Disheartened by ‘Pragmatic’ Democrats

This message goes out to all those “pragmatic” Democrats who are selling the rest of us out to Wall Street interests. You know who you are — Clinton, Schumer, Pelosi (who says we’re not ready for single payer). I want to tell you that I am tired of you all.

I am tired of Democratic leaders treating me like I’m an ATM machine. Whether it’s the fundraising call where they could care less what I have to say or the mailer begging for the money that they’re only going to put towards supporting the watered down corporatist ideological weaklings they like.

I’m tired of hearing from these politicians only when they’re up for re-election, yet again trying to re-package their focus-tested Democratic Socialism-sounding rhetoric, which later bait-and-switches into Democratic Corporatism, because it’s the pragmatic thing to do in order to win elections.

I’m tired of being treated like I am some gullible chump in flyover country.

I’m tired of Democrats who think that just being being anti-Trump is enough to get them back into power.

Where are the truly authentic progressive Democrats within the party? Bernie and Elizabeth can’t be the only ones. 

I won’t pay attention to any Better Deal or some other “fortified with populist speak” propaganda from anyone who call themselves a Democrat until they start including in their long-term strategy fixing of the Electoral College and overturning Citizen’s United. Focusing on only winning the next election with whatever fool’s gold crap they think I’ll accept just ain’t gonna cut for me anymore.

It’s time to let the progressives be in charge for a change. The sellouts have had their many bites at the apple. Look where it’s gotten us.

Bob Smet, Springfield, Ill.

Republicans in Congress More Dangerous Than ISIS

Donald Trump and most of our Republicans in Congress are once again attempting to LITERALLY KILL hundreds of thousands of innocent American men, women, children, fetuses by denying them affordable healthcare (in order to please their corporate sponsors). So this issue DOES fit within the prerogatives of the Homeland Security Committee, because those Republicans are attempting to literally kill at least a hundred times as many Americans as ISIS could reasonably hope to kill!

When it comes to killing Americans, those AMERICAN politicians are at least a hundred times MORE DEADLY A THREAT than ISIS!

Christopher C. Currie, Pascoag, R.I.

Trump and Sessions vs. DACA

We can understand why President Trump “shattered” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)’s dream — he is, after all, obsessed with the idea to “undo” all that President Obama did with his executive orders (even some of them were beneficial for our nation). What we fail to understand is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ stance on the matter. In his 13-minute press conference, when he laid out the presidential order, he was very business-like and he devoted much of his time talking about “law and order” and how DACA candidates (less than 0.3% of US population) are stealing our jobs. There was no sympathy for the 800,000 DACA and he should have talked about the grief and sorrow that is bound to follow.

Katrina vanden Heuvel writes in her column (9/15/17 TPP) that Mr. Sessions is incapable of showing any regrets and Heather Heyer’s death will not be provided justice (as a senator Mr. Sessions never supported immigration). President Trump and the A.G. Sessions have given Congress 180 days to draw up a new immigration bill, a job that Congress failed to do in 5,840 days. The Congress is urged by the entire nation — please do the job!

G.M. Chandu, Flushing, N.Y.

Looking for Leadership

 As much as I respect and admire Margot Ford McMillen [“Look Among Ourselves for Leadership,” 9/15/17 TPP], I disagree with her observation about “our racist instincts,” which have been proven not to exist.

Humans, like other creatures, have survival and other instincts — but not a racist one. Racism is learned in our social environment. It’s a destructive human condition. 

A heterosexual who hates gays, for example, could never blame an instinct for his hatred. His hatred stems only from a wrong way of thinking.

Factual stories have emerged from the Congo, South Africa, and our own South, where black and white children played together as equals ... until the white children were told that whites are superior and must be dominant.

Bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia and misogyny are social evils, which we can gradually overcome, as Ms. McMillen suggests, by making friends with those who are different from us. There is no virtue in accepting only those who look and think like us.

David Quintero, Monrovia, Calif.

Hate Speech Crosses the Line

While we’d like to believe that all voices should be heard in a liberal democracy, it should be recognized that hate speech transgresses the acceptable norms of free speech and inquiry — specially speech from domestic terrorists, such as the KKK and Nazis, who admire, condone and would replicate their forebears’ actions of lynching, social repression, even the “final solution” that exterminated over six million Jews and millions more homosexuals, Roma, communists and other political opponents.

We saw in Charlottesville, Va., that hate speech, if given free rein, is a short step away from hateful activity. And that’s intolerable.

Robert McAllister, Lantana, Fla.

Disarm Police to Save Democracy

The Posse Comitatus Act, stating that: “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both,” was made law for the simple reason that we didn’t want a coup perpetrated on our democracy.

Why are we arming our police forces like an army — except to overthrow the government in this manner, or to overthrow a revolution?

Thomas Picketty, in Capital in the 21st Century, stated that our country suffers such inequality that much more and “there would be revolution.”

The Trump election has shown us the losers in the inequality race are mad and looking for recourse.

The ultra-rich have begun establishing sanctuaries—fortified bunkers—that suggests they fear something is coming.

Hate groups have come ascendant in Trump land and militias are freely brandishing their weapons.

The Christian Right—Evangelicals—are bracing for a time of unrest when they can swoop into control as a “Christian nation.”

The armed police will be enlisted by the rich to protect them, their control over our government is transparent—they are always “above the law” whenever they are charged.

Arming the police is a real risk for our country—they need to be disarmed.

Lee Knohl, Evanston Ill.

Why Trump Hurried Arpaio’s Pardon

Having been convicted of criminal contempt of federal court orders, Joe Arpaio was free on bond and awaiting sentencing (maximum six months in jail), when he was pardoned. It is reasonable to expect that after sentencing he would have remained free on bond while an appeal was taken to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the conservative majority-dominated Supreme Court. The district court process of sentencing and subsequent appeals would take two to three years, with the very real possibility that no pardon would be needed.

Why, in the wake of the tremendous criticism Trump encountered for his comments about the Charlottesville racially motivated riots, would he, the very next week, pardon Arpaio, who has been convicted of racist policies toward Latinos? Was it to throw red meat to his base? Trump could have said that, if needed, after the appeal process had run its course, he would seriously consider a pardon. Was it loyalty to a campaign supporter? Trump has not shown much concern for those who demonstrated far more loyalty over longer time frames, e.g. Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon. So the question remains: Why, at this point in time, incur a firestorm of criticism for pardoning a racial profiling former county sheriff whose jail time is year’s away, if ever?

The answer lies in the contemporaneous special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s Grand Jury evidence gathering aimed at Paul Manifort and Flynn. Mueller is following a course that could turn these two former Trump supporters, and others, into witnesses against Trump family members, and even Trump. That clear and present danger necessitated a now pardon of Arpaio. Manifort and Flynn are under threat of indictment for false FBI statements, shady foreign business transactions and untimely disclosed foreign entity lobbying. They have already, or soon will enter, the “lets make a deal” stage where smaller fish provide evidence to catch bigger fish and obtain promises of lesser punishment in return. To avoid that happening Trump has sent a public message to assure Manifort, et. al., that he stands ready to negate Russian collusion related criminal prosecutions of loyal followers who do not talk, via the use of his pardoning powers. What more efficient message could Trump send to those who have the potential to “rat him out” than to pardon good old boy, Joe Arpaio, now?

Jerome S. Kalur, Bozeman, Mont.

Suggestions for the President

After listening to Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury” and “Locked and Loaded” reply to North Korea’s nuclear threats, I have some suggestions for Mr. Trump.

1) Immediately issue an Executive Order drafting Donald Jr., Eric, Jared and Ivanka into military service so that they can experience firsthand what their “chicken hawk” president, father and father in law didn’t have the courage to do when it was his turn to serve his country.

2) Immediately form a coalition of our allies to confront the threat. Trump, however, would be required to stay at home behind a curtain and given the code name “Wizard of Oz,” so that he could continue his blustery but inane leadership role.

3) Immediately arrange a WWE cage match between Trump and Kim Jong Un. The loser would have to give up their nuclear weapons and sport the winner’s hairdo for the next five years, or risk nuclear war, whichever comes first.

4) Immediately initiate “Operation Bone Spur” to seriously investigate Trump’s current physical condition. After all, he was once considered unfit for military service, so let’s make sure he’s now 1-A and really wasn’t a cunning draft dodger with money and connections. Back in the days when he wasn’t so “gung ho” about the military because his own life was on the line, yet is now willing to put people in life and death situations he was once afraid to face.

Mike Eklund, Mercer, Wis.

From The Progressive Populist, October 15, 2017


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