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Do You Want to be on the Right Side of History?

WARNING: This is a political post.

 

Little Rock, 1957.

 

The above image is famous.

It depicts a moment in time when nine African-American students, escorted by the National Guard, were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The nine students were surrounded by an angry mob of white people who did not want to share their school with black students.

About two decades ago, I watched a documentary which just stunned me. The filmmakers found numerous white people from the famous image and interviewed them. Each was noticeably older.

The filmmakers played a video of the famous incident, while a split screen showed the faces of the person being interviewed. Their discomfort and shame was evident.

The filmmakers then asked a series of questions, and each person interviewed had basically the same response:

I was so incredibly angry. I felt that my world world was being attacked. I feared for my very life. But…nothing happened when the school was segregated. My world did not collapse. And, after a few weeks, it seemed normal having back and white students mixed together. 

After a long pause:

I’m so ashamed now. I was vicious to those black kids. I’m so ashamed.

 

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See the girl behind the black student?

She was also a student, and the filmmakers tracked her down.

And she, too, was powerfully ashamed.

I was filled with absolute rage. I cursed at the black girl in front of me. I said terrible, awful, unforgivable things. But, after a few weeks we actually started talking to each other. She was funny and intelligent and very kind. We became good friends.

Each person interviewed talked about the impossibility of trying to explain their actions in 1957 to their children and grandchildren. The angry white mob could offer no explanation for their being the face of racism in 1957. They just felt shame.

 

The angry white mob at Little Rock in 1957 was on the wrong side of history, and many of them later, to their credit, recognized this.

I was born in 1957. In a few years the Cold War would reach its zenith and, as a student in elementary school, I was taught to “duck and cover” in the event of a nuclear blast from the USSR. However, I was never scared for I knew that if the USSR attacked us, we would attack them, and we would all be dead. And Russians, I thought, can’t be that stupid.

So, I never feared for the very survival of my country.

And as I grew into adulthood, there were political candidates I loved which won elections. And lost elections to candidates I loathed. I sometimes voted Independent. Mostly Democratic. And occasionally Republican.

Never though, in all these years, did I fear for the survival of my country, no matter who was in charge.

In 2018? I am terrified for my country.

I am not joking. I have a fear inside my body which is intense.

Since January, 2017, I have watched, horrified, as the man in the Oval Office has endlessly attacked the media, the truth, his political opponents, America’s allies, and America’s judicial system; all the while embracing Dictators across the globe. In short, I am watching, horrified, as fascism pushes against Democracy.

Since January, 2017, I have watched, horrified, as the standing of my country plummeted in 2017 and 2018. During the Obama years, the global standing of America rose sharply after collapsing during the George Bush years, then collapsed again under Trump. Today, only two countries have a largely favorable view of America: Russia and Israel. Compare this to the Obama years, when America was largely admired around the world.

 

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Since January, 2017, I have watched, horrified, as the man in the Oval Office repeatedly pointed a finger at various minorities and blamed them for the problems with America: Immigrants, Muslims, the LBGT community, and people of color.

Yet, while I am horrified, millions of people like this. How is this possible?

Since January, 2017, I often think of Germany in the early 1930s when Hitler repeatedly pointed a finger at various minorities and blamed them for the problems with Germany. And millions of people agreed with Hitler. Millions agreed that Jews were a problem, as were Communists and Gypsies and Homosexuals and intellectuals and critics of Hitler. And the media. And these millions helped Hitler exterminate 12 million people. And eventually brought about the utter ruination of Germany.

Is this the future for my country? For the media to be silenced? For critics of the man in Oval Office to be rounded up and jailed? For the Supreme Court to become a tool of the man in the Oval Office, as with the entire judicial system? For white men, rich white men to receive most of the goodies while the rest of us struggle? For women to be returned to a 1950s status? For fascism to wholly destroy Democracy?

Because I am a student of history, and because I know that history does, indeed, repeat itself, these questions terrify me.

I believe that America is standing at a vital crossroad as these words are written. Which road we take will be determined on November 6, 2018. And this is a day which, I suspect, will live in infamy depending on how things turn out.

To repeat: this is a day which, I suspect, will live in infamy depending on how things turn out.

We have a choice on November 6.

We can choose democracy. Or fascism.

 

Of these twelve warning signs, only #5 is not already underway. But, it might soon be if Trump has his way.

 

Some of you may be thinking: Well, Ross is a Liberal. So, of course he thinks this way.

While it is true that I am a Liberal, and incredibly proud of it, I am not alone in my concerns, which is why the Republican party has declined by an unprecedented 20% in 2018. These former Republicans have now registered as Democrats. This historic shift has been largely generated by college-educated women. There has also been a significant shift of people leaving the Independent party and registering as Democrats. These new Democrats give two main reasons for leaving their former parties:

  • “The Republican party has become the party of Trump and I never signed onto that.” (This, from former Republicans.)
  • “America is in trouble and only the Democratic party can save it.” (This, from former Republicans and Independents.)

In addition, well-known Conservative commentators will be voting Democratic this year. You can ready why:

In Texas, a very very red state, several major newspapers, which have never endorsed a Democrat, have endorsed Democrat Beto O’Rourke over Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

And…

 

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My terror, thus, is not a by-product of my being a Liberal. It is the result of my knowing history, and of paying attention — the same dynamics affecting millions of Conservatives and educated voters.

Even senior citizens (65+), the backbone to the Republican party, are leaving. For, in 2018 they, too, will be largely voting Democratic. Numerous polls reveal an exodus from the Republican ticket with a stunning 55% of seniors stating that they will be voting for the Democratic ticket in November. “Older voters are much more reliable than younger ones, and if they are moving away from Trump…because they don’t like the way he has conducted his presidency, that is a real problem for the Republicans,” observed Karlyn Bowman, an analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. This demographic of 55% also believes that their Social Security, their Medicaid, and their Medicare are not safe with Republicans in power.

 

I have another concern.

Since Nixon, here is a scoreboard of illegal behavior:

 

REPUBLICAN TOTAL (as of 4/2018).

 

REPUBLICAN TOTALS:

  • Criminal indictments: 209
  • Criminal convictions: 113
  • Prison sentences: 37

DEMOCRATIC TOTALS:

  • Criminal indictments: 3
  • Criminal convictions: 1
  • Prison sentences: 1

I don’t know about you, but I think this contrast is stunning. And highly revealing.

I don’t know about you, but I like Presidential administrations when they aren’t filled with crooks.

 

On November 6, I will be voting to protect Democracy. In addition, I will be voting for the party which:

  • Created social security.
  • Created Medicare.
  • Created Medicaid.
  • Created a minimum wage.
  • Created a 40-hour work week.
  • Created subsidized housing for people with very low incomes.
  • Created food stamps for people in financial trouble (for several months in the late 1960s, my own family was on food stamps while my carpenter father struggled to find work in an economic downturn).
  • Create meals-on-wheels.
  • Created the Civil Rights Act.
  • Desegregated the military.
  • Believes in global warming.
  • Supports the LGBT community.
  • Supports a woman’s right to choose.
  • Supports a free press.
  • Supports America’s long-standing allies and denounces dictators.
  • Has created more jobs than the other party (Between 1939 and 2011, the Democrats created 58 millions jobs, verses 26 million Republicam-created jobs).
  • Is fiscally more responsible than the other party.

 

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George W. Bush inherited a thriving economy from Bill Clinton, and ZERO deficit. Bush then destroyed the economy, created a massive deficit, and a massive loss of jobs. And this is the mess Obama inherited. But, beginning in his second year, he transformed job losses into job creation, creating the longest era of job growth in American history. Obama also massively paid down the deficit. And this is what Trump inherited. Trump then slowed job growth, with 400,000 fewer jobs in 2017 than Obama’s 2016. [To update the above graph, 2018 job totals as of today: 2.1M] . Trump, and the GOP Congress, also increased the deficit in 2017, and massively so in 2018.

 

On November 6, I will be voting for Democracy and against fascism.

On November 6, I will also be voting for the Democratic party, which has worked hard to improve the lives of most Americans in my lifetime, helped create the most jobs, and helped lower the deficit. I cannot think of a single program or act created by Republicans (save the creation of the EPA by Richard Nixon in 1970) which has helped the average American. I even Googled this.

On November 6, I will, In short, be voting for the party which is on the right side of history. The party which embraces inclusion rather than exclusion.

On November 6, as you stand in your voting booth, you might think of this question: how do you want to be remembered by history?

 

 

87 Responses to Do You Want to be on the Right Side of History?

  1. You missed on of the major warning signs of Fascism. Confiscations of all firearms and banning private ownership of firearms was first, so people can’t fight back. This truth is universal to dictatorships. Persecution of private minority groups and organizations like small religious minorities. Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, blacks, Freemasons, the physically and mentally disabled, political opponents of the Nazis, including Communists and Social Democrats, dissenting clergy, resistance fighters, prisoners of war, Slavic peoples, and individuals from the artistic communities whose opinions and works those in power condemned. Religion did not take over the government in Nazi Germany, the government took over and nationalized religion for its political purposes. Your comparisons to history are strained in these respects. All too often our youth think the Holocaust was all about antisemitism, it was about minority rights, trampled by the powerful.

    • Hi, Marlon.

      I did not list ALL the early warning sign of fascism.

      Nor did I state that religion overtook the government in Nazi Germany.

      I do find that young people often think the Holocaust was all about antisemitism, particularly when they cite “6 million died in the Holocaust”. I have to remind them of the OTHER six million, and they are always surprised.

    • Oh for fucks sake, Marlon. This is the stupidest argument that gun owners make, and they make plenty. “Banning private ownership of guns so people can’t fight back”. News flash – no matter how many guns you have, no matter how good they are – THE GOVERNMENT HAS BIGGER GUNS. THEY HAVE BETTER GUNS. Take all your AK47s out, line them up against the army, and see how long it takes before they bring in a tank and blow your sorry ass off the face of the earth.

      Oh, and the countries that ban or limit guns – not one is fascist. So don’t be so dumb.

    • The Nazis didn’t confiscate all firearms. They only confiscated the firearms of jews. (read “Disarmament of the German Jews” in the English Wikipedia). Other groups kept their weapons, including gays.

      I recommend you read about the Night of the Long Knives. Those SA guys were heavily armed, and extremely violent. Didn’t help them in the least.

  2. Well, Ross, you’re right. I know you’re right, and you know you’re right. Unfortunately, the people that vote for Trump don’t care about facts, so they can’t see that you’re right.

    • They never will. But, the rest of us do. That is why we now are lining up at the polls, have already returned our ballots, and continue to push back. In some areas in record numbers. We believe in a republic, of, by, and for the people. All of the people.

      Take heart, and be sure that change for the better is coming to all of us.

  3. Hi Ross,

    I am not terribly political but I generally operate in favor of the free market. I would prefer if everything else be left alone. So I have two questions. First, what is the breakdown of violations between R and D? What are they? On what basis are they illegal and how illegal are they on a scale? Second, I see you listing everything that the Democratic Party has done and it seems to be primarily government programs. Those programs typically need to be funded by tax payers. I do see taxation as finances taken by force (if you don’t pay, you will be audited, you will get caught, and you will be dragged to jail, therefore force is being used indirectly). How can the Democrats on one hand claim all these programs are doing so much good when on the other hand the finances used to run them are procured by essentially legal thugs? People now have to work harder and longer to take home the same wage due to the rising taxes. I don’t have a solution to this. I do see taxes as a price you pay to live in a peaceful society. But No government ever advocates serious, far reaching tax cuts and government program dissolution. The best solution I can see would be to treat all government and 501c3 type entities as a free market. So you have to give X% of your income to tax, but you can choose where it goes. I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future though.

    I don’t know where I fall on the political spectrum. I don’t like the religion and social stance of the right and I don’t like the overemphasis on feelings of the left. I’m a millennial who doesn’t know where to turn. I don’t particularly like Trump but he seems less simpering and pandering than the left’s career politicians.

    Thank you for your consideration of this comment. Take care.

    • “People now have to work harder and longer to take home the same wage due to the rising taxes.”

      That’s not accurate. Taxes are much lower now as a percentage of income than they were in the fifties, sixties and seventies. And then… Reagan came along, and brought his thoroughly debunked idea of trickle down economics with him, and voila. The race to the bottom began. The reason you have less money is because your wages have failed to keep pace with inflation, because large corporations spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, and what do you have? A guy who says he’s a billionaire, who suckered a whole shit ton of other people into voting for him on the pretext that he was going to make their lives better agin. Because of course, EVERY billionaire, supposed or for reals, is all about spreading the wealth around. And the worst part is that enough people actually believed his crap to get him elected. Well, at least with the help of Russia.

      • Ok I misspoke then on that point. Thank you for correcting me. What about taxation by force? What do you think of that?

        But still, is the solution to that an ever increasingly complex system of regulations? I don’t see how that will be able to react fast enough to changing economic conditions to be effective.

        Also, one argument I heard that I quite liked was that wages are overall lower because when women entered the work force, the effective supply of employable people doubled. When supply goes up, prices go down. I am a woman, and I of course think women should be able to work, I just thought it was an interesting perspective on why it now requires two people working generally to afford the house in the suburbs with two cars and 2.5 kids.

        • Paige,

          You are wildly ill-informed about why wages are stagnant.

          But here is one major reason (my boldface):

          “Executives saw a huge surge in compensation in the past year, according to a study released Thursday by the non-profit think tank the Economic Policy Institute. The average chief executive officer at the 350 largest firms in the U.S. received $18.9 million in compensation in 2017, a 17.6% increase over 2016. Meanwhile, the typical worker’s compensation remained flat, rising a mere 0.3%.

          The gap between executives and the average worker has been widening for decades, the study found. The CEO-to-worker compensation ratio in 2017 was 312-to-1, a huge jump from just 20-to-1 in 1965. In 2016, Wall Street executives saw bonuses jump 10% and pay increase as much as 20% according to a study released last year by compensation firm Johnsons Associates Inc.”

          In short, the rich are getting wildly richer. But you and me are not…by design.

        • In fact, I’m perfectly fine with “taxation by force” How else do you expect the government to collect taxes? Should it be voluntary, or pay what you can? You know who that would benefit – the rich, who can afford armies of lawyers and accountants. How do you expect the government to pay for roads, or schools, or public buildings. How do you expect them to pay their employees? And for what it’s worth, I’m Canadian. I pay way more taxes than you can even dream of, but hey, I have awesome universal healthcare, practically zero toll roads, and a fabulous public education system.

    • Hi, Paige!

      There is no free market in America. Nor am I aware of any free market anywhere.

      Markets in America are regulated. And the government hands over massive subsidies to American corporations.

      You asked: “what is the breakdown of violations between R and D? What are they? On what basis are they illegal and how illegal are they on a scale?”

      I don’t understand any of the questions. Illegal is illegal. Criminal is criminal. Jail is jail.

      You wrote: “I see you listing everything that the Democratic Party has done and it seems to be primarily government programs. Those programs typically need to be funded by tax payers. I do see taxation as finances taken by force.”

      Yes, many social programs are funded by taxation. You may not like taxes, but taxes pay for the roads you use, the bridges you cross, the safety of flying, schools, the military which protects you, and on and on and on.

      You wrote: “People now have to work harder and longer to take home the same wage due to the rising taxes.”

      That is not true. There is no relation between stagnant wages and taxes.

      Yes, Democrats like social programs which benefit the average American. Republicans however hate such programs and prefer giving massive tax cuts to the very very very wealthy and increasing what is already the largest military budget on Earth. Republicans dislike spending $500M annually helping new immigrants, even though immigrants, once settled, massively contribute to the national coffers for decades thereafter. And while Republicans hate this $500M expense, they were happy to spend TWO BILLION, in just two months, stealing kids from parents and putting the adults in tents.

      Social programs lift all of us. And taxes are a necessary part of all civilized societies. Do I like paying taxes? No. Do I think our tax system could be improved? Yes.

      In addition, I wrote in this post about 17 things which Democrats have done to help the average American. MOST of these have nothing to do with taxes.

      You wrote: “I don’t particularly like Trump but he seems less simpering and pandering than the left’s career politicians.”

      I am unaware of any simpering and pandering Democrats.

      • Seeing taxation as finances taken by force? That is a very resentful point of view, in my opinion. Taxes are taken to fund all aspects of our lives. And yes, to also fund help for those that are less fortunate. I think this a fundamental difference in ideology; that somehow paying taxes is tantamount to a great injustice. You may not like how taxes are spent, but to resent having to pay them?

  4. The day he appeared on that escalator, I felt dread almost immediately. Dark times were coming, I felt it in my very bones, and everything that has happened has just borne out my worst possible fears.

    I don’t live in the United States, I am not an American. But, your nation has been the anchor for democracy throughout the world for my entire life, a steady ,reassuring hand at the back of the rest of us. She has now turned from her friends and allies, embracing darker regimes instead, and we have watched our own predators and opportunists and divisionists become emboldened as well, gaining footholds in our political systems.

    The wolves are at the doorstep, I fear enlightenment and open, free societies will be snuffed out – a second dark age looming on the horizon.

    I am praying for a salvation for the U.S. I am astonished at how much damage he has done in such a short time. If his supporters truly wanted to ‘shake up Washington’, I’m afraid they’ve tossed a nuclear bomb into the office, rather than a just hand grenade.

    My prayers are with you. And with the rest of us, who will undoubtedly be affected by this outcome too.

      • Shaking my head and thinking as my dad always said you can take a horse to water but, you can’t make it drink. Well fellows regardless if you like Trump or not, the majority thinks he’s doing a good job and he is going to be our President for at least 2 more years. I am not going to change your mind and you are not going to change my mind. We are all Americans, and we should be able to agree to disagree and try to get along, but the Democrats don’t want that. It all boils down to the fact that the Democrats cannot get over the fact that he beat Hillary in the election. I hope she runs again in 2020. Hell I might even vote for her. Hahahah!

        • Hi again, Kay.

          You know, I have a great love of facts and, well, reality.

          You wrote: “regardless if you like Trump or not, the majority thinks he’s doing a good job”

          The majority?

          Actually, the majority has NEVER thought Trump is doing a good job. Not a single credible pollster has ever shown this.

          See here.

          You state that the Democrats don’t want to get along. Can you provide evidence of this?

          You wrote: “It all boils down to the fact that the Democrats cannot get over the fact that he beat Hillary in the election.”

          This is not a fact. This is your opinion.

          And, by making such a statement, you ignore that Trump has bragged about sexually abusing women, has tried to take health care from 23 million people, has stolen children and put them in cages, has ruined the relationship with our closest allies, has caused the global standing of America to plummet in all countries save Russia and Israel, has lied more than any President in known history, has shaken the stock market all year, has created fewer jobs in 2017 than Obama did in 2016, has demonized the Democratic party countless times (like endlessly stating that Democrats are for open borders when no Democratic in Congress has ever said such thing), has sided with dictators over American intelligence, has made it clear that American Nazis ore OK by him, has endlessly demonized the free press, has surrounded himself with criminals, and on and on and on.

          But, by your reckoning, it appears that none of this should cause Democrats or decent people any concern.

          You also state that Trump has two more years. This, too, is not a certainty, as Mueller may, ahh, change things.

        • I’m not going to “agree to disagree” with Nazis and Nazi-supporters. That’s not me/Democrats “just not wanting to get along”. Google the tolerance paradox.

    • It’s definitely not just a liberal thing. I left the Republican party when they embraced Trump. It’s been terrifying to watch what’s happening in our country.

  5. Excellent and cogent description of what’s at stake here, Ross. Trump talks about the US as if it’s some blighted Hellscape, not the vibrant and diverse country it truly is, because if you can make people fearful of the “other,” other races, genders, sexualities, even formerly allied COUNTRIES, you can convince them to stand by as rights are eroded. In many cases they will willingly hand their rights over.

    The rise of White Nationalism, Nazism, xenophobia, and blatant displays of racism should make us all take pause, look at who we are and what we want our future to be.

    Kudos on this post.

  6. Hahahaha! What can I say about this post, probably nothing? Shaking my head and, thinking please vote Republican on November 6.

    • Hi, Kay!

      I am glad I can make you laugh!

      But, is there anything in my post which is inaccurate?

      You ask that people vote Republican this Tuesday. But, as I detailed, what has the Republican party done to help the average American?

      I can’t think of a single thing, other than the creation of the EPA by Nixon.

      And what has the Democratic party done to help the average American? I listed 17 things. And these are BIG things which make a meaningful difference in the lives of tens of millions of Americans.

      I am continually astounded at people who vote against their own interests. So, Kay, unless you are very very very rich, I can’t think of how the Republican party helps you.

      • Well Ross, I like the Democrats just fine. Let me tell you a little story. In 2004 I worked in a factory and after 31 years of dedicated service I lost my well-paying job, because it was shipped out of the country, because Mr. Clinton signed the NAFTA bill. (Our company always urged us to vote Democrat which most of us did.) I was 55 at the time too old to get another factory job, but too young to retire. So I had to reinvent myself and start over. I went back to school at 55 and got several degrees and got a new job, but none paying the benefits or the pay that I got from my factory job. I am 70 and I still work. I know you are going to say that was long after Clinton was out of office, but it doesn’t matter he signed the NAFTA bill. Every President after him Bush and Obama said they would get rid of NAFTA but they didn’t. Donald Trump has and did for the most part. Millions of Americans lost their jobs because of that. Just look at Detroit, it’s a ghost town. He screwed the American people. I am not against the Democrats; I just don’t trust the Clinton’s and neither should you. Hugs!

        • Kay,

          I am sorry you lost your job. I would not wish that on anybody.

          But, you blame Bill Clinton for this, even though both Democrats and Republicans supported NAFTA.

          And then you praise Trump for getting rid of NAFTA. But….like so many of your statements, this is not based in reality.

          Read here, for example.

          You also state that Detroit is a ghost town, and that this is the result of NAFTA.

          Once again, this is not based in reality.

          Detroit was suffering decades before NAFTA. The city reached its zenith in 1950s, and has been suffering a massive population loss ever since. Today, the population is about half what it was in 1950.

          And you seem unaware, too, that even with this massive loss in population (100% unrelated to NAFTA, and an issue shared with many American cities) downtown Detroit has been experiencing a stunning rebirth for several years now.

          You state the Bill Clinton screwed the American people. Again, reality does not support this statement. Bill Clinton paid off the massive deficit he inherited after 12 years of Republican Presidents, created the largest and longest surplus in my lifetime, and created an astonishing 22 million jobs, more than any other President in history. But…you damn him.

          While…you praise Trump. But, the Trump tariff war, which is not supported by a single credible economist, is already deeply impacting American farmers in a negative way. And numerous major companies have stated that the tariff war is negatively impacting them and is costing people their job. And the travel industry has lost tens of thousands of jobs in 2017 and 2018 because people now view America as unstable and are traveling to other countries instead.

      • Ross, I think you just hit the nail on the head! Have I told you lately that I love you! You give me a reason to smile. There is hope! Awesome post very well said.

    • Why should I vote Republican? They’re not interested in leading, or in helping any of their constituents. They’re only interested in grifting – they want money and power. I wouldn’t vote Republican for dog catcher.

  7. My husband and I have spent our retirement years traveling. We are not rich, but we save our money, and then once a year we take a nice vacation. If you are ever in Nuremberg, Germany, I recommend that you go to the museum in the old Nazi Congress. This museum examines how Hitler managed to take over control of Germany, the methods and techniques he used. Next to the Congress is the Zepplin Field, where so many Nazi rallies were held to promote the Nazi movement and Hitler. While in town you can visit the Palace of Justice, where the Nuremberg trials were conducted. A short train trip will deliver you to Munich, and right outside Munich is the Dauchu Concentation camp, which our treaty with Germany, following WWII, mandates be preserved as a witness to the treatment of prisoners under Hitler’s reign.

    I share this with you because I agree with everything Ross has stated in his post. We are in a fight to preserve our Constitution. We have already seen Trump’s rallies, his separating children from their parents, his fight with the press, his desire to be appointed President for life, his love of dictators, his hatred of people of color, his lack of respect for women, and his desire to promote violence. A look back at history shows us the road we are on. There are some people who do not think before they vote. They vote the same way they always have. It’s a tradition. This is not the time for tradition. This is a time to know history and current events. The founding fathers gave us three branches of government; all of these branches are in the hands of Trump’s Republican Party. Right now, there is no check on the executive branch. Where we go from here is in the hands of the voters.

    After the work of writing the Constitution had been completed, Ben Franklin told a woman that the founding fathers had given the people a Republic, if they could keep it. I pray that when the votes are tallied next Tuesday, the American voted to keep the Republic.

  8. If still in doubt, read the book ( How do you kill 11 million people ) by Andy Andrews. It’s a short book but very well written and very true.

  9. You have the talent to express what so many of us feel but are unable to put into words. As a child in England, over 4 decades ago, I remember the photo of the last German put to work during the rise of the Nazi Party in the 1930s. It was incomprehensible to me how the people of Germany could sell their souls for jobs and privilege. Today I see the same here in the USA. So many Americans have sold integrity and truth for the false promises and inflammatory lies of a master conman. For shame. Our children will pay this price.

    • Thank you, Suzanne, thank you.

      Decent people have a chance to stop the madness this Tuesday.

      But….Republicans have been working furiously to STOP people from voting in multiple states across America. States like my own, Kansas, and North Dakota and Georgia and others. There is not a single example of Democrats trying to stop people from voting.

      In addition, every intelligence agency in America has stated that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and is STILL interfering. Yet nothing, absolutely nothing, has been done by the White House and the GOP-controlled Congress to prevent this on Tuesday.

      In short, while I pray for the future of America come Tuesday, I fear for the integrity of our voting system.

  10. Ross… Having been born in the same year as you, your perception of the world mirrors that of mine during those “growing up years” … sadly. I remember the drills of the Cold War vividly, and the fear, but also that the USA would prevail, or at least put up a good fight. Our schools integrated in 1965 — in my small northwest Georgia town — and with little fanfare. I remember Paula Goggins sat behind me in my fourth grade classroom (We were seated alphabetically) and that very first day of school that year, I felt a soft tap on my shoulder and a whispered “May I touch your hair?” I remember this like it was yesterday. I responded “… if you’ll let me touch yours.” So two little 8 year-olds timidly bent our heads down and quickly felt something new. Her three ponytails were a miracle in their design and felt so soft and fluffy. I’m sure my Beatle haircut wasn’t nearly as impressive. Anyway, I feel fortunate to have been in a community that seemed to handle pretty well this progressive moment in history. Thankfully that was my experience. I know it wasn’t for many across the country, and particularly in the South and when I see films or read about what went on elsewhere, I am sickened.

    As for other progressive moments I’ve born witness to, thankfully there have been others. Namely the election of Barrack Obama. I was in Paris on business shortly after his election and everyone, EVERYONE I encountered were singing praises to the USA for being so wise to have elected him. I had never felt more proud to be an American as I did then or throughout the next 8 years. Now I feel completely the opposite. God help us. I’m praying this Tuesday will bring me hope for our future. I’m worried. VOTE BLUE!

    • Hi, Mary!

      You wrote: “I had never felt more proud to be an American as I did then or throughout the next 8 years. Now I feel completely the opposite. God help us.”

      I felt and feel exactly the same way.

      And I pray for America this Tuesday.

  11. Everyone can relax, I am not going to say anything else about politics. Like I said before, you are not going to change my mind and I am not going to change yours. I knew this was a democrat site when I came on here. I was taught early in my childhood to never discuss religion or politics. I will continue to follow The Cross House. Blessings and Hugs to all!

    • Morning, Kay!

      You wrote: “you are not going to change my mind and I am not going to change yours.”

      My mind is 100% open to facts and reality. Even if such facts and realities conflict with an established view I have.

      This is not a quality I have ever found a Republican to have. I am serious. In my long experience, Republicans just dig in deeper when confronted with conflicting facts and realities.

      Also, I am pleased that you will continue to follow the Cross House!

      Ross

  12. “My terror, thus, is not a by-product of my being a Liberal. It is the result of my knowing history, and of paying attention”

    This. These are the most powerful words in this post in my opinion. As a young guy of 20(21 next month) I relate to that. I am a history nut, anything can get me started to start researching, and what I’ve seen from history, and what I see now is terrifying. I can hardly hope, but I hope with what little I have, in the faith that the american people will remember the past and save us from themselves.

  13. There are several problems with your statement. One is about the EPA. It was not created by a Democratic Congress. It was created by Executive Order by President Nixon. President Nixon started the process and got Congress to go along with it.
    You can read about this here
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Environmental_Protection_Agency
    and here
    https://www.epa.gov/history/origins-epa

    President Nixon also pushed for passage of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Both were passed by Congress at President Nixon’s request.

    • Thank you, Mark. I stand corrected.

      I mixed up two things:

      1) A Democratic Congress created the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 which Nixon signed in January, 1970.

      2) Six months later, Nixon “proposed an executive reorganization that consolidated many environmental responsibilities of the federal government under one agency”, thus creating the EPA.

      I will amend my post to reflect this. Again, thank you.

      • You’re welcome Ross.

        Democrats and Republicans that can’t see and appreciate the good in the other group are causing great problems in the US right now.

        We must relearn that we can agree to disagree on some issues, but continue to work to find on things we can agree on – and move forward on those things.

        • Hi again, Mark.

          You wrote: “Democrats and Republicans that can’t see and appreciate the good in the other group are causing great problems in the US right now.”

          Mark, the Republican party has endorsed Republicans accused of sexually abusing children, and sexually abusing women. Trump has bragged about sexually abusing women.

          The Republican party has rejected global warming, has demonized immigrants (which made America great), demonized Muslims, and routinely attacked the LGBT community.

          AND…they keep trying to take away health care from 23 million Americans.

          AND…they steal children. Repeat: The Republican party steals children.

          AND…Mitch McConnell recently claimed that the massive increase in the Federal deficit was caused by Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is, of course, a lie. And McConnell’s solution for a problem which he and the GOP Congress created by giving massive tax cuts to the very very very rich and corporations? Abolish Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

          Mark, in short, I fail to see any good in the Republican party. I didn’t think this way in 1980, or 1990, or 2000. But events of the last two years has shown me what the Republican party is now.

          I well know that Republicans think Democrats are evil. But, in every conversation I’ve had with Republicans, their beliefs about Democrats are not based on reality. It’s all made up. And nothing I say, and no facts I offer, makes any difference. “It’s all fake news!” they exclaim.

          Mark, what I have written about Republicans is fact-based. It’s reality-based. The Republican ARE doing these terrible things, and they plan to continue doing terrible things.

          Mark, if you think that I am wrong, please forward a list of what is good about the Republican party? What am I not seeing?

          In this post, I detailed 17 things which Democrats have done to help the average American. 17 significant things. Yet, what have Republicans done to help the average American save Nixon’s creating the EPA?

          • I’m sorry I don’t have time to go over every one of your 17 points that you seem to say only Democrats have done. Of course many Republicans understand and/or support the things you listed.

            In the last two years, many Republicans in the Senate have stopped bills that were passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives. This shows not all Rs think the same way on many things. If they did, many more bills would have been passed by the R majority in both houses in Congress over the past two years.

            I suggest you reread and think more about an early part of your story. It is very well written and makes a very important point. You said:

            “See the girl behind the black student?

            She was also a student, and the filmmakers tracked her down.

            And she, too, was powerfully ashamed.

            I was filled with absolute rage. I cursed at the black girl in front of me. I said terrible, awful, unforgivable things. But, after a few weeks we actually started talking to each other. She was funny and intelligent and very kind. We became good friends.

            Each person interviewed talked about the impossibility of trying to explain their actions in 1957 to their children and grandchildren. The angry white mob could offer no explanation for their being the face of racism in 1957. They just felt shame.”

            Let me repeat what you wrote, “But, after a few weeks we actually started talking to each other. She was funny and intelligent and very kind. We became good friends.” and “They [all] just felt shame.”

            Do you see how the two girls talked with each other and became good friends? If they can do that, why can’t Ds and Rs do that more than they are already?

            I was born in 1956 so we have lived through a lot of the same things.

            To label all Republicans as bad and all Democrats as good, claiming that Rs are racists and Ds are not – that is just wrong.

            Don’t you remember the Governor of Alabama, George Wallace? He is one famous Democrat who back-in-our-day was one of the Democrat’s poster boys of racism in the US.

            I suggest you read this to learn more about our history.
            https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/06/democratic-party-racist-history-mona-charen/

            If you want to learn how more and more Rs and Ds are working together to solve the problem of climate change, I suggest you find and talk with leaders of a nearby local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

          • Dear Mark,

            In a normal situation, I agree 100% that people should try and work together, and to try and understand one another. This is something I have been doing my whole life.

            But, the operative words in my above statement: In a normal situation.

            And what is happening in America today is not normal.

            Let me put this another way. Let’s say it’s 1936. Let’s say I am living in Germany. Let’s say I am Jewish. And you are telling to to just try and work with the Nazis and to try to understand them.

            This is how I see things today.

            In 2016, Mitch McConnell stole a Supreme Court set from Obama. Blatantly stole it, and received the full support of the GOP Congress. And yet, you think I should try and get along with such people who would actively crush Democracy.

            In 2018, I watched, in horror, as a profoundly unqualified man was placed on the Supreme Court, a man who profoundly displayed the wrong temperament and who profoundly displayed how partisan he was. And this miscarriage of justice was rammed through by the GOP Congress. And yet, you think I should try and get along with such people.

            You bring up global warming. The official GOP stance is that global warming does not exist. More importantly, and vastly more damaging, is what the GOP Congress is doing to damage the global environment. And yet, you think I should try and get along with such people.

            The GOP Congress did nothing to prevent children from being stolen. And yet, you think I should try and get along with such people.

            The GOP Congress has tried seventy times, SEVENTY, to strip health care from 23 million Americas. And yet, you think I should try and get along with such people.

            The GOP Congress spent eight years working to hobble Obama. And yet, you think I should try and get along with such people.

            I watched in horror these past few weeks as, in state after state (such as Georgia and North Dakota and Texas and even my Kansas) the GOP worked to keep people from voting. And yet, you think I should try and get along with such people. And there was zero evidence of Democrats trying to stop people from voting.

            And, as a gay man, I feel personally threatened by the Republican party which fully opposed marriage equality. And yet, you think I should try and get along with people who believe I should be denied the same rights they enjoy.

            This list can go on and on and on.

            Today, I view the Republican party as a danger to myself, a danger to the global environment, a danger to world peace (Trump has stated that what is the point of having nuclear weapons if we don’t use them), a danger to all minorities, and a danger to Democracy.

            Mark, I am 61. I have lived through Republicans controlling Congress as well as Democrats. But I have never before feared for my country. Nor am I alone with this feeling, because millions of people left the Republican party this year and numerous conservatives advocated voting an all-Democratic ticket this past Tuesday.

            NOTE: Mark, you did not answer my basic question: Besides the creation of the EPA, which Trump is now destroying, what has the Republican party done to help the average American? For, I can’t think of anything. And that is telling. So, why should I try and get along with a party that does nothing to help most Americans??????? A party which is actively trying to harm millions of Americans?

            NOTE: You quoted my story about Little Rock. But the story does not actually support your opinion that I should try and get along with Republicans. Rather, it supports my opinion.

            The black students were, well, the Democrats in the story. They just wanted to do right, to learn, and were doing this in a peaceful manner. The white students were, well, Republicans. They were angry, very angry, and they were trying to deny equal rights to others. And all this was based on fear and ignorance. In time, the white students came to realize they had nothing to fear. And only then did THEY change. THEY were the ones who needed to learn, who needed to understand the black students. And THEY were the ones who later felt shame over their actions and behavior.

            NOTE: I well know the ugly history of Democrats. But the party learned, and evolved. The GOP though, IMO, has devolved. And THAT is the problem.

  14. Ross I wish you had a Like button because I love this post and nothing I can say can improve it. I read a lot of politics and you have such a clear way of sorting things out. There is so much distortion and smearing going on right now that reading your post is entirely refreshing. Bravo and thank you. (maybe you could have a Bravo button?)

  15. President Trump is in my city right now. I am watching his speech on TV just to hear for myself what he really sounds like. I wondered if the news just gave soundbites that suited their purpose, so I really wanted to hear for myself. And really, he’s saying things like they (the republicans) are taking care of health care, and votes for Democrats will open the borders and take away jobs. And now he saying that the first thing Democrats want to do is a socialist take over of healthcare. It’s just hogwash and it’s hard to tell if the people are really drinking the Kool-Aid or if they just wanted to go see the spectacle.

    One thing I will say, is that he has had to stop several times to have protesters removed. The thing I am concerned about, is all the little kids that are standing there booing and watching their parents to see how to behave. These children are absorbing the hatred and vitriol being spewed by the most powerful man in the country. It’s a travesty.

    • Christine, I cannot listen to him. So, I sympathize.

      In my experience, Trump supporters believe everything he says. Why? because it’s what they WANT to hear.

      Of course, for those of us who like reality, it’s the Democrats who created Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare (the ACA), and the Republicans who have tried SEVENTY times to kill the latter, and decades trying to dismantle all the formers.

      The White House is, right now, in court to destroy protection for pre-existing conditions.

      Also, not a single Democrat in Congress has ever said open borders are OK. Or that America should be Socialist country.

      Oh, and no Democrat in Congress has ever said they want to take all the guns. They just want common sense regulations, like a ban on assault weapons.

      But Trump lies lies lies and his base eats it all up with a spoon. Which terrifies me.

  16. I can’t believe there are that many people in this country that are so loyal to Trump whatever he says or does is fine with them. Like Trump says “I like stupid.” I truly believe there will be an overwhelming majority of the country voting Democrat tomorrow. And if the Republicans win the majority of the races tomorrow, then I will be horrified and terrified.

  17. I just watched a ted talk about spotting when someone is lying and oh my goodness, about every other sentence out of his mouth was a statement trying to convince me that he wasn’t lying! Huge tell! It makes me so sad that all those people think his bullying, racism, prejudice, and general disregard for the truth are acceptable behaviors for the commander in chief. I want so desperately to believe the best about people. I used to hold my fellow countrymen in such high regard. I am completely disillusioned and heartbroken for our beautiful country.

  18. I can’t stand to hear him talk either. He lies so much that now his supporters think nothing of it. The new norm? I’m scared! What kind of America will my grandchildren have left?

  19. I can’t bear to think about what will happen here if the Republicans manage to cheat and steal these midterm elections. I will keep my head down today and cautiously peek at the news tomorrow to see if we will continue into the abyss or turn the tide to once again become the country I thought I lived in. The days which seem like years since November 2016 have shaken me to the core. I hope and pray that we survive. I don’t understand how anyone can vote Republican after the lies, cheating, and failure to check the runaway train in the white house. God help us all. I voted the first day of early voting. I hope it makes a difference.

    • Hi, Nancy!

      In states across America, Republicans are desperately working 23/7 to suppress voting, with Georgia being the most blatant example.

      There is not a single example of any Democrat doing this.

      In addition, a lot of voting machines are not secure from being hacked. And, in Texas, people voting a straight D ticket have discovered that the machines switch their vote to a straight R! I am not making this up.

      Congress was informed by intelligence agencies that voting machines were vulnerable to hacking, and the GOP Congress refused to allocate one penny to fix the problem. And Congress was informed by intelligence agencies that Russia was interfering in the 2018 election and the GOP Congress just denied the problem.

      So, yes, Republicans are doing everything they can to steal the election.

      • I know. It’s unbelievable that this is happening in the USA. We’ve become no better than third world banana republics. Unreal!!

    • Hi, Dawn!

      I am mostly ignoring what is going on.

      So much cannot be known for a few hours, and full results may take until December.

      BIG hug, though!

      NOTE: The Republicans have gone to extraordinary lengths in numerous states to suppress voting. And Congress was warned by US intelligence agencies about how easily voting machines can be hacked, and the Republicans refused to earmark a single penny to fix the problem.

  20. Ross, It is clear you don’t want to be reasonable and have a discussion. You have shown that by comparing today’s USA to Nazi Germany where millions were murdered.

    The White students in your story I guess were “Your” Republicans. In fact they were much more likely to be Democrats back-in-the-day, but I’ll use your premise below.

    The White students in your story, the Republicans, learned and changed. They became best friends with the Democrats. How? Only by talking with the Democrats, the Black students in your story. They overcame their fear and ignorance only through talking with the Democrats.

    What do you think would have happened in your story if the Democrats had refused to talk with the Republicans?

    What if the Republicans were not allowed to change because the Democrats refused to talk with them UNTIL they changed?

    What would have happened if the Democrats refused to talk with the Republicans until a Republican President was elected?

    In time, the White students came to realize they had nothing to fear. But ONLY because they talked with the Black students.

    If you want to create more fear in people, and that is what you are doing, that only strengthens the leaders of the Republicans today. Those leaders will change much more quickly if Democrats talk with Republicans with respect and understanding. And I’m not just talking about elected people. Ds and Rs need to talk with each other at work, at church, at ball games, etc.

    Look what is happening here. Your way of thinking has caused me to not want to talk with you any more. I volunteer my time to work with mostly Democrats and a growing number or Republicans, to have conversations with Republican members of Congress.

    I’m so glad those Democrats will volunteer their time to work with me, a Republican, to make change happen.

    • Dear Mark,

      You are and I discussing apples and oranges. I recognize this. You do not seem to.

      Your argument is: We should try and get along. I get that, and would normally agree.

      My argument is: Why should I try an get along with somebody who is actively trying to hurt me? You have yet to address my argument.

      My story about Nazi Germany did not mention millions of people being murdered. Because, that was not the point of the story. Which is specifically why I time-dated it: 1936.

      My story was about Jews being in danger because of the Nazis. Yet, you would argue that the Jews should have tried better to get along with the Nazis.

      THAT was the point of my story. Because, today, I feel endangered by the Republican party. As I wrote: I view the Republican party as a danger to myself, a danger to the global environment, a danger to world peace (Trump has stated that what is the point of having nuclear weapons if we don’t use them), a danger to all minorities, and a danger to Democracy.

      I have now asked you several times to name what the Republican party has done to help the average person. You have yet to answer. I find this telling.

      You state that I want to create fear in people. No, I do not. The intent of my conversation is to educate. Mark, YOU are a member of a party which is damaging America. And the big question, the question which truly baffles me, is this: With millions leaving the Republican party because they recognize what I also recognize, even well-known Conservatives, why are YOU still a Republican? Why?

      The history of America shows that political parties come and go. And political parties, too, change over time. Sometimes for the better, as with the Democratic party. And sometimes for the worse, as with the Republican party. Today, the Republican party is shrinking, and is smaller than the Democratic party, and much smaller than the Independent party. I predict that it will continue to shrink as people continue to leave the party in droves, and as its base (the elderly) dies off.

      I am terrified, terrified, that the Republican party is turning my democratic nation into a fascist nation. I remain hopeful that I am wrong, and remain hopeful that my country is experiencing a dark before a glorious new dawn. What I envision is a surge in progressive values and diversity, where Congress, for the first time, truly reflects America with half of its members women, and with people of every color and sexual orientation. And Mark? This is happening. Just this past Tuesday, more than 100 women were elected to Congress, almost all of them Democrats. This is extraordinary; unprecedented. Across the country, openly gay men and women were elected to Congress, State Houses, and as Governors. All of them Democrats. I envision sensible gun control, which is embraced by Democrats and absolutely rejected by Republicans. I envision a powerful embrace of protecting the global environment as my country becomes the leader in sustainability, a vision embraced by Democrats and absolutely rejected by Republicans. I envision millions of new jobs being created as we move into this future based on sustainability. I envision affordable health care for everybody, a vision embraced by Democrats and absolutely rejected by Republicans. I envision my country welcoming immigrants and working with them to become citizens, a vision embraced by Democrats and absolutely rejected by Republicans even though immigrants made America great (we are a nation of immigrants) and massively contribute to the national coffers.

      Mark, the future as envisioned by the Republican party is wholly the opposite of what I hope for. The Republican party is actively opposed to everything I dream of. But I believe that my dreams are unfolding, and will soon blossom.

      The Republican party has a choice. Will it continue down its dark road of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-science, and misogyny, growing ever smaller and becoming the Whig party of our time? Or will it, as with the white students in Little Rock, grow past its fears and work with Democrats and Independents?

      Mark, if you want to talk with me, a powerfully proud Democrat and a powerfully proud Liberal, about how we can work together to create the glorious future I envision, I am all ears. But, if you want to talk to me about why I should suffer in order for your party to achieve its means? Sorry, but no. If you want to invite me down a dark road? Sorry, absolutely no.

      • Yes, you are and I discussing apples and oranges. I’m trying to show you that PEOPLE need to talk with each other for change to happen. You seem locked into the idea that just because a few dozen people who have been elected, and represent a PARTY, that they speak for all of the individual PEOPLE in that party.

        Not all Democrats were the racist Whites you see in your picture. Many were, many changed, some are still alive and still racists. Brand new Democrats are also brand new racists. Not all of them of course . . .

        Why can’t you understand that I’m a Republican and I have many close Democratic friends? We don’t talk about this issues that keep us apart. We talk about those things that keep us together. We work together to make this city, state, country and world better. Stopping climate change, ending alcohol sales in Whiteclay Nebraska, protecting everyone’s right to marry whom they want. Improving health care, banning smoking in all businesses, raising the tax on tobacco, this list goes on and on.

        I am not trying to hurt you. You would be safe in a dark alley with me. Unfortunately because of the hate you have, I would not feel safe with you in 2018.

        What about 1936, when the Democrats had super-majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the Whitehouse? Those racist, anti-Semite Democrats would not allow Jews to come to this country. Those Democrats seemed to support the Nazis before the war and for a few years after it started.

        You may say again, “Oh but the Democrats changed since then.” I think only the Democrat leaders have changed their public positions. Lots of individual Democrats still think the same way.

        If only the Republicans had been in power in 1936. The US probably would have allowed Jews to come to this country. The US probably would have gotten into WWII earlier, possibly saving millions of lives.

        I’ve told you some things the Republican party has done to help the average person. If you really want to learn more, google it.

        I’m very happy that two Palestinian-American Muslim women were elected to the House of Representatives. That House is supposed to reflect the citizens of this country. I hope the Democrat leaders do not silence them, but instead give them a loud voice to raise this issues of how the Israeli government has passed apartheid laws. The oppressed in Germany have become the oppressors in Israel. Our country should stop all military aid to Israel until that stops.

        Do you think the Democratic Party will allow those Muslims to speak? I don’t.

        You say you envision so many things. What are you doing to make them happen? I don’t think blogging about issues makes much difference in the world.

        I’ve very proud of the ordinances and laws I’ve helped write and get passed – with the help of Democrats. I have many more that I want to get passed. If I thought like you, and rejected talking with and working with everyone, none of them would have gotten passed into law.

        I’ve never suggested you should suffer for my party to achieve its goals. I’ve tried to show you how to create change more quickly, so no one suffers.

        If you are interested in making change happen and want to help stop global warming from getting much worse, please join me as a volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). We currently have more Democrats than Republicans, but we are trying to become a more balanced group. We know change will only happen with bi-partisan support in Congress.

        We need a carbon fee and dividend law to be passed by Congress, as was very recently enacted in all of Canada – following British Columbia’s lead.

        I’m going to have to allow you to have the last word in this. I’ve done my best in trying to open your eyes on how to make change happen. I’ve learned that if I can’t make a friend or ally that I should move on to the next person.

        If you join your local CCL chapter (we have one in all but a handful of every Congressional District) and decide to go to our international conference in DC next June, let me know. I would like to talk with you in person at that conference.

        Until then, please use this URL to contact your elected officials to urge them to take action to stop climate change from getting worse.

        It will give you the phone numbers and suggested script for each of your three members of Congress.

        [From Ross: The homepage for CCL.]

        • Dear Mark,

          You continue to overlook the fact that we are discussing apples and oranges.

          Your argument is: We should try and get along. I get that, and would normally agree.

          My argument is: Why should I try and get along with somebody who is actively trying to hurt me?

          You state that you understand this apple/orange, but then why have you not addressed my concerns about the fear your party instills in me?

          Mark, you are a member of a party. That party represents X.

          And what your party represents scares me. While YOU may not agree with the following, this is what YOUR party has been up to recently or is currently doing or is planning to do:
          – Denying global warming.
          – Harming the global environment.
          – Stealing children.
          – Trying to control women’s bodies.
          – Being hostile to the LGBT community.
          – Being hostile to all minorities.
          – Lying about immigration.
          – Demonizing immigrants.
          – Abusing laws and standards to seize power, exemplified by the theft of a Supreme Court seat. This was a gross miscarriage of decency and Democracy.
          – Railing about deficits 24/7 when Obama was President, and then INCREASING the deficit when they gained power.
          – Lying about the cause of the dramatic increase in the federal deficit.
          – Threatening to end Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
          – Trying to take away health care for 23 million Americans.
          – Feverishly working to stop people from voting in numerous states. This is active as these words are written. And this is profoundly undemocratic. There is not a single example of Democrats doing this is 2018.
          – Is owned by the NRA.

          Moroever, as I detailed in my post, the Republican party, YOUR Party, has a long history of stunning corruption. Since Nixon, and as of 4/18:

          REPUBLICAN TOTALS:
          Criminal indictments: 209
          Criminal convictions: 113
          Prison sentences: 37

          DEMOCRATIC TOTALS:
          Criminal indictments: 3
          Criminal convictions: 1
          Prison sentences: 1

          Mark, you sound like a good man. And I get that there are decent people who are Republicans; indeed, I know many, and invite them into my home. What I don’t understand is why a decent person would, at this point, stay with a party that is actively trying to harm so many people????????

          Albert Speer was, by all accounts, a good man. He was also a member of the Nazi party and a high-ranking member at that. And history has not overlooked the latter because of the former. History has damned Speer.

          You stated: “Why can’t you understand that I’m a Republican and I have many close Democratic friends?” I fully understand that. And I never stated otherwise.

          You keep bringing up the ugly history of the Democratic party. I am well aware of this history. But what does this history have to do with the party today? The Democratic party of today is vastly different than the Democratic party of, say, 1960. The party has learned and evolved.

          You stated: “I’ve told you some things the Republican party has done to help the average person.”

          Some things? You only brought up one thing: That Nixon created the EPA. But what he did was consolidate several government programs created by the Democratic party to protect the environment. Other than that, I ask you yet again: What has the Republican party ever done to help the average American? You have declined to answer this, what, three times now? This is more telling every time to decline to answer.

          You stated: “Do you think the Democratic Party will allow those Muslims to speak? I don’t.” Huh? Huh? On what evidence do you base this belief on? When have any Democrats in Congress tried to deny a Muslim from speaking?

          You also insulted me:

          1) You wrote: “Unfortunately because of the hate you have, I would not feel safe with you in 2018.” You put words in my mouth. I never stated that I hated anybody. I made it clear that I am terrified of the Republican party. And I spelled out why. Do you not understand that hate and terror are two very different things?

          2) You wrote: “I don’t think blogging about issues makes much difference in the world.” This is a profound insult. It’s untrue, too. Voices matter.

          Mark, in the end, I can only repeat myself:

          YOUR party is actively trying to harm me and millions of people through its words and actions. These words and actions are not just some fantasy of mine but very real things, as I detail above.

          MY party, since the 1930s, has worked to improve the lives of millions of Americans through the 17 things I listed in my blog piece.

          You sound like you are working hard to make thing better for people. I applaud you. But why are you a member of a party which so overtly wants to harm people, like trying to remove health care for 23 million people? THIS is what I don’t get. How can you rationale this? How can you rationalize stealing children? How can you rationalize demonizing minorities?

          You see, Mark, these things horrify me. I repeat: these things horrify me. If my party were doing things like this I would quit the party, STAT. Yet, you stay.

          You. Stay.

          As I have pointed out several times, my fears about your party are not unique. Millions of Republicans (mostly college-educated) left the party in 2018 and registered as Democrats. Dozens of well-known Conservatives have denounced what the Republican party has become and have registered as either Independents or Democrats. These millions of now former Republicans would, likely, agree with all my views.

          Mark, this post asked a profound question: Do You Want to be on the Right Side of History?

          I do not think that history will look kindly upon what has happened to the Republican party since the 1990s. A party which you support.

          • There has been a carbon tax in British Columbia, Canada for years. That province’s economy has done better than all other provinces since it was implemented.
            The nationwide carbon tax in all of Canada will go into effect in January 2019.

            For more information you can to to http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org

  21. Well this has all been very interesting. At the risk of getting myself into a conversation I am not as well versed in, I guess I am a little confused. Mark Welsch, it is Trumps Republican party that I am afraid of. Not responsible Republican’s who do care about our environment, who care about immigrants, who care about the elderly, who care about social security, who care about truth, who care about minorities, who care about healthcare, who care about the freedom of the press, who care about the dignity and trust that America was once known for. If you are one of those Republicans then God bless I wish there were more of you. From what I see the decent Republicans have left town and no one is standing up to Trump.

    • BIG hug, Dawn.

      The only Republican GOP members which stood up to Trump were members which were not running for re-election. Yet these same members almost exclusively voted with Trump. So, their words were not in alignment with their actions. And, as we were all taught, actions are vastly more important than words.

      Also, while the Republican party has, in effect, become the Trump party, much about the current situation predates Trump, like trying take away health care for 23-million people, demeaning minorities and the LBGT community, trying to control a women’s body, and trying for decades to reduce or end Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

      Most significantly, the inability of the Republican party to actually come up with anything to help the average American well pre-dates Trump.

  22. Yes it’s all been going on for a long long time. Trump however brought it all home. Put it out there “in the name of God” for all the world to see and gave it a name, selfish, greedy, hatred!!

    • Dawn, your comment reminded me of something I read in 2016:

      Republicans believe every lie about Hillary…

      …and ignore every truth about Trump.

      I have consistently found this to be true.

  23. I’ve yet to meet a Republican who doesn’t want immigration. Legal immigration. Most Americans are sick and tired of putting up with the illegal immigration problem in this country. We have immigration laws for a reason. We want to know who is coming into this country. That’s all. People sneaking into the country make a mockery of our laws and thumb their noses at those people spending their time and money coming in legally. It’s only fair.

    • Morning, Pat!

      You wrote: “Most Americans are sick and tired of putting up with the illegal immigration problem in this country ”

      Most Americans?

      I am unaware of any credible study which supports this statement.

      You wrote: “I’ve yet to meet a Republican who doesn’t want immigration. Legal immigration.”

      I can only assume you have never heard of Donald Trump, who has been very clear that he does NOT want even legal immigrants. Depending, of course, on their skin color. Or depending, of course, on if he wants to marry them.

      The Republican party has been demonizing immigrants for a long time, even though immigrants literally created America, and contribute massively to it.

      Yes, illegal immigration is a problem. It has always been a problem. It will always BE a problem. And why? Because the outside edge of America is 8,878 miles. How do we 100% protect that? So, we do what we can. And you may be surprised to learn that Obama was very effective at returning illegal immigrants. And you may be surprised to know that 40,000 MORE immigrants crossed the Mexican border in 2018 than in 2017.

      However, while illegal immigration is a problem, and always will be, I put it WAY down the list of Things We Should Be Freaking Out About. So, while the Republican party is busy demonizing immigrants, I am vastly more concerned about, oh, the Republican party, which is, among other things, trying to take health care away from 23 million Americans. I am also vastly more concerned about the tens of thousands of people killed in America because of guns. And the Republican party is totally against sensible gun control.

  24. From a Rasmussen poll:

    Thursday, August 30, 2018
    Voters continue to believe illegal immigration is a major problem, and few feel the government is doing enough to handle it.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 68% of Likely U.S. Voters think illegal immigration is a serious problem in America today, with 43% who consider it Very Serious. However, this compares to 80% and 50% respectively in August 2015 and suggests that President Trump’s focus on the problem has lessened voter concern somewhat. Thirty-two percent (32%) now say illegal immigration is not a serious problem, but that includes only nine percent (9%) who say it’s Not At All Serious.

    Donald Trump’s own words on legal immigration:

    In an interview with pro-globalist Economist magazine, Trump was asked: “Do you want to curb legal immigration?” Trump responded by saying he prefers merit-based immigration of skilled people. The interviewer pressed him again on the scale of legal immigration, asking “[are you] not looking to reduce the numbers?”
    “No, no, no, no, we want people coming in legally. No, very strongly,” Trump replied, as two of his economic advisors sat beside him — top economic staffer Gary Cohn, and Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury.

    As for gun control…
    (These are numbers are based on 2016 stats)

    – 480 gun homicides were in Chicago
    – 344 gun homicides were in Baltimore
    – 333 gun homicides were in Detroit
    – 119 gun homicides were in Washington D.C. (a 54% increase over prior years)

    All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws, so how would more laws help the situation? I might also point out that these cities are the bluest of blue cities. In Illinois, where I reside, you have to be background checked by the State Police to legally own a firearm or even buy ammunition. Tell me how more background checks would affect the Chicago crime statistics?

    You might want to read Dr. John Lott’s book More Guns, Less Crime.

    And as someone who LOST her health insurance because of Obamacare, the sooner it dies, the better.

    • Dear Pat,

      My mother always told me that a person’s actions were far more important than their words. So, you quote something Trump said? I pay far more attention to his actions.

      Rasmussen leans Conservative. Also, during the 2016 election campaign, the Republican candidates were telling people to be very afraid of ISIS. ISIS was coming to kill us all! And polls showed, naturally, that a lot of people were terrified of ISIS. Then Trump won, and ISIS was hardly ever mentioned thereafter. And presto: new polls showed an attendant drop in people being concerned about ISIS! Trump then created a new boogeyman: Immigrants! And he has spent two years demonizing them. Today, you show me numbers by a right-leaning pollster, which shows — SURPRISE — that a lot of people are concerned about immigrants. If Trump and his party started demonizing, say, Oreo cookies — They cause cancer! — I guarantee you that six months from now polls would show an attendant spike in people being concerned about Oreo cookies.

      Me? I am more focused on the facts, which show that illegal immigration is not really a major problem.

      Your comments on gun control sound just like the NRA. And if you think it’s OK for assault weapons to be legally available, then I can only assume you are OK with kids in school being slaughtered by assault weapons.

    • Rasmussen?? Hahahahahahahahahahaha. The least accurate polling company there is, and always, always, always skewed to the right. Anybody who uses a Rasmussen poll to support his or her argument automatically loses.

  25. Dear Ross,

    Thank you for taking the time to be political and for making this beloved blog about restoring a beautiful home, sometimes political. We need more people like you in this world. People who do things with tireless, persistent, careful effort. I see the parallels between these characteristics both in the devotion you have to restoring your home as well as in your tenacious articulation of your ideology. I come a generation after you, but I presume to share your fear that we are in the midst of a critical time–politically, environmentally, and spiritually. We can’t afford to be silent; we must be active actors in the pursuit of our destiny, and in that action we have the power to create a better future. Two years ago, I failed to believe that the America who voted in Obama could also vote in Trump. I was in complete denial that a Trump presidency would happen until the November night in 2016 when the returns came in, despite Michael Moore’s predictions. And, you (and others) have articulated well the ensuing disaster since his taking office.

    However, I remain optimistic for our future for several reasons: (1) there is evidence of significant push-back especially from women which was demonstrated in pussyhat project that protested his presidency initially, and seems to have evolved into the #metoo movement, and is likely to have influenced the election of several key women of color to the House of Representatives two weeks ago. (2) We seemed to have learned our lesson about neglecting to vote. (I’m sorry to not have the source) but I read an article indicating that the recent election demonstrates that when America gets out the vote, Republicans lose. We have to continue to work on encouraging people of all ages to vote. (3) As you well know by now, Democrats took back the House of Representatives, and while that feels encouraging in and of itself, what is more invigorating is that a significant number of these newly elected legislators are scientists.

    I think America is ‘woke’. I see that progressives are not willing to let this go without a fight. We are still fighting and we have a good chance at turning the tide.

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog…and for being you.

    Rachel

    • Thanks, Rachel. I was really moved by your comment.

      The huge blue wave even turned the famously Republican stronghold of Orange County, CA, wholly blue! And the wave would have been even larger but not for blatant Republican voter suppression in many states, Georgia being the most glaring and criminal.

      BIG hug!

  26. Hi Ross, I’m sure your hard at work fixing holes in the walls but when ya get a chance I thought ya could use a laugh or two, along with the rest of your readers, so I copied a link from the Washington Post.

    • Thanks, Dawn!

      The problem is that Trump, and his supporters, will read the article and thinks it’s complimenting Trump!

      They will completely miss the dripping sarcasm.

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