July 4, 2018 Update … Fierce Patriotism Still Needed to Defend Our Democracy

Radical Centrism Policy Papers: It’s War, Nothing Less – Part 1

Republicans and Democrats to the barricades!! Our republic is under attack by hyper-partisans who would destroy our democracy to win their cause, and a narcissistic President who would use the awesome power of our democratic republic to destroy, or jail his opponents and willingly enforce authoritarianism or fascism. His cultists and their political fellow-travelers seem to have been so manipulated with suspicion, racial grievance, hyper partisanship, and fear that they are unable to look rationally at the obvious threat our form of government is facing. And they are funded by the corporate money-trust of the Republican Party — and likely, our arch-enemy, Russia. They are an army that turns on its heel and marches obediently in whatever direction their strong man or his puppet-masters may point.

Since this warning was first posted last December, the threat of the strongman takeover of the US has only grown more specific and dramatic. Finally, a number of conservative voices are joining in the call to restore checks and balances to our governmental system.  All the article links below have been curated in my Flipboard Magazine called Metadada ‘Pocalypse Review. The magazine provides articles, facts, science and opinion that influence my original blog posts here. Please peruse if interested.

Below are just a few of the former staunch conservatives that are speaking loudly and urgently to warn that we may be heading toward a collapse of our 250 year stable democracy under this President and his supine Congress. These conservatives haven’t turned liberal, and they fundamentally disagree with the Democratic party, but they and many others are recommending that normal citizens vote the Democratic ticket in this fall’s midterms in order to staunch the tide toward authoritarianism and return checks and balances to our (apparently) fragile democracy. This is whether or not you may believe in some of the policies of Trump’s government.

The Russian Propaganda Campaign by David Frum 

Steve Schmidt Republican Operative recommends Vote Democratic

Jennifer Rubin: Staunch Conservative

Prescient article by Andrew Sullivan

The strange thing about the current Trump idolators, and the Republican Party as it developed since the 90’s is that, even as the effect of their betrayal of constitutional duty is to dismantle democracy and abandon the rule of law, they have been convinced they are the heroes defending it. They and their manipulators have hijacked the words “Patriot” and “Treason” and “Hero.”  We normal people — who love ALL of our country, not just the parts that agree with us — need to take those words back. We need to join together as patriots to take our country back.

Even as some of this manipulated army are fine people in everyday life, as a screaming mob, cultivated at Trump rallies and by an online meme distribution network, they are the like the jack-booted brown shirt army in Nazi Germany: no one, no institution, no branch of government is safe from them. Once directed at their target — whether it’s the FBI, or NATO, courts and judges, or defending the President they adore — their bloodlust for the wanton destruction of every institution of our democracy appears to know no bounds. You can identify these people by their notion that any criticism of our President is an unpatriotic attack on America.

The infection has entered our bloodstream. Those of us who recognize the existential threat to our republic must stop treating it as a harmless temporary virus that will go away on its own. Please take this look at the last time we came down with the virus of bullying authoritarianism: Last Time We Faced a Demagogue Bully. It has become the AIDS of our political system, and our democracy is growing weak from it.

So, this post is a universal call to Radical patriotism! Those who love our country, love our democracy, are beginning to recognize the threat. We are Democrats, Republicans, Socialists and Libertarians and we need to separate this extreme threat to our country from our usual policy differences. Patriots tied to the truth and a love for our democratic Republic and the founders of country are by far in the majority, but party affiliations and an era of hyper-partisanship have prevented a more organized political response from emerging.

To paraphrase (and adapt) Winston Churchill: We must fight them in public forums. We must fight them in political parties. We must fight them in their manipulated media. We must fight them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  We must fight them until the norms, manners and customs of a lawful democracy achieve complete and total victory over the forces of dissolution.

Our political traditions, manners and laws have been carved out over years of effort across the political spectrum. That work has created a social and political space for different cultures, gender orientation, skin colors, political perspectives, to come together to hammer out long-term stable agreements in our politics — to act as ONE country. This culture has contributed mightily to making our democracy the greatest and most important one in the world. It is urgent to consciously recover — and DEFEND — this space before we lose it for good. 

Republicans in particular will need to check their patriotism: they won all three branches of the government with this strategy of division, and obstruction of effective governing, and casting aspersions on our institutions (and political leaders) across the board. A President as determinedly ignorant as a post, and hell-bent on destroying every vestige of our democratic norms is the result, not the cause, of the Republican tactics for the last two decades. And now, the dangerous caving in to an authoritarian President and his partisan media masters by Republicans who actually know better, is the biggest threat to our system of checks and balances.

Really, Republicans??? Is it worth our the destruction of our country to win these political battles?

But, it must be admitted that the Trump phenomenon was an expression of a cultural zeitgeist that has been trending for some time, possibly from as early as the 60’s.  My third post in this series We Have Met the Enemy… and He Is Us is an attempt to describe this zeitgeist. More important, it tries to identify how we have all in our own ways contributed to the current threat. So while Republicans are the present day carriers of this virus, we all bear responsibility for losing track of what our thirst for heroes, or to be heroes, has done to build an atmosphere disrespect for our institutions, and beliefs that follow wild conspiracy theories down multiple rabbit holes.

We possess weapons for the fight, if we will make it: truth, patriotism and love of country; the fresh energy and engagement of millennials who thirst to make a difference, and have discovered a new proclivity for voting (!); and serious people beginning now to prioritize our country’s democratic traditions ahead of particular political beliefs. We’ll need all of them. Join us. We can talk about policy differences later, OK?

My companion post to this call to arms, It’s War, No Less – Part 2, explores some specific strategies to resist this decline into an authoritarian despot state.  I hope you will read and add your ideas! We need all hands on deck.

 By the way, I have taken to collecting news articles in special curated magazines on the Flipboard program. These are facts and opinions that interest me and which provide some of the statistical rationale for the concerns I write about. In addition to Metadada ‘Pocalypse Review, I have a few more for you to consider linking to. 
OK. It’s the Trump Show is a craven giving in to the daily entertainment spectacle currently running in the United States government. It’s curated news articles about Trump, Trump, Trump. 

Radical Centrism Review is my search to recover an agenda for a dynamic center to our politics
Culture: Wars and Pieces is relating books, movies, music and art to the current state of our social and political structure. 
Let me know what you think!  

  1. You are correct. The problem is that many millenials feel little hope and little connection to our institutions. Multiple polls have shown that they do not expect to surpass their parents and have little desire to work towards a future that does not include them in the benefits so many have moved home because they can’t afford to live elsewhere and have little hope that hard work will change things for the better

    So many are saddled with crushing debt they have no hope of ever repaying. They were sold down the river by those who encouraged piling up that debt acquiring useless degrees with no marketable skills
    Why work harder just to pay for something useless

    Saw another article that showed that company pensions are gone and not coming back. Social security is not capable of supporting anyone so we have the increasing spectacle of people in their 70’s working, not because they want to, but because they could end up losing what little they have if they don’t

    What solution is there? Are there any areas which still have pensions? Ironically it is government service that still offers some hope. Couple government service jobs with reduction in student debt to encourage growth in the public sector
    Add jobs such as the CCC and make them permanent with decent wages and benefits. Lord knows with the West burning every summer there will never be enough firefighters and forest workers
    Give young workers a stake in rebuilding this nations infrastructure. When they build it, they will love it and be willing to fight for it

    The Alt right and the alt left need to be muzzled for the criminals they are. The AntiFa and KKK are brothers in arms. Criminals and should be treated as such. Release the non violent drug convicts and replace them with this ilk

    We need a rationale legal no nonsense immigration policy. Both parties need to stop pandering to the worst but open borders cannot be tolerated

    We need more people like the citizens of Alabama who rejected a craven embarrassment. But nominating the extremes causes this. Both parties are complicit in this

    Turn off the tv. Turn off the radio. Deny the crazies on both sides their ratings and their markets. Ratings do matter. Without an audience sponsors won’t pay

    For people like Newt and Hillary and Al Gore and the Breitbarts of the world all I can say is, shut the fuck up and just go away

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thoughtful and thought-provoking as always, Shal. I’m pretty much in line with everything on this post with a couple exceptions: Hillary as always. But also, I believe millennials are a great hope right now: they see that our current policies are failing and they are engaging more than ever before in elections. Did you see their turnout figures in Alabama? Heartening! They share, in my mind, the advantages of the young: it’s easier for them to see the true and the moral because they are less invested in current history, and more invested in future history. So we just help develop this notion we have been kicking around: a couple years of base-pay universal service to the U.S. as a quid pro quo to unlock government assistance like the GI Bill. Then we turn that over to millennials and voilå HOPE!!!


  2. […] my Fierce Patriotism  post from last week for the introduction this three part blog series. The concluding post in the […]


  3. […] last two posts HERE and HERE, about fighting against the breakdowns in our political dialogue and institutional crises […]


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