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PostThe Recent Events in Washington: A Summary (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 01/13/21 2:17 pm)
Let's try to be as apolitical as possible. The Capitol disgrace is only the last phase of Trump's attempt for re-election. It is on tape, it is undeniable that Donald Trump and company incited the insurrection against the Capitol based on alleged electoral frauds after the merit of such allegations were considered by many county, state, and appeals courts and dismissed for lack of evidence. Also, keep in mind that many of these courts were presided by judges appointed by Trump himself. If that is not enough, the right-wing biased Justice Department and SCOTUS also declared the election legitimate.
When all of these legal actions failed to give him a victory, Trump attempted to overthrow the election results by corrupting the Republican officials in charge of the election process in key counties and states. Clear evidence of that is also on tape for the world to hear. But that does not seem to be enough, next Trump wants to play Congressional games, including demanding that his own VP declare the Electoral College votes invalid and declaring him a traitor for not obeying an impossible order. By then, even many diehard Republican Trump supporters in Congress also declared Biden the winner. But to Trump zombies, that is not enough. What else might any sane American who respects the Constitution want?
It is now obvious that from the beginning Trumpsters have been trying hard to destroy the work of Black, Indigenous, and women of color efforts to enfranchise millions of voters. Also on tape are some of the more rabid Trump supporters in Congress fueling the flames of mob violence by objecting to the Electoral College certification of Biden's election. Finally, the whole picture comes together, the Capitol riot was incited by Trump, planned and organized by his establishment, against his own government, which resulted in five dead people, including a murdered policeman.
It's not enough to just clear the Capitol and follow regular order. Traitorous and other illegal actions were committed. If the law means anything, Trump and the Republicans who participated in this attempted coup must face the legal consequences. If America wants to claim its place among law-abiding, democratic nations, they must be punished severely and immediately. They have become a great insult to the traditional American Way, to the Constitution, to law-abiding Americans, and to the Office. They must be totally repudiated by all patriot Americans.
I agree with my friend Eugenio Battaglia that just as with Clinton, Obama, and Trump, "For sure the Empire will not solve its problem with Biden, Sleepy Joe the instrument of the Deep State. A complete change is necessary with new leaders." But that is another issue. In spirit I also agree that "it is not a good show to attack mercilessly the defeated," but Trumpism is not defeated, it is like cancer, and if given a chance, it will destroy us all.
I also agree with A.J. Cave that it smells like conspiracy when the "the FBI did not show any interest in the demonstrators, nor did the local law enforcement agencies [and Capitol police] take any serious additional precautions to ensure the ... security of the Capitol Complex... In contrast, every time there was a BLM (Black Lives Matter) demonstration planned in my neck of the woods, the police would send out alerts days before." On the other hand, if "the Democrats are feverishly pushing for impeachment, resignation, or removal from the office at any cost, to make sure he is out of play for good," rather than demanding respect for the Constitution and the rule of law, they are making a big mistake. Trump may be politically dead, but Trumpism will live forever in the hearts and minds of ignorant, aggressive, unhappy people.
JE comments: And today's latest: Trump goes down in the history books as the only president to be impeached twice. There is something perversely impressive about the achievement. Say what you will about Trump, but he never does things small.
I'd like to hear from our colleagues in other countries. Is there any sense of Schadenfreude that the nation that smugly preaches and even tries to export Order and Democracy is now going through such political upheaval?
Trump Supporters are Not Zombies
(Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA
01/15/21 3:55 AM)
Tor Guimaraes's sophomoric post of January 13th claims to be apolitical, yet the author launches into a political diatribe (e.g. right-wing biased Department of Justice, Trump supporters as zombies, etc.).
I did not vote for Trump and criticized him often on his Twitter site. But I have smart, financially successful, church-going friends who like his policies. They are not zombies.
So this attack post is a useless, meaningless contribution to knowledge.
I ponder whether in a show of "peaceful unity" in Tor's next post, if he will ask that I be canceled from WAIS.
JE comments: WAIS doesn't cancel, although I do "massage" incoming posts (such as this one) to keep the discussions as civil as our heated times will allow. I should have done the same with Tor's zombie claim: mea culpa. The insurrectionists of January 6th were terrifying and broke the law, but zombies? No, although they may have seemed zombie-like to the people hunkered down in the Capitol, while angry throngs rushed the barricades and broke windows. Every zombie film has a scene or two like that: The Undead Take Washington?
Francisco, I never ventured into Trump's Twitterland, but I imagine it was a full-contact sport. Criticizing him on what used to be his favorite forum must have taken guts. Could you share a few war stories?
Trump Supporters are Zombie-Like: What I Meant
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
01/16/21 7:33 AM)
I am shocked that Francisco Wong-Díaz did not like my January 13th post (Trump would say it's perfect!), but Francisco is clearly mistaken that I would ever ask anyone to be canceled from WAIS. It has always been a wonderfully democratic Forum.
My meaning for "zombie-like" describes someone's inability or unwillingness to reason based on facts and logic based on what the US Constitution and rule of law state. I also have close friends and relatives who are diehard Trump supporters, very religious, financially well-off, etc. That does not preclude them from on one corner of their mouths declaring undying devotion to the Constitution while concurrently screaming "stop the steal" and approving of violence and sedition.
As I stated often before, I would become a Trump supporter if anyone can show evidence that in the four years as President, he has done something to Make America Great Again. My hard evidence says he has done nothing but harm to our nation. Since his followers reject reality, are willing to support lies, violence, and sedition against our own government based on empty faith in a corrupt messiah, I call them zombie-like. Nothing personal.
Last, my extreme disappointment with Francisco's criticism is that he focused on a word and ignored the message. The friends he mentioned may be "successful" in life, but they are abetting the behavior of a President who is proven to be incompetent, a psycho and sociopath, chronic liar, and common criminal whose first term in office has enabled over 350,000 deaths by Covid-19, and made the US a pariah among nations, friends and foes alike. Because the American people voted him out, he has made countless illegitimate attempts to overthrow the election results, culminating with his incitement of sedition against our democracy and even members of his own government. These disasters he has created are not merely "political diatribe;" I wish it was. That is our nation's reality today.
JE comments: I can't think of anything good Trump did beyond two: 1) No new wars, and 2) The stock market is doing well (at least for now). Number 1 is praise by omission (i.e., something Trump didn't do), and 2 may, or may not, be Trump's achievement.
I'll close with one thought: it used to be the Right that wrapped itself in the mantle of law and order. Now the Left and Center are expressing their outrage against Trump with the law and order argument.
Trump's Achievements as President
(Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA
01/17/21 4:21 AM)
I suggest that true scholarship requires a clear broad understanding and the honest balancing of competing data points.
In a recent footnote to a post (Tor Guimaraes, January 16th), our overworked editor hastily added that he only knew of two accomplishments by President Trump. The erstwhile influential national news magazine Newsweek had a longish list, however:
The Conservative Townhall has an even longer one:
So is the truth of the matter determined by reality or where you sit? Left or Right? The balanced middle ground is usually ignored at polarized times like these. So now those with opposite viewpoints are being dehumanized (insurrectionists, etc.) and found guilty by association in a country where our written Constitution set the general standards for civic behavior.
We are living in "1984 plus." History is already being purged online and in schools the Radicals' 1619 Project is promoting slavery over freedom as the defining theme of US history; moronic newspeak is on the march in schools and the media (no mother, father, son, etc.), the value of an education is sought to be determined not by your knowledge but by your political views (Harvard and Minnesota asking for canceling of Conservatives' earned degrees), lies and more lies are paraded as information by the puppetmasters of today (see the declassified Russiagate files and the role of former CIA chief Brennan, FBI Comey and others).
My current kneejerk diagnosis is that the USA is being fevered by foreign and domestic actors into a pre-revolutionary situation whose end is one historically commonplace--e.g. general bloodshed and destruction, guillotines and beheadings to mass executions, gulags, and concentration camps, etc. This national fever must be treated forthwith if the patient is to survive.
JE comments: Yikes, Francisco! Ol' Joe Biden is no Robespierre. Call him sleepy if you don't care for him, but radical?
A question: if we are in revolutionary times, who do you believe will fire the first shots? So far all indications suggest the radical Right, not its counterpart on the Left. You suggest above that people with "opposite viewpoints" are being labeled insurrectionists. The Putschists of January 6 are not being excoriated for their viewpoints, but for their violent, illegal, and historically unprecedented ways of expressing them.
The Newsweek article above includes the thawing of UAE-Israeli relations (an achievement, yes), and some others I would question. First and foremost, the border wall, which is a boondoggle and an unfinished one at that.
- Trump's Achievements as President (Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA 01/17/21 4:21 AM)
- Trump Supporters are Zombie-Like: What I Meant (Tor Guimaraes, USA 01/16/21 7:33 AM)