We, as in Democrats, Liberals, Democracy, this Country, we need you as a functional political party again.

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It was said by Jared Kushner himself that Trump had executed a “hostile takeover” of the Republican Party. Of course, Kushner meant this as praise, voiced from the depths of his 39-year-old wisdom. He clearly has a dark view of political parties, and of course Trump did run his 2016 campaign upon, among other things, draining the swamp.

Okay, I have a confession to make. As I watched the Republican Presidential Primaries leading up to the 2016 election, I quietly, discretely, and of course not breathing a word of this to friends or family, smiled, chuckled and even, yes, once in a while, applauded Trump as he called out the assorted venal hypocrisies of the other Republican candidates. Trump executed particularly masterful biting slap downs of Cruz and Rubio and others, people who exemplify the very worst we think of when we utter the word “politician,” the sort of people who helped turn “politician” into an epithet. People like Cruz, Rubio, Lindsay Graham certainly now the most sterling examples of why many people, myself included, sometimes would spit the word “politician,” and why back in 2016 some people, like myself, secretly in our closets, chuckled, chortled and smiled every time Trump called them out for being slimy manipulative liars. (At the time, I and many others were too amused by Trump to bother taking note it was the pot calling the kettle black, and there of course was no chance Trump could win anyway….) …


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One thing that really struck me when I read the Forward to Michael Cohen’s book Disloyal, was how he emphasized the fact that Donald Trump knows exactly what he is doing. I had settled into a thought process over the past 4 years, and most particularly ever since the election, as I witnessed a seemingly unhinged Trump keep repeating that he won the election and it was stolen from him, that this man simply is, to put it most kindly, a bit mentally unbalanced. In its own perverse sort of way, this had actually been comforting to me to think that of him, to think that what we have witnessed is a bumbling, stumbling man, now on his bumbling, stumbling way out the door. After all, what real harm could a bumbling, stumbling man do? I, and many liberals, have looked at what he has done in office, and what he might yet do in the days remaining, with some real alarm, that is true, but also with a touch of snickering and eye rolling. …


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Vote suppression is nothing new in America. Perhaps what is relatively new now, however, is just how blithely (and claiming they have the purest and most innocent intentions) Republicans have been embarking on vote suppression tactics while insisting that what they are actually doing is protecting the integrity of the election. Uh-huh.

In this tragically remarkable election year, in the midst of a pandemic which is picking up steam, in the midst of a slow-motion train wreck of an economic collapse as we slide into a second Great Depression, and in the midst of a convulsive reckoning on systemic racism, we also had the tragic loss of a giant among women with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. RBG wrote many memorable dissenting opinions in her time on the Supreme Court. And she once said of dissenting opinions “Dissents speak to a future age…That is the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.” In the Supreme Court case Shelby County v Holder, in 2013, RBG wrote the dissenting opinion. To refresh your memory, that case struck down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in particular addressing Section 5 of the act, which granted the federal government oversight power on any change in voting law in “certain jurisdictions” in this country, i.e., those with a problematic history of racial discrimination. The majority opinion written by Justice Roberts in that case asserted “our country has changed” and so such supervision over the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, among others, was no longer necessary. Let the celebration begin. Racial discrimination and nefarious attempts to suppress the vote are a thing of the past. Uh-huh. I think, considering the recent Black Lives Matter protests, the White Supremacist-rooted plot against Governor Whitmer, the babblings of the Proud Boys, etc., I will just let the ridiculousness of Justice Roberts’ statement “our country has changed” speak for itself. Yes, certain things are better than they were in 1965, true. …


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I heard it said by some pundits that President Trump contracting coronavirus and now being hospitalized with the disease is a “teachable moment” for this country, and by that they meant that maybe now the naysayers can finally all get on board with the obvious fact that we all need to wear masks, need to socially distance, etc. Yes, it is a teachable moment for that, but it is also a teachable moment for something else. This whole circumstance highlights the gross, stark and utterly indefensibly inequitable healthcare system in this country.

Let me begin by finishing what I started to say in the title above. Dear Mr. President, I hope you appreciate the free healthcare I pay for you to have, wish I had the same. …


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As I wish to discuss the Alternate Universes that Americans live in, and the extraordinary damage these splits in the fabric of Spacetime are doing to the fabric of our Democracy, I should begin by first disclosing my own bias, that is which Universe I live in: I avoid watching Fox News (I cannot cope with the acid stomach it induces in me), but I don’t watch CNN either. I confess I have settled upon MSNBC, though not completely comfortably with them since they do sometimes make me wince. But in between winces, I nonetheless do enjoy and am paradoxically soothed by the biting rants of Mika and Joe, the witty digs of Joy Reid, and the exasperated eye rolling of Rachel Maddow capped off by her patented phrase “watch this space” and then dramatic dissolve to commercial, all of them entertaining and informative. …


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Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

As I watched coronavirus spread, and the death toll mount, as the federal government under Trump’s leadership uselessly flailed about …. as I watched the economy collapse with tens of millions of people out of work …. as I watched, yet again (losing count how many times now), a black man be murdered by a police officer, this time with a knee on his neck, and then saw the convulsive riots, followed by the inspiring nationwide and then worldwide marches and protests, with black, brown, white, red, yellow people shouting in unison Black Lives Matter ….as I watched all of this with a mixture of tears in my eyes over all the tragedy, but energizing hope in my heart at so many people taking to the streets for justice….I …


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I am a blue-eyed, blonde-haired white woman in America, which makes me the very definition of “privileged” when it comes to policing in America. You don’t ever recall seeing a police officer with his knee on the neck of a blonde white woman, right? No, I haven’t seen that either.

Now I was never among those whites who thought excessive police violence against blacks was an infrequent and only occasional thing (I don’t know what planet those whites lived on, but apparently some actually thought policing was equable across races). I most definitely was never among those whites who would turn amazing mental and linguistic somersaults to make the case that when the police did use force against a black person — force that the white person might grudgingly admit was maybe a bit excessive — it was because the black person provoked it, which was just the closet racist euphemistic way of saying that the black person deserved it. Do you remember Rodney King? Do you remember the officers who gathered as a gang to mercilessly beat that man as he lay on the ground, and those officers were acquitted? Why were they acquitted? Enter the mental and linguistic somersault artists mustering the list of excuses that have long been used to defend police violence. It usually goes something like this: It is a dangerous job, a high stress job, and the police officers felt threatened, so they had every right to defend themselves. Yeah, right. Now that was decades ago. And all through the intervening decades, how many names of black victims do we have to list? And how many times were the same tired old arguments trotted out to excuse police officers for inexcusable behavior? Too many times. Far too many times. And I was disgusted by that. From Rodney King forward, again and again and again I was disgusted by the fact that simply wearing a particular uniform and carrying a badge gave you a license, apparently, at least as far as juries were concerned, to do whatever you wanted to do to “protect yourself” as a police officer. Yeah, right. I was beyond disgusted. But, I still remained on my white privilege couch, in my white privilege neighborhood, watching my nice white privilege high definition TV, and doing nothing other than just shaking my head in sadness and disgust at yet another and another and another instance of inexcusable excessive force by police, even to the point of murder, and no consequences for the police, other than maybe, at most, a wrist slap and a demotion to a desk job. …


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In many locations across America, there have been protests held to “open up” the country so people can go back to work and the economy can recover. Considering the prevalence of “Trump 2020” flags at these events, not to mention the “Don’t Tread on Me” signs, as well as young men holding assault rifles jauntily pointed downward from their waste (no, dear Freudians, I am not even going to go there), it is obvious these events have been inspired to take place by Fox News and similar media outlets. Or in other words, this is Politics.

And the Science? The consensus is that opening up too much, too quickly would be disastrous and potentially nullify the good (and remember, we are measuring “good” by a current death toll in America, as I am typing, of over 47,000 human beings, that number being less than the number of deaths we otherwise would have by now) that has so far been accomplished by staying at home and social distancing. Scientists indicate easing of restrictions can take place when widespread testing is occuring, which will enable more efficient quarantine measures and contact tracing, and that realistically, we can only finally “get back to normal” once a vaccine is in place. See the article When Can We Lift the Coronavirus Pandemic Restrictions by Tanya Lewis in Scientific American, published on April 6, for more detail on what a scientific approach to opening back up would be. …


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First, a disclaimer. While I am going to be doing some ranting and raving here, please do understand I am not one of these people who demand some “purity test.” I do not want to give the impression in what I am about to say that I feel like there is a step by step path here, where a Democrat must support women, equals must support women candidates, equals must support Feminists. I do truly believe in a big tent where many viewpoints and many ideas are welcome, where many candidates are welcome, and in any case, it is not as though “feminist” is even definable these days in any sort of obvious and simple way. Especially since there are “feminists” who are fighting “feminists” (such as, for example, Radical Feminists feuding with Liberal Feminists). So I am not about to rant and rave that the Democrat Party has failed a feminist purity test. …


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Unsplash.com

I am tired of labels. I am sick of labels. I am sick of categories, subcategories, subsubcategories. It seems like it is spiralling out of control, that if somebody somewhere suddenly has a particular “feeling,” then they get to declare yet a new label, a new category to place themselves in and thereby be “validated” — whatever “validated” really means, and I don’t even pretend to understand. But I have this sneaking gut instinct that whispers to me it is not a good thing to so obsessively pursue “validation.” As a “nerd” (there, that is one of the multitude of labels assigned to me, as though I even really care) I looked up the definition of validation: “recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.” The immediate question that came to my mind: Valid and worthwhile recognized according to who? It seems to inherently imply that what other people think about you, opinion-wise, matters and you are seeking their “recognition” to be validated. It seems to me, on the day I was born, that was my validation, and your birthday was yours too, nothing further needed from anybody else — no further recognition, acknowledgement, nod or any other gesture of approval required, wanted or needed — because on the day you were born, you came into existence as a beautiful, special, unique and wonderful person, just as you are, in all your unique complexity, and all that really matters is that you believe in yourself. So why is some category, some label plastered over you necessary to “validate” you? I don’t understand the value in it. And, frankly, I don’t really want to understand. Because my gut instinct tells me that the moment I set out to seek “validation” as something important to me, is the day I set off down a path not very good for my peace of mind or mental health. After all, that would be the path where I give a damn how many “likes” or “claps” I get, as though my sense of self-worth depended upon that. No, I don’t want or need to go down that path. But there is more to this issue of labels than harm done to mental health. There is a bigger harm, the obvious problem nobody even seems to talk that much about. The problem that it is not good to keep chopping us all up into finer and finer subgroups. …

About

Fay Wylde

A private person, now living mostly “off the grid.” I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (and photo is from the 80s, I’m hopelessly nostalgic)

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