I’ve been neglecting this project lately (and to be completely candid, I’m feeling really worn out and raw from all of the ugliness swirling around in the country with the advent of President Trump and don’t have much energy for the fight, which I know must go on). But I must admit I am repeatedly inspired by those who refuse to yield to hatred and ignorance and keep striving on behalf of human rights, equality, peace, justice, and democracy all around the world. And that’s something we can all be part of. I found a reminder of how important each of us is in making the world a better place in a Guardian newspaper article on anti-nuclear activism. Hence, Bumper Sticker #18:
“Small, incremental actions matter.”
I plan to take my own advice.
If you are familiar with the story linked to below, please explain to me how it makes any sense at all to torment this woman in this way. If you don’t know about the woman at Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing, follow the link to the updated story below. And then tell me what kind of boneheads are running the U.S. Justice Department. This is beyond ridiculous.
Here’s the link:
If you’ve been following Trump lately, you already know he’s trying to pardon the bigot sheriff of the Southwest for all of the unconstitutional offenses he and his troops have committed over the past 20-some years. Here in Trumpland, most of the President’s behavior draws rave reviews, necessitating repeated missives from rational people to our local newspaper, trying to dislodge some of the craziness that has infected minds here since Ben Franklin invented spectacles. Herewith, my most recent appeal for sanity:
Many thanks to LNP for surveying local Republican officials after their national leader—President Donald Trump—endorsed white supremacists, Nazis, and racists in the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA. I was startled to read that some local officials didn’t know enough to take a stand. But I was shocked to learn that Lancaster County’s Republican Committee chairman agreed with Trump’s equating of white supremacists-Nazis-racists with those who condemn such attitudes. I live near the Republican Committee headquarters, in a diverse neighborhood. I wonder what Mr. Dumeyer thinks when he encounters a person of color on his way to and from his car. Social science research shows a correlation between identifying as a Republican and holding racist views. Your survey suggests the same relationship holds in this community, too. And I fear LNP‘s work in unmasking such un-American attitudes is not finished. Since Charlottesville, President Trump has pardoned the infamous sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, who was found in contempt of court for defying an order to stop unconstitutional policing practices in his community. Arpaio and his officers were found guilty of engaging in racial profiling, illegal detainment of individuals, and verbal and physical violence for many years, most of it targeted at Latino people. That’s the behavior the President pardoned, calling Arpaio a “great American patriot.” Arpaio is only a “patriot” if you equate patriotism with white supremacy, as he and the President obviously do. Arpaio wasn’t just slightly racist. The U.S. Justice Department held him in contempt for engaging in “extreme ethnic profiling, terror raids, and cruel and unusual punishment, including parading women and juvenile offenders before TV cameras in chain gangs.” (Washington Post, 8/28/17) Do local GOP leaders think such behavior deserves a pardon? If they do, they need to reread the Constitution.
For whatever good it might do, eh?
I recently came across this prediction from H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), journalist, satirist, critic, and Democrat. He wrote the following editorial for The Baltimore Evening Sun on July 26, 1920. Talk about prophesy fulfilled in 2017:
“As a democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and perfectly narcissistic moron.”
Can you believe it? Now that ain’t fake news :–)
(Thought I’d send this one to the local paper before they decide not to accept them anymore. :–)
While researching a book about my mother’s untimely death of cancer, after exposure to nuclear radiation while working for the Manhattan Project in Washington, D.C. during World War II (Rain of Ruin, 2011), I learned a great deal about the horrendous suffering and death caused by America’s early atomic bombs. I was reminded that today’s nuclear weapons—many times more powerful—if let loose, would make the devastation from those first two blasts pale by comparison. Knowing that, and still mourning my mother’s death (essentially at the hands of her own nation), I am outraged to hear North Korea and the United States jousting over political differences with nuclear-tipped lances. Neither nation and neither leader has the right to sacrifice millions of lives so casually. I don’t care if North Korea’s leader was burnishing his image and President Trump was just feeling a little bellicose when they exchanged threats. To my way of thinking, neither has the right to dispose of one human life just to support their ill-considered provocations. We don’t have to wonder what would happen if they made good on those threats; we already know what these terrible weapons can do. My family, and thousands of others whose loved ones were exposed to nuclear radiation during tests to make these awful tools of war battle-ready, and, of course, the victims of the bombs dropped in 1945, have already sacrificed too much. I appeal to the leaders of our nation and all nations to walk away from a nuclear high noon that has the potential to harm millions of innocents the world over. I appeal to world leaders to pursue, through the United Nations, regional political affiliations, hell, Jared Kushner’s secret back-channels if necessary, agreements that would put an end to nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war forever.
:(Herewith my latest effort to convince the people of Southcentral Pennsylvania to abandon the great orange buffoon.)
Surely Donald Trump’s inappropriate comments to the Boy Scout Jamboree will be the last straw for millions of Americans who, after voting for him, regret his depraved performance as president. Presidents have long encouraged the scouts to become honest, decent young men. Not Mr. Trump. He took the low road, using his time to praise himself and condemn his political opponents while thousands of boys listened. How much of this ugliness must we take from this deranged and decadent man? Isn’t it past time to ask Mr. Trump the question posed to the mad senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, when he attacked yet another innocent victim, “Have you [Mr. Trump] no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Throughout his adult life, Trump has trampled the principles that define American democracy at its best, values the boys standing before him in West Virginia swore to uphold, things like helpfulness, kindness, bravery, and reverence. Trump has mocked the disabled, insulted veterans, assaulted women, and reportedly once knocked his own college-age son to the ground for wearing the wrong shirt. What should Americans, including the Christians who recently blessed Trump at the White House, say to the Boy Scouts about the vicious ramblings of an immoral, unhinged president? How long will people of goodwill tolerate his narcissistic self-indulgence?
It’s not easy to admit we made a mistake when we committed ourselves to an individual or an ideology that turns out to be devastatingly wrongheaded. Our confession will be accompanied by a lot of cognitive dissonance (psychological discomfort). But, it seems to me, as Mr. Trump’s short-comings and transgressions mount up, the pain he’s inflicting on individuals, the nation, and the world will far exceed the embarrassment we experience by admitting we backed the wrong horse.
So many lies, so many delusions, so much hate, so much ego, so much insanity. And I’m tempted to say the same for those who continue to stand with Donald Trump and his accidental presidency. In the name of all that’s truthful, and honest, and decent, and moral and humane, can’t we find a way to remove this lunatic from office? What lesson do we teach our children when we allow something like this go on? Dump Trump!