This week's Person and Word of the Week 🏆
I’m just happy that the “former guy” wasn’t smarter. We’d be having an entirely different conversation.
These books have informed my view of the GOP's decline from a moderate center right party before 1980 to the crypto-fascist party of 2021.
Why the Right Went Wrong - E. J. Dione, Jr.
Democracy in Chains - Nancy MacLean
Dark Money - Jane Mayer
and more recently
Evil Geniuses - Kurt Anderson
In my view, these are serious authors writing objectively, and with regret.
I am skeptical that the GOP's fever can be broken. I am in the camp that says it must be burned down to the ground. Whether it can be build up in the image of, say, Eisenhower, I see as doubtful. Here is why, in three acts.
1. The existence of a 40 year old coordinated program of vast size and deep funding hell bent on destroying FDR's New Deal to benefit the super-rich by undermining democracy at every turn. (e.g.: The Koch troika)
2. The growth of a pervasive right wing propaganda machine dedicated to mobilizing fundamentalists and other bigots. They inflame hate and fear by demonizing racial and religious minorities, in order to elect Ayn Rand fanatic libertarians, who will prostitute their offices for money and power.
3. Most importantly, the looming end of white supremacy coupled with the fading of Christianity generally, and Evangelical fundamentalism specifically.
Maybe the problems only seems insurmountable, the situation intractable. Maybe I'm just an apoplectic ideologue. I hope not, on both counts. But the moment could not be more urgent, or more tragic. Forty years of their profit driven climate change denialism has brought us to the brink. Without immediate vigorous action we risk eventual planetary ecological collapse. In its reports, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has warned of - get this - multiple simultaneous catastrophic cascading infrastructure failures! It's the "cascading" feature that really gets me. That hurts. Each crisis makes the others worse.
Thank you for speaking out the way you have. I look forward to following and participating in this growing community.
Understanding what a sociopath is, why they are psychologically dysfunctional, and how they impact others is the key to knowing that they have to be kept out of positions of authority and leadership. Their lack of conscience and therefore an authentic personality, enables them to exude unbridled charm to get their way, or unbridled hostility and vengefulness when they don't. The harm they do is extensive and long lasting.
It seems to me that these folks-- Abbot, Trump, others-- are committing crimes against humanity in the form of pandemicide, and in fact, by definition, genocide,(since they first targeted to NOT help blue states.) I think we need some intervention from the world outside the US. Perhaps The Hague? Something. These folks have brought shame to this country. I would like to know if there is a way to rally such a response.
Greg Abbott belongs in the madhouse. He is dangerous as well as all his minions to our Democracy!
I’m a bit late to the party, but I read this on Friday am when you first dropped it. Two things really stuck with me the next few days that I wanted to share. I completely agree with what you are saying. I love the person and word of the week concept. One of the things you stated, that I really identified with, was that you felt you might be obsessive about some aspects that we have been dealing with. I believe, that you can’t be too obsessive at this point, providing you’re showering, feeding the dog & paying the bills. Now is the time that we need to research, formulate opinions and motivate all Americans to engage in our democratic process. We must feed the facts to everyone. We can’t convert 45 cult, but we can make a priority to reach the millions of Am. that do not participate in our democracy. We must approach, teach & motivate people that haven’t voted in years, some not at all. The Greatest Generation caught in WWII to protect our democracy. In order to maintain our democracy this century we are simply being asked to educate ourselves, get involved & vote.
Secondly, I’m not a healthcare pro. But over the last 5 years the average American is learning a lot about different personality disorders. Your word of the week hits this. We like to think that these types of personalities are only in the movies. They are not. If everyone would ID the behaviors of those with disorders, as opposed to ignoring it, while they are younger, well you might be able to get help / treatment, etc. earlier. At the very least you could get treatment for yourself so you can better understand/handle/coordinate your own life. I knew in high school my brother was different. I knew something was off. I talked to my parents & they blew me off. Ten yrs later I get the phone call from my Dad about the thousands of $$ my bro stole from various elderly relatives.
My point is this...we are all much more aware of the behaviors of people that are harmful, i.e., 45, Abbott, DeSantis, etc. We don’t need to be a doctor to know that someone is not good for us, our families, our beloved country. So, we need to apply this to everyone around us. Analyze people by their behaviors & deeds, not what they say. All politicians should be evaluated by how they dealt w/ COVID. Full stop.
So again, I’m so grateful for the work that you put into helping the rest of us navigate the hell we’ve been going through. When you first spoke up on MSNBC, gently saying that 45 displayed behaviors unlike any other President, I started crying because, finally, I felt validated. It made me work harder to get people registered to vote, protesting, organizing, changing parties & working on campaigns.
My response is not as fluent as I had hoped but the bottom line is this....your article on Friday had a great deal packed into it. All of which could be used by your readers to form healthier opinions about all aspects of our lives, not just the political. Thank you so much for your “obsession” with our political situation. You are giving us valuable tips that we can use to be better human beings, not just better Americans.
21 days after you wrote the hit piece on Greg Abbott, Texas deaths have gone from about 300 a day on average when you wrote it to about 100 a day over the last three days. This is too easy Steven like so many other conspiracy theories such as an Nick Sandman and the Indian gentlemen, obviously the Russia hoax and investigation, all we really have to do is wait till it all plays out and see how wrong you are all of the time. The problem is during the wait you and others like you are damaging this country like we’ve never seen before. Eric S’s let’s burn the GOP to the ground is a disgusting comment shared by too many of you out there who can’t stand up to a legitimate debate. I do this to blow off steam, I don’t pretend to educate any of you because you’re not interested in the facts, just demonizing all of us deplorable’s. I was hoping there would be more give-and-take and people here actually looking to solve a problem not just blow off steam and denigrating 50% of the American services. Very disappointing but none of you seem to be practicing unity that your president promised …
“All this made Trump the ultimate mistake as the country was confronted with a deadly pandemic. And we have seen the horrific consequences—in the overwhelming death count and the personal tragedy that’s struck far too many of us. However inexcusable, we might grasp that this man was clinically incapable of doing or being better.”
Entirely agree. However I have a thought experiment that I’ve never seen anyone address. What if Hillary Clinton managed to have won in 2016? Surely we would have had a better Government response to the pandemic, and the vaccines would have likely arrived at the same time in history. But, Trump would’ve run again, and very likely, without all the baggage of his failed Presidency, won in his second attempt.
So here’s the question. Are we better off having suffered through Trump from 2016-2020, and then getting Biden elected to effectively administer the vaccine rollout versus managing the early pandemic somewhat better with Clinton, but then having Trump elected in 2020, where-upon he might have completely mismanaged or worse sabotaged the vaccine rollout? Interested in anyone’s thoughts on this on how this alternative history might have played out.