What a long, strange year this has been…even Jim thinks so. Yes, that’s him up there, and I know many of you think I write these stories, but actually Jim does. I just write what he tells me, so don’t blame me if they don’t make sense. I’m assuming they do…to him, anyway.
Like last weekend. He was browsing through the news and got all excited when he found an article about an Israeli general who admitted that aliens are very real indeed, only they have decided – since we appear to be so royally screwed-up emotionally – to not initiate contact with us. Sounds far-fetched, right? Well, read the MsNBC article for yourself.
Here in the States we’re still dealing with the aftermath of one of the most contentious elections in our history. I was reading a post over at the Daily Beast whereby journalists and politicians in Moscow are begging Prince Vlad (aka some guy named Putin) to grant Mr Trump political asylum. Oddly enough, these petitioners refer to the current resident of the White House as Comrade Donald. Can you imagine such a thing…? I mean…the nerve of some people’s children.
Populism seems to be all the rage these days. A hundred years ago Populism meant something quite different than it does today, but that’s a topic for another day. The brand preached by Trump, aka Trumpism, seems to be a frothy brew of economic nationalism married to white nationalism, which seems to be a combination of overt racism and a more insidious, covert style of authoritarianism. Those of you reading my posts four – five years ago will recall I was concerned about the direction the Republican Party was headed and even made the suggestion then that the current iteration of the Party was more like a criminal organization than a political party. I think I mentioned invoking the RICO statutes at the time, so was completely interested to hear that a number of ex-Justice Department lawyers now feel exactly the same way…that it’s time to invoke the RICO statutes to deal with what’s been going on.
On another front, perhaps a more deadly topic, I read a few months back that police forces here in the States have been infiltrated by white nationalist/neo-Nazi organizations (you can find the post here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/27/white-supremacists-militias-infiltrate-us-police-report?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other ), and note this link came from an iOS app so you may need to search via Google to locate this one. Anyway, Trump seems to have engineered the response to violence in Portland, Maine for the purposes of tarring Democrats with a soft on crime paintbrush, and it worked.
Since the French Revolution (the one in the 1790s) liberal political parties have tended to shoot themselves in the foot (well, in the ass, really) in much the same way the current Democratic Party is. They splinter into distinct sub-groups, like the save the whales group over here, the tree huggers over there, etc. etc. ad nauseam, and each sub-group goes about demanding to be heard while the group as a whole falls down around their ears. Conservative Republicans are not afflicted with this malady; they unify and stick together until the opposition is pummeled into the ground, then they get to work.
I’m most fearful that the malady is about to bloom again and take down the Democrats one more time. And one more time is all it’s going to take. The Republicans are more unified than ever and stand ready to bury the United States of America in an avalanche of malice and greed (Greed, as in the predatory capitalism that became fashionable under Reagan, as opposed to stewardship capitalism of the FDR through Carter period) as soon as they take complete power again. The current Party seems to not understand the basic tenets of democracy, and have instead come to believe that only white votes count. Why do so many people fall for this one time and time again? It’s simply a foolproof ploy to get the less educated among us angry enough to back an authoritarian takeover, and it works like a charm every time. Just ask Hitler.
For a new take on the Republican v Democrat thing, take a look at this. It’s a succinct analysis of the current moment.
My solution? Or…my advice to those of you in your 30s or 40s? Buy a boat. Get out and see the world. It really is a fascinating place. Strange, yes, but that’s a good thing, because if you find yourself getting too comfortable…you really are doing something wrong.
Anyway…Jim’s calling so it’s time to get back to it. Have fun out there, and Happy Holidays.