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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,207

Journal Archives

The Right Wing couldn't be more wrong about Climate Change AND Covid-19

Both are threats that keep getting worse and can only get more worse still if the science needed to combat both of these dangers facing all of us is scoffed at or ignored. The evidence of how bad each crisis is screams from the daily headlines. Yet I seldom see opposition to science explicitly linked as the common denominator hampering our ability to successfully face these existential threats to our survival. It's the same right wing voices who have consistently been proven wrong by reality, but seldom do I see them held to account for disinformation on both counts. That linkage needs to be forcefully made while thermometers burst, droughts and floods ravage the earth and hospital wards fill up with those who are gravely ill, because they refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and/or wear masks in crowded indoor spaces.

The same people are to blame!

Americans let Democracy become transactional

I think Americans collectively lost sight of what Democracy actually represents, until voting became more or less just a means to an end, a route to consolidate power, with the fruits of that power, when wielded, becoming all that mattered. Democracy is not just a means, it is itself an end. Voting affirms ownership of government by the governed, but more and more election day has been treated like a final opinion poll, with the tallying of votes reduced to a scorecard reporting which team came out ahead. When the results of an election are all that anyone cares about, when the intrinsic value of the democratic process is taken for granted, if it is thought of at all, democracy is in peril. When seizing control of government, for the sake of advancing this or that agenda, becomes paramount, the means by which that is accomplished is reduced to being "tactical." Here we are.

If Trump were less unstable, or if he were less obsessed with dominating the GOP...

The hard right would likely succeed in soon destroying American democracy. As it is though, my money is on them failing. Trump is simply too ugly and unhinged. His ego will not allow him to get out of anybody's way, erstwhile friends included, who could actually implement full scale autocracy. He will simply scream louder and incite more rebellion within whatever "governing minority" Republicans plan on cobbling together to retain power should the spotlight start moving away from him. Very thinly "veiled" threats of violence is the only remaining lever he can pull in attempting to ultimately avoid prison, other than launching actual violence itself. He already did so on January 6th and won't hesitate to do so again. But a Trump inspired coup attempt lacks the velvet glove over the iron fist needed to pull it off. Others can wear that glove, but not Trump.

Societal polarization, along the Trump's chosen fault lines, leaves him with a bitter angry ugly quarter of our nation firmly in his camp. Fifteen percent more are theoretically within his reach, and collectively that could form a plurality large enough for Trumpists to secure their grip on national power. But Trump is too nakedly extreme to hold onto that swing faction if he prematurely forces a showdown, and you can count on him doing just that. Time is a luxury that Trump has run out of.

Paradoxically DC Republicans are counting on normal order to return them back to power in 2022 during a mid term election that historically goes against the party of a first term president. These are not normal order times though and that will increasingly become clear over the coming months. There are several demagogues in waiting with sufficient finesse to exploit these times to their favor, if Trump allowed them center right stage. He won't.
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