Seriously, Mr. President?

0D35AD3F-49C5-401A-8273-2D2D63834733In an interview with Breitbart News, the President of the United States seems to have threatened violence if Democrats don’t support him.

Claiming that his opponents are treating him unfairly, he praised the toughness and strength of his supporters and predicted that these “tough” supporters will, at some point, end their restraint.

Here is what he said:

“So here’s the thing — it’s so terrible what’s happening. You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

I don’t know how to interpret Trump’s words to be anything but a not-so-subtle threat of violence. Things could get “tough” for Democrats — and maybe for the left in general — he suggested, if they don’t play ball with him.

Is there any other possible way to interpret what he said? Or is this just another case of Trump bluster?

The Continental Divide

2DAE690D-23F7-43BD-A08C-8F1E1D04FCCEAmerica continues to be a nation divided, and with yesterday’s midterm elections, it now has a Congress divided.

The good news is that, despite gerrymandering that heavily favors Republican candidates in GOP-controlled states, voter suppression efforts, and a series of “glitches” with voting machines, Democrats have regained control of the US House of Representatives, a body that more closely reflects the will of the American people.

But Republicans strengthened their thin majority in the US Senate. For the record, Democratic Senatorial candidates across the board amassed about nine million more votes than did Republican candidates, but because there are more red states than blue ones, and because, with the exception of states like Texas and Florida, most Republican strongholds are more rural states, Republicans held the Senate.

Of course, our demented, clueless president, in another delusional tweet, has claimed victory in “this great Midterm Election,” and calls anything that contradicts his assessment “FAKE NEWS.”C0F69BD4-2741-4685-A3A1-96A3668DC9D9So it wasn’t the “blue tsunami” many Democrats were hoping for, but at least the Republican stranglehold in Congress has been busted.

Unfortunately, confirming nominations for the Supreme Court and other federal judgeships is exclusively the purview of the Senate, so we can expect a continued movement to the far right with respect to the judiciary.

That said, I’m hoping that the Democratic House will impose some checks and balances on Donald Trump, will be more aggressive when it comes to supporting Mueller in his investigations to the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump and Russia, and will take steps to insure future election integrity, will protect healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and will restore critical environmental protections.

In other words, I’m cautiously optimistic.

One-Liner Wednesday — Vote

F288B686-B838-4A93-A189-125455455BE6Next Tuesday is Election Day in the United States. Without exaggeration, I can say that this is the most important midterm election in our lifetimes, in that the fate of our American democracy and way of life is at stake.

I never thought I’d see happen what has happened to this country since Donald Trump became president. He has nearly torn the very fabric of America apart. And the only option we have to stop him from tearing it to shreds is to go out and vote on or before next Tuesday. Vote to elect people to Congress who will enable it function, as the Constitution requires, as an appropriate check and balance on Trump, something the Republican-led Congress has refused to do.

So if we care for this country, we must vote. We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and depend upon others. Voting is our civic responsibility, our duty.

But, hey, I’m just an old man. I may not be alive a decade from now, so while it breaks my heart to witness the events of the past two years, I won’t suffer the brunt of the damage Trump has done and, if left unchecked, will continue to do.

But my children and grandchildren will. So I implore you millennials (and post-millennials who are old enough to vote) — you whose future is on the line — to stand up and be counted. You need to be Supermen and Superwomen. I know it’s a corny cliche, but you need to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.bece7a21-d392-4b3d-8a71-72e966adcc5f.jpeg


Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt.

Democrats and Republicans

AE32E48D-A4FD-46E3-BF88-E95FEAD232EBGroucho Marx once said, “All people are born alike — except Republicans and Democrats.”

Unfortunately, what Groucho said decades ago is even more true today. The partisan divide is at an extreme like I have personally never experienced…and I lived through the Vietnam era, when this country was very politically divided.

We all share stereotypical views of those on the other side of the aisle. For example, if someone you’d never met learned that you were a Republican, they would likely assume that you are not black, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, nonreligious, or Jewish. If they learned you were a Democrat, they would likely believe that you are not a white evangelical Christian and you don’t live in a rural part of the county.

Most Democrats are left-leaning, liberal, and are usually associated with progressiveness and equality. Most Republicans are right-leaning, conservative, and are associated with big business, economic freedom, and with self-reliance. But to be fair, “most” doesn’t mean “all.” There are plenty of crossovers, like me, a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

I consider political party affiliation to be like religion. When babies are born, they have no religion. But they are taught about religion from their parents and most children embrace the religious beliefs of their families and maintain those beliefs into and throughout adulthood.

Similarly, babies are not born either Democratic or Republican. But they will typically embrace and follow the political leanings of their families.

My question is what has happened to moderates within either political party? These days moderates are ridiculed as being either RINOs or DINOs (i.e., Republicans/Democrats In Name Only) and of being disloyal to their party (even when being loyal to their party is being disloyal to their country). Political compromise and a willingness to negotiate with the other side are considered signs of weakness.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the primary purpose of a political party is to do everything it can to stymie the other party, thus effectively blocking the government from getting much of anything done. For anybody.

Must See TV

BA828CC8-4C13-4277-9734-F91CB29E468EWow. What a day. I’ve been glued to the TV all day. I thought that Christine Blasey Ford came across as a very credible, sincere witness.

Brett Kavanaugh, on the other hand, has bounced back and forth between being a vicious attack dog and a whimpering little puppy. Oh, we’ve also learned how much Brett really, really likes beer.

I’m watching Brett Kavanaugh testify now and it’s pretty clear that he came out with both guns blazing, having taken Donald Trump’s advise to stop being such a choirboy wimp and to defiantly fight back vigorously.

The hearing is not yet over, but I don’t see any movement from either side of the aisle. All of the Republicans remain staunchly supporting Kavanaugh and all of the Democrats remain equally opposed to Kavanaugh. Bottom line, because the Republicans hold the majority on the Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh’s nomination will make it out of the Committee and be brought before the full Senate, which also has a Republican majority.

So despite questions about his potential sexual assault in high school, despite his having been caught lying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in prior hearings for lower court judgeships, and despite his documented positions on women’s reproductive and abortion rights, Brett Kavanaugh will likely be the newest Supreme Court Justice.

Which, in my opinion, is a sad state of affairs.