Thursday, May 27, 2021

Political correctness has been replaced by tongues of hatred

Dana, a close friend of my daughter dating to their high school years and their parents became friends of our family, a friendship lasting over 30 years. They had a horrific experience last year.  Dana's mother Sally passed away, and last July they held a zoom memorial service because their synagogue was closed due to COVID-19. This year, another daughter of mine, age 53, passed away and we also opted for a zoom celebration of life hosted by my church pastor. Ours worked beautifully and the recording of the service is a treasure.  Sally's zoom service was hacked by Nazis and swastikas appeared on their screen.  That was just one of the horrors committed by those who felt the time was right to tout their hatred more openly. The numbers of reported antisemitic crimes have tripled since 2018 in Colorado.  Dana's recounting of the incident was featured on television and is available on You Tube. https://youtu.be/59jErmUmI4w      What makes such hate groups feel they have gotten permission to increase their public activities?

Whatever happened to political correctness? The sad state of our nation is that civility, any veneer of supporting a common good, has "gone with the wind". Too often it has been replaced by tongues of hatred and followed by some committing crimes. Even those who do not fancy themselves as hate group fellow travelers are contributing to the atmosphere that encourages them to be more public. Any attempt to castigate some for the lightest tinge of comments defending racial or religious bias is met with counter-accusations from the right of "cancel culture" and anger that "libtards" are trying to do it to them. The definition of culture they feel is under attack has been left to the imagination of others. Some on the left reacted in kind in countering what they see as racial suppression. The country has been divided as speech gloves have been taken off and anger is raw and little hindered. It is clear there is a revolt against "political correctness", once a general agreement among most Americans not to be overtly racist and anti-semitic, to keep noncorrect jokes and slurs hushed, or not to appear publicly antagonistic toward "others" that did not mirror their own ethnic, racial, or religious group. In right-wing demonstrations from Charlottesville to the US Capitol nazi and nazi derived symbols and antisemitic hate slogans are chanted or on display in banners and shirt patches among the other marchers. They and their hate-mongering ilk have always been around, but not so brazenly and publicly in many years as they are now. In the past four years, more have crawled out from under the shadows of rocks to openly flaunt their hate in the light of day. Why?

While verbal and social media barbs are thrown by both sides, the end of more recent societal ethics of political correctness can be traced to the beginning of the Trump era. Donald Trump's words had consequences. The lid of political politeness and respectful speech became something of the past as Trump ripped off the scab of a festering white resentment to the rise of the political power of minorities. Early in the Donald Trump presidential campaign, the slogan that caught fire was Make America Great Again. Reporters had no luck in getting Trump supporters to put into words on camera to which era did they want the US to return that they considered good "again". Trump's oratorical and media skill set was his ability to tap into their gut feelings and to channel them into support of public policy issues which also contributed to his own political power. No longer carried in his favored media were inconvenient facts or embarrassing videos. The media on the left responded by giving focus to what they saw as the truth and reality. Those who tuned in solely to Trump's preferred media still get a view of the world filtered to create a reality that is not shared by viewers and readers of non-Trump media. Recent polls revealed that over half of Republicans believe the election was stolen and Joe Biden was not elected legitimately. At rallies, Trump's devoted audiences cheered racist dog whistle oratory as they jeered at those they disdained. The 1/6 rioters were just tourists viewers were told and they were shown carefully edited videos that neglected to show the violence, vandalism, and combat with police that ended with some dead and 140 injured, and nearly 500 arrested and charged for their alleged criminal behavior. Even with his tweet and facebook wings clipped, Trump's threats to take revenge on non-loyalists get conveyed through other means. Trumpism is now more than just a cult of one person. It is a movement that controls the GOP and uses the fear of being primaried to keep discipline among officeholders and candidates.

Now, in any case, political correctness appears to be no longer part of the culture many assert is being canceled. What this end of political correctness means could also be deduced from which public policy initiatives those decrying political politeness supported that resembled the era before civil rights legislation and the increase in immigration from south of our border. Recent examples are cries of protest against banning Dr. Suess or the renewal of barriers to voting by demographic groups who are viewed as their political opposition. These issues have occupied the Trump media for some time. No government banned any of his books, but the publisher ceased printing several of them at the request of the Suess heirs who did not want Dr. Suess' reputation to reflect racism in a few of his illustrations and words he used in less sensitive times. The other is the wave of voter suppression legislation aimed at making it harder for students, and minorities with lower income and education levels and/or access to transportation to vote. A further objection to the exposure of the participation of neo-Nazis and white nationalist groups in the January 6 riots is also part of the same syndrome. Most of the GOP Senate closed ranks to scuttle further exposure of GOP culpability by voting against an independent commission just before Memorial Day designed by bi-partisan legislators to discover and expose to the public what happened on January 6. Sweeping that embarrassment under the rug will not work and Democrats via hearings and campaign advertisements will make sure voters understand the January 6 rioters were no tourists. Democrats branding Trumpist GOP candidates as anti-democracy will be front and center in the 2022 election campaigns. Exhibits one and two will be videos of January 6 violent rioters carrying Trump banners and airing tactics by GOP Trumpists in state legislatures to suppress certain demographics' ability to vote conveniently and to get their votes counted fairly.

Donald Trump's unique contribution to the end of political correctness was to light a fire under the smoldering sores of divisiveness, resentment of an Obama presidency, and disrespect and hatred of others not like them. . This resulted in more openly expressing intolerance of "others, couched in social media memes and postings, and advocacy of certain public policy positions.. His contribution to racial and religious divide was flagrant, from Charlottesville's new-Nazi parades to Michigan statehouse to the US Capitol, calling white nationalist militias patriots or containing "some good people", his thinly disguised racism tagging one racial group as he kicked off his 2016 campaign with the broad brush of "rapists" and "murderers" or banning another group from entering the US solely because of their religion. Others took the end of political correctness to mean it was a permission slip to be rude and inconsiderate to others or to ignore Covid masking rules and vaccinations as some liberal scam cooked up to control them, to battering innocent Asians on the streets, and to rising antisemitism. That is the sad state of our nation today.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/video/extremist-signs-symbols-capitol-riot.html

Why Attacking ‘Cancel Culture’ And ‘Woke’ People Is Becoming The GOP’s New Political Strategy | FiveThirtyEight

A Disturbing Number of Republicans Still Believe All the Lies Donald Trump Tells Them | Vanity Fair

Over half of Republicans believe Donald Trump is the actual President of the United States | Ipsos

Poll: Quarter of Americans surveyed say Trump is 'true president' (usatoday.com)

https://www.adl.org/2017-impact-report/racists-converge-on-charlottesville


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

GOP voter suppression efforts in Colorado fail and the DOJ sues Georgia ( updated (June July , 2021)

. GOP voter suppression efforts in Colorado fail and the DOJ sued Georgia.. June 25. Joe Biden continued his efforts to deal with GOP voter suppression efforts through his Department of Justice after the Senate defeated the attempt to set federal standards. The attempt in the Senate to get voting rights bills passed failed the week before and the lawsuit was a plan B for the Biden administration. The DOJ announced it was suing Georgia for their legislature passing voting restriction laws, tailor-making them intentionally to make it harder for African Americans and others of certain language groups to vote. Department of Justice sues Georgia over voting law | TheHill. The crux of the suit is to use part of the existing voting rights act prohibiting racial discrimination. (The Supreme Court earlier had declared the part of the act unconstitutional that required any government pre-approval of changes in state voter laws, but the anti-discrimination portion still remains.) The burden for the DOJ is to show that while the new Georgia law applies to everyone, it is aimed at making it harder for African Americans and other minorities to vote and that was the intent of the lawmakers. The DOJ will also give priority to prosecuting threats to the safety of poll watchers paid or volunteers, and state and local officials. Last week Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mcconnell switched gears from denying these kinds of laws like Georgia's were meant to be suppression of minority voters and instead evoked the old "states rights" argument ) that has been used to keep Jim Crow discrimination practices alive until the voting rights laws of the mid-1960s ended that claim. Expect, too, the Big Lie fueling these laws will come up advocated in cases made by the GOP that these restrictive laws were needed because of widespread fraud in 2020. The Big Lie likely would be slapped down in court. Pres. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Guiliani just had his law license suspended for making such false claims in court and in public.

The Georgia voter suppression effort has been replicated to some extent in all states and the repercussion on pending or passed voter restrictions attempts may be significant. Colorado's Democratic-dominated statehouse already beat down an attempt earlier this spring and an attempt to get suppression tactics on the ballot by Initiative 38 in November also failed. June 2, 2021, the State title board denied the petition to put #38 on the ballot on the basis that it was not a single issue...a requirement in Colorado that an initiative could only address one single issue.

Initiative 38 would have ended mail-in voting in Colorado and require fingerprinting to get a voter registration card, requiring a person to vote in person, end drop boxes. It would have done away with the mail-in voting system in effect since 2013. This initiative would break whatever is considered one of the most fraud-free, largest voter participation systems in the US.


 https://news.yahoo.com/gops-main-voter-bloc-shrinking-153954578.html
That last sentence is particularly interesting.  If the GOP's most solid voter block is over 75, the more the GOP makes it harder to vote by mail, the more that block's ability to vote is suppressed.  In fact, many of the vote-by-mail movements were begun by the GOP in order to maximize votes from their loyal seniors.  Now they are busy reversing that method.  From the article: "new deep dive into the 2020 electorate by Pew Research contain mostly bad news for Republicans, whose approaching demographic dooms less racial than it is generational. While it shouldn't be news to anyone at this point that young voters are a solidly blue voting bloc, the more worrisome developments for the GOP are the unexpectedly elderly nature of the party's coalition and the unyielding Democratic lean of younger voters as they age. If Pew's numbers are to be believed, the only solidly Republican age demographic last year was 75 and over, meaning that every time the sun comes up, the GOP's struggle to win a majority of American voters gets harder."   
A Facebook friend. and a Trump supporter,  complained that memes get fact-checked but vote results do not. My answer:" The question is who does the fact-checking.? For example, recounts in Georgia were done 3 times, but that was not enough? 80 judges reviewed all of the lawsuits brought by Trumpers alleging fraud or irregularities...and nothing was found..and in fact, many of those lawyers are being disciplined for failure to provide facts regarding their allegations...and that is not enough? Oh, I get it. Only fact checking that is accepted is by the partisan supporters of the losers without observing the chain of possession or other requirements to protect the integrity of the evidence? And only partisan loyalists will be allowed by proposed statutes in some states? Is that what you mean?"

New Colorado election laws expand multilingual voting access, voter registration options - Colorado Newsline    This article is a good contrast between red and blue states on voting laws and an analysis of the recent Supreme Court decision that made suits against suppression laws even more difficult to win
.
 Biden's epic remarks on voter suppression< July 13 2021: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/07/13/remarks-by-president-biden-on-protecting-the-sacred-constitutional-right-to-vote/   transcript




1
Frank Zaveral


Monday, May 17, 2021

The spirit of 1776: mob violence? Updated July 4, July 28 2021, Sept. 11, 2021

September 11. 2021
George W. Bush at Shanksville, in comparing 9/11/2001 terrorists to  domestic terrorists of January 6, 2021

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.”


July 28, 2021
Among those with even the smallest opening in their minds, this video of testimony of 4 of the 140 Capitol and DC police injured on January 6 should lay to rest two lies perpetrated by the apologists, supporters, and their political leaders: 1) these rioters were no peaceful tourists. nor were they patriots 2) this was a serious attempt to overturn the election by terrorizing Congresspeople in the process of certification to violate their oath and name Donald Trump to a second term.  Police officers testify in Jan. 6 select committee's first hearing — 7/27/2021 - YouTube
July 4, 2021
The flags are waiving as we celebrate the 4th of July, the most patriotic celebration of the year.  Who were and are the real patriots? They certainly were not the rioters on January 6, 2021. Those who sympathize with the January 6 rioters and fly themselves under the banner of 1776  are an insult to those who signed the Declaration of Independence. The patriots in 1776 used well-regulated colonial militias and their recruits and a traditional army headed by Gen. George Washington to revolt against a tyrant. They did not revolt to replace one tyrant with another tyrant. They did not revolt against the King with a riot.
The rioters may have thought they were doing the patriotic thing to threaten and terrorize Congress that was engaged in the certification of the 2020 November election to force them to overturn the election, That kind of thinking is upside-down, far removed from the patriotism of 1776, no matter how sincere they felt.  

One of the arguments coming from the January 6 riot sympathizers is that our country was created by violence and revolution so therefore mob violence in support of their version of democracy was justified so they called themselves patriots.   Those who rationalize violent overthrow of government they do not like miss the point of why those in 1776 fought a war of independence.  The patriots of 1776 acted to rid themselves of the tyrannical government of England.  In 2021  so-called patriots were trying to install a wannabe autocrat who openly admired the powerful rule of other autocrats in the world and who had used tactics he attempted to emulate. He needed a second term. One was to promulgate a lie...that he would only lose the election if there was fraud and then when he lost, he set about to make his prophecy self fulfilling, with the help of friendly social and other media. The problem he faced was that there was no evidence of widespread fraud he could use to make his case. He then began flagrant lies, which found himself banned from Twitter and Facebook, his most used tools of self-advocacy. His loyalists took his lies as truth and still are still believers without questioning or evidence to the contrary. Trump supported media, social, print, TV, and radio, advocated unproven theories which they passed off as truth, selective stories and videos, and voices of outrage to carry the message. The message they did not tout was that Trump lost the election, both popular and electoral college, per 60 court decisions and data and certification by all 50 states by exactly the same margins Trump won in 2016.. . Trump was the rioters' inspiration and the one who summoned them to" have a wild time" in Washington, as some of the 500 arrested by the FBI for violent, destructive, unlawful entering, and vandalism that day have already testified.  Many came prepared to be violent.
 Technically these acts could fit under the common understanding of the definition of insurrection or sedition, or participation and inciting planned violence to overthrow a government action such as to certify an election. Perhaps such charges will yet be filed. The statutes that could be cited are 18 U.S. Code § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection | U.S. Code | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu) The rioters failed to overturn the election, but they tried.  Some groups affiliated with the rioters have already been officially proclaimed domestic terrorists by the FBI.  Whatever you call them or however they are charged and prosecuted, their leaders at least came with the purpose of scaring the legislators to overthrow the election by not certifying it per their sworn constitutional duties.  They did it by the act of rioting.

  Those who fought the British after July 4, 1776, were not rioters but they were conscripted and drafted by each colonial government into an army led by Gen. George Washington,  charged to do so, to train and discipline, duly authorized by the real patriots of 1776 who signed the Declaration of Independence. January 6 rioters were not there in any official capacity but were fired up by social media and selective reporting that they were the guardians of democracy and they were to right the November election which they believed had been stolen.  

The rioters believed Trump had their back, had the support of the Capitol Police, but came armed and ready to commit violence and/or to terrorize the sitting legislators at that very hour who were voting to certify the election to simply certify Trump. They felt that they had the right to do so because of the First Amendment, ignorant that only peaceful assemblies to address grievances were protected. (" Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."}  Ironically, this 2021 version of 1776rs thought violence and the threat of it was justified to place in charge a powerful figure who saw himself above the law or who considered the law as something to ignore or to manipulate or to get around.  Many in both parties, though more independents and Democrats,  suspected he wanted to overturn an election to stay in power so he could use and consolidate his rule like the dictators he so openly admired. He adroitly used coded words and insinuations, vagueness subject to interpretations to convey his orders or wishes but left his loyal lieutenants to act and go to jail on his behalf. Loyalty was rewarded with pardons for those convicted. Threats of primaries kept elected officials under control.  He was their kind of guy; a powerhouse who channeled their grievances. To do so the rioters rationalized their actions with a lie, that democracy needed to be saved from election fraud. and they chanted "stop the steal",  In spite of this day of riots and threats against the lives of members of the legislature and the Vice President, thanks to the actions of most of the Capitol Police and the secret service whisking away the leadership,  Congress members survived,  still certified the election, and Joe Biden was sworn in as president.  

The aftermath is still being felt by a GOP leadership in the House and Senate who are concerned they would lose their power by midterm voters who had not swallowed the big lie and who saw the rioters for what they were.  The GOP's strategy is to bury the events of January 6, hope their supporters are fooled to believe the rioters were a bunch of tourists, that the violence was no worse than the vandalism committed in the George Floyd, BLM, anarchists in the previous summer and who were just exercising their First Amendment rights. They ask their loyalists not to believe their very eyes which could be seen in video documentation of the January 6 riot and to ignore the multiple arrests of the violent actors. Above all, the GOP leaders do want to do anything more that would expose the intent and the actions of the rioters to the public especially closer to the 2022 midterms. They refuse to participate in any hearings or commissions, bi-partisan, or not. and threaten to discipline any of their members who do participate by denying their committee assignments.

 In addition, GOP Trump loyalists have set about trying to prove widespread fraud by unofficial "audits" drawn out for months with the ability to tamper with the ballots already audited and recounted many times by officials who followed the rules regarding keeping their integrity.   They have tried to make the case that in 2022 they needed to fix what every official review found was not broken and make it even more difficult and inconvenient for voters, especially those who would likely vote for Democrats.  In June, the Supreme Court ruled Arizona had the right to add anti-fraud rules and regulations to state election laws.  What is yet to be decided is whether these new rules were indeed intentionally discriminating against races in violation of what was left of the 1965 voting right act.  The fat lady has not sung on that one as numerous lawsuits are boiling up from lower courts to show intentional racial discrimination, but the reading of the Arizona decision will make that case very hard to win with given the current SCOTUS makeup.  Unfortunately, all voters will be suppressed and inconvenienced by these new state laws, just some more than others, and by 2022 it may be too late for many even in the GOP to realize what happened. NBC/Marist poll found more voters were more concerned about access to the polls than voter fraud..
Recently, there are threats by Trump supporters to overturn the Biden government by violent coups and to "reinstate" Trump,  who still claims he is president. No less than Gen. Mike Flynn, a convicted felon, is opening advocating it. That is banana republic kind of talk. Expect the Democrats in 2022 to position themselves as the supporters of democracy and the GOP as underminers of it and supporters of autocracy.  The Democrats have a strong case to make for the majority who care for the rule by the people, instead of rule by a strong man thanks to the action and antics of Trump's GOP supporters.

The patriots who were the founders of the Constitution and our form of governance sought to preserve our right to govern ourselves, to preserve all who were created equally inalienable rights to pursue happiness, and to keep us from a tyrannical ruler, making those governing subject to the rule of law instead of the rule of an individual. Those who experienced the revolution in 1776 were also given the opportunity to write the Constitution which was approved in 1787. Aside from limiting the power of tyrants with checks and balances of three power centers, legislative, judicial, and executive, they added more safeguards to protect the power of individuals to protest peacefully per the Bill of Rights. They attempted to tackle some of the trickiest problems of governance in the Constitution and in both the amendments and in the regulated election process. How do you provide a peaceful transition of power while still allowing an outlet for the masses to express themselves and let off steam peacefully? They gave those who lost the election the protections and ability through the Bill of Rights to convince a majority of voters that those governing need to be replaced by the ballot box and not by a bloody revolt. 

The foxated and the fooled.   
 .Those who believe the January 6 rioters were tourists wandering orderly and respectfully through the Capitol on January 6  were fooled, too.  A GOP Georgia congressman used a  carefully edited video to try to convey the lie. PolitiFact | The ridiculous claim that those at the Capitol Jan. 6 resembled a 'normal tourist visit'    How Trump Supporters Took the U.S. Capitol | Visual Investigations - YouTube Even Fox's own reporter there in the middle of it riot reported the violence. Reporter's Notebook: Inside the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot | Fox News ,  To keep their myth alive, FOX just refused to run a political ad that showed the violence of the day. Fox News Reportedly Refused to Air Ad About Capitol Riot (businessinsider.com)  That these violent actors were just protestors who got carried away at the moment is likewise deceptive propaganda as the Senate report reveals that plans for violence and maps of the interior halls and calls to bring weapons were ignored, yet readily available weeks before the event. that year,Senate report on Jan. 6 attack finds Capitol Police, intelligence agencies failed to relay threat posed by pro-Trump rioters (yahoo.com)   https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/08/politics/takeaways-senate-report-january-6/index.html  They too had been foxated and fooled. 

 


https://www.axios.com/capitol-riot-trump-supporters-police-officer-c0cd9fb4-3ee1-44ab-9d53-8b78c9b1ea69.html?utm_campaign=organic&utm_medium=socialshare&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2u7K-XczV2MWddY_1IQ63h1hbx1Fwlwf4B6vBQj_BUzwCe83yStErBHlA







https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-wanted-troops-to-protect-supporters-at-capitol-says-miller-2021-5




https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/apr/26/what-happened-during-jan-6-call-between-donald-tru/
 https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/28/politics/brendan-hunt-guilty-threatening-assault-murder-members-congress/index.html

May 5, 2021
Facebook continues its ban on Trump but will re-examine in 6 months. The reason: the threat of violence is still real. I see what this means. This is a implication that Trump's posts incite violence and that "stop the steal" is still the slogan Trump continues to exhort. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2021/05/05/facebook-trump-ban-permanent-oversight-board-ruling/4377852001/

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Liz Cheney's manifesto nails it

 May 11, Liz Cheney delivered her parting shot and said it more eloquently yet clearly stated of what the division in the Republican Party is really about.. http://www.cnn.com/2021/05/11/politics/liz-cheney-floor-speech-full-remarks/index.html         

 While on many public policy issues, I would differ with her, she ended her remarks that the conservative principle was devotion to the rule of law and the judicial process.  What she said is that loyalty to democracy and the rule of law established in the Consitution is far more important than any loyalty to a political party or one leader.  If preserving the Constitutional democracy and the rule of law we have,  count me as a conservative, too.  

Political parties are not even mentioned in the Constitution.  They began as a disagreement over the extent in role and power of a federal government within the parameters set by the Constitution. The Constitution was designed to construct a government of, by, and for the people as voiced through the ballot box. It an alternative to rule by and for a tyrant, a king, or in modern terms, a dictator. It is against such dictatorial rule the American revolution was fought, to give us, the people, the liberty to pursue life and happiness as we define it and to give us the people, not a one-person strong man,  the ability to decide the policies to achieve that. Cheney sees the judiciary as the arbiter of compliance to those rules established in the Constitution and not to respect such rulings, is an attack on the rule of law instead of a rule by a person.

Sixty judges of all ideological stripes found there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 vote she noted. That is the truth but it is inconvenient to a wannabe dictator who intends to overturn an election by violence or any other means, with an appeal to followers based on lying about the judicial findings or ignoring them to regain power and to challenge any vote by the people in the future. The one-man, one-party rule forces you to pledge allegiance and bow down to his/her's law and thoughts no matter how divorced from reality or a lie they are and to support that lust for absolute power, or face the punishing consequences.  Freedoms to dissent or to change leadership peacefully fall, victim. Unchallenged, dictators become corrupt and more concerned about keeping the power they amass without resistance than tending to the needs of those they govern. The fools are those who think a dictatorship is fine because it is "their" dictator with whom they agree and grabs power in further their faction. History shows eventually such dictatorships end violently or die in some putsch that replaces one dictator with another. Dictatorships are especially likely to end in violence when they are of, by, and for a minority of the populace as is Donald Trump.  The vote in 2020 laid bare his personal minority status. 

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/wjec/history/pdf/democracy_or_dictatorship.pdf

https://oxfordre.com/politics/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-3      


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Two wrongs make it right :GOP' excuse for racism in their party

 So goes the argument from the Trumpists. Democrats were once the racist party too, so it makes the GOP today, OK?  That is as logical as two wrongs make it right.  It also is indicative of ignorance of American political party history post World War II.  I lived through most of that time myself in a city that was an easy drive from the site of the infamous Tulsa race massacre that took place seventeen years before I was born.  https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/tulsa-race-massacre

 I graduated from a Muskogee, Oklahoma whites only, high school in 1956, having lived in a Jim Crow culture until then. For over a third of our population, African Americans,  it was back of the bus, segregated schools, and separate water fountains and toilets. Muskogee was about as Jim Crow as you can get. Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" described my neighborhood too. Memories were very fresh there of the epic destruction and massacre by white racists in Tulsa's black ghetto.. The Black community had learned the lesson of Tulsa well and kept a subservient and self-imposed apartheid profile. The large Cherokee and other Native American populations were considered white so long as their ancestors had not mixed with African Americans.  Brown v Board of Education 1954 was beginning to force changes. Yes, the Democrats were in charge. OK was a one-party, Democrat,  state when I grew up there. Now OK is still a one-party state,  but Republican, bible belt still, and Jim Crow in many minds if not permitted by law to act upon it.  I was born and grew up in Muskogee because dad was a telephone company executive transferred to Muskogee by Southwestern Bell. My parents were not from there..one from Colorado and the other with deep mid-west roots. Mom told me she would wash my mouth out with soap if I ever used the N-word. At home my parents' view of civil rights was very different than the community in which they lived, but they kept their view on race quiet and separate from the common public attitudes that dominated this very southern town of 40 thousand. They were pro-choice and pro-business Republicans, though they registered as Democrats to have a voice in primaries in a one-party state. Everyone in their lives was as anti-communist and pro-defense as they were.   They passed away in the mid-1980s.   If they came back to earth, my guess they would be registered independents. Dad hated anything extreme, left or right. So do not rationalize racism in today's Republican party because Democrats were racist too, way back. Do not ignore the historical sequence. Two wrongs do not make it right.

 Nixon was the first to exploit the white resentment and since then the strategy was to flip the south to Republican and to win that way. He defined the strategy and if you look it up, the southern strategy got its name then. Nixon was no more racist than anyone else, but he was an opportunist and a keen strategist.

 it was a pure political opportunism, taking advantage of a certain mentality, protection of power and social order of the past,  and particular culture, evangelical Christian, with a sense of white and fundamentalist theological superiority.. The southern strategy has worked for years for the GOP as it worked for years earlier for Democrats. ...until the civil rights legislation that actually was the work of a Democrat, and as Johnson acknowledged the fallout would end the Democrats in the South. The truth is: bigotry and racism was the everlasting and overriding factor...and whatever the name on the party du jour was not so much the issue, but on whose side it was at the time...It was not a sudden shift, but gradual with always lingering residuals of the past. As I said above, I, a child of the reddest state in the union, Oklahoma,...saw it switch from one, dominant party Democrat to one-party Republican..before my very eyes but it took 20 years to make that transition. It has always been racist with a tinge of hilly billy culture.. Merle Haggard wrote about my hometown, Okie from Muskogee...and no truer words were ever sung. I have attended high school reunions, and traded social networking, and found little change over the years.  There were a few like me politically, but very few, and most of them no longer live in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Liz Cheney and the Emperor's New Clothes

What I wrote on May 5. May 11, Liz Cheney delivered her parting shot and said it more eloquently yet clearly stated.. http://www.cnn.com/2021/05/11/politics/liz-cheney-floor-speech-full-remarks/index.html    

 May 5: Democracy dies when a wannabe Emperor demands you lie about his nakedness. The attacks against Liz Cheney for standing up against the rest of her party is an example of what happens when party discipline and loyalty to a person leads to the end of democracy.  She was like the little boy in the crowd who in his innocence shouted out the "Emperor has no clothes".  In this case, the emperor was cloaked in a big lie that he really won the election because of nonexistent fraud.  Here is where the folk tale and the actual crowd reaction part company.   In the tale the crowd erupts into laughter and the Emperor is shamed.  In 2021, the GOP crowd cheers him on and shames Liz Cheney. 

  It would be the end of the story if such a litmus test of having to perpetuate a lie to keep power is no fairy tale parade.  It destroys faith in the fundamental characteristic of a functioning democracy, the vote of the people. When most of the GOP loyalists refuse to look at the evidence, grasp at every fantasy straw to justify their blindness, that is the danger to democracy.  When they do not believe their eyes and continue to opine that the leadership of the January 6 mob was just having a wild time, that is a fundamental danger to democracy.  When they contend that those violent rioters were just kidding about frightening Congresspeople into overturning the election,  it is themselves they are kidding.   When the naked Emperor has become so powerful, when he continues to flaunt his nakedness and continues the royal march unshamed, it threatens democracy by forcing even those who know a lie when they see one to bow down to him.  They must think and speak as he demands to show loyalty to him the person, or be banned from his kingdom.  This democracy that depends on the loyalty to process and the rule of law and the trusted vote of the people is in grave danger.

I wrote the following May 5; May 11, Liz Cheney delivered her parting shot and said it more eloquently. http://www.cnn.com/2021/05/11/politics/liz-cheney-floor-speech-full-remarks/index.html      While on many. public policy issues, I would differ with her, she ended her remarks that the conservative principle was devotion to the rule of law count me as a conservative, too


Facebook continues its ban on Trump but will re-examine in 6 months. The reason: the threat of violence is still real. I see what this means. This is a implication that Trump's posts incite violence and that "stop the steal" is still the slogan Trump continues to exhort. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2021/05/05/facebook-trump-ban-permanent-oversight-board-ruling/4377852001/