A QUIZ FOR THE HISTORICALLY MINDED
Check the box (or boxes) that best fit these words: “Nasty, Brutish and Short.”
1. Donald Trump’s attitude and attention span
2. Lindsay Graham
3. Our children’s lives if, on January 21, 2021, Trump is still in the White House and Mitch McConnell is still Senate Majority Leader
4. A prominent Washington D.C. lobbying firm
This famous phrase is from “Leviathan,” written by the seventeenth-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes. It’s how he describes life in a lawless society that pits “every man against every man.” Not only nasty, brutish and short but “solitary and poor.”
How prophetic these words. Donald Trump’s mismanagement of this pandemic, the needless deaths and illnesses, and the collapse of our economy, make it almost certain that nasty, brutish, short, and increasingly solitary and poor will be our fate and that of our children. Unless, that is, we the people can remove Trump from the White House and the Republican Party from its grip on the U.S. Senate.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
A close friend with whom I’ve been arguing for the past few years writes a few days ago, “It is too late for a plan . . . too much is happening and too fast . . . and there is no Leader on the horizon. NO Robt. Kennedy . . . NO MLK . . . nothing.”
His advice? “Plant a garden and get weapons and know your local sheriff.” Escape to Europe by way of Canada—if you can. And think of your survival and really spend a lot of time talking with [my son] and his family. For them to be prepared to join you . . . It is now out of our hands.”
He has been my close friend for fifty years. He served in the military. He’s not living in America any more. He hates what America has become.
I don’t disagree. A rich society that keeps churning out a tiny number of mega-billionaires while tens of millions are homeless, millions of kids are malnourished and some are literally starving. People with jobs are barely making ends meet, more millions about to fall off the cliff. Wall Street bankers rip us off for billions of dollars and Barack Obama’s attorney general doesn’t put a single one of them in prison—doesn’t even indict them. And then he goes back to his corner office at a Washington law firm, Covington and Burling, famous for defending these same bankers. But Obama, I think, tried his best. He had a lot to navigate so I cut him a lot of slack.
Even Bush, though they were few and far between, had his moments.
I could go on for pages. I’m not blind to my country having been a nasty, brutish society for a lot of people for a very long time.
But these gangsters? Trying to take away our health care? Putting the whole damn swamp right into the Oval Office? Trying to rig the election so we can never get rid of them? Another four years of Trump is the final nail in our coffin.
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
What we’ve done to other countries is unspeakable. Or don’t we think this Yemeni man loves his kids as much as we love ours?
I know we’re all busy with our own problems but we’d better take a minute to find out and reflect on what’s being done in our name. The one thing I believed was true in Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony at his Senate confirmation hearing was when he said, “What goes around comes around.” We’ll talk about what’s happening inside or own country in another post. But let’s stop for a minute and consider that phrase—or maybe you’re a child of the sixties and you call it Karma.
WHAT THE HELL IS BEING DONE IN OUR NAME? WHY ARE WE SENDING OUR NAVY TO HELP THE HOME BASE OF THE 9-11 TERRORISTS BOMB ANOTHER COUNTRY INTO RUBBLE?
The Trump administration is backing Saudi Arabia (and the United Arab Emirates) with military and intelligence capabilities as they target civilians and destroy Yemen, a neighboring country in the midst of a civil war.
United Nations investigators delivered a report in September, 2019, that concluded we’re complicit in war crimes in Yemen. You don’t have to know too much about Saudi Arabia to know that its been ruled by a brutal monarchy since its founding, that almost all the 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, that they actually stone women to death, that they torture and murder dissidents—even exiled Saudi journalists who write for American newspapers. (Remember? It wasn’t that long ago that they tortured, killed and dismembered the “Washington Post” correspondentJamal Khashoggi).
Maybe the most important thing to know is that Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and bag man, have big-time financial interests with the murderous Saudi regime. Or maybe you think Trump and Jared are too clean to be picking up bags of cash from these medieval gangsters? Payments in exchange for helping them kill hundreds of thousands of civilians? Or you think the Saudis just want to contribute to good government in America, maybe to get an invite to Mar-A-Largo?
So consider the bottom line. Awful as four more years of Trumpism will be for our country, it will be absolutely murderous in much of the rest of the world. We can’t let that happen to our children. We can’t let that happen in our names.
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