I picked up the local paper the other day and what to my wandering eyes should appear but an article detailing efforts by the alt-right (yes, those hateful bigots on the far right) to join forces with local Republicans (probably encouraged by the President’s endorsement of white supremacy). The local county GOP chairman recently gave white supremacists reason to hope they had some allies in Southcentral Pennsylvania when he told the newspaper here he agreed with Trump that blame for the violence in Charlottesville, VA should be shared by white supremacists and anti-racism protesters alike. Well, assuming the local chairman had to approve the party’s reaction to the recent alt-right overtures here in the county–the local GOP committee issued a formal statement condemning and disavowing all of the alt-right—I see reason to hope that maybe Americans–left, right, Republican, Democrat, progressive, populist–can get past past differences and unite in opposing our insane President, whose lunacy could get us into another nuclear war. Thus, I was inspired to compose another letter to LNP (is that any name for a pretty good newspaper?). It follows forthwith:
|I was glad to read the Republican Committee of Lancaster County’s statement condemning the alt-right (a term coined by white supremacist Richard Spencer to camouflage the racial hatred and violence he advocates) after an alt-right group approached local Republicans at the Ephrata Fair. By contrast, our President praised some white supremacists after the tragedy in Charlottesville (VA) as “very fine people.” Knowing the RCLC disavowed the alt-right, it occurred to me that having opposed the President on one critical issue, Republicans might be ready to join GOP Senator Bob Corker in opposing him on a matter of life and death. Last August, in joining a rising chorus of voices—from both sides of the aisle—who fear the President is not in his right mind, Corker said Mr. Trump’s behavior “would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.” Last weekend, he condemned what he called Mr. Trump’s reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.” In one thoughtlessly dangerous outburst, the President threatened to totally destroy North Korea if it takes any actions he doesn’t like. In his increasingly delusional state, it seems highly unlikely Mr. Trump has contemplated the 30 or 40 million deaths a nuclear-fueled conflict would produce—instantly—in North Korea, South Korea, Japan, and the US. The possibility that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is also a bit delusional only raises the stakes in this doomsday scenario. Surely, even staunch Trump supporters can see the madness in all of this. In the past, careless, jingoistic rhetoric has pushed nations into wars their people did not want. Can’t we get together this time—Democrat, Republican, citizens—and demand that President Trump and Kim Jong Un resolve this conflict peacefully, before they kill us all?
Let’s get together people…we CAN reclaim the world and the human rights we all deserve.
If by patriotism you have in mind what Bob Costas (A Syracuse grad, by the way :–) defined over the weekend, as our useless president spewed code language to his racist buddies in the South. I give you Mr. Costas:
God bless America and the inhabitants of every country on earth.
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.