I’m puzzled.  For me, puzzlement is nothing new, but this one seems like a no-brainer.  I’m puzzled by the emergence of blatant prejudice in America! 

Socrates’s axiom, “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms,” points to the heart of prejudice: “a preconceived judgement or opinion  .  .  .  an adverse opinion or learning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge  .  .  .  an irrational attitude directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics  .  .  .  to injure or damage by some judgement or action.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) (My emphasis) 

We came by it honestly.  With the potential for injury and death forever lurking outside the cave, our Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon ancestors had reason to ascribe malevolent intentions to anyone who did not appear, speak, or behave as they did.  With the evolution of rational thought, the fallacy of prejudging others from insufficient evidence became obvious.  Despite their appearance, strangers are not necessarily a threat to my health and life. 

Donald J. Trump gave voice and permission for a subset of Americans blatantly to express xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and otherwise pre-judge others.  At a campaign rally, Trump mocked a physically handicapped reporter.  Asked to disavow racist Proud Boys, Donald replied, “stand back and stand by.”  Charlottesville “Unite the Right” white supremacist and neo-Nazi chanted, “Jews will not replace us.”  Trump called them, “very fine people.”  Acting from pure prejudice, he banned Muslims from America and labeled Haiti and Africa “shithole” countries.  Calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” Donald insulted both a United States Senator and native Americans.  He slandered George Bush’s secretary of labor and his own secretary of transportation Elaine Chao as “Coco Chow.”  President Donald J. Trump’s Malignant Narcissistic prejudice culminated, on January 6, 2021, in an armed attempt to seize control of our government. 

Nearer the grassroots, Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gatez, Kanye West, and Nick Fuentes take pride in bigoted rants. Iterations of Trump-inspired Proud Boys include the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and others.  

Prejudice was always there.  Like the cork on a champagne bottle, reason and decency held it in.  Donald J. Trump popped the cork.    

Unfair? Political?

Learning that Attorney General Merrick Garland named Jack Smith Special Counsel to investigate: (1) the January 6, 2021, attack on our Capitol, Congress, and Constitution, and (2) Donald Trump’s taking government documents, to his Mar-a-Lago residence, Donald whined, “It is so unfair.  It is so political.”

Unfair?  Political?  Hummmm?  Let’s see.

The facts: In an aborted attempt to block certification of Joe Biden’s election as President of the United States, TV viewers saw Donald Trump order an armed assault on America’s Capitol, Congress, and Constitution.  A Department of Justice search found that, flaunting the Presidential Records Act, Trump ordering vanloads of official government documents, many “classified,” taken to his Florida residence. 

When someone attempts to hijack America’s democracy, and steals documents belonging to the people of the United States of America, rational citizens demand an investigation.  Donald J. Trump is irrational. 

The game is “Politics.”  Like so much of human life, Politics is unfair! Political discourse is rife with half-truths, lies, slander, ignorance, and meanness.  But, apart from Donald Trump, I am unaware of anyone labeling aspersions leveled against them “unfair.” 

People least sensitive to others’ feelings are the most thin-skinned.  Deeply offended by any hint of criticism, they view criticism as meanspirited, “unfair.”

Former President Trump might do himself a favor by considering the council of a Democrat.  Regarding the rough-and-tumble of Politics, President Harry Truman advised, “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

It Worked!

Our 2022 midterm election tested and proved the mettle of America’s experiment in democracy.  Undaunted by groundless claims that the 2020 election was “rigged, on November 8, 2022, Americans voted, certain that every ballot would be fairly and accurately counted. 

Historically, in “off-year” elections the party “in power” loses Senate and House seats.  This year’s anticipated Republican “Red Wave” has been labeled a “ripple.”  Why?

Academic and wonks have erudite answers.  This armchair pundit’s belief is, the “Red Wave” barely stirred the beach sand because America’s democracy works!

With nearly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats in Congress, Americans fret that nothing “gets done.”  In fact, two-party cooperation and compromise keep the wheels of government turning, cranking out new laws and regulations.  Some would argue that too many laws and regulations are the problem!

American’s close to 50/50 Democrat/Republican split, in Congress and at the grassroots, is a good thing.  Democracy depends on liberals and conservatives.  To feed the workers and disadvantaged, Democrats would mortgage the farm.  Republicans would deed it to the bankers.

A wave’s height is determined by the energy of currents and winds.  The obvious takeaway from failure of the 2020 Red Wave is, Donald Trump’s endorsing folks who Mitch McConnell and other Republicans described as poor “quality candidates”—like carpetbagger Mehmet Oz and Mental Superstar Hershel Walker—sapped its energy before the Wave reached the beach.

If the Grand Old Party does not regain its sanity and relegate Donald Trump to history’s backwater, its energy will be wasted in humoring a dangerous deranged mind.

About Love

Why do some people deliberately hurt others?  Why did the late Rush Limbaugh, why do Steve Bannon, Marjory Taylor Greene, Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, and Donald Trump appear to take sadistic satisfaction in insulting and demeaning others?

Frightened, offended, in the heat of the moment, we say things that hurt other people.  Most of us regret these lapses, apologize, as best we can, make amends.  Regret, apology, making amends, are as foreign to the minds of Mean People as the dark side of the Moon. 

Since each of us is a collage of genes and environment, it is impossible to appreciate what makes other people “tick.”  This is true for Limbaugh, Bannon, Greene, Jones, Carlson, and Trump.  However, what we know of Donald’s formative years appears to expose some roots of his Meanness.  

In Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Made the World’s Most Dangerous Man niece Mary Trump affords first person details of the former president’s childhood.  When Donald was age two, a near-fatal illness left mother, Mary Anne, emotionally unavailable.  A famously successful New York real estate developer, father Frederick, was away from home six days a week.  By embracing Fred’s wealth and power, Donald bonded with Dad.

As a child, Donald J. Trump never experienced love!  As a man, Donald’s life is a plea for love!

Lacking any notion of how to give or receive love, this plea conflates symbols and trapping, i.e., fame and wealth, with love.  More blatant of these include three gorgeous wives, Czech media personality, socialite, author, and model, Maria Ivana; actress, television personality, and model Marla Ann Maples; Slovenian Model Melania Knauss; Trump Tower, other Manhattan real estate, Mar-a-Lago, and numerous private golf resorts.  

In addition, sensing its lack from outside, Donald morphed love into self-love, Narcissism.  More florid examples: A Savior descending the golden staircase.  Like a cardboard cutout for a Christian bookstore, posing in front of a church holding up a Bible.  I am: the “second coming of God,” “King of Israel,” “a stable genius.”  At MAGA rallies, adoring his image on the Jumbotron.  

In a rare honest moment, learning he is less popular among urban women Donald’s pleaded, “Please like me.”

On January 6, 2021, Donald’s warped yearning for love culminated in orchestrating and ordering an armed assault on our Capitol, our Congress, and our Constitution.  Who besides Donald saw rioters “hugging and kissing” police officers?  The President was clearly delusional.  Only after observing the pitched battle for more than three hours, President Trump called off his forces with, “We love you, you’re very special.”

Ironically, it is impossible to overstate the terrible consequences Donald J. Trump’s yearning for love has had, and continues to have, on our American democracy.

MAGA Creed

“The way I see it, if we don’t all march in step, if we don’t do as we’re told, if we don’t follow our leaders blindly, there’s no hope of saving our freedom.”

Kudos to the genius who put this wisdom into M*A*S*H’s Major Frank Burns’s dialog.  

Two Nightmares

My sister Judy was four-and-a-half when Daddy died.  Since her funeral, age eighty-two, it occurs to me, “The death of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare,” has a corollary: “The death of a parent is a child’s worst nightmare.”


“Don’t take your own dear self too seriously.”
   Aphorism from Dr. Abraham Low’s “Recovery International.”

“Blame it on one culprit: self-cherishing.”
    From Point Three, The Seven Points of Mind Training.

“Maybe you’re playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience.”
   East of Eden (p. 295)
   John Steinbeck

“I’m the whole catastrophe.”  (As memory serves.)
   Zorba the Greek
   Nikos Kazantzakis

Juleus, Donald, Samwise

January 10, 49 BC, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River and mounted an armed insurrection against the Roman Republic.  Winning the civil war, Caesar declared himself “emperor for life.”  After five centuries of being governed by political representation, Rome became ruled by an Emperor.

January 6, 2021, President Donald J. Trump addressed MAGA Minions and mounted an armed insurrection against America’s Capitol, Congress, and Constitution.  Winning his civil war, Donald intended to declare himself President, probably for life.  Fortunately, sanity and Democracy carried the day!

Again, I take heart in Samwise Gamgee’s wisdom.
“By rights we shouldn’t even be here.  But we are.  It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.  The ones that really mattered.  Full of darkness and danger they were.  And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.  Because how could the end be happy?  How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad has happened?  But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow.  Even darkness must pass.”

Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
J.R.R. Tolkien

The Cancer

Donald J. Trump is a cancer on the Republican party.  Allowed to metastasize he will kill America’s democracy.

Cancer is a parasite.  The body is its host.  Failing to identify a malignant tumor as “not-self,” the body supplies oxygen and nutrients for its growth. 

Donald J. Trump is a parasite.  Fearful, opportunist, politicians and MAGA minions are his host.  Failing to identify the Malignant Narcissist—whose sole focus is “itself”—as “not-self,” they applaud his egotistical rants and donate millions, suppling oxygen and nutrition for its growth. 


On Alex Wagner Tonight, former assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Walden employed in a graphic “wheel” summarizing potential “Racketeer and Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” (RICO) crimes related to the January 6 insurrection against the United States Capitol, Congress, and Constitution.

Titled “TRUMP OBSTRUCTIONS – RICO CONSPIRACY,” Donald Trump and ten alleged co-conspirators form the wheel’s hub.  Its spokes: “insurrections, witness tampering, fundraising fraud (2), felony murder, fake electors, money laundering, obstruction of congress, voting systems illegal access, murder conspiracy,” crimes for which the former president and cohort could be indicted.

Walden emphasizes that Attorney General Merrick Garland gets one shot here.  The Justice Department’s go-slow process in crafting an air-tight, bulletproof indictment is crucial! 

The crazy-making part: Anyone else suspected of Trump et al.’s RICO crimes, in addition to hauling truckloads of official government documents to his home/hotel, would have long since been cuffed and charged. 

Lady Justice is blindfolded!  No one is above the law!