Point of View Columns

Reflections on the Night Before the Night Before Christmas

As 2022 stumbles and lurches to an uncertain ending, it is useful for us to consider the question of whether this country (and this planet) can veer off the road to self-destruction, and right now it is anybody’s guess as to what the final result will be.

But there is always hope. Hope has sustained humanity from the time our ancestors got their knuckles off the ground and discovered that there was a world of opportunity. Our knuckles have never been on the ground but it remains to be seen if we are able to discern the opportunities that exist today – not just survival, but the pursuit of a better world for everyone.

Of course, there are some reasons to have our doubts, consider:

Just Who Is George Santos?

The only reason that you might even begin to recognize his name is not because he won a congressional seat in New York state, flipping a Democratic seat to the Republican Party.

The reason that you might have heard about him on CNN or MSNBC (or maybe even Fox News) is that it appears he is actually a bigger liar that Donald Trump. Consider:

-He said he attended Baruch College. He did not.

-He said he attend the New York University School of Business. He did not

-He said that he was an executive with Citicorp. He was not.

-He said that he was a banker with Goldman Sachs. He was not.

-He said that he was Jewish. He is not.

-He said that he was gay. The fact that he divorced his (female) wife in 2019 makes that unlikely.

-He said that his grandparents were refugees from the Holocaust. They were not.

There are so many more lies, lies and more lies. Yet this guy named Santos was elected to Congress. The New York State Democratic Party opposition research team was clearly busy getting a tan in the Hamptons and the Republican Party seems to be defending a serial liar because he will help preserve their razor thin majority in the House of Representatives.

The question is whether there is any combination or formerly disqualifying facts that would keep someone from getting elected to office in the modern American political arena.

The Master of Lies, Donald Trump, may have established a new blueprint for success…. lies, lies and more lies.

Exactly Who Does Donald Trump, Jr. Think He Is?

Earlier this week, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, made a surprise (and death defying) visit to the United States and addressed a joint session of Congress. It should be no surprise that Mr. Zelenskyy took the opportunity to request more aid in his country’s existential battle with Russia.

Whatever one’s views are on the current conflict, there can be no doubt that the courage and determination of Zelenskyy and his people should make us wonder if any Americans could endure the hardships of this war with the same level of uncomplaining courage. Keep in mind that a war has not been fought on American soil since the Civil War (more on that in another column).

And then comes Donald Trump, Jr. who, walking in his father’s besmirched footsteps, call President Zelenskyy “a welfare queen” for asking for additional aid in his effort to literally save his country.

Where do we begin:

-First, “welfare queen” was a slur uttered by Ronald Reagan (a racist to his heart who is still occupying a place of honor in the Republican pantheon). It was a lightly disguised code term referring to Black women who were taking advantage of the welfare system, even though, to this day, the majority of welfare recipients are White.

-Second, Trump, Jr. has never worked a real day in his life, and being an heir to the dwindling Trump empire may result in his actually having to work for a living.

-Third, insulting and demeaning the courage of  the Ukrainian people is particularly obscene given that the only thing that Trump, Jr. has ever shot at was an unarmed water buffalo or an elephant that had the misfortune of looking wrong way.

1.6.21 Report

When the 1.6.21 issued its report this week it turns out that the Trump Insurrection was worse than we thought. First and foremost, it was planned for months if not years in advance. The feral creature that he is, Trump knew that he was not going to ever win the popular vote, or even the electoral vote, so he went to his go to mode – cheat, lie and steal.

Second, this country came closer to a very real coup than any of realized in January of last year. If not for just a few, very few, members of the military and Trump’s own administration, we might be slip sliding in the banana republic that would have been the outcome.

We all know that, on some level that democracy, even one as flawed as the American version is, so fragile that it just takes a determined minority to overturn the entire structure.

It happened in Germany and it still could happen here.

Something to remember as 2022 staggers to its end.

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