By Ed Raymond
Is It the Common Good for Billionaires to Sail $500 Million Superyachts?
The new Republican Party and Abraham Lincoln set out 161 years ago to save the United States from break up. James Russell Lowell, The Atlantic magazine’s first editor, wrote: “The Republicans know that true policy is gradual in its advances, that it is conditional and not absolute, that it must deal with facts and not with sentiments.”
I have been a reader and subscriber to The Atlantic magazinefor more than a half century and trust the overall judgment of its writers and editors, though not always agreeing. Jeff Goldberg, the present editor, is publishing this statement about the Republican Party in its next issue: “There is insufficient space in any one issue of this magazine to trace the Republican Party’s decomposition from Lincoln’s day to ours. It is enough to say that its most recent, and most catastrophic, turn – toward authoritarianism, nativism, and conspiracism – threatens the republic that it was founded to save.”
What does the Republican Party, now converted to the Trumplican Party, have in its platform? A single word: POWER – and by any means necessary. After covering the Trump presidency for five years, Brian Williams, the “11th Hour” anchor, is leaving the MSNBC news hour with a message that should concern all who want to live in a democracy. He said his biggest worry was “for my country because grown men and women who swore an oath to our constitution...have decided to join the mob and become something they are not while hoping we somehow forget who they were. They’ve decided to burn it all down – with us inside.” For decades Republicans wanted to be known as the party of “family values” – while voting against any programs that might have actually assisted families. The Republican Party has not supported anything that would be for the common good for at least a half century.
The Chosen One Is a Great Builder. He Has Built a National Cult on Lies.
At the Bob Dole funeral in the National Cathedral, the TV cameras slowly panned the entire masked audience as they waited for President Joe Biden to arrive. Under the posted rules of the cathedral all were masked, including a past president, several vice-presidents, and all of the congressional leaders in attendance. That is, all Dole mourners were masked except one solitary figure near the back: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who was described by another politician as a person “who learned everything there was to know at the country’s finest universities except the simplest: knowing right from wrong.” The mask-less Cruz was sending a message to Trumplicans: “I’m a full-fledged devout member of the Trump cult.”
Six years ago Cruz and The Great Leader were exchanging verbal assaults during the 2016 presidential campaign about political assassinations, the attractiveness of their wives, and other personal characteristics. How power corrupts! South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, at one time the buddy of the indomitable and truth-telling Arizona Senator John McCain, has now been transformed into a major Trump cult member: “Donald Trump is the most consequential Republican in the entire Republican Party, maybe in the history of the party since Ronald Reagan. And if you’re going to lead this party in the House and the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with Donald Trump or it will not work.” How power corrupts!
How Does One Deal With a Cult Leader Who Is Also a Malignant Narcissist?
There is no doubt Donald Trump is a victim of the mental disease known as malignant narcissism. His millions of words from speeches, interviews, press conferences, and tantrums have been studied by thousands of mental health experts as if they had put him on a couch. They have come to the same conclusion: he is unfit to be president of the United States because his mental illness has caused the Divided States of America. According to the current Manual of Mental Disabilities, Donald Trump, the evangelical Christian leader Franklin Graham’s choice as his leader, has all the following un-Christian characteristics listed in the manual:
1. Shows zero remorse for harming someone and never issues apologies.
2. Will do anything it takes to get what he wants, regardless of the harm it causes others.
3. Feels empowered by hurting or harming others.
4. Focuses on fantasies regarding his beauty, success, and power.
5. Blames other people for his own bad behavior.
6. Has a weak sense of self and lots of hidden insecurities.
7. Takes over conversations and bullies people who he thinks are below him in class and financial worth.
8. Believes he deserves the best from everything and everyone and expects that is to be how things work.
9. Has no empathy for other humans or animals.
10. Lashes out at others when he feels wronged or emotionally exposed.
There are thousands of words available as evidence for each of the ten characteristics.
These are the characteristics one never wants to see in a nation’s president, senator, school principal, history teacher, neighbor, family member, or local dog catcher.
The Grand New Fascisicans Have No Interest in 2,000-Year-Old Common Laws
Those Greek smart boys Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero started the ridiculous idea 2,000 years ago that every individual in a society should have a right to have access to their own fulfillment as a human being. In the Second Century even good ol’ boys now known as Roman Catholic popes agreed that everybody in a society should have basic rights and freedoms—except females, of course. Our legal system is generally based on English common law developed in England since the Battle of Hastings and the 1215 Magna Carta. Over the centuries, land-owning kings, queens, dukes, and nobles realized, in order to have “commoners” serve them as knights, squires, maids, farmers, peasants, and servants, it might be best to provide them with a basic life, allowing them to live, hunt, garden, and raise pigs, cattle, and horses on “common” ground.
The “common” good is really the living heart of a healthy moral economic and political system. In other words, society has a responsibility to ensure that the well-being of the least economically advantaged class is maintained by following the rule of the “common good.”
The American Experiment, the idea of a democratic republic, most likely will not survive much longer because we have only one political party interested in the “common” when it takes at least two parties in our present system to provide “common” for everyone.
As an example, it is up to governments to provide security for everyone. But in this country today we have parents buying body armor, clear backpacks, and Kevlar shields to protect young elementary students from school shootings. A Sandy Hook first grader died of eleven military bullets 12 years ago.
We build new schools with steel doors, bulletproof glass, and curved hallways so a shooter can’t use open spaces. We hold school shooter drills constantly so students will know how to fortify their classrooms and hide from shooters.
On the market we allow residents to buy military assault rifles with 100-round drums, 50 caliber sniper rifles, Glock pistols with 30-round magazines, Streetsweeper shotguns with 12-round magazines, and “ghost” guns which are not traceable.
Our country, with 4% of the world’s population has civilians owning half of the firearms in a world of 7.8 billion. Trumplicans, now morphing from Trump cult to Fascisicans, have a great advantage over those who believe in “common good” laws: they don’t give a damn about how many people die from firearms or viruses as long as enough whites survive to rule. Think Sandy Hook. Think Las Vegas and bumpstocks.
We are the world’s leader in teaching second graders how to duck bullets. Government has failed time and time again to control guns.
What Happens to Government when 60% of Republicans Believe “The Big Lie?”
The New York Times just published an article titled “How to Tell if Your Country Is Past the Point of No Return.” In a survey of political analysts, scholars, and other close observers of the Washington maelstrom, a majority think “a return to traditional democratic norms will be extremely difficult, if not impossible.”
What happens to the country if the purveyor of “The Big Lie” goes to jail for lying about the values of his properties for tax and loan purposes? The Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Michigan militias, and White Fascisicans who stormed the capitol have most of the civilian weapons. Will Ted Cruz emerge as The Great Leader of the Fascisican Party?
How Can the Democratic Party Win the House and Senate in 2022?
The only way Democrats can defeat the Fascisicans is to convince a majority of the 85 million eligible voters who did not vote in 2020 that the government will actually work for their “common good” in 2022. They can stay in the majority in Congress if they:
(1) Pass an intact Build Back Better law and laws that create a basic safety net in a country that does not have one.
(2) Make it possible to lower carbon to the point where the planet might survive.
(3) Eliminate tax havens and loopholes so that the rich actually pay their fair share for the “common good.” Everyone should have basic rights and freedom.
(4) Ensure that the LBGTQ+ community is recognized to be equal to any group.
(5) Redistribute wealth through taxation to counter the greatest economic inequality in the world.
(6) Restore the functions of a democratic government.
(7) Restore the rights of workers to vote for and join unions,.
(8) Change right-to-work (for less!) laws.
(9) Ensure that the homeless crowding the streets of most major cities have housing.
(10) Support nutrition programs such as SNAP and WIC so “food insecurity” is no longer a problem for the poor.
(11) Make universal health care a reality in the richest country in the world.
(12) Remove the student debt of $1.7 trillion held by 43 million Americans. It is the responsibility of the states to pay for education.
(13) Ensure we teach history so well that we won’t keep repeating it.
(14) Anti-democratic voting laws passed in more than half the states must be nullified by federal voting laws.
(15) eliminate gerrymandering by both parties…and the list goes on.
Remember: the analysts said it would be “extremely difficult” to retain democracy if only one party were functioning as a government entity. Democrats are acting as if this is not nation-ending stuff. Get real. It is.
White supremacy depends upon neglect and ignorance. A long-time Republican analyst who has supported the party for decades has come to this conclusion: “Deaths do not matter all that much if they inconveniently interfere with the “Make America Great Again” mentality that Democrats are the great threat to Western civilization.” Another analyst wrote: “The crisis isn’t just that we had a coup attempt and have a political party that has gone rogue, but that much of the rest of the nation seems to be normalizing or forgetting or sleepwalking through the crisis. The warnings are getting more urgent.”
No doubt, the longest civil war in history continues.
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