My post is not intended to anger anybody. I’m the one who is angry. I literally grow angrier every week. In this post I share my perspective: some of what makes me angry. You see, I sense the careful crafting of a new idea I’m calling The New Patriotism.
The New Patriotism is being born as our democracy, our representative government, dies. Or, is it already dead?
The New Patriotism includes:
• Don’t tell me you’re pro-life. I call bullshit! Example One: The efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act while replacing it with nothing clearly would kill Americans. I have a friend who is profoundly ill, in desperate need of a heart transplant. Repealing, defunding, minimizing the ACA will literally kill him. He is not alone. Millions of Americans, whose pre-existing conditions would not be covered, would die.
• Don’t tell me you’re pro-life. I call bullshit once again! Example Two: Today the United Nations passed a resolution condemning the death penalty as punishment for a variety of acts, including religious blasphemy, adultery, and consensual same-sex relations. The vote was 27 nations supporting the resolution and 13 against it. Astoundingly, the United States of America, along with Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates voted against the resolution. In other words, the USA does not stand against executing people for religious blasphemy, adultery, and same-sex relations.
The pro-death religious leaders will wet themselves in their pulpits this Sunday: another victory for their pro-death agenda courtesy of Ambassador Haley from the Trump administration.
2. The purchase of the three branches of government by the extremely wealthy at the expense of, and with the complete disregard for, government’s explicit job of representing “We the People…”
Oh, let’s see… I’m thinking of the Mercer family and their billions. Oh, yes, there’s David and Charles Koch with their little club (the Tea Party) and their billions. I shouldn’t leave out Betsy DeVos and both the Prince and Devos billions–you know, she bought the position of Secretary of Education so she could sell America’s public schools to her charter schools industry buds in the Christian school movement with their lucrative, “don’t think,” religious agenda…
3. The end of ethics in government as elected officials now condone people in office using their positions of power for their own personal comfort and for tremendous personal gain
Yes, now anyone can anonymously donate unlimited amounts of money for your legal defense team when you have to answer your corruption allegations! No. Seriously—thanks to the close working relationship the White House now has with the newly appointed head of the Office of Government Ethics. All warm and cozy like…
Now, if you would like to cut a sweet business deal with 45, you start by booking a week at this lovely Trump resort complex. Yes, it’s expensive, very expensive. But, it will be worth it, promise.
4. Juxtaposing equality against patriotism: Racism is now the new all-American
When an athlete silently protests racism and deplorable examples of police brutality, let’s label that respectful protest (It’s called freedom of speech, a core American value.) as spitting on the flag, anti-American, and anti-patriotic—anything but what it actually is. This is The New Patriotism.
When Americans support equality and the removal of confederate statues, let’s haul out the KKK and the Nazis, and run over the protestors. Then, let’s say there are good people on both sides. This is The New Patriotism.
5. A Republican agenda that is, at the very least, manipulated by, if not deeply controlled by, an enemy state: an ever-expanding Russia under the direct leadership of Vladamir Putin
The half of this story has yet been told! And my jaw already drops…
6. The fracturing and manipulation of the American public by enemy states via social media
But Facebook and Twitter are making money off of it! And Google loves us…
7. The disenfranchisement of the electorate by a vigorous Republican voter suppression agenda
I won’t even get started on our having two recent Republican presidents that were not elected by a majority of the people in the nation because of an institution, the electoral college, put in place to protect slavery.
And then the voter ID laws, redrawing of district lines, reduction in voting polls and hours of operation in heavily democrat areas, etc. Let’s all scream “Voter fraud” (which doesn’t exist) in unison and at shrill pitch.
8. The hacking of our voting technology3 by an enemy state: Russia
The Department of Homeland Security has identified 21 states’ election systems (voting booths) that were targeted by the Russians for hacking. “…for the most part, these attempts were not successful in any intrusions into systems.” A nice way to say that, “Ooops! Some of the state election results were successfully tampered with by Russia!” And just what, exactly, has been done about this foreign invasion into the presidential election?!
You heard me! I said foreign invasion! We were invaded. At its core our democracy is the will of the people as expressed with their vote.
If Obama or Hilary had been elected under these conditions, hellfire and brimstone would be raining down until the election was declared null and void!
8. The slaughter and maiming of innocent Americans to promote the profitability of the weapons industry
Yes, your new patriotic duty may now include service to your nation by being the victim of gun violence, even murder. It’s like serving in a middle eastern desert, just with the convenience of being at home. Your service makes the military industrial complex wealthier through the ongoing sale of the weapons of war to people on the street and the spike in sales when you are savagely gunned down or maimed for life. It’s your duty. Salute the flag of The New Patriotism where you are duty bound to die or be maimed to make this industry even wealthier!
Oh, but thoughts and prayers from the elected officials who serve at the behest of the pro-death, tax-free, religion and weapons industries. Meaningless thoughts and prayers… More thoughts and prayers… More…
9. Removing transparency from government: both government action/oversight (open records compliance) and exposing conflicts of interest via financial disclosures/tax returns
Just what has Trump been hiding from the American people? Successfully, too. Again, if Obama or Hilary…
10. Restricting, banning and deriding the freedom of speech vis-à-vis the freedom of the press
Here’s just one quotation from wacko Steve Bannon: “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while, …
“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.” Dear god. He actually said that when he was Trump’s White House strategist.
11. Knowingly placing appointees (filling that swamp he promised to drain—yep, conned you!) with known conflicts of interest and those with vested interests in disempowering the watchdog and regulatory agency’s under their authority as the newly confirmed heads of those agencies: EPA, DOJ…
Let’s see: the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Brian Benczkowski to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division knowing that he has little relevant experience and that he actually worked for a Russian bank tied directly to the Trump Russia investigation. This man will now decide whether or not key aspects of this investigation are prosecuted? Seriously?!
I mean, is the Senate Judiciary Committee in on the Russia thing too?!
And let’s not omit Tillerson, former Exxon CEO who brokered that deal between the US and Russia to haul hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil out of the North Sea until Obama put an end to it. Something about tampering with a US election?! But now Tillerson is head of the State Department4 and can rework something sweet with Russian oil companies. There’s that country again. Hmm…
12. Hijacking the process of presidential power to nominate Supreme Court appointees who might not support a Republican agenda
As far as I am concerned, Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court is illegitimate. That seat belongs to Merrick Garland.
13. A redefinition of what it means to be an American: the Real Americans are all White, Male, Straight, and Wealthy Americans
It all started with Sarah Palin’s comments about “the real Americans…” and has gone downhill ever since.
I am not naive enough to think that corruption is only a Republican Party problem. It isn’t. But the Republicans have enjoyed long unchallenged tenures in my lifetime, and this has led to an unprecedented level of corruption.
But let me give credit where credit is due: the Republican Party has assembled a highly disciplined strategy to accomplish their anti-American agenda. The cost of running for and being elected to office is so prohibitive only a massive influx of capital from the finely tuned, wealthy Republican money machinery can secure an office. Any elected Republican official who does not explicitly comply with the dictates of the party line will be “primaried”–never even make it into running for office.
This strength, what I refer to as the unified, daily talking point voice, has become the party’s weakness—it’s complete lack of competing internal ideas. Who actually owns that unified talking voice?! Well, we are seeing more clearly every day who the monied power brokers are.
The party’s understandable efforts to build an unbeatable coalition to secure elections have gone off the rails. They have formed a dangerous alliance with ultra-conservative religious, pro-death extremists5, the American Nazis, the white supremacists, and, as unbelievable as it seems, apparently Putin’s Russia.
These fringe voices have no place in American politics. They do not hold to American values of democracy for “We the People”–all of the people. These factions want to build their own nation, a new ethnically-cleansed, religiously-controlled America. The want to do this on American soil. These are the American Taliban. They build profit and power on the backs of others through oppression, persecution, hatred, murder, lies and distortions. They represent the worst of our nation, the deplorable, as they accurately have been called.
The Republican party has embraced this manifest corruption on an unprecedented scale and for far too long. They serve at the leisure of the wealthy to the absolute disregard of the majority of Americans. They must be stopped. They must be upended from positions of power and even influence.
But their power runs deep. Their power resonates all the way down into the state legislatures and governors’ mansions. Republicans effectively use voter suppression and bizarre, convoluted district lines carefully drawn to ensure an unfair advantage against the will of the majority. Many Americans are appalled and outraged at their abuses.
Once upon a time, I was a Republican. But that Grand Ole Party sold its soul many, many, many years ago.
The New Patriotism is a carefully crafted marketing ploy to redefine what this nation stands for: “We the People.” The New Patriotism is only for the “real” Americans: the white, straight, males with enough money to subjugate the masses with their surveillance state, military industrial complex, and ancient religious abuse. The New Patriotism is nothing more than the old tyranny this nation sought to escape at its founding.
Make no mistake, The New Patriotism is about two things: power and money–the more the better.
True patriotism, the American patriotism that has stood the test of time, is about people–treating everyone with dignity and providing everyone life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Some would effectively argue it’s not a merger but a subjugation. ↩
While these people tried to win political influence back in Ronald Reagan’s day, the Republican Party was rather successful at holding them at bay. No more. ↩
a system I have long decried because it is hidden from public scrutiny and can be manipulated as it indeed was ↩
How did that happen?! ↩
tax-free political action committees loosely called churches ↩
This material is so common knowledge now, I did not footnote sources. A quick internet search will reveal numerous sources for each item listed. Additionally, I only included one or two support examples for items in the list. Numerous example abound. And finally, for brevity’s sake, I only including 13 items in my list. This post is already too long. ↩