Gadfly | August 20th, 2022
By Ed Raymond
Politics From Bill Fields: “I Never Vote for Anyone. I Always Vote Against.”
Every day, if possible, I have a martini on the rocks in tribute to a man who has enriched my life. At the age of twelve W.C. Fields was learning how to juggle while helping his poor father sell milk and oranges door-to-door from a horse-drawn cart in Philadelphia. At age 18 his ability to juggle oranges and things brought him to London to entertain the king and queen of England.
Although he had only a sporadic grade school education, he ended up in Hollywood starring in silents and talkies for the rest of his life. He was self-educated, but the studios made so much money from his acting that they allowed him to fill in the salary he desired on contracts. He should have won an Oscar for his portrayal of Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield.
Over the years he developed a taste for alcohol. He often expressed his distaste for water: “Do you know what fish do in it?” He was famous for drinking “lemonade” on the movie set. He kept a thermos of martinis available for breaks. One day the camera crew dumped his martinis and substituted lemonade. Fields took a sip and yelled: “Who in hell put lemonade in my “lemonade?!” It brought down the movie set. He stored booze in warehouses for availability.
He declared he was an atheist, but when a friend visiting him on his deathbed caught him paging through the Bible, he asked: “Bill, what are you doing? You don’t believe!” Fields responded: “Just looking for loopholes.” I have been doing the same for many years. We also share a belief about politicians. When asked who he voted for: he said: “I never vote for anyone. I vote against.”
Some Questions and Answers About the Future of the Divided States
It was an amusing moment when Johnny Carson on his Tonight Show, played the role of “Carnac, the Magnificent,” raised a sheet of paper to his turbaned, bejeweled head, and gave a “divine” answer to a question before it was asked. Then he would open a sealed envelope and read the question.
We seem to be in a similar situation in today’s politics because we know the answer “Civil War” before we know what the question is. One question might be: “Will we have a continuation of our civil war if former president and present cult leader Donald J. Trump goes to jail for a multiplicity of reasons? Another question could be: “What will happen if former president and cult leader Donald J. Trump doesn’t go to jail for a multiplicity of reasons?”
Many of our cult leaders have led their followers to death by drugs, bullets, or fire. Marshall Applewhite of the Heaven’s Gate religious cult convinced his men to dress alike, lie on their bunk beds, and take overdoses of drugs so they would end up on a heavenly comet. David Koresh of the Branch Davidian religious cult said he was Christ on earth and led a rather small group so he could have sex with the wives and children of his followers. His followers were consumed by fire at the Waco compound during a very windy day. Jim Jones of his People’s Temple religious cult went to Guyana for a new life and eventually swallowed Kool-Aid laced with cyanide, leaving more than 900 souls stretched out on the jungle floor.
We have had political leaders in the world, ranging from dictators, czars, presidents, and former senators who have led millions to their deaths while leading them to the streets of gold. What will our fate be?
More than 74 million Americans voted for the prophet Trump, a man who lies about his lies, in the 2020 presidential election, and he still lost because Joe Biden squeezed him out with 81 million. But he had 88 million Twitter followers until it banned them. How many Trump voters are cult followers? Polls often show a majority of his voters believe, because he has lied to them, that the election has been stolen by alien forces. Many believe he was chosen by God to lead the American people. Billy Graham’s son Franklin has made that pitch many times. They also believe he has been anointed by God and will be back in the Oval Office after the 2024 election. To protect Trump, they must use spiritual and civil war to overcome the “demonic forces” of Democrats. (I didn’t realize Lucifer was my leader dressed like Bernie Sanders.)
The number of Republicans who believe King Donald is wearing a crown of thorns instead of blonde hair restorer is difficult to judge. Some polls say half of Trumplicans believe the election was stolen. That means his cult might number more than 45 million. That could be the largest cult in history. Hitler’s Nazi Party cult probably had less than 30 million blind and deaf followers, or half of the German population. Nero, Caesar, and Genghis Khan probably never reached that many
What Is the Trump Cult for? Power, Low Taxes, Wealth, and White Supremacy
We know what Trumplicans are opposed to by watching what the cult votes against. When Elizabeth Barrett Browning was rhapsodizing about love, she wrote: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” I love to count some of the ways, issues, and programs Trumplicans voted against instead of for.
1. Opposed the Democrats American Rescue Plan law that saved many small businesses and first responder jobs during the first year and a half of COVID-19.
2. Opposed the Children’s Investment Plan that reduced child poverty by 40% in the Divided States of America.
3. Opposed increasing the funding for fighting the virus with vaccines, social distancing, and the closing of businesses where people congregated.
4. Opposed increases for food stamps, food banks, and other food assistance for people going hungry during the pandemic.
5. All but 10 Senate and House Republicans voted against the infrastructure plan to repair roads, bridges, seaports, airports, and other structures that keep the economy and people moving.
6. More than 30 Republican Senators and 14 House members voted against a minimal gun safety bill that might save a dozen lives during a year while we are now killing and wounding 150,000 Americans annually to “protect” the Second Amendment. No banning of military assault weapons or ammunition that blows up bodies and organs with 3,500 feet per second muzzle velocities. No change in the age of children allowed to purchase weapons. The present law is a mind-numbing piece of crap.
7. 174 House Republicans voted against the Pact Act, the bill to provide health care to sick veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars who experienced burn pits and other dangerous environment conditions.
8. Opposed the forming of a January 6 committee to investigate the Trump insurrection and the attack on the Capitol and government of the United States.
9. 193 Republican House and 43 Senators opposed capping the price of insulin at $35 and laws to stop gas price gouging by oil companies.
10. All 50 Republican Senators voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, also opposed by dozens of corporations that pay nothing in federal taxes and tax scofflaws that don’t pay their fair share because the Internal Revenue Service lacks the funds to track them down.
11. There’s good news and bad news about Congress approving laws allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies about the price of ten drugs in 2026. The bad news? There are 20,000 drugs approved by the FDA—and more than 6,700 medical devices!
12. A huge majority of House Republicans voted against the use of contraceptives, same-sex marriage, the recognition of the LBGTQ+ community, and against codifying Roe v. Wade for the protection of pregnant children and women.
The deadly dozen above is a very short list of a few major issues which would make personal and family life more livable and enjoyable in the United States. There are hundreds of other issues that have been opposed by “conservatives” and Republicans for centuries. They include Social Security, Medicare, elimination of carried interest rules, formation of public and private unions, universal health care, parental and family leave, maternity leave, guaranteed vacations, relief of college student debt, free vocational two-year programs, adequate funding of public higher education institutions, climate control, pollution control, political campaign restrictions, development of universal voting rights for all races, elimination of gerrymandered districts, increase in the federal minimum wage, police reform, criminal law reform, subsidized child care, eviction protections, income inequality reform, and hundreds of other improvements for families.
The Republican Party used to have real critical conservative policies and family values. Now it has only one goal: White power. What happened? God’s “chosen” appeared as a golden-haired, lying, ignorant cult leader.
How Many Million Firearms Does the Cult Conceal, Carry, and Threaten With?
The Everytown for Gun Safety organization has teamed with researchers to determine what our Trumplican gun culture, that kills 45,000 and wounds 100,000, costs the taxpayers of the Divided States of America annually. It’s a horrific $557 billion, or five times what we pay to support preschool through college for the Department of Education.
As a Marine Corps officer commanding a heavy machine gun platoon and later a reinforced rifle company, I have fired pistols, rifles, light and heavy machine guns, mortars, flamethrowers, bazookas, and 105 howitzers. I am not anti-gun, but I don’t believe any civilian should have military weapons that fire more than six rounds from a magazine or ammunition that is more powerful and organ and bone-destroying than 1,000-ft. per second.
I see the killing rooms at Parkland High School are still a legal crime zone so nothing has been cleaned up. There is still dried blood, guts, hair, and bullet holes where high schoolers and a teacher were killed. When General Dwight Eisenhower saw the piled bodies of Jews at the death camps, he force-marched local Germans through the death camps so they could see what their sons and brothers did. We should have the CEOs of gun manufacturers and the National River Association Board of Directors attend congressional hearings in those Florida killing rooms so they could see what their weapons and policies did to kids.
The researchers have determined that each gun death costs U.S. taxpayers an average of $273,904 “for the initial and long-term repercussions of each incident, and $25,130 for each nonfatal injury.” Every day taxpayers pay $7.79 million daily in health care costs for victims, $30.16 million daily for police and criminal justice for investigation, prosecution, and jail time, employers lose an average of $1.47 million daily for productivity lost, and society loses $1.34 million daily in quality of life that comes from suffering and lost well-being for anyone suffering from gun violence.
We will be paying these bills daily until we ban military assault rifles and any attempts to replace them, ban any magazines carrying more than six rounds, and ban the sale of ammunition to civilians that create a muzzle velocity of more than 1,000 ft. per second. And all sales must be accountable immediately so purchases are limited. Otherwise, this current insanity will continue.
P.S. As a former member of the Fargo School Board, I would suggest that a god’s name be inserted in the kerfuffle about the word “God” in the flag pledge at each meeting. In the 300,000 years of Homo sapiens we have had thousands of gods: Zeus, the Great Spaghetti Monster, Satan, Minerva, Jesus Christ, Donald Trump--and thousands more. Why, you wouldn’t need a repeat for decades!
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