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.”

Self

“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. 

RICO

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!    

EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW

The FBI recovered some 11,000 documents—United States property—from Donald Trump’s Mir-a-Lago home/hotel.  In Donald J. Trump v. United States of America, the former president petitioned for a Special Master to look into the claim that revealing the content of certain seized document would violate his rights of “executive” and “client privilege.”

Citing “extraordinary circumstances,” federal district judge Aileen M. Cannon ruled that, “Plaintiff’s former position as President of the United States, (puts) the stigma associated with the (FBI’s) subject seizure .  .  .  in a league of its own.  A further indictment  .  .  .  would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude.”

It came as no surprise to sophomore law students when an Eleventh Circuit Court three judge panel slapped down Judge Cannon’s decision.

Still, America’s justice system is heavily weighted to favor some and punish others.  For falsifying results of one urinalysis, a foolish young man served over two years in federal prison.  Given Donald Trump’s bottomless pockets, had a five-hundred-dollar-an-hour lawyers argued that conviction might result in a “stigma” or “reputational harm” to his client, would the judge have ruled differently?

For driving seventy on a fifty-five-mile-an-hour highway, I faced a judge and paid a fine.  If the State Trooper had discovered Donald Trump, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, or Kevin McCarthy behind the wheel, would he have considered “stigma” or “reputational harm” in issuing or not issuing a citation?

Lady Justice is blindfolded and holds a scale.  Shifty lawyers and prejudiced jurists notwithstanding, no one is above the law.  No one!

“EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW” is chiseled over the portico of the Supreme Court building.  It’s the glue that holds America’s democracy together.  Without it come anarchy or dictatorship.     

Donald’s Express

Ex-president Trump’s rants since the FBI’s August 8 search his Lar-a-Lago home/hotel, with the documents recovered, beam a spotlight beneath the reach of Donald’s mental illness.

I’ve written this before, but the potentially devastating impact on America’s Democracy of Donald Trump’s “Malignant Personality Disorder” (NPD) cannot be enough repeated or overstated.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5) defines (NPD) as, “a persistent manner of grandiosity, a continuous desire for admiration, along with a lack of empathy. It starts in early adulthood and occurs in a range of situations, as signified by the existence of any 5 of the next 9 standards,

  • A grandiose logic of self-importance
  • A fixation with fantasies of infinite success, control, brilliance, beauty or idyllic love
  • A credence that he or she is extraordinary and exceptional and can only be understood by, or should connect with, other extraordinary or important people or institutions
  • A desire for unwarranted admiration
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Interpersonal oppressive behavior
  • No form of empathy
  • Resentment of others or a conviction that others are resentful of him or her

Nine for nine folks!  A slam-dunk!

DSM5 does not define “Malignant Narcissism.” Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary describes it as combining characteristics of Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders with aggression and paranoia, making the patient not only delusional but potentially dangerous!

If DSM5 and NPD sound like smart-assed talk of psychiatric wonks, observe and think for yourself.  Remember the railroad crossing warning: stop, look, listen! 

At risk of overtaxing the metaphor, is Donald’s Express blinded by its own luster?  Does it see itself as the locomotive commanding the tracks?  Does it feel admired and entitled?  Does it feel resented and unappreciated?  Does it give a damn who it injures or kills‽

When we observe and think, it’s a no brainer.

Overdue

In a hearing to determine if a special master should review items the DOJ seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home/hotel, over-paid lawyers made the really dumb assertion that the documents in Trump’s possession were analogous to an “overdue-library-book.”

The fact is, foregoing the formality of checking the “book” out, ex-president Trump stole rare and sensitive documents, with no intention of returning them—ever!

Florida’s History Revisited

On “Alex Wagner Tonight,” a Florida teacher voiced concern over the state’s new public school civics curriculum.  It seems Governor DeSantis and cohorts would gloss over the stigma of slavery and impose Christian precepts into what students are taught about the state’s history.

The slavery piece puzzles me.  Do Conservative lawmakers reason that, by somehow sanitizing slavery since the Declaration of Independence and prejudice, bigotry, and lynchings since Emancipation, young Floridians may be made amenable to a conservative political climate which effectively rejects that, “all (people) are created equal?”

Regarding the Christian piece, in an interview with Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers’ Union, The Washington Post’s Lori Rozsa writes, “Union members who attended (training) were being told to present to students ‘only one side of history,’”  “It was basically, this way or no way, like there’s only one side to American history,” Fusco said.  “Then they kind of slipped in a Christian values piece, ignoring the fact that this country is made up of so many different cultures and religions.”

As I understand, the rationale behind DeSantis and colleagues’ interjecting Christian precepts into the public-school curriculum falls back on “Originalism.”  Accord to Wikipedia:
“In the context of United States law, originalism is a concept regarding the interpretation of the Constitution that all statements in the constitution must be interpreted based on the original understanding “at the time it was adopted.”

Apparently, the folks rewriting Florida’s civics curriculum believe, “at the time (the constitution) was adopted“ our Founding Fathers intended that governance of The United States of America reflect Christian precepts.  

Being ignorant regarding “originalism” and the Constitution’s framers’ thinking, I Googled.  A History channel piece, “Freedom of Religion,” explains the Founding Fathers’ reasoning regarding religion in the First Amendment:  

“In 1785, Virginia statesman (and future president) James Madison argued against state support of Christian religious instruction.  Madison would go on to draft the First Amendment, a part of the Bill of Rights that would include constitutional protection for certain individual liberties including freedom of religion  .  .  .  “!  (my emphasis)

Hence: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof  .  .  .”

Apart from flying in the face of the First Amendment, the implications and complications inherent in imposing any religious doctrine into public-school curricula would cross a rabbi’s eyes.  From Huguenots, Puritans, Calvinists, Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, Methodists, Moravians, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Quakers, Mormonism, Agnostics, and Atheists, to Jews, Sikhs, Islamics, Hindus, and Buddhists the dilemma is, whose religion is taught on the taxpayers’ dime?

In a country committed to liberty, equality, and freedom, the First Amendment must never be abrogated for religious preference.  Potential impact of such an abrogation calls to mind the wit and wisdom of Winston Churchill, “History will treat me kindly, for I shall write it.”