Mueller that would feed chants of impeachment.  There was not really any new information to build an argument upon.

For those who sought to be entertained, the view on the hearings depends upon your ideology.  Right wingers likely drooled over Jim Jordan and others who shouted like kids on a playground while covering nothing of substance.  Sure, we heard all about the Steele dossier over and over, but that was not part of the scope of Mueller’s investigation.  At this point, nobody’s proven the Steele dossier was election interference, and that interference was the prime directive for Mueller to investigate.  That was a dumb line of questioning, but I don’t give the current GOP very much credit on being able to conduct a basic interview anyway.  For the left wingers who wanted that dramatic “Got that MFer!!” moment, there was no such moment that occurred.  Mueller’s testimony was dry with simple yes/no answers or responses that he could not answer the question.

So, with the testimony behind us, what happens next?  This brother thinks nothing will happen other than Trump and the GOP’s behavior being normalized and repeated in the future.  If you don’t want to believe me, then look no further than what happened in the Senate on the same day that Robert Mueller warned us that Russia was still interfering with our elections.

Senate Republicans blocked two election security bills and a cybersecurity measure on Wednesday in the wake of former special counsel Robert Mueller warning about meddling attempts during his public testimony before congressional lawmakers.  

Democrats tried to get consent to pass two bills that would require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission about foreign offers of assistance, as well as a bill to let the Senate Sergeant at Arms offer voluntary cyber assistance for personal devices and accounts of senators and staff. 

But Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) blocked each of the bills. She didn’t give reason for her objections, or say if she was objecting on behalf of herself or the Senate GOP caucus. A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

There has been very little done to protect our election infrastructure or processes since 2016, and attempts to strengthen our elections have been hampered by the GOP.  This is the very same GOP that will tell you that we need to secure elections and pass Voter ID laws that do nothing to stop their imagined rampant voter fraud.  Here, we have a verified, actual threat, and Republicans block attempts to strengthen the system.  It’s almost like they expect to benefit from election interference.  Again.  And, yes, I did say again because we have proof that our election was interfered with in 2016 to the benefit of Republicans.  See the bullet points above.

If the Democrats were serious about impeachment or some other form of reprimand for shenanigans, then they would have already started the processes to do so.  It’s not like there is not ample evidence of wrongdoing by members of this administration.  We have had numerous people lie under oath during Congressional testimony.  That happened during confirmation hearings as well as committee hearings. Trump has been implicated as an unindicted co-conspirator in violating campaign finance law, and we know that because Michael Cohen is sitting in prison now for lying about it.

Unfortunately, I think the time for action by the Dems has passed them by.  There are less than 16 months until the 2020 general election.  They are so busy in trying to govern based on polling and popular sentiment that they have all forgotten about the oath of office each of them took when they were sworn in.  Any impeachment proceedings at this point will be painted as electioneering by the GOP, and we’ve all seen that the GOP messaging is very effective.  They don’t govern worth a damn, but they are the cream of the crop when it comes to sloganeering their asses off.

As it was pointed out, Trump can be indicted after office if he loses in 2020.  I would not advise you to get your hopes up on that though.  Think about how many people went to jail over false intel that led us to war in Iraq in the early 2000s.  Also, think about how many banking fraudsters went to prison after the financial collapse in 2008.  So, don’t get any hopes up of any Trump administration people going to jail after 2020.  I wouldn’t even get my hopes up on Trump losing in 2020 at this point.  Given the success in 2016, you’d be dumb to think that Russia isn’t going to double down on their interference next year.

If it were my decision to make, an impeachment investigation would have began after we found out about “Individual-1”.  If it didn’t start after Mueller’s report was issued, then it’s not going to begin at all.  Dems have been trying to get documents and testimony from the Trump administration, and they have been rebuffed at every turn. Going the route they’re currently using, they may be successful somewhere around the year 2030 if they are lucky.

Congress does have the right to oversight of the Executive.  We know this because that was how the GOP couched their constant badgering of the Obama administration.  An impeachment investigation would have granted Congress access to everything they’ve been stymied over, so the fact that they have not began such an inquiry is perplexing to me.  That makes it seem like Dems want to message that oversight without doing the actual work to perform it.  Beginning an investigation does not mean that impeachment has to happen.  It does, however, give Constitutional power that has been affirmed by the courts to access documents that they want.  That is the only way forward for the Democrats if they truly want to exert their oversight.  Otherwise, it’s cross your fingers and hope for the best in November 2020.

Good luck Dems, the world is counting on you.

This IS the GOP

I’ve sat up and watched the reactions to Trump make racist statements in the past.  This week, he did it again via Twitter.  Anyone who claims to not know that telling someone to “go back where they came from” is offensive is either under the age of 30 or they’re lying their ass off.

That wasn’t the only statement he made about that either.  These came later on still on July 14th.

Then, President Bigot went right back into that well on the 15th.  These are just two, and not even the first or last two on that day.

Once again, here’s the “go back” theme making its presence known.

This verbal diarrhea continued both on Twitter and in press conferences when he was asked about this.  Don’t expect Trump to apologize or admit that what he said was racist.  He’s already told America that he doesn’t apologize for anything because apologizing equals weakness in his view.  He is all about presenting strength, no matter how ignorant it appears.

Now, you would think that all Americans would find this kind of talk at least questionable if not outright racist and indefensible.  Well, let me introduce you to the modern GOP.  Not only do they not find this talk to be offensive, they are defending him and claiming it’s not racist at all.  If you don’t believe me, then listen to Trump voters yourself.

If you don’t believe me, then look at the reaction from Republicans in Congress and other elected Republicans.  You can count the number of elected Republicans who called his words racist on one hand.  There is a reason why you don’t hear many Republicans speaking out against Trump and his antics, and it is not because Republicans are scared if you ask me.  You don’t hear Republicans speak out against Trump because they agree with him.

I’ll say it right her and right now.  I believe the GOP is now pretty much a party that depends on white supremacist and racism to survive.  There may be a few individual Republicans/Conservatives who will claim they are not racist or bigoted, but the overall party ideology has been transformed over the past 40 plus years beginning with the Southern Strategy and culminating with the election of Donald Trump.  I’m not the only one that has come to that conclusion either.

At the White House, Trump defended his position. The bulk of the party said nothing. Why?

For Kurt Bardella, a commentator and former GOP congressional aide, it’s fairly simple. They share Trump’s views.

“Republicans agree with the president’s racist tweets,” he said. “At this point, it’s the only explanation. It’s a pattern of behaviour that the president engages in overtly racist rhetoric.”

Bardella highlighted examples including Trump’s attacks on African American football players who “take a knee” during the anthem to protest racial injustice; his pardoning of Joe Arpaio, a sheriff who discriminated against Latino people in Arizona; his drawing of moral equivalence between protesters and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia; and his reported description of African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole countries”.

“On and on we see this president insulting people who aren’t white,” he said. “The Republican party says nothing and they support the president. Not one is willing to challenge him when he blows these racist dog whistles. The only conclusion is they agree with him and his racism.”

Bardella argues Trump is giving voice to sentiments long seething in the party. “The agenda of Republicans has always favoured white people and now for the first time in contemporary times they have a leader who is willing to ascribe words to that agenda.”

While Republicans fear Trump’s base, the truth is “deeper and darker”, Bardella said.

“It’s not that they’re at Trump’s mercy; they agree with him. The Republican party practices racism and white nationalism. It’s not fear; they approve of it.”

Via The Guardian: Republican muted response to Trump’s tweets reveals party’s ingrained racism

This revelation came to me by looking not only at the non-reactions to what Trump said but the outright agreement the base shows to what Trump said.  Trump’s popularity within the Republican party increased after these comments based on polling data.

This is the result of the continuous purging of RINOs from the GOP.  The far-right has taken control of the party, and there are no longer any moderates left to temper the platform.  What we’re witnessing now is pure, unfiltered, right-wing ideology running unabated.  Trump is not the problem that people think he is.  To the GOP, Trump is their savior, their knight in shining armor.  Trump is the one who will say and do what needs to be done to ensure the survival of “America”.  By “America”, that means white culture.

As a country, we are at a serious point of inflection, but this is not the first time we’ve been here.  We were here in the 1780s, and the Three-Fifths Compromise was the temporary band-aid of the day.  We have stared down the barrel of this gun several more times in our history.  Each time, we applied a temporary fix to the monumental problem that has plagued America.  From the Fugitive Slave Laws, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, and other laws, we have never gone far or deep enough to deal with the root cause of all the issues which is racism.  Once again in 2019, we are dealing with racism yet again.

Democrats, especially the leadership and elder members, need to open their eyes to see what is happening.  There is no moderation from the Right that is going to tamp down the bigotry coming from Trump.  Trump, Graham, and others are going to do all they can to demagogue the Democratic Party.  If you don’t believe me, count the number of times you hear the words socialist, communist, or some other negative pejorative come from the mouth of Republicans and conservatives when they talk about the left.

We are at the point where we have irrational people in positions of importance making decisions that dictate the future of America, and it is downright scary to see the nonchalant attitudes of those in power.  Lincoln was right in that a nation divided against itself cannot stand, and we have been two nations within one from our existence.

I don’t expect anyone to admit to supporting racism.  Doing that requires a level of self-awareness and courage that is missing in America.  Those who sit on the side seeping in their apathy are the ones who can step forward to break this current cycle of racism.  I do not believe we will defeat it nor will we eradicate racism from America.  As we have done in the past, we will simply apply a temporary fix.  The only way to cure racism is for the racists to want to change, and there is no indications anywhere in this country that we will see that happen.

 


 

Add:  In defense of Trump’s words, racist word vomit is protected free speech.  He is free to spew that crap all he wants.  His supporters are free to agree with and support him as well.  That said, they all are free to deal with the repercussions of expressing and agreeing with said speech.

Republicans knew Trump was racist as well.  Republicans, under Paul Ryan, intentionally changed the rules of the House to make it verboten to call Trump racist and other things along that line.  That’s why they wanted Pelosi’s speech stricken from the records when she called Trump racist.  Some people love free speech, but not when that free speech is used against them.

In addition, Trump may have violated the rules of workplace harassment under the EEOC by using the “go back” statement.  Don’t hold your breath on the DoJ or Congress doing anything about that.

America’s Day of Reckoning

I initially started this post on July 4th, but I deleted what I had started because I didn’t think it had the right tone.  Over the weekend, I’ve tried and tried to channel my thoughts into one coherent stream of thought, but there is so many different things going on that it’s hard to focus on any one issue.  That made me realize that at some point and time in the future, we, or our descendants, will have to deal with the ever growing pile of steaming bovine excrement that masquerades itself as American spirit.

For as long as I can remember, the GOP has sold itself on being the “Party of Law and Order”.  This is reinforced by party loyalists as much as possible by any and all means possible.  Disagreeing with a Republican president brands one as being an anarchist or against the law.  Disagreeing with a Republican president’s assault on a sovereign nation has resulted in people being branded as unpatriotic.  At the same time, this so-called “Party of Law and Order” has actively sought to undermine actual law as much as possible to increase financial gain and political power at any cost.

Since 2000, we’ve seen a war fought based on manufactured intelligence that was found to be outright lies.  We’ve seen a party abdicate their Constitutional duty in Congress and sandbag a Democratic Party president.  Now, we’re witnessing that same party turn its back on case after case of malfeasance uncovered by the current administration.  Our government is literally turning into one major scandal of grift what you can before you get caught, and the GOP acts as though Congress has no authority for oversight of the Executive Branch.  This is the same GOP that wanted to impeach Hillary Clinton over her email/server scandal even before she had a chance to win election in 2016

On the opposite side of the coin, the Democratic Party is not faring much better in their responsibilities.  I understand the desire to be cautious enough to cross every T and dot every I, but how much of our government has to be damaged before actions met out repercussions?  Mitch McConnell is actively undermining the role of Congress and the Constitution.  Donald Trump has openly violated his Constitutional oath of office several times with no repercussions to date.  Inaction by Congress leads to further lawlessness, and we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg at this point.

Our government is turning immigration law on its head in regards to amnesty.  We are allowing our government to treat people like crap when we’ve been vocally and physically against this very thing in the past.  On the southern border, private citizens are brazenly building fencing on public land and openly threatening the government with violence when they are called on their actions.  I thought threatening violence usually resulted in arrests and/or prosecution, but then again, that is only when law and order is respected.  When you respect neither, then there is no repercussions.

The Jeffrey Epstein case is another example of the absence of any law and order.  If reports are correct, how can someone be so brazen with their actions if they know there is no repercussions for breaking the law?  Epstein reportedly had a child porn collection that he labeled and organized the contents.  It’s not like he wasn’t already a sex offender as well as he was required to register based on the deal he got before.

People put their full faith and credit into the government because we are, in essence, the government ourselves.  We have considered ourselves to be a civil society, when some actions of late have been anything but civil.  If Republicans continue down the path of looking the other way at crimes, then neither the Democratic Party nor America will survive by playing by the rules.  That’s because the rules only work when everyone follows them.

A bully will continue to bully as long as they feel people fear them.  Punch one in the mouth knocking them down or out, and that bully will reassess the meaning of life itself.  The GOP has long been acting like a bully, and America, Democrats especially, have been acting fearful of upsetting them to keep things civil.  The problem is that civility has been on life support the entire time.  To return America back to sanity, the bully needs to get punched in the mouth (not literally but politically).  Democrats either need to take the gloves off and fight the GOP on their terms or let America suffer the repercussions of the actions coming from the right.

Democratic leadership has been hesitant on acting in response to actions done by the Executive Branch.  Calls for impeachment go unheeded.  Republican court stacking is running unabated and the effects will long outlast any of the current Congressional leadership.  We see tax cut after tax cut that allows income distribution and inequality to crush the low and middle income households while the wealthy benefit immensely.

Democrats need to find a spine and deal with the malfeasance themselves or they risk guilty by complicity for their acquiescence.  Ideas, like SCOTUS stacking, that were once thought of as incomprehensible should be used as not only threats but actual plans to stymie the effects of GOP court stacking.  Just as the GOP organizes people to fight their battles, the Democrats should be amassing armies by the millions to march on behalf of what is good and right for all Americans and not just the wealthy privileged few.  Based on the ever shrinking GOP base, it should not be hard to find people who support decency and equality in this country.

We cannot exist as a nation of laws by not punishing law breakers.  If we are going to allow people to openly violate the law without punishment, then maybe we should totally do away with laws.  Why not go down in an epic ball of flames if we’re going down anyway?  Or, let’s save America by dishing out punishment equitably against those who break the law.  Either way, America’s day of reckoning is coming and coming fast.  Correcting our ways and actions before that day may ease the repercussions we face, but we will still have to atone for our action and/or inaction.