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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No Middle Ground

Note: Comments are now well over 200. That means if you want to see all the comments, including those nested under others, you have to go to the bottom of the page and click on “load more.” You may have to do this several times. // Jim


 

 

Oh nonsense, show Drumpf no quarter! He is president in name and legality only. If by whatever means an abomination seizes power it is our civic duty to never stop screaming it from the highest mountain. His path should be made as difficult to traverse as legally possible!
-- CrisP, Comment on Resolutions, Stonekettle Station

 

Traitor.

Fraud.

Self-righteous.

Coward.

Sell out.

Those are some of the more … polite things I’ve been called over the last 24 hours.

That last one is my favorite. Sell out. I’ve apparently given up my unbeholden indie ways and caved into the man, gone mainstream for a paycheck.  In my defense, I’m paying two mortgages and the fourth year of my son’s college tuition and I moved across the continent to take care of my ailing mother-in-law. Baby’s gotta eat, man.

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Moral Cowardice, he said.

Moral cowardice.

And then he compared me to Neville Chamberlain and boy howdy, that stings.

Moral cowardice from my gated white privilege community (that’s actually how they advertised it on the brochure: weekly Knee Bending Appeasement seminars at the community center. Also, Wednesdays are Bingo Night).

I assume he’s responding to Resolutions, the essay I posted here to kick off the new year and the abbreviated version I posted on my Facebook page. I assume this, but can’t be certain. I would have kept Mr. Holden’s message private and asked him to clarify his comment, but he blocked any further communications immediately after sending the message.

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It seems he called me a coward and then ran away – the equivalent of driving past my house and throwing a bag of flaming dog shit out the window without slowing down.

Like you do when you’re man of … moral courage.

 

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I suggested that we resolve to be the people we say we are.

That’s it.

Be the people we say we are.

That’s my new year’s resolution: try to be the people we say we are.

This is apparently called “normalization.”

Normalization.

Oh my God! Not normalization! Anything but normalization! It’s normalization, everybody! Normalization.

And we can’t play nice with that.

Normalization: the latest entry in buzzword bingo.

Normalization is the – literal – Trump Card. Toss out “normalization” in any group of lefties discussing how to face the coming years and, bam! your liberal opponents are shamed into silence, shut down. You win. Shout it in righteous fury: This is not normal, damn it! Just keep shouting that. It’s not an actual strategy. It’s not any kind of actual plan. It provides no guidance toward any effective action whatsoever. But goddamn it feels good. It sounds decisive, doesn’t it? This will not stand! This is not normal! We will resist!

Right.

I hate to bust your bubble, but if you look around, if you’re paying attention, well, you’re going to discover an unpleasant truth. To wit: this is normal.

This. Is. Normal.

If it wasn’t, if this wasn’t normal, then we wouldn’t have to fight so hard every single day for reproductive rights, for LGBT rights, for Black Lives, for freedom from oppressive religion, for peace, for justice, for equality, for education, for healthcare, for adequate food and clean water and breathable air.

Ignoring it, ignoring that sea of red in the middle of the country, the KKK and neo-Nazis unashamed front and center at national political rallies, social media full of hate and invective, open racism and misogyny and xenophobia, pretending that’s not the normal state for much of America, refusing to acknowledge it and face it head on instead of with ineffectual bluster and catch phrases, well, that’s why you’re looking at President elect Donald Trump right now.

This is normal.

That’s the whole goddamned problem.

In point of fact, from the context, my responders think this should be normal. It should be their normality, that’s what they are saying, that hate and false news and conspiracy theories and dirty politics and pandering to fear should be normalized as our tactics. 

Fight fire with fire.

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Either we are the people we say we are, or we are not.

That’s what I said in Resolutions. That’s the pull quote I used on Twitter.

But the “problem” with that line of thinking, as epitomized by the response above, is morality, integrity, principle – all of those ideals that were of such supposed vital importance to the left for the last eight years – suddenly those things don’t seem to matter.  What matters is expediency. The ends justify the means.

“We’re dealing with a criminal entity that doesn’t deserve ANY respect.”

Ah.

Boy, where have I heard that before?

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Leaving aside the part where I never used the word respect in reference to the man or the office, I’m not really sure how the above commenter determined the message of my article was forelock touching deference to Donald Trump when the pivot-point of the essay was this line

I stand foursquare against this guy and nearly everything he represents and I will continue to do so until I no longer have the means to resist.

You know, it’s funny.

My various inboxes are full of outrage from hardcore Lefties, Bernie Sanders supporters, who tell me they couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because they will never ever compromise their sacred principles – even if Bernie himself did. And yet – and yet – in the same email, in the very same email, they are willing to throw away their uncompromising principles and adopt the same tactics as the people they profess to despise.

 

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In Resolutions I never said anything about Donald Trump’s fitness to hold office. I said it was irrelevant. While you are arguing about his fitness, Donald Trump is taking office.

I never said anything about Trump winning honestly. I said he won. While you argue over honesty and fairness and Russian interference and DNC chicanery, Donald Trump is taking office.

While you petulantly pretend that he is not your president, Donald Trump is taking leadership of your country.

You can unfollow me until the goons come to haul us all away if it makes you feel better, but Donald Trump is taking office.

 

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Let me ask you something: if, when the war is over, you look around and discover that you have become your enemy – that is to say you have adopted everything about him that you once despised – then what was the point of the war in the first place?

Because no matter how pure your motives, if you adopt the morals, tactics, and rhetoric of your enemies, then in the bitter end you're no different whatsoever. If you adopt the tactics and morals of those you profess to despise, then the difference between you is only one of semantics.

You could have avoided the conflict altogether by just throwing in with him from the start.

The simple truth of the matter is this: if you’re willing to become what you despise solely in order to win, then winning is what is important to you.

Not principle.

Not morality.

Winning.

And you’re lying to yourself by pretending otherwise.

 

So let’s get down to it.

 

In the essay, Resolutions, I asked commenters on my social media pages to:

1) Face the fact that Donald Trump will be President of the United States

I didn’t say he was prepared to be president.

I didn’t say he deserved to be president.

I didn’t say I wanted him to be president.

I didn’t say you wanted him to be president.

I said it’s time to stop fantasizing about alternate endings.

I said Trump is going to be president

That’s a statement of probability with a high degree of certainty. You’ve had plenty of time to come to grips with it. You can’t formulate an effective counter if you refuse to face reality.  So start facing reality.

2) Face the fact that Trump will not abdicate the position or refuse to accept it.

I didn't say you had to like it.

I didn't say you had to "bend a knee."

I didn't say you had to take his orders.

I didn't say you had to respect either him or the office.

I said Trump is going to be president.

3) I asked you to please not wish for his death in my presence.

I didn’t say I want this guy to be president, because I do not. Adamantly do not. 

But that doesn’t mean I wish him dead either.

If you do, then that's on you.

Donald Trump may be a deplorable excuse for a human being, but nothing he’s done warrants death. Certainly that may change in the future – or it may not – but in America we don’t execute people for what they might do. If you think that sounds sanctimonious, take it up with the men who wrote the Constitution.

4) I asked you to refer to him by his name, "Trump," instead of using childish playground epithets on my social media pages.

5) I asked you not to engage in slut-shaming, body-shaming, or personal attacks on the future First Lady or Trump's minor children on my page.

I’ll be honest, neither of those requests seem like any great burden to me.

It doesn’t seem that I’ve demanded any great sacrifice from you.

I didn’t come up with either of these standards. This is what reasonable adults, both liberal and conservative, are supposed to act like, isn’t it? I realize we all, me included, fall short of these ideals from time to time, that’s just human nature. But isn’t this the foundation of liberalism? isn’t this the Golden Rule? Isn’t this the cornerstone of Christianity, do unto others? Isn’t this how we want our children to behave? Isn’t this the world we want to live in?

You’ll also note that in the original text, I said “on my social media pages” and said that what you did on your own time was your business.

6) I pointed out that whether you like it or not, Donald Trump will be your president (so long as you are an American).

If you're an American his decisions are going to affect you directly. 

Whether you like it or not, he’s going to be our president.

Now, look, you can hashtag every comment with #notmypresident until Russian tanks roll across the border, but Trump is going to be the president of the United States nevertheless.

You can say you don't acknowledge gravity, but it'll kill you whether you believe in it or not.

Twenty years of war taught me it's better to face reality than deny it – you tend to live longer that way.

Now, I concluded the article by asking you to check your facts, your sources, your memes, and your reasoning and to avoid deliberately engaging in conspiracy theory and rumor and hate for hate’s sake. I said what Donald Trump is doing right now, what he will likely do once in office, those things are bad enough already without resorting to the unhinged conspiracy nonsense that conservatives have exhibited in spades for the last eight years.

I did not tell you to respect Donald Trump.

I didn’t even suggest you respect the office.

I did not tell you to play nice.

I did not tell you to bend a knee.

I did not tell you to go along or to refrain from criticism.

I did not tell you to compromise your principles – you did that on your own.

I did not suggest appeasement in any fashion whatsoever, expressed or implied.

So, please, tell me which part of “act like a rational adult” is moral cowardice?

Please tell me which part of “resolve to be the people we say we are” is selling out?

Don’t be shy. Step right up. And tell me in detail, point by point and line by line, why I have set an impossibly high standard. Tell me why liberals can’t compromise their sacred principles when it comes to abortion or gay rights or the goddamned endangered snail darter or some pipeline in North Dakota, but you just can’t bear the thought of not being able to call Melania Trump an orange cum-guzzling whore on my Facebook page.

 

Please, by all means, step right up to the mic and explain it to me. The comment section is open.

 

What?

What’s that?

Oh, I sound a little pissed off do I?

Well, you know, being compared to the guy who sold Europe to the Nazis for cheap tends to do that.

Listening to liberals crying into their beer, bellyaching because they just discovered politics are dirty and mean and unfair, resorting to the same silly childish bullshit as the people they claim to despise, tends to get on my nerves in short order.

I am pissed.

Frankly I look at how the opposition acts when they think nobody is watching, when they don’t realize the mic is live, and I tell myself I’m better than that.

I tell myself you’re better than that.

Maybe it’s my background. What distinguishes a Navy Warrant from other officers is the ever present awareness that the mic is never off.  You must lead by example at all times and that the true test of integrity is not how you act when others are watching, but how you act when no one is.

Maybe it doesn’t matter to you, and that’s your business.

 

But it matters to me.

 

It matters because I have to look myself in the eye.

It matters because I have to look my son in the eye.

It matters because I have to look the men and women I once led into harm’s way in the eye.

It matters to me because I have look you people in the eye and either you lead by example all of the time, or you don’t.

It matters because if you want a better nation, then you have to be better citizens.

It matters because either we are the people we say we are, or we are not. There is no middle ground.

It matters because even though I never used the word in the text, Resolutions nevertheless was about respect.

Not respect for some politician. Because I’m an American and I don’t owe any politician a goddamned thing and neither should you.

Resolutions wasn’t even about respecting an office, not even the office of President of the United States.

No.

It was about integrity.

It was about respect for ourselves.

286 comments:

  1. You are right of course. I will prefer though that we behave more like the deplorables have in the last eight years.

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    1. That is exactly the opposite of what he just said. Don't become your enemy just to win.

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    2. Why? What would you gain by behaving like the people we don't agree with?

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    3. Tactics and morals are not the same thing. It is perfectly possible to use their "behavior" (tactics) without being like them.

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    4. To be the people we want to be. Yes. But too soon and sadly, too late. Because had we been the people we want to be we would not have Trump as President. To be the people we want to be we HAVE to be angry, we have to rant, we have to swear and call names, we have to purge ourselves of our guilt and and our anger and our frustration and our dispair. We have to grieve for what we failed to do, and what we have to do. We are afraid. We are lost. Give us time to find the lifeline, the path we can follow to resolve our guilt and our sense of failure. Grief. Self loathing. Shame. Fear. All at one swell foop. We cannot be the people we want to be, because we are not there yet. Some of us will never get there, some of us will get there too late. But some of us will get there, and eventually we will move forward.

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    5. Yes, it really is. The tactic of obstruction has absolutely NOTHING to do with morals/principles.

      Obstructing attempts to expand civil rights and obstructing attempts to curtail them are not the same thing, and does not make us like them.

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    6. How about an example talonts?

      Trump once suggested that the use of torture on captured Islamic militants should be justified simply because "they do it yo Anericans". And that it gives them an "advantage" over America of some sort so Amerixa should do the same.

      That's an example of becoming the enemy to oppose the enemy.

      Can you give an example where you do as the enemy does but don't end up like them in a moral or ethical sends?

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    7. We speak our attitudes but act on values. principles are values in action. It has long been known that acting in contrary to one's values for prolonged periods builds up cognitive dissonance which the brain must resolve. the choice is to change the actions or change the values. Tactics / behaviors have an effect on principles and can erode them.. If you don't want to all the research required to decide if what I just said is true, Just watch the last installment of "Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 2" ... not that I am endorsing the methods used in the final resolution.

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    8. I think the tactics in this guide may be what he was referring to. The tea party followed some extremely effective methods of pressuring office holders and organizing new candidates. We can do those things minus the bigotry and bad spelling. https://www.indivisibleguide.com/

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    9. Thank You Jim. Just remember, you can't reason with unreasonable people. You can try.. There are reasonable people out here. And like it or not, Trump will be the president. And we will survive.

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    10. Bar: those two ideas are mutually exclusive. You cannot both think Jim is right and still prefer to do exactly the opposite of what he says.

      taltonts: No, it's not. That's the whole point- if you use the same tactics as your enemy, the only difference you have is your ends. If you believe the the ends justify the means, then all you care about is winning. Just as Jim said.

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  2. Just as it is the duty of soldiers to follow orders, it is also their duty to (with the risk of a court-martial) oppose orders they believe to be unjust or illegal. I use this to illustrate the opposition to Trump. He will be President, and we must respect the Office of the President, but at the same time, we can, and should, resist the man who is President if he continues to show us he is not deserving the "consent of the governed." And, with every revelation of each new abuse, we must continue to speak up and speak out against each new abuse. I agree with you that we must be true to what we believe, and believing that Trump is not deserving of power is a belief that any power he has must be curtailed and diminished by every means possible within the law and within human power to protest and resist. Thanks for a great viewpoint, and for continuing to stand up for decency and communicating how we must step up as citizens.

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    1. Agree totally. We must watch, protest and expose. It worked for the moment on the special ethics committee, the Republicans stopped dismantling it because enough persons protested verbally and in writing that they did not want to be seen as they are. EVery time the Republicans move we need a tidal wave of protest and complaint.

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    2. Pretty sure Trump's was one of voices of castigation decrying that action

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    3. Honestly, all "we" did was delay it, and make them realize that we are watching, so they'll have to be even sneakier to get it past us. They'll just bury the various parts of it in separate bills until it builds up to what they want.

      It's still a "win", though. The more difficult it is for them, the better.

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    4. Trump decried the *timing* of the action, not the *intent* of the action. The constituents calling their representatives were the voices of castigation--he was complaining about priorities.

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  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Why is it so hard to realize all you have enumerated here is how you put into action what Michelle Obama so succinctly said "When they go low, we go high".

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    1. Which is easy to say if your rights aren't on the line. Sorry, I'll use low tactics if it keeps people's rights intact. Tactics and morals are separate.

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    2. Then you are no different from them. If you fight evil with evil you become the evil.

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    3. "Tactics and morals are separate." So the means justifies the ends....Sorry, you cannot claim to have a moral compass if you live like that. Which of course you did not claim. But if your goal in life is to keep people's "rights intact", expediency is not an effective approach.

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    4. I've been hearing the "go high" quote being used a lot both for and against what Jim Wright is advocating here. For me it's not about being better than they are, it's about looking myself in the mirror. I can't tell anyone else to follow my own moral dictates. Do what makes you feel proud of yourself. Do live in reality, though.

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    5. At what point does that stop? Should we censor people that advocate taking away rights? Jail them? Execute them? What's the dividing line?

      Claiming morals and tactics to be seperate is wholly self-serving. It's the first step towards justifying any action you want, because it's "for a good cause." People have done the most heinous things imaginable for a good cause.

      The true test of character is realizing that your tactics display your morals.

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  4. Thanks goodness that some adults are left on this planet like you, Mr. Wright. I was beginning to think that they had all left me behind.

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  5. "It was about integrity." -- too f'ing right. Maybe that's getting harder for people to hear / digest.

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    1. And the next line reminding us that it is about self-respect...to me integrity and self-respect go hand in hand. I try to hold myself to a much stricter code of conduct than I do others, number one, I cannot and will not control another person's decisions or actions, I can approve or disapprove, for whatever that is worth. Two, the only person who I am fully accountable to is myself, even for my darkest private thoughts and the ability NOT to act on them. I am unqualified to dictate the thoughts or beliefs of others, especially when I do not agree with them...attempts to discuss alternative points of view or educate are to be expected, but I know those attempts may fail. I also do not believe that I have the right to attack a person for beliefs that I do not agree with, merely to express my point of view as respectfully as possible - note, when commenting the backspace and delete keys are good assets.
      Personally I believe in "The Golden Rule" (no...not the greedy version of "He who has the Gold makes the Rules" or the paranoid version "Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you"), I also believe that it is not my place to judge a person - I simply do not have enough information or training, even if I was a top notch investigator with both a legal degree and a PhD in Psychology and Psychiatry. I also attempt - and often fail - to just be the best person the I CAN each day. I could do more, I could be nicer, I could be more effective, I could be lots of things....couldn't we all? However it's a win to not be a miserable person without empathy, integrity or self-respect.

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  6. Here is how I have explained it to my husband. I spent almost an entire decade saying that even if you don't like the man,show respect to the office. You can disagree without name calling, insults or death threats. I don't like Trump, I don't respect him and I don't agree with him. However, I can do that without belittling, I can do that without threats, I can do that and still show my respect for the office, for the process. And if I am wrong, if he can stand up and even just be a do nothing President, then I will admit I was wrong.

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    1. Respect is earned.

      Far as I'm concerned; everyone gets some minimum of respect by being human and they can then add to or subtract from that respect based on their words and actions.

      Offices? Well, it depends what they are and who holds them and how they got them and what they wish to do with them. POTUS included. Prime Ministerships (Australian or otherwise) included. Kings, Emperors, whatever and any other titles included.

      So okay, if someone has job X you know they've presumably gone through X to earn it but then if they behave badly and lose respect, well, they earn that too.

      Trump is & deserves to be respected - or not - based on what he says and does. For me anyhow. Your Mileage May Vary & that's okay.

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  7. As always, your words are well worth reading. I like your resolution. Took it to what passes for a heart with me, and am trying to be a better citizen. You are one of the few political writers I have any respect for anymore. Please keep up the good work. We need voices like your more than ever right now.

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  8. Oh boy, agreeing with this 'rant' a 100%, does it make me a target too? Well, so be it! There is no difference between the Green Sanderistas and the Tea Trumpistas... at least I haven't found anybody who could show a coherent evidence to that there is one... even a small one...

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    1. Well, to start off, the Green Party/Sanderistas don't want to exile anybody based on skin color or what deity they choose to worship.

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  9. I'll admit, when I first read Resolutions I felt that wash of anger that threatened to lash out in all directions. Words like "appeaser" came to mind.

    But I slowed down and then re-read the essay and you're right. It still sticks in my craw and I want to call that man every vile epithet I can bring to mind. But you're right.

    We don't have to respect Trump, or even respect the office of President. But we must respect ourselves and that involves the bitter task of standing straight when he makes us want to stoop and grab at the very mud he flings.

    It's going to be a hard slog but I'd like to be able to look at myself in the mirror when I'm done.

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    1. Well said ~ thank you for doing a better job of stating this than I would've done.

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    2. Yes, thank you. Well said and I believe that it can be put into action. Stand up, be counted and heard. If you really want people who disagree with you to listen. Controlling my own anger and fears, and directing them with passion to offer a better perspective, being a better citizen and neighbor. Besides being nice is a whole different approach/conviction than playing nice.

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  10. The bottom line of much of the criticism is that they regret that they didn't vote for HRC, but they lack the ability to admit that they screwed up and created the situation that they are now frothing about so they are doubling-down on vitriol against those who chose to pick the better (imperfect, yes, but better) candidate.

    One of the things I learned from my father was that political compromise isn't an evil thing, it is a necessary thing in order to govern a diverse and unruly country. He wept when Kennedy died (one of my earliest memories) but he then supported LBJ because "he was good at getting the things done that need to be done." We need to focus on getting the things done that will enable us to improve people's lives and prevent as much harm as possible, even if it means working with those whose values and character we dislike.

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  11. Love it. Normally I think you are mostly preaching to the choir, but it seems even the choir has gone bad lately - I hope they listen to you.

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    1. Oh there's plenty of the opposition who stop by here. They've learned not to comment or to be polite when they do. // Jim

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  12. Jim well spoken as always, I am taking your resolutions to heart.

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  13. I got it the first time.
    President Obama understands it.
    Senator Schumer understands it.
    Senator Sanders understands it.
    Senator Warren understands it.
    Just about every veteran understands that if you lower yourself to the enemy's level, the victory is hollow and tainted. We are at the threshold of the battle. Lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way - the time for this petty "not my president" bullshit is over. Its real now.
    Got your back, shipmate.

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    1. I don't say he's "not my president", because like it or not, he is. I say #didn'tvoteforhim.

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    2. Serious like.

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    3. Apparently only 19%* - rounded up - of Americans actually did vote for Trump.

      I think that's certainly a huge worry and does bring Trump's legitimacy as POTUS (& in my view the whole US electoral system) into question especially given its NOT just down to the non-voters, those who's votes were denied and those pitiful fools who (horribly counter-productively in my view) voted for 3rd party spoilers but also that Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote by about three million votes.

      So yes, I think the "Not My President" people have a case here. What they can or should do about it; I wish I knew. However, I do think they are well justified in what they say and in being furious about it.

      Now Jim Wright; I am a huge fan of you and your work and you have the utmost respect from me but when you say that this is "irrelevant" which is what I gather you do say, well, I'll only say that I respectfully strongly disagree. I won't call you names & I certainly don't think you've "sold out" but on this, well, see previous sentence.

      The USA is not my country (Aussie typing - so not quite the 51st state yet although gravely affected by US foreign policies) but I really think its time for some serious political system reforms over there starting with changing the situation to prevent anything like this happening again.

      Nonetheless, Trump is the POTUS-elect and will almost certainly become POTUS and I acknowledge this - and am also utterly horrified, disgusted and despairing at it.

      ---

      * Figures provided in this quote :

      "About 60.35 million voted for Trump; ~60.98 million voted for Clinton. 46.9% of registered voters did not vote, and the U.S. has a population of 324.97 million. Yes, ~18.6% of the U.S. population, less than one in five, has set us on this course."

      Source :'Notes from Beringia' blog article "If-the-wind-will-not-serve-take-to-the-oars" by Kevin Winker, 13th November 2016.

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    4. The population includes a lot of people under age 18 who cannot vote. It's closer to 25% of the voting age population who voted for Trump.

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    5. @ Anonymous January 5, 2017 at 6:36 AM Okay. Fair enough Still. 25% and he becomes POTUS? Versus how many against or neutral? yeah, its better than 20% - but. Still don't seem fair, right or democratic to me.

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  14. Well said. I understood fully. It is how I have and will conduct myself. I have refused to refer to Trump by anything other than his name.. Once again, well said..

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  15. "if you want a better nation, then you have to better citizens."

    Every. Damn. Time. That single statement changed my thoughts about this nation when I began reading your stuff. We don't have to agree but we should reflect those values we hold dear in everything we do and everything we write. "Be the change you want to see" and so on.

    Drive that statement home Mr. Wright.

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  16. I felt that tickle of petulance when I read Resolutions. I am now over it. I do respect myself too much to act like that. Thanks for the reminder. I want to see real change, not just 'win,' so I guess I better buck up and get my activism on. See you on the battlefield.

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  17. Once again, you put my thoughts and feelings into words better than I ever could. You're right, we need to act like adults about this, and work within the system to change the system, or else we'll be no better than the others we've been decrying as unfair.

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  18. Jim,
    Keep on keeping on. As an Army Warrant, I hear exactly what you are saying.

    Rough times are coming and we need people to set the example of decorum and honor.

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    1. Haven't the last 8 years shown us one of the best examples we could possibly have? Such grace, honor, intelligence, and yes, humor, in the face of never ending hatred.

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  19. I thanked you once for writing "Resolutions" and I will again, thank you. Just lately there has been nothing more gut wrenching for me than seeing responses from formerly reasonable people devolve into the very hatefulness and name calling that so disgusted me coming from the "other side". Well, it's every bit as disgusting coming from 'my' side. Amazingly enough the responses to these insult fests from the left have been mostly calm reasoned responses, makes me wonder was our high ground built on on the fact that we considered ourselves winning? That's hardly the high ground.

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  20. Thank you for your rational words on this. I'm tired of reading juvenile insults and name calling regarding this issue.

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  21. Somewhen during my musings both internal and external about how I would face the new year differently, I recalled the notion I had heard years ago that all I had to do to be the person I wanted to be was to be that person. So, while I will think of him as the angry yam, I will call him President Trump. I won't respect President Trump, but I will call him that. I won't call folks on the right, especially the ones who never ever seem to do their own research, Conservatards, though I might quietly think it in my inner voice.

    It's tough being moral, taking the high ground. But oh you are so very right that using their own methods against them means we care more about winning than about morality. My fear, my very big fear, is that this is the case. Both sides care more about winning than about caring for one another. Even charitable donations must be compared, and one side found lacking or the recipient of their compassion brought into doubt. I am old enough to be able to look back on a very long life and realize that a caring compassionate equalitarian America is the stuff of fantasies and always has been. It is what we say we want to be, but so few are willing to simply BE that America.

    Thanks, Jim, and Happy New Year. Keep on truckin' dude. Love you so much.

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  22. I get it, Jim. And, I got it the first time. I had to come to grips with the fact that he will be the President, and that I must find a way to push back on most of his agendas. I also get it that I can't do it alone, nor can I ignore what's starting to happen. I can't sit back and whine about it, I can't sit home and cry about it, I can't contemplate my navel while the things I treasure about my country start to unravel. My despondency and grief are waning and I'm beginning to plan what I can do, what groups I can support who are taking the right actions like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the like. I'm joining together with some women friends to strategize what non-violent but effective actions we can take to head off disaster. I will not (and never have) resort to name calling and ugly behavior which only creates more conflict and division. The past is gone; Bernie didn't win but his campaign and progressive ideas have sparked a younger generation (as well as many others across the age spectrum) to want change and be willing to work for it. I may be 74, physically challenged with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, and financially not even "middle class" but I have a great brain, a talent for helping others, and a love of people. I will resist by using what I have in service to the greater good. Thanks for educating and inspiring me.

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  23. Jeff Scott here. I reluctantly concur. As a married gay man approaching retirement, I was both terrified and furious when Trump and the GOP won the election. It just seems like a perfect storm to basically wreck my life as I know it. I actually have the Chrome extension that changes Trump to Drumph in any html page, and I have no clue how to get rid of it. But as things settle out and we deal with the long siege, I don't want to be like them either. I will strive to go high and confine my posts to issues that should stand on their own. Thank you for articulating that.

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    1. I can't help you with who's President, but I can rid you of that extension: click on the three vertical dots in the upper right hand corner of the Chrome browser. Click "More Tools", then "Extensions". Finally, click the trash can icon to the right of the extension you want to be rid of. Now you're back on the high road!

      Delete
    2. Ctrl-T to open a new tab, paste in "chrome://settings/" without the quotes, click on Extensions on the upper left, then scroll through the listing of your extensions until you find it, and click the trash can next to it. Or just uncheck the Enabled box if you might want to use it later.

      Delete
  24. I am always impressed and amazed at your level-headed approach. I agree with you whole heartedly. I refuse to be afraid. I refuse to hate. I will stand by anyone who is targeted regardless of where they are from, what color they are, who they love or what they believe in. Or even who they voted for :) This whole fiasco has made me get more involved, to speak up when I see injustice or racism or just plain old bullying. I have donated to the ACLU. I pay attention, I call my representatives, I look people in the eye and treat them like they matter - because they DO matter. I appreciate your words.

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    1. You are a woman after my own heart. I could not have said it better.

      Delete
  25. Hi Jim. I've never understood why people read things that have not been said. They think that they are "reading between the lines" but they are so off base. When I shared your original post on Facebook, I wrote that I agreed with you and that in all certainty people have never seen me name-call or post someone that was not fact checked. I said that I will always take the moral high ground regardless of who was in office. Even though I have not had any negative comments, I sense that my friends are ticked at me for "supporting" Trump. Not in this lifetime! Enjoy your essays. Thanks for writing them. Patti P.

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  26. Jim, my only problem with your "Resolutions" post is that, shortly before I read it, I heard someone refer to Trump as "Cheeto Mussolini" and now I'm torn between a desire to use it and the valid points you brought up.

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    1. It's damn hard to turn your back on the dopamine rush you get from using a fitting put-down. I've been trying to re-train myself to getting happiness from kindness-ing and civility-ing unpleasant people to implosion.

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    2. Listen, a little snark is just fine. We all engage in that, me more than most. If you've spent any time on my facebook page, you've heard me use the phrase "Orange Menace." That's not what I'm talking about here, not really. There's a difference between a little humor once in awhile and the same mindset that had people screaming Obmummer at me for the last 8 years. // Jim

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    3. Nothing wrong with the odd put-down. It's when that's all you've got that it becomes suspect.

      -- Eric Hammer

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  27. JIm,

    I read your comments yesterday with one eyebrow raised. I understand where you are coming from, or headed to, but ... I am still so angry over this entire mess I can barely speak in a calm and rational voice about it.

    I have never said the popular-vote-LOSER was not MY President. I will say, loud and clear, that I did not vote for him and as far as I'm concerned, he snuck into the office like the liar and thief he is -- frankly he's no more qualified to be President than *I* am.

    I also know it doesn't matter at this point how he got the office, he has it and we're stuck with him. Doesn't mean I'm going to be civil about it. So. You take the high road and good on you. I wish I could be so high minded about it. But I'm not. And likely won't ever be. You know, being an uppity bitchy woman myself I just can't help it.

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  28. It's about being the adults in the room

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    1. "being the adults in the room" while millions of people lose their rights, freedoms, and possibly lives, isn't very "adult".

      Besides, dirty tactics are "adult things". And tactics certainly CAN be separate from morals.

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    2. It shouldn't! Beacuse tactics often turn to policy and then turn into Power and what then? Retaliation from the losing part. It's a real bad spiral. Be the one you want to be, at all time. That might be the winning tactic.

      Delete
    3. That however implies an ends justify the means mindset, along with a "winner is always right" mentality.

      I don't have to tell you that BOTH of these mindsets make up the Trump doctrine.

      If winning is so important that no cost is so great, are you certain that those costs won't come back to bite you after you've won.

      If, hypothetically speaking, for example you use a favourite tactic of the Trumpians, lies and fake news, and you end up WINNING because of it, will you be able to garuntee that the adminintration that is created from that win will NOT do as the previous one did and rely on lies and fake news?

      Delete
  29. Well, it's not hypocrisy if it's LEFTIES doing it, right?

    Right?

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    1. Call me a hypocrite. If I'm alive to hear about it, I'm good with it.

      Obstructing destruction. Yeah, I'll be that "hypocrite".

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    2. That's probably exactly what the Trumpians and Trump himself primarily stand for.

      Winning in any way, at any cost.

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  30. Thank you for addressing this issue. I am so tired of seeing comments, outrageous fake news and accusations. I'd see..and still see the same ones from Trump supporters, Bernie and 3rd party supporters. I kept saying "Why are you doing the Republican's dirty work for them? Stop this! " It continues to this day. I saw a post the other day making fun of Liberal pundits who said Trump would never win. Again. My comment was "C'mon! There was plenty of this on each side. You're a better person than this. Be a better person. " This did not go over well. I admit I swear more now. Usually when I say "And they can go in my F*ck right off list too!" . There has to be a line I don't cross. What am I fighting for if I don't? I can understand the "I'd rather lose than do what you did." It can be cold comfort . I'll take what comfort I can get, even Cold.
    Thank you again.

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  31. Good points. I might disagree with you about Neville Chamberlain (I think all too many assessments of his decisions ignore the social and historical context in which they were made, but that's neither here nor there), but am pretty much in agreement with everything else. As the great political philosopher of our age, Jon Stewart, once said,"If you don't stick to your values when they're tested, they're not values -- they're hobbies."

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    1. I disagree with my comments in the post regarding Chamberlain. The man made the only decision he could given the circumstance. He likely saved the UK -- at the expense of Europe, but the UK was his responsibility and Europe wasn't.

      However that wasn't the point of my critic's comment. He intended it as an insult. So, as your host I did him the courtesy of being insulted for the sake of the narrative. // Jim

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  32. I've been through all the stages of grief in the days since Nov 8. I'm through with it. Pragmatism has kicked in now and I plan to keep my head down, spend as little as necessary to live and wait him out. Like you said, somebody has to be the adult in the room. I'll not ever like him or trust a word he says. I will never respect him as a person, but I do respect myself enough to not let him bring me down to his level. To those who wish him harm, remember who is in line behind him. ALL of them are just as bad and some are even worse. We can get through this. Stop wasting your passion on name calling and spend it on helping us get some seats back. Not just at the federal level, but at the local level as well. Get out from behind that keyboard and do something useful.

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    1. What resonated with me was Jyn's line in Rogue One: "Its not a problem if you don't look up". I've lived through a bunch of administrations, and I've got to say I've never felt anything like this before. It must be what it feels like when you wake up in the morning, and find out that your democratically elected government has suddenly been taken over by a junta sponsored by a hostile foreign country.
      I've alternated between feelings of sadness, rage, fear, and helplessness. I've been tempted to, as Jyn says, "not look up". After all, I have a good pension, decent health care, and I live in a deep blue state. Why should I care if a bunch of idiots were suckered by a shabby con man? After all, it's just Darwins Law, right?
      But the innocent will suffer. Our country will be a worse place, and ultimately, we all will suffer, except for all those billionaires in his cabinet. They own lots of nice properties overseas.
      Jim, I'm a inspired by your words "If you want a better country, be a better citizen". We have to resist. Intelligently, respectfully, and in every legal way possible.

      Delete
    2. Seconded by me - and I'm the world's largest ocean away.

      Delete
    3. PS. For clarity I was / am seconding HanBarbara's comment of January 4, 2017 at 6:53 PM although I also agree with the things Sherri Driver said (January 4, 2017 at 3:16 PM) too.

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  33. Prevention is no longer (and really never has) been a valid, high-probability-of-success strategy. Preparation, however, is still critical.

    WHEN Trump becomes President, he becomes subject to the different checks and balances of government, right? For now, he's just another blow-hard on Twitter trying to start a fight from behind the curtain. Nobody can have an effective fight against a soon-to-be president - the machinations of the system aren't designed for that. Seems there should be more heightened focus on what to do WHEN he takes the oath, not finding obscure loopholes to prevent him from actually taking said oath.

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  34. It is a simple as "The ends never justify the means."

    The only way the Trump presidency will become the "New normal" is if the opposition adopts his tactics and makes the bullying, the lies, the tyranny their own.

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    1. There are more tactics involved than just "bullying, lies, and tyranny".

      Obstructing nearly everything they are going to attempt? That's not sinking to their level, that's trying to retain what rights we currently have. THAT is a tactic the left needs to use for the foreseeable future.

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    2. Morally and philosophically, I believe this is 100% true, Mike. Though I admit that in real life it's as hard af to live by. Especially if you are responsible for other people. Nearly every atrocity in human history, however, can be boiled down to the "ends justifying the means", though, so I do try. I find cussing a lot helps.

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    3. Obstruction for obstructions sake is a problem. If we're going to say no to something, there needs to be a reason why- what's a better solution to the problem being addressed?

      Delete
  35. Bit of a bleak view of Chamberlain, who historians have kinda revisited in latter years. But that's OK, I guess you were being compared to the common perception of Chamberlain. Which isn't fair at all.

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    1. As noted above, I disagree with my comments in the post regarding Chamberlain. The man made the only decision he could given the circumstance. He likely saved the UK -- at the expense of Europe, but the UK was his responsibility and Europe wasn't.

      However that wasn't the point of my critic's comment. He intended it as an insult. So, as your host I did him the courtesy of being insulted for the sake of the narrative. // Jim

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  36. I've got Latin blood. What that means is that I grew up with a completely intense father who was foreign born, had dual citizenship, and served in the Air Force. We expressed how we felt passionately and were not the kind to back down from our opinions. I'm old now, and I've discovered temperance, somewhat. I believe you are receiving kickback from your younger, idealistic readers. Be patient, because sometimes it takes time for them to hear you--maybe even years. I love your writing, since sometimes it reminds me of my father, but calmer.

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  37. Well, I didn't write, but you have my endearing respect. Wish I knew you.

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  38. Guilty of some of this, and thank you for bringing it out into the open. I'm moderately ashamed, and you are so very far from being any kind of a "sell-out." Thank you, and I plan on re-thinking some of my recent opinions.

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  39. Bravo! We have put up with childish antics for the past 8 years and we continued telling people to stop being so childish, Obama is President. Just stop whining about it, already! The tables are now turned and some are acting like the spoiled 2 year old who didn't get their way.
    I am better than that. I might not like the outcome of the election, I might not like the direction my country is turning, but I will deal with each thing as they come. I am not going to fight a battle that may never even happen.
    Next election, we choose again who we want and how we want our America to go; if a Democrat wins, it will be the Republicans having a hissy fit. How can we tell them to stop being childish if we are guilty of the same thing.
    I am hoping we are all wrong about Trump, that he figured out a way to be elected and used it. That he is not as bad as we think. I really am hoping for that.
    The childish names have always annoyed me. Libatards, Obummer, Republicants... We are not 5. We are adults, we are showing the future generations what is acceptable behavior, we are failing.
    Thank you for always saying what I think, or making me think about things I never gave a thought about.

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  40. "Blast from the Past" (1999)

    Troy: You know, I asked him about that. He said, good manners are just a way of showing other people we have respect for them. See, I didn't know that, I thought it was just a way of acting all superior. Oh and you know what else he told me?
    Eve: What?
    Troy: He thinks I'm a gentleman and you're a lady.
    Eve: [disgusted] Well, consider the source! I don't even know what a lady is.
    Troy: I know, I mean I thought a "gentleman" was somebody that owned horses. But it turns out, his short and simple definition of a lady or a gentleman is, someone who always tries to make sure the people around him or her are as comfortable as possible.
    Eve: Where do you think he got all that information?
    Troy: From the oddest place - his parents. I mean, I don't think I got that memo from mine.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fight. With honor.

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    1. Just one of my favorite scenes, because it encapsulates how I've behaved my whole life ~ & I learned it from MY parents!

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  41. First time commenter on your blog. I wish I'd had this when I was trying to explain to someone why it is wrong to yell at Ivana Trump on a plane when she has her kids with her (heck, even if she didn't). She doesn't deserve to be yelled at on a plane. I don't care if she is flying coach as a publicity stunt to make her more relatable and human. It doesn't matter. What that lawyer did was wrong. I know we are frustrated and afraid, but that doesn't excuse human decency. When we stoop to that level, we are no better than the people we are afraid of who do those things on the opposite end of the spectrum. I have never been a big fan of name calling either in person or in social media. It's just stupid and childish. Thank you for posting this. I grabbed an excerpt and credited you in a tweet. I am going to keep a link to this post. Thanks for all you do and for fighting the good fight and not being afraid to call people out for being indecent.

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  42. SO agree with this. The purity politics of the extreme left is tiresome and unhelpful and partly got us here to begin with. To win this, we are going to have to make compromises, and find common ground with lots of people with whom we disagree. We are going to have to (gasp) be ADULT about it. Keep these essays coming, you are a voice of inspiration.

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    1. Compromises led to the clusterfuck that is the ACA (which in that case, IS better than nothing). It was deliberately dirtied up to get the right to vote for it. NOT ONE of them did anyways. They might as well have gone full-tilt and passed true universal healthcare, single payer, since they'd have lost no more Republican votes on it. They could have shamed the blue-dog Democrats into voting for it.

      Compromise over and over again has led to legislation that was most likely better off not passed at all.

      Tell me, exactly WHAT compromise should be made when the right attempts to gut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, EBT, and the right for the religious to discriminate at will because of their feelings that they should be able to?

      It is time for the left to, FOR ONCE, absolutely and completely fight against the loss of rights, liberties, and safety nets, not compromise them away bit by bit, or wholesale in a single bill.

      Delete
    2. I believe it is one thing to fight for our rights, and another to engage in the behavior Jim addresses above. I too, as a writer not remotely as popular as Jim, have noticed people demeaning the incoming "President-Elect."

      I too, share the same sentiments as the majority of logical thinking people; that this man is trouble, and his ascension into the Oval Office may be questionable at best.

      However, at the end of the day, we can still resist without doing the very things Jim talks about. At least, that is what I take away from the Resolutions essay and this one too!

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    3. I'm going to mix metaphors here, but just deal with it. The slippery slope you are advocating for ad naseum in these comments culitivates in what amounts to throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Delete
  43. I understood your resolution. I'm going to stop calling Trump "cheeto dick", but I will call out any unconstitutional BS he tries to pull. I think a lot of energy has been wasted on hand wringing over a man who isn't in office yet. And I'm going to tell anyone who will listen to make a donation to the ACLU; they will need every dime.

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    Replies
    1. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is going to be busy as hell too.

      Delete
  44. I cannot go with you on this road. The beast is an abomination, and I will not allow myself to acknowledge his name or consider him my president. Consider me what you will, but I will continue to speak my mind, using my feelings and words to describe them. I can't post in your FB page because I can only follow. And I won't disrespect your wishes here either, because I do respect you. You are a worthy and brave voice in this crumbling place we call America. Right now, I don't want to be an adult. Hey, we don't have an adult as our soon to be POTUS, so being not an adult must net one something really, really yuge!

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  45. Thank you! We cannot allow them to drag us down to their level. It is about our integrity and self-respect. I especially appreciate your Item #5 - no slut-shaming, etc. Just because some people have done it to Mrs. Obama is no reason for us to do it to someone else. Kudos, and keep on writing!

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  46. Thanks, Jim. I really don't understand why some people have such a hard time comprehending your writing, I find it clear and concise.

    I completely agree with you, we cannot change the fact that Trump was elected. We don't have to like it, but we can't change it at this point. What we can do is, not stoop to the other side's level. We need to step up and make sure that this won't happen again. We need to push and work for change, but we have to take the high road or we will become the same as those we are fighting against.

    People who are outraged by the awful things that have been said about Michelle Obama should stop and think twice before flinging the same sort of bile at Melania Trump. If it is wrong to say about one person, then it is wrong to say about anyone.

    Don't become what you are fighting against, rise above and prove that you are better than them!

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  47. I, for one, am 100% with you on this. I have always tried very, very hard to be this way. Even, as petty as this is, when I call people for not fact-checking their posts, memes, and what-not on FB, when they holler that I'm just going after them because they are conservative, I counter that I hit my fellow liberals just as hard. A couple of years in journalism makes me do this. We absolutely can not stoop to that pathetic level, even if it's only "fair." Again, you are 100% right, just because they did it does not make it right. If we say we are better than that, then by gawd, we better act like it, even if it brings bile up in our throats. We are going to have to gird our loins and be the better people, or else we are posers. That does not mean we are acquiescing, it means we are aspiring to be better humans.

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  48. I agree with almost everything you said. I disagree with the assertion that he hasn't done anything to deserve death. He is a serial rapist, and in many countries (unfortunately not ours),that is a capital offense. I'm also on the fence about the tactics of obstruction. I abhorred this when the GOP did it over the last eight years, but I'm not convinced it should be entirely eschewed by the Democrats now. The GOP did it out of a psychotic need to see everything President Obama did fail. The Democrats may need to do it as the only way they have of protecting necessary legislation and vulnerable populations. I do not agree that any principled stance of "we are better than that" is worth the cost of starving children.
    As an aside, I'm not trying to post anonymously, I really just don't know how to log in here. -Karen M.

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    1. I kind of agree with you, especially about the obstruction. So they can ignore us, even to the point of holding ZERO session on the the SCOTUS nomination, block everything, but we're supposed to just roll over and take it?

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    2. The politics of obstruction is different, I think, from obstruction itself. Those people currently protesting at the office of Senator Jeff Sessions over his nomination seek to obstruct his becoming Attorney General, because he has a long history of racism in his legal dealings with minorities & that history has been scrubbed from his written submission to the Senate considering approval. They're not obstructing for obstruction's sake but for good & valid reason. THAT kind of obstruction must continue.

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  49. Nailed it. Even pointed your toes, ya little devil. People, even liberals, get pissed off and fearful. Fearful people do not possess the best reasoning skills.

    Ya can't claim to be better unless you're actually better, and that means being civilized... as fucking irritating as that can be sometimes.

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  50. There is no escaping what is coming. It's going to be one nasty siege between Trump and his enablers and anyone and everyone with a conscience.
    Here's to throwing monkey wrenches in every scheme that McConnell, Ryan and the Trump White House attempts for the next four years.

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  51. Thank you, sir. I, too, am pissed over the very same things. Oh, I plan to call Trump out on every indiscretion, lie and conflict as long as he holds office. However, I will do him the courtesy that the right never did to President Obama. I will fact check and vet everything I post, because you can bet your ass that I will be called on the majority of it by the family and friends that haven't unfriended or blocked me yet.
    I will never slut-shame Melania. I question her sanity and taste, but that's for another discussion. I will also not insult his adult children except on their merits and positions that they put themselves into.
    And to be honest, I'm over the extremist right. I'm sick to death of the holier than thou, "Hillary is just as evil" bunch. Sure, let's revisit that in after a couple of years of Trump and friends.
    Jim, I don't agree with every word you say, however, you always make me think, you are many times my voice or reason and you have earned my respect many times over.
    Those who pull this crap obviously haven't spent much time around Stonekettle. You are the same person you were the day I found you. I've never regretted it and hope you hang around for a long time.
    Happy New Year!

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  52. Ya know, people, I'm getting damn sick and tired of your stupidity. What have you all been doing, sneaking sips of the right-wing kool-aid to see how it tastes? Never once did Jim say anything about rolling over and kissing Trump's rump. Either you didn't read the whole thing or you have to be trolls.

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  53. I agree wholeheartedly, and linked to Resolutions when you first posted on Facebook. The path you advise is difficult and not simple, and I've been trying to do that too. Thanks for your writing.

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  54. You're right, we should fight like hell and oppose all that needs to be opposed without becoming our worst nightmare.
    That's what rules of engagement are for.
    Someone somewhere needs to give me the Rules of Engagement.
    I will still never say his name until the day After he has left the Oval Office.
    Until then he is #heWhoShallNotBeNamed

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  55. One of my purposes on FB is to correct false data and discourage posts which vilify and demean - whether they come from the right or the left. That's one of the many reasons I so admire you. The vindictiveness and pettiness gets us nowhere. It's well-targeted, rational, honest dialogue which will win in the end. Thank you for all you do.

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  56. Being a grown up sucks and I appreciate you lighting the way. The high road sucks sometimes, too. My question after reading yesterday's post was, "How do you win if you're playing by the rules while the other side is blatantly cheating?" After today's post, I remembered (thanks to you) that you don't win if you abandon your principles. (I hate that, too.) So we have to be stronger and smarter and better. And more vigilant. And more caring. And we have to not give an inch when we are pushed back and continue to move forward. On the high road. (Did I mention the high road sometimes sucks?) Cheers.

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  57. So ... What will be OUR Reichstag fire?

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    1. Another 9/11 or something similar should suffice.

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  58. As someone who's been a liberal secessionist since before Bush took office, I take mock-umbrage at the argument that I have to acknowledge Trump as "my" president. I have no problem accepting that he's the president of the United States, but I haven't considered America my home since before the last time we did this dance with madness. I choose to remain within the borders of my birth-nation not because I want to be here, but because I have too many people I can't afford to smuggle out who probably couldn't follow me on their own. Instead, I remain committed to liberating Occupied Cascadia from Randistani rule.

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  59. Thanks so much for your essay. You are (and have been) verbalizing so eloquently what I have been feeling for several months. I feel like I'm the lone voice of reason among many of my friends because I see the vitriol coming from friends on the left, just as much as it used to come from those on the right. It saddens me that many of us are becoming the thing we hate. I no longer click to like memes that are mean, uncivil or exaggerated. I think about how my friends who may like Trump would feel if I were to post something unkind, and I wish they would do the same, but I have no expectations that they will. I have now taken only to liking and/or posting informative articles on what is going on with transparency (NPR, Bill Moyers episode Winner Take All Politics), following the money (Sunlight Foundation), and how we can make a difference. For example there is an organization called Indivisible which put out a guide you can check out here: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/ which has excellent information on how our members of congress work and a game plan for being heard by the people who actually make a difference on important issues. I am so sorry that you are getting so much flack from folks who are feeling powerless and taking it out on you. My hope is that they reach down inside and begin to really think critically about what the next step is and how to be effective. Moving from reactive to proactive is no small feat, and it won't be rushed. As a psychologist I have learned to align with folks feelings AND help them move to a place of empowerment. I know that is exactly what you are doing, sir and I appreciate it. Just know that those who have a problem with you aren't there yet. Some never will be. But I have hope that most folks are good.

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  60. I did not like President Obama, but I always tired to call him President Obama, not just Obama or other names. I certainly don't like President Elect Trump, but I will address him appropriately. Maybe its that Marine Corp training this Former Navy officer endured. Do the the right thing. Sadly many of the anti-Trump have gone further off the deep end than the Anti-Obama fools did. Reason and being rational aren't part of the political game any longer and too many of our so called political leaders encourage, or at least do not discourage, this. I just found Stonekettle but I think I'm going to like it. I'm always open to reasoned thinking even if I don't always agree. The people condemning you are the big losers. I've dealt with their kind before and they can't be reasoned with. No argument that paints a picture even the tiniest bit different than the one they chose to believe will be tolerated. Sadly they are no different than the poor winners on the side of P-E Trump. Keep up the good fight for respectful disagreement, appropriate action, stay reasoned and rational.

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    1. Welcome aboard from a fellow traveler! I think you will enjoy meandering through Jim's previous posts, like the "Bang Bang" essays. He is more reasoned & calm here than he seems to be on Twitter. I've noticed that on Twitter, there's a little more salt on the sailor! You can follow him there as well. Enjoy!

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  61. I've already posted on your FB page about Resolutions, but I can repeat it here. I won't refer to him as anything other than the President or Trump, because I hate name calling. I plan on using every legal means possible to resist his policies. My Senators' and Congressman's staffers probably already recognize my phone number on their caller ID. I'm polite when I call because as my fellow human beings, they deserve my courtesy. I'm being polite in my emails because I want to be heard and not dismissed.

    Peaceful, respectful resistance is not appeasement. Martin Luther King never appeased anyone in his life, but neither did he waste his time calling people names, making idle death threats and making up false stories about white supremacists. Civil disobedience? Yes. Praying for his enemies? Yes. Talking to every sympathetic lawmaker available? Yes. Having allies talk to their lawmakers? Yes.

    I don't have to be like the Republicans. I don't have to become what I hate.

    I certainly don't think you are Neville Chamberlain for suggesting we not do so.

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  62. Thanks for keeping on and for calling people to their integrity whether they like it or not.

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  63. I think back to the Clinton administration when bumper stickers reading "Charlton Heston Is My President" were pretty common around here and how it made me feel back then and I don't want to be the guy driving that car. Clinton was his President whether he liked it or not and Trump is going to be my President and I guarantee I'm not going to like it but there it is. Dissent, however, is far more American than apple pie and I intend to dissent a lot. Failure to recognize reality, however, is never helpful.

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  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  65. We each represent ourselves when we speak or act. It's really as simple as that. Calling Trump names reflects not at all on him, and only on the name-caller. So, be yourself and let it reflect the you that you are.

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  66. My first thought; those of us who read you regularly respect your intelligent and thoughtful writings got it the first time, and the majority of the negative name calling messages came off the Twitter link from people who will NEVER get it. My second thought; how much whiskey did it take for you to get through the hate mail?

    Thanks for another wonderful essay. Cheers!

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  67. Well said, Jim. I've always found people's willingness to combat what they find abhorrent by becoming their enemy to be deeply disturbing.

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  68. I like what you wrote. It's very, VERY hard to go high when they go low, and I don't agree with you on everything you wrote. However, I appreciate that we must attempt to be the bigger people. That does not mean we need to kiss butt. We do need to be respectful, honest, and peaceful in our protests and pushback. We need to do what they haven't done. I have no idea how to do this, because the only examples I've seen are from the tea-party. I would love to get just as much attention without the hatred and vitriol. Possible? We'll see...

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  69. We have met the enemy, and he is us. But the whole quote from Walt Kelly is more profound:
    "There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may be ours, he may be us."

    I really wish ol' Walt was still around to comment on this mess.

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    1. Agreed. Also, I'd like to see how he worked Trump's image into his comic strip. Do you recall what he did with Spiro Agnew?

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  70. For eight years I've tried to just skip over any comment that used words like "Obummer","Ovomit". I've laughed at and called childish those who called Hillary Clinton "Killory". Now I see people who I basically agree with using "Drump","Rump" and other as you call them playground names. If it was stupid for the other side to do it, it's worse for us to do it. It's giving him respect it's giving ourselves respect but not stooping to their level. The sad fact is we're stuck with him. We don't have to "Give him a chance" and I'm certainly not going to. Write, call, protest, let our elected Senators and Congresspeople know how we feel. Like Joe Hill said, "Don't mourn, organize."

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  71. Your sand...your sandbox. Extremely well said. As always, a pleasure and treat to read your thoughts.

    That said, I'm not above offering a bribe of great coffee if you let me post on your FB page! Happy New Year Chief!

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  72. I will do all I can to counter Trump and what he stands for- I will not belittle him but stand up to those that belittle others because of his example, I will call the offices of politicians that support him making my opinion known and reminding them two years will come faster than they think, I will support my fellow humans be they gay/ transgender,citizens or not ,immigrants of all countries,no matter their religions. I will stand up and not be silent when I see racism and nationalism rears its ugliness- I will not leave because I am uncomfortable,
    I will not be silent, not avert my gaze, not walk away. I will try to live as if I have not taken these rights we have in our country for granted - because I did not appreciate it until I feared its loss...

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  73. ...If you want a better nation you have to (have? be?) better citizens.

    Otherwise dead-on. I've been telling my friends many of the same things.

    Deaf ears. Almost every time.

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  74. Catherine MutschlerJanuary 4, 2017 at 4:35 PM

    It is unfortunate that you received do much nonsensical backlash from your Resolutions essay. It gave me a lot to think about and I am grateful for the introspection. I pledge to try to be the person I believe I am. I also pledge to continue to become more involved & active; to put my time & "money where my mouth is" and work to oppose whatever unjust or immoral crap that the GOP and Trump try to throw.

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  75. Jim, I will resist the Trump/GOP/fascist/racist agenda to my dying breath, knowing that my true friend will use my corpse as needed to stop those who seek dominance over their fellow man. I agree with almost every word you have written in the last two years and have nothing but respect for you.

    The moment we started torturing the terrorists won. We lost respect for our own rule of law. Everything else is the logical outcome from that fact. And the GOP destruction of our institutions and institutional memory that Gingrich and Delay implemented hasten the fall.

    They have been winning the narrative. They are rewriting our history, our heros, and in such, rewriting our future. Data and facts are dead. Our only hope now are stories that resonate with the children of those who voted for these low men who have traded America for thirty pieces of silver.

    Yes, Obi-Wright, you and the Jedi-writers are our only hope.

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  76. Well said, though I thought you said it just fine the first time.

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  77. When I saw my post in this essay, I started to cry. That is not me. That is not who I choose to become. I realized how much I let anger and frustration over rule my better self. Thank you for reminding this vet about integrity and self respect.

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    1. We all have bad days, Lynn. Me included. // Jim

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    2. Lynn, I applaud you. In my humble view, to be capable of admitting fault and to be capable of growth are among the highest of virtues. Nobody is perfect, least of all me; it's our duty as sentient beings with free will to evaluate our own choices and behaviors, recognize our failings and, not only make amends, but to make a genuine effort to improve. As Jim so eloquently expressed (and boy does the sin of envy over Jim's writing still stand as one of my failings that I struggle to overcome):

      "You must lead by example..."

      ***AND***

      "It was about respect for ourselves."

      Lynn, you just set the best possible example with your comment here. Thank you!

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    3. I consider it an honor to get an occasional smack on the back of the head from Jim. Right now I'm being thrown for one loop after another as I try to navigate my way through a Class 4 rapids with no kayak, the Trump presidency on the horizon & living in the center of Israeli politics. Jim's essays are keeping me grounded on at least this part of the river.

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  78. Your initial post, Resolutions, thoroughly addressed the issue of ourselves and what we are facing. The issue of self respect and being our best selves does not take a vacation because we're distracted by the prospect of DJT being our...national leader.
    "You must lead by example at all times and that the true test of integrity is not how you act when others are watching, but how you act when no one is."
    The collective "we" have an expectation that our President will hold himself/herself to a higher standard than under which we operate ourselves. Therein lies the rub with the President-Elect. Several times divorced, a filanderer, foul-mouthed, foul period. We elect humans, not Saints. And we despise our fellow Americans that foolishly cast their vote for him. Why has the bar been set so low?
    We can complain, stomp our feet or we can have an attitude check, look at ourselves and our participation in the political realm and get to work to make sure we don't have a "Trump redux" in another four years.

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  79. Mr bad example is an intruder in the dirt. I choose not to get down there with deplorable intruders. This requires a pragmatic approach of mustering up all the integrity in my patriotic bones to do what time honored methods of resistance work. He is the President Jan. 20, I will refer to him as Trump. Wives & children (Baron) are not up for any attention from the desenters. Thank for all the time and effort you give us your followers to stay on the high road. Enacting sane resistance makes us the better man/woman and will take up all the time we have.

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  80. I'd like to meet you sometime, Jim, over a beer or some other adult beverage of choice.

    You may be the most adult adult I've ever met. Mad respect for you, sir.

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    1. Meeting me generally cures people of the urge to meet me.

      Just saying.

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    2. Jim, that sounds like a challenge. I like challenges.

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    3. Ha, that's what you think ;-) Some day, we need to hit Pensacola Bay Brewery.

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    4. I, for one, would be honoured to risk it and would love to shout you an Aussie beer or five if you ever wish to head over my way.

      Cheers! (Raised beer salute.) And thankyou.

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    5. @ Jim Wright that was. Clarifying again. I gotta remember to use more tags here.. Mea culpa.

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  81. Jim, you could have said "if you are willing to become what you despise solely in order to win, then winning is what is important to you" and stopped there. I'm glad you didn't, I'm just saying...

    Unfortunately it's not just private citizens who claim the moniker of liberal/progressive/democrat that have embraced this rigid fundamentalist "liberal fascism" (if there even is such a thing), it's the men and women we have elected as well.

    When you have a large majority of democrats in congress supporting the exact same type of obstructionism that they have continuously raged against the GOP for, to the extent that they are floating the possibility of refusing to fill the Supreme Court vacancy in an act of what can only be viewed as political spite after eviscerating republicans in the media for the very same offense then I'm afraid the democrats in congress have just given away any moral high ground they could have laid claim to.

    Now understand, much like yourself, it's not that I think that "we, the people, in order to form a more perfect union" should just roll over and accept the Sahara sized sandy butt plug that Trump, his administration, and the GOP led congress will invariably try to pound up our well puckered keisters. I fully expect the next four years to be filled with expletive laden rants regarding the president-elect and his minions. This of course goes doubly for the republican led congress. Resistance is not optional but required as a concerned citizen.

    But to try and say "He's not my President"?

    Really?

    How is it, pray tell, that they intend to resist what they refuse to even acknowledge the most fundamental of realities?

    It's starting to look more and more like the people who have knighted themselves with the title of liberal/progressive while singing the mantra of their own self professed superiority are, at their very core, nothing more than the very same intolerant and ignorant people they would claim to be superior to... while offering nothing but a brooding 5yr olds excuse of "They did it first!" as justification for abandoning the lauded principals they have accused others of lacking entirely.

    I mean honestly, which is worse? To have no morals, no ethics, no principals... or to have all these and make the conscious decision to cast them aside?

    If ever there was some sophomoric bullshit to be called out, this is it. I'm just really glad I'm not the only one who sees it.

    Thanks Jim!

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  82. I share your frustration. I am from a long, (LONG) family line of Republicans and all I have to say is "I do not like Trump" to get (metaphorically) pounded on. I didn't deny he'll be President. I didn't say anything about his readiness for the office or his policies. All I said was that I didn't like him (and didn't think I ever would.)

    And they wonder why I change the topic whenever they start talking about politics. (A nicely placed, "Go Steelers" will usually distract them or a while...)

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  83. You know Jim, I've been around enough Presidents to know where this essay was going when I first started reading it. I've at times have never liked particular Presidents. That being said, President Elect Trump was the choice of the people, which is what this republic is built on. Being ex-military kind of gives you and I a little different view than most people. I've always been a person to respect "The office of Commander in Chief" but unfortunately I've seen fellow Veterans deride our Commander in Chief with vile racist remarks I would never repeat. I for one will respect the office, however, will never roll over if my rights of myself or other Americans are violated. "To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America". I believe as Abe Lincoln also in the Bill of Rights which country started on. Thanks for your essay.

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    1. No, President-Elect Trump was not the choice of the people. He was the choice of a gamed system. 53.9% of the voters voted for someone else, and he was not even the top vote getter; he was number 2. He will still, barring a twist of fate, be the President of the US. That's just the damnable way that it is.

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    2. It didn't help that half of eligible voters didn't vote.

      That CANNOT happen in 2 years.

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  84. While I am working on my self-assigned reading of 1984, I suggest everyone that is advocating becoming the enemy to defeat the enemy read Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkness_at_Noon). The ends DO NOT justify the means. And I think this is particularly topical (even though it was written in 1940) considering how Trump is praising Russia and Putin.

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    1. I see too many people saying "don't stoop to their level" when simply mentioning obstruction.

      Sure, don't stoop to the name calling, lies, fear mongering, if you wish, but don't stoop to obstruction?

      Sorry, no. THAT means is worth the ends.

      I guess we need to drill even further into what various people mean by "they go low, we go high". Because if you, like many I've seen, say that when obstruction is mentioned as a method to stop the destruction of civil rights, that's going low, absolutely EVERYONE is going to lose in the coming years.

      When they came for X, I was silent...

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  85. >>Because no matter how pure your motives, if you adopt the morals, tactics, and
    >>rhetoric of your enemies, then in the bitter end you're no different whatsoever. If you
    >> adopt the tactics and morals of those you profess to despise, then the difference
    >> between you is only one of semantics.

    THIS. Thanks for being the voice of sanity, Jim.

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  86. The thing that is the most appalling to me is that MY country voted for this man for president. That means that my country is far more racist and sexist than I would have liked to believe. I live in a deeply red state, but I'm having problems accepting that my neighbors and acquaintances voted for this disgusting man for any office, much less president.

    I will stand with those whose rights he attacks and do what I can to mitigate the damage he does. I will not drop to the level of the people who shout obscenities at minorities and women.

    Thanks for putting it so well.

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  87. "I have foresworn myself. I have broken every law I have sworn to uphold, I have become what I beheld and I am content that I have done right!" - Eliot Ness, "The Untouchables"

    What works and sounds awesome in a movie doesn't always hold up in reality. You still have to live with yourself.

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  88. Jim, you were hoping for rational attitudes and behavior. So do I. Unfortunately, humans most often are not rational creatures, they're rationalizers. They think rationality and rationalization are one and the same. Rage substitutes for logic. Any argument is a good argument as long as it's MY argument.

    You are a rational person. You have demonstrated this over and over in your essays. Screw the rationalizers and full speed ahead.

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    1. I hope for them. I don't expect them.

      Basic military doctrine: hope for the best, plan for the worst.

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    2. I would think that's a basic doctrine for anything.

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  89. "Because no matter how pure your motives, if you adopt the morals, tactics, and rhetoric of your enemies, then in the bitter end you're no different whatsoever. If you adopt the tactics and morals of those you profess to despise, then the difference between you is only one of semantics."

    I agree with most of that essay. I'd only take slight exception to the part I've quoted. Slight exception, because I think you'd probably agree when I say this...

    If you are in a fight for your life then what are the rules? Are there rules? I have a chance to gouge an eye before the knife plunges into one of my arteries, should I refrain in the name of morality and fairness, in the interest of not becoming the same thing as the guy about to kill me? Me, my thumb is going into the eye socket as fast and hard as I can make it go.

    Because people are going to die. That is the context here.

    Gerrymandering works. It has given them a long term majority in the US House, it has turned NC into something less than a democracy, it's given them outright control of 33 state legislatures and split 7 more. They are on the verge of having a 3/4 majority of state legislatures. That equates to unlimited power to edit the constitution if they retain the federal legislature. Why shouldn't we be aiming for their eyes at this moment?

    The "Big Lie" works. Propaganda, fake news, emotional manipulation, they all work to sway the minds of the low information voter. To paraphrase an infamous German, you make the people think they are under attack, you denounce the opposition as unpatriotic, and soon you will bring the people into line. Tell me that isn't exactly what has happened here with Muslims, Mexicans, and Free Trade. Lies (big ones) were told, people were convinced that those things are now a threat to their personal and economic safety, the naysayers were denounced as weak or unpatriotic (or worse), and enough of them to matter voted for Trump. I won't go into the actions of Comey and Mitch McTurtle.

    The only counter to those tactics and rhetoric are to be better at them than your opponents. They are driving in with that knife, and they will be walking away with us bleeding out on the fucking floor unless we gouge that eye. We better gouge, and gouge so hard we pop out an eye, or the last thing we hear will be them laughing as they kick our dying body one more time for good measure.

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    1. Those tactics generally work because the American people let them.

      If you don't want them to work you'll have to become better citizens as a whole.

      If you chose to do as they do you simply become them.

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  90. Thank you for your essays on this topic. I shared them and got back the same angry, ‘he’ll never be my president’ retorts. People are still recovering from their shock but I’m willing to give them more time to process. In addition to the many excellent points you explained, I’d like the add one more.

    If you are throwing childish tantrums, no one is going to listen to you. Like it or not, millions of people backed Trump and we still have to share this country with them. There is no magic wand that will make them vanish, so the only option left is to convert them. And if you are spewing witty knicknames and foaming at the mouth, they will never hear the facts. For example, I know President Obama wasn’t a perfect president because no one ever is, but I couldn’t tell you what his weaknesses were. Dems were unlikely to mention any failings and Republicans were so busy pouring out their hatred and racism, I wouldn’t even give them a hearing. Or when the debate questions were leaked to HRC’s campaign, I refused to believe it, because to me it was just another lie spewed by Hillary haters. How was I to know the truth from the lies? If you want to be heard on legitimate concerns, you have to shut your mouth on everything else or you are just another raging, libtard in the swarm.

    You don’t have to invite Trump voters to your home or be their friend (and I’d recommend never forgetting who voted for him), but you will never change their minds (and their vote) if you come at them spewing vitriole.

    And Jim, this message is from my cat to your cat. “N m,hfcdxs.;.”

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  91. I'm going to have to completely disagree with you that using their tactics means we become them.

    I will have NO problem using their tactics if it means stopping a slide 50-150 years into the past.

    If we can stop that using their *tactics*, it does not make us them.

    They use their tactics to limit freedom and remove social safety nets, we can use their tactics for the *exact opposite*, and it certainly will NOT make us like them.

    As I have stated before, playing by a rule book that they no longer admit exists has gotten us to the point we are at now, where civil rights advances could be stripped away. I'm not going to argue about whether morals are just and right or not while MILLIONS could lose their freedom, rights, or lives.

    If my morals or principles are more important to me than millions of people, then they SUCK. And they need revision.

    And it is certainly possible to set aside your principles upon great need, and pick them back up afterwards. It may not be "right" or "just" or "moral", but *if you are not alive to pick them back up*, what good do they do you and those you care for?

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    1. Exactly!
      April

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    2. Can't get on this wagon with you.
      Are you doing an ends- justify-the means consequentialist argument here ?
      https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consequentialism/
      Or practising moral disengagement?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_disengagement
      Or tilting at windmills?

      I don't buy it.

      While Dr King, Mahatma Gandhi, Socrates and others lost their lives, the good they did for those they cared for is incalculable. Nelson Mandela never set down his principles and helped bring an end to the abomination of apartheid.

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    3. You said that you disagree that using their tactics, for example, lying and fake news and slander, would not make you like them.

      You didn't explain how that would not be the case.

      "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and lies like a Trump then it is.....?"

      Your last paragraph shows that you don't get the meaning of the word "principle".

      By definition principles are not something you can attach and detach at will like lego blocks. That act of attaching and detaching is the very definition of having no principles.

      Take for example the principled stance of racial equality.

      Let's say you ditch this principle in order to win elections, would you be able to just pick it back up with a "tee hee" after you've won and pretend that you never dropped it in the first place?

      If so congratulations President Trump to you and your supporters.

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    4. So Talonts, what you and the people who have made similar comments to yours are saying is that you would not do things like:
      -spread lies and misinformation (unless it suits you)
      -attack family members of a political opponent (unless it suits you)
      or
      -resort to dehumanising a politician by calling them names or using racist slurs (unless it suits you)

      Sounds to me like you have more in common with Trump's supporters than you think.
      Principles aren't something you put down and pick up, unless you are a shameless hypocrite. If you don't have them to start with then we are not on the same side (no matter which way you voted) and if you do have them but you choose to go down that road, then as I see it you've already lost.

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    5. If by 'their tactics' you mean lying and cheating and gaslighting and fear-mongering and shit-stirring and setting up vulnerable innocent people as scapegoats and encouraging those vulnerable people to be attacked and spat upon and hated, which it sure as shit sounds like you just signed up to do, then you are no better than Trump and Banon and their crowd and you deserve no better than they deserve and you serve your country no better than they will serve it. If you haven't figured out yet that deciding that the ends justify the means leads directly to destroying whatever ends you thought were worth justifying, then you need to go back to school and start over again.

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  92. Sad, isn't it? I recently commented myself about how many of us seem to be able to read--and listen--without understanding the meaning behind what we read or hear. What you said in Resolutions was something I needed to hear myself, as I have recently been guilty of stooping to a lower level out of my own anger and frustration. I am neither proud nor ashamed of it, I claim only to be a imperfect human, but, I was not being what I say I want to be, and I keep trying. We need people like you to remind us not only who we are but where we are. Thank you.

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  93. Amen to you, Jim. You hit the nail on the head (as usual).

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  94. You're right, this is normal. 27% of the voting population thought Trump would be a better choice (or a less bad choice?) than Clinton. That's over 1/4 of the voting population. Another 40+% couldn't be bothered to get involved, whether due to apathy, decision paralysis, or car troubles - who knows?

    Statistically, there will always be differences in any data set. Otherwise, the world would be a flat line of lobotomized homogeneity. Therefore, we have to find a way to work with the 27%, try to understand their motivations when it seemed so obvious to 70+ million that Trump was NOT the better choice. Then, when we hopefully understand them, we try to bridge the gap.

    Right now, as you wrote, Trump will be president, short of some political legal magic that prevents it. And, because Trump is president, he has to stay president. Pence is a nightmare, and Ryan would be room 101.

    I feel that holding Trump accountable for everything he says, does, tweets, tries to do, and to obstruct what we believe would be dangerous or counterproductive for the country, as long as the methods by which we do this are not morally bankrupt, and not done solely out of a need to win, we are holding ourselves to the standard we wish applied to everyone.

    Do you agree?

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  95. I'm broke, but I hit the donate link, because Fuck. Shitty. People. Whoever wants to be shitty can go sit in their own shitty pile. I'm going to try to be the better me that Jim thinks I might be. Like Amanda Palmer said, the President-elect will make Punk Rock great again! Also, don't insult him. Just call him by his office. I'm pretty sure he'd lose his shit if we all just stopped talking about him and did shit that mattered for like 2 seconds. Shit.

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  96. "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    He will be lying with every breath he takes and every word he says on that cold, January day. How can one call him "President" if he is lying under oath before the country, most of which didn't vote for him? He's already trying to dismantle any portions of the government that will be a truth-checker against him. He's beginning to act against the constitution before he even takes office. How can one call that person that lies under THAT oath, "President"? It may be legal but like we see every day in the judicial system, manipulation of laws can be very wrong.

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  97. I'm with you. Doing the right thing (regardless of the possible discomfort), and being able to look at yourself in the mirror and like, and live with, who you see is far more important than "winning". I absolutely refuse to become my own enemy.

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  98. I posted a link to "Resolutions" on my Wastebook feed, along with an admission that I'm not sure I can be the person I want to be. I agree with all your points, I'm just not sure I can openly refer to him as'President Trump'.
    While I'm dismayed by the responses you've received, I'm not surprised by them. Sometimes, hurt and angry people lash out like children, no matter how they try to rationalize their responses.
    But you know this... just, I will try to be the person I want to be. I cannot guarantee I'll succeed. And that saddens me.

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  99. Man, I love it when you're pissed. Very inspiring.

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  100. Great essay as usual. Being a retired forester from the Pacific Northwest I appreciated your reference to the snail darter. Your breadth of knowledge of the arcane is impressive.

    In my youth we survived Nixon and Reagan. We will survive this. I worry though that the concept of being a better citizen is lost on some people. It entails more than winning at whatever cost. That would be capitalism.

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  101. We already know what happens when progressives throw their principles to the dogs and adopt the tactics of the "opposition." It happened on November 8, 2016. http://mlraminiakcomingtoterms.blogspot.com/2017/01/take-good-look-progressives.html

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  102. You can't bring a knife to a gunfight, Jim.

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  103. The thing that makes Republicans deplorable is their agenda. Using their deplorable tactics? That's just levelling the playing field.

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  104. Trump needs no insulting or childish names from me.

    For one there are so much more and better things to talk about regarding him than his moniker.

    For another "Trump" is already the most insulting yet appropriate name for him that I can think of.

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  105. "If you're an American his decisions are going to affect you directly." - Jim Wright

    And if you are NOT American his decisions could and quite likely will also affect you directly too.


    Perhaps even take your life or the lives of those you love as well.

    If the worst case scenarios come to pass. If Trump drops The Bomb or even just causes a conventional war or .. (how many?) People will die. All around our globe.

    People in, well you name it, have their lives at stake. Will have their lives affected by what Trump does or doesn't do.

    My nation of Australia will likely respond - perhaps before even being asked - "how high?" when metaphorically asked to jump into, fuck knows, what carnage and catastrophe.

    Trump's election has global consequences. It is a global tragedy and horror in my view. I so, so, so hope that I am wrong about this.

    But don't forget, Trump is now the leader-in-waiting of one of the world's largest most influential, powerful and well-armed superpowers and this will have global consequences that I shudder to think about and which have me horrified and despairing.

    Really, please Americans, don't forget the rest of the planet because dangnabbit, you have a flippin' huge impact upon it. (Too late?)

    The Republicans may deserve Trump; most good Americans who did NOT vote for or support him don't - and the rest of the world which had no say in his election (Yuuuge exemption here for Russia but that aside!) certainly does NOT. What can be actually done about this & stop it, wish I knew.

    PS. FWIW. This was what I originally wanted to just note here. Of course, I read through the comments to check it hasn't already been said and find a few other comments I can't can't help replying to.

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  106. As a Foreigner watching the US Election from outside your country I was horrified to see Donald Trump elected. International Politics is a messy ugly affair at the best of times, and considering the huge international footprint the US has, having someone as unfit for public office as him in charge of your country is absolutely terrifying.

    What is also terrifying is that we went through something very similar in my country 20 years ago. We also elected a "Disruptor" (albeit one that in retrospective seems politically savvier I think) because we stopped trusting out politicians (whose incompetence had gotten our economy in a lot of trouble) And the opposition took to tactics very similar to the ones you decry. The result? the behavior of the opposition "legitimized" the man and his regime. And now we're paying the consequences in spades.

    When I mentioned this on a Facebook post made by someone I got the answer that my advice was "weak" and "useless" I guess that being a foreigner spared me of being called "Sepoy" as the vitriolic responses you got show. I must say however, that I am heartened by your essays and a lot of the responses they get. From what I've seen (here and from some acquaintances I have that are from the US) , You are not the only one of course. Nevertheless, you are one of the most articulate ones. It's heartening to know that there are there are people in the US that are able to envision an effecting way to (hopefully) contain this madman and (even more hopefully) provide a credible alternative for the 2020 US elections. Something sorely lacking in the opposition in my country. I consider you and people like you a credit to yours.

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  107. I thought of your essay and resolutions yesterday when a comment I made was responded to with a plethora of childish words like dumbocrat and Obummer all wrapped into an infantile paragraph and I thought how thankful I was to not sound like an idiot like them. I loved your resolutions and am behind you all the way

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  108. I've been resigned to a Trump presidency since election night, even as others were doing gymnastics trying to figure out why it happened and how it could end differently. As I said to someone, the movie's over and the "bad guys" won. You can't change it. It's going to be a dark time in our history, and that's all there is to it.

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  109. I'm the asshole who clicked "I hate you". Which I don't, not at all. I've been reading you for years now and recommend your blog to many, both right and left. But I clicked that because the 6-year old in me wants to either have a giant foot-stomping tantrum or run away as fast and as far as I can get. I clicked "I hate you" because you reminded me that I actually have to add another 50 years of living to the reactions of my inner child. And that sucks sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time. Just like when I was 6, I only get myself in trouble when I get into a shit-fight, whether it's with my older sister or the supporters of the PEOTUS. No one comes out of shit=fight smelling like a rose.
    In a reply on Jan 4 @ 7:07pm you said, "Basic military doctrine: hope for the best, plan for the worst." This has been my outlook on life since I was old enough to understand the point of the half a glass of water, which was sometime in junior high. "It's half full AND half empty, you dolts!" was my adolescent response, but it's still the truth and I've tried to live accordingly. I've probably failed as often as I succeeded, maybe even more often, but I've tried. And your last two essays have reminded me that this is no time to slack off in that effort.
    I admit that I'm getting older (56) and my health isn't what it once was, and I don't have enough to pay all the bills and still eat the whole month sometimes. True is I'm getting tired and don't really relish the call to action that's blaring now like my younger self would have. But I have a phone, a computer and internet, even stationary and stamps. I can't go hiking in 90 degree weather with 80% humidity without collapsing from heat stroke and dehydration (I forgot to allow for the damned hot flashes and profuse sweating that comes with being 56), but I can walk in a protest march or stand between a marginalized person and a hateful one. And stand we must or be crushed.
    So thank you Chief Warrant Officer James Wright, USN, Retired. Thank you for being willing to be that person my 6-year old hates because my 56-year old self needed to hear those words. Thank you for still standing tall in that space between "the rabble" and "the elite", for being the kind of American I always thought we strive to be as a nation. You fan the spark of hope within me at a time when that spark had grown so dim I'd almost lost sight of it. Thank you for standing on that lonely deck in this dark night of our history and never losing sight of the lighthouse of liberty. Really, just thank you.
    Roberta Fewell, as I won't hide anymore.

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  110. I'll try. But if it doesn't work, I will wallow and forgive myself later. Some things are more important than my self respect, like my special needs grandchild's life. I have that little faith in the GOP or Trump. I will not stand by silently and watch them cart off people. And if it means getting down to their level then so be it. I am just following their lead.

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  111. I think part of what you are seeing among your responders is a brand of moral fuzzy thinking. Or maybe it is just fuzzy thinking. I'm not sure.
    I do agree with you as I did on "Resolutions". I think the need for this clarification has to do with emotional thinking. I've seen it, oh Hell, I've done it in the past. Critical thinking seems to be something of a dying art and something that we all need to practice, every day.

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  112. Our politics are become a football game. This has been the case for most of my life. The media and pundits encourage this by casting everything as personality journalism. Few are concerned with the welfare of the people, only with which party "wins" or "loses."

    Hell, you have doubtless noted that about every public person who stands against torture does so on the grounds that it "doesn't work," rather than anything like, oh, moral principles. Some may also add that it makes us look bad.

    -- Eric Hammer

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