Revelatur Newsletter – March 5, 2020
The New Unreality
Welcome back readers! In this issue we explore the unreality progressives like ourselves must deal with, as well the alternate reality world inhabited by Republicans. Warning: it is decidedly less clinically analytical and decidedly more vitriolic than our usual work. Enjoy.
In other news, we are hard at work building our ‘Central Knowledge Artifact,’ a Knowledge Management relational database whose completion will enable us to: make more accurate projections and suggest more efficacious solutions; expand our production beyond politics and into other key areas of progressive concern.
Also, father and son Revelatur founders Mark and Corey Hill have secured a publishing agent and are hard at work on our forthcoming book Hypotheses for Hope. Here’s a quick blurb from the introduction: “Our basic premise is this: without hope there is no future for the earth, for humanity, for any society or for any community. Without hypotheses and systems thinking, there is no positive vector for our hopes. We might as well all just pack it in and become racist, misogynistic, neoliberal Republican a**holes. Because it is the vacuum caused by the absence of these two that is being filled by those guys. And so, as bad as things are, and they are apocalyptically so – at least that is our hypothesis on our Meta condition, we remain hopeful. So while we will delve into global and systemic maladies, we intend to put science, technology and subject matter expertise – most particularly where they call come together in systems thinking – to work to point the way towards solutions, and in so doing lay down a path towards a new science of solutioning. Because only such a science will move us assuredly from scarcity to abundance, from fear to courage, from tribalism to humanitarianism.”
Canceled by CPAC
According to the angry mob of Trump supporters, I am defined thusly:
I hate America. I live in a basement and all I want is free stuff. I am a Marxist. I hate America. I should get a job. I should work sixty hours a week. No -- eighty hours a week! I am the real racist. I hate America. I shouldn't let fear control me; I should just take off my mask. I support baby killing. I support looting and murder and anarchy. I hate the nuclear family. I hate Christians. I hate America.
If nothing else, it is a spectacularly, singularly bizarre experience to have an endless, jumbled assemblage of assumptions about your motivations and beliefs shouted at you by a mob of mostly mask less acolytes of a fascist reality tv show host, especially since if and when they bother to ask for your opinion on anything they usually talk over you before you can answer. For a silent majority, for a group of people going on and on about how they're unheard and ignored, they never really shut the hell up -- and they never have anything useful or new to say.
The people outside of the Conservative Political Action Conference, those willing to endure the unvarnished radiation of the sun for eight hours at a time and forced to bring their own snacks, surely represent the present and future of the GOP, self righteous flag wreathed ids stripped of suits, shorn of stage lighting and speech writers, a writhing sweaty froth yelling about the commies and saving the children and China and Hunter Biden and Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump.
(Trump Trump TRUMP)
The GOP groundlings were my only point of contact with the extremist extravaganza this year, as I never actually went inside the CPAC 2021 meeting space. This year the who’s who of the worst of the worst was hosted in Orlando, Florida, the blinkering corn dog scented golden mean of corporate extraction masquerading as family entertainment, the state "Open for Business" at the behest of Republican lawmakers who purposely sabotaged the state's unemployment system, ordered the arrest of a COVID whistleblower, overruled local mask mandates, ignored a ballot initiative to restore voting rights, and have made passage of an antidemocratic anti-protest law a top priority in a state, like all states in all of human history, where enacting legislation to give people the right to run people over protesting social justice is not actually a top priority.
CPAC's 2021 theme: “America Uncanceled.” Republicans aren't great at humor of the intentional variety, though they've certainly mastered irony. To wit: they had to remove a speaker whose grotesque antisemitism exceeded even their comically high threshold for bigotry.
It's the irony that gets me most of all.
To be lectured about my hatred for America (lecturing doing a lot of lift here at CPAC) by a group of people who supported an armed insurrection against the seat of government during a peaceful transition of power...it's rich. To be lectured about the sanctity of life by a group who can't even be bothered to put on a goddamn mask during a pandemic that has killed half a million people. To be lectured about corruption...well, you get the idea. They like to make vague threats about 'getting you' and 'finding you' while also asking why you don't want to identify yourself. They wonder why you don't want to 'unify' with a group of people who think your family members are less than human. They wave Trump flags inches from your face, laugh, and then talk directly into their livestream about how easily the left is triggered.
If you're out there holding on to the hope that exposing GOP hypocrisy will somehow compel them into changing their rhetoric or behavior: stop.
Moral suasion is not possible with the right, at least in the current environment. Changing hearts and minds on an individual basis is a difficult process, one often requiring a personal connection and intensive, repeat conversations. Still, when someone asks you why you hate Trump for the twentieth time in a day, eventually you're bound to answer. Before you've finished your 1A - COVID Related Failures line of reasoning, a truck on lifts rolls by and blasts a train horn and the opportunity to dazzle them with your tightly constructed rhetoric vaporizes.
Hours pass, tempers flare, subside, flare, someone gets in the face of Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys, who goes through the motions of pretending he wants to fight, tempers flare, subside, a smug seventeen year old tells you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stole all his ideas from a Commie JEW, flare, subside, a ceaseless roar of variegated hate that defies pat categorization or conclusion.
It's truly difficult to generate a thesis statement from these kinds of events and therefore justify having written anything at all. These face-to-face interactions with the most die hard members of the conservative movement serve mostly to provide anecdotes for systemic analyses, and color to describe the dry dissembling of death cult nihilism that now defines the Republican Party.
Yes, of course. We face a long and painful process of deprogramming the people who've been taken in by conspiracy theorizing and hate mongering, and in order to do so we must meaningfully address the role of social media companies like Facebook. But Republicans are a white nationalist extremist movement, and treating them as an equal, legitimate partner in democratic governance is not just naïve, but dangerous.
Instead of trying to summarize two days of chaos and conspiracy, I'll offer a personal statement since it was exceedingly difficult to communicate this at CPAC this weekend:
I don't actually hate America. And Republicans should also know this fact, because I live in their proto-fascist Banana Republic state -- there aren't any basements in Florida!
The Best of the Mainstream Press is Not Good Enough
We have been detailing the shortcomings of the mainstream press since our inception -- we hope we’re making some progress with you because we’re certainly not impacting them! Our complaints include most notably these two: most writers do not understand the domains they report on at more than a surface level, therefore their analyses are shallow and prescriptions context-less and ineffective; the principle of objectivity trumps the duty to inform, yet because of our first concern, neither principle nor duty can be executed effectively, and readers can only harvest outrage from the reporting with no vector for effective action.
One first concludes that this situation surely must be the antipathy of what the mainstream press intends. Except that maybe it isn’t. At any rate, what we note is a self-reinforcing system dynamic obscured by lack of direct pushback and a fairly closed ecosystem. Just as with any platform that absorbs their resources, readers/subscribers just “walk away” if they are not having their needs met, and of course major newspaper and magazine readership has declined precipitously. We suspect that these shortcomings are under-examined causes of reduced readership and trust in the mainstream press.
The most recent article that set me off is: The Republican Party is Radicalizing Against Democracy:“ The GOP is moderating on policy questions, even as it grows more dangerous on core questions of democracy and the rule of law,” Chris Hayes, February 8, 2021, “The Atlantic.”
I have multiple concerns with the article. First, the subtitle is not true — Republicans have no policy, only tactics, and the second half of the subtitle would obviate and overwhelm the first even if it were true! I mean, if he is right and Republicans are growing more dangerous and ‘attacking’ democracy and the rule of law, who cares that they are “moderating their policies”? Second, the subtitle is a logic error -- its two clauses are mutually inconsistent, whereas Hayes means for them to appear as merely paradoxical. Thus the entire premise and logical setup for the article to follow is flawed, so all that follows is no more than a logically disconnected stream of consciousness masquerading as a linear argument or hypothesis with multiple proof points. Which in turn unfortunately means that Mr. Hayes intends to have readers take away one or more points that he is not willing to bring out explicitly. There is no defensible reason for constructing an article in such a manner -- it is either deliberate obfuscation, lack of analytical rigor, or sheer bone laziness.
The lack of critical thinking and analytical rigor in standard press reporting is dangerous in two ways:
1. It corrodes critical thinking skills in readers
2. It generates outrage but does not provide a vector for appropriate action. In this regard, although not in intent, it ‘mirror images’ the right’s captured press reporting, except that the right then effectively mobilizes the outrage it generates.
In the opening paragraph of Chris’ article we are treated to this: “The Republican Party is radicalizing against democracy. This is the central political fact of our moment. Instead of organizing its coalition around shared policy goals, the GOP has chosen to emphasize hatred and fear of its political opponents, who—they warn—will destroy their supporters and the country. Those Manichaean stakes are used to justify every effort to retain power, and make keeping power the GOP’s highest purpose. We are living with a deadly example of just how far those efforts can go, and things are likely to get worse.”
The paragraph is true but misses the main points, or the “so what” that Commanders in the military and government officials simply have to have, and readers crave. The “so what” question is a proxy for: “what can or should I do now that I could not prior to knowing this information?” As we have made clear, at Revelatur we adopt a higher standard for publication than merely “informing” readers. Information, absent context, doesn’t meaningfully distinguish mainstream publications from the propagandists, because it is only through context that the reader is able to make up their own minds -- to evaluate if the writer is exhibiting bias. It is another logic error that the mainstream press wants readers to believe its protocols all but eliminate bias -- but then don’t present the very context that would validate this for readers.
Mr. Hayes if off to make his next point which he believes builds off this first, but which painful experience tells me does not. That point: “On a host of issues, the left is winning. It’s not a rout—and ideological battles continue—but public opinion is trending left. Yesterday’s progressive heresy has become today’s unremarkable consensus.
Really? What are the reasons? What are the facts that lead to this conclusion? What did we have wrong before that is now clarified? Are the effects important, seminal, high leverage and long lasting, or the opposite? This is what I want to know as a reader, and what every boss I ever had in the Army or Federal Government wanted to know, in fact, demanded.
Then he says “Democrats have established a narrow but surprisingly durable electoral majority, holding control of the House, winning back the Senate, and taking the presidency by 7 million votes.” What crap! Whether or not something is durable is only proven by testing, and in this situation, that means subsequent elections. Most research I’ve conducted, and our analysis, indicates hotly contested elections for years to come, with Democratic control beyond 2022 not a high probability. Further, this ignores the stranglehold Republicans have at the state and local level, where gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts and impacts are both accelerating.
Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of eight presidential elections. Yeah, but! Twice that wasn’t enough, and it was barely enough in 2020 to keep a cretinous, moronic traitor who killed a half million Americans out of spite and incompetence out of the White House. That’s durable? What would non-durable look like?
No story from heavyweight journalists would be complete without a big time quote. Here is that from this article: “Ted Cruz told me on a podcast in 2019that as a young conservative lawyer in Texas, he had opposed the Iraq War—which, if true, would make him a political unicorn.” My first problem with this tactic is that what we have here is political access and elitism masquerading as investigative journalism and analysis. My second is with source selection -- Ted Cruz is a cretinous liar so why is interviewing and quoting him important to this story? It is expected that you, the reader, will not ask this question but instead will simply be awed by Mr. Hayes’ access, but on a subliminal level – and therefore more readily accept his premises.
Chris describes Trump’s reluctance to push for more wars as a constraint imposed by Bush’s (fils) lying about Iraq war (second) necessity and legitimacy. That may have been a factor, but I don’t conclude anything like that from our running analysis, and it’s far from known or proven. It’s an assumption called out as fact, then used as scaffolding for equally specious subsequent assumptions and conclusions. In specifically this area -- not calling out assumptions as such then using them to draw conclusions -- we find the mainstream press most at fault.
This is the very logic error that every scientific domain and philosophy rigorously mitigates against through education, protocol and professional peer review. I’m not quite sure what was going on in Mr. Hayes’ mind with this article -- he has great integrity so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt -- and posit that he did not deliberately intend to mislead. But in many cases with mainstream press articles the authors “know better” but don’t discipline themselves because there is a greater imperative driving them. And it is devilishly difficult to determine intent in such cases, so the burden should be on the writers to establish their assumptions clearly, to distinguish them from facts and hypotheses; editors should be ensuring this happens, and subscribers should be demanding it.
He also states, “the GOP has more or less given up” on the central issue of marriage equality. Oh really. In the sentence just prior he states: “And while some conservatives have redoubled their efforts to use the courts to secure religious exemptions from nondiscrimination law, and while conservatives continue to wage political battles against transgender Americans, the central issue of marriage equality has largely been rendered moot.”
Well, which is it? Again, these points do not build linearly on each other -- they contradict each other! But in addition to the logic error, it’s also analytically incorrect. When blocked by superior force, Republicans just change the venue in which they fight, the tactics they use, and their timeline -- they don’t concede anything long-term. In this instance Chris is unfortunately serving not as an unbiased writer or a neutral observer -- but rather psychologically battered Democrat projecting hope disguised as analysis.
Then this stupid paragraph: “The result is that voters have more or less forgotten and forgiven Republicans’ awful rhetoric and policies on Iraq and marriage equality, because voters’ memories are short. I’m personally furious that, to this day, no one involved in those activities has ever truly paid an appropriate long-term reputational price. Nevertheless, we now enjoy a kind of broad consensus that is better and more progressive than what prevailed before.”
As if this (enjoying a broad consensus) is a worthy tradeoff for providing elected Republican officials with historical and legal impunity. Democrats may have won a temporary tactical victory, but Republicans have once again eroded standards for accountability -- and we’re supposed to accept that that’s a winning tradeoff? No wonder we’re losing! Without a rigorous analytical framework and true objectivity, what we get here is the failure to tell which is the dog and which is the tail. The paragraph just quoted is nothing more than wishful thinking masquerading as fact. This is exactly the way you convince yourself that you are winning every battle -- but lose the actual war on the ground.
Here’s another questionable analysis in the article: “The durability of these divisions—place, education, gender, and race—their imperviousness to events, is probably the single most salient lesson of the past year. Donald Trump’s approval rating fluctuated less than that of any other recent president. In fact, his approval rating in October 2020 was close to what it had been in February 2017. Think of everything that happened last year: A president was impeached for only the third time in American history, a contentious Democratic primary took place, and then a once-in-a-century calamity led to tens of millions of people losing their jobs and 350,000 people dying and daily life being suspended for about two months, followed by months of painful adjustments. And the result—politically—was that practically no minds were changed.”
The quoted facts to us actually make the opposite point – which is that Republicans have built a durable base while Dems have to fight to come close to leveraging a huge demographic advantage that would in any other Democracy translate into dominance. In a war making correct distinctions matter -- and we are at war with Republicans -- not because we want to be, but because they have declared war on us. Roosevelt kept us out of WWII as long as he could, but the Japanese, Germans and Italians eventually forced his hand. What will finally force our hand? We’ve already had a political Pearl Harbor on January 6!
This statement slips in at end of paragraph purportedly about liberals owning cultural mindshare, but shreds its own point with this both sides type argument: ‘Economic power in the United States is still in the hands of a ruthlessly amoral set of actors with outsize influence and little sentimental attachment to either political coalition.” What? Many very rich people are ardent authoritarians and put their billions to work establishing the new American oligarchy. The ones with theoretically “little attachment to either party” advocate relentlessly for tax breaks for themselves and against equitable labor laws and protections. This includes Amazon and Apple -- supposed paragons of big corporate liberalism. The oligarchs are not sitting on the fence hoping the country comes to its senses as Hayes intimates -- they have their money on the Republican side of the scale.
Such lack of analytical rigor continues: “The people who show up to MAGA rallies aren’t wrong when they look out at most of American culture and conclude that the people producing it don’t share their worldview and values.”
Come again? The people who show up to MAGA rallies are the culture – 40% of it, supported by billionaires – so their combined combat power is greater than that the Dems can bring to bear. I don’t know what world Mr. Hayes’ inhabits, but everywhere I look I see country music and NASCAR-loving, hat-wearing, tactical vehicle package driving, Branson-vacationing, Fox-news watching, psychologically-projecting, mass gun murder and white supremacist apologizing, death obsessed, knowledge eschewing, power-control—scarcity- hierarchy driven, confederate flag-waving, Pharisee-surpassing hypocritical ‘Nazis-in-training’ foisting their culture on me. Chris is, with his comments here, betraying the fact that he thinks that the mainstream press “is” the culture, or at least synonymous with it. If this were ever true it most certainly is not now. Fox News controls the thinking and actions of 40% of America’s voting age population -- what other combined cultural drivers do anything remotely comparable in combination?
This is the real ugly truth about the American right, and if Mr. Hayes were as worried about the truth as he is objectivity, he’s have written my last paragraph. And if “The Atlantic” – my all-time favorite magazine, were still as dedicated to the American experiment as they claim, they would have published it. But alas, they didn’t, and one more seemingly innocuous Alice in Wonderland, Kafkaesque episode passes unnoticed in our rapidly accelerating rush to unreality.
Then come these two statements unilaterally ceding the right to grievance to conservatives without any thought about what the majority of us want:
1. “On the whole, what is mobilizing and motivating the Republican coalition is a set of resentments about who will run the country;”
2. “What if the driving imperative for the large majority of voters – particularly those on the aggrieved right, is that they want their people in control?”
Why is the right uniquely aggrieved? Are they aggrieved simply by the existence of the rest of us? By those of us who aren’t losers, who are doing the right thing every single day and trying to make America live up to its potential? If that’s what we’re doing that aggrieves the right there is no remedy except for the majority to commit mass suicide. You get this, right?
To give Trump credit for policy successes, as Hayes does, is ridiculous. Policy in a Democratic society requires deliberation and consideration for long-term objectives for which there is strong consensus. Trump’s actions met none of these criteria and thus are technically not “policy,” they are fiat. Terming them so legitimizes the heinous actions that were motivated by long-term political advantage, spite, hatred, and naked economic benefit. They were battle tactics designed to message followers and shape the battlespace for further actions against enemies. Mr. Hayes’ granting Trump’s actions the validation of “policy” is that false balance, “bothsidesism” thing again.
Contrary to Hayes’ assertion in the article that Republicans learned from attacks on Medicaid that backfired to cave on economic issues and programs, they are simply biding their time for the next big assault on the New Deal and its successor programs. They are busy testing out new tactics in the ‘cultural long war’ in conservative think tanks, red municipalities and states, as they have been doing since 1968. We have a much smaller social net than any other large Democracy, yet we could afford the most. This is an accident? This is liberal victory and Republican concession to reality? What fantasy world does Hayes live in?
Look, there’s little difference other than political intent in how Chris and the mainstream press analyze and characterize events from that of the right, even really from conspiracy theorists. Their collective business intent is also the same -- to keep readers hooked on outrage and paying for advertising. We don’t want this to be true, but it is. It fits the facts better than alternative theories. This does not make Chris Hayes and the mainstream press morally equivalent to Fox News -- far from it. The distinctions in purpose and intent remain important -- they are just not important enough to drive meaningful distinction in reader and societal outcomes.
Contrary to the tone of this piece, I love Chris Hayes. He is smart, dedicated to American ideals, epitomizes integrity, has his heart in right place, and is exceptionally hard working. He follows good journalism ethics and protocols. It’s just that journalism protocols are long on fact checking and woefully short on analytical rigor -- and even further deficient in enabling any sort of reader action. Institutions corrode and eventually fail not because they are overtly corrupt and staffed by incompetents -- this is the right’s equally erroneous analysis. Rather, they die from a thousand cuts from well-meaning insiders who lack sufficient perspective to see the role they themselves are playing in institutional demise, and if they suspect it, don’t have the courage to change and face the inevitable career consequences. In these instances, like with Mr. Hayes, there is a conflict between personal integrity and institutional imperative.
The press must self-renew, adopting much more rigorous analytical protocols that augment journalism standards -- which are currently insufficient and, absent companion imperatives and protocols for analysis, are largely counter-productive.
W. Edwards Deming, whom many credit with being the engineer of Japan’s World War II economic recovery, used to ask his client’s management team this question: “How do we improve things around here?” To which they inevitably answered: “Everybody doing their best.” To which Deming would reply: “Four little words, and they’re wrong. First, one must know what to do.” Times change -- journalism culture, protocols and standards which may have been perfectly adequate for previous times are now totally inadequate and, as relates to preserving Democracy, counter-productive. The industry must invest in the development of domain and subject matter experts, and the adoption of analytical protocols more like those used for intelligence reporting. Tough transition for sure. But doing so will make them societally relevant and more profitable -- seems worth the tradeoff.
Call to Arms
America was blessed -- like the songs say -- with natural resources, secure borders a long way from enemies, gifted Founders, fortunate timing of national founding, an unending stream of new hard workers to keep those already here on their toes, great leaders stepping up when needed.
But the blessings never extended through the entire population, even in the mid 20th century, when the U.S. economy was as large as the rest of the world combined. Blessings and rewards have always been unevenly, unfairly, unjustly apportioned by political and socioeconomic factors, and deliberately so. In fact, it is now apparent that the blessings secured by folks in what we call the middle class were the temporary results of a very effective Ponzi scheme that required continued growth at a rate that is no longer sustainable. Environmental unsustainability certainly attracts the most attention -- but it is equally true for every sector.
The mid 20th-Century economic upward mobility, as well as the relatively good income equality (compared historically within the U.S. and externally against other nations) required to maintain the American Ponzi scheme, reversed course in the 1970s, and both have trended down since. Productivity growth also slowed substantially around the same time, exacerbating the lack of funds available to, and motivations of, new Ponzi scheme entrants, as evidenced among other things by the declining male college attendance rate. And as we’ve pointed out multiple times, these things are each systemically connected to each other.
Hardest and must unjustly hit by economic trends are first, those always hardest hit: women, people of color, immigrants and the disabled. Everything we do at Revelatur is dedicated to these people, the heroes that came before us, and the good people who will follow us.
Tragic as this entire situation is for America writ large, the second set of Americans impacted by these trends is the most problematic for national prosperity, freedom, relative strength and quality of life. These are the aggrieved white people -- primarily living in rural and small municipalities in the south and heartland, with whom it’s taken two complete generations to finally perceive that the joke is on them.
We hypothesize that it is this very cluster of economic factors that fuels white nationalist and Trumpist rage, although they’ve been artfully manipulated to cast blame in the wrong direction. But it’s hard for me to muster up much empathy for people who choose ignorance as their primary life skill. Everything we do is also to counter these people who have deliberately chosen to make us their adversaries. As long as they are self-described enemy combatants of ours, we must treat them as such until they are vanquished. We’ll treat them to a just peace as soon as they surrender.
In a logical world, these two groups would unite and demand -- based on their combined strength -- a just social order and economy. But they do not, because the right has figured out how to drive a permanent wedge between these two classes of natural allies, and to get 40% of the U.S. population to choose a loser’s identity over a winner’s actual societal position. On the one hand, the GOP strategy is brilliant -- it is not easy to get people to vote for you -- and in some cases risk their lives for you -- when you’re stealing them blind -- taking their hard earned money, opportunities, dignity and respect, and above all the chance to live an abundant, fulfilling, joyful life. But divide and conquer is the oldest play in the book, and to the degree the right’s supporters fall for the trick, shame on ‘em. Social Media and Fox News have given them a modern type of community to validate themselves and give them an identity; shame on them too.
The myths the right fights for have long been proven bankrupt, but they can’t admit it for fear of feeling foolish and breaking from friends and family. So in addition to the trend towards willful ignorance, we are also experiencing a decided lack of courage here in ‘the home of the brave.’ We are, in fact, experiencing a general dearth of values and principles right now, substituting for them the Gods of capitalism, the wisdom of the market, the inexorable logic of neoliberalism, and, increasingly, the conspiracy theories of the lunatic fringe.
Is the right solely to blame? No, good people watched the slow drain circling happen, but were only too happy to reap the benefits of their good educations, family connections, technocratic competence, the tax-sheltered handouts from their parents, and their geographic good fortunes -- seeking the best deck chairs on the Titanic if you will; and starting the game on third base if you will and thinking they hit a triple, as we say where I come from. We have many former friends who justified voting for Trump, even the second time, solely because of the growth in their 401ks. First, I don’t believe them. Second, l can’t imagine trading a few dollars for accepting kids in cages and 500,000 negligent deaths. Finally, what really worries me about America is that they feel comfortable sharing their reasoning with others.
But there are gradations -- it is important not to paint with too broad a brush when assigning culpability. And even then, it is important to make the distinctions that matter. For instance, loathing Hillary Clinton is understandable, from my perspective she represents a slightly less repugnant version of Mitt Romney but on a Democratic scale of 100 he’s maybe a 48 and she’s maybe a 52. But when you go in the voting booth and the alternative is Trump, the mature American citizen pulls the lever for her regardless, right? If not you’ve got a screw loose and no amount of justification covers for the fact that you invited authoritarianism, misogyny, hatred, injustice and corruption in the front door because you didn’t have the guts to make the tough call when faced with it. That is what courage is about, and if you voted for Trump, you failed us.
You see this is what it’s all about, don’t you? Not elaborate justifications for doing the wrong thing, leaving your buddies on the field of battle and heading to the safety of the rear, not ignoring men verbally denigrating women while you smirk, but choosing the hard right, by exhibiting U.S. Grant’s “four o’clock in the morning” courage. If you can’t summon courage when needed then you are letting us down and you are the cause, more so than the victim, of the situation we now face.
‘We the People’ are still in charge, and although we each feel powerless sometimes, maybe even often, collectively we are in charge -- the government responds to us and elected officials work for us -- not the other way around. We have allowed the parties and elected officials to divide us, fail us, and fleece us, and it’s time we rectified this situation. Getting educated -- “taking the red pill” -- opening our eyes -- summoning up courage from God knows where --and “opening up a can of whoop ass” on the right -- so to speak, this is the only path out of this wilderness we find ourselves in. We’ve talked in great detail in other writings about specific policies, mechanisms and actions. Time to animate them with virtues and damn the torpedoes.