Image of the Week
10-31-2020

           

Beware - Danger and a very long rant


Hi All,

This is a cholla cactus. Beware of its spikes, but if you know what you're doing, the fruit is edible, maybe even good. It was shot with a Panasonic Lumix GX7 with 3-D lens and frame sides for phantogram processing.

Sometimes I'm afraid that I'm spouting just to hear my own voice, but some of you have told me you like them. Of late I've not made much noise, but here it is, last chance before the election, so .....

As we approach next week's ultimate moment of reckoning for Trump's presidency, most of my friends and people I know think of him as a horrible person and even worse president, but clearly a large minority of Americans think he is worthy of their trust and even admiration. For the past four years I've pondered what could possibly fuel this.

Much like Trump himself, I suspect that much to most of his support is transactional. The very wealthy got even wealthier from the republican tax cut when they had majorities in both the House and Senate from 2016 to 2018. Trump's support for the gas and oil industry and taking a sledge hammer to environmental and consumer regulations helped these same people make even more money on their investments. Evangelical christians found in him their anti-abortion champion despite his obvious and considerable character flaws. Many whites must feel threatened by the country's ever shrinking white majority, and some are irritated, alarmed or outright disgusted by the thought of gay marriage and the recent gains of the LGBTQ community.

I am heartened to think that a significant majority of Americans can at last see who and what Trump truly is. A coward, a bully, a small and petty man, a thief, a swindler, a cheat, a defender of the indefensible, alleged to be a sex offender, and ultimately the leader of a cult bent on hanging on to power despite whatever damage is inflicted on our country and people, despite the pain and suffering and deaths left in his wake.

These past few weeks have laid the tragedy bare. What could be more clear, more careless, irresposible, vain and dangerous than over and over again gathering together thousands of trusting, cheering followers at his self-aggrandizing political rallies amid a surging pandemic. Beyond being 'COVID Donald', exposing who knows how many of his most ardent supports to the virus, several required more conventional hospitalization, left out on a cold Nebraska night, or in the mid day heat of the Florida sun. Going to one of his rallies is playing russian roulette with Trump its croupier and Putin his eye in the sky.

At some point Trump determined that fighting the virus wasn't really in his interest or his administration's skill set. That would take hard work, single minded dedication and worse yet, relying on experts and scientists, empowering them to make unpopular decisions that he would be blamed for. That's just not how he rolls. So now instead, he and his people are spreading the virus as fast as they can, and promoting the concept of herd immunity despite its huge toll on lives.

Instead of fighting the virus he's led a first amendment campaign against masks and distancing, ... in the name of freedom: Freedom to choose for ourselves whether or not to protect ourselves or others; freedom to do whatever we'd like despite the cost to ourselves and others around us; freedom from making annoying inconvenient sacrifices that take us away us from the normal lives we'd like to live; and freedom from dealing with the reality of the deadly pandemic that's befallen us and the rest of the world.

And he's trying to protect us from socialism and communism and any number of other evils that will undoubtably occur if democrats take control of the levers of power he's so gladly wielded and abused the past four years.

Tonight I watched a video of Trump at a rally today telling his people that doctors are faking coronavirus deaths, that they get $2000 extra for each death, that people aren't really dying from it, that they won't really die from it. That's his reelection message. That's his pitch.

So to the Trump supporters out there, if this is the man you choose to lead you and aspire to his principles, then you richly deserve him.

For the rest of us, we need to stand up and demand accountability. We need equality. We need civil rights. We need healthcare. We need voting rights. Above all we need decency to and respect for "the other". We need to talk and find common ground. We need to think of our adversaries as rivals or opponents, but not inherently base, evil, and bent on destroying our way of life. Except Trump, that is, he truly is evil and must be stopped.

The American dream can be for all of us, but only if we're willing to share power, and willing to accept some personal sacrifices that living in a free society requires of us.

Barry Rothstein

I send out a weekly email of these. If you'd like to be included, please go to the contact page and send me an email.

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