Sunday, September 29, 2019

Danger Close

Representative Denny Heck (D-WA): "Is it okay for a president to pressure a foreign government for help to win an election?"
Director of National Intelligence (acting) Joseph Maguire: "It is unwarranted. It is unwelcome. It is bad for the nation."

We are at a very, very dangerous moment in history.

Trump is mad. Mad angry. Not mad insane – though that works too.

Goddamn, is he mad.

He’s so mad, he’s literally sputtering – something that I thought was mostly just a creative turn of phrase.

He stepped off Air Force One on Friday fuming, red faced, seething, sputtering mad, and yelled at reporters that he might try to file some sort of legal action to stop his impeachment.

What these guys are doing, Democrats, what they’re doing to this country, is a disgrace and it shouldn’t be allowed! There should be a way of stopping it. Maybe legally through the courts. But they’re gonna tie up our country. I mean we can’t talk about gun regulation we can’t talk about … anything. Because frankly they’re so tied up, they’re so screwed up, nothing gets done except for when I do it!

Shouldn’t be allowed!

There should be a way of stopping it!

Maybe legally though the courts.

And maybe not.

Maybe not. That’s the implication here, isn’t it? That maybe not part.

The day before, when Trump was at the United Nations, in a meeting with his staff he raged:

"They're almost a spy! Who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that's close to a spy."

I mean, you do see it, don’t you?

The sense of outrage. Outrage that anyone should question Donald Trump.

But the very word “whistleblower” exists for a reason.

Because it is a legally protected check on power, on abuse, on greed, on crime, on government.

Our laws, our entire nation is based on this idea.

Our Constitution was designed around this very idea: that power should be limited. That power should be checked, should be called out, should be held accountable at every turn. And that those who would blow that whistle should be protected to the full measure of the law.

Because without those willing to stand up, to speak truth to power, to sound the alarm, liberty dies.

This was the reason for the First Amendment, so that the people would have the power to speak freely in criticism of their government, not just as a right, but as a duty; so that the press would have the ability to hold all of us but most especially government to account; so that the people might assemble in protest and face down government power with their own; so that government would be required to give redress of wrongs against its own citizens.

If conservatives are correct in their interpretation of the Second Amendment, then its entire purpose is so ordinary citizens might hold government to the ultimate account.

And yet here they are.

Ironically, hypocritically, suggesting that the those who call out suspected government abuse are somehow traitors.

That it shouldn’t be allowed.

That there should be a way of stopping it, perhaps legally and perhaps … not.

We are at a very, very dangerous moment in history.

Trump has always tended to see himself as a superior specimen misunderstood by the common rabble.

He believes himself special. Above the laws which bind the common man.

When he’s held to those same laws, be they natural or manmade, he’s offended. He feels demeaned, lessened, diminished.

Public office amplifies his sense of martyrdom and he's becoming overtly, obviously, paranoid and publicly unstable. The term “siege mentality” might have been coined just for him. Worse, he surrounds himself with fringe nuts like Sebastian Gorka, political extremists like Stephen Miller and Steve Mnuchin, disgraced fanatics like General Mike Flynn, and an endless host of incompetent amateurs from Betsy DeVos to his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and it shows.

These people, not one of them, has any idea how to run a Republic.

These people have no idea how to deal with the world on an equal basis – because they do not see the world a place of equality. Far from it. They expect to give orders and have them obeyed. They expect the universe to bow down, to bend to their desires. Because it always has. No one questions the wealthy. No one criticizes a general. No one holds the privileged to account. Not to their faces. They are accustomed to subservience, not accountability.

The rules don't apply to these people.

Not on social media, not in the courts, not in the military, not in the boardroom, not on Wall Street, not in politics, not in the Media, not anywhere.

This isn’t my opinion, this is theirs in their own words:

I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything.

You can do anything.

They believe themselves entitled to this unquestioned power as their due.

They believe themselves better. Better than you. Better than me. Better than everyone.

This is how aristocracy is born, right here.

And if it's not stopped now, here in this moment, then in a few generations they will be lords and princes and kings, born to power.

And we will be their serfs.

This is a very, very dangerous moment in history.

Impeachment doesn't just threaten Trump, or his office.

It threatens the very self image of the privileged, who see themselves as the elite, as better, as born to power and above criticism or accountability, beyond the law and beyond reproach.

If Trump can be removed from power, so can they.

That terrifies them. You joke about guillotines, but you’d better goddamned believe they’re not laughing. They know. They remember. And they’re terrified that one day they’ll find their own heads on the block.

It’s too close now.

This is a very dangerous time. For us, but more so for them. And they know it.

That’s what they mean when they say Make America Great Again.

Great like when Robber Barons ruled America and the peasants paid for the privilege of eating out of their garbage cans. Great before the time of social safety nets and social programs, of unions and public education, before the common people claimed power for themselves, when profit was all and no one – no one – dared threaten their power. Like the Kings and the aristocracy who ruled over colonial America before the Revolution, there is nothing these modern elites fear more than the radical idea that power rests not with the privileged, not with those born to it, but with the ordinary citizen.

And because they are afraid, afraid of you – and they are indeed afraid of you – and because they will do anything to hold on to power, to their image of themselves as superior, they have become very, very dangerous.

Impeachment of one of their own directly threatens their power structure.

Whether it successfully removes the president from office or not, impeachment sets the very example they are most afraid of.

There's an old saying, apocryphally attributed to Thomas Jefferson and ironically used as a rallying cry by those who would point to the Second Amendment as a proof their right to burn down the government and yet who right now directly support these very elites. It goes like this:

When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

Of course, Thomas Jefferson never said this. And likely never would. Because Jefferson of all the Founders understood the dynamics of wealth, privilege, power, and fear.

Because when government fears the people, and when people fear their government in turn, what you get is chaos, what you get is civilization falling into war, revolution, and violent, bloody murder as each seeks to destroy the other.

When the privileged feel their power threatened by those they see as their inferiors, that’s when you get tyranny.

When government fears its citizens, that’s when the boot comes down on your throat. Every. Time.

Worse, there will always be those on the bottom rungs of the ladder who see government falling into absolutism not as tyranny, but as opportunity.

And they will cheerfully throw in with the powerful, hoping for a few scraps from the table, hoping to save themselves at the expense of their fellows. Hoping for that moment, finally, when they can shoot down their despised neighbors in an orgy of blood and rage. They'll willingly sell their souls, hoping that they themselves will be given some measure of power and privilege over those they – there on the bottom rung of the ladder – see as inferior, if only by a fraction, to themselves.

This is a very dangerous time.

Impeachment isn't just a threat to Trump, but to all of those who align themselves with him, and who benefit from his hate and fear, and who would be nothing without their privilege and sense of superiority, the brawlers and the wealthy alike.

They are terrified that the dam has been breached, that more whistleblowers will come forward. They don’t trust you, but they for damned sure can’t trust each other, not when the only way to save themselves might be to sell out their fellows. There is no honor among thieves and there is no loyalty among those who see integrity as a roadblock to power and wealth.

And they will not go quietly.

They've said so.

They will change the laws to give themselves power.

They intend to spill blood, your blood, if necessary to keep that power.

They will ally themselves with America's enemies against you if necessary.

They will lie, cheat, steal, and murder. These are people who put children in cages and see nothing wrong with it and they'll do whatever they must to hold onto that power.

You look at the White House, you look at who Trump surrounds himself with, who he's given power to, who has access to that power, who benefits from Trump's increasing megalomania – from Exxon to Russia – and you'd better believe the danger is real.

But here’s the thing: we can face down that danger, return our nation to sanity without blood in the streets and bring that power to heel.

We can.

It’s possible.

It would have been a hell of a lot easier, safer, a few years ago, when there was more of a margin, but you didn't believe the danger was real then.

I hope you believe it now.

Now that we stand on the very precipice with the pit yawning beneath our feet, I hope you can see the danger now.

I hope it's finally real to you. Because if you don't show up this time, no matter what – no matter what – then you’re not going to get another chance.

Your government, the wealthy, the powerful, they aren’t just afraid of you, they’re terrified.

And they damned well should be.

But that makes them very, very dangerous – as are all cornered animals.

Now, right now, is the time to hold these sons of bitches to account and show them who and what America is supposed to be.

Yes, this is a dangerous moment in history.

But then it always is.


A day after I wrote this, Trump posted this to Twitter:

This is the president of the United States right here suggesting that his political enemies be arrested for "treason."

This is the same definition -- the very same definition -- of "treason" used by dictators the world over: I.e. anyone who criticizes the state, and the state being me.

You look at that.

Look at it.

I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat, EVERY American should feel the hair standing up on the back of their necks right now. This cannot go on. Because arrests for "treason" WILL come next, followed by show trials. Followed by everything else. THIS is how it happens, right here.

Trump needs to be removed from office.

[end edit]

Impeachment is dangerous. And that danger – that very danger right there, the very nature of it -- is why it must be done. And it is in the crucible of crisis, facing the greatest of dangers, when true, authentic greatness is forged.

Now is the time.

If you want a better nation, be better citizens.

I would not be understood my dear Marquis to speak of consequences which may be produced, in the revolution of ages, by corruption of morals, profligacy of manners, and listlessness for the preservation of the natural and unalienable rights of mankind; nor of the successful usurpations that may be established at such an unpropitious juncture, upon the ruins of liberty, however providently guarded and secured, as these are contingencies against which no human prudence can effectually provide. It will at least be a recommendation to the proposed Constitution that it is provided with more checks and barriers against the introduction of Tyranny, and those of a nature less liable to be surmounted, than any Government hitherto instituted among mortals, hath possessed. We are not to expect perfection in this world; but mankind, in modern times, have apparently made some progress in the science of government. Should that which is now offered to the People of America, be found on experiment less perfect than it can be made, a Constitutional door is left open for its amelioration.

-- George Washington, Letter to Lafayette, February 7, 1788


  1. It's close to time for pitchforks and torches... and if that doesn't work, the French "National Razor".

    1. No, we don't want that, and Jim deftly outlined why.

    2. Of course we don't want it. That should go without saying. It may, however, be necessary, as unfortunate as that would be.

      Hopefully we can get where we need to be without bloodshed. If we want that, though, we should nominate someone who does in fact motivate voters. I'll vote for the lesser evil, but I know some people who won't, and I know I can't persuade them to do so either, not in the time we have.

    3. Labor strike is what we need. Take back from the business thieves and political corrupt. Traders to US citizen and the American Values. Striking is free labor call to the streets and making change
      . This Ann Rand winner take all and Reaganomics is killing American progress.

    4. I think it's going to get to that point. We need to shake up the power structure, both in Washington and on Wall Street and put a little fear back into them.

  2. ........................................................................ but her emails!

  3. Well said as always Jim! The burden of patriotism falls on us. It's a heavy burden to bear. But, well worth the effort! Thank you again for spelling it out!

  4. You are right that this is “danger close”. Ivan is inside the wire, even in the WH

    1. Stop looking at Russia. Putin would have gotten behind Bernie Sanders if the opportunity presented itself (and still might) because he just wants us neutered and ineffective. Instead, he got Trump. Russia is merely the beneficiary of the chaos the shitgibbon unleashes.

      We would have gotten someone like Trump eventually, because Reagan set in motion the ideas, actions, and attitudes that brought us here. The system more or less worked as designed, and our neighbors weren't dragged out of their houses at midnight and we still had our reality shows and fast food and toys, so we didn't see it happening. We didn't ask why 'compassionate conservatism' had to be a phrase.

      If the economy hadn't tanked in 2008, Barack Obama might never have been elected. If he hadn't been elected, certain types of people wouldn't have freaked out and Trump might not have won the RNC nomination. But the Republican POTUS who could have come out of the 2008 race would still be heading for the Gilded Age 2.0 and we know that Hillary Clinton would have been savaged. Whoever had gotten the RNC nod in 2016 would also be a champion of the Gilded Age.

      No: this is on all of us. We laughed at Trump and called his followers stupid. He was elected, and we hoped he'd calm down then we wondered why nobody reined him in.

      The Republicans and the oligarchs were getting what they wanted: their old power back. Power to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted, to whomever they wanted. They didn't care who got hurt, what wars might start, what disasters might occur, because they would be on top again.

      2020 is in our hands, and if we don't vote, or if we waste our votes on write-ins or Stein or 'burn it all down!' it will be that much harder in 2022 and 2024 and all subsequent elections.

    2. Very obvious to me you are conflating Putin, a tyrant, with Bernie, a Socialist Democrat. Putin has much more in common with Trump.

    3. Just wanted to point out that Obama was elected in 2007, BEFORE the economy tanked. The economy tanking had nothing to do with him getting elected as it hadn't happened yet.

    4. trump may have more in common with Putin, but Putin wants chaos. His playbook is Foundations of Geopolitics and everything he has done is right out of there. Fund trump, fund Sanders to drag on Clinton, as long as it weakens our country he’ll do it.

    5. Sassyfrassy: Obama was NOT elected in 2007. He won the Presidential election on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. The economy was in freefall prior to that, as he and John McCain, his Republican opponent, both went to Washington, D.C., for a meeting with Bush to talk about the crisis and how to address it!

    6. To Sassyfrassy - Obama was elected in 2008 and inaugurated in January 2009. The market had already tanked. This is part of why I'm working until I'm at least 70.

    7. @Sassyfrassy - Obama was elected as President in November of 2008...you know, when the election was held. He assumed office in January of 2009, as these things happen.

      The economy was full on tanking when he was elected in Novemeber, 2008.

    8. To Juliet - Thanks for the excellent analysis.

  5. Thank you. I too, feel we can't stay silent anymore. We have to speak out, and hold our representatives accountable.

  6. "we can face down that danger, return our nation to sanity without blood in the streets and bring that power to heal."

    Did you mean "bring that power to heel" as in putting a leash on it? I rather like the wordplay of bringing that power to heal each other rather than just controlling it. You, however, know what you intended so it's up to you whether to change it or not.

    I hope you keep "heal" and just put a (sic) at the end.

  7. Bravo. Seriously these are extremely dangerous times. like you I live in an area where Trump is viewed as a good guy, as finally saying the things that NEED be said. They are not going to get the nuances of why what he did (any of it) is wrong.

    The saving grace will probably be his increasing incoherence and over reacting, hopefully not selling Alaska to North Korea as reason to invade Greenland in the coming winter.

  8. Wonderful essay. And, unbelievably enough, stated pithily by Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle in "The Dark Knight Rises:

    "There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."

    I'll be sharing your essay by linking to it. I don't believe in plagiarism.

    1. Mary Beth...one only had to look. https://wpgrogan.blogspot.com/2018/12/foreshadowing.html

  9. Thank you Jim. You inspire us to be better citizens.

  10. This is worthy of being passed on far and wide. Perhaps Mr. Wright would not object to sharing this piece in these trying times

    1. Mr. Wright has never objected to the sharing of his pieces with correct attribution. It is the thieves who try to pass his words off at their own that, justifiably and righteously, piss him off.

    2. I’m quite certain he would not object to sharing it. Now, *stealing it* he will rightly object to! It’s incredibly easy to copy the link direct to this page and share it as far and wide as you wish.

  11. Someone I love very much told me recently that he welcomes the chaos that will inevitably come with Trump staying in power. He says that is the only way we can get rid of this diseased society we have created. I was horrified.

    1. But you should never be surprised. Fascism is working on that person, for that is exactly what it is: An imagined rebirth of better times.

      If one is considered one of the "diseased", it might go differently. But that's the idea.

    2. In a terrible manner, this is a thing to... well, not rejoice in, exactly. But as despairing a situation you find yourself in, there is a grim hope in that now you *know* what he chooses. The veil is lifted.

      And in the knowing, you can do what needs must, both in love and in defense, to try to heal the cancer, and to blunt his sword.

    3. Destroying the world in order to save it has never, EVER, worked the way it's proponents expect.

      It's a Missing Steps Plan: 1- Destroy everything. 2- ???? 3- Perfect society.

      Sidney Harris

  12. I am so envious of your wonderful prose.

  13. This is spot on, and I've been thinking along the same lines for the last couple of years.

    But allow me to pivot for a second... to the NFL. I stopped following the NFL before last season, and to give an executive summary? None of turning in my fan card had a single thing to do with Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling, or of any other player and their pre-game protests, or of Donald Trump fanning the flames of this non issue. It came down to the realization that ultra-wealthy people, and God bless them for their good fortunes, didn't have any interest in fielding winning teams. These owners would reap the benefits of profit sharing and would entertain politicians on game day, and when the time came right -- would insist that taxpayers pony up for grandiose stadiums or they would move the teams elsewhere.

    Continuing on this pivot, I used to participate on message boards for my (former and only) favorite NFL team, and frequently anti-"liberal" talk would appear, and almost all of these topics related to racism or misogyny. The most common thing I would hear from my fellow fans was, "*shrug* well, you know, there isn't really any such thing as freedom." *cough cough* bullshit *cough*

    Your very essay resonated with me, and for that exact reason. You absolutely nailed it when you spoke of people like Donald Trump and his ilk and how they like to (paraphrase) (re)delegate freedoms. But I think you forgot the important second part of this (and I may have missed it -- sorry!); people who are elevated, if only slightly, by the behaviors of Donald Trump and Co will most certainly and willingly go along with anything that helps them and them alone. There is a complete lack of awareness and/or an absence of empathy in probably at least 40% of this country about pragmatism and the needs of others.

    1. Jim in fact addressed this:

      "Worse, there will always be those on the bottom rungs of the ladder who see government falling into absolutism not as tyranny, but as opportunity.

      And they will cheerfully throw in with the powerful, hoping for a few scraps from the table, hoping to save themselves at the expense of their fellows. Hoping for that moment, finally, when they can shoot down their despised neighbors in an orgy of blood and rage. They'll willingly sell their souls, hoping that they themselves will be given some measure of power and privilege over those they – there on the bottom rung of the ladder – see as inferior, if only by a fraction, to themselves."

      These folks are easy to spot. They can only feel good about themselves when there is some "other" to whom they feel superior.
      Thanks, Jim, for another great essay. It is indeed a very dangerous time for our country.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. There is a theory that, during the Civil War, the reason poor whites in the South chose to fight for the Confederacy was that they felt themselves to NOT be on the bottom rung. Blacks were always bbeneath them, and they felt that freeing the slaves would be a low to their position.

  14. Those who taught you to read and to put words together with power, poise, and precision would be rightly proud.

  15. Good essay!
    Typo? "of one of their sets" should read "their own sets", correcting grammar.

  16. I had lunch with a friend of almost 50 years today. We had this exact conversation - not so eloquently as Jim expressed it, but with the same urgency. I will share this piece around the world - to the extent permitted. Thank you, Jim!

  17. It may take a lot to spur folks to look beyond their needs of comfort and look to the good of the country. I hope the next few months provide the kick that's needed. What a good essay. Thank you.

  18. We need to show up and vote THIS November. It's also a good way to make sure you are still registered.

    Lower level offices are important too.

  19. This is necessarily alarming. Thank you for speaking the truth.

  20. Powerful, scary, and inspiring essay. Thank you sir.

  21. Excellent useof rhetorical device, "his is a dangerous moment...". And, YES, it is. We can. It's possible. This is our crucible. May we meet the challenge.

  22. clarion call — a strongly expressed demand or request for action.

  23. Well said! I couldn't agree more. We have about 13 months to get him out or vote him out. Impeaching his so-called Attorney General would also be a fine idea. He reminds me of a guide dog for the morally impaired.

  24. Just bear in mind that Mr. Trump could not have done half the damage he already has without the willing cooperation and compliance of the Senate under Mitch McConnell.
    Nothing will change unless and until this vipers' nest of senatorial quislings are thrown down the steps of the Capitol and chased through the streets of Washington D.C.

  25. I grieve for so many of my fellow Americans who have been manipulated into behaving as if we're a pack of snarling, biting curs fighting ferociously over the few scraps the billionaires have left to the Real Workers. United we stand; divided we fall. Indeed. Let Mr. Wright's writings inspire us all to action. It will take all of us. It won't be easy but it will be worth it. Soldier on, My Fellow Americans; chin up, face forward, once more into the breach. And Mr. Wright, my heartfelt thanks.


  26. Jim- I feel that there are times when what you write has come from my own currently tortured soul. Indeed these are dangerous times for our nation, and we are facing the inevitable moment of truth for all of us who actually claim to care about what Washington and Lafayette, against all odds,helped to create all those years ago. Thanks for honoring their memory with your writing and with your courage.

  27. For a good view of what could happen, read Robert Heinlein's If This Goes On. It's fiction and fantasy but a prescient view of how USA could fail then be redeemed. And, it's a good read, entertaining and scary.

  28. I have fellow soldiers who wholeheartedly support Trump. However, in my oath, I swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies--and regretfully in this case that includes opposing the creature currently occupying the White House.

  29. Sir, you have written an excellent essay as always. I would like to take a moment to direct your attention to this article my husband came across in his financial reports in case you haven't seen it.

  30. Evil always eats it’s own, hopefully they will start soon...

    1. After it eats us. That's the problem.

      We must FORCE it to eat its own, and impeachment is one way to do so.

  31. IMHO Thomas Paine couldn't have said it better himself.

  32. Fired up! Ready to go! (for the 3rd time in my life - the OG Obama, our first woman president HRC, and now to defeat fascism). Thank you for your deep, deep inspiration.

  33. We citizens - to be better citizens - need to pay attention and vote in ALL elections that we are eligible to vote in, not only the Presidential and Congressional elections in 2020. We need to vote and help get out the progressive vote in every election, at every level, from dogcatcher to school boards to city, county, and state. EVERY ELECTION. The alliance between wealth-hoarding-wanna-be aristocrats, big corporations, toadying Republicans, former Dixiecrat racists, and conservative evangelical Christians, now known as the Republican Party, has been working hard since before the Reagan presidency to install Republicans at every level of government, not only the national offices; using dark money, dirty tricks, constant lying, and voter suppression and disenfranchisement. Evangelicals have been particularly diligent in getting people to run for office and getting conservatives to vote in elections at all levels. It's had a huge and shameful impact on our country. For the progressive majority of us to take back our country, we must fight back at EVERY level of government. Action List (state-level): National Interstate Vote Compact, state holiday on election day, automatic voter registration, an open primary in each state for all registered voters, mail-in ballots (in Colorado, that alone increased voting to 80% of registered voters) or paper ballots and vote centers, state-level campaign funding full-disclosure laws for all political ads and campaign spending (to counter Citizen's United), state and lower-level term limits, push state-level anti-trust enforcement and state-level Glass-Steagall laws, and non-partisan redistricting commissions in every state to shut down gerrymandering.

  34. Hindsight 2020: Maybe It Wasn't Such A Good Idea To Elect A Nazi Enabler Last Time.

  35. Thank you, Jim. I wish everyone in the country would read this.

  36. What concerns me...probably more than it should, but it does...is though all true...hearing is not a strong suit amongst Americans.

    "Did you vote?"

    "Fuck off, man, that's none of your business."

    "You're protesting in the street, blocking my progress to my destination...it is now my business. Did you vote?"

    In Oregon, at a protest, the question was posed to protestors...did you vote?

    The answer was less than half did not vote.

    So what scares me more than anything else is when the inevitable happens, and you, Jim, come out with, "I FUCKING TOLD YOU ALL ABOUT THIS!"

    Because being warned ahead of time is something I cherish, but unfortunately, not everyone is as grateful.

  37. Very powerful.
    I am not a US citizen nor do I live in the US. But it isn’t just the US where this is happening, horrifyingly. Just look at the three countries where Rupert Murdochs’ media empire operates and you see this dynamic mirrored, in Australia and the UK. Nationalism is rife in many European countries with the divisions stirred by the very rich right-wing ‘elite’. Divide and conquer. Trump has opened the floodgates of fear and hate, given the bigoted and misogynist bastards permission to let it all hang out.
    We are all, the whole world, in on this. It isn’t just about stopping fascism, though essential, because if we don’t the problems with AGW will become insurmountable.
    Hopefully the empathy empty rwnj are only about 27% of the population, therefore vastly outnumbered. Go get him, show the rest of the world it can be done. We thank you.
    A concerned citizen of planet earth and a member of the human race.

  38. Thanks, Jim. Good job. From one sailor to another, thanks!

  39. I agree with your premise that what we are doing is dangerous. We MAY be about to remove an elected POTUS. And if we (the people) do that (through our elected representatives) we must also prepare for the aftermath. And I believe there will be a segment of the Country that will be outraged enough to do more than bitch about how they "have been screwed by those damned liberals." They will not see Trump for what he is, only for what they think they want, which is what he has told them they want.

    What we must do, and do now, is prepare for a day when a POTUS is removed from office. Something the US is woefully unprepared for, and, if 2019 is the year that happens, please let cooler heads prevail and avoid the bloodshed that I see happening.

  40. He did not "directly" say Mexicans should be murdered en mass.

    He did not "directly" say the press should be murdered en mass.

    He was "joking" about deserving to stay in office past his term.

    He did not "explicitly" say the whistleblower should be executed.

    He did not "really mean" his removal would cause a "Civil War" when he merely repeated it. He really didn't even say it.

    danger close indeed

    1. And, to his toadying admirers, that makes all the difference. They require EXACT WORDS -- or so they say. Because they really do know what he and his enablers mean and this is the game they play with the rest of us, aided by the handful who really do think that if nobody says the words it means that Trump is not a horrible person.

  41. I still have a book. The Great Rehearsal by Mark Van Doren. Everyone can learn and thys recall how our hard fought constitution was drafted and signed. How the convention got called and how some were brought in thinking that it was just fine tune Articles of Confederation. How small colonies and large colones finally came on board through the Great "Federal Compromise." ...And so much more. Reveals the beauty, the strength and the YES even the flaws, conflicts built int, but the beauty of a design that gives us a republic w/ balanced Inservice to US the WE. When asked,they also decided the Article One President would not be addressed as 'Your Excellency or anything close to monarch. It is still just Mr President.

  42. I was talking with a friend's daughter about similar concerns Friday morning. She reminded me that she blew me off when I wanted to take her to register to vote on her 18th birthday,that the country would do just fine without her opinion and that she 'wasn't political anyway." Now that Trump is in office, she's registered. I asked what changed her mind. The answer was her 7 year old daughter's astonishment that she didn't vote against Trump. Her daughter saw the danger before she did.

  43. There is much truth here, much of value. I would disagree slightly about tyranny though. Fear of the masses is certainly a factor in tyranny but so is contempt. The elite must see themselves as elite and consider those that they would oppress as other and lesser - and they do. These two factors combine to make tyranny a natural choice for those that would rule rather than cooperate.

    Actions against those less than you are justified in their mind. They are, in a way, protecting real people against the sub-humans. It is perhaps ironic that those who have not studied history are the most likely to repeat it.

    And yes, I am aware of Godwin's law but sometimes you have to call it as you see it.

  44. All this perfectly applies to Brexit, Johnson, Rees Mogg too. Only it won't be a few generations before the people are their serfs, in Britain they always have remained serfs of the Eton boys, and soon they'll be hungry serfs again.

  45. The hair on the back of my neck has been standing at attention for far too long. Also in the news: tRUmp has his minions going after HRC by retroactively classifying thousands of the emails sent to her by State Dept. employees, over a hundred of whom have been notified they're charged with security violations (in sending HRC an email that has been retroactively classified). Damn, these mobsters are scorched-earth vindictive; they don't just want to win, they want to obliterate any opposition.

  46. Another great essay that shouldn't be necessary.
    I am struck here by the parallels between dictatorships and cults. Especially as regards the update.
    The cult leader calls out the blasphemer to his followers offering no proof beyond his own words and demands punishment.
    And many will be more than happy to carry it out.

  47. Spot on Captain,That Fucker needs to go..Now

  48. Time to revisit Washington's farewell address:

    "It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another."

  49. It sure isn't the United States of America I learned to love some 35 years ago any longer. I hope your nation will return to some of its former values such as rule of law and standing by old allies instead of trying to bully them into submission.

  50. The temptation to acquire an AR is high. One does not usually use such tings for self-defense, but we are tumbling toward a new and horrible definition of self defense.
    If only the people concerned could invoke Amendment 25! -- but they are his cronies and family.

  51. As always, thanks Jim. This is weirdly encouraging -- I guess because it's nice to see it in print. That this is a dangerous time.

  52. Sorry, Jim, I felt obligated to drop your link under the Adam Schiff's opening statement "characterization" of the President's call. I just wanted the "Patriots" commenting below to have a connection to reality. Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work.
    R. W. Johnson
    3/21 !96th Lt.Inf. Brigade '72

  53. This is an excellent work of wordsmithing. There is a beauty to the way words can be laid together. You made a strong foundation and then built a magnificent structure of words. I felt the same sense of awe reading this that one can get from looking at amazing architecture. Thank you for your efforts. Peace be with you and all those you care about.

  54. I'm not joking about guillotines. I'm not joking.

  55. The election is critical, no doubt. But it is more than a year away. How do we stop or prevent the damage a deranged lunatic can do in the meantime? Is the military able to intervene should he go for the button? Can Congress put everything on hold and render him powerless? He is far more dangerous spitting from his tightening corner now than he has ever been.

    1. Honestly, the only ones who can truly stop him if he goes full lunatic are his USSS detail, and we all just need to hope they put the needs of the nation above his.

  56. Calling to mind another prophetic tale : 'V for Vendenta' / 2006
    'A People should never fear their Government. A Government should fear it's People.'
    Although set in a mythical England, the parallels are clear.

    Excellent as always Jim. Here in Canada we have an upcoming election in a mere three weeks. And yes, one major Party (who stands an very good chance of winning) is running with a leader who is so very much a 'Trump Lite' clone.

  57. This is a wonderful piece. If Trump is not impeached and removed — or even if he is impeached and removed — I pray you to run it again the eve of Election Day 2020.

    Yours crankily,
    The New York Crank

  58. You know what pisses me off about all of this?

    Not just this moment, but everything leading up to it?

    That these "Conservatives" all said that this was all necessary. That it was to "save our nation."

    Of course they would, because they all deluded themselves into believing they were the only ones who were right.

    So right, that they even started courting and talking to and inviting to the table the most outspoken, far-right nutjobs they could. Gotta hand it to Bill Clinton: he turned the Democratic Party into the old Republican Party, and drove the Republican Party so far right it went insane.

    By the 90s, the party called Barry Goldwater, and Bob Dole "liberals".

    Holy fuck what the hell happened??

    Well, pretty simple, really.

    The Republican Party was losing elections left and right on the national level, though the Reagan Revolution was keeping them afloat locally. So, what to do? Why, go further right than that damn Bill Clinton; court all the fringes awakened to their proverbial calling by local talk radio and the 700 Club and all the churches!

    In order to try and gain political capital and power, the right wing stuck it's dick in crazy, and now the more moderate portion of it is gobsmacked that they're the Bitch in this abusive relationship with the crazy calling all the shots and controlling their side of the conversation.

    I mean...even JOE WALSH finally gave up on supporting Trump and has left the GOP. TEA PARTY FOUNDER JOE FUCKING WALSH. I'm no fan of the Tea Party and their crusade for an Elysian 19th century past that never actually existed.

    This is the kind of shit that happens when you let the unreasonable, crazy fucks have a seat at your table; you give their ideas legitimacy just by doing that, which gives them the leverage they need to wrest control of your side of the conversation and narrative away from you.

    Once they do, you have to pry that control back from their proverbial cold dead fingers, or "enjoy" the ride and preserve yourself by having no goddamn spine.

    Turns out that political cynicism doesn't always play out like you'd think; they thought they were just courting votes.

    What they were really courting was their own ideological implosion.

    IT's FAR easier to just yell at the world that you're right and ignore all evidence to the contrary, than it ever is to challenge yourself and your own thoughts and beliefs on a regular basis.

    It's this "through a mirror darkly" thing that's happened, but the right wing refuses to look in the damn mirror.

    They'd rather just break it.

    The thing is, conservatism used to actually stand for something. Something worth keeping, and important to have in any society. I'm pretty damn progressive, but there are times you have to apply the brakes a little.

    Modern Conservatism threw that vital, important part away, out of anger and hatred and spite. It wasn't about the ideas anymore; it was about the power and the privilege.

    Conservatism USED to be about responsibility. Among the self, among government. Don't spend more than you need to, don't upend the status quo over smaller trifles, work towards progress but always with caution so as to avoid consequences down the road that will harm everyone.

    Modern conservatism...just became "10000% against anything remotely liberal." There's no healthy policy ideas that can ever come from an ideological like that.

    When you outline your agenda solely on being anti-something, you already cut off one of your own legs.

    Then start sawing at the legs of everyone else out of your sheer fanaticism and paranoia.

    You become toxic, debilitating, and just as destructive as any "BURN IT ALL" revolution....because your narrow view and focus can and probably WILL become that very view; burn it all, because it doesn't fit my vision.

    It'd be like electing a first-chair diva President of the United Sta--


    Well, shit, here we are.

    1. I sorta understood your post Unknown.

      “You know what pisses me off about all of this?” So you began.

      All of what? Then, a mash of somewhat coherent thoughts. Like, that Joe Walsh was the Founder of the “Tea party.” Hmm, no, I don’t think so. A member, for sure, but it's pretty clear that it was corporate power that founded the "Tea Party."

      “I'm pretty damn progressive, but there are times you have to apply the brakes a little.” I don’t know what that means, Unknown. Does that mean we shouldn’t vote for Bernie Sanders? Too late, I’m going to. I can only hope that he and Warren make a pact.

      I admit, I just picked some random stuff you wrote to criticize. But your coda was just dumb. Even my cat knows that.

      That being said, Jim, when can we expect another post? Hope you’re doing fine…


  59. Conservatives, and republicans all forget the the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, is a republic designed "of the people, for the people, and by the people"...What we have seen happen with the SCOTUS, is the repeal of this and replaced it with "Corporations are people"...the will of the people has been replaced with the Will of the Corporations...this is part the Moscow Mitch coup...they sold us to the russian mob...

  60. I just hope the President doesn't decide to take out his anger on this planet in a fit of revenge. If he goes down, I could see him doing something crazy like trying to launch a nuclear war. I just hope that the honorable and patriotic leaders in our military would not obey and stop him by whatever means necessary.

  61. Great piece Mr. Wright... I wish you wouldn't have blocked me on twitter... Why, by the way?

  62. A little late to the "party", but well-said.

    The day Trump was elected I (semi) jokingly said "Honey, we should invest in barricade futures".

    Now I really worry I may have been right. If the US Senate won't uphold it's sacred oath, then what ARE we the people to do ?

    Do we have to do what we did once long ago, pledging "Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor", in the hopes we'd never have to do it again ?

    I don't know.


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