On Tyranny: Be a Patriot
“Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.” – Timothy Snyder
“The creditor-sponsored counter-revolution against democracy led to economic polarization, fiscal crisis, and ultimately to being conquered—first the Western Roman Empire and then Byzantium. Livy, Plutarch and other historians blamed Rome’s decline on creditors using fraud, force and political assassination to impoverish and disenfranchise the population. Barbarians had always stood at the gates, but only as societies weakened internally were their invasions successful…Today’s mainstream political and economic theories deny a positive role for government policy to constrain the large-scale concentration of wealth.” – Michael Hudson, 2018
“The real damage done during (George H.W.) Bush’s tenure…was the era of the “B” team (neoconservative defense experts [like today’s John Bolton]…allowed to override the CIA’s top analysts with their erroneous analysis of the Soviet threat. Its intention was to force the Soviets to ‘spend themselves into the grave.’ …the Soviets didn’t bite; they never tried to match our Reagan-era buildup because their economy was already collapsing—while we spent our country into social disintegration all by ourselves.” – Molly Ivins, 1990
“I don’t want your millions, Mister; I don’t want your diamond ring;
All I want is the right to live, Mister; Give me back my job again.” – Union Song
“We make friends by doing good to others, not by receiving good from them…When we do kindnesses to others, we do not do them out of any calculations of profit or loss: we do them without afterthought, relying on our free liberality.” – Funeral Oration of Pericles, Thucydides
“the merchant’s (businessman’s) function…is to provide for the nation…the true veins of wealth are (not gold, but) purple – not in Rock but in Flesh…the final outcome and consummation of all wealth is in the producing as many as possible full-breathed, bright-eyed, and happy-hearted human creatures.” – John Ruskin
“No discouragement; when an Establishment – decides to implement – the public sentiment;
Against a profiteering element; much to the nation’s betterment.” – Chicago Dog
After being flattened by the truth of his past CEO sexism, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg turned to the woman at the Las Vegas Democratic Presidential Debate of February 19 who had stripped him of his shield of billions that had bought time on stage. He asked Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) where she “was (originally) from,” since he knew he had just been decked by someone who was more than just another Law Professor from Harvard. She answered “Oklahoma,” where the Mayor had plenty of ads for “Super Tuesday,” (March 3) but had not visited. This moment revealed why Mayor Bloomberg, for all his generous donations to combat climate change and the gun lobby, was not the Democratic nominee as he might have thought. Instead, less than a month later, only two other old white guys, Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden remained viable, the latter with a prohibitive lead in delegates. Such baffling events required quick consultation with my canny canine KGB experts.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends Putin and Rasputin, how do you explain Democrats behaving with such collective wisdom so quickly? Old media tropes of their confusion are worthless.
Putin: If you have any Republican friends left, they could tell you that the old white men left at the top were propelled there on purpose by people who are not old, not white, and not men.
Rasputin: The Republican Party has spent decades using race, class, and gender to divide America and the Democrats in order to hang on to power for wealthy old white guys: their definition of an “Establishment.” It is their nightmare come true that Democrats figured out a way to unite the powerless behind two white guys, and their brothers, who have, for years, been slowly opening doors from the inside for folks who look and act different from themselves.
HPR: But how could the Democrats have operated at such lightning speed?
Mr. Swamp Fox: They didn’t. You just haven’t been paying attention. We brought along an old friend to help explain what has been happening.
Mr. Crying Wolf: The current clusterf*ck of the Trump Presidency has been the political “gift that keeps on giving,” so to speak. What you have been watching in the past years is a new Democratic Establishment taking shape behind women like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who guided the Party and the nation through the successful indictment of a lawless Chief Executive, and is currently taking charge of dealing with a pandemic crisis that Donald Trump’s cowardice and incompetence has made worse.
Chicago Dog: Along with Speaker Pelosi in the House Leadership is Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn (D-SC), a black man, and part of the Democratic Party Establishment for years. It was his endorsement of Joe Biden in the South Carolina Primary, as you know, that set off a chain reaction in the Democratic Primaries of March 3, 10, and 17 among people of color, women; even old white guys and some Republicans – that flummoxed media commentators.
Señor Perro: The head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is Tom Perez. By old fart Establishment standards he sure ain’t white.
Lena: Nor is Freshman Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) a “proper lady” by old fart standards. In forcing Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director, Robert Redfield, to say “yes” to carrying out his own regulations to have every American have access to free Corona Virus Tests, she exposed the old Republican game of putting people in charge of regulatory agencies that they didn’t want to regulate or do anything to help anyone who wasn’t rich and smug.
Mr. Crying Wolf: This sort of thing, as well as nervous Republican Senators, forced Trump’s hand, and he invoked the Stafford Act. Laws that have already been passed, have to be passed again, because Trump Republicans have to be dragged kicking and screaming into responsible government. Trump now has to fake that he cares.
HPR: That’s impossible!
Putin: No lie is beyond the abilities and delusions of Trump’s “Amen chorus,” to absorb, but viruses like COVID-19, tend to be tone deaf. Even those who voted for Trump in order to “f*ck the system” are realizing that some sort of system, some sort of establishment is still necessary for government to work for everyone, not just the one percent.
Schickelgruber: The original “Establishment,” as the post World War II term goes, under Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, had learned from America’s failure to stay responsibly involved in the world after World War I, and offered the Marshall Plan to a defeated Germany and a GI Bill of Rights to your own returning soldiers.
Kim Dog Un: But the Cold War, also brought on by mistakes from World War I that enabled the Bolsheviks, tempted some members of a younger (less than) “Greatest Generation,” to venture into a hegemony at home and abroad that ill suited the better angels of your nature.
Omar Khayyam: That left it to the generation of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to take on Imperialism overseas, racism, misogyny, and homophobia at home. It was a daunting task.
All young people affected by 9/11 and the hardening inequities of the “greed generation” since Ronald Reagan’s Presidency have felt that sting. The hardest anger to overcome is anger that is justified by actuality, but Democrats are learning to take it out on Trump and his enablers, not themselves. Young and old, white folks and people of color, men and women, straight and gay, are coming together to support one of two old white guys with slightly different answers to the same problem: how to make government work for everyone.
Mr. Crying Wolf: A task unfinished, that can really only be completed under the auspices of the Democratic Party in 2020, since the Republican Party leadership abdicated any real responsibility in endorsing a totally irresponsible President Trump.
HPR: So what is to be done?
Lena: Women like Senators Elisabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, young people like David Hogg, gay people like Pete Buttigieg, people of color like Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Val Demmings, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, middle aged and old Congressmen like Adam Schiff, Richie Neal, and Jerry Nadler are already doing it.
Chicago Dog: Build a government that works, and people will come to polls to support you. That’s what the new Democratic Establishment is letting young folks help them accomplish. Republicans can try all the “good ole” voter suppression they want, but even old white guys can see through them now, and they know it. They have no new tricks.
HPR: You mean venality, blame, and indifference have been exposed by the corona virus?
Putin: Of course. KGB trained dogs are really good at sniffing out the sh*t that comes from a President who is a “national enema” as well as a “national enemy.”
HPR: Is that why there has been such a run on toilet paper at stores all over the country?
Rasputin: Yes. If pollsters had been doing exit polls at Walmart and Target instead of polling places, they would have seen a gigantic Republican demographic of those who have just waken up to what always flows down hill from a Republican President.