2/23/20: Courage

The-Messenger-3-1400x757

2/23/20: Courage #poetry

I know a young woman who comes from a very nice family — religious, conservative, hard-working and kind.

The young woman was always perceived as troubled — shy and afraid of everything.

She was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. She joined a support group.

She loves poetry.

She is “out” now as a bisexual.

She is seeing someone.

She is agnostic.

She is an individual … thousands of miles from whence she came.

The timid, fearful one has turned out to be one of the most courageous people that I have ever known.

It is time that the simple act of being herself should not require such extraordinary bravery.

We, the rest of us, have an obligation to make the world safe for democracy …

to make the world safe for her.

She is our leader.

Our greatness lies far away from our conformity

rooted in our individuality

our scars and our passions

and in inclusive community.

Ignorance is not a matter of intelligence.

It is a question of character.

God help us if we can’t be moved.

The world cries out for leaders.

They are right before our eyes.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

 

 

2/23/20: Bad Jokes on a Sunday Morning

Harry Einstein - Parkyakarkus
2/23/20: Bad Jokes on a Sunday Morning
Attorney General Barr ordered arrests at my church this morning. It was a case of Mass incarceration.
Fundamentalist preachers ask their flocks this morning, “What would Herod do?”
Attorney General Barr ordered arrests arrests at a performance of “Hamilton” last night. The audience members were given their Lin-Manuel Miranda warnings.
The Trump Administration combined two major policy initiatives, climate change denial and the Space Force, and announced one bold project. America will colonize the Sun by 2030.
Col. Alexander Vindman’s replacement in the Trump Administration has been announced. The President’s phone calls with foreign leaders will now be monitored by Rod Blagojevich.
Pete Buttigieg prepares for debates by crashing his grandparents’ dinner parties.
Michael Bloomberg is proud that he earned his $60 billion working as a public school teacher and Uber driver.
2000 — hanging chads. 2020 — hanging Jeffrey Epstein.
America is a nation of ignored norms and broken laws, not men.
Only white men who own property will be allowed to vote in the 2020 election, just as the Founding Fathers intended, according to Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
The Declaration of Independence has been amended. It is now “The Faint Suggestion of Independence”.
Billionaires do it all for you!
Vladimir Putin has renamed the United States “New Crimea”.
Mitch McConnell attributes his electoral success in Kentucky to the opioid epidemic.
Moderate Democrats announced today their platform of alleviating oppression without removing it. Their slogan: “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater!”
Injustice is the new justice!
What happened in Vegas won’t stay there this time. Congratulations, Bernie!
Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

2/22/20: Everything in Moderation

all-things-in-moderation-including-moderation-quote-1
quote-all-things-in-moderation-including-moderation-socrates-84-42-20
quote-be-moderate-in-all-things-including-moderation-oscar-wilde-89-57-17
2/22/20: Everything in Moderation
Politicians and Pundits in the News:
Pete Buttigieg was a big winner tonight, defeating Amy Klobuchar in Trivial Pursuit. He credited the inspiration of “the smartest man in America” Jeopardy Grand Champion Ken Jennings.
Steve Schmidt opined today that Bernie Sanders can’t win the election, then he shared warm reminiscence about his days as Howard Schultz’s campaign manager. “Who needs Medicare for All, when you can have burnt coffee on every corner,” Schmidt sighed, before he defended his brilliant pick of Sarah Palin in 2008.
Nicole Wallace said Bernie will never win, and whispered, “I wish Jeb was a Democrat.”
Amy Klobuchar once again mentioned her candidacy announcement speech in the snow. She is clearly positioning herself for a role in Disney’s Frozen on Ice.
James Carville offered incisive analysis tonight stating that Sanders can’t win in front of a calendar reading “February 22, 1992”.
Hillary Clinton said that Sanders couldn’t win — in an email.
Larry David bought a luxury condo in New York in anticipation of 5 years as a regular on SNL.
Michael Bloomberg looked in his sofa cushions for another $500 million tonight — he’s already emptied the coffee can on the dresser.
Elizabeth Warren is hard at work at destroying Bloomberg, and positioning herself for a brokered convention, a Cabinet position or a Vice-Presidential nod.
Bernie Sanders lost with everyone in the party establishment and electorate except working people, Latinos, young people, sick people, old people, immigrants, African-Americans and other people of color … a wide plurality of the Democratic party.
Moderate Democrats wondered whether they could vote for a Social Democrat in a choice against a Fascist White Nationalist Slandering Criminal.
The defense of democracy and decency is not an activity that can be pursued in moderation.
America is a revolution.
Barry Goldwater said in 1964 “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” He lost badly. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won a landslide on the same platform as Goldwater. It was called “The Reagan Revolution.”
The people were ready for big, fundamental change.
The change of 1980 was a horrible change. It metastasized for 40 years, culminating with the life-threatening trauma of Trump.
Moderates will become revolutionaries if they realize how bad things are — how much people are suffering.
Moderates have a moral obligation to form a coalition with the suffering masses.
Please moderates, smell the coffee — not Starbuck’s — at the moment it’s burnt — not years later per usual.
This piece started as a light-hearted joke and transformed.
Moderates, it is your turn to change.
In your heart you know I’m right.
Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

2/18/20: Pulp Non-Fiction

2/22/20 Update: I’m for Warren — in my view she is the most talented and of the highest character. But Bernie Sanders is the front runner, and if he gets the nomination GO BERNIE! Politics is the art of the possible, and I am more than happy if the nod goes to Bernie. Corporate pundits are saying Sanders is unelectable —- all this opposition research about leftist causes over the years, maybe support for Fidel Castro — things that they say will destroy Dem prospects in many districts. Rick Blog says NO ONE KNOWS. Presidential elections (without third parties) are binary choices. If Republicans hit with Socialist and Communist, we call bullshit and hit with FASCIST RACIST CORRUPT. Trump’s strategy is to mobilize people disposed to their bullshit who have never voted. We have plenty of people that we can mobilize — despondent people who would love what Bernie is selling. It would be nice if Bloomberg and Steyer would read the writing on the wall and put their money into voter mobilization. I wrote the segment below this week. I post it again because I think it is even truer now than 4 days ago.
Realities:
1. Politics is the art of the possible. Let’s not have the division that we had in 2016.
2. Accept the nominee whoever it is.
3. If the people VOTE — a big IF — we will have a Democratic President, House and Senate.
4. Bernie is being called a sure loser. The corporate pundits said the same thing about Reagan and Trump. Bernie can be our Reagan.
5. If you think small, you get small results.
6. Even if we ultimately lose the election, we have to keep fighting. We have to fight from where we are at.
7. Don’t let your idea of perfect be the enemy of the good.
8. We have to stand for decency and democracy right now. We can do that with Bernie.
Read the blog segment linked below if you haven’t. It’s a good one … apply it to things other than politics too if you feel stuck …

 

union-yes

2/18/20: Pulp Non-Fiction

Do they still sell paperbacks at the airport?

How’s this for a political thriller?

In the distant election year of 2020, America is divided. A Republican demagogue is the incumbent, who is supported by a rabid fascist base, and despised by the rest of the electorate. The not-so-working class fluctuates between despondency and revolution. A social democratic movement rises. Meanwhile, the establishment Democratic Party is splintered between a corporatist wing that favors Wall Street, and a more liberal faction interested in expanding the social safety net.

A social democrat runs for the Democratic Presidential nomination and secures around 40% of the delegates in the primaries. He has the most votes on the first ballot of the nominating convention, but not enough to win. The corporate and liberal wings of the party unite against him and form a compromise ticket, a corporatist for President and a liberal for Vice-President. The corporatist becomes the Democratic nominee.

Social democrats are outraged and feel that the nomination has been stolen from them. Many don’t vote. A weak and disorganized Social Democrat third party emerges.

The demagogue is re-elected by exploiting the split in his opposition. He and his party successfully leverage their minority support into a position of absolute power.

The American dictator governs cruelly, corruptly and incompetently.

The Republicans win everything because of their solidarity energized by greed and resentment.

The Democrats lose all because of their inability to compromise with, and include, all the possible members of their ill-fated coalition. The corporatists are too greedy. The social democrats are too angry. The liberals are too weak.

Don’t like the book’s ending?

Write a new one.

The threat is larger than our differences. Corporate Democrats need more empathy and commitment to justice. Social Democrats need to turn their rage and frustration into sober resolve. Liberals need to mediate and teach, and to build bridges between the other factions.

I have been an idealist to a degree that backbone became a paralyzing rigidity. Idealism is an embryo that resides in the heart. Love and justice is a newborn child when the heart inspires the hands and mind.

Work is an incremental thing.

“What should be” only becomes real when it is planted in the field of “what is”.

I start new projects excitedly. The thrill of creation.

And then other people get involved.

And there starts all the betrayals, oppositions and misunderstandings.

I’ve always been good at keeping to my own compass — my direction is solid.

But I have been mistaken in believing that all of my partners have to be “like-minded”.

Partners have to want the same thing, not necessarily think the same way.

The bond of partnership can be just a contract — an exchange of service to one other.

Partnership can be true love …

or friendship …

or a commitment to citizenship and decency.

Creation is a teeming chaotic thing …

we are mistaken if we believe we can bend it to our own image.

We are each only an element of the equation, not the total sum.

Be passionate and

be reasonable.

Be patient as you rest on a higher level of consciousness

and kindly lower a ladder down to people right behind you

Leadership is harder than poetry

a poet deals only with the dictates of his heart

a leader clings to her sanity in the cacophony of democracy.

Like-minded? No such thing.

What matters is the likeness of the intention.

You need to know when to separate (there are those I wish to offend) and unite

and right now we must

Unite.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

 

 

2/16/20: Rick Blog Quickie Dem Presidential Candidate Reviews — Who Knows?

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2/20/20: Wrote segment below before Las Vegas debate. Looks like Elizabeth Warren took my advice! Go Liz —- you’re the best one! But I would vote for any of them, of course. But Liz has my enthusiasm. Debate was great but didn’t change my thinking much. Warren nailed the problems with Bloomberg and Sanders, and offered the alternative. She revealed her deep plans and the superficiality of Buttigieg and Klobochar (too tired and busy to check spellings). Biden’s best debate, but his time is past. He’d make a great advisor as to how things work in some instances, but has no experience in dealing with what our politics have become. It didn’t bother me that Trump wasn’t mentioned much. The tone of the whole debate showed the tone to take to Trump. And Warren set that tone. Any one of them, even Bloomberg, is better than Trump — obviously. But Warren would run the best general election campaign and she would govern best. She is a fighter with great values and a true professional who can do the work of government. Sanders is a gadfly — John the Baptist — but isn’t a great lawyer and professor like Warren — The Rick Blog  endorses her.

2/16/20: Rick Blog Quickie Dem Presidential Candidate Reviews — Who Knows? #Democrats #2020Election

*Closest photo of current field that I could find — of course, Yang is out.

Who knows who any of these people are? The campaign is a theater game — branding and perceptions. I see through brands, and my perceptions are always changing, so I offer today’s segment with those caveats.

I don’t think the 2020 Election is our ultimate check on Trump. I think the Election will be a mess, more about money and the candidates’, and their rich backers’ personal ambitions and financial interests. I think we make a mistake if we rely on these people. We have to be the authority of our own lives and be the change that we want — we have to be the answer to everything that disgusts us about Trump and the Republicans (and in my case plus the corporate Democrats) and we have to show that difference in our own lives.

We have to live with moral courage in our fields of the ordinary and everyday — our jobs, families, personal relationships. Politicians throw a lot at us to deal with, but they can’t control how we deal with it.

I made the decision quite awhile ago now, to teach and write. I decided not to be in charge. I didn’t only make this choice because it is my nature. I also think that what I do, and what you do, is more important than what any of these politicians do.

We have the ultimate power. That’s the reason that candidates spend so much time and money on marketing and public relations. That’s what was most disturbing to me about Trump’s popularity. It is creepy that so many people find him even palatable, let alone appealing. It says a lot about that so-many-people, and it is not good.

The candidates come up with a brand — it might sincerely reflect their values, credentials and experience, or it might not.

Then the media tests the brand — looks for inconsistencies or hypocrisies or furthers the narrative. What is the media’s agenda? It might be pure journalistic fact-gathering and reasoned analysis, or it might be the interests of the owners of the media companies. They definitely make money if they promote a narrative that captures audience’s love-or-hate imagination. Trump has been very skillful in manipulating this profit drive in the mass media.

So the candidates give us a story that they hope resonates within us, and the media, fairly or unfairly validates or debunks the story.

I am so glad I am a writer, because a writer interprets the world for himself. I reject anyone telling me what the truth and reality are. It’s a pain in the ass and a responsibility. It would be easier to just get my marching orders from the party or the priest. It would be easy to keep my perceptions to myself. Then there would be no conflicts of any kind with anybody.

I write to make decisions for myself, and I share my notes with others in the event they find them helpful.

Today’s segment is a rough draft. It is still quite early in the Democratic nominating process, and new information will emerge and hopefully I will gain in insight.

But everything that anyone writes is always a rough draft. The goal is for greater understanding.

In order to transform in understanding or in any other essential aspect of living you have to emphatically accept where you are NOW. Real growth doesn’t skip any steps — the child is emphatically a child and in so being becomes emphatically an adult and in so being becomes emphatically old and in so being becomes emphatically dead.

So here are my emphatically held perceptions of the Democratic Presidential Field as of today, February 16, 2020.

Bloomberg: Would be like electing a bank crossed with a real estate developer. Used the police as a blunt force instrument to fight a war of oppression against poor people who were primarily black and brown to turn neighborhoods that were financial liabilities into lucrative assets. A practitioner of philanthropy instead of democracy — the Davos approach, the rich can make a better world for us — we don’t have a say as to how. His very election would destroy our chance at democracy —- only people with vast personal fortunes need apply for the position of President, now and forever.

Buttigieg: Good talker. A talented McKinsey & Company consultant who was chosen and promoted by some rich people to run. Wouldn’t be his own man, would never listen to us without voices sent through a filter provided by the rich.

Bernie Sanders: Not smart enough. His administration would be very representative of the people, and very small “d” democratic in that sense. His values are good. His downfall will be a lack of competence and professionalism. I think his administration would be beset by much conflict and division and failures in executing policy.

Biden: Lousy campaigner. His campaign made a big error by not raising enough money to compete in Iowa and New Hampshire — arrogantly thought they would do better, under-estimated the rest of the field. Bad debater, better in one-on-one interviews on TV which his campaign has shielded him from — another big mistake. His time has passed, not the person to lead us to the big changes that we need. He wants a “return to normalcy” but people know that the old normal was better than what we have now, but it wasn’t that great either.

Klobuchar: She reminds me of Nixon, minus the bad ethics. She’s not so charismatic, but she is very smart and competent and a dogged worker. Her problem is a lack of imagination. She sees limits to what we can accomplish — great leaders in times of crisis see the opportunity to make much more significant positive change than she is contemplating.

Steyer: He should just spend his money now on protecting the integrity of the vote, and later run for something else  —- he’s too impatient for his own advancement and that makes me doubt his motivations. He has shown interest in issues and policy. If he wants to govern, he should get some experience governing before he goes for the big job.

Warren: The smartest, most capable and most sincere. She needs more confidence. She has gotten bad campaign advice that she should have ignored. The DNA test for Native-American blood, the backpedaling on Medicare for All, the sails-trimming through  posing as an a compromise candidate with appeal to both progressive and “moderate” wings of the Democratic Party. All of this makes her look weak. She should forget all political calculation and just be upfront and out there as herself — her experience, her values and her character. Will that work for her? I have no idea, but it would be better than where she is now. My perception, on the merits, is that she is by far the best candidate and would be the best President. Sanders complains and indicts. Warren does more. She fights — she has the ammunition —- she’s done the work —- lawyer, professor —- she understands the substance of government, she knows how to DO IT. But Sanders is the better politician in the sense that he knows how to solidify a base. Warren is attempting to do something much harder — to educate people and build a consensus. She reminds me of FDR, except he was a much better politician, and he was running in an easier environment — everyone understood the effects of the Great Depression — perceptions are much more confused today.

I am not relying on the Election simplistically to be our check on Trump and the Republicans. I think ultimately art and education will save us, and politics will be among the last things to follow the achievements of education and art.

I think this segment will probably be controversial to many readers. I am sure I criticized some political figures that you really like. That’s great — let a thousand flowers bloom.

I believe this segment has a meta-meaning that is not about politics at all, but I’ll leave it to you to see it if you can.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

 

 

2/15/20: Same S**t, Different Day

2/15/20: Same Shit, Different Day

#poetry #JerryLewis #WilliamBarr #DonaldTrump #Autocracy #art

Dictators are boring.

Trump and Barr are fucking up the rule of law

Can’t they give it a rest?

Don’t they ever get sick of themselves?

All this mocking and scaring people

is so tiresome.

Fat pathetic old men pawing at young girls

who really could give a shit about them

who find them grotesque

What are they trying to prove exactly?

That they aren’t going to die?

That they are better than everybody else?

What a joke

since they clearly will

and they clearly aren’t.

I love the blog as a literary form

It charts all of my changes

Change isn’t boring

All these fat old men do is

hold on

to nothing.

As a fellow fat old man I hereby declare

that they are giving fat old men a bad name

I had a dream the other night that my way of looking at the world was discontinued

It was a good dream

not a nightmare

People fear change, they say

but I am a people and I love it

I hate to think that my current state is my only state

that I can’t experience something new

that the world can’t transcend it’s problems

and get better

I’m just saving this video because I want access to it. Jerry Lewis is amazing here. All improvised — comes off like great choreography. We used to mock him (and his French admirers) for his broad slapstick, but the French were right. He was a genius. He created an art form in this scene. Nothing like it, before or after. Watch this NOT the maudlin telethon talk show stuff. I saw this movie when I was 5. I liked it then and now. Lewis famously had a heart attack or some physical trauma when he finished the scene (running up those stairs). I think that was some kind of cosmic payment for extraordinary artistic accomplishment.

Jerry Lewis was self-taught

He was never really supported in his development as an artist

It all came from inside of him

in interaction with the world

He was a paradox

He got tired and just held on

pathetically basking in the glow of his celebrity

doing lazy and sloppy work

and he kept mining his depths

and reaching for the stars

He invented video-capture in filmmaking

look it up

a brilliant technical advancement

I don’t know if they need it anymore

Probably not

Humanity

Imperfection with bursts of perfection

People oppose Medicare for all

Clutching their mediocre health care plans

that they got at their jobs

jobs that they will lose and have nothing

they will lose their great health care plans that won’t last

the plans that won’t exist when they need them

when they’re old and sick

they’d rather be dependent on fat old men

fat old men whose reason for being

whose justification for breathing

is to feel superior to the people who stupidly admire them

The hold on stance of co-dependence

trumps

the free fall discovery of inter-dependence

Love is falsely advertised as a risk

when it is the safest bet of them all

Holding on

fearfully

stupidly

today’s treasure is tomorrow’s trash

To know oneself or the world

is to know that you and the world are dynamic things

we live on the inhale and die on the exhale

“Vanity vanity life is vanity, there is nothing new under the sun”

Oh bullshit

Everything is new under the sun

I’m sick of watching Trump and Barr grinding their gears

and cheered by watching Jerry Lewis discover something.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/11/20: A Partial Inventory — A Collection of Rick Blog Collections, the Writing of Rick Thomas

#poetry #commentary #prose #writing #ethics #teaching #citizenship #experience

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

2:20 profile pic

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/the-best-of-the-rick-blog-2-15-to-9-10-19/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/13/1-13-20-the-rick-blog-segments-re-movies-released-in-2019/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/09/the-rick-blog-impeachment-collection-1-24-20-2-8-20/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/1-29-20-ethical-presence-manuscript-for-mgmt-441-loyola-quinlan-school-of-business/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/13/1-13-20-rick-blog-collections-on-related-topics/

The Rick Blog Impeachment Collection: 1/24/20 – 2/8/20

trump II

#impeachment

These are links to Rick Blog segments related to the Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump:

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/24/1-24-20-how-to-make-a-case/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/why-billionaires-have-train-sets-3/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/1-28-20-the-revolution-might-be-televised/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/1-30-20-the-fight-for-the-rule-of-law-social-anti-social-moral-character/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/2-1-20-impeachment-silver-lining/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/2-1-20-the-official-result-and-true-victory-are-often-not-the-same-thing/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/2-1-20-we-won-the-impeachment-trial/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/02/2-2-20-persist-self-righteously-in-the-face-of-opposition-and-oppression/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/2-3-20-one-of-the-great-speeches-in-american-history-worthy-of-lincoln/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/05/2-5-20-morality-and-battle/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/06/2-6-20-pitch-perfect-pelosi/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/06/2-6-20-trump-rally/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/2-6-20-a-guide-to-the-rick-blog-in-an-ecstatic-moment/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/2-6-20-i-feel-sorry-for-trump-tonight/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/2-6-20-sympathy-for-the-devil/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/2-7-20-glossary-of-power/

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/02/08/2-8-20-the-arc-of-the-moral-universe-is-long-but-it-bends-toward-justice-mlk/

 

 

 

2/8/20: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” MLK

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2/8/20: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” MLK

The Women’s March

Journalistic and Legal Investigations

Tax, Emoluments, Sex and other scandals

The Muslim Ban

Foreign and domestic disinformation campaigns through social media and propaganda channels masquerading as journalism

The Tax Cut for the rich

Leaving the Paris Accords, the denial of, and the exacerbation of climate change

The attack on public education and the encouragement of fraud in for-profit schools

The denial of the fact of income inequality and economic injustice in America

The end of Department Injustice prosecutions related to police misconduct, racially motivated and otherwise

The attempt to repeal Obamacare

Gorsuch and Kavanaugh (the unjust aftermath of Garland)

The Cultural Divide — some identify with the Constitution and democracy, some identify with raw power

The mainstreaming of phony legal and political philosophies asserting absolute Presidential power, unchecked by Congress or the courts (Dershowitz and Barr)

Trump’s continuing dismantling of the Obama legacy, the social safety net and government regulations — government for sale to the highest bidders

Trump’s attack on the alliances that sustain the Free World

Trump’s sympathy and collusion with dictators

Trump’s continuing attacks on U.S. diplomats, law enforcement and intelligence professionals and the integrity of the military

Trump rallies filled with invective

Trump’s incitements of violent acts

Charlottesville

Emboldened white nationalists

Cruelty towards refugees at the Southern border including infants

A pattern of criminality, indecency and incompetence

The Mueller Report

Barr’s Distortion of the Mueller Report

Criminal convictions of several close Trump associates

The House Judiciary Committee’s Unsuccessful Hearings re: the Mueller Report

The Ukraine Conspiracy

Trump’s blanket obstruction of Congressional oversight

Schiff’s investigation

Impeachment led by Pelosi

The Republican Senate Caucus’ (minus Mitt Romney) corrupt acquittal of Trump

The Republican Party’s betrayal of America in complete supplication to Trump at the behest of their donors for money and political power

Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address, a dictator’s polemic is praised in the press and Trump gets his highest approval rating of 49%

Trump attacks Pelosi, Schiff and Romney at the 2020 National Prayer breakfast

Trump outlines his agenda of revenge related to his impeachment at a White House “celebration” the day after his acquittal.

The Iowa Democratic Party screws up the Caucus vote count

The Democratic Presidential candidates give a strong collective performance at their debate four days before the New Hampshire Primary, prosecuting a case against Trump and offering positive ideas to serve the desires, needs and values of the American people

The 2020 election’s security is in question given fears of foreign interference, domestic dirty tricks, and voter suppression and repression

and God knows what evils have been covered up by darkness, depriving us of awareness of all specific information and evidence

***********************************************************

America’s Constitution, laws, ideals, culture and values have been under attack by Trump and the Republican Party.

Our laws, ideals, culture and values are always under attack, and weren’t in very good shape prior to the rise of Trump and Mitch McConnell.

Citizen’s United is one of the worst decisions of the Supreme Court, on par with the Dred Scott decision. The Trump nightmare is the whirlwind that Citizen’s United has reaped.

A cabal of rich Republican donors have achieved a hostile takeover of that party and much of America’s wealth and power.

America has always been a contest between freedom and democracy and community, and greed and authoritarianism. We have seen worse times than Trump. The Civil War and the Viet Nam era (including the struggles for even basic rights for African-Americans at that time) were worse.

The times now, however, are pretty bad — the climax of a regression toward greed and power that began with the election of Ronald Reagan.

And Democrats were not immune from applying power to the diminishment of American justice, freedom and morality.

However, I am hopeful. The arc of American history tends toward progression. Slaves were freed. Women got the vote. Immigrants participated in economic and political power.

What is good about America won’t die, unless we let it …

and we won’t let it because we never have.

Through all of the pain since Trump was elected, we have been fighting

in the courts

in Congress

even in the Executive Branch

in the streets

in the family room

at the water cooler

and online.

Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you feel inferior unless you let them do so.

As long as you keep good America alive in your heart,

and assert it’s reality and defend it

without hesitation

fearlessly

and at the right time

in the moment that it is challenged

it

you

and we

will be OK.

Dark America tries to intimidate

scare

distract

and confuse.

But you know who and what they are

and who and what we are

Good America will not die.

Hang in there

we will be OK

and when this Trump thing is finally over

we’ll be better than ever

improved

and ready to eliminate the root causes

of Dark America.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

2/7/20: Glossary of Power

picasso-guernica-1937

2/7/20: Glossary of Power

Power — all that matters
Money — the scorecard
Free Press — propaganda, public relations, mass mind control
The Law — a weapon to use against your enemies
Democracy — a con for the suckers to make them think they matter and manipulate them as an army to get what you want
The Military — the means of acquisition of resources framed in a fairy tale of “honor” to keep the suckers in line
Politics — a veneer of public relations for the suckers coating dark influence horse trading of a cunning few
Friend — someone you can leverage to get power
Enemy — a competitor for your power
History — an irrelevancy to be manipulated as a phony story useful in public relations
Truth — doesn’t exist, a tool used by sanctimonious enemies in attempts to take or gain power
Love — a pretty word signifying something that doesn’t exist
Patriotism — bullshit that is often useful in the mobilization of suckers
Knowledge — something to be used or attacked depending if it is useful in getting what you want
Ritual — a joke that no one wants to dress up for, something to be mocked
Sex — rest and recreation, the fruits of victory, a weapon to be used against competitors
Hypocrisy — who cares, consistency only matters for a minute
Existential meaning — who cares, a waste of time, power is all that matters

Trump lives by this glossary, but he is not the first. He knows the people are aware of this fact. He seethes because he is the one “who got caught.” He feels justified because he is the outer borough trash who forced his way into the party. This is the meaning of his “populism.” The establishment follows the glossary of power, and their high minded words cover up the pursuit of power that they do in genteel rooms. The Great Liar believes that he is actually the most honest man in the world. he speaks the the roughness and crudity of the working trash who have to bully and fight for every morsel that drops from the table of power. And the working trash, proud of that designation, admire him as the man who took on the establishment and won.

The great opportunity and peril of our time is the task to preserve and defend our birthright to make a more perfect union.

I personally believe all of the American ideals that I was taught as a little boy.

I believe that we can restore power to its first definition — effectiveness in achieving the dictates of love …

But then again, I’m just an aging poet in control of only my own destiny.

The call of heroism falls to you.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas