It’s Gotten Even Worse

On May 17, 2017, I published my second post after I started this blog. I titled it, “Can American Democracy Survive Donald Trump?” That post received a grand total of three views, one like, and zero comments.

As I was reflecting back on my two years as Fandango, and I read this post, I was amazed that not only has little has changed over the past two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, it has actually gotten even worse.

And so I present below my two-year old post, unchanged and unedited from the original. Some of it is a little dated, but the overall message is the same: America is fucked as long as Trump is president.

Can American Democracy Survive Donald Trump?

pett-cartoon.png

I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, you know. No siree, Bob! I’ve been around long enough to have experienced Vietnam and Watergate and how terribly divided this country was at those times. But I’ve never seen anything quite like what is happening now to the sanctity of the American democracy under President Donald J. Trump. It’s taken its toll on me. I’m tired, very tired.

It’s not because I’m old, though, or because I’ve been having trouble falling and staying asleep at night. No, the reason I am tired is because something devastating has been happening in and to the country I love. And it’s draining me.

Fake News and Alternative Facts

For months before the election in November, we had been inundated with fake news, alternative facts, lies, racism, and misogyny. Since the election things have only gotten worse, given all of Trump’s conflicts of interest, blatant nepotism, and unprecedented incompetence at the highest levels of the government.

Our new president is purging (or buying off?) his perceived enemies and anyone he believes might do him harm, with FBI Director James Comey’s firing as the latest example. Donald Trump is successfully … so far, anyway … turning our country into an authoritarian dictatorship.

Bill Sanders Cartoon

And what I find truly remarkable and upsetting is that the spineless, gutless, “party over country” Republicans in Congress are just sitting back and letting it happen. They know that Trump is an unhinged, delusional narcissist who is also a pathological liar. But he’s their unhinged, delusional, narcissistic, liar who will sign whatever bills and appoint whatever judges they put in front of him.

Trump is engaging in a war against the legitimate media. He is spreading outright lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories in an effort to divert and distract attention from the many self-inflicted wounds he’s created as a result of his more outrageous tweets and his asinine behaviors.

Treason or Stupidity?

He has yet to admit that Russia interfered with the election and seems to be giving Putin and the Russians cover. And while he’s saying “America First,” his actions appear to be putting Russia first. He even shared highly classified information with Russian operatives in the Oval Office. Is he intentionally committing treason or is he just incredibly stupid? Or Both?

Respected scholars of history have expressed concerns about how Trump seems to be leading our country down a path followed by despotic 20th century and contemporary leaders.

He has sung the praises of Vladimir Putin (“a strong leader”) and Kim Jong-un (“a smart cookie”). He congratulated Turkish leader Erdogan on winning a referendum that expanded and consolidated his authoritarian powers. He praised the autocratic Egyptian leader el-Sisi as well as Filipino strongman Duterte, a man who likens himself to Hitler.

At the same time, Trump has denigrated and challenged the judicial branch of our own government and seems to have co-opted congressional Republicans, who hold the majority in both houses.

So back to my original question. Can American democracy survive Donald Trump? The short answer is yes, but it will take four types of people to make sure it does.

First, courageous employees within the executive and legislative branches of government who recognize the damage to our national security and our way of life that Trump is causing must be willing to risk their careers and leak documents to the legitimate press so that the unhinged actions of Donald Trump will see the light of day.

Second, brave journalists and reporters must do their jobs and continue to research, publish, and report on what is going on at the White House and in Congress.

Third, concerned citizens need to continue to reach out to their senators and representatives and hold them accountable for their actions. And if these elected officials in Congress don’t have the backbone to put country over party and to do what’s right and best for their constituents by standing up to Trump, they need to know that they will be voted out of office.

Finally, GOP members of Congress and Trump loyalists must stop turning deaf ears and blind eyes to Trump’s faults and follies. They need to honestly and objectively see him and the danger he posed to our country. They also need to stop getting all their news from Fox News.

If these groups of people do the right thing, democracy in America has a chance. If not, well, it was good while it lasted.


Top political cartoon © 5/11/17, Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader. Second political cartoon © 5/16/17 Bill Sanders, Sanders Cartoon Commentary.

U is for Unbelievable

FC5E22B5-CDE1-48D8-BF05-36AA79011F28Donald Trump is once again not going to the White House Correspondents Association annual dinner this coming Saturday, calling it “too negative.” This will be the third year in a row that the President has refused to attend the dinner.

But this year he is expanding his boycott of the annual press gathering. White House aides told administration officials and staff, some of whom attended last year’s event, that Trump did not want them to attend this year’s.

“The President and members of his administration will not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this year,” the White House said in a written statement. And it appears that officials will heed the president’s order.

Unbelievable. Trump is the first president ever to order administration officials to boycott the dinner. He is also the first president since Ronald Reagan to not to attend the dinner. Reagan missed the event in 1981, when he was recovering from an assassination attempt.

So why the boycott by Trump, members of his administration, and White House aides?

First, Trump hates the free press, calling reporters and journalists “the enemy of the American people” and purveyors of “fake news” (i.e., anything not flattering to Trump).

Second, Trump is extremely thin-skinned and hates it when anyone pokes fun at him or makes jokes about him.

I saw a quote the other day from Arthur Koestler, a Hungarian-British author and journalist. He wrote, “Dictators fear laughter more than bombs.”

There’s little more you need to know in order to understand why Donald Trump, as President, has never attended the White House Correspondents Association dinner. He fears being laughed at.

I’d say that this is unbelievable, but in the Trump era, it is all too believable.


Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Collection

afa6f2fd-a690-4593-8898-e559ee1b1cb1“Okay, so what’s the plan?” Eric asked.

“I think the first thing we should do is take up a collection at the church service this coming Sunday,” Don said. “We should hit up those who are his avid supporters, those who share his ideology, as they’re leaving the evangelical church.

“Well,” Eric said, “we’d better do it sooner rather than later. His support is starting to decay somewhat.

Don laughed. “You’re watching too much fake news, Eric. Dad still has plenty of support on the Christian Right. We’ll take in a boatload of money from those zealots as they are exiting the building.”


Written for these one-word prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (plan), Ragtag Daily Prompt (collection), Nova’s Daily Random Word (service), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (avid), Your Daily word Prompt (ideology), and Daily Addictions (decay).

Enmity Toward the Press

0bcfb788-a484-4d91-8e3e-f7faf0c722cdHe calls the stories in newspapers, magazines, and on TV about him “fake news. He refers to the free press as “the enemy of the people.”

But in a way, I understand Donald Trump’s enmity toward the press. After all, they call out his lies, they fact check his “alternative facts,” and they demonstrate just how unhinged, unfit, and unqualified he is to hold the office of President of the United States.

By printing what he says and does, by video taping his own words, by counting his lies, and by documenting his misstatements and fabrications, the press is demonstrating the depth of his narcissism, his lack of knowledge, his inability to be empathetic, and his moronic delusions.

By quoting him, the press is showing that he has an inability to construct cohesive sentences, which is not surprising, given the clearly chaotic way his mind works.

Unfortunately and inexplicably, about 40% of American voters hang on his every word and believe every lie that escapes his lips. Apparently, if they even watch news, it’s only Fox News. And if they even read newspapers, it’s only conservative newspapers.

So the master of the con continues to carry on and we just have to hope that the press will continue to do the job that the Republicans in Congress seem to be unable and unwilling to do: keep the president in check for the good of the country.


Written for the benefit of America and for my one-word challenge (enmity).

100WW — Snow Tires

4374407b-e5ed-45cb-a707-95cad2401b31Marsha went to the kitchen sink and glanced out of the window. She was shocked to see that it was snowing. It never snowed in San Diego. Not even in the winter.

Marsha called her husband, who just came downstairs from their bedroom, over to the window. “Look, Douglas,” she said. “Snow.”

Douglas looked out of the window and turned to his wife. “You see, Marsha,” he said pointing at the window, “this just proves that the whole global warming thing is fake news, like Trump said. What we should be worried about is getting snow tires for the car.”

(100 words)


Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt. Photo credit: Filip Gielda.