Pause And Think

Often something I hear or read just makes me pause and think. Today’s article is a collection of those things from over the past few months.

Pearl Harbor Day

I don’t know if this one is of any political importance but I found it interesting. Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra hit number one on the Billboard charts for the first time on December 7, 1941 and stayed there for nine weeks.

No Problem?

Americans own nearly 50% of the guns owned by private citizens globally. Remember we have less than five percent of the global population. In addition, very few of us rely on hunting as our primary source of food and there is no way America is the most dangerous country on Earth. Still, there are many who claim we do not have a gun problem.

White Fear?

I’ve used this quote before but it is worth repeating. In her book Caste, Isabel Wilkerson recounts a conversation she had with author Taylor Branch. During it he ponders, “If people were given a choice between democracy and whiteness, how many would choose whiteness?” I think we saw a partial answer in DC on January 6th. Many whites really have little if anything other than their skin color going for them and they are afraid.

An Omnipotent God?

If you believe that God controls everything then its logical that God sent down COVID-19 to purge Trump from office thereby making Trump’s loss God’s will. The scary part of that is that sans the pandemic Trump very possibly would have been reelected.

Democracy

One of the most frustrating things I hear out of the far right’s mouths is when I talk about American democracy they immediately reply (in what they think is a gotcha moment) that America is a republic, not a democracy. They then smugly smile; at that moment I exploit and expose their ignorance. Technically they are correct in that America is not and never has been a pure democracy. What they fail to realize and I point out is that a Republic is nothing more than a representative democracy.

The extreme right hates democracy; they only want their chosen people to have a voice in government. For several decades the Republican Party has actually been anti-government – at least in any democratic sense. In America there is either the order, albeit sometimes messy, of democratic government or chaos. I offer the domestic terrorists of the right wing on January 6th as “evidence” and rest my case.

Maybe Biden Is A Little More Progressive Than Some Democrats Thought

“Poets, priests and politicians have words to thank for their positions.” Or so says a line from The Police’s hit song, Do Do Do. During the campaign Biden used the word “union” a lot and he also spent considerable time talking about green energy. I think Unions are responsible for the high standard of living most Americans enjoy and that green energy is the future.

The rhetoric of the campaign is now giving way to the difficult task of governing but it appears Biden is sticking to his promises to try to create union jobs (complete with the good compensation packages they generally offer) and promote green energy. Whether he will be successful or not only time will tell but at least he hasn’t abandoned those plans on “first contact with the enemy”. He is turning out to be more progressive than the progressive wing of the Democratic Party thought he would be.

Cop Killer

In the first eight months of 2020 more police officers died from COVID-19 than on patrol. For a liberal I’m very pro-police, especially the front-line officers. It’s a tough and too often dangerous job. How many of them did Trump’s incompetence kill?

Burning Down The Storefront

I don’t have any statistics on this but it just stands to reason (or observation of most neighborhoods) that many small businesses have become victims of the pandemic. Figuratively how many of them did the previous administration’s incompetence and then-Senate Majority Leader (and agenda setter) Mitch McConnell burn down? I don’t have a number but more than all the left wing protests did for sure!

Ballot Box Lynching?

The racists in America no longer lynch people who register to vote. That does not mean they have given up on voter suppression – far from it! In states where the Republicans control the legislative and executive branches, they have proposed hundreds of voter suppression laws. When it comes to voting it is just a “cleaner” form of lynching.

Reality Denial

One of the things that really frustrates me is the refusal to accept reality in much of American politics. Last Sunday Steve Scalise appeared on one of the Sunday political talk shows and refused to acknowledge that Biden won the 2020 election. Scalise is a member of the House Republican leadership team.

This reminds me of an Upton Sinclair line. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.” If you follow the money this also accounts for America’s Republican Party being the only political party of consequence in the world that denies climate change.

That’s enough for today. Go ponder and try not to hurt yourself shaking your head.

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