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VOX

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 22,442

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It's beyond divided. Republicans have abandoned facts, the rule of law, and reality itself.

Yes, we are indeed divided, because Republicans have departed from their longtime posturing about “big central government,” “adhering to Constitution,” “law and order,” “fiscal responsibility,” “values,” etc. More broadly, they have created (and continue to generate) a “new reality” that isn’t based upon measurable facts whatsoever; rather, it’s whatever those currently in power wish it to be. And that’s frankly insane.

Until Trump, Americans had never witnessed such a dangerous amassing of executive power. The ideals of a constitutional democratic republic have been utterly discarded.

The country is in uncharted territory now. A minority of zealots has learned how to control and concentrate power over the majority. The United States has its first truly fascist dictator.

Here's the thing: the Republican Party, like Trump, is a criminal enterprise without a conscience.

I really wish it could be true, that Republicans would FINALLY see the light and act for the good of the country— not merely themselves— and turn Trump over to face serious judgement for his shocking and continuing malfeasance.

But the GOP has changed since the days of Richard Nixon. They are no longer conservatives, they are radical (white) nationalists. They’ve found, through the example set by their “chosen one,” that living above the law has its advantages. They now fervently endorse autocratic rule, and enjoy marginalizing and excluding “the other,” a broad category that includes Democrats and progressives. In short, they are ALL Donald Trump, and they like it that way.

The tide of opinion may be turning, but the only sure way to be rid of Trump is for most of the 12 swing states to vote Democratic. Much of the electoral map is fixed, in terms of “blue” and “red,” so once again, the swing states will be the coveted prizes.

Assuming that there’s a free-and-fair election in 2020 (Republicans have even cast a shadow over that once-sacrosanct process), Trump will rise or fall depending on the votes in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Those 12 states are where fascism and democracy will finally tangle. There must be a veritable flood of Democratic voters in each of those states, so that their numbers will wash over any Russian meddling and voter suppression.

It will be ugly, but victory is still possible.

The 2020 election will be decided in the "swing states."

Democrats can get out the popular vote all over hell’s creation— but saddled with the Electoral College as we are, it will be the votes in the dozen perennial “swing states” where the election will be won/lost: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin (and possibly Arizona this time).

In particular, the so-called “Rust Belt” (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc.) has the highest concentration of older white male voters. This is the region where Trump squeaked by in the 2016 election. Winning most of these states is the *only* path to victory, as the remainder of the electoral map is pretty much cast in blue-and-red stone now.

As for Russian interference on behalf of Trump, count on it.

So, yeah, GOTV in massive numbers, ESPECIALLY in the swing states. Otherwise...

Agreed, and well said.

Unlike most issues, 45 and his necessary impeachment have no shadings, no degrees of this-or-that. Another four years of Trumpism would plunge much of the world into in a new Dark Ages, where rage, fear, threats, disinformation and hopelessness would be the daily fare.

45 and his circle have kidnapped American democracy, and in its place established a pseudo-monarchy that demands all subjects to bend the knee.

And that is utterly antithetical to what this country should be. Trumpism is corrosive and highly destructive, internally and abroad. To date, it has only sown pain, chaos and division.

No one, especially His Majesty Trump, is above or beyond the law. To believe otherwise is to abandon the principles, ideals and inclusiveness that have the power to restore and lift our country out of this orchestrated darkness.

The country hasn't been the same since that shocking loss on 11/22/63.

A horrible, horrible day for America, and much of the world as well. Age 14, in 10th grade French class. The teacher read the memo aloud, and wept openly. The first time I experienced acute anxiety. JFK is DEAD? That just can’t be possible! Who would commit such a monstrous act?

The country hasn’t been the same since that fracture on 11/22/63. There is documented evidence that JFK was going to draw down troops and advisors from Vietnam after the 1964 election. To do so prior to the election was deemed a political risk: being judged as “soft on communism” by Republicans, which was a big deal back then.

With JFK only nine months deceased, LBJ and the Vietnam hawks had their faked incident, and Congress gave LBJ the power to wage war as he saw fit. Vietnam, the draft, MLK, Jr. and RFK assassinated, napalm, Nixon, war in Cambodia and Laos, mounting casualties, Watergate, dirty tricks, on and on it goes, with each successive Republican administration bringing greater dishonesty and an increasing willingness to engage in the dirtiest of politics.

I still love JFK, who will always be a personal hero, flaws and all. His murder is one of the darkest events in American history. Sadder still, Americans lost more than a president that day in 1963.

If my thoughts seem unrealistic or hyperbolic, there's much to date that I DIDN'T "envision."

I knew full well that a Trump presidency would be terribly toxic and costly in terms of racism and xenophobia, judicial appointments, etc., but there is much I didn’t foresee:

-I didn’t envision 45 actually winning the presidency, but it happened (with some outside help).
-I didn’t envision the extent to which the Republican Party would eventually throw its full weight behind a dangerous, utterly corrupt con-man of questionable sanity.
-I didn’t envision the extent of Russian meddling, but it happened, and it continues.
-I didn’t envision the ho-hum, in-your-face visibility of lawbreaking in plain sight, but it’s happening.

Americans have been ideologically “weaponized” against one another, and thrown into a partisan divide like no other time, except perhaps the Civil War.

There are now chiseled-in-stone, hardline stances on issues from whch neither side will ever budge: climate change and the importance of science, immigration, gun safety legislation, women’s reproductive rights, quality healthcare, on and on.

How much longer will a majority of Americans be content to live under minority Republican rule, due to right-wing exploitation of the Electoral College and Senate apportionment (not to mention gerrymandering and voter suppression)? A citizen of Wyoming, the smallest state by population, has approximately 67 times the voting-power of a citizen in California, the largest state by population. And this particular disparity among the states is only increasing.
Example: population/representation/voting power in seven combined Republican states:
Alaska 737 thousand
Idaho 1.7 million
Montana 1.1 million
North Dakota 760 thousand
South Dakota, 882 thousand
Utah 3.2 million
Wyoming 578 thousand
TOTAL combined population: 9 million
TOTAL number of combined senators: 14
vs.
California, Democratic state, population: 40 million
TOTAL number of senators: 2

Where do things go from here? How much can one group take from the other? All of which is to say, I have no actual idea how an actual schism would unfold. But the situation (even if Trump’s gone) cannot continue in this matter. Our democracy can only withstand so much chaos.

Most everyone thought the idea of Trump actually becoming president was a huge joke.

Really— DONALD TRUMP as president of the United States? That’s a completely insane idea. Never gonna happen. Even Republicans wouldn’t stand for it.
-He’ll get his ass kicked in the primaries.
-The “Access Hollywood” video will destroy him.
-His insulting a Gold Star family and Senator McCain will cause an erosion of support.
-He’ll be buried by a Democratic landslide in 2016.
-He’ll be thrown out of office by 2017.
-The Stormy Daniels scandal will ruin him.
-Wait until the Russia collusion ALL comes out!
-Wait until the money-laundering documentation comes out!
-Robert Muller will torpedo him.

Clearly, American politics— and specifically the Republican Party— aren’t what they once were. Nothing should be considered off the table. They’d be ecstatic if any Trump— Donald, Junior, or, crazy as it sounds right now, Ivanka— could be a figurehead for American far-right nationalism.

From The Daily Beast, 11/24/18, on this unlikely but possible scenario—
What If Trump Actually Tries to Serve Three Terms?
by Matt Lewis
<snip>
The rise of Donald Trump—a president whose authoritarian tendencies are on full display—makes what might otherwise seem like a paranoid concern a little more plausible.
<snip>
[Regarding Trump’s repeated joking about a third term] This was shtick, but humor can be a safe way to launch a trial balloon—or to inject an idea into the public sphere. The fact that Trump’s audience laughed and applauded his comments is less than desirable.

One potential worry could be that a president could use some sort of national emergency—say a widespread terrorist attack—as a pretext for postponing elections. I’m not suggesting some sort of false-flag operation, but instead that a legitimate national emergency provides an opening. (This wouldn’t be entirely unprecedented. After the 9/11 attacks, then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani tried to extend his term for three months.)
<snip>
But it’s wiser to overreact than to underreact. Liberal democracy is precious. Even if the odds are slim that the president would try to take a page from Putin and Xi—men, it seems, Trump admires—the stakes demand that we remain vigilant.
<snip>

The salient question is: "How can sane Americans get rid of this insane administration?"

That’s number one, getting 45 OUT. Another four years of his incompetence, intolerance and lawlessness will utterly stamp out our democracy.

Running a hard-left Democratic candidate— as much as that would be welcomed— could be difficult in a time when not just the U.S., but numerous democracies worldwide have embraced right-wing nationalism.

As good as many of the current crop of Democratic candidates are, no one has yet emerged as “the one” to tackle Trump, especially with the goddamned Electoral College choking down general elections where the decision ultimately rests with a mere handful of “swing states.”

It really boils down to this: a Democratic candidate who can connect and do well in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin; or 4 more years of fatal Trumpism.

The insane cabinet picks are the deliberate work of Steve Bannon.

It was Bannon’s nihilistic “joke” to fill posts with the least qualified people, or “funnier” yet, with people who had a hostile track record regarding the very posts to which they were appointed. Bannon wants to destroy democracies, which allows rule-by-chaos, and eventual far-right fascist rule. (The U.S. is currently teetering somewhere between chaos and fascism.)

When (if?) this all plays out, I believe that Steve Bannon will be known as one of the world’s worst enemies of democracy. He’s been in contact with every country that currently has a reactionary right-wing nationalist government or presence: Russia (obviously), Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and more recently, Brazil.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/fortune.com/2017/02/25/bannon-trump-cabinet-cpac/amp/
Steve Bannon Says Trump’s Cabinet Picks Are Intended to ‘Deconstruct’ Regulation and Agencies
David Z. Morris
Fortune Magazine
February 25, 2017

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said that President Trump’s cabinet picks are aimed at “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning weakening regulatory agencies and other bureaucratic entities.

“The way the progressive left runs, is if they can’t get it passed, they’re just going to put in some sort of regulation in an agency,” Bannon continued. “That’s all going to be deconstructed and I think that’s why this regulatory thing is so important.”

President Trump’s critics have noted that at least some of his Cabinet picks seem uniquely unsuited to their roles. Scott Pruitt, recently confirmed as head of the EPA, had previously challenged its regulations in more than a dozen suits. Trump’s initial pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, operated a company that depended on low wages and faced allegations of labor abuse. Puzder’s nomination was scuttledby the discovery that he had employed at least one undocumented immigrant.

Trump’s FCC chairman and energy secretary have also been critics of the very agencies they’re now tasked with managing. Rick Perry, Trump’s pick for energy secretary, famously called to eliminate the department while running for President in 2011.

Putting anti-regulation chairs at the top of regulatory bodies is nothing new for conservative administrations—George W. Bush’s EPA administrator Stephen Johnson, for instance, pushed back against staff recommendations and slackened enforcement. As the saying goes, elections have consequences, and lightening the regulatory load on businesses is a pillar of modern Republican doctrine.

What’s remarkable here, though, is Bannon’s framing of these moves as more anti-state than pro-business. The CPAC comments about ‘deconstruction’ are a toned-down version of startling statements made last August to the Daily Beast. Bannon impishly declared himself a “Leninist,” saying that the Soviet leader “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

It’s not a stretch to see Bannon’s comments reflected not only in Trump’s cabinet picks, but in his slow progress in filling hundreds of lower-level cabinet positions. Until they’re filled, those positions are staffed by temporary administrators with reduced power, leaving enforcement and other matters in limbo.


Unpredictability has been baked into Trump’s campaign since the beginning. Almost a year ago Trump spoke with the Washington Post on foreign policy, stating “I always say we have to be unpredictable….predictable is bad.” While some now see destructive chaos in the White House, Trump recently boasted that “the White House is running so smoothly” at his rally in Melbourne, Florida. Bannon’s comments suggest that chaos may, in fact, be part of the Trump administration’s agenda.

Bannon's goal: destroy liberal democracies from within, opening the way for white-nationalist rule.

He foresees a white nationalist “empire” running from North America across Europe into Russia. His “reasoning” is to create new, strange-bedfellow alliances between old enemies, in order to combat the migration of brown people who are fleeing their countries due to political upheaval, and the effects of climate change, where water and crops are increasingly difficult to manage.

Bannon’s favorite book reveals his true nature: a lurid, extremely racist 1973 French novel, “Camp of the Saints,” by Jean Raspail, which presents the following scenario, per Sarah Jones in New Republic, 02/02/18:
https://newrepublic.com/article/146925/notorious-book-ties-right-far-right
Raspail’s enemy is the entire non-white world. It tramples monks and white saviors alike in its invasion of France. His refugees are nameless caricatures, with no inner lives. He ascribes to them an almost supernatural combination of obstinance and depravity. The smell of death is the first sign their rickety ships are about to land, because they dump their corpses in the sea. They are savages, led by a literal shit-eater, and they foist their poison dead upon the shores of Europe before their feet touch earth.

And here is a telling portion of a reader review on Amazon, where the book has 308 reviews and a disturbing 4.5-star rating:
The truth people do not face
This ill-reputed narrative of the invasion of France by filthy outcaste masses from India has been reprinted several times since its publication in 1973 and seems to be going stronger than ever. Recently Steve Bannon called the recent migrations from Middle Eastern countries a ‘Camp of Saints’ type of thing”. Commonly ragarded as a racist tract, this book is actually rich in ideas and says more about the West than the East.“I had no idea this Steve, eh, Bannon existed at all,” the author said recently in an interview with Tablet magazine. “... a French journalist had me listen to what Bannon said about me the other day. I must say I was stunned. ... I don’t know this character and he has understood “The Camp of the Saints.” He has said that reading it made him see what should be done. Isn’t it extraordinary?”

More here:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/observer.com/2018/05/the-insanity-of-alt-right-bannon-approved-the-camp-of-the-saints/amp/
Alt-Right Bible ‘Camp of The Saints’ Proves Everyone’s Still Insane
The Observer
By Michael Malice 05/02/18
<snip>
Yet for members of the alt-right, these aren’t headlines so much as a prophecy made 45 years ago. In 1973, French author Jean Raspail published “Le Camp des Saints,” translated into English as “The Camp of the Saints.” Steve Bannon has repeatedly made reference to the text, using it as a shorthand for the worst-case-scenarios of immigration. Richard Spencer’s Radix declared it “highly original” and decreed that Raspail’s “narrative, howsoever exaggerated for effect, was a distillation and condensation of observable reality.”

The plot of the book is the same as today’s stories: Does the West have the will to repel Third-World migration? Though the novel—more a fable than anything else—is largely unknown to the general population, for the “demographics is destiny” crowd it approximates the same place that Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” does for libertarians.
<snip>
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