“(Independent) Haiti was founded (in 1804) on the ashes of what had been, fifteen years before, the most profitable slave colony in the world, its birth premised on the self-evident truth that no one should be a slave.” – Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution, 2004
“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” -Sen. George S. McGovern (D-SD)
“With the possible exception of protecting rich people’s wealth, Donald Trump has no policy at all but to reverse every decision President Obama made, no matter the cost to the country or the world. He thereby exposed America’s two faces: one that the world wanted to believe in, the other that they suspected and feared…It’s impossible to say which vision represents America…(but) we…have to come to terms with the fact that the Trump Presidency was possible.” – Susan Neiman, Learning From The Germans, 2020
“(According to the CDC) 65% of all U.S. children experiencing COVID-associated orphanhood or death of their primary caregiver are of racial and ethnic minority…a stark reminder of the cruelty of a white supremacist system: 1 in 168 American Indian/Alaska Native children lost a caregiver; 1 in 310 Black children lost a caregiver;1 in 412 Hispanic children; 1 in 612 Asian children; 1 in 753 White children…In many cases, there are still relatives or at least one caregiver remaining who is able to continue to take care of the children, but that is not always the case. To this end, researchers estimate that foster care facilities have seen around a 15% increase directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos, Oct. 8, 2021
“Deaths have increased the past couple of months amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus…The (North Dakota) Health Department no longer publicly reports the county, sex and age range of newly confirmed deaths…‘medical staff (Sanford Health in Fargo) is exhausted, and burnout is a significant concern…Even though the rest of the world has returned to normal, or kind of normal, health care workers continue to deal with COVID on a daily basis.’” – Bismarck Tribune, 10/13/21
“Wisconsin communities have exploded with the Delta variant because many school districts have dropped all forms of covid mitigation that were in place last year due to the shrieking hordes of Tucker Carlson-watching zombies separated from their cerebrums and driven only by their lizard brains…Our goal…was to bring a class action lawsuit against all school districts in Wisconsin that weren’t protecting kids, teachers, and communities…we had to start somewhere. We hope that this Waukesha suit is accepted as a class action to cover the entire Federal Eastern Judicial District of Wisconsin and we plan to file another suit in the Western District next week that will hopefully scoop up all the school districts #upnorth, like our neighbors at Lakeland High School in Minocqua, where we’ve heard that anyone daring to protect kids and staff from Covid are being railroaded by folks who still have delusions that Trump won the election and who recently got their YouTube epidemiology degrees in “how masks cause carbon dioxide poisoning.” – Kirk Bangstad, Minocqua Brewing Company, 10/10/21
“Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.’”– Isaiah 56:3
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus,” engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty
Despite possessing some of the finest investigative reporters in the world, it may take more time for the NY Times Editorial Board to fully admit that the largest humanitarian achievement of the past ten years has been the acceptance of some one million refugees from strife in the Mideast and elsewhere by Angela Merkel’s Germany in 2015. The recent decline of Germany’s right wing party relative to genuine liberal and conservative parties in the German Federal Elections of Sunday, September 26, 2021 indicate that her efforts were not in vain. Susan Neiman’s book, Learning From The Germans, shows how this came to be. It is more instructive about the world we actually live in than the dozens of “Trump Drama” books, even useful ones, emanating from publishers who occasionally take their subjects as seriously as they take themselves.
Media types and historians who still peddle “4th of July History” and “The Greatest Generation” should be ashamed of the comparison between today’s Germany and the U.S., but there is little evidence of that. Small wonder. Americans, and their self-proclaimed “official voices,” in addition to coping with self-inflicted domestic woes, are still recovering from hangovers of our media’s endless self-congratulation of U.S. victory over Hitler’s Germany in 1945, while perennially failing to fully address the seeds of racism, fascism, and misogyny in our midst that date from those years and well before. Back then, self-proclaimed elites, like Henry Luce at Time/Life, corporate shills like Ronald Reagan, and leading lights of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations were carving out corporate Empires at home and abroad in the name of “progress is our most important product” (translation: “greed is good”) and anti-Communism (translation: “the end justifies the means in the fight against the Soviets”). The bill is overdue in 2021, and these same, arrogant, media moguls loudly expect it to be paid in full by the Joe Biden administration. They refuse to recognize their contributions to American spiritual deficits piled up in the Cold War. Only my KGB animal friends could provide answers to this “candor gap.”
High Plains Reader: It’s clear to any human observer with humanity left in them, that today’s crises faced by the Biden administration were brewing over 70 years ago. A spiritual breakdown in the American body politic took place in the aftermath of World War II boasting that “We’re Number One” among white male Americans, to the point of continuing to treat American women and folks of color as 2nd Class citizens, despite their equal contributions to defeating Fascism and their willing enlistment in the fight against Soviet Communism. What went wrong?
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog (MRRLD): While Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI) was going after liberals who were supposedly soft on Communism; reactionary agitators in conservative sheep’s clothing, like publicist William Buckley and Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) were setting the table for incipient fascism. Their self-righteous hymns to freedom for those who looked, acted, and thought like themselves, but not for those who did not, would eventually be sung as hymns of hatred from radio by Rush Limbaugh; TV by Roger Ailes and FOX news mouthpieces like Tucker Carlson, pissant State and local Republicans, dressed up as Founding Fathers as for Halloween, and social media by everyone with grudges against their neighbors.
Torquemada: And to think that most of us thought that the anti-Christ would come in human form instead of a microphone or cell phone.
Schickelgruber: Nein! Not So! The beast is all too human. Democracy hating reactionaries in Weimar Germany in the 1920’s peddled the “Big Lie” that the Kaiser’s Germany had not actually lost World War I in 1918. The Nazis just copied that lie for their own uses. Similarly, after 1945, media, industry, and those historians who left out the sacrifices of tens of millions of Soviet citizens, and the geopolitical realities facing Stalin in 1939, peddled the illusion that the U.S. and its western allies had won World War II all by themselves. This myopia became particularly toxic in the 1980s in the aftermath of defeat of those very illusions of “American Particularism” in Southeast Asia; a windfall for Ronald Reagan’s “greed is good” doctrine.
Mr. Swamp Fox: As Stuart Stevens admits in “It Was All A Lie,” the Republican Party of so-called conservative, “big ideas,” was really no more than another smokescreen for age-old visions of white racism, abandoned by President Johnson, many Congressional Democrats, and Republican moderates in the 1960s. The road to Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” of 2021 that he had not actually lost the Presidential Election of November 3, 2020, was paved with slick slogans from radio, TV and social media by men and women who were neither sincere in their patriotism nor their commitment to democratic norms and procedures. They were backed by dark money boys who genuinely hated any form of government other than rule by the few—themselves.
Prudence Possum: The onslaught of Reactionaries, using the machinery of State and Local Republican Parties, and a Mitch McConnell packed U.S. Supreme Court is in full view in 2021. Objectives of sustaining white male dominance, therefore, are no longer viable by stealth via the Trump Presidency, Dick Cheney’s Bush I and Bush II years, and Reagan’s manufacture of Puerto Rican “terrorists” in the 1980’s, before real ones showed up from Saudi Arabia in 2001.
Agatha Alligator: The conservative mask is off and the GOP now represents reactionary policies dating back to pre-Roe v. Wade of 1973; pre-Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964/65; pre-GI Bill of 1945; pre-FDR and New Deal of the 1930’s; pre-Teddy Roosevelt Trust busting and conservation of the 1900’s; even pre-Civil War and Reconstruction.
Jim Crow XV: And we soon may see a “Dred Scott” decision for women that promises civil war between and among the sexes in all 50 States, if Texas and Mississippi Republicans get their wish to re-enslave women’s bodies with the dogma of men’s desires.
HPR: It’s that bad?
Jim Crow XV: Perhaps. Perhaps not. Media missed the larger evils of the Trump phenomenon in 2016. It’s not about a ranting loser; but about the forces of Counter Revolution that back him, whether foreign like Vladimir Putin, or domestic dark money boys and girls of the reactionary right wing on FOX, “rabid radio” and other anti-democratic forces enabled by Facebook and other social media. As anti-vaxxer enthusiasts, the GOP is now The Pro-Plague Party.
Lena: Make no mistake. The American Revolutionary ideal has become gradually more potent since incorporating French Revolutionary ideals of equality and community well-being during the Civil War of 1861-1865; extension of women’s voting rights in 1919; the New and Square Deals of FDR and Harry Truman; civil and voting rights; immigrant expansion of the 1960s and 70s, and the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008.
Jim Crow XV: Reactionaries have plenty to hate. Enough of them are filthy rich and willing to spend big on defeating progressive change. They can always depend upon enough (of P.T. Barnum’s) suckers being born each minute to fall for appeals to old Biblical hatreds and make real trouble for “loving ones neighbor as thyself.”
HPR: It seems so hopeless that many parents, especially in Red States and Trump enclaves in Blue or Purple States, are willing to watch politicians and mob violence endanger their children’s lives in the midst of a pandemic. Can anything be done?
MRRLD: Of course. It depends upon whether rational, but cowardly Republican politicians, that were silent while Mitch McConnell helped Trump select reactionary judges for the Supreme Court, are willing to fight locally and State wide in Republican primaries in 2022, especially in crucial Secretary of State races where constitutional Republicans, or Democrats hold sway. The Democratic Party, still committed en masse to American Revolutionary principles, only gets to weigh in at General Election time, and only if their supporters’ right to vote is still intact by then.
Treason’s Terrier: With the Republican Party now split into three Caucuses based on the upshot of the January 6th Capitol assault by a counterrevolutionary armed mob; it remains to be seen whether the Treason Caucus (7 Senators; 138 Representatives) led by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) will increase or decrease relative to the Constitutional Caucus (7 Senators; 10 Representatives) led by Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
Chicago Dog: The Republican Cowards Caucus (36 Senators and 64 Representatives) led by, of course, no one, is the key indicator of whether the Republican Party will return to being a contributor to American democracy or continue in its present role as an agent in its destruction.
HPR: It doesn’t look so good so far. Coward Caucus Senator, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) just joined the Treason Caucus in his home State on October 9th; sucking up to Trump’s latest Big Lie rally to promote his America Firster, half assed Confederate States of America.
Becky Badger: Grassley may change his mind and his Caucus before November, 2022 rolls around. In nearby Wisconsin, Kirk Bangstad’s Minocqua Brewing Co.PAC is suing the Waukesha, WI School Board in Federal Court for endangering school children’s health: enabling a “public nuisance” by caving in to a mob calling for the heads of responsible school officials trying to protect their kids with science instead of with “dogma for dummies.”
Yankee Doodle Poodle: Wow! A throwback to the original Samuel Adams of Boston, but in the Midwest. Actually, Progressive/Populist America has deep roots in the Midwest.
Becky Badger: Comedian Steven Colbert recently tapped into Milwaukee’s version of populist humor by running the Milwaukee Brewers’ Sausage Race and apologizing for “dissing” that city. And Chuck Grassley should know that Iowa isn’t only “Trump Country.” It’s the home of, arguably, America’s most beloved Broadway Musical, Meredith Willson’s, The Music Man.
Yankee Doodle Poodle: That’s right. A lovable con-man falls for a local woman who sees beyond his scam to sell the sizzle of band uniforms, rather than the meat of musical knowledge, to touch the point where he inspires people to love their own, regardless of their abilities. When Marian Paroo exclaims that Harold Hill helped her hear the birds that were singing and the bells that were ringing, she unveiled the better angels of his devilish nature. Willson even helps the audience along by using the same melody for the raucous “76 Trombones” to underscore the romantic “Goodnight My Someone.” The political “battleground” States of Iowa and Wisconsin are battlegrounds for Americans’ hearts, as well as their minds and souls; and also in every school board and precinct polling place in the nation.
HPR: But the GOP has lost its heart, mind and soul to a con-man who only inspires hatreds!
Chicago Dog: True, but democracy has never been for the faint of heart, mind or soul. Freedom has burdens and responsibilities, as well as rights. An update to the Emma Lazarus poem was found recently, spray painted onto a stray piling in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty:
Warning! Freedom Isn’t Free Without Sanity, Sanctity, and Sacrifice………..……..Anonymous
I, “Liberty Enlightening the Earth,”
Still welcome those upon my shores who dare;
To face the evil ones who wish to tear;
Huge holes in souls of citizens of worth.
The shouts of “freedom” from the mouths of men
And women; who’d destroy their very kin;
For hate and fear. Imagination’s win
Against such phantom foe(‘s) beyond my ken.
I grieve for liberty, equality
And all that has been gained up to this day;
I fear the force of lies that profit wealth;
I cheer the brave who fight iniquity;
‘Gainst brain-dead bullies, who would throw away
Our “last, great hope;” through violence and stealth.