My own opinion 3 – End Times

 Armageddon-2

Do I have your attention?

Cool, but that’s not what this piece is really about. Much like the title of My own opinion 2, this one is a little bit of a misleading play on words. Those of you who might have been expecting a ramble about Armageddon, Ragnarok (Götterdämmerung), or maybe ‘The Rapture’ are doomed to be disappointed. This is a list of things I would like to see come to an end. After the first two or three, the rest are not ranked in any particular order of importance.

I’m not going to bother with over-reaching goals like ending: world hunger, war, racism, or any other mostly impossible dreams. Pretty much all rational, well-intentioned people want to see those things end even as they disagree (sometimes violently) on how to get such results. This is more about things that are, at least theoretically, [semi] achievable.

I’ll be giving various reasons for each, and the first couple may drag on a bit, but I’ll try to keep them as succinct and civil as possible, though that wont be an easy job considering the subject.

*Note: I’ve made no secret of my intense dislike of Trump/Pence and my desire to see that stain on our nation legally removed. This includes ALL of the advisors, appointees (whether or not Senate approval was required), aides, and, most especially, an end to his [Trump’s] nepotism.

Anyway, here’s the list of things I want to see end.

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First – The GOP, or rather the end of the GOP as a significant or relevant political party.

This doesn’t mean I want to see and end to conservatives or conservatism. Some of my own beliefs and ideals tend in that direction on certain issues. Conservatives are a necessary component of our political system, there to keep runaway socialism in check. Not that I believe one or the other is evil. In and of themselves, political/ideological beliefs are neither good nor evil. Take capitalism, for example. For the last couple of centuries it’s been a driving force behind innovation, technological advancement in particular, and the advancement of the middle-class in general. It has also been one of the most egregious abusers of the that same middle/working class, labor-wise and economically (especially lately)I’m no fan of over-regulation, but runaway capitalism—unfettered, unregulated capitalism—is, in my opinion, an evil thing. This lesson was driven home quite emphatically in 1929, 1986-1995 and 2008.

Many things, both good and bad, can also be said for socialism and communism as well. Ideologically, neither of them are bad things. Much like capitalism, it’s their implementation, their real world practice, that leaves much to be desired, and this is partly why I want to see an end to the GOP.

Aside from their purposeful obstruction of all investigations of Donald J. Trump’s (then, but no longer) alleged collusion with Putin/Russia before the appointment of Robert Mueller, they’ve been fully complicit in everything Trump is intentionally and blatantly trying to destroy (all mentioned in my previous opinion piece). Sadly, and despite the fact that both one of his top advisors (the Necromancer Bannon) and (the Thrall Trump) having specifically stating their intentions:

Trump-Bannon-Objectives

the GOP continues to enable and support everything this administration does.

The list of individual Republicans I’d like to see replaced is far too long to post in this piece, which is why I’d rather just eliminate the party wholesale. Much as I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, listed below are just some of the things that this party supports and/or is actively trying to accomplish. (Click on each for links to information and feel free to look up more on your own.)

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Citizens United – founded in 1988 by Floyd Brown, with major funding from the *Koch family (industrialists who own “the second largest privately owned company in the United States”).

*Note: These folks, along with the Mercer and DeVos families, among others, will come up in several of the following listed items

America First Policies – or as I call them, Asshole First Policies. A (supposedly) non-profit organization founded by a group of Trump loyalists (incl. the Mercers), many with deep connections to Mike Pence, including Nick Ayers, a Republican consultant who is regarded as the vice president’s top political adviser.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – Also heavily funded by the Koch brothers, among many others. Highly conservative group with far too much influence on State/Federal legislative agendas. This group, along with the Convention of States Project, is trying to get enough states together to call for a constitutional convention, ostensibly to try to call for and ratify a “Balanced Budget Amendment,” but is really about much much more – here and here and here are examples of what they’re attempting to force on everyone.

This might be where you think I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but these things are happening right now, and if they’re allowed to succeed, things will go very badly, for science, education, voter rights, and many other freedoms we take for granted right now.

Freedom PartnersAnother supposed nonprofit 501(c) organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Founded in 2011 under the name Association for American Innovation, it purports to promote “the benefits of free markets and a free society. “It is partially funded by the Koch brothers, and sponsors various Republican politicians and conservative groups.

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From their previous and disastrous attempts to ‘Repeal and Replace’ the ACA (the Seven-Year-Bitch-Plan), to their current attempts to do the same in the sort of secrecy they accused the Democrats of doing, and their very obvious attempts to suppress the votes of minorities and other poor, disenfranchised citizens, the GOP has been engaged in the systematic destruction of every last one of our hard-won protections, all in the name of ‘less government’, and it was already happening long before Trump was elected.

This ‘less government’ mantra, sadly, is their not so subtle code for the slow move from a democratic republic to an authoritarian state (dictatorship). It’s already begun at the departmental levels with the dismantling of the US State Department (Tillerson), the Department of Justice (Sessions), the Department of Education (DeVos), the EPA (Pruitt), the Department of Energy (Perry) and the Department of Health & Human Services (Price) to name more than a few. With only one or two dissents, all of these people were approved by the full Senate GOP (except Sessions), and, sadly, many Democrats as well. I’ll get around to what I want done to that party in a different, future opinion piece.

There are more of these things that the ultra conservative right is trying to force down everyone‘s throats, but I don’t have room here to detail them all. The above things are more than enough to scare the hell out of me, and should give any rational, open-minded person reason to pause and take a second look at the party that’s trying to do this to our country.

I don’t want to lump all of the Trump/Pence/Bannon supporters into one category, mostly because I don’t believe they all belong there (the majority don’t), but Trump’s election has emboldened a shitload of hate-fueled racists to crawl out from under their rocks and parade around in the open more than they’ve done in decades. This is not in any way, shape or form a good thing, and the entire GOP, along with Trump and his whole administration, are turning a blind eye to it at the very least. Many, far too many for my peace of mind, are fully and actively supporting it.

So . . . the time has come, at least to my mind, to end the GOP as a relevant or influential political party.

#EndTheGOP

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Second – Reality TV shows. End them. All of them. Every last one. Immediately. Now and forever more. No exceptions.

This one is on all of us, I’m afraid. Liberals, moderates and conservatives. While others may legitimately argue about when it started, in my mind it is reality television thats responsible for the exponential increase in “The Stupiding of America”. And yes, I realize stupiding is not a word, but it’s appropriate, I think, that a non-word be used to describe what this bullshit medium is doing to American Culture.

It began with that fucking ‘Survivor’ show, and I specifically blame Mark Burnett for the decline of quality shows from national television networks, and the mind-numbing stupidity it engendered in the American Electorate. There are easily hundreds, if not thousands, of these cheaply and easily produced pieces of shit out there and it’s precisely for this reason that there’s no end in sight. And please, please, please stop referring to these people as ‘celebrities’. There is no such thing as a reality TV star. That’s a misnomer at the very least, if not an outright oxymoron.

Sadly, I don’t see this crap phenomenon ever ending, but it’s definitely very high up there on my wish list.

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Third – Very closely related to my second thing, please let’s have no more ‘celebrities’ of any kind running for public office. Kid Rock? No fucking way! Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? Same. No fucking way! Al Franken is a rare and welcome exception, since he at least brings some intelligence to the job along with a dash of humor. But those kinds of exceptional people are rare finds, and I don’t want to see an experimental merry-go-round of candidates trying to follow his lead. It’s a recipe for disaster.

And while I’m on this subject—no more fucking business executives either. We’ve had several, (eight, including the latest) and none of them, not a single one, is considered great or even all that good. They rank in the bottom third of the 44 we’ve had to far. (Yes, that’s 44. Grover Cleveland brings the count to 45 only because he counts twice—his two terms were not consecutive. He was the 22nd and the 24th president).

While the jury is still out on the orange clown now in office, history and his performance to date suggest that his reign, as I’m sure he likes to think of it, will not be a successful one. I’m sure I won’t be asked when the time comes to rate him, but he’s already the worst president ever in my book.

Anyway, it’s time to end this celebrity/business executive as political animals nonsense. Now.

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Fourth – Hmmm. I had several more things in mind when I started this, but they seem to have slipped my mind. 😳 Ah well, this has already gotten longer than I wanted it to be, largely because my first rant ran on a bit. Some of you may be thinking to yourselves—this guy sure bitches a lot for someone who offers no solutions—and you’re right.

Well, I actually do have some general ideas about that, but like my first opinion piece, they’ll require smarter folks than I to make them workable, if they even are. But that’s going to have to wait until next time.

Anyway, it’s time for me to end this bullshit entry . . . for now.

RSL

#Resist

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