Once upon a time, America had a block party. The street was packed with smart, decent people of all political persuasions, races, origins and religions. There was lively conversation, sharp disagreement and shared laughter. It wasn’t perfect, far from it, but it was livable and hopeful.
Then a tabloid celebrity spouting hate-bait showed up. The decent people had endured party crashers before, but always sent them scurrying to society’s pathetic fringe. This new guy would surely meet the same fate.
Something strange happened instead. The new guy bellowed — Mexicans are rapists! Ban all Muslims! Look at that funny disabled reporter! I can grab women by the (crotch)! I like people who weren’t captured! A free press is the enemy!
The decent people thought his words were vile and anti-American, but many others began to cheer. They came from Heartland Avenue looking for 1950s jobs. From Old Republican Way seeking 1950s white America. Fine people from Neo-Nazi Lane arrived. A huge flock from Evangelical Trail held their noses and prayed.
Then things got stranger. A shirtless Russian stood behind a curtain nearby. A pudgy North Korean wore a T-shirt that read: Respected on the World Stage. It became Opposite Day. Europe is a foe. Russia is a friend. Dictators are strong. Democracies are weak. Lies are truth.
The decent people wondered among themselves: “What kind of deranged person would cheer for this?”
And then the party turned into a war for America’s soul.
To those of us who are old enough to remember World War II, the horrific actions of the Border Patrol at the U.S./Mexico border resemble the actions of Hitler’s Nazi Gestapo. Ripping children and babies away from their mothers and fathers under the guise of giving them baths is the same as the Nazi guards telling Poles, Jews, and others to strip for showers that ultimately ended in the gas chambers. We all know how that ended.
I personally don’t care what political party is running the country as long as they are God-fearing moral people. What is taking place now is totally immoral and a black mark on the reputation of the United States of America. Lady Liberty must be crying.
Other nations of the world must be looking at the actions of the United States and sadly shaking their heads. So this is what the United States stands for — ripping children away from their parents in the name of freedom.
By: Caroline DeRensis
Chapter and verse
The attorney general and the press secretary seem to deem it fit to cherry-pick the Scriptures to justify policies regarding the law and the detention of children. I would like to refer them to another verse on the subject and request its reading at their next press conference. The verse is found in Matthew 18:6.
I like The Complete Jewish Bible version: “And whoever ensnares one of these little ones who trust me, it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the open sea.” I also recommend their reading of other material from the source. Truth can set captives free.
By: Carl S. Whiddon
When President Richard Nixon famously said, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” heads turned across the country. Put into context, that argument was not as egregious as it sounds, but it was a window into the mind of a seriously flawed president whose flagrant disregard for the rule of law led to his downfall. Nixon’s paranoia, ruthless retaliation toward his political opponents, and thuggish behavior are eerily reminiscent after the leak of President Donald Trump’s letter from his lawyers to Robert Mueller. They argue that the president is above the law, and that, combined with Trump’s assertion during the campaign that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” should turn heads across the country.
Trump’s “lock her up” mantra, attacks on anyone perceived as a critic, name-calling, lying, and racist comments should each be universally condemned, but his voters have only rallied to his side. And his claims of being above the law, though as specious as any Nixonian violation of norms, rules, and constitutional law, will only escalate if there is no check on his behavior.
But the right, led by Fox News, talk radio, and massively funded, hate-filled conspiracy theorists, don’t seem capable of reversing course. And though our founders put into place checks and balances meant to preclude the abuse of power that Nixon and Trump embody, they failed to envision a Congress that put tribalism and power above country.
By: Laura Smith
The Jan. 7 AP article by Jill Colvin, “Trump says he’s ‘like, really smart’,” brought back old memories for this very old man (age 90) — The 1939 movie “Love Affair,” which featured a song, “Wishing,” sung by Irene Dunne.
Perhaps President Donald Trump falls asleep listening to lovely Irene’s voice each night — and awakens with a flood of new “tweets.”
Here’s the full Trump comment, from which the title of Colvin’s article is taken. Trump improperly used President Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s illness (diagnosed after he was out of office) to make a comparison in defense of his own mental capacity: “Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” I’m not aware of any Trump Alzheimer’s diagnosis — egomaniac and pathological falsifier, yes. As for the “really smart” part, only a high school sophomore would insert “like” between “being” and “really smart.”
Back to the song: I recalled it because I believe Trump lives in a “wishing” “dreaming” “tweeting” world of his own. He tweets out random thoughts, with little or no meaning, or are obviously false. They are his “wishes” that he believes are facts, simply because he says they are facts. He may well be living the “Wishing” lyrics: “Wishing will make it so. Just keep on wishing, your cares will go. … For if you wish long enough, wish strong enough, you will come to know, wishing will make it so.”
Much has been written about differences between the liberal and conservative brain. John Dean’s “Conservatives Without a Conscience” compiles studies that help us understand the conservative brain. We all know the futility of persuading the proverbial “uncle at the Thanksgiving table” to alter his support of authoritarian figures like Donald Trump, so a basic understanding of this psychology is critical to learning how to engage in a world of a newly energized conservative movement.
Along with understanding how the conservative and liberal brains are wired differently, I believe that thinking critically is a fundamental quality that separates us from our conservative counterparts. To be a conservative is tantamount to having an “absence of critical thinking.” A penchant toward authoritarianism, religious context, or voting for Donald Trump, are manifestations of this phenomenon: Simply believe the country is in the hands of a higher authority. Authoritarians require complete trust; they alone can solve problems. Alternative information is attacked as “fake news,” and does little to enlighten the faithful.
Many readers write angry letters with accusations of liberal bias. Of course, any news item that provides some conservatives with information contrary to their beliefs will be relentlessly attacked. The job of journalists is to provide facts, which have been under unprecedented assault. But critical thinking is an essential quality of a democratic society, and many of us believe that truth and facts do matter. An absence of either portends a dark and dangerous world.
People who voted Trump thought he was right person for the job because he was a good business man. Well if they had looked into his past they would have know he wasn’t. He cheated many hard working Americans out of there money so he could get rich!
Any news Trump doesn’t like he calls fake. That’s is why he prefers FOX News (F for Fake) because they spin the news for him!
Trump being rich doesn’t understand our government is not a business. It’s more like a service to serve the peoples needs. Our taxes pay for police, fire, roads, bridges, social security, FEMA, military, airports, port security, plus so much more.
Cutting government jobs the way Trump has been doing only hurts us Americans. He doesn’t understand that poor people need to talk to social security agents, or medicare, medicaid agents. Americans out of the country need help from our embassies from time to time. Cutting these kind of jobs puts more Americans in harms way.
Trump is not helping us. He is just destroying all the good things that America stood for!
Why is it that the USA can have Nukes and another country can’t? If Trump was the leader of North Korea I bet he’d want NUKES! Remember Trump said he likes war! Which guy is more crazy…ours or North Korea’s?