It is supposed to be a rainy, cold day here. So, it is a good day to wander with my thoughts, since I cannot wander outside. Here a few thimblefuls of thoughts on this Thursday. Please be forewarned, these thoughts and $3.00 will get you a cup of regular coffee.
I sure hope Democrats will learn a lesson from the Virginia election results. They should have seen it coming, but continued to fail to act. The bickering by Democrats in the US Congress led to their still not passing the three month overdue infrastructure bill and a tandem piece of legislation that would actually help Americans. I pleaded with the Speaker and two other representatives to get something done. The Americans expected them to pass something, but they still have not. It is akin to a circular firing squad.
As for the Republicans, while their party is adrift, untethered to truthfulness and lawfulness, their choice not to participate in the governance process in Washington does not seem to hurt them. What concerns me is the members of the party do not seem to care that untruthfulness and unlawfulness are key tenets.
And, it is not just rationalizing the untruthful and seditious actions of the former president. Critical Race Theory has been invented as a name-calling hammer that most people don’t know what it is, but have been told it is bad. As a white suburban mother said, it just teaches kids the truthful history, that bad things have been done by those in power to disenfranchised people – always has. But, the conservative leaders and opinion hosts have been beating a drum about how dare people teach that white people did some bad things in our past. This white washing of history has been a planned effort to woo votes.
It saddens me how ill-informed Americans are on the whole about issues, history, economics, etc. I have written several times that we are “The United States of Entertainment.” Most people spend time focusing on sports and entertainment news. If we do read or watch news, we tend to get it from sources who are telling us what we want to see or hear. Or, worse we will get it from someone on social media, where false stories are routed six times more often than real news per a media analyst. This is why Facebook did not change their model, as they made more money letting falsehoods flow more quickly.
We have serious issues that are not being dealt with or discussed. And, some are at a burning platform stage, pun intended. Climate change is hurting us now, so we must act. This is no longer a future issue. More and intense wildfires, more sunny day flooding in coastal towns, more stalled weather patterns, more damaging hurricanes with higher sea levels are all predicted events (per Climate change scientists) that are happening with greater frequency.
Voting and civil rights are under attack in the US and in other paces. The fear of the other sells. Lies sell. The former president knows this which has been his modus operandi for decades. Voting and civil rights have been under attack for several years, but they have been heightened by the staged and planned Big Lie by the former president that he was cheated out of the election, which he still cannot prove. He lost because he got fewer votes, but is not adult enough to admit it. As his niece Mary said before the election, her uncle will “burn it all down to avoid losing the election.”
Then there is naysaying of COVID vaccines that continues to get promoted that keeps us from moving full steam ahead. And, that debt and deficit will not fix itself, especially when we have to spend to improve and fix our infrastructure. Finally, we must be more civil to one another. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Listen to understand not to respond.
What frustrates this independent and former member of both major parties, is what I said above is overtly obvious if people would just read or watch multiple news outlets. I have said many times, it is hard enough to govern with facts and the truth, but when we govern off lies, it is nigh impossible. We must get our legislators to focus on doing their jobs, not just keeping their jobs. When they don’t, we are the people who get hurt.
Your not helping your own case to say stuff like this: “Critical Race Theory has been invented as a name-calling hammer that most people don’t know what it is, but have been told it is bad.” This is EXACTLY what is driving centrist voters who are very well aware of CRT activism in every facet of life they live into the ranks of voting Republican not because Republican platforms are virtuous but because they are the only alternative to the forces that are dismantling the country’s institutions in the name of this divisive ‘social justice’.
Unless and until Democrats reject their own support for this totalitarian push they are enabling, the vast political center will be pushed towards rejecting it at the polls.
Thanks for your comment.
This is quite an excellent thought filled thimble! As it is also Will Rogers date of birth I cannot resist adding his words to my comment and, might I add, it was quite difficult to limit myself to just this one : “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” Will Rogers wrote that in the late 1920’s and here we are in the 2020’s in the same place! Thank-you!
Ellen, thanks for offering the still apt wisdom of Will Rogers. And, thanks for your comment. Keith
I agree with everything you said. I wish my second cousin who refused the vaccine for Trumpy reasons and is now in the hospital on a ventilator would be open to reading something like this. We keep trying, though it seems like no one will listen,
Mickey, I truly feel for people (and their families) who are reaping what they sowed dying sans vaccine. It is sad, but not surprising that five conservative shock jocks who were vaccine critics have died of COVID. One died within five days of one of his ant-vaccine tirades on the air. Keith
It is karmic justice, but it doesn’t make those of us with empathy feel any better.
I like to hear that you contact the folks in governmental offices to help them know who you are and what you want done. Imagine what would happen if more of us did that in a kind and thoughtful way? I love to have productive discussions with people who aren’t entertaining themselves with silliness or enraging themselves with falsehoods. I’d be delighted Keith, to read a lot more about our solutions to our problems.
Rose, you are so very kind. I encourage folks to reach out, but give like they want to get, as usually you speak with a staff member. I have only encountered a very small handful out of the hundreds of staff I have spoken with over the years who were ornery. One of the things I also encourage is to call them when they do something good or courageous. I have left several messages for the handful of Republicans who have pushed back on their party or voted to impeach the former president, showing political courage. I will try to share more thoughts and suggestions and may pull up some old posts that have them as well. Thanks, Keith
A thought occurred to me after seeing the win in Virginia. People are frustrated that nothing is getting passed. Would eliminating the filibuster help that problem, and do you not think that if the Democrats don’t do it, the Republicans will on their next go around? Truly, I am just a bystander. As for the Critical Race Theory, I understand it to be a study of how systems employ bias, not to be confused with diversity training. Sadly it has been weaponized .
That’s what happens when you get Grade 2 students learning to identify by race – mixed race and kids from Jewish families had some problems selecting the ‘correct’ group to join – and then instructed to admit guilt for historical grievances. Or when AT&T imposes race based grievance training and insist all them Whities commit to ‘Doing the Work’ these past few months.
But criticizing this is apparently ‘weaponizing’ it. With much sadness, of course.
I politely disagree, but appreciate your viewpoint.
Disagree with what? That this is going on today? That these examples are false? That the practice of CRT is not real?
I admit I am over my head, here. Having visited your site I am deducing that you think racism is not a problem and that educating children (likely not Grade 2’s) on diversity is only inciting racial issues. I cannot get my head around this, and am happy to leave at we have differences in opinion.
A very quick way to understand CRT as it is practiced in real life is that the color of one’s skin trumps the quality of one’s character in all ways. If you think this is a good idea to teach to children and enforce throughout academia as well as underpin government public policy and business practices and enforced by law, then you will think CRT is a really good idea. It is a race-based ideology that frames EVERYTHING as expressions of a power imbalance caused by race that produces and explains all inequity in every category. The color of one’s skin is everything.
VJ, I am concerned about removing the filibuster as it has been harmful on judge nominees. Needing 60 votes before it was changed, we at least got more moderate nominees. If we eliminate the filibuster, we will see even more tribal legislation, which worries me, especially with the GOP so interested in social wedge issues rather than good policy. CRT is not being taught in schools, but it has been weaponized as if it were. And, since we have such a poorly informed nation on history, people can be made to believe stuff that is not true and not taught some ugly truths. Sadly, being anti-CRT is a bumper sticker issue for Republicans that requires more detailed discussion that people just don’t know and some don’t want to know. Keith
“CRT is not being taught in schools, but it has been weaponized as if it were.”
See, this is the kind of reality denialism that is very much part of the reason how Republicans gain political power, in that so many Democrats simply refuse to admit there is a problem while the Republicans make hay with it.
CRT is ubiquitous in education. Denying this fact is simply untrue, which is why organizations like FIRE, FAIR, and Counterweight are both necessary and needed to try to help teachers that have to deal with this ubiquitous reality everyday. Denying ti is real and omnipresent serves only one master: the Republicans. That is, in effect, what you are doing: empowering Republicans, which I think is worthy of being addressed because I think far too many Democrats don’t realize this is the real world effect of going along with the denialism.
The issues are complex, and as you state, Keith, I’m certain the majority of people are not aware of the many sides.
TildeB, thanks for your comments. Anti-CRT rhetoric is being used as a bumper sticker wedge issue by folks who do not care to articulate its veracity or lack thereof. It is a label used to woo voters without argument. I can appreciate that you think of subtleties that others may but, our country has a long unfortunate history of treating people poorly by the color of their skin. That is a sad truth. As a white man, I can go pretty much anywhere I want dressed however I want, but a black man dressed in his Sunday best has to move very slowly when stopped by a police officer or it may be the last thing he does on earth. He could be someone of the highest moral character, but it will not matter in some places, even today. You are welcome to disagree with this point, just as I can disagree with yours. While we have made strides in our country, I feel we have back slid the past ten years. You need not give me another dissertation, as I understand your points. Many thanks for your thoughts. Keith
Nice post. Thanks very much for sharing. So much divide in the US that people are blind to reality!
Thanks Cynthia for stopping by and offering your thoughts. Best wishes, Keith
Warning: Long, very long
Again I am not simply saddened but fearful by events taking place and the attitudes which are giving rise to them. It is something of a challenge to write the following words without sounding like some raw-boned ‘preacher-man’ coming out of the woods and warning folk of the Coming Day of Judgement. Here goes, anyway.
As you know from my previous postings the messages from history across Humanity’s journey influence my thoughts. Witnessing from outside ‘The Numbers’ are the first thing which concerns me. The fact that approximately 155 million voters were divided socially speaking nearly half-and-half over a controversial president amongst whose ranks were supporters of questionable ability to appreciate an equal society was the first warning. The second was that it would appear some 20 million voters seem to be of a variety of opinions which coalesce around the notion that force is needed to ‘win the 2020’ fraudulent election. The third being lack of consensus within the ‘governing party’. The fourth being a complete absence of a willingness to discuss differences, arguably a zero-sum-game mentality.
There comes many a time in a Nation’s journey when it encounters crisis points, these normally arise for a myriad of reasons, even if only one is cited for convenience’s sake. In the USA it could be argued that ‘The One’ for Convenience’s Sake is a reaction by a grouping of Conservative White Communities with a Christian base who fear losing their historical supremacy within the nation. At this juncture it is no use anyone reading this jumping down my allegorical throat; the fear of one group losing its position in a society is as old as the time Humanity began to form complex communities. It happens. It is no use getting on a high-horse, being offended etc, etc. This is history talking.
Thus the USA’s previous strength, being the federalisation of collection of semi-independent states / cities becomes a focal point on the vulnerability of the USA as it is currently recognised. If through the continued lack of consensus neither party is able to hold a popular, general ‘Ah well they’re not so bad’ mindset of the public then you will be faced with a continuing circling of the wagons as various areas which hold majorities of one sort or another seek to ensure their own continuation. Again this is nothing new in World History, many a large state has fragmented under internal pressures.
The subsequent question is. If this is the fate of the USA, in which direction does this go? Do we see a gradual diffusion into a construct where Washington and the President are nominal centres, with a role of arbiters? Or do we witness a series of violent actions as communities battles for regions, and minorities flee, and does this lead to something along the lines of a set of small conventional wars? (You can buy board games on this subject). Both are possible; probable being in the hands of the citizens of the USA.
The last time the USA faced this it was resolved through expenditure of blood and treasure and eventually the sacrifice of the rights of African Americans throughout regions of the USA. This time to problem is not so neatly regional.
I have previously touched on this subject on other sites as well as your Keith and felt at this stage the matter needed to be voiced in starker more detailed terms. There are many who are playing with fire in a tinder dry season, and I really want to be proven wrong, wrong, wrong.
Roger, thanks for your well thought out remarks. Although forewarned of their length, I encourage everyone who passes by to read your remarks. I would add we need statesmen and stateswomen who can elevate the conversation to where it needs, not add fuel to a fire, sometimes fires they created. Until our better angels tell more people to ignore the igniters, we will have more fires. We need to challenge our elected officials to be those kind of people. Alas, too many are not up to the task.
Thank you Keith.
At the risk of again bringing History into the discussion, there is a school of historians of the era who viewed the nations of Europe as sleep-walking into WWI; this is also arguable.
The point though there is a certain analogy there, it would seem your statesmen and stateswomen at varying steps in the ladder seem woefully unaware of the risks being taken with the USA’s future.
Maybe what will save the nation is a majority of folk, including those who still do not vote saying ‘Enough is Enough. We want the U, back in the USA’
Take care Keith and best wishes to you and yours.
Roger, many thanks for offering your perspective. Keith