Monthly Archives: May 2016

Back After a Hiatus: Politics as Usual

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted to the blog. Life’s like that, I guess. Lots of other responsibilities and even some fun stuff have kept me from blogging. First, in early April, I spent time selling one of my books, Zendoscopy, at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. While sales were less than spectacular, the time I spent with other writers while meeting and greeting the public in the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society booth was interesting and fun, and when it was over, I returned home recharged to work on the not-quite-a-sequel to Zendoscopy. Yes, it’s got a title, finally, after two years of ruminating over possible monikers, and it’s getting close to completion. I won’t be announcing the title until the book is completed and formally copyrighted, however. A bit later this year, all being well, I’ll post a chapter or two to whet appetites. All I can say now is that it’s going to be even funnier than the funniest parts of Zendoscopy, and not quite as angst-ridden.

Those who’ve read Spacebraid and Other Tales of a Dystopian Universe and/or Zendoscopy have likely surmised that I’m an amateur (“ham”) radio operator. In fact, I have been a ham since I was a kid. In April I was away at a major West Coast amateur radio convention for which I was the program chairman (third time in the job), and I just returned from attending the largest such convention held every year in Dayton, Ohio, where as President of an international organization of amateur radio operators in the health professions I chaired its annual meeting.

So, I’ve been busy.

Not so busy, however, that I haven’t been following what journalist Matt Taibbi has aptly called the Republican Clown Car. Of course, with only Trump (Drumpf?) left standing, it’s less a clown car now than a reincarnation of the Third Reich. Think that’s an exaggeration? Think again.

Let’s forget about Barry Goldwater for this discussion and skip directly to the Reagan era, when we truly began to see the rise of the religious right and an increase in bold faced Republican right wing lying to the public in ways that left a significant segment of the American population unaware that voting “conservative” was tantamount to voting against their better interests. Then came the so-called neocons, with Dick Cheney and a moronic President named George W., who led us into a misguided war based upon inadequate data and outright fibbing. There was an increased sense of militancy in foreign policy with more than a dollop of nation building idealism thrown in but based upon a wholly inadequate understanding of Middle Eastern culture, politics, and history. Meanwhile, at home, those most opposed to “big government” had no hesitations about trying to further disadvantage the poor, trample on equal rights for women and reproductive choice, restrict health care, undercut voting rights, and gang rape the environment.

Endlessly repeated lies and misinformation from the right, coupled with the Republican and Wall Street induced economic collapse of 2008, created an angry public that swallowed Republican scapegoating of President Obama and the Democrats, Muslims, Mexicans, and immigrants in general, and in the end created so much alienation that it inevitably led to the appearance of the Republican Clown Car: all those idiots competing for the Republican Presidential nomination. Let’s see, now. Just a few of them…Ben Carson, a religious fool who thinks the pyramids are hollow and were built for grain storage. Carly Fiorina, who touts her business experience but drove Hewlett-Packard into the ground and was fired as its CEO. The pathetic Jeb Bush, wholly inept as a debater and too weak to stand up to any of his opponents . Ted Cruz, one of the meanest, most reactionary, lizard-like human beings on the planet. I could go on with Christy, Paul, Kasich, Rubio…but you get the idea. And finally, of course, the alien monster that burst from the collective chest of the Republican disaffected, an arrival virtually guaranteed by years of Republican rhetoric and behavior: the Trumpmeister, himself. Misogynistic, bullying, bloviating, ignorant of world history, politics and culture, bigoted, scapegoating, vulgar, egotistical — a man with no real political allegiances who simply gave voice to all that festering anger and frustration, bias, bigotry, and xenophobia: the slimy innards and cold heart of today’s Republican Party. The right wing is like the rioters of Watts, Ferguson, and too many other places. It doesn’t care if it destroys the country – it’s simply mad beyond reason, charged with irrational anger, and Trump is the vehicle of this inchoate rage. Damn the torpedoes – blow up democratic government by consensus and compromise and simply rule by fiat. In other words, If Trump wins in November, we will have elected a fascist.

In several of my prior blog entries, I’ve said similar things, but the situation now is getting serious, folks. A recent Wall Street Journal poll (and, OK, the WSJ is pretty conservative) found that Clinton still beats Trump in the general election, but only by a margin of three percentage points: 46 to 43. Now, that’s scary. Do we want a bloviating, bigoted ignoramus as President? Could he really win in November. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. After all, consider the re-election of George W., and try not to cry when you do. Anything’s possible.

The only hope is for youth and minorities to show up in droves at the polls. Let’s hope they’ve gotten the message because if they haven’t, and if we end up with a President Trump, we may find the Canadians wanting to build a wall to keep us out.

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