12 September

Telling The Truth To America: The New American Revolution Begins (Pray For Trump Run)

by Jon Katz

This weekend, several people inspired me to speak some truth to lies, cruelty, hatred, and bigotry. Joe Biden finally decided enough is enough and ordered 80 million federal and corporate workers to stand up to the irrational and ignorant and get vaccinated to help save lives, restore our economy, and the very idea of mass vaccination, which America brought to the world.

He said he’s getting sick of selfish lunatics and ignoramuses about time.

When all is said and done, this is a make-or-break time for American democracy. Our public health, our right to choose, women’s right to be free and equal are all on the line.

I am no Pollyanna, but I sincerely believe this is something America badly needs to deal with. Donald Trump, forever a lummox when it comes to political decisions, will end up almost single-handily saving our social democracy and the idea that government is necessary and can do real good.

He is making us all understand something many of us got lazy, about he is forcing us to understand that government is sometimes necessary and can do great good.

Trump’s fatal flaw is that he only cares about himself, and in politics, that is a fatal flaw.

To read our spinning media, one would think Trump won in 2020. He didn’t. He and his legions of trolls have managed to grievously offend and alienate at least twice as many people this year than they offended in the previous four years.

And we still have a couple of years to go. The motto of convention journalism ought to be: we need to see the forest for the trees. Sitting at their cable news desks, texting one another, they just can’t.

I repeat: letting women, men, children,  and older adults die needlessly is not a win-win proposition, no matter what Ron  DeSantis and Greg Abbott said.

The extremists in the Republican Party are running away with it, and they are inevitably pulling Trumpism over the cliff with them. If you don’t believe me, listen for the California recall Tuesday results. The Republican Party has spent many millions of dollars crowing about their looming takeover of that state. Let’s see just how many California’s are willing to trust the party of Trump, DeSantis, and Abbott in the fight against an embattled governor given up for dead.

Last week, the Governor Of Texas (Mr. Abbott) defended the state’s abortion law’s refusal to allow abortions for rape and incest this way: “We will wipe the rapists off the streets, we’ll end rape by chasing down all of the rapists out there and getting rid of them.” Then, he said, rape and abortion would no longer be an issue.

I waited a good while for some reporter to ask him why, if this was possible, it hadn’t happened. But no one did.

Politics is not, in the final analysis, about polling; it’s about feeling.

I do not have a perfect record for predicting political outcomes, but I have a pretty good one. It’s a kind of idiot savant gift I was given when I was a political reporter, one that has made me uneasy all of my life.

I have no desire to be a popular pundit or always be right,  but I have a great desire to be authentic, and I strongly believe we are now witnessing the rebirth of our democracy, not its undoing.

I believe the facts – rationally examined away from the hysteria of Washington and New York – support that feeling. It is time for me and others to back away from fear and intimidation and speak the truth.

It is a social crime to be an elitist.

It is a crime against humanity now to be a timid liar or to walk on eggshells when our very way of life is on the line, and lives are literally on the line. Not to mention the fact that our children need us.

I, for one, will not be silent as millions of people defend the cultural murder of children and thousands of older people by rejecting the idea that lives can be saved. Donald Trump’s social movement is, above all things, profoundly ignorant and unrelentingly selfish.

We have governors all over the country who will sacrifice helpless children to their campaigns for re-election and enslavement to a vicious and greedy incompetent leader.

The Republican side of the House of Representatives is moving towards kicking Elizabeth Cheney out of their caucus for speaking the truth about the January 6 treasonous insurrection. Racist  Marjorie Taylor Greene is welcome to stay.

There we are.

I am concerned about what has happened to rational politics in America; I am not pessimistic.

This country was born by people who wished to be free; it will be restored by people who want to be free. It would be wise to remember that there are a lot more of us than them.

Those polls the media loves so much report that 70 percent of Americans believe we should all be vaccinated, although you would never know it by the news.

Joe Biden spoke the truth when he said we could no longer afford to put our lives in the angry, ignorant, sexist, bigoted, and irrational hands.  It is literally killing us.

The majority have rights as well, and they can whine as well as anyone.

When your bladder starts to twitch, keep this in mind.

This is the party that opposes the vaccines that would end the pandemic, has passed the cruelest and most offensive legislation ever aimed solely at women, denies climate change as half the country burns and the other half floods, is stealing hard-won voting rights from black people all over America,  and has spent more thn $6 billion dollars to keep the Quantonoma Bay prison open even thought there are only 40 prisons today and not a single one has yet gone to trial.

If this is the party American wants to run their lives, I’ll start checking on Costa Rica real estate prices; I need a place that will take two donkeys and three dogs.

The reason for this is so that they can continue to frighten Americans about a handful of aging terrorists even though the worst act of terrorism in modern times was launched by Donald Trump and his supporters on January 6. This is the party of Wonderland.

Cindy, a long-time blog reader, wrote a painful message to me saying if I continued to write critical things about Donald Trump, she would have to stop reading me.

This was my answer. I’ve evolved:

Cindy, here is my feeling about your request. If you support bigotry, you are a bigot. If you support suppressing the voting rights of black people, you are a bigot. If you support the horrible and cruel persecution of women who seek to make their own decisions about life, then you are a sexist. If you support a fascist leader, then you are fascist. If you cannot be persuaded to change your views, then you will never be comfortable here. And I can’t say any longer that I regret that. If you support these extreme and cruel ideas, I really don’t want you here; this is not the place for you.

I’m with President Biden on this point. It’s time to start telling the truth about what she and her fellow supporters of this movement are trying to do and how much damage they are doing to our country. When it comes to government, there are consequences to stupidity and ignorance.

The new American Revolution is underway.

Thousands of tech workers in Texas say they are considering moving out of the state or already are. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being raised to fund out-of-state travel for women seeking an abortion if they choose to terminate their pregnancies or are pregnant due to rape or incest.

And a score of lawsuits have already been filed against a blatantly unconstitutional and unconstitutionally cruel piece of legislaton. This awful law will not survive in this form.

Make no mistake about this either.

None of this is about policy or the budget or Joe Biden’s mental strength or governance. This Revolution is the newest and hopefully last confrontation between white and mostly Christian nationalists and the new diverse America that has been building for years and is about, I believe,  to explode in their races.

The governors pushing for this heinous legislation are all hoping to run for President and have their noses so far up Donald Trump’s ass that it’s a wonder they can breathe.

When policy is set only by rich white and fearful men, then the policy is doomed to fail in a country as large and diverse as this one has become.

The original idea was for all of us to be free, not just whining, angry, ignorant, and selfish Christian nationalists or white people. That sounds like a better idea than any I have heard come from the mouth of Donald Trump or his knights of the wobbly table.

They are going after black people, poor people, children, women, gun victims all at once. Killing citizens or manhandling a pandemic is not a policy; it is an abomination, and that realization is now spreading across the country.

Failing to protect children from mass murderers is not about freedom; it is about getting donations from the NRA.

Killing people and refusing vaccination is not freedom; it is the very opposite of freedom. It was Josef Stalin’s policy, and Mussolini and, yes, Hitler’s. It has never been America’s policy, and I do not believe it will stand.

In addition to Joe Biden and countless women all over the country, former President George Bush also stood and spoke some truth on 911 in Pennsylvania when he said the greatest terrorism threat is not coming from overseas; it is coming within our borders.

The terrorists who attacked our capital and the terrorists who destroyed the Twin Towers are “children of the same foul spirit,” Bush said in Pennsylvania.

In doing so, he made certain that January 6 could never be dismissed as fake news or a picnic gone bad. It is not permanently enshrined in history as an act of terrorism and treason, not of politics.

There is also great hope in Washington now, despite the past weeks.  Washington Post Columnist E.J. Dionne, one of the most respected political writers in the country, wrote this on Sunday:

“Virtually all Democrats in both houses of Congress understand it would be politically ruinous and historically irresponsible to kick away this opportunity to establish a more equitable social contract. That’s especially true since their initiatives – on child care, paid leave, elder care, health care, education, and the pro-family tax credit – are broadly popular.”

There was another extraordinary political development in Washington yesterday. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie returned to reality.

There is no leading Republican in America who did more to enable and legitimize Donald Trump and his hateful movement in 2016 than Chris Christie, the once honest, open-minded, and popular governor of New Jersey until a closed bridge scandal upended his own political future.

A very significant thing happened at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library yesterday; Christie compared Trump’s conspiracy-minded supporters to the John Birch Society in the 1960s and likened Trump to authoritarianism, and flatly rejected the Big Lie – that the 2020 election was stolen.

“All this lying has harmed our nation, to our party, and ourselves, “Christie said, calling out “the white supremacists and the wild extremists in the Republican ranks.”

No Republican leader as powerful and influential as Christie was in 2016 – he almost single-handedly gave Trump some legitimacy – has yet to speak so critically and openly and honestly about Trump.

It wouldn’t have happened a year ago.

The people who surround and enable Trump have no spine. It will only take a couple of rats to make the others jump off the ship. I hear the patter of rats in the wall.

Christie’s reversal was significant: another defector joined the Second American Revolution. Christie matters. And Christie is said to be planning to run for President in 2024.

Chris Christie is a savvy politician; at his best, he was considered almost unbeatable. If he jumps ship, it means something. He is not impulsive or foolish.

There was yet another sign of a turnaround in American politics over the weekend. For weeks, the media has been banging the drums about the effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsome. “Newsome fights for survival as historic crises fuel extraordinary race,” said the Guardian’s headline last week.

Yesterday, a different headline on CNN: “Republicans need a historic polling miss to win the California recall.”

No one, absolutely no one who knew one thing about politics thought California, the most Democratic state in the union, would permit a wacky Trumpist acolyte to unseat a Democratic governor and turn the state over to Republicans like Trump and his Republican governors set about alienating as much of the country’s as they can and showing us and the fence-sitters just what a Republican takeover in Washington and elsewhere would be like.

Once, Democrats were terrified that Trump would be on the ballot again. Now, they can’t wait. Democrats in California say they believe that the ex-president, who keeps hinting (bullshit) at the idea of another run for the presidency, has enormous power. But not in the way he once did.

He still has at least one kind of power, mobilizing suburban women and liberals and moderates.

All Newsome had to do was mention Trump, and the polls just spun almost overnight his way. The California recall will tell us a lot about just how powerful Trump is when dealing with people who aren’t his mind-bent followers.

If the Republican Party cannot count on Trump, they have nothing else in the bag other than a trail of lawsuits and resentment.

Democrats and Progressives have never had more reasons to organize, register, and vote than now or more people in public office to hate and fear, or more reasons to organize and fight for their very freedom and lives.

Trump is much better than King George III even was when it comes to creating true revolutionaries to oppose him. He couldn’t see past his own nose either.

So here’s my stab at punditry: Trump is much too much of a coward to risk running again, no matter what the screamers in Washington say.

And Biden will pass more or all of his dramatic and far-ranging legislation on behalf of equality and social democracy.

Of course, there will be Democratic infighting right up to the wire, as there should be with such historic legislation. And as they always do.

And no, the Republicans’ frantic effort to compromise our voting system will not result in a Republican victory in 2024.  The courts made that clear last year, and there is still time for new legislation from the Senate to curb the voting restrictions the Republicans are placing on poor and black people.

For all this trouble, this is still the world’s biggest and strongest Democracy, and I do not believe anywhere near a majority of people will give that up for Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, or Greg Abbott, or the smoldering ruins of the . Republican Party.

Politics always reminds me of pendulums, it swings one way, and it swings the other. I believe the pendulum is swinging back to sanity and some level of decency. You know where to e-mail me if I’m wrong: [email protected]

As always, I will be happy to admit being wrong; it happens a lot.

But I feel pretty solid about this.  Sadly, when it comes to understanding politics now, we are all on our own. My only agenda is to try to help.

Welcome to the New American Revolution. If you value freedom and equality, and justice, sign up. There’s plenty of time. Maybe we’ll finish the job.

“Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not.” – John Adams.

 

23 Comments

  1. What a super post!! Agree with everything you said, right down to Costa Rica!! One of my daughters had been there several times and she has been half serious in trying to convince me and her siblings, nieces and nephews, to move there. She absolutely loves the rainforest and it wouldn’t take much to uproot her!!

  2. My concerns over all that’s going on is the division these things have produced. I don’t know how to answer when asked …. if it is a women’s right to choose abortion based on her health and circumstances then why isn’t it a right for a person to choose whether or not to be vaccinated based on their health and circumstances. If the government mandated abortions instead of vaccines all *&$#%@ would break loose. Any thoughts on how to have a conversation on this topic?

    1. JOSIE GROW, here’s my conversation to you. I don’t believe there is a mandate on people to get a vaccination if they are TRULY compromised with a severe health issue. Correct me if I am wrong. The mandate on vaccinations is for healthy individuals so they can prevent others from severe illness or death. By others this means children under the age of twelve or those compromised with severe illnesses who are UNABLE to get vaccinated. I’m unclear where abortion is any comparison to this. Has anyone mentioned mandating them? If you want to save lives, and are able, get vaccinated.

      1. The jist of my comment is how do I respond to an individual that is in my building who asks these questions. This is not MY point of view. I don’t want to argue with this person but maybe provide some food for thought on a very upsetting and controversial subject.

  3. Thank you for being my voice of sanity! Your blog kept me from utter despair during the 2020 elections and every time things start getting dark and crazy you post another light in the dark. You rock and thank you again!

  4. It’s interesting that the anti-vaxers, anti-mask people and pro choice women all carry the exact same signs at protests: MY BODY MY CHOICE! Yet Texas has favored one group over the other which strikes me as hypocritical. The principle of having autonomy over one’s body shouldn’t be decided by a governor or legislature.

  5. Jon…
    Personal advice about forming political opinions: As early as possible, learn about World History. Study American history. Take a Civics class. Then, decide your own politics.

    I had taken this advice lightly. I did not seriously self-educate until my retirement. Only then I realized how much others had influenced my politics.

    In school, I regarded politics as just another class; this one conducted outside the classroom. I had much to learn, and was influenced by unsolicited advisors who didn’t know much more than I did.

    As a young adult, I unwisely mingled politics with social life. Again, I was accumulating a biased education.

    Your politics is between you and nobody else. It is your determination of the principles by which you believe your country should be governed. Politics is not a prudent way to choose your drinking buddies.

    I finally grasped the meaning of a struggle for independence: The Republic of Texas (1836-1845). We saw the Alamo and visited the San Jacinto Battlefield, where Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana, leading to Texas independence. To me at that time, this struggle was stark reality, while the Revolutionary War remained a hazy recitation – until I read David McCullough’s “1776.”

    Washington really could have lost. His army took repeated drubbings in NY and NJ. But his survival and victory dwarfed any comebacks I can recall. Freedom and Democracy: how rare; how hard-fought; how easily misunderstood; and how casually surrendered.

    Through my working years, I lived with a contemporary citizen’s view of American politics: a two-party system perturbated by school desegregation, the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the splinter campaigns of George Wallace, Eugene McCarthy, and H. Ross Perot.

    I was unaware of a shadowy specter of discontent living within the populace. Scarcely had the Civil War ended, did this new divide appear with the “Lost Cause” writings of Edward Pollard, which held that the Confederacy’s cause was just and heroic. This sentiment lived on through the KKK and the 1915 silent move “The Birth of a Nation.”

    I didn’t think much about survivalists, militia movements, and modern patriots until 2009 when “Tea Party” activists began showing up at Affordable Care Act town halls, some prepared for force. From there, the phenomenon reemerged at Charlottesville, Lafayette Square, January 6, and the Arizona Election Audit. The thread of events unspools . . .

    1. Donald thanks for the thoughts. I don’t agree. I don’t ever give advice about forming personal opinions. That is not something others can tell us about, it’s an individual, personal thing. There is no one way to do it, no requirement for forming personal opinions in my mind, other than being honest, and I read a lot of history. Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Abortion isn’t the same as a global pandemic. If you decide after consultation with your doctor and your conscience that you require an abortion, that procedure doesn’t run the risk of infecting someone with a potentially deadly virus.

  7. Thank you Jon, this perspective is what people need to hear. When a majority of men in Texas decide on women’s rights, we know things have just gone crazy. Yes, the pendulum has to swing and true democracy will prevail.

  8. One of your best posts since I’ve become a reader of the Bedlam Farm blog! From the perfect response to Cindy the trumpster, to the analysis of current (and coming) events, and to the reference of moving to Costa Rica. My husband and I have traveled to that wonderful little nation just once, but have been exploring it as a retirement option ever since…especially after the election of 2016.

  9. So antivaxers want the “freedom” to not have a shot in the arm. But women cannot have the “freedom” to not carry a baby for nine months. Now that’s rich! Right on Jon, I agree with everything you say.

    1. I could take the opposite stance. If the government can mandate a vaccination to protect its citizens why not mandate an abortion ban to protect future citizens. I am not anti-abortion or anti-vaccine but I am troubled by government intrusion into so much of our lives–from Patriot Act to mandates for whatever. It will soon be obvious that the Covid “vaccine” will morph into just another flu shot–effective at reducing bad outcomes and death, but requiring booster after booster. Will the general adult population (only 50% or so get the flu shot each year) still be bitching about the unvaccinated when the mandated fifth or sixth Covid booster is required? I was so disappointed after getting 5 anthrax doses that I was unable to get my booster a year later. How many children (those who are prepubescent [biological children]) have been hospitalized with Covid? Why aren’t these numbers posted every day? I think it has been too political all along The President and Vice-President both blasted the vaccine when they were running for office and now do not understand why so many are refusing the shot (including nearly 40% of “people of coIor”–hardly a Trump or Republican voting block). I doubt the Covid frenzy will last long after the mid-term elections—no matter who wins. I know I will get my booster, but I am old and like to travel. If I were 25 and fit I would probably blow it off and head to a bar. But if they would not let me in, I would head right to a vaccine site.

  10. I am disappointed to see not a single post on the 11th nor the 12th about the 9-11 20th anniversary… . 60 minutes last night had a very telling piece about the NYC firefighters who disregarded their safety (lives) in order to save those in the twin towers, 343 American heroes … who we should never forget. Posts about your underwear on the 11th just seems inappropriate on such a solemn day…

  11. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I support Biden’s new policies on addressing the pandemic 100%. I too am really, really out of patience with people who will not get vaccinated. Jon, you deleted one of my hateful e-mails about this subject. However, the non-vaccinated are making it impossible for others to get health care including myself. Today, I had physical therapy (much overdo) but my clinic is getting lax on covid and my therapist and I decided I should do home therapy which I know is not as efficient as having continued help from my therapist. Only a little over 50% of eligible Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated.
    I’m totally in the dark about why politicians are fighting masks and vaccines. This seems counterproductive for their political ambitions. The non-vaccinated are filling up our hospitals and are dying. In other words, people who believe the lies about the vaccines, virus and mask wearing aren’t going to be around as voters. But what I find really sad is that the hospitals are getting so filled with covid patients others who could be saved can’t get care and are dying. Good luck if you live in a hot spot and have a serious health issue.
    Abortion is a tough issue. But anyone who thinks incest and rape will ever end needs serious mental help. Just run a memoir writing a class and see how prevalent rape and incest is.

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