Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hostile Takeover

If you take a moment to look at what’s happened in the past five weeks, I believe you would have to agree that a hostile takeover of America from an unfriendly foreign power —minus the tanks and storm-troopers on the street—would have looked exactly like today’s news. The tanks are not (yet) necessary because we apparently voted for the dismantling of the democracy we built brick by brick these past 200 years plus. An imperfect democracy, to be sure, with yawning gaps where people fell in and were hurt or killed. But decade by decade, with some one step forward and two steps backwards moments, we began to close them. And then there’s now, the cornerstones being yanked out and the whole edifice on the verge of toppling. Like I said, as bad as an invasion from an unfriendly foreign power, but it came from within our own country. The range of it, the enormity of it, the quickly-executed-without-discussion-slash-and-burn quality of it. It boggles the mind.

There are still many suggesting we should give the bastards a chance. Before you agree with them or object to my strong words or think I’m joining the "liberal media conspiracy" to put a bad spin on good-hearted intentions, read this extraordinary summary brought to my attention by my friend Kevin Gersevitz. Every fact stated is undeniable, no nuance or spin possible. Look them in the face and see how ugly we’re becoming. (Apologies that Kevin didn’t know the source and I don’t either, but either he or I or millions more could have written it). As follows:

“This is where I stand. To me, FB is a useful vehicle for my passion and activism. Our 45th President, his power hungry cronies taking positions of authority in his Cabinet and administration, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are a real and active threat to me, my way of life, and all the people I love. Some people are saying that we should give Trump a chance, that we should "work together" with him because he won the election and he is "everyone's president." This is my response:

• I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years...
• I will not "work together" to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.
• I will not "work together" to build a wall.
• I will not "work together" to persecute Muslims.
• I will not "work together" to shut out refugees from other countries.
• I will not "work together" to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
• I will not "work together" to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies.
• I will not "work together" to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
• I will not "work together" to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
• I will not "work together" to enable the killing of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them.
• I will not "work together" to remove civil rights from anyone.
• I will not "work together" to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
• I will not "work together" to slash funding for education.
• I will not "work together" to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
• I will not "work together" to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
• I will not "work together" to eliminate the minimum wage.
• I will not "work together" to support so-called "Right To Work" laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
• I will not "work together" to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
• I will not "work together" to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.
• I will not "work together" to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
• I will not "work together" to put even more "big money" into politics.
• I will not "work together" to violate the Geneva Convention.
• I will not "work together" to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.
• I will not "work together" to deny health care to people who need it.
• I will not "work together" to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of a "pre-existing condition."
• I will not "work together" to increase voter suppression.
• I will not "work together" to normalize tyranny.
• I will not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversite at any level of government.
• I will not "work together" with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.
• I will not "work together" with those who wish to blur the lines between church and state as they attempt to insert prayer and creationism into school curricula.
• I will not "work together" with those who will try to use "religious rights" to discriminate against LGBTQ and/or anyone else that they may find "different."
• I will not "work together" with those who will refuse to even grant a hearing for a potential justice for the SCOTUS put forth by a sitting president so that they may take advantage of their incessant obstructionism and make that selection themselves.
• I will not support anyone that thinks its OK to put a pipeline to transport oil on Sacred Ground for Native Americans. And, it would run under the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of people. An accident waiting to happen.

This is my line, and I am drawing it.
• I will stand for honesty, love, dignity, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself.
• I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN: That "winning", "being great again", "rich" or even "beautiful" is nothing... When others are sacrificed to glorify its existence.”

Are you still standing? I’ll follow soon with my Venn Diagram trying to look at what’s behind it all. I don’t mean who’s behind it or how much money or why, I mean looking at what philosophy and moral (or immoral) values are guiding each of these decisions. Where do they overlap and how much do we really want this kind of thinking to frame our national discourse?

Stay tuned.

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