sharon worcester county, ma

To all who are poo-pooing the election of Trump, saying give him a chance or it’s not as bad as it seems, I suggest they start following the news. The fear is real. I read of Kellyanne Conway threatening Senator Harry Reid and others who go against The Great And Powerful OZ with libel suits. Will jailing public dissenters be far behind? Will reporters be “disappeared” like in other thug-run nations? The right wing nihilists just elected an admirer of Putin and his tactics to lead the USA! Have we ever had such a dangerous president in the recent history of our country? Such a thin-skinned man-child who can’t control his itchy little twitter finger? MA GOP Gov Charlie Bake is on public record stating his concerns of retribution by the trump administration because Baker and our state refused to back trump in the election. Pundits say don’t worry, he’s constrained by the constitution but who protects us if the constitution is ignored? Who do we turn to? Our conservative courts? Our conservative elected officials? Our neutered Democratic leaders who will have a severely marginalized voice in trumpland? Who will speak for us? How will they hold his feet to the fire when they fear retribution? Would he attempt to silence critics like Sanders? Warren? The free press? Will he go beyond juvenile twitter and exact revenge in more profound ways? Will our voices be silenced under threat of lawsuits or jail? Our right to protest? America is quickly becoming unrecognizable. God help us.

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston

The polls are tightening all right. Like a noose. Half of America is ready to hang itself on the incoherent pipe-dreams of a certified narcissist who has as much in common with ordinary Americans as ordinary citizens have with a naked mole rat.

The suggestion that Trump has “policy ideas” is as absurd as saying Paul Ryan has policy ideas. I can see why Ryan couldn’t distance himself entirely from Trump. They’re kindred spirits, both bent on destroying the nation with fictitious economic policy schemes that do nothing more than protect the rich at the expense of the poor.

(The poor are an enormously valuable resource, like oil shale. Squeeze them hard enough, and a surprising amount of money comes out. Rich people know this instinctively, and they never get tired of watching the poor begging for money that came out of their own pockets. But I digress.)

Voters who are sickened by sleaze are disgusted—disgusted, I tell you!—with Clinton’s e-mail behavior. So they’d rather vote for a scummy, vulgar serial groper who orates with the vocabulary of a first-grader. They appreciate how difficult it is to grope with short fingers, so give the man some credit. You can’t say he doesn’t reach out to women, that’s for sure.

But some think that Trump is the lesser of two…you fill in the blank. Acceptable answers are “statesmen,” “intellects” or “human beings.” The only wrong answer is evils.

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston

We live in a country that would rather let poor people die than give them affordable medical care. We lock up a higher percentage of our citizens than any other nation on earth. We cling to the death penalty, worrying more about where we’ll get the next batch of poison than what it says about our system of justice. We lament our absurd murder rate while we hand out guns like Tic Tacs, yet we’re so afraid of guns that we shoot black people at traffic stops. We let rich people write laws that let them hoard all of the money, while the rest of us go begging. We let sexual abuse slide when it might embarrass politicians, sports stars or religious leaders, and then attack those who point out the abuse. We invent gods so that we can make homophobia holy.

We’re not an I-Thou sort of country. It’s become more of an Us-Them kind of thing. We were doing pretty well over most of the last century, giving unions power over robber barons, paying living wages, making sure old people had money in retirement, feeding the hungry, waking from the nightmare of racial intolerance, recognizing women’s rights, giving them control over their well-being and their bodies, realizing that gay people were people.

Conservatives fought against every one of these things, and the fight has paid off. After a long incubation, they’ve given birth to their philosophy’s apotheosis. Now it’s all about I, and Thou can go to hell.

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By the way, all you Hillaryhaters, if you are an idealist, remember she was as idealistic as you when she started out, only better at it. She is tarnished by having to work in the real world and make compromises with reality. That doesn’t make her evil. She has a hard core of goodness, and if you give her a Democratic Congress, you will be surprised at how good she can be.

The above advice is taken from a comment by a Susan Anderson from Boston to an op-ed by Lindy West, “Donald and Billy on the Bus” in the NYT on October 9, 2016.

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston

My goal, from now until the election, is to wake from this extended nightmare. There is no other explanation for us to be having this conversation, in which a minor shift in style or tone could put Donald Trump in the Oval Office. In my nightmare, tomorrow’s headline will read, “Trump doesn’t call Hillary a fat old lying cow with scrofula, soars in post-debate polls.”

If he doesn’t praise Putin or insult the mother of a dead soldier, will Trump get points? If Hillary grimaces or coughs or wears an unflattering outfit, will pundits declare her the loser? Is the bar really set so low that candidates must dig their way under it?

Conservatives got us here, having so beaten up our honorable two-party system that Donald Trump seems qualified to carry the Republican banner. They feign embarrassment while they watch Trump exemplify the ignorance, the blatant appeal to wealth and the denial of reality that characterized their game plan from the moment Obama took office.

Most people don’t follow politics all that closely. They see a headline, pick up the tone and talk among themselves. Conservatives commandeered the discourse and made income inequality holy, and healthcare for all an abomination. They rendered many of us stupid and susceptible.

So in a way Trump is your baby, Mr. Brooks, a veritable Rosemary’s baby, the evil spawn of ignorance and innocence. We may have to live with him, but you’ll have to change his diapers.

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston

Here’s a path for a Trump victory: large numbers of Deplorables shamble zombie-like to the polls. They’re clearly in need of brains, but somehow they manage to find their way to voting booths and pull the lever for Trump.

The problem is not in our political stars, but in ourselves. If there’s even a possible path to a Trump victory, we’ve already lost. It’s not that Hillary Clinton is the ideal candidate, but she’s a realistic candidate. Her secretive personality is off-putting to some, but it’s not because she isn’t prepared to be president. She’s been preparing for decades. She’s done her homework.

In contrast, Trump never showed up for class. He’s an incurious, intellectually weak, grandiose, self-promoting ignoramus who ironically flaunts his ignorance. Somehow these failings make him rise in the polls.

We’ve been coasting along since the last world war thinking that we were exceptional. We made education affordable for returning GIs, built up the middle class, came to grips with racism, sent rockets to the moon and recognized the rights of women, minorities and gays.

Trump is a rude awakening. He took root in soil fertilized by conservative fear and loathing, and has blossomed into a toxic weed. Even if he loses, his inexplicable popularity will leave us with a sense of foreboding, a realization that we’re only one election away from the abyss. If he wins… Après Trump, le déluge.

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Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO

All correct and absolutely none of these remedies will be implemented until the Democratic party controls both houses of Congress and the White House. In fact just today, Norman Orntsein of the American Enterprise Institute had an editorial published in the Washington Post prescribing these same remedies and chastising the Republicans for their ongoing obstructionism. He wants the Republicans to come around and do their jobs and move the nation forward. He gets it. They don’t.

Ornstien wants the federal government to spend money on many of the things that President Obama wants to do to stimulate the economy which is precisely why the GOP led Congress wont. They wont do anything that Obama wants. Ornstein cites their intentional and orchestrated obstruction as the motivation.

So there you have it from one of their own. Unfortunately, now that he has made his proclamation of common sense that embraces reality, he will be rejected as a traitor. That’s why nothing will get better until the Congress turns blue. You ever read the paper Paul Ryan? Put your Ayn Rand books down for a minute and join us. There is a world out here you might want to discover.

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston

For all the talk of moral journeys and bending arcs, for all the work it took to bring this country to a point where race and gender don’t matter, we’ve got Donald Trump nipping at Hillary’s heels and making a mockery of everything this country stands for.

The poise and intelligence of Barack Obama count for nothing with Republicans, who have demonized and insulted him from the day he was elected. His endorsement of Hillary Clinton means nothing to them. Even a Republican like Paul Ryan who can’t stomach Donald Trump has joined the chorus of Republicans who are demonizing Clinton.

Hillary’s foolish use of a private email server pales in comparison to Trump’s sleazy deceit, profound ignorance, vulgar tone and narcissistic self-aggrandizement. Yet Republicans are suddenly outraged by the fact that Hillary committed no crime. The system is rigged, shouts Trump.

In a way, Trump is right. That anyone with his utter lack of presidential qualities could be so close to achieving the presidency means that something is seriously wrong, either with the rules, the swarming media coverage or the people who think he’s a good idea. Clearly qualifications don’t matter.

The security of our country and our standing in the world are at stake. But even as we speak, the man who would be the first Emperor of America is being fitted for invisible clothes.

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston

Yes, it’s fun to visit the poverty zoo. Some of the little ones are so cute. They scamper around, clearly uncomfortable with the basics of the modern economy, but they delight us in the way they clamber over the obstacles of broken families, poverty, drug abuse and lack of basic needs. Darn if some of them don’t actually manage to eke out a meager existence.

Sometimes, amid the millions who don’t make it, you’ll meet a one or two people in Albuquerque who will make your day. In a grim, soulless world that makes drug addiction commonplace and yet a crime, it’s a treat to see the few who somehow manage to get through the gauntlet.

Fortunately, there are local community volunteers to deal with crushing childhood anxiety, depression and unprocessed grief. Sure, it’s hit or miss, but if not for those volunteers, government would have to step in and provide actual social services and qualified counselors.

It’s good that we look for small moments of connection. The alternative would involve reining in rampant unfettered capitalism, and asking the poor, put-upon 0.1 percent to pony up a few bucks to save children’s lives.

Little girls in Texas with nowhere else to go will sit in a circle and get tongue twisters instead of sex education. With no access to family planning services, they’ll have lots of unwanted babies who will then sit in other circles, and around and around it goes.

Who can say Rubber Republican Baby Buggy Bumpers six times real fast?

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston 1 day ago

Trump isn’t illiterate. He’s anti-literate. He’s the spokesman for the party with nothing to say about the reality of climate change, along with several other topics, such as taxation, international relations, immigration policy, law enforcement and abortion, just for starters.

I’d say he makes it up as he goes along, but you can’t make this stuff up. He has an unreal view of the real world, full of snap judgments and unashamed to wax philosophic on topics he’s clearly never spent a second thinking about.

Most politicians talk about building bridges. They want to connect people together, to achieve accommodation and balance. But Trump’s a fan of building walls to keep out not only rising seas and illegal immigrants but the rest of the real world as well.

Nero merely fiddled while Rome burned, but Trump will lead an orchestra of the ignorant, each harping on some conspiracy theory or denying some reality for personal gain.

Maybe we’ll get lucky, and the rising sea levels will put out the forest fires. With Trump at the helm, that may be the best we can hope for.

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