When There’s No Middle Ground

twentytwentynews, middle ground

Clete Wetli, Contributor

The midterm post-mortems and finger-pointings have already commenced, and Alabama Democrats are bewildered, frustrated, and apoplectic. A red tsunami of straight ticket voting overwhelmed any wishful hope of a blue wave. Yet, Alabama Democrats keep making the same mistake they’ve made since Republicans stormed the statehouse and scorched the earth behind them. Alabama Democrats keep believing that there’s a philosophical or political middle ground and it simply doesn’t exist.

The Republicans know this and it’s why they’ve adopted the bullying and deceitful practices of Trump. They’ve figured out how to keep their base gorged on red meat and how to game the system to their own advantage through gerrymandering, voter suppression, and incendiary, deliberately misleading propaganda. This last election wasn’t about issues, it was about Republicans vilifying and demonizing their opposition. All who opposed them were labeled as ‘socialists’ or ‘un-American’ or a pejorative ‘other’.

They have deliberately eradicated the middle ground because it’s easier to maintain power by systematically dehumanizing the opposition. Sadly, Democrats keep trying to intellectualize and negotiate and compromise with an opposition that doesn’t respect them and seeks their complete political annihilation. While Alabama Republicans are thinking six moves ahead, Democrats remain stunned and paralyzed.

If Alabama Democrats are going to rise from the ashes of irrelevance, they need to remove their failed state party leadership and they need to do it immediately. They need a compelling, populist message that embraces their liberal ideals. It’s time to embrace the party platform and quit pretending there’s a lukewarm middle ground on issues like taxation, healthcare, gun control, and infrastructure. If you’re going to call yourself a Democrat, act like one and fight like one.

Democrats have allowed the conservative propaganda machine to go unchallenged. In a state where liberal media is non-existent, it’s the height of irony to hear conservative talk radio and television hosts decry fake news and liberal bias daily. Yet, Democrats won’t buy air time and they allow the conservative echo chamber to metastasize. While conservative Republicans saturate the airwaves with their messaging year-round, Democrats seem to give it a half-hearted try every two years and then act perplexed when it doesn’t resonate immediately.

Alabama Democrats had great candidates this past election cycle in spite of a dysfunctional state party that seemed to hinder more than help. So, it’s time to get back to work right now and not wait another year to clean house. It’s time to realize that in this hyper-partisan environment, there’s no middle ground and no one believes that “moderate” is a winning strategy. There is no excuse for not fielding viable candidates to challenge Republicans in every race. There is no excuse for allowing Worley and Reed to remain in their positions for another moment. There is no excuse for poor messaging or for failing to get the message out.

Alabama Democrats face certain extinction if they don’t change strategy and tactics. They must come to understand that the Republicans have ceded no middle ground and that it’s delusional to pretend any exists. Alabama Democrats desperately needs leadership with vision and a plan. They need to call an emergency meeting to show Worley and Reed the door and give people a reason to get involved. It starts with taking a bold stand and demanding immediate action. There’s no time to lick wounds or point fingers. There’s no room in the party for people that won’t get behind the platform or readily embrace its ideals.

Forget about that fictional blue dog. Not only will that dog not hunt, it ran away a long time ago and it’s not coming back.

We’re still with you, Wasyluka!

twentytwentynews, wasyluka

Franklin, Contributor

Now that the midterm election hangover is starting to wear off, there was one race that really stood out to the folks here at twentytwentynews.com and that was the powerful campaign of Amy Wasyluka for Alabama State Senate District 2. Her message was genuine and simple. Her energy was fierce and relentless. Her campaign staff and volunteers were loyal and dedicated.  She almost defeated the onslaught of straight ticket voting because she ran an amazing campaign that inspired people. Wasyluka gave us something to vote for instead of trying to convince us to just vote against the opposition.

After a gut-wrenching defeat by a mere few hundred votes, Wasyluka was back to work immediately, encouraging others to get involved in progressive causes and to engage in making their communities better. Wasyluka simply embodies the kind of leadership and character we need to move Alabama forward. She ran a positive campaign focused on healthcare, education, and infrastructure. We’re all praying that she decides to run again.

The Wasyluka campaign also showed us why it’s so important for more women to run for office. For her, healthcare and women’s issues weren’t an exercise in abstract empathy. She’s lived them. She became a voice for women who feel disenfranchised and ignored by a political system that seems to only recognize older, white men. Wasyluka knocked on countless doors and listened to the people of her district. She told us her story and we all felt like we got to know a dedicated, honest person instead of a duplicitous politician. It seemed like every day, she had something new and personal to say on social media. Wasyluka won our hearts.

Hopefully, Wasyluka will run again. During her campaign, she certainly inspired other women to get involved in the political process. In Alabama, that’s something we desperately need as women continue to be sorely underrepresented and marginalized.

In sharp contrast, Republican Kay Ivey won the governorship without doing much of diddly or squat. In fact, no one even knows what the hell she stands for or what her plans are for the state. The only people inspired by her victory are extremist Republicans who know that she’ll blindly rubber stamp any regressive laws that they throw across her desk.

So, as Democrats are still gathering signs to take to the Green Team for recycling and trying to figure out how they got decimated in the midterms, they ought to pause a moment and look at what worked in the Wasyluka campaign. First, she was genuine and always herself. She proposed real, workable solutions and gave people something they could vote for. She was running for something, rather than running against someone. Second, she worked with enthusiasm and spent every moment believing she could win. Her attitude was energetic, positive, and infectious. Third, she used social media to tell her story, rather than using it as a place to try and sell a political product or ideology. Last, she never muddied the waters. Her message was simple, understandable, and steady.

The people who worked on her campaign would do it all over again tomorrow. If you’ve worked in politics any length of time you probably know that not many other campaigns could make that type of claim. Wasyluka made us into believers. We saw that with her vision and her leadership, it was possible.

So, before we get distracted by the next stupid thing Trump does or the next embarrassing scandal or the next round of Republican dumb-assery emanating from Montgomery- let’s take a moment to learn from the Wasyluka campaign. At twentytwentynews.com, we were paying attention because we saw what a great Democratic campaign should look like in Alabama and why more brilliant, dedicated women like Amy Wasyluka need to run for public office.

We’re still with you, Wasyluka!

A Letter from the Peter Joffrion for Congress Campaign Trenches

midterms, 2018, political, campaign, twentytwentynews

Clete Wetli, Contributor

You’ve probably been wondering, “Where in the Hell is Franklin, Wetli, Waters, and the rest of the crew at twentytwentynews.com?” In fact, we’ve gotten a ton of emails and messages expressing concern over their recent silence. Some have speculated that Franklin succumbed to his love of bourbon and ran off with that cute shih-tzu that’s been giving him the eye. Others have wondered if Jerry Waters chained himself to an oil pipeline under construction in a last-ditch attempt to help try and save the environment. Some have said that Clete Wetli may have been abducted and shoved into a very deep, dark hole in the hidden basement at WVNN. Several reports have said that all he can hear is Dale Jackson’s voice saying, “It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again…”

That’s all fake news, my friends. The truth is that they’ve all been working around the clock for the Peter Joffrion for Congress campaign. They promise that they’ll get back to work at twentytwentynews.com in November after the election. But right now, they’re making phone calls, knocking on doors, writing postcards, and do everything they can to make sure that the Fifth Congressional District is represented by someone who doesn’t believe sea levels are on the rise due to rocks falling in the ocean.

Peter Joffrion himself has been working non-stop. He’s going to multiple events per day and his stamina is truly amazing. Peter doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He’s honest, hard-working, sensible, and passionate about the people he wants to represent. Just hanging around Peter and his wife, Kerry, makes you want to be a better person. Everyone who takes a minute to get to know him quickly decides that he should be the one who represents them in Congress.

The campaign has knocked on over ten thousand doors in five counties. They’ve made tens of thousands of phone calls and put out thousands of yard signs. They’ve written almost seven thousand postcards to date. It’s been a tremendous grassroots effort fueled by everyday people in North Alabama who want what’s best for their community. They know they can trust Peter Joffrion to work hard and do what’s right.

Peter Joffrion’s message is simple- Make sure people can afford quality healthcare for themselves and their families, create good paying jobs in rural areas, and ensure that more vocational education and training opportunities are available to people who can’t or don’t want to attend a four-year college. He’s not afraid to take a stand on issues like immigration or guns. Peter doesn’t think children should be incarcerated by ICE in cages or that everyone needs an assault rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition. He’s not taking money from lobbyists or the NRA. Peter recognizes what it means to serve as a leader and his positions don’t change due to fickle poll numbers.

So, that’s what the gang has been doing. Right now, it’s crunch time and if you’ve got a moment before November 6th, you should come by and help. Go to www.peterjoffrion.com for details on how to get involved. If you hurry, there may be Cheetos available if Clete hasn’t eaten them all already. Regardless, it’s time to stand up to the Trump-loving politicians that are destroying our country. In two years, we’ve seen the damage they can wreak on our democracy. It’s time to get rid of pandering incompetents like Republican hypocrite Mo Brooks.

Rest assured, all the folks at twentytwentynews.com will be back on the job after the election. In the meantime, they’re working hard for Peter Joffrion and are doing everything they can to #FlipTheFifth!

Why did Mo Brooks Vote against the Opioid Bill?

Clete Wetli is a liberal political activist living in Huntsville and a regular contributor to AL.com. Email Clete at decaturclete@gmail.com or visit cletewetli.com.

In a rare and stunning display of bipartisanship, Congress voted 396-14 to pass a package of bills (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act) that would expand substance abuse treatment and law enforcement efforts to help stop the opioid epidemic that’s killing 150 Americans a day. As usual, Rep. Mo Brooks put his extremist brand of Tea Party politics over the interests of his constituents and voted against sensible legislation that would save lives in North Alabama.

It seems Brooks was more interested in spending tax payer dollars on an unnecessary ‘Space Force’ rather than doing something about the drug crisis that’s ravaging his district. Or, he’s been trying to figure out a way to explain why he voted for Trump’s tax scam that’s making our debt and deficit explode. I guess he feels like spending taxpayer money on space cadets is more important than helping people get the treatment they need but can’t afford.

Not known for his innovative solutions, Brooks probably thinks War on Drugs tactics will solve the problem. Things like expensive mass incarceration, mandatory minimums, and “just say no”. Well, we all know those approaches didn’t do much to curb the availability of drugs on our streets and simply made the problem worse.

All of this is hardly surprising given Brooks’ bizarre notions about healthcare. To Brooks, healthcare is a privilege that should only be affordable to “people who lead good lives” and folks with pre-existing conditions should just suffer by paying much higher rates. Maybe, he feels that people who were over-prescribed painkillers by doctors getting kickbacks ought to just suffer, as well. Maybe, he thinks that folks with genuine chronic pain issues or terminal illness ought to just suck it up and try to cope without medication if there’s a chance they may become addicted. According to Brooks, they should just work harder at leading “good lives.”

In Brooks’ home county of Madison, someone overdoses every six days. Yet, Brooks doesn’t think it merits a legislative response and he probably bemoans the idea of tax dollars being spent on substance abuse treatment. His base loves the more expensive and less effective option of mass incarceration, because it allows them to stigmatize people dealing with addiction. Although ineffectual, it makes conservative politicians appear tough.

In North Alabama, everyone knows someone who’s been adversely affected by the opioid crisis. Doing something immediately about it should be a top priority for every member of Congress. Instead, Brooks has been trying to figure out how falling rocks raise sea levels and how to justify the need for space soldiers. Yeah, we’ve all been worried about those Tang-drinking scientists going to war with each other on the International Space Station.

The problem is that Brooks takes every opportunity to paint government as an inefficient and incapable entity that simply devours money. He, like President Trump, fails to realize the magnitude of this crisis and the need to ensure that people who need treatment can get it. In this situation, government has an obligation to help and the right legislation will pave the way for necessary funding that will save and transform lives. Brooks’ ‘no’ vote on this legislation shows the people of North Alabama exactly what his priorities are. They certainly aren’t with North Alabama communities battling the opioid crisis.

The problem with extremists like Brooks is that they always put their narrow ideology over the practical needs of the people they were elected to represent. It’s bad enough that he ignores climate change and increased the deficit, now Brooks voted against helping people get the care they need. Once again, Brooks failed North Alabama.

Why I’m Voting for Peter Joffrion for Congress

Jerry Waters, Contributor

Aside from the fact that the incompetent incumbent, Mo Brooks, thinks that falling rocks causes sea levels to rise.

Aside from the fact that the pandering politico, Mo Brooks, hypocritically voted for Trump’s tax scam which is exploding our nation’s deficit and debt so that the wealthiest among us can make obscene profits at everyone else’s expense.

Aside from the fact that the ambassador of embarrassment, Mo Brooks, continually spews a litany of juvenile verbal diarrhea like claiming there’s a “War on Whites” or saying he’ll “stop nothing short of shooting” undocumented immigrants.

Aside from the fact that the captain of cluelessness, Mo Brooks, has held the office for years and can’t seem to sponsor any legislation that would significantly benefit his constituents in North Alabama.

And, aside from the fact that the dullard of doublespeak, Mo Brooks, has suddenly decided that kissing up to Trump is more important than finding ways to bring economic development, affordable healthcare, and educational opportunities to his North Alabama district because he’s too busy jousting ideological windmills.

So, with all that moronic morass aside, there’s finally an honest, honorable candidate, Peter Joffrion, that is ready, willing, and able to strongly represent the people of North Alabama.

Joffrion was the Huntsville City Attorney for almost thirty years and he was a key player in bringing in numerous economic development projects for the city and thousands of jobs.

Joffrion hasn’t spent his career pandering for votes or mindlessly espousing an extreme political ideology. He’s served his community by mentoring kids at the Boys and Girls Club and helping at his church. He’s running because cares about bringing jobs to the rural parts of North Alabama. He’s running because he knows that his constituents need access to affordable healthcare for their families without the fear of being denied for pre-existing conditions or trying to pay ridiculously high deductibles. He’s running because he wants to fight for educational opportunities for the kids in his district so they can compete in today’s evolving economy.

Peter Joffrion isn’t interested in appeasing special interest groups or well-heeled lobbyists because he understands the concept of being a servant leader. He knows that being a representative means putting the people first and he won’t run away from difficult questions at a town hall like Mo.

Joffrion supports our military and our aerospace/ high-tech industries. He knows how valuable they are to North Alabama. He cherishes our veterans and wants to ensure that they have the care they deserve after they have served their country. Joffrion isn’t interested in perpetuating the culture wars, he’s interested in doing what’s right for the people he represents.

So, that’s why I’m voting for Peter Joffrion for Alabama Congressional District 5. It’s time that we have a real representative, rather than an ideological, extremist mouthpiece. It’s time we elect someone who takes the job seriously and will listen to all of his constituents. It’s time we choose a congressman who is willing to work across the aisle for the good of the community he serves. It’s time for us to get behind a man with a vision who’s a skilled negotiator, rather than a divisive, self-promoting, gaffe machine.

Peter Joffrion is a breath of fresh air. Mo Brooks is the poster child for partisan gridlock and extremist rhetoric. Peter Joffrion is someone we can trust and someone who will listen. Mo can’t be trusted and he runs away from his constituents.

North Alabama has gone a long time without real representation in Congress. I’m voting for Peter Joffrion because I know he’ll be a strong, intelligent, and passionate for everyone in North Alabama. I know he’ll stand up for what’s right and I know he’ll stay focused every day on the people who elected him.

If you’ve ever wondered why Washington is so dysfunctional, just look at Mo Brooks’ record of mind-blowing incompetence and lackluster results. Getting rid of Mo and his career politician cronies is a necessary first step toward bringing back effective government.

Peter Joffrion is the solution to our embarrassing problem that we call Mo Brooks.

“Mo on the Rocks” sung to the tune of Neil Diamond’s “Love on the Rocks”

Franklin, Contributor

Mo on the rocks

Ain’t no surprise

Just add stones for the ocean to rise

It ain’t strange if you hate climate change

All the time

Gave you my silt

Gave you my slag

You left me in Congress without much to say

Pandering’s done

Now all I want are some bucks

First, they say they love you

Then, they get to know you

Suddenly you find you’re out there

Sounding like a fool

When they know they have you

All that science, so true

Nothing you can do or say

You’ve got to leave, just get away

We all know you’re wrong

You need that science screed

You can say what you want

Not much you can do when you’re making it up

May be blue skies above

But it’s cold when your Mo’s on the rocks

First, they say they love you

Then, they get to know you

Suddenly you find you’re out there

Sounding like a fool

When they know they have you

All that science, so true

Nothing you can do or say

You’ve got to leave, just get away

We all know that you’re wrong

Mo on the rocks

Ain’t no surprise

Just add rocks for the ocean to rise

It ain’t strange if you hate climate change

All the time

Another day, Another Shitastrophe

trump, shitstorm

Franklin, Contributor

As I ponder the onslaught of political gaslighting, I’ve come to relish the memory of a gentler time when our biggest scandal was the president sporting a tan suit. Between porn stars, money laundering schemes, clandestine meetings with Russians, and living large on the taxpayer’s dime, the Trump administration can only be described as a “shitastrophe”. It began as a notably large shit show and rapidly morphed into a category 5 shitastrophe. For the linguistically curious, that’s synonymous with “clusterfuck”, but several degrees worse because it was a wholly preventable condition and one that could be eradicated immediately if Congressional conservatives would simply open their eyes.

We all understand the importance of rallying behind your party’s surprise leader, even if he is a vulgar, mean-spirited, philandering, pathologically lying ignoramus. We get the part about passing an agenda and tolerating “eccentricities”. We even get the part about how he deserves a little slack for being inexperienced in politics and governing. However, conservatives have urinated on their collective moral conscience, and traded basic accountability for idol worship, in their self-loathing, cult-like worship of Trump.

The Democrats can continue to illuminate the obvious unethical and illegal machinations of Trump and his confederacy of self-promoting shysters, but until Republicans come to some minute degree of existential epiphany, they remain happy to look the other way and recruit more delusional apologists. Every day is another day of shitastrophe that they pretend is justified, excusable, and unremarkably normal. It’s like watching a fire-breathing, live-grenade juggling chihuahua unicycling through a warehouse full of fireworks while shouting, “Nothing to see here!” in perfectly pronounced Klingon.

We are witnesses to a mob-like criminal enterprise destroying government agencies and constitutional norms for their own profit and self-aggrandizement. We are subject to an unrelenting diatribe of lies and told that the facts are contextually pliable and inherently unreliable. We are asked to make our own morality into an irrelevant emoji as an apologetic means to excuse the blatant bad behavior of our leader, who refers to all of his actions and promises in absurd, delusional superlatives.

So, now the Department of Homeland Security will track journalists and “media-influencers” to keep us safe from having to hear any criticism of America, or its Shit-Gibbon-in-Chief. Just another shovel of excrement to ensure the longevity of the shitastrophe. As if the trade war, the dismantling of environmental safety regulations, and the daily revelations of scandal just wasn’t enough corrosive crap?

As the abomination of Trump’s shitastrophe spreads, we must recognize that the only way to win this war of minds and hearts is to strenuously exercise the First Amendment. This is more than a resistance of memes, more than well-organized protest marches with creatively snarky home-made signs. This is about finding new and creative means to get galvanizing messages to the mainstream and learning innovative ways to craft narratives that inspire and unite.

Like many, I begrudgingly gave Trump a chance in the hope that the weight of presidential responsibility would temper his juvenile urges and narcissistically-driven penchant for chaos. Trump not only failed, but showed that his worst is a looming evil promise. We cannot afford a second term of Trump. We cannot be apathetic as he uses his first term to further divide us. Underestimating him would be devastating and stunningly foolish.

As I write this, Trump is sending National Guard troops to the southern border to stop an imaginary threat and to give his angry base more fuel for their racist fires. As I write this, his ex-campaign manager, Manafort, is facing hundreds of years in prison and trying to craft benign explanations for all his nefarious Russian entanglements. As I write this, the porn star Stormy Daniels, is litigating her hush money contract with Trump and his greasy attorney, Cohen. As I write this, I wonder what thing he will next deface or what vital institution he will cripple. I cringe as he smears excrement on the public trust. As I write this, I count the days until we vote again and pray we have someone to vote for, instead of against. I miss Obama in his tan suit.

Another day, another shitastrophe in the era of Trump.

The “Better Angels of our Nature” Trade their Halos for Horns

angels, demons, twentytwentynews

Clete Wetli, Contributor

Even if politics isn’t your thing, you’ve got to admit that Trump forcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on a late Friday night with a day left before McCabe’s retirement will be remembered as an epic low-down dirty rotten douchebag move.

In the last year, we’ve all become rather numb to these crass, juvenile maneuvers by the most embarrassing and corrupt president in our nation’s history. But, McCabe’s firing is uniquely despicable on many levels. Did the Orange One forget that McCabe is a witness in the Russia Investigation? Wasn’t Trump’s gimp, Sessions, supposed to recuse himself from anything related to the probe?

Is there no limit to Trump’s willingness to desecrate our national conversation and government?

It’s true that politics has devolved into a mud-slinging free-for-all and that finding statesmanship in public discourse today is like discovering a unicorn frolicking in a sewage treatment plant.

Yet, it seems that most people don’t mind much. Hell, they don’t even have one fucking clue as to what voting district they live in and they’d be more likely to guess what size bra Kim Kardashian wears than to tell you how many Amendments make up the Bill of Rights.

I bet more folks know who Stormy Daniels is than Andrew McCabe.

Somehow, we’ve decided to follow the bully, rather than the smartest guy in the room. We’ve sodomized the angels of our better nature while we’ve traded in our halos for horns.

We mock science and embrace the dumbest delusions so long as they confirm our most deeply held biases. Trump did not create this; he is merely the bitter and foul culmination of a burnt stew of moral, cultural toxins and intellectual laziness that fueled his political rise. Trump is the epitome of a charming, yet stupidly vulgar man who baffles with his brazenness and astonishes with his unnecessary cruelty. He is understandable only as a grotesque caricature. Any attempts to humanize him result in bestowing upon him characteristics he is not capable of possessing. Such as empathy, nuance, forethought, and advanced strategy. He is an idiot savant, with most of his character reflecting the former.

The Russians easily played us because collectively we have embraced sound bites over hard-fought knowledge. We don’t make time to find the truth. We refuse to struggle for understanding. We settle for the salacious, abbreviated headline and claim we’re too tired or disinterested to dig any deeper.

We’ve become a slave to autocorrect and we only consume what’s easily digestible in our electronic feed, which is driven by our previous feeds and the system is designed to quietly discard anything that could cause us the slightest intellectual discomfort. If it somehow sneaks in, we fucking unfriend and block that vile shit quickly.

We’ve excommunicated and exiled our better angels. They may be momentarily relieved after the horror they’ve been forced to witness. Yet, they yearn to come home so they can remind us of our potential before we surrender completely to mediocrity and banality.

They knock on our doors every now and again and we slam them angrily like they’re some annoying proselytizing teenagers hawking unwanted pamphlets with instructions for our unlikely salvation. Some of our better angels are just missing in action. Most are suffering PTSD, I fear.

Somehow, we’ve got to find that high road again. I don’t think the answer lies in compromise. How do you compromise with the abomination of Trump or his deplorable, racist, dipshit supporters? You can’t. It’s time for vision and mission and clarity of purpose. It’s time to wash off the mud and to aspire to inspire.

No matter how much time passes, Trump is still unworthy of the office and still a greedy, entitled, shit-gibbon.

I just miss our better angels. I hope that they’ll come back soon. In the meantime, I’ll try to remember what it was like to have a leader that spoke in complete and uplifting sentences.

When Stupid Ruled the Land

twentytwentynews, trump, idiocracy

Franklin, Contributor

(Warning: If you are a Trump supporter, then do not attempt to read this because there are big words and opinions that differ from the one you were told to have. It is recommended that you stare at the picture, get angry, blame Obama or Pelosi, and tweet your outrage using any profanity you can spell without asking for help.)

An iconic moment in the orange toddler-king’s rise to the proverbial high chair of political power was when Hillary Clinton made the remark about Trump’s morally bankrupt and dim-witted supporters being “deplorable”.  Let me tell you, those imbeciles were more outraged than when someone slowly explained to them that “heads I win, tails you lose” was a scam perpetrated by liberal youth. Look, I’ve tried to give the Trumpers the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve come to the certain, inescapable conclusion that they are proud of their stupid dipped in ignorance which is then deep-fried in perpetual mean-spiritedness.

History will remember this era in American politics with chapter titles like, “When Stupid Ruled the Land” or “The Whining Rise of Dolt 45”. It’s beyond comprehension that his cult of cretins celebrates his incoherent misspelled tweets and glory in his uncreative, lame-brained insults; until you remember that the only thing surpassing their staggering stupidity is their capacity for jealous hatred.

Ironically, they are as thin-skinned as their idiot idol who loves to hurl rude epithets against his opponents, but is outraged and wounded when he gets the same treatment. Liberals are used to juvenile attacks and have endured insults from conservatives for decades. But, Clinton calls them “deplorable” and, suddenly, they are calling suicide hot-lines, sucking their thumbs, and re-enlisting their security blankets that they retired when they were eight years old.

Well, I’m done trying to be polite and not discuss the obvious. Trump and his Republican Party are truly a bunch of morons. They’ve put people in cabinet positions that would have to learn a thing or two just to rise to a base level of incompetence. Although, that was part of Trump’s meathead plan, he forgot that the repercussions would have a negative impact on him and his drooling base, as well. For example, his dipshit idea to cut taxes for the wealthiest and deprive people of basic healthcare at a time when the economy is doing well and there are legitimate concerns about inflation and over-valuation in the stock market. Oh, and that little thing about exploding the debt and deficit. Yep, classic dumbass move! However, the Trumpsters are content with their tiny bonuses or raises and don’t see how they are getting screwed. Well, not yet and, to be honest, someone may still need to draw them a picture using stick figures and crayons.

At first, we could all handle Republicans trading in their morality because we knew that they were hypocrites and that it was a sham from the get-go. That’s why they had no problem voting for the mush-for-brains “pussy grabber”.  However, it was surprising that they decided that deliberate ignorance and intellectual dishonesty would be their new rallying cry. Sort of like how during the election the economy was teetering on disaster and America was a shithole, but it somehow magically changed when Trump changed the drapes in the Oval Office to a “Third-World Dictator” gaudy gold.

America is rapidly becoming a kakistocracy, even if Republicans have no clue what that word means. As liberals, we’ve got to come to terms that just because we’re smarter doesn’t mean we’ll win. It’s time to find ways to appeal to people’s emotions again or we’re doomed to be ruled by dumbest and meanest among us.

In the meantime, y’all better buckle up because this is about to get a whole lot worse. Just wait until the bloated orange genius and his sycophants try to react to the unexpected crisis that’s inevitably going to come our way. He’s probably already got a rough draft of the tweet blaming Obama while bragging about the size of the crowd that saw it.

As a nation we’ve survived through many obstacles, I just hope we can survive this new wave of self-inflicted stupidity until 2020. Otherwise, we may as well start banning books, burning scientists and teachers at the stake, and start using Magic 8 balls to guide our policy decisions. In all fairness, I think Magic 8 balls have a better track record than Trump…

 

The Disconnect is Real

twentytwentynews, surreal times, trump, politics, climate change

Jerry Waters, Contributor

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling pretty disconnected lately. Disconnected in the sense that I don’t understand the hostility and self-righteousness and fear that’s screaming at me from conservatives. I used to be able to disagree without it becoming personal. Hell, we used to be able to find some small middle ground on which to discover mutual respect, but that’s nonexistent now.

Normally, I write about science and the environment. Usually, those are safely nerdy topics that don’t generate a tsunami of political heat. But lately, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been threatened and ridiculed over things that I never imagined would be controversial politically. I mean, clean air and water? Space exploration? Conservation of natural resources? Yeah, I get that there are conflicting sides and different interests at stake, but I don’t understand the vitriol from the right.

We all still live on the same planet, right?

I mean, why is the head of the EPA hell bent on rolling back every regulation that protects the beautiful country we live in? Do people really want coal ash, fracking byproducts, and other chemicals in their drinking water with no legal means of recourse against the companies doing the polluting?

Why, again, are we drilling for oil off our coastlines? Why are we unnecessarily hastening environmental reviews for major construction projects destined to kill endangered species and lay waste to natural landscapes?

More importantly, why are Trumpsters and conservatives so mad at me for caring about the environment or worrying about the consequences of space exploration and research? They love to hurl insults and threats, but they’re very thin-skinned if you push back at all.

I’ve been amazed at watching them make excuses. The “tax cut” fiasco which explodes our deficit and exacerbates wealth inequality. Ignoring the fact that the Russians definitely and calculatingly interfered with our elections. Their stunning failure to fix healthcare and their laughable plan to repair our nation’s infrastructure. They worship Trump as infallible and excuse his every ignorant, crass, and dangerous remarks. They live in a toxic, mind-numbing, non-permeable bubble of misinformation and propaganda.

Perhaps, I’m not the one who is so disconnected after all. Indeed, “the Russians are laughing their asses off” because we suffer such an ignoramus, who is systematically dismantling our government and squandering our diminishing natural resources for his own profit and self-aggrandizement.

I will continue to write about the environment and science, but I had to get that off my chest. Each day, I’m sickened that Scott Pruitt is in charge of the EPA and that our children’s education is in the comically incompetent hands of Betsy DeVos. While we were distracted by the dizzying displays of perpetual White House scandal, Trump presented a budget that eliminated funding for public broadcasting and for NASA’s education programs. I mean, this shithead wants to get rid of the TVA and defund any efforts to produce renewable energy.

It’s exhausting keeping up with Trump’s destruction of our beloved country. It’s heartbreaking watching this greedy buffoon and his cronies get rid of necessary environmental regulations and reviews so that they can make a few bucks in the short term.

I’ve no doubt that America will survive this, but it’s clear that every day that Trump is in office that our nation becomes diminished, sicker, and unstable. The anti-environment and anti-science fervor that has swept the Republican party must be stopped in its tracks because the consequences will be deadly.

Forgive my rant, I’ll get back to writing about the things I love, but in the era of Trump I find myself banging my head on my desk regularly.