An RFK documentary (50years after) reminded me of the America I still believe in and pray to regain from the clutches of our divisive, grievance politics of these days… – We do not own up to our responsibilities; if we want a better nation we must be better (active/informed) citizens. –
I maintain this 3rd (JFK/MLK/RFK), nation-shaking, assassination had a cumulative effect and We the People are divided and conquered ever since we lost these unifying agents of change. – I mistook “the day the music died” to be about RFK & these assassinations leading to the defeat of 1960’s activism. –
For many, RFK represented hope for that era’s great goals/expectations including for a common humanity. – RFK’s death ended a generational confidence, obfuscated the common good/common goals and brought in Nixon with his Mafia-like politics we see resurging in the GOP under Trump. –
We lost our way and any hope for productive unity when Tricky Dick promptly supercharged identity politics and stoked divisions which last even now. – Such was the historical turning point the loss of RFK marked.
– It is ironic MAGA harkens back to an age of honor and prosperity made possible only by an ideology of liberal humanitarianism, empathy and justice for all which all but disappeared in Republicans philosophy.
Elizabeth Warren on the reverence felt for RFK
“History may not repeat (exactly), but it often rhymes.”
RFK said: “There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. – They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.” – Our nation’s role in the world is being obstructed, corrupted and diminished by people with identical fears and propaganda similar to the 1960’s version of our alt-right.
JFK: “There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives
finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility”
Progress inherits opposition, often violence: – JFK, MLK and RFK paid the ultimate price for being agents of change. – RFK also said: “Progress sounds nice, but change is its motivator… and change has its enemies.”
We are so blinded and so numbed by partisan political vitriol; some even dismiss what may be the most profound betrayal in American history. — And the fact you think I am being hyperbolic makes my point. – It is a serious possibility our POTUS and/or his campaign assisted a foreign adversary with a cyber attack on the USA. – That is the very definition of treason!
– Only the most craven dare dispute we were actually attacked. – Only the ignorant do not take seriously this affront is to the very essence of our society. – Only the most unpatriotic partisan GOPer believes the attack on one (Party) is not an attack on all (America). – But we are so set in our tribal corners we won’t be thinking straight when the facts come out.
– One side is waging war on factual truth itself and the other (my side) is so confounded dealing with that mixture of distorted truth and deception we get frustrated in our competing information discrimination bubble trapped into constant reality/fact checking.
Both sides are convinced the other is deceived by partisan news sites and outright lies (I know I am) …I don’t even waste breath debating conspiracy theories and the “I’m rubber you’re glue” accusations thrown out in lieu of reason. –
However, right-wingers downplay being forever linked to this latest tyrannical incarnation of Authoritarian Plutocracy. – Grassroots Republicans have been playing at politics as if it were a game for so long they do not take it seriously. – Believing their own lies and conspiracy theories; GOP justify their own excesses as mere retaliation rather than the corrupt abuse of power they used to rail against.
– History holds traitors among the most despised and those aiding and abetting are not exempt. – “Trump” flows off the tongue and lends itself to idioms and slang so much better than “Benedict Arnold” and “McCarthyism” ever did. – It is easy to envision his place in infamy recorded forever in our Urban Dictionary. – I suspect he does not care or might actually like being a historical villain, but I pity his followers denigrated forever also.
With great gaps in agreed upon reality and no regard for a common good or rule of law; we are well on our way to ignoring/shirking our duty as American citizens. – After all, power is supposed to reside in the hands of the People (voter). – We were warned from the beginning that we are given/gifted a republic requiring constant defense so it is upon us to keep it (BF?). –
With no vision or any true concern for the future of their nations, demagogues divide/degrade opposition and feed off abstract fears. – Both Trump and Putin are only concerned with power, not progress. – In this state of moral bankruptcy, they evoke visions of an idyllic past that never was, curry mistrust of the present and stoke tribal division thru grievance politics.
– It is not about solving problems as much as blaming others; especially opponents. – It should be noted this never works out in the long run. – “The arc of the moral universe bending toward justice” is ever more true in our American democracy than the rest of the world – Or so we like to think.
Outrageous acts, immoral policies/directives and vitriolic attempts to distract from Trump being elected with help solicited from Russia are failing in certain (a growing majority) circles. – Current authoritarian tactics have weakened. – Many are reserving final judgment until all the evidence comes to light, but resistance is building. – We can walk and chew gum at the same time:
– We resist the selling out/off of America, injustices, fascist bigotry and the desperate obstructionism from Trump and his minions while patiently observing mounting evidence of the first POTUS in history deserving execution (the Constitutional penalty for treason).
Oh, you thought impeachment was the remedy? – You thought that price would suffice? – No, no, not even close to the justice America deserves….Not for Trump or any other traitors rigging the election in service of fascism. – Only a timely deal including Trump among the mass resignations with the deserving incarcerated could appease.
– If he waits too long to resign; then impeachment will only be the first step toward indictment, criminal trial and the full recompense every one of these traitors warrant. – Narcissism, thinking he is able to resist justice, might seal Trump’s fate and set his place in history alongside other authoritarian plutocrats, all doomed to fail in America. – They wind up despised figures.
If voters accept that hate and injustices exist (let alone thrive/promulgate) in the organization, group or party they are affiliated with, vote for or voice support for; they really can’t be offended by or blame anyone for believing they share that hate and approve of those acts of injustice.
Historians have a word for Germans who joined the Nazi Party, not because they hated Jews, but out of hope for restored patriotism. or a sense of economic anxiety, or a hope to preserve their religious values, or (just) dislike for their opponents or raw political opportunism, or convenience or ignorance or greed….
That Word is Nazi! – Nobody cares about their motives anymore.__ – Julius Goat –
Trump dares talk of “treason” – US Sen. eviscerates Trump from Senate floor
America is unique among nations for being founded on a set of ideals instead of ethnicity and/or geography. – We rebelled against Europe’s religious venality, ethno-nationalism and the corruption of autocracy which history proves to evolve into authoritarian corruption and fascist tyranny. – Therefore; chants of “Blood and Soil” an insult to our constitution and an attack on American ideals. – Now we stoop so low as to systematically abduct children for political purposes – Excuses and ‘whataboutisms’ only deepen the treason. – Ethnocentric fanaticism is unpatriotic blasphemy to the American cause. – No Justice=No Peace.
Likewise money, power and privilege left concentrated will also lead to the fall of a free society. – “We can have our wealth controlled by the few or we can have democracy. – We can’t have both”. – The unequal distribution of money and power within society subverts good government and fair management of public resources which, in turn, aggravates the inequality and facilitates the spiral toward tyranny. – Budgets and policy, especially current immigration policies, become moral documentation. – They reveal the priorities of our nation, the integrity of those holding power and, by extension, the moral compass of We the People. –
What you REALLY believe and would have DONE during Slavery, the Holocaust or for Civil Rights is revealed by what and who you support now. – “America 1st”, bigotry and social/economic fear-mongering were common causes to stand on the wrong side of history in all those cases above. – Do you stand for liberty and justice for all? – Do you really believe in equality under the rule of law? – How important is a just and honorable nation? – Is it worth your vote or will fear and selfishness define your life?
The Newsroom – Tea Party is the American Taliban
Attacking democratic foundations like the free press, the right to protest, equal justice and assaults on similar liberties guaranteed under the (Constitutional) rule of law works its evil in plain sight; relying on our basest instincts by masquerading as morality and/or patriotism. – A closer look reveals the morality to be corrupt and the patriotism phony.
This evil is worse for being in the name of God. – Uneducated and unrepentant hate speech and the demonization of those outside their narrow group; placing the blame for all the world’s ailments on everyone else from minority groups (including women, LGBT, Atheists, etc.) to socialists to liberals to anyone who dares disagree, sends shivers down my spine. -The very definition of taking the Lord’s name in vain, is using God (name) to justify hateful (vain) actions.
I know the history of religious law. I also know and fear bible prophesies; the anti-Christ will deceive the entire world into following a false religion. – Nothing is more anti-Christ than hate/prejudice toward an ‘other’. – Nothing is more hateful than taking a child from their mother. – Tribalistic religiosity should be seen as Satan’s tool/weapon and the American justice system, specifically separation of Church and State should be seen as the last bulwark/defense.
Instead, this danger is feeding on our authoritarian desires and fascistic tendencies as single-issue religious groups imposing their moral fanaticism. Acting as lobbyists and political arms, they have morphed into political factions out of control.- – Evangelical Fundamentalists, believing they are specially chosen, feel obliged only toothier narrow and distorted definitions of God and ignore the sovereignty of the individual’s American rights.
It is no surprise they will not put country before Party or affiliation. – They seem to feel obligated to impose a point of view they think is not only correct, but even infallible. – They are not only traitors to America’s freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion, but they also blaspheme the grace of God they assume for themselves, yet dare deny to others.
They forget whence they came and become opposition to the original ideals of America, the common good and to the Christian commission to love thy neighbor which used to define our union. – But those days and that faith seem long gone. – To the believer I say you should do better than treating the bible like an internet site user agreement you scroll to the end without understanding and click ‘agree’ just to be accepted. – The bible itself warns a deceived world will corrupt God’s teachings to empower the Anti-Christ. – I value my unique understanding of Christ as an extension of my free will given by GOD and also my freedom of thought/expression guaranteed by our Constitution.
I suspect people of faith will agree freedom of their religion requires freedom of any and all religions once they reflect on the history of religious persecution. – To any decent patriot; I would argue allowing your neighbor the freedom to be who they are is the American creed. – Our founding fathers declared that we ”are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
When we talk about liberty we are talking about being/expressing who we are without oppression or legal prejudice. – Race, religion, creed and sexual orientation are just the most obvious. – I read into this the sovereignty of the American citizen. – I value my right to private thoughts and personal beliefs, including the liberty not to hide or deny who I am. – I must also respect that freedom for all others.
Pres. Thomas Jefferson said: “It matters not (to him as POTUS) if a man has one God, many gods, or no god at all… it neither picks my pocket nor bruises my heel”, so clearly, only physical or material justice can be legislated, religious beliefs/private morality may not. – Jefferson also said; “the freedom to swing your arm ends at the point of my nose”, thereby further clarifying the boundaries and duties of government in the preservation of human liberty. – We are responsible to assure others their freedoms to the same degree we are blessed and enabled to defend our own.
Based on these principles of justice for all, this land of the free and home of the brave has endured. – Through foreign wars and civil strife, through political scandals and economic disasters, through crime and corporate corruption, through Congressional incompetence and Presidential assassinations, we have come thru. – We have survived the many attacks on our freedom and it falls on us to face new versions of the same old threats as it will befall future Americans if we do our duty to hold it together for them.
Pres. James Madison; “Father of the Constitution” and Federalist Papers contributing author said one of our greatest strengths is our ability to ”break and control the violence of faction” and do so without violating the peoples’ basic freedoms. – To balance that theory, one of my favorite sayings is: – “No Justice = No Peace” is not just a slogan, it is a political fact of life.
The idea is to maintain the consent of the governed to be governed by a perceived sense of justice within the system. – This is impossible if compromise, consensus and/or majority rule is seen as sacrilegious.
There is no position on which people are as immovable as their religious beliefs. – There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than evoking the name of Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah or whatever one calls his Supreme Being.
– The unrepentant misuse of God’s name by religious factions is consistent. – They never use their influence with wisdom. – They are never satisfied unless government leaders are following their positions 100 percent of the time regardless of how others are affected.
Can anyone look at the history of war and dismiss the dangers of rising religious factions (with weakening boundaries and controls) injecting religious issues and ideology into the affairs of state? – Madison also spoke/wrote on the separation of Church and State as one of the great bulwarks in our political system. – With separation; public policy debate can focus on political and economic issues, on which there can be compromise. – Without state sponsored religion; the United States suppresses the intolerance which has always divided the world with religious wars. – Beware its return.
Partisans from all sides in various times have sought to use religiosity for political gains, but I am convinced the root of these religious issues have little or nothing to do with conservative or liberal politics. – The issues are never really debated without it devolving into a childish game of partisanship, loyalty oaths and identity politics. – People would rather have the enduring power that comes with fighting over the issue than the fleeting credit for a solution.
The uncompromising positions of these factions are a divisive element that could tear apart the very spirit of our representative system, if they gain sufficient strength. – By diverting otherwise sincere people from honest self-examination, obstructing scientific inquiry and depressing intellectual debate, doctrinal rigidity derails progress. – Recently, truth itself is under attack, sacrificed for political manipulation, gamesmanship and personal gain.
Human progress is driven by a search for truth. – To the extent that fundamentalism blocks or impedes that search for the truth, it blocks or impedes human progress. – This can divert us away from the vital issues Government needs to address. – The better angels in the hearts of public officials are better served in discussing the burning issues and material problem of their times, not in debating morality.
Members of Congress and officials in the Executive Branch are wasting time dealing with special-interest fundamentalists on issues such as abortion, prayer in the schools and restricting minority/LGBT/women’s rights etc. –
While these may be important moral issues, our Constitution is decidedly against legislating morality. – Patriotic Constitutionalist Americans are not necessarily pro-abortion, pro-gay or reject any religious issue based on personal beliefs. – WE THE PEOPLE are just PRO-IT’S NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS. – National security and economic health comes first and even then the rights of the common man are paramount.
A hallmark of American democracy is our unique justice system in the concept of equal protection under the law. – Unfortunately, we have allowed politicized religion to undermine equal justice and the egalitarian foundations of western democratic institutions. – By promoting its political philosophy as morally superior to others they suggest the overthrow and/or alteration of our democratic Republic, whether they realizes what they do or not. – I suspect they do not.
The goal of American liberty is no one’s rights infringed upon with the sovereign rights of others upheld equally. – This requires us to allow others personal privacy, including of body and mind/belief. – To be clear; I believe it is possible to protect the freedoms of all. I am not the one condemning anyone for what they believe. I probably share many of the values emphasized by these organizations, but it rankles they think my beliefs are any of their business. – I am sick and tired of political preachers across this country telling us, sovereign citizens, we are less American or question our morality unless we believe in ”A,” ”B,” and ”C”.
Just who do they think they are? How dare they claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me or those I care about? – I am even angrier at legislators who will not stand up for American liberty against these religious groups. – How dare they presume to write laws to legislate moral convictions! – This unrelenting obsession with a particular goal destroys the perspective and deceives the mind of many decent people. – They have become easy prey to moral manipulation, judgmental hypocrisy and political miscalculations.
Put another way, in 1933, could you support Nazism, vote for Nazis and not be a Nazi because you just supported “law and order”, a strong military, wanted a Christian nation or just liked guarantees Hitler promised farmers? – Whatever the answer to that question, it’s the same as whether or not you can vote for a nakedly white nationalist political party and not be a white nationalist.
1939 comments sound just like Trumpism-Bannon – Alt-Right – Tea Party
“We’d like to believe that there are sharp lines between good people and bad people,” he wrote. “But I think most humans have dark passions inside us, waiting to be stirred up by a demagogue who is funny and mean, who can convince us that decency is for the weak, that democracy is naïve, and that kindness and respect for others are just ridiculous political correctness.”
– – “We’d like to think that when Nazism rose up, all Americans were instantly appalled.- But while the vast majority of Americans were appalled by the Nazis, there was also a significant group of Americans who were sympathetic to their white supremacist, anti-Semitic message,” he wrote in a Q&A published on the film’s website.
1939 Madison Square Garden = 20,000 American Nazis – Article Link