Ramblings …

I’m just trying to digest some of what is happening today, this week, and thought I’d share my thoughts with you all, see what your own thoughts are.

Yesterday, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died at age 99.  One of the things he will long be remembered for is his stance that a sitting president is not above the law.  In 1997, he wrote the opinion that Bill Clinton must face Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit because a sitting president does not have immunity from all civil lawsuits for actions when he was not in office.

In another case in 2006, Hamdan v Rumsfeld, he wrote: “The Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction.”  And in a recent interview, when asked how he viewed Trump’s abuse of power, Stevens said …

“The president is exercising powers that do not really belong to him. I mean, he has to comply with subpoenas and things like that.”

I may have a tribute to Justice Stevens later, but for now I am wondering … how has this nation changed so much from the days of Justice Stevens’ rulings?  Nixon tried to abuse the power of the office, and he was stopped both by Congress and the Supreme Court.  That was in 1974 … forty-five years ago.  What changed?

Sure, Trump is a bully who rules by instilling fear of his red-faced wrath, but frankly, his power, his authority, derives from We the People.  He has no power without the approval of Congress and the Court, and Congress derives their power from us.  Or at least, so the theory goes.  Which brings me to my next thought.

After the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Trump remarked that there were “very fine people” on both sides – one of those sides being white supremacists who had committed murder on that day.  Based on those remarks, his net approval rating dropped by 10%.  But this week, after his blatantly racist remarks … and yes, they were racist remarks … about four members of Congress, it turns out that his approval rating among republicans actually went up by 5%!

How can this be?

His approval rating among independents dropped a bit, thus his overall approval rating remains unchanged.  But … think about this.  Some people who did not approve of him a week ago, now like him because he denigrated lawmakers based on their ethnicity and the colour of their skin.  What does this say about us?

One thing it says is that the divisiveness of this nation is a division of values, or morals.  Certainly, that is not the only cause of the deep chasm between right and left, but it is part of it.  Apparently, there is a large contingent for whom money is more important than humanity, profit over people.  But, I wonder … does it also say that the white supremacists, those who believe their Caucasian ancestry makes them somehow ‘better’ than the rest of us, are gaining momentum?  Are their numbers growing, and if so … why?  What has changed?

And where does this lead us? Are those who support Trump, not in spite of but because of his bluster, his arrogance, his racism, willing to hand him the keys to the kingdom, willing to allow him complete power to rule with impunity?  For it seems to me that is the direction this country is headed.  Those of us who are not without conscience are demeaned and mocked, told “if you don’t like it, leave”.  Trump has taken the law into his own hands and dared any to challenge him.

The democrats in Congress are divided, not because any are enamoured of Trump, but simply because this situation is without precedent and they are not sure which way to turn.  It’s understandable, but unfortunate, for we need them to be unified in the fight to keep this nation from becoming an authoritarian regime.  They are the last, best hope to force accountability, but instead they sit on their thumbs because they cannot agree on how best to proceed.

It disturbs me to see what is happening in this country today.  It makes me sad that not only do we have more corruption in the upper echelons of our government than perhaps ever before, but that the people of this nation are willing to turn a blind eye.  I don’t understand it, but it flies in the face of the premises on which the nation was founded.  Where do we go from here?Text dividers

38 thoughts on “Ramblings …

    • An interesting article for sure. Their conclusion, however … I simply don’t see it happening. I do agree that getting rid of Trump, while desirable and essential, won’t solve the problem, but I don’t see the 60% who aren’t a part of the cult unifying behind a movement of ‘civil disobedience and non-cooperation’. But then … in this, the era of populism, of discontent, of bigotry in its many forms, my predictions seem to be wrong more often than they are right.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is what trump has been all along. A greedy racist despicable person. His base, for the most part are not only fine with it, they welcome it.
    Check this out from the past..trump has always been this way…we have a KKK President with complicit republicans and a crazed ignorant base.


    Liked by 3 people

  2. An interesting thought of yours, about the democrats being divided and not knowing which way to turn. On reflection, I think this might be a natural reaction to any ‘strong’ challenge; Brexit is possibly another example, where everyone is so polarised they cannot agree on common ground to challenge on. And when Hitler gained power, the opposition could never unite in any meaningful way against him. Sadly, the only time they do tend to come together is in the event of armed conflict, and I really don’t think you want to go there.

    Liked by 3 people

    • An astute observation, and you are right … your Brexit and our Trump have many similarities … their origin in the populist movement, a dissatisfaction with the status quo, and the help of one Vladimir Putin’s propaganda.

      When I was in grad school, one of my 3 jobs was as a research assistant to a professor of political science. He was, at the time, writing a paper about how sometimes, when internal conflict and divisiveness becomes too great, the only thing that will bring the nation together again is a threat from the outside. His premise was that throughout history, nations have arranged for or staged such a threat in order to bring cohesion to their country. So … I think of that when I hear Trump’s bombast, first against Kim Jong-un, and more recently against Iran … and then today he brags about shooting down an Iranian drone. Almost seems like he’s spoiling for a fight, doesn’t it? And no, I really don’t want to go there, but …

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How much longer is Nancy Pelosi going to let Trump get away with defiant lawless acts/violations of moral norms, and submit to Republican bullies kicking sand in Dem’s faces, before beginning impeachment proceedings? If she doesn’t do so promptly after Mueller testifies next week, there needs to be a change of leadership in Congress in favor of someone who will take the bull(y) by the horns and put his ass to the fire.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t know, but I could have easily predicted the outcome of today’s vote, and wasn’t surprised, although I was disappointed. If she’s waiting for a ‘defining moment’, it seems we have had a number of them lately. If she’s waiting until she believes the Senate will convict and remove him, it’ll be a cold day in Hell. So, I don’t have a clue what she’s waiting for … I suspect she is afraid of the shitstorm that Trump will undoubtedly unleash if impeachment becomes a reality. Frankly, the biggest disappointment today was that only 95 representatives voted to support impeachment. 95 out of 236 democrats. Sigh. We the People apparently no longer matter.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll have to check out your post … I’ve been overwhelmed of late and haven’t been able to stay on top of my friends’ posts. The sort of socialism that Bernie and others talk about is not pure socialism, but rather democratic socialism, and I have long felt it was a better system all around, but obviously not for those 1% of wealthy capitalists who are quite content with the status quo.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Jill, I have made an effort to reach out to Republican lawmakers who pushed back on Trump’s racist remarks to support their political courage. I especially applauded the four GOP reps who voted to condemn his remarks. I made an effort to tell other GOP Senators how I admired the political courage of those who pushed back, noting the condemnation of Trump’s racist remarks by leaders around the globe.

    While Trump is relishing gaining from the division he has sowed (which is prima facie evidence as to why he should not be president), a retired Texas Judge penned a Facebook post as to why she is now leaving the GOP – Trump’s racist remarks. But what I found even more telling when she defined Trump as unable to overcome the fact he is “rotten to the core.” My recent post has more on her announcement. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good for you!!! One hopes that letting them know we admire the ones who are trying to do the right thing would encourage more such, but … today, I have to wonder if any of us count other than Trump supporters. They seem to be the only group the republicans pander to. However, I shall follow your lead and do the same tomorrow.

      I pulled up your post, then something came up and I haven’t gotten back to it yet, but I will be reading it in just a few. Rotten to the core just about mirrors my own opinion, and many others, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Suggested reading : “A Racist In The White House” in The New Yorker dated July 15, 2019, written by the editor David Remnick. Excellent post…Thank-YOU!

    Liked by 3 people

      • Actually Jill, your reply here uncovers a major problem fo most people.

        The policies put in place by Trump, promote values that basically pander to the rich (and the would be rich who like policies that cut taxes, allows capitalistic growth, etc).

        The rest of society on a limited, restrictive income are encouraged only to ‘keep their place’ and if you don’t like it, ‘leave.’ This is said with the full knowledge that those people are in no position to be able to leave and be accepted in another country. The world is being split into the bullies (you better do it my way or else) and the disempowered (I have my right to complain, but my feelings are not considered important).

        The rise of groups like the socialistically natured Extinction Rebellion are inevitable, but so is the backlash from elitist power.

        I am not willing to get arrested, or put my life in jeopardy. I am not willing to give up my access to a pension (something that I feel is mine). I am not willing to put my family in a bad position.
        This is the position that we are in. We do not have the money or resources to stop these people (Trumpites). All we can do is complain, and hope someone with more of these resources will do so.

        But, there is a point where people do fight back. That is when everything has been taken from them. There is nothing left to protect, and nothing to lose. Trump’s policies will eventually leave some people on that bottom position. Then the riots start and blood will spill. It is a foolish president who does not see what is inevitable on this downward spiral.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Hello Jill. I recently watched some short interviews with tRump supporters. One woman said he was crass and rude and that was why she voted for him. She liked what he said and how he said it. One guy admitted everything said about tRump was true and then claimed “but he has to be that way to fix the country”. He went on to say how the country was broken and tRump was needed to fix it. Again as nothing got better except brown people being stopped from entering the country I would say he was saying “make the US white again”. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    • I think that there are two factors that come into play here. One is a narrow view as opposed to a broader, more global view. As long as they are safe, employed, and relatively happy, that’s really all they care about. Trump has convinced them that immigrants and ‘other’ are a threat to their happy little world, and that “only he” can fix this. And this is where the second factor enters the picture … ignorance. I’m not saying it to be insulting to them, but simply as a statement of fact. The typical Trump supporter (leaving aside his wealthy friends who support him for financial gain) is not highly educated, doesn’t understand such things as how government works, trade deficits, national debt, climate change, or a host of other concepts that play a role in governance. So, they are ripe for the picking .. all Trump had to do was tell them that the Mexicans are coming to rape their wives and take their jobs, and the Muslims are coming to impose Sharia law (ask a republican what Sharia law even is, and watch them stammer and stutter, for they have no idea), and Trump has them eating out of his hand. My hat is off to you, though for putting yourself through watching that and not throwing something through your computer screen! Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Maybe no one cares any more about the country, they only care about themselves. And after the way they have been treated by the 1% holding today’s wealth, they want that opportunity to treat others like that should they be the lucky ones who rise to the top and become part of that 1%.
    Sound ridiculous? Yes. Sound warped? Yes. Sound impossible? No!
    People who are mistreated generally grow in two directions. One direction is to join with others and fight those who mistreat others. The second direction is to want revenge, not caring who they take their vengeance out on. I was hurt, so I want to cause hurt. Sadly, more take the second direction than the first.

    Liked by 7 people

      • Option one people, as you call them, tend to be law-abiding, and gentle. Option two people, like Trump, become bullies, willing to use any tactic to get what tjey want in life. No matter how loud option one people yell, they can be easily ignored. Option two people force themselves into the limelight.

        Liked by 5 people

    • Y’know … I never thought about it like that, but what you say makes sense. It does seem that people don’t care about the country … or in fact the future, given the way they are wearing their blinders on climate change. It’s what I’ve been calling a ‘me-istic’ society, where “as long as I’m happy, that’s all that matters”. I’ve actually had some ‘discussions’ with friends over that very topic, and as long as they live in a nice home, have plenty to eat, they can watch their privileged kids play soccer or baseball on Friday nights, then to hell with everyone else. So what if the planet is on fire, the important thing is their happiness. In the Declaration of Independence, there is that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” thing. I think they should have left out the part about happiness, because the nutters in this country think they have a right to be happy, even if it’s at the expense of others. And you’re right … they are more likely just to be vengeful than to work together to fight the evil that is taking over this nation. Sigh. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


  8. When you have people like Elizabeth Warren now openly calling for impeachment against this demon that promotes racial hatred like any thug on the street and calls for White Supremacy in the face of the tradition long held in the US to accept immigrants from many nations. It seems Trump would be happiest having more immigrants from Scandinavia. The problem is it doesn’t seem that more Scandinavians want to make the move away from a better standard of living, better education and a less corrupt Government.Kick out all the immigrants of colour and you’ll just be left with white men taking all the land to become Land Barons again. Doubtless that would suit Trump and his family.
    Impeachment is hopefully the option that stops Trump declaring a National Emergency in 2020 which enables him to stay in power.It should unite the Democratic party and with the help of The Squad bring in a lot of youngsters to the party to vote alongside a group they see as movers and shakers to get Trump out while the impeachment goes ahead and lets voters from all parties know what their President has been up to and saying the Democrats won’t stand for it as they still stand for the law.Probably impeachment won’t pass the Senate but more Senators from the Republicans party are now ready to vote with the Democrats.Maybe some courage is appearing.

    Liked by 5 people

    • As you no doubt heard, Al Green filed Articles of Impeachment, and the House struck them down. Only 95 members out of 435 voted to support impeachment. This, to me, is a blatant disregard for the will of the people, a disregard for our planet, as you will see from my Thursday a.m. post. If not impeachment, then that leaves only his death, but one way or another, he has got to go before he kills us all.

      You’re right … he would love to have people from the Scandinavian countries come here, or perhaps he would like to import a large Russian contingent. But as you say, why on earth would they want to? Heck, even I don’t want to live here anymore! But then, if he turns the country into that lily-white image his base seem to be dreaming of, who will cook his meals and clean his houses and hotels? For that matter, who would grow the food, build the cars, or do any of the work that gets done in this country. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


      Liked by 3 people

  9. we have two choices. do nothing and we end up with a dictatorship. Fight like hell for our rights, and possibly be jailed for them until congress pulls their collective heads outta their asses and do their job to impeach. I’m headed for okc tomorrow to beard one of our “esteemed” ass-kissers in his den. He came back to OK instead of sticking in the capital and doing his job. I am going to let him know, in no uncertain terms, his behavior is unacceptable.

    Liked by 5 people

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