The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves


The self enhancing behaviors of President Trump and at least forty plus years of bombastic, redundant, out-and-out lies by the GOP are starting to wear thin. Americans grapple over this administration’s entrenched incapacity to lead while full-scale incompetence undermines the very idea of America.

“Reason appears as madness and madness as reason.”

For a little over two years, we have been dealing with a counterfeit lodestar apparition of a leader that hovers menacingly like a mothership over our “sweet land of liberty.” This present administration continually seeks to normalize corruption by using scripted falsehoods hidden behind commonplace platitudes, doled out with a compulsory smile and compelling guile.

A simple, but achievable, scheme obscurely duplicated and not unlike what Milton Meyers discusses in his book, ‘They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945.’ He writes: “ …all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next.”

Safety barriers are being broken down surrounding truth and ethical behavior, allowing, what was once, inconceivable.

The hardened conservative right wing of the Republican Party has done everything possible to transition the public into a more manageable form of governance from controlling the courts, delineating illegal gerrymandered court districts, heavy-handed out-and-out voter suppression to, most recently, the actual admission of electoral fraud by local Republicans in North Carolina. Apparently, the GOP’s intent is to amass never-ending power; a power not unlike Russia where billionaire oligarchs, in proclivity with Putin, use heavy handed control on the Russian people by dangling a few crumbs of hope and change that are never to be.

Republicans depend on lies because lies go out of the way to distract, distort and turn you away from the truth.  And in some lost corner of their souls, GOP minions use vile, hateful rhetoric regardless of causing suffering or loss. Their tunnel-visioned, staunchest supporters see this period in history within a fixed point; an exact moment of zero dimension and reckoning as they refuse to acknowledge or admonish disreputable low-minded actions and cruel unethical deeds.

The Republican Party has willed itself to power with a cunning pay for play as they “trade their heroes for gold.”

An obsessed crony cabal to cover, not only their base, but all the bases. As authoritarian groupies court their great leader, conservative policy debate becomes lost to political battles of radicalism.

Truth, integrity, decorum and the rule of law must kowtow while waving the white flag of surrender to the far right. Zealots blur fantasy and reality while feebly attempting to discredit capitalist democratic socialism as a getting something for nothing welfare state.

All while the Republican Grand Old Party voted for socialist style tax cuts for the 1 percent; saving the banks $21 billion with hefty bonuses going to Wall Street execs while at the same time 4,000 lower level jobs were lost. And no sooner do taxpayers turn around; another $6 billion bailout is apportioned among needy farmers unfortunately caught in the middle of our current administration’s disastrous trade war.

What Republicans fail to grasp is that the American worker is not at all concerned about “the ride being free.’

They are concerned that “the door, at least, be open’ — open to meaningful, productive and honorable work. Not the kind of work where one sits in a comfortable sound booth or studio spouting hateful messaging throughout America’s airwaves. Or, the type of employment where, even at the highest level of government, one trolls with hate fueled speech through erratically coded texts.

Fear and loathing beyond campaign rallies. And while most immigrants come through ports of entry legally and willing to work, America’s border with Mexico has become an unbalanced profusion of so much cruelty that it boggles the psyche.

U.S. immigration policy at our southern border shows the effect of GOP administrative policies which use the credibility of democracy only for its authority while doing nothing to uphold its set of ideas and beliefs; the doctrine that democratic principles are built on.

In author Don DeLillo’s novel ‘Libra,’ there lies a clarifying unriddling of our present-day political landscape. DeLillo’s words unfold as a sordid dark master plan: “A conspiracy is everything that ordinary life is not”.

It’s the inside game, cold, sure, undistracted, forever closed off to us. We are the flawed ones, the innocents, trying to make some rough sense of the daily jostle. Conspirators have a logic and daring beyond our reach.

All conspirators are the same taut story of men who find coherence in some “criminal act.”

As we move forward in these divisive times we need to ask, and seek answers, as to whom may be exploiting America by playing that ‘inside game,’ and why?

When “all the world’s a stage” as Elysian Fields await, the tragic character of King Lear affirms, “choices bring about downfall, not fate.”

Vicki Bush




Earth Day in Clermont registering voters and collecting petitions

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FROM THE LEFT-The Daily Commercial: There’s something ugly in America

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FROM THE LEFT-The Daily Commercial: When did this become OK?


When did this become OK?

When I first learned manners as a child, I remember something that was a hard and fast rule: You don’t discuss religion or politics in polite society. Having grown up that way, I have always adhered to that strongly held belief.

So what I need to know is when did this open political discourse everywhere become OK?

I was sick with a migraine last week and went to a doctor for treatment. I was in the exam room with my husband and the doctor walked in and said that he was going to give me a shot to make me better, but only if I was a Republican. If I was a Democrat, he was sending me to Nancy Pelosi’s house. He was kidding. I think. But still, when did that become OK?

Have we come to a moment in our history when Democrats are treated differently than Republicans? Some jokes go too far. Some jokes step over the line. So why did this doctor say such a thing? Because he thought that he could get away with it.

Trump has created a new religion, furthered by his partners in crime like this doctor. If we were Republicans, we would have laughed at this “joke,” quickly and quietly reversing the entire river of knowledge, good manners, and values that we learned as children.

Trump’s salvation show requires a total buy-in to his hallucinogenic spells in which he conjures up new boogeymen on a daily basis in his technicolor dreams. He then appears before the crowd spewing them forth with just the right amount of over-the-top anguish, making his followers believe at once that he is indeed the champion of their cause as the oppressed working class, while simultaneously asking them to believe that he is also the richest person ever. Oh, and really smart. Faith. You must have faith.

And it is because of this blind faith and aided by people who really know better, that he gets away with his outlandish behavior. He has gotten away with it all of his life. And apparently, it is because no one has ever told him that it is not OK! We all know that he is all about putting his name on everything. He slaps his name in huge letters on the top of big buildings and golf courses everywhere and claims he built them. Last week when he went to the border to visit the mecca of his delusions – The Wall – he carried a plaque proclaiming that it was “Trump’s Wall” and had it mounted on the FENCE that was built with taxpayer money during the Obama Administration. Was that OK?

There is a new book about how much Trump has cheated at golf over the years. As someone who has spent most of my career in that industry and with a husband who has maintained from day one that “If you cheat at golf, you will cheat at everything”, I was intrigued. There is a true story contained in the book about a Trump-owned golf property holding their annual club championship. Trump called to ask who had won. He told them “No. put my name on the top of the plaque as the winner” even though he didn’t play in the tournament and wasn’t even at the property. Say WHAT?

When did that become OK? And no one said no? The question is, how are we supposed to teach real values to our children? How can we tell them to play by the rules or even discuss the rules when they see us idolizing someone who so clearly does not? What about manners and good sportsmanship?

It has become a general “loosening of the rules” of our entire society.

Well, not just a “loosening”. We have totally lost our way. His followers believe that they can do or say anything because they see him get away with it. When did that become OK?

The fact is that it is not OK. While lying there sick and asking a Republican doctor to treat me, I reminded him of that. Politics should have never entered the room. No, that was definitely not OK!

Mary Sharpe

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