Tag Archives: democracy

Wait Until Trump Voters See How Trumpism Will Affect Them

Like petulant children, tired of being scolded for their bad behavior and words, Trump voters gave humane, decent adults everywhere a great big middle finger in this election. Now, like the giddy misanthropes they are, they gleefully watch as liberals like me tear their hair out. This is what they wanted all along–vengeance for being fact-shamed by Democrats; for having to squelch their racist inclinations; for stifling their urge to ridicule the disabled and the mentally impaired; for having to tell their racist jokes in private; for having to reduce women to sexual objects. They entered the ballot booth as assassins of civility, not protectors of democracy. Trumpers couldn’t care less about democracy. Democracy impels them to accord respect to the other–the other gender, the other race, the other religion, the other sexual orientation. They see no benefit for themselves in the greater good, and finally they have found their hero…someone who embodies what they stand for: self-serving, short-term ego gratification, without a shred of social conscience or open-mindedness.

But the day is coming, sooner not later, when the Trumpers will regret the havoc they have unleashed, because they have to live and work in Trump’s America too. They have to send their kids to school in Trump’s America. They have to serve in Trump’s military. They have to pay taxes to support CEOs like Trump. And when they’ve finally gotten their fill of Trumpism and they begin to criticize President Donald, they’ll have to live in fear of Trump’s reprisals. If there is one thing we know Donald loves to do it’s get even with his enemies.

The Trump victory gives permission for schoolyard bullies to resume their reign of terror, and most Trumpers send their kids to public schools. The Trump victory validates the boss who uses his power to intimidate and sexually harass employees, and most Trumpers are in jobs where they are vulnerable to their superiors’ power. The Trump victory emboldens the local gun nuts to open carry at school picnics; even conservatives like picnics. The Trump victory is likely to bend the tax code even more radically in favor of the super-rich, and history tells us corporations and the rich are not going to share any part of this obscene windfall with Trumpers. The Trump victory legitimizes illiteracy and stupidity; Trumpers should prepare for the American education system to sink to a new low under Donald. The Trump victory comes with a pledge of foreign aggression and military adventurism; it will be the Trumpers who fight and die in these wars. The Trump victory, by his own words, opens up the nuclear option; neither Trumpers nor anyone else will survive a nuclear war.

To Trumpers who read this blog: I know, I know…you’re thinking, “He’s just another liberal elite scolding us.” That’s right, I am. You should have listened to me, to all of the liberals, when we tried to warn you. A couple years from now, you’ll realize you were wrong, and have deep regrets for the mess you’ve made. But you’ll never admit it, because, like your leader, you don’t have the decency or humility to ever admit you were wrong. Like the bratty kids you are, you never learn. Your childish behavior follows you into adulthood, and four years from now we, the adults, will have to bail you out again.

But for now, don’t come running to me. He’s not my president; he’s yours. And you’ll have to pay the consequences for what you’ve done.

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Why Capitalism is a Form of Fascism

“The liberty of democracy is not safe
if the people tolerate the growth of
private power to a point where it
becomes stronger than their democratic
state itself. That, in its essence, is
fascism–ownership of government by an
individual, by a group.”
–Franklin Roosevelt

FDR spoke those words during the 1940s when the world’s safety and peace were threatened by fascism. World War II was the crucible by which the world’s fate would be decided. Thank God, democracy won out. But FDR knew the cataclysmic danger Nazism presented. All Americans acutely felt the threat that fascism posed, and we knew that, for true democracy to survive, we had to fight the threat, not only abroad but here at home. So far removed from those dangerous yet unifying times, Americans today have a hard time comprehending that the threat is still with us. Only now it comes from within. There is a small group of wealthy men, mostly white, middle-aged and Republican, who are trying to own the government. To bend democracy to their benefit and theirs alone. They despise the poor, minorities, women, homosexuals…in fact, anyone who is not white, middle-aged, male and unimaginably wealthy is abhorrent to them. They are sometimes invisible or unrecognizable, because they don’t come at us with the SS, a blitzkrieg, or the Luftwaffe, like Hitler did, but their intent is just the same–control of the government. Maybe it is capitalism itself which is the enemy, for the capitalist system closely mimics the fascist model FDR decried. A powerful few at the top own the government.

“Nonsense,” say my conservative acquaintances. “We all have a say in democracy.”

“Some have more say than others,” I reply. “Just ask the Supreme Court. The ultra-rich can buy as much of the government as they like now. They can spend the kind of money on candidates and elections that the little guy cannot. They have inordinate influence over the processes of government.”

“Then get rich yourself and buy your own congressmen,” the conservative says. “It’s America; anyone can get wealthy.”

“That is not possible under our system,” I say. “That’s like saying we can all win the lottery. That can’t happen. Only one person wins the lottery. The capitalist system works only if there are a privileged few at the top and many at the bottom. For every billionaire, there are hundreds of millions of poor people. For every one person at the top, there are hundreds of millions at the bottom. Capitalism does not allow for every man to be a king. Only a few. And the rest of us are at the mercy of the few. That’s how capitalism works.”

“Then get rich yourself and rule the country,” says the right-winger.

“Democracy should not be about the richest ruling. It should be about every person having a say,” I respond.

“That’s democracy; that’s not capitalism,” says the conservative. And therein is the conundrum. Capitalism and democracy are mortal enemies. One thrives at the suppression of the other.

What would FDR think of America today? He would be outraged by the ultra-rich using their immeasurable wealth to buy Congress, mostly by pouring money into Tea Party coffers, but also by buying the truth. Fox News is their propaganda arm, spewing lies and misinformation daily. On the radio, like Goebbels once did, Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck, and other propagandists sway the uninformed and stir the worst fears of the common man. It’s an old formula.

We can still vote, but even that privilege is being manipulated by Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression. Like the Nazis, these people are ruthless and will not stop until they own everything. If their America comes to pass, we will see widespread poverty, the proliferation of sickness and disease, the end of public assistance, Social Security, public education, health care for the old and needy, and an intolerant, gun-riddled age of violence.

It is not an international war; it is a domestic war. A war where one side has all the wealth and most of the politicians, judges and weapons. Still, we must be fight on as FDR and brave Americans did when we defeated another form of fascism decades ago. If for no other reason than to honor the memory of one of our wisest presidents.

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