Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Beware the American Taliban

When Sen. Barack Obama won the 2008 Democratic primary, noted Clinton supporter and CNN analyst Paul Begala says the first thing he did was open his checkbook and “proudly sent him a check for the legal maximum. On the memo line of the check I wrote, 'FOR NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING ONLY’”. Begala’s no holds barred approach makes many if not most Democrats clutch their pearls, but I’m with him. My beloved mother—who was involved in politics at the grass roots level and beyond for decades—has always said politics is a dirty thing, so the best you can do is not defame or lie. But after that—you do what ya gotta do.

Democrats, unfortunately, still haven’t gotten that memo, acting as if it’s possible to shame the shameless into doing the right thing. That being on the side of righteousness is enough to win elections. Or that somehow full-on attacks when politically beneficial is crass or beneath us. (Kudos to the Doug Jones camp for being smart in holding back—and letting the GOPers in Alabama go on a rampage against each other—but that should be an exception, not the rule.)

Guess what? When you’re in politics, you’re by definition already in the gutter. And to reach the moral high ground without climbing over those who impede your way is simply not possible. That moral high ground is obtained, as mom says, by not defaming or lying. But otherwise, whack ‘em over the head with the kitchen sink—or the mop bucket, in the preferred Dominican version.
Bottom line: The people we're up against don't see us as being of a different ideology or philosophy, as we see them. No, we are the enemy. And when you face an enemy you use every resource at your disposal. That's why they have no qualms about supporting bigots, otherwise incompetents, racists or even pedophiles; whatever it takes to reach their nefarious goals.

Whether it’s populating the courts with fundamentalist Christians in the hope that they will repeal women’s rights to their bodies and in the workplace (so they can stay home and become the baby makers the white supremacists want them to be), as well as revoking the separation of church and state as a big step towards turning this country into a theocracy; rolling back social safety nets, environmental protections, student loans and other assistance for higher education aspirants from the working class, and further decimating the rights of the workforce in the name of Big Money; these people are not messing around—they’re playing for keeps. (You think the Koch brothers investing in the purchase of Time magazine is portfolio diversification? Think again.) They've seen it done all over the world—and in many instances by our own government—now it's time for the bigger and better American version.

The very soul of our beloved country lies in the balance, and time is most definitely of the essence: much of the damage done by this administration and its accomplices is likely irreparable. So, what are we gonna do? Continue to act all prim and proper while the other side smears feces in our collective faces and laughs about it? You tell me.

I Want A New Drug

Over the last few decades, western society, if not the world at large, has been moving in a more inclusive, open-minded, tolerant direction....