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Category: Politics

Less Than Supreme
I see where those white supremacist fellows are at it again. Four of them where arrested this week for shooting up a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. The story I saw included some photos of the accused. I am convinced this will prove to be yet another setback for their movement.

I am not talking about the bad press resulting from the shooting. Anyone who sympathizes with that cause in the first place will no doubt be heartened by these attempted murders. Rather, I am talking about the photographs themselves. I don’t want to focus too much on appearances here, but I must say that this particular group of supremacists don’t really look that, uh, supreme…if you know what I mean.

I want to stress that I have not met or talked with any of these young men, so I could be wrong. They might well be budding civic leaders or candidates for admission to West Point, and maybe they were just having a very bad hair day. Judging strictly from their mug shots, however, they all seem to have one thing (besides white skins) in common: a deep and feral stupidity. As white supremacists, shouldn’t they all be, like, brilliant?

Full disclosure: I have a white skin too, and sometimes I entertain an outsized opinion of my own worth. I am not a white supremacist, however. Nor have they sought out my advice regarding their various efforts at outreach. Were I advising them, though, I would suggest that they enlist some better examples of white supremacy for these high profile activities. For instance, if you expect to break into the national news with one of these events, wouldn’t it be better to include a Nobel laureate or two on the team? You know, just to put your best foot forward?

In addition to the dimwittedness apparent in the photos of these men, I also see the unmistakable caste of brutishness. (Again, it’s entirely possible that they were simply getting over a bad case of the flu or had just been trampled by elephants.) As a counterpoint to such an impression, why not enlist the help of Pope Francis or some other respected religious leader in this venture? To have someone supremely spiritual on the team, along with someone supremely intelligent, could have turned this story into a big win for the cause of white supremacy.

I can understand why the movement might not want to take my advice. They might argue that there shouldn’t be a need to bring in the big guns of supremacy to represent their cause (though I’m sure that most white Nobel laureates would be happy to help). Any white, supreme person should do — ideally, the very four who were arrested. Sadly, those young men, even though they were daring, even though they believed deeply in white supremacy, did not live up to their own high standards. They ought to have been the best and the brightest. Instead, they were the worst and the dimmest.

I’m afraid that they must accept the blame for that. The courts will see to it.
Politicizing a Tragedy
I want to take a moment to politicize the horrific attacks in Paris. It may seem like it is too soon after that tragedy to do such a thing, but I have to say this. I think that we should do all we can, in responding to the massacre, to hold onto our humanity.

You might say that such a timid assertion is not really political statement at all. But consider this: a commitment to hold on to your humanity includes a pledge to honor the shared humanity of every person on earth — even those who have abandoned their own humanity with these heinous acts.

So yeah, I am politicizing this tragedy. It seems, moreover, that the Republican candidates for president would not subscribe to my brand of politics. Instead, they are exploiting the carnage in Paris to make their own political points. Donald Trump took the time to suggest that the scarcity of guns in French society led to this mass shooting. Ted Cruz has declared that now we should care even less about killing innocents with our air strikes. Bobby Jindal saw a confirmation of his crusade to secure our southern border. Marco Rubio thinks that we no longer need to be concerned about offending Muslims. Mike Huckabee views the murders as a reason to abandon the Iranian peace treaty. And every single Republican presidential candidate thinks we should not accept Syrian refugees, even children, into our country. Unless they’re Christian, of course.

Those are the lessons they have taken from this atrocity. They were certainly not holding on very tightly to their humanity. Or maybe they were, and they just sold it out cheap at the first sign of trouble. I can understand the temptation to do that. Humanity is not an easy promise to keep. Holding onto your humanity while keeping yourself, your family, and your community safe in the face of mass murder will be next to impossible. War, indeed, is the greatest test of our humanity.

I am only suggesting that we try. Unlike those presidential contenders, I don’t have any specific solutions to offer. All I have is a starting point. I want tragedies like the one in Paris to stop — everywhere, now. I don’t want anyone to kill anyone else, period. That’s what holding on to your humanity looks like. The rest is up to our imagination, intelligence, and courage.

It is human to feel the fear and sorrow and rage of Paris. It is human to want to strike back. Those are genuine emotional responses. But before we act on them, let’s make sure we have a good grip on our humanity. We will need it when we come out on the other side of this darkness.
Unity Government
Whatever you might think about the recent scramble to fill the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives, you’ll have to admit that it’s been educational. All of the eye-gouging and nipple-twisting and mud wrestling has unearthed one interesting tidbit of legal trivia: the voters in that contest —members of the House of whatever party — need not choose one of their own for the post.

In other words, members of Congress could elect someone from the general populace to lead them. It does appear that the candidate must be an American citizen, but they could pick just about anybody to be Speaker.

Am I the only one, or does this sound like a fantastic idea? Enough with the bickering and infighting. Let’s get some new blood in there, someone untainted by politics and untouched by the stench of dysfunction. What Congress needs, it seems clear, is a fresh, can-do attitude, a willingness to tell it like it is no matter what the cost…and those are qualities that only an outsider can bring to that tired institution.

I can tell from that impish twinkle in your eye that you are thinking the same thing that I am thinking. Yes…Donald Trump! For Speaker of the House!

Okay, we agree that it’s a great idea, but let’s not let our excitement carry us away. We must ask ourselves, “What unintended consequences would this action have?” The answer: many, no doubt, but it seems like they’re all good. One of those consequences, for instance, might be that you would have a Speaker Trump and a President Trump at the same time. This idea is getting better and better!

My five minutes of exhaustive research have uncovered no reason why this couldn’t happen. There are scholarly opinions suggesting that it might not be permitted, but there is nothing in the letter of the law that forbids it… and no precedent, either, because all of this would be unprecedented. We’ve never had a non-member Speaker, so no laws or experience exist that would govern this situation. This is virgin political territory we can ravage and despoil any way we want!

Furthermore (and here is what seals the deal on this proposal), President Trump could then appoint himself, once there is an opening, to the Supreme Court. A government of perfect unity would be created! Once again, my research finds nothing in the law to prevent it.

So, are you fed up with the inability of your government to get anything done? Well, a United States of Trump wouldn’t have that problem. He could pass a bill, sign it, and declare it to be Constitutional on the same day — all by himself. He’d get plenty done, you can be sure of that, because he wouldn’t have to go through all that messy arguing that “traditional” politicians seem to love so much.

It’s really a wonder no one has thought of this before. One man, cutting through the red tape and doing what needs to be done. It could revolutionize democracy.
Bitch Nation
Let me be clear: I do not support Donald Trump in any way. He has, however, awakened in me a serious cause for concern.

I am worried that I might be Donald Trump’s bitch. I can’t not pay attention to him. And I am not the only one. The political class and the news media can’t not pay attention to him, either. The other Republican candidates have to pay attention to him. All of those people, the ignorant and the enlightened alike, are Donald Trump’s bitches.

And yes, since you’re still reading this, you’re probably his bitch, too. Kind of sad, isn’t it?
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon