When did America Become a Land of Cowards?

When did this country become a land of cowards? This is not the America I
knew. Americans do not fear those seeking asylum. We do not demonize those who seek a new life in America.

We used to welcome such people. Now we fear them because we put blinders on in the face of reason.

We used to take on separating out those who deserve asylum from those
seeking to take advantage of our open generosity. Now we label all as criminals, with no basis in fact, and stick them in cages.

ChildWorse yet, we separate them from their children and cage them. If our goal is to create more people who hate America, we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal. If our goal is to destroy the once respected, if imperfect, view most of the world had of America we are succeeding.

We have become a country driven by a fear of everything we do not, or will
not, understand. We have a President who tells sitting members of Congress, who by law must be American citizens, to go back to the country from where they came.

America is that country. It is the country facing severe problems so inelegantly put (to be kind) by the inciter in chief. Problems of intolerance and prejudice exasperated, if not created, by the President himself.

He would do well to remember, this is as much their country as it is yours or mine.

More so, I would argue, since they at least have the courage of their convictions to challenge the status quo or the headlong retreat to a mythical and whitewashed past.

The ignorant arrogance of the President and those who remain silent in the
face of such vitriol from this man is astounding. The lack of universal
condemnation across the country for such remarks is a national embarrassment.

Let us make one thing clear, no rational American wants unregulated entry
into the United States. Despite the President’s pandering to uninformed
jingoistic nationalism, most Americans are wise enough to understand the
difference between illegal entry and those seeking asylum.

To put this in perspective, perhaps some numbers might help.

According to the Pew Research Center, “The United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world the U.S. foreign-born population reached a record 44.4 million in 2017.” The same report found that immigrants and their descendants will drive 88 percent of the United States’ population growth through 2065.

Consider that for a moment.

Out of a population of 300 million, almost 15% are foreign born. Soon, this will be a country with a significant change in the ethnic origins of many of the people living here.

No matter. They will still be Americans.

They are not any different from those who have been here longer. My family has been here for just four generations. Let me disabuse those who see people of different ethnic or racial origin as foreigners that if the measure of a real American is one born here, there are descendants of slaves going back longer than many white Americans. There are generations of people living in Texas descended from the original Mexicans when Texas was part of that country.

Native Americans go back even further. If any people suffered from the
ill-effects of illegal immigration, they would own the discussion.

Immigration—controlled, regulated, and intelligently managed—is good for America. It always has been, always will be. To ignore history, to ignore the realities of the changing demographics of the country, to ignore the basic human decency characterized by the American people is to lose the very thing the makes America great.

Those four Congresswoman demonized by the ravings of a madman may be naïve in the policies they pursue. However, it is that same naivete that sparked a revolution in 1776. A young nation, populated by idealists and dreamers, saw the necessity to throw off the fetters of a repressive government and fight for fundamental human rights against overwhelming odds.

Those efforts gave us the government we have now. Almost to a man, each of those founding fathers was foreign-born. Still, they rose to the occasion to create this great nation.

I wonder what they might think of this President and his silent enablers?

We are better than this. We are smarter than this. We are nobler than this.

It is time we remember that and take a stand against such idiocy percolating in the country.

 

Something Right for all the Wrong Reasons

Let me preface this piece with a couple of caveats.

  1. I think Donald Trump will go down in history as the worst President ever
  2. I find Trump to be boorish, a bully, a liar, and an inarticulate, uninformed charlatan
  3. I hope with all that I know is right with America that the voters say to him in 2020, “Mr. Trump, You’re Fired!”
  4. I have not lost my mind.

With that said, let me get to the point.

In threatening to close the southern border, Mr. Trump is correct. A crisis often calls for drastic action. A crisis not of just illegal border crossings, but severe economic and humanitarian issues in Central America.

We face a humanitarian crisis of significant, if not historic, proportions. The crisis is directed and condoned by the corrupt and greedy governments of Central America, i.e., El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala. Assisted by the government of Mexico by facilitating the passage of these desperate caravans across their territory.

There is no right answer here. It is not the risk of terrorists we need fear. Not the overblown, exaggerated, culture of fear of crimes perpetrated by immigrants propagated by Trump and his zealot supporters. That is as sinister a false flag as anything coming out of this administration, which is saying much.

But by leaving the borders open, we are luring the desperate with false hopes. This administration has little concern for humanitarian issues. This administration ignored its own citizens in Puerto Rico, what hope do immigrants, illegal or otherwise, have here?

In cutting foreign aid to these countries, Mr. Trump is adding fuel to the very fire he wishes to extinguish. Countries give foreign assistance because it is in their best interest to do so. While some see it as sharing our wealth and spreading goodwill if foreign aid worked against our interests we would not offer it.

Close the border, Mr. Trump. See just what the economic implications to the southern states turn out to be.

Stop foreign aid, Mr. Trump, and see what effect it has on the stability and economies of those countries.

Use your self- aggrandized deal-making skills to convince Mexico and others it is in their best interest to protect our best interest.

The nightmare you have created by focusing on a wall that will take years to build, have a questionable effect, and cost billions of dollars is a sideshow to real statesmanship and your obligation to serve America’s best interest.

Close the border, Mr. Trump. Even you cannot make this worse.

Take the money you save by withholding foreign aid and use it to improve the immigration and border control system. Use it to regain the advantage that has always made America Great, the benefit of immigration and immigrants significant contribution to this nation.

Do that, and you can go back to playing golf while the nation burns.

A Tweet a Day, Keeps Rationality Away

In the latest tirade from the Commander-in-Chief, the President whined,

Why was the FBI’s sick loser, Peter Strzok, working on the totally discredited Mueller team of 13 Angry & Conflicted Democrats, when Strzok was giving Crooked Hillary a free pass yet telling his lover, lawyer Lisa Page, that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming President? Witch Hunt!”

Aside from the blatant inaccuracy and disingenuous nature of these words (let alone the second-grade grammar), there is something more troubling on display. In the words of William Shakespeare, a man who knew the power of words, there is this,

“There is no darkness, but ignorance.”

words-have-powerThe mark of a person is not made by their words but by their deeds. Yet, words offer a window on a person’s character. How one expresses yourself—the tone and timbre of the language—is an elementary part of one’s approach to life.

With emotional and intellectual maturity comes the wisdom to understand the necessity of choosing words carefully. A rational and respectful person learns to make a point without resorting to infantile name-calling.

It would seem with the president we see evidence of intellectual dystrophy and emotional immaturity. Not generally a concern for most who have little international influence, frightening in the case of a man with sole determinant authority to launch nuclear weapons.

History is the arbiter of success and failure. When history reviews the Trump Presidency, the self-serving blaming of others for all things he’s failed to accomplish or been taken to task for will rise to the surface as one of his most glaring defects.

To stand idly by, wringing his hands in-between writing sophomoric tweets, as children are torn from their families is the epitome of disingenuous cowardice. If he seeks to be perceived as even the least bit Presidential, issue a Presidential Executive order halting the policy of separating the children and see who challenges the order in court.

I can guarantee it will not be a Democratic challenge.

The one truth is nothing is permanent. This too will pass.

The President, for all his braggadocio, claims of success, and superlative laced tales of his performance, along with his constant complaining about everybody not on Team Trump, would do well to heed the admonition of Ozymandius by Shelley.

Ozymandius

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

 

Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

Rational Immigration Policy

There are two immigration policies undergoing intense scrutiny. The Temporary Protected Status Program (TPS), which is an established policy within the United States immigrCustoms and Immigration Service and DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals.)

Temporary Protected Status Program

The program falls under the aegis of the Secretary of Homeland Security who, when circumstances warrant, grants temporary protections from deportations for individuals from areas undergoing specific problems.

(From the United States Customs and Immigration Service Website)

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
  • An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible):

  • Are not removable from the United States
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
  • May be granted travel authorization

Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.

TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or gives any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:

  • Applying for nonimmigrant status
  • Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
  • Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible

Here’s the list of countries and the date of designation granting temporary protected status.

  • El Salvador    2001
  • Haiti                2010
  • Honduras       1999
  • Nepal               2015
  • Nicaragua       1999
  • Somalia           1991
  • South Sudan   2011
  • Sudan               1997
  • Syria                 2016
  • Yemen              2015

Aside from the extended period such designation has applied to some countries, there is something else that troubles me.

Nothing prevents those allowed into the country from applying for citizenship through normal channels. It would seem that individuals here from El Salvador, for example, since 2001 have had ample opportunity to seek citizenship.

Since the program is “temporary” protection, why is there any surprise or outrage if Homeland Security exercises their lawful discretion in terminating the program?

One can make an argument about conditions in Sudan or Somalia, perhaps, as ongoing. However, the situation in El Salvador that triggered the designation as long since passed.

I am not without sympathy for the plight of many in the world. Moreover, I think the US bears a great deal of responsibility to use our wealth and power to promote human rights in the world, but those who live in these countries bear the obligation to seek to change conditions in their own countries, not merely enjoy the hospitality of the American people.

I think the TPS program is a shining example of the best of America and I think the temporary nature of it need be recognized.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Senate Bill S 1291  was introduced in 2001 and known as the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act). It has been reintroduced on several subsequent occasions but never enacted.

President Barrack Obama signed an Executive Order Jun 15, 2012, creating the DACA program as an interim.

The order was timed to coincide with the anniversary of Plyler v. Doe, a Supreme Court decision barring public schools from charging illegal immigrant children tuition. The policy was officially established by a memorandum from the Secretary of Homeland Security titled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children.” This policy allowed certain immigrants to escape deportation and obtain work permits for a period of two years- renewable upon good behavior. To apply, immigrants had to be younger than 31 on June 15, 2012, must have come to the U.S. when they were younger than 16, and must have lived in the U.S. since 2007. In August 2012, the Pew Research Center estimated that up to 1.7 million people were eligible.

So far, 800,000 individuals have applied for the protections. Applications are no longer accepted.

The DACA Program, a temporary humanitarian effort, is another example of the best of America.  We do not punish someone for the act of another.  Human beings brought here as children should not be callously deported from what may be the only country they have known.

The image of Immigration Agents separating families for deportation for no other reason but undocumented status is horrifying, raising the image of lines of Jewish women and children, separated from their husbands and fathers, in the depravity of Nazi Germany.

However, with that said, if someone brought here as a child, educated by public schools, enjoyed the opportunity (not the guarantee, opportunity) of the Amercian Dream yet has made no effort at obtaining legal status or citizenship, it gives me pause.

America has a big heart. We have demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice our blood to defend others in places far from America; Belleau Woods, Normandy, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Inchon,  Chosen Reservoir, Hue, Afghanistan, and when many of those battles were over, we extended the hand of friendship to our former enemies.

The charity of America is enormous, but not unlimited. We should offer hope and help, not unending handouts.

I think ending DACA is a mistake if we sacrifice innocent people in pursuit of such a policy. Stopping the Temporary Protected Status designation is a grave error if the conditions that triggered it still exists. I believe it is necessary if they no longer exist.

However, I also think asking people to help themselves, to make an effort at repaying our support by either reclaiming their own country or respecting the law and seeking citizenship here is more than reasonable.

 

Easing the Pain by Changing the Words

George Carlin, one of the great philosophers of our time, had an insightful piece on words. He discussed how, during World War I, troops who’d been in intense continuous combat, to the breaking point of their humanity, suffered from shell shock.

The words themselves were terrifying. Shell shock said it all.

Then, World War II showed up and we needed a better phrase. Thus came the term Battle Fatigue. Battle was ominous, Fatigue implied being tired perhaps worn out. Still frightening, but less so.

During the years 1950-1953 in Korea, we tried to redefine the whole thing by calling it a police action. 33,686 dead Americans later, we realized our failure.

Finally, with Vietnam, we arrived at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD. Sounds almost benign.  As Carlin pointed out, maybe if we kept the term shell shock the soldiers who suffered from it would have received the help they needed.

Where once we “killed” our enemies, now we “terminate with extreme prejudice.”

The military is particularly adept at this. I suspect they must have an occupational specialty for language smoothing.

But changing words to make them sound less troubling masks the problem rather than mitigates it. Morphine will take away the pain of a broken arm, but it still won’t work right if left untreated.

Our attempt at using words to cushion these issues opens a whole Pandora’s box of nonsense. The term PTSD is commonplace now. People traumatized by a snarling rabid raccoon, seeing a squirrel turned into road pizza, or not making the honor roll wear the diagnosis like a crown of thorns.

What once was the exclusive purview of those in combat or emergency services has been expanded to encompass a bad day at work. Are there individuals who suffer from trauma experienced outside of combat or violent crime? Of course. But I suspect a significant number just don’t want to face the fact that life’s not fair and bad things happen.

It’s what you do about it that makes you rise above it and survive. Seeking a diagnosis de jour to ameliorate your hurt feelings isn’t helpful.

What got me thinking about this was the term, undocumentedslaves-with-words_a8zqmum immigrants. Undocumented is so much nicer than illegal, even if there is no distinction. Like the advice about how to convince people of a lie. Tell it big enough and often enough it is soon considered fact.

Like claiming any negative news stories are fake.

Undocumented is an error in paperwork, illegality is a crime. Undocumented sounds so much better.

There are serious issues facing this country. Finding ways to make them sound less threatening is foolhardy. Ignoring them may be fatal. Finding rational, thoughtful solutions is the way.

Otherwise, let’s give everybody a trophy, put all the names on the honor roll, and ignore the reality of life.

Apologies to the Future of America

Hello,

This is America from the early 21st century. If you read this, if there are any of you left to read this, you’ll no doubt be confused by the legacy we left for you.

You may have questions as to just WTF happened to cause a normally sober and rational people to elect “the Donald” to the presidency.

An excellent and unanswerable question.

We can hope the 45th President wasn’t the last.

Arising from the fears of an ignorant elective confused by what is required to serve in the position, he was elected by anger fueled with barroom logic screaming “throw the bums out.”

Fear trumped rationality. Anger replaced discourse and dialog. Nationalism couched as patriotism blinded the reality of a changing world. We wanted to return to the cocoon of an insular America.

We tried to turn back time to an era that was neither better nor great.

Some will argue this missive is premature. We are a mere three weeks into this debacle. But one can use logical deduction to see the future. If he can mangle things this much in 21 days, what will a full year look like?

Supporters see his “take no prisoners, school-yard bully” approach as refreshing. Yet it flies in the face of 300 years of maturing American style of diplomacy and managing domestic affairs.

We elected a maniacal, Machiavellian, misanthrope with delusions of rationality to serve as the leader of the free world.

All I can do is ask your forgiveness and hope you manage to survive to read this.

Washington left us a legacy in words. Lincoln left us the poetry of his Gettysburg Address. John Kennedy’s words inspired us to go to the moon and join the Peace Corps.

Trump tweets trash. 144 characters not worth the effort to push the delete key.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned, we can only hope Trump doesn’t tweet while America does the same.

In the words of the Don Henley song,

We are

Beating plowshares into swords for this tired old man to be elected king

I have nothing to offer up in our best defense but an apology for our wanton disregard of your once bright future. We have no excuse for overseeing the end of the innocence.

So please accept our apologies. If you found a way to right things, we applaud you. If there is no America left to read this, we accept our responsibility for your demise.

Sincerely,

Your apologetic past

 

Is President Trump Channeling the Ghost of Huey Long?

Many rational people across the globe are trying to understand the Trump phenomenon. His manner and affectations offer little in the way of encouragement. Unless one believes building a wall and destroying years of social progress a good thing.

I recently came across a challenging book called,

Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America

Author: Richard Rorty

Publisher Harvard University Press

1998

The book is not an easy read. In 1998, Rorty predicted the rise of an American strong man. He wrote,

“One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out.

Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. … All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unaccept­able to its students will come flooding back. All the resent­ment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet. …

After my imagined strongman takes charge, he will quickly betray the expectations of his supporters, make his peace with the international super-rich. … People will wonder why there was so little resistance to his evitable rise. Where, they will ask, was the American Left?

Why was it only rightists like [Pat] Buchanan who spoke to the workers about the consequences of globalization? Why could not the Left channel the mounting rage of the newly dispossessed?”

The words seem almost prophetic. In looking for similar pieces, I came across a novel by Sinclair Lewis called, It Can’t Happen Here.

One of the novel’s characters is Berzelius “Buzz” Windip, a politician who defeats FDR for the presidency. His campaign is based on fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms all to the backdrop of Patriotism and “traditional” values.

Things change after the election. He imposes a plutocratic totalitarian regime through a paramilitary force. The plot focuses on journalist Doremus Jessup’s opposition to the regime and his part in a liberal rebellion.

Critics connected the novel to Louisiana politician Huey Long who was preparing for a run for the presidency in 1936. Long was assassinated in 1935 just prior to the novel’s publication.

A time when America was resisting entanglement in the European turmoil leading to World War II.

History unveils the difficult decisions facing FDR. Americans were fearful of events in Europe. Such fears offered a politician such as the one in Lewis’s novel an opportunity to arise.

The fear of immigrants and refugees was powerful then and mirrored in our own time.

One of the little talked about aspects of the “Greatest Generation” is the rampant anti-Semitism that permeated American society. Once we entered the war, FDR had to balance the perceptions. He could not let our entry into the conflict appear to be a war to save the Jews.

There is much to be proud of in this country. The bravery and courage of the military, the resilience of Americans to bear any burden, and our past stands against injustice, yet we sometimes overlook the truths of history.

There will come a time when future generations take the measure of our actions. It would appear now that courage and determination to do the difficult and face down the enemy is sorely lacking.

As we face a new wave of innocent refugees, America must look them in the eye and choose. We can offer a beacon of hope with welcoming arms or the cold bayonet of fear.

Perhaps Americans need to step away from their insular iWorld and read a bit. It could be iOpening.

Dissolving the American Dream

As an optimist, I look for the positive in all things. Sometimes, it is all but impossible to find. Yet, even within the turbulence of the first week of the Trumping of America, there is a shiny element of good.
Trump pulled the bandage off the ugly festering wound that is prejudice in the form of nationalism in America. His rabid bulldog approach to immigration offers an opportunity. Now that we see this insidious infection, we can treat it.
There are those who support these policies celebrating in the street. Proud in their contempt for everything and everyone they perceive as un-American.
Keep out the terrorist.
Build that wall.
Tax the Mexican products to make them pay.
The only thing missing is goose-stepping thugs ensuring compliance. But it’s only been a week.
I travel out of the country quite often. Never, in all the time I’ve been doing this, have I ever been anything but proud of my country. Yet, this time in Costa Rica, I could sense a difference in the perception of the United States.
They felt sorry for us. So did the Canadians on the trip with us. It was as if the sports legend used steroids. Our reputation tarnished and diminished.
America has always offered hope to the world. Our openness and willingness to accept others, no matter where they came from, perceived as a strength, not a vulnerability.
That we, as a people, were willing to risk the harm of a few to offer an opportunity to the many was evidence of our courage.
That perception is fading. We are becoming a huge paranoid isolated society, shying away from our fellow man.
No measure of border protection or walls can stop a determined enemy. Every effort to strengthen the openness of the America I love chips away at those whose hopelessness is the source of these terrorists.
Every effort to prevent the rest of the world from coming in diminishes us.
This is no longer a disconnected world. Something that happens in Des Moines, Iowa can have an effect in Berlin.  Something that happens in Seoul, South Korea can affect Boston, Massachusetts.
As history shows, something planned in medieval-like Afghanistan can affect New York.
The solution is not simple, making the problem worse is.
Words matter. Perceptions matter. The words announcing this blockade of immigration carry more than simple meaning. Wiping Islamic terror from the face of the earth. Opening our doors to Christian, but not Muslim, immigrants from Syria. These all play into the hands of those who twist the words of the Quran into a recruiting tool.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same Abrahamic God. They interpret the words in a different manner. The issues in the Middle East are not a recent phenomenon. The Palestinian problem is thousands of years older than the United States.
The issue of asymmetric warfare, in the form of terrorism, is not solved by the stroke of a pen or a wall.
The solution is an open and courageous people willing to stand up to the risk of terror. One way to do that is by living in a country that serves as an example, not a convenient target.
The whole world is watching us. Those that are our friends are scratching their heads trying to come to grips with this new America. Those who wish us harm are taking delight in their ability to imprison the Great Satan behind a wall.
To borrow a line from the song by Lee Greenwood, “I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.” How long will those words ring true?
If the American people no longer have the courage to keep our society open, our pride will disappear.
We, the people, are better than that.

Trumping America

I think I have figured out the Trump phenomenon. His success in the primaries comes from supporters who behave at the maturity level of 15-year-old boys and 13-year-old girls. They are not quite children, not quite adults, and driven by raging emotional responses to anything they cannot or choose not to understand.

They are willing to sacrifice civil liberties and constitutional protections in the pursuit of fighting terrorists. They are willing to employ torture as a means justified by their mistaken belief it will protect America.

They support a candidate who said targeting families, including children, is a worthwhile military strategy. One he is prepared to order our military to carry out. Trump, with all his pride in his Ivy League education, must have skipped history and ethics. His was a poison ivy education.

Here is a quote Trump and his supporters could adopt in support of effective genocide.

Raymond D’Aguilers, a witness to the victorious end of the Crusade of 1096-1099 in Jerusalem, wrote

‘Men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers.’

Men, women, and children not of the Christian faith dead at the hands of the faithful. Unbelievers meaning those who believe differently than the one holding the sword or the launch codes for nuclear weapons.

Trump must believe My Lai was the most successful operation during the Viet Nam war. Unless he missed the story on TV.

Trump’s idea is not even original. Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheik Mohammed thought it a good idea. If we follow Trump’s logic, flying planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon was brilliant.

This country is in a lot of trouble if anyone, let alone a candidate for the Presidency, takes such policies seriously.

They risk destroying the very freedom and moral character that built this country.

Trump screams he will lead us to Making America Great Again. By what measure? By what means? He wraps himself in the flag, portraying himself as the ultimate patriot.

To quote Samuel Johnson, “Patriotism is the refuge of the scoundrel.”

Trump’s idea of patriotism encompasses all the evil of nationalism that no rational American should condone.

Out of this fire of ignorance, Trump emerged as the poster boy of xenophobia.

This pseudo-tough, swaggering, ne’er do well spouting invectives and threatening anyone not in lockstep with him. An American version of ‘das Herrenvolk.’

A schoolyard bully picking on the weak while his “fans” stand around with their cell phones recording and posting their childish voyeuristic nonsense, afraid to stand up for what’s right.

We face the real specter of a President whose policy platform consists of acting like a junkyard dog.

During the last debate, where supporters considered jokes about the size of appendages high humor, there was only one adult on the stage. Trump was not it. Yet his supporters are okay with that.

The reality that people are fooled into believing Trump represents the best of America is frightening.

Nevertheless, he is winning the primaries. True, he is winning Republican primaries under a system rigged to favor the lead candidate; designed to minimize the chance of a brokered convention. They never imagined the rise of the Donald and his living, but brain dead, hordes.

Keep this in mind; he is winning with at best 35% of the vote. Which means 65% of the vote went against him. Many of these are winner take all contests.

Staunch conservatives, like the Tea Party and others, deserve some of the blame here. As Stephen King so aptly wrote. “Conservatives who for 8 years sowed the dragon’s teeth of partisan politics are horrified to discover they have grown an actual dragon.”

We can only hope a St. George will arrive on the scene to slay the dragon before he incinerates us all.

If Trump wins, he will have at least given us one thing of value. We will need that slogan, Making America Great Again, once his Presidency ends. I fear, if there is a Trump presidency, we’ll be singing the line from the Paul Simon song, America.”We’ve all come to look for America…”

 

Celebrating a Lie

To borrow a line from Paul Simon’s song, Kodachrome;

When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school

It’s a wonder I can think at all…

Although much of the “Lie” I write about began in the first years of my education. Having taken the time to undo and uncover many of these ingrained falsehoods, it is indeed a wonder I can think at all.

In this particular instance, I am talking about Columbus Day and celebrating those things (all false) we were taught about this man and that period of history. To summarize;

  1. Columbus proved the world to be round (False, the fact of the world being round was well established)
  2. Columbus discovered America (False. Not only did he not discover it, he didn’t even know where he was)
  3. Columbus had a fine relationship with the “Indians” (False, he captured many, compelled them through brutal measures to reveal treasures and infected them with European strains of viruses and bacteria that killed them (this last part might be a stretch since they didn’t understand the science of infection but nevertheless this was left out of the “history” books I was compelled to read))

My point here is why do we continue to “celebrate” a man responsible for the devastation and enslavement of many Native Americans (they did not even know they needed to be discovered) and attribute false claims of discovery to his journeys at the expense of the truth.

I think it might be time for this country to start celebrating truth, not patently false fairytales intended to obscure the realities of the atrocities visited upon the true Native Americans.

We need to describe Columbus as he truly was, one of the first in a series of Illegal Aliens invading this land.

Maybe there is something to preventing illegal immigration, albeit some Five Hundred Years too late.