Trumpism isn’t consequence-free

A bit of everything [photo by author]

Left-leaning Americans are now at political and cultural risk through little or no fault of their own. Those of us who either believe in or respect the body of liberal/progressive principles and generally open-minded approach to differences and possibilities are threatened by unprincipled Republican officials to a much greater degree than ever before. Realizing they are now in the political and cultural minority, the sole priority for Trump toadies is obvious: They are determined to gain and maintain political power by whatever means are necessary. Period.

Judging by the several hundred pieces of restrictive voting legislation filed in states across…

A choice that can never end well

Destinations [photo by author]

Unhinged narcissists shrug off their hypocrisy and any other aberrant behavior because the only objective and/or consideration that matters is what best serves their needs and interests in the moment. By now, Donald Trump’s bottomless stock of self-interest should have convinced even the most jaded skeptic about his motivations. Giving Trump the benefit of the doubt is pointless.

Supporters seem content with the fiction that his schtick is just harmless middle-finger waving to those of us living with the same truths which they all conveniently ignore, dismiss, or rework to ease their consciences. They show no signs of being concerned…

It’s a strategy; just not the best one

Nightfall [Photo by author]

The still-unfathomable loyalty to Donald Trump, on display courtesy of tens of millions of our fellow citizens, is now one of 21st century America’s defining features. That’s not to say it’s admirable or advantageous. It’s not.

Trump followers suffering from an aversion to truth, facts, and … well … reality in general are certainly honoring their part by continuing to believe, say, do, and think whatever suits their needs in service to their Orange idol. The marching orders: do and say whatever is necessary to keep The Big Lie alive. So far, so good … sort of….

Unfortunately, the inevitable…

Partisan tactics offer no guarantees

Moonlight on the Harbor (Photo by author)

Not exactly a brilliant new insight in the world of psychology and politics, but those of us who lean Left and those who lean Right process information differently; have different priorities; and increasingly seem to occupy space on different planets with entirely different views of the actual world we all inhabit. It’s no longer guaranteed that we agree on the difference between daytime and nighttime.

This state of affairs is not as beneficial as one might imagine … at least not if a peaceful and mutually beneficial future for all of us still matters enough. …

Its absence matters more

Windswept [Photo by author]

The collapse of whatever remnants of integrity congressional Republicans have been clinging to since stepping into the black hole of Trump World (its motto must surely be: “Where Truth Is Never Seen Again!”) has been wonderful political theater, if we define “wonderful” as some combination of appalling, perverse, unbelievable in the truest sense, and — increasingly so — more than a bit frightening.

Who knew so many elected officials could jettison principled notions of service to the nation so easily and so quickly? Effortless, shameless hypocrisy is mandatory. They now display it whenever necessary, with a practiced ease many of…

Misguided grievances have their disadvantages

Dusk at Gloucester Harbor [photo by author]

There comes a time when political leaders and ordinary citizens alike must choose to affirm and reinforce the institutions that make a democratic nation possible….

Democracy does not demand that the citizens share a vision of the future. But democracy does demand that they commit themselves to a future that each would find bearable. This future must offer them security, dignity and the capacity to pursue the everyday goals virtually all of us have for ourselves and our families.

In other words, citizens have to commit to a vision of a shared future to have a democracy. — Lorelei Kelly

Dealing with the once-inconceivable

Never know who’s watching…. [Photo by author]

Like it or not, our actions and beliefs contribute to making our society (in the words of Sukhayl Niyazov)

…more polarized, with people on both sides of the aisle increasingly refusing to engage in dialogue with others because they think of them as being irrational and impervious to changing their opinions. Partisans come to believe that the other side is wrong and biased, leading to explanations that political disagreements are due to the irrationality of the other side.

That’s absolutely true!” said partisans on each side of the political and cultural divide which now defines American politics. High-fives to everyone…

There’s no happy ending

What should we expect? [Photo by author]

Because partisan sorting is no longer primarily about one’s policy views but instead about one’s deepest values or identity, the ‘other party’ is no longer just the opposition but the enemy; and politics is no longer about finding compromises that can address common problems but about winning a war for one’s own side. Where does that road take us? — Isabell Sawhill

Are we paying enough attention to how America’s Left v. Right battle plays out?

Carving new routes to provide more Americans with more options to fulfill their own visions of a better future is a nice thought. Unfortunately…

The fine print of Republican Party ambitions

Photo by the author’s father

It’s not a conservative party, or a small government party or an anti-authoritarian party (to the contrary!). It has become the caricature of the left from days gone by — all power, no principle, dismissive of courtesy and reasoned persuasion. Anger, not ideas, is its animating force. We have a nativist party that views America not as a creedal nation, but as a white Christian nation that is diminished by immigrants and is threatened by outsiders. If it possesses any coherent philosophy, it is one of victimhood — which in turn justifies any and all bad behavior.

Washington Post columnist…

Incompatible perspectives widen the partisan divide

Taking It All In [photo by author]

I have learned that although there is significant common ground on the issues facing our country, our perceptions of each other are tearing us apart…. — Diane Hessan

It’s by now well-established (at least as a general proposition), that conservatives assess and then address political or cultural issues by different methods than those relied upon by their liberal counterparts. Conservative thought processes, motivations, policy preferences, cultural tendencies, criteria, expectations, and values share what are by now familiar indicators. Liberals draw from their own — different — resources.

The foundations are not intended to serve as judgments regarding the validity, legitimacy…

Richard Turcotte

Partisanship has no good ending. I’d like to do my part to change that. A better future is a choice.

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