Birds of a Feather

Only Bernie Sanders can win Trump supporters

Until yesterday, I believed there was zero chance that Donald Trump would be re-elected. Today, I’m not so sure. That’s because none of the serious mischief that’s going on in the White House today matters with his street level support. None of it. As in, it’s all irrelevant, and it does zero good to argue with them using facts alone. This is the same attitude that existed during the 2016 campaign and fills arenas wherever Trump is speaking. It’s also what the professional observers (the press) continue to miss today.

I had what can best be described as a moment of clarity yesterday while arguing with my focus group of two neighbors (Don’t go there. I don’t need more in order to listen.). Their demographics don’t matter. It’s their psychographics that set them apart, and I don’t think the press really understands this. So, it’s not what Trump is or isn’t “doing;” it’s what he represents as the leader of this group. That’s the key to understanding.

These are Americans in the truest sense. Many are ex-military. They understand and accept duty and pecking order. They call “bullshit” on anybody in Washington who claims to have their backs. They’re seriously mad as hell and demand change. They KNOW what they’ll get from the status quo, and they see in Trump a man who at least tries to be a political outsider.

“He’s smart. He’s not going to do things the old way. No matter how painful, we need somebody like him in office.”

“I’m tired of the United States paying for everything throughout the world. We can’t keep doing that, and I don’t care what other countries think of us. We’ve GOT to take care of ourselves first. Let other countries send their people to these wars everywhere.”

“He’s not a politician. He’s a businessman, and he’s running things like a smart businessman would.”

But the real giveaway is when we discuss Democratic candidates. The only one they’ll seriously consider is Bernie Sanders. What this says very clearly to me is that what these people want is change, and that’s the message that everybody seems to be missing. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders couldn’t be further apart in terms of policy, character, or platform, but they are joined at the hip in criticizing the status quo.

Anger drives supporters of both. Everything is not just fine.

My discontent with Christianity in the 21st Century

History will record photos like this one as marking a dark time in the West

One of the very real downsides of growing older is that I’m often tired, and this puts a strain on everything in my life. It’s not so much a physical exhaustion as it is a mental one, and for someone who’s always thinking, it can be taxing. I grow weary of taking the time to explain every nuance of the things I believe, and this is also reflected in a growing agitation towards people. It’s “get off my lawn” amplified, for which a nap is a quick, if temporary, solution. And, a nap, it can be said, is a waste of that most precious of commodities, time.

It’s enough to make a grown man go berserk.

The discomfort for me is very real. I’ve studied and meditated on a few core principles about life, and the entirety of my thinking is connected, which produces sweeping proposals for the culture. Going back and reproducing this in order to justify a single conclusion is impossibly complex and weighty. I’ve been studying for decades as a professional observer. Therefore, what may seem a matter of illogic to the reader is, in fact, quite the opposite, for I’ve learned to always cross my Ts and dot my Is.

Therefore, I give up. No more attempting to persuade people, because people don’t want to be persuaded. At least not by me. I’ve decided that it’s time for me to stop trying to explain everything and simply call ugliness, well, ugliness.

Christians who voted for Donald Trump, because they thought he was anointed by God for the task have created a real mess for our culture, because the beliefs they’ve been fed are absurdly false. The only cultural mandate from the mouth of Christ is that we love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. Anything beyond that makes the foolish assumption that artificially righteous behavior is more important than something so mushy as love God, love your neighbor. To these false Christians, sinning today is a potential block to their “real” reward, an afterlife in Heaven, not Hell (wait, am I supposed to capitalize that?). Make no mistake. The issues important to this group are those already defeated by the culture but not in the minds of these zealots. Those issues appear to be righteous causes, but the reality is they’re all wrapped around the need for evangelical leaders to have power. That’s idolatry. Demonizing those deemed different in any way is a key element of their success, and they breed fear amongst their followers in so doing.

We’ve switched from being salt and light to becoming the chef Himself.

I have no reason to think that the current culture war will not eventually be won by the liberals, for that has been our pattern historically. Conservatives begin the fights over what they view as a loss of cultural control, but they offer only tradition and myth as solutions. As long as everybody goes along, things are fine, but it’s those who wish to somehow correct the deeds of history that move the culture forward. All one needs to do is read Stephen Prothero, whose book “Why Liberals Win The Culture Wards (Even When They Lose Elections),” is a historical guide to the ongoing battles between liberals and conservatives over the direction of our society.

“Conservatives initiate a war by rallying an anxious electorate to a “cause.” Capitalizing on fear and frustration, conservatives often win the elections but, surprisingly, almost always lose the culture wars. Why? Because they choose causes that are already lost.”

They are too stupid (ignorance is fixable; stupid is forever) to accurately gauge the prevailing logic used by conservatives. That logic is bogus. For example, nobody is “for” abortion. Nobody is “for” unsafe neighborhoods. Nobody is “for” unchecked influxes of people who don’t look like them (unless it’s to do jobs the conservatives won’t). Nobody is “for” massive taxes, although most believe the rich should pay their fair share. They don’t in a conservative world view, for giving them tax breaks allegedly increases the chances they’ll create new jobs. And, of course, nobody’s “for” blocking prayers in schools; we just don’t want them to be from the marketing experts with right-wing Christian groups and organizations whose motives cannot be trusted. Such is it with those who preach that the only thing that matters about life is that you’ve reserved a place for yourself in Heaven when life has ended (through them, of course).

To these people, it all makes perfect sense. They cast their votes with the rich and powerful and against the very same poor their faith instructs them to uplift. I don’t care how many babies one is trying to protect, how much one insists that the old days were better than today, how many times one expresses their fear of foreigners, or how much one wiggles their finger at what they perceive as sexual sin, it doesn’t change the reality that these all form the self-centered core of unbridled bullshit.

I mean, really. How do normally intelligent people not see what’s really taking place? The President’s corporate welfare package disguised as a tax cut benefitted only the silk stockings, and what have we to do with them? The $1.9 trillion gift to the rich turned into, amazingly, a $1.9 trillion U.S. debt, for which we are all responsible. And yet, this deceived mass smiles an accomplishment smile in the name of saving babies, prayer in school, the Ten Commandments (including number 8), the license to continue their political action with their 501©3’s, and, of course, unconditional support for Israel despite all the evidence of human rights violations in the name of Zionism.

I’m tired of criticism that’s not based in reality, even when it comes from really good and well-intentioned people. The prevailing logic — the grand narrative — of the Christian community is denied, despite rock solid evidence to the contrary. When arguments that are nothing more than propaganda are presented in defense, these people hunker down, because they’re told that doing anything else is contrary to God. Like Thomas Paine said, “It’s like administering medicine to the dead.” This is the paradox of the Christian Right, that those who defend the actions of the president are the most likely to deny the actual words of Jesus found in the New Testament.

Here’s Prothero again discussing the culture war between Protestants and Catholics two centuries ago that turned violent.

During the Protestant Reformation, Protestants had distinguished themselves from Catholics by their mantra of sola scriptura. Whereas Catholics claimed that Christian authority resided in both scripture and tradition, Protestants insisted on the authority of the “Bible alone.” Given this legacy, it should not be surprising that virtually every American public school in the early nineteenth century taught the Bible not as literature but as truth, and not only as truth but as “the fountainhead of morality and all good government.” One of the core objectives of public schooling was to create moral citizens. But the only way to instill morality was through religion, the only true religion was Protestantism, the only sure foundation for Protestantism was the Bible, and the only real Bible was the Protestants’ King James Version.

Sound familiar? It should, because we’re still dealing with it today, the difference being that the propagandists have their own distribution platforms for public information now, so the dung heap being stirred is a very old and smelly one, because it’s been dead for two hundred years. People, for the most part, are completely unaware of this period in American history, so they feel a sense of pioneering in trying to right their perceived wrongs. It’s not pioneering; it’s good old-fashioned American bigotry rearing its ugly head, and if allowed to continue, it’ll result in the same kind of bloodshed we had (in the name of God) two centuries ago. Philadelphia — ironically the City of Brotherly Love — was the epicenter of discontent. Hundreds were killed, and the Catholic Church had to temporarily shut down to avoid even more gunfire and death.

As Murrow so eloquently stated, “We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape responsibility for the result.”

Welcome to the fruit of our denial.

Milton’s Searing Exclamation

Let’s go back to 1643 to gain a lesson for today. It was a time of great change in Western culture, especially for Christianity. The printing press had challenged the absolute authority of Rome, and Luther’s reformation was over 100 years old already. It was a volatile time of change for the faithful.

Enter John Milton, whose “Paradise Lost” vaulted him to prominence in England. When he published his tracts on divorce, advocating for a form of no-fault divorce, he was shunned and publicly rejected by the English Presbyterians. In response, Milton penned his Sonnet 12, which contains one of his most famous quotes.

Eshita Dey posted an analysis of Sonnet 12 for Beaming Notes:

The poem has specific audience as its readers and is especially targeted against the Presbyterians for redefining the rules of liberty. The poet initiates in a tone of disgust that all he did was to try to educate the people to quit the ancient norms of the society and form new laws to redefine the constitution. But no sooner does he try to help them, that the greater voice of nobles and so-called learned aristocrats, start hounding him to call out his opinions publicly and ridicule him in front of everyone.

Milton knew, as did others, that liberty only truly exists for those who are wise and good, for it serves as a form of governor for the otherwise selfish behavior of humans. Think about it. The U.S. is a society of oaths and promises, which are of no use, unless all its citizens participate willingly. Liberty provides a check against totalitarianism, because it produces a culture of willingness against which there can be no absolute authority other than God.

I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
BY JOHN MILTON

I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transform’d to frogs
Rail’d at Latona’s twin-born progeny
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when truth would set them free.
Licence they mean when they cry liberty;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good.

But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth and loss of blood.

This Sonnet today speaks volumes about the core motivations of the right wing of American politics. The silk stockings came to this land for profit as much as any other motivation, for the land was rich with resources and filled with people considered savage, ignorant, and easily manipulated by the wiles and weapons of these businessmen. Voyages to the new world were funded by governments and business people on behalf of business communities in Europe. From a religious perspective, Luther’s justification by faith alone launched the Reformation and Protestantism, but such a belief puts tremendous pressure on how we treat others, because it has to be voluntary. Faith and God’s forgiveness worked hand-in-hand to permit such believing profiteers to get away with just about anything in the way of behavior towards others. All, of course, in the name of God and King.

After all, if you make a mistake, God is always there to forgive, right? This was the “license” that enabled them to build and create wealth without a strong internal governor.

Think about it. If humankind’s right standing with the Creator God is based only on faith, then behavior takes a back seat to belief. Allegedly, such faith was expected to produce good behavior, but that runs into that nasty little show stopper called human nature. Hence, Luther viewed the book of James as “the Epistle of Straw,” because the Apostle James had the temerity to state that “Faith without works is dead.” In other words, behavior DOES matter in terms of following God’s commands, and this seems to have escaped the status quo.

So, armed with the tools of faith and forgiveness, these silk stockings bulldozed their way through the land and the native populations to do whatever they wished. Guns and a vision of profit followed them. Milton saw this kind of thinking clearly and, with this Sonnet, drove home the point that what these people called liberty was actually license, because those who shouted loudest were in it only for themselves. He calls them owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs. I couldn’t agree with him more.

This is why the Starz dramatic television series “Black Sails” so perfectly described our modern day dilemmas through the story of pirates against the government, those ground-level problems brought about by the silk stockings and their ilk. The pirates fought against the British and their attempts to “civilize” the new world, because such “civilization” meant embracing the caste systems of England (and Spain). The pirates felt this was the opposite of freedom, for the governments had little regard for the poor, those who didn’t fit into the ideals of the British “civilization.”

According to Vocabulary.com, a “caste system” is a class structure that is determined by birth. “Loosely, it means that in some societies, if your parents are poor, you’re going to be poor, too. Same goes for being rich.”

Of course, the élite here will say there is no caste system in America and that liberty prevents it. That might be true in a test tube, but it doesn’t work in practice, because human nature gets in the way. And, without a reason to behave differently, it will always be this way. You will grow up and live the life decided by your birth, because the American Dream is today a fraud. One cannot easily “rise above” her roots, because an essential role for those who have risen above their roots is to help prevent others from doing as well. Once you’ve gotten yours, your job shifts to one of defending your place, and that turns an awkward page in the lives of newly-minted success stories.

Therefore, the difference between license and liberty is a big deal, and especially as we examine current events, for human nature hasn’t changed since the beginning, and that, folks, is our real enemy.

The Silk Stockings and Their Businesses

If you’ll look beneath the surface, you’ll find that the entirety of Donald Trump’s policies and positions deal with the ownership and management of business and industry. Even social issues that appear to be otherwise actually cloak a pro-business narrative. His dream Supreme Court is nine individuals who ALWAYS advocate on behalf of the business community. Climate change is about the fossil fuel industry. Racism is about businesses being forced to comply and how to avoid some of the responsibilities of wealth. The border is about business people supporting them with jobs legally. Business would love more of these people in the country, because they’re cheap labor. However, they would need to be here legally.

The grand narrative of this group is that the people who own and operate businesses drive the freedom to create wealth, which is the top rung on society’s ladder. Not only do these people create jobs, they also fund the community chest, which is all they deem necessary to “help” the poor and afflicted among us. Reagan called this “trickle down economics,” a reference to how essential it is to prop these people up by making it ever so much easier for others to prosper. In this sense…

  • Anything that manipulates the hiring and firing of employees from the outside — like government rules and regulations — is considered a blockage to profit. This includes the racist idea that non-whites make lousy employees. Affirmative action is decidedly anti-business.
  • Anything that was brought into being by representatives of those employees — a.k.a. organized labor — is an affront to the freedom to profit. This includes the 40-hour work week, minimum wages, and employee benefits.
  • Any and all regulations that interfere with the businessman’s right to profit are evil at core and therefore suitable for discarding. This includes, but is not limited to, global warming, clean air and water, the dumping of waste, working conditions, and many more.

What’s different about Trump in these matters is that he makes no attempt to hide his belief that he is the undisputed ruler of the business community. By aligning his policies with business, foreign policy becomes the central driver of America “ruling” the international business world. Spy activity envelopes foreign business on anything that might challenge America’s business “right” to rule everybody. A war with Iran is a business war, an attempt to better boost the Middle East on behalf of American business interests. Trump uses the language of war for everything from the United Nations to NATO. “America First” means American business interests first.

Remember that Trump simply gave these people $2 trillion in tax cuts and certain Republican Senators now want to give them more. Where did Trump get that money? He borrowed it, and WE are now the dumb debtors.

Small business owners are highly susceptible to these kinds of “support,” which is understandable. But what about the everyday people. Why do they support management? The reasons are many, including management’s support for the proLife community and, by association, evangelical Christianity, but even that is insufficient to get these people on board. There’s a strong sense of “they have to be right, because look at them” and “if I support them, they’ll support me.”

Nope. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

In the South, the textile industry was the first to abandon the U.S. for cheaper foreign labor. The rural people who worked for generations as a part of the industry (because they were close to the cotton the industry needed) heard over and over again about how THEY were responsible, because they assumed they could “run” the businesses as employees, including the high cost of paying American employees. These people feel now that perhaps “they” shouldn’t have chased the industry away by demanding fair wages. Guilt is a powerful motivator, especially when your family is starving.

The GOP has long been the party of the haves, and I helped change that through The 700 Club. By painting the impression that the prosperity gospel was the key to wealth — not time and chance — we moved a great many people to the Republican Party, where evangelicals and party operatives mixed and found common ground to pursue, especially as regards abortion, religious liberty, and promiscuity. These Christians were more than happy to let the Grand Old Party have whatever they wanted on behalf of business in trade for their support for causes that evangelical charlatans could exploit to build their ministries, their churches, and especially, their pocketbooks.

I honestly don’t see this ending unless their opponents are able to paint a more accurate picture of how evangelicals are pawns in their mission, players who sacrifice their own well-being in the name of belonging to “God changing the culture” through their alliance with the GOP. It’s a powerful driver of policies designed to benefit ONLY the wealthy and their wannabes. At the core of evangelicalism is the self-centered desire to save one’s ass from an eternity in hell, and few escape its ability to manipulate politically.

After all, once you’ve identified those selfish at core, it’s easy to lead them to selfish interests across-the-board, and that, my friends, is the very center of Republican Party dreams. Teach them that culture is about them, and that God wants them to prosper, because they’re “His kids,” and you will have them for life.

The creators of jobs don’t really care about the jobs; they care about power, and they’re always lusting for more.

Cue the shouts of anti-semitism

President Donald J. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands following remarks at the Israeli Museum, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Jerusalem. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

I shudder and cringe when I hear the President use the United States and Israel in the same thought. Donald Trump covets the freedom that Bibi Netanyahu has to force, dominate, intimidate, and manipulate his neighbors who are purported to be “enemies,” existential even. It’s a leadership position featuring a hand out to the world for support but a stiff-necked and forceful refusal to look inside its own heart. But, heart isn’t a big feature of Zionism; it’s more the proclamation of “never again,” and the military power to back it up.

The white evangelical Christians who support President Trump feel a powerful kinship with Israel that borders on obsession. They are taught that unilateral support for Israel is close to the heart of God. How did we ever get to this point? They also believe there are Godly punishments for failure to support Zionist Israel. There’s also the not-so-small matter of belief in the bodily return to earth of Jesus Christ, and that it will occur in Jerusalem, the newly-minted home of the U.S. Embassy and one day the official capital of Israel.

Zionist eyes are clearly fixed on Jerusalem, and all the territory around the city, for their real target is the alAsqa Mosque, an Arab site for worship and one of the holiest places in the religions of Abraham. Right wing Jews want to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, which would mean destruction of the Mosque. This will happen. And, it will mean World War III, which will likely be nuclear. Think I’m hyping this? Please. Open your eyes.

The prize of colonialism is the resources, people, and especially the business and industry of the land being colonized. In this way, business moguls run the government, and this is especially true when the GOP is in charge. False arguments about abortion in this country disguise the reality that Supreme Court Justices aren’t nominated for their views on abortion but rather their friendliness to the business community. Why do you think Trump gave his fabulously wealthy business friends a $2 trillion welfare package described as a “tax cut” for everybody. These silk stockings run everything, and our government exists to have their backs in the global competitive business environment.

This is all fine until we drift from truth to devious manipulation. To whom was granted such a license? It begins with the use of force.

This is not going to go over well, but Rep. Ilhan Omar is right about Israel. Trump’s language at his recent North Carolina reelection rally was blatantly racist as he accused Omar of supporting terrorism, a strategy often employed by the Israelis. However, even the Anti-Defamation League — recognizing the danger to its narrative by this — condemned the language. Here’s a portion of the ADL’s Johathan Greenblatt’s statement:

While ADL has publicly disagreed with these congresswomen on some issues, the president is echoing the racist talking points of white nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on his remarks. Politicizing the widespread, bipartisan support for Israel and throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism is damaging to the security of Israel and the Jewish community. He should lead by example, stop politicizing these issues and stop smearing members of Congress.

The Trump administration has a Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism. Israeli hasbara agents offer their “guidance” on anti-Semitism throughout the world, including and especially social media companies, because social media allows people to directly communicate with those outside the sphere of its influence. For Israel to be Israel, it must control even minute aspects of its narrative, and that includes youTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media companies. No other country claims or is granted this right.

Here are just a few of the things Israel does in the name of guarding that narrative:

  • Israel and the United States are the aggressors in the Middle East, not the Palestinians, Arabs, or Persians.
  • Israel builds so-called settlements on land it doesn’t own in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli citizens are permitted to kill Palestinians at will and regardless of their activity in disputed regions.
  • Israel claims the threat against it is and always will be “existential.” This justifies any type of behavior deemed “defensive.”
  • Israel’s treatment of others is irrelevant to white American evangelicals, because a little bit of evil is considered necessary in order to usher in the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem.
  • Israel’s leadership — primarily Bibi Netanyahu — is held in reverential esteem by white evangelicals.
  • Israel fights against “incitement,” which begins with deciding what is or isn’t inciting.
  • Israel murders innocent people in “extrajudicial executions”. Shoot first, ask questions later.
  • Israeli murderers are honored for their courage and faithfulness.
  • Israel holds Arab parents and extended family responsible for acts of their children.
  • Israel bulldozes the homes of those families whose children perform acts the Israelis determine to be terror.
  • Israel “stink washes” entire neighborhoods to keep people in fear.
  • Israel uses middle of the night bullhorns, tear gas, flash grenades, and live ammunition to intimidate and break up public gatherings of Palestinians.
  • Israel imprisons frightened children who are permanently traumatized by such treatment.
  • Israel destroys olive trees that Palestinians have tended for generations in a clear violation of Talmudic laws.
  • Israel owns and operates the utilities that serve Palestinians and uses them to intimidate and oppress, robbing them of fresh water and electricity, especially in times of need.
  • Israel gets $10 million in aid every day (including weekends) from the U.S.
  • Israel has seized most or all of the Biblical sites in order to profit from tourism.
  • Israel launches attacks on foreign soil in the name of existential threats.
  • Israel is drifting farther to the Fascist right with each election.
  • Israel operates a propaganda machine (hasbara) that is constantly selling its narrative that its “defensive” status provides a home for threatened exiles from throughout the world going back to the Holocaust.
  • Israel celebrates the Holocaust as grounds to justify its violence towards its neighbors, who, of course, had nothing to do with the Holocaust.
  • Israel lies with impunity, because its narrative is more important than truth.
  • Israel uses Jewish ties with big media including the New York Times to manipulate and control the public narrative about its evil practices.
  • Israel doesn’t permit its allies to criticize its “defensive” practices.
  • Israel’s biggest false witness is that it is an innocent representative of democracy in the Middle East.
  • Israel rejects international law without debate.
  • Israel is home to many wonderful people, but its political system governs everything.
  • Israel reserves the right to define anti-semitism in a way that serves Zionism’s political structure.
  • Israel will be the author of its own inevitable destruction.

In their blind loyalty to Israel, white Evangelical Christians will be held accountable for these sins against humanity, and that’s not an ignorant warning. Until Christianity begins to more closely resemble Jesus, they are in serious trouble with their God. ‘Nuff said.

If the above is anti-Semitic, then you have my permission to call me an anti-Semite, which is really quite ridiculous. I’m merely a guy who sees through all this BS that enables the American business community to dominate the world, in a large part thanks to the behavior of Israel in the Middle East.

While the Democrats today seem content to press a social agenda, our business community continues to bully the rest of the world into submission, just like the colonial thinkers long ago who “discovered” the new world on behalf of their quest for new resources for creating and growing businesses.

It’s a whole lot more insidious than most people realize.

My Disdain for the Silk Stockings

The Silk Stockings of old are alive and well today.

My father was a laborer in the furniture factories of Grand Rapids, Michigan. To support his family, he operated a router, stood in an assembly line, and cut the same piece of wood the same way, every day. At the annual company picnics, top management handed out silver dollars to the children of the employees. I remember how big and heavy mine seemed, but I also remember the bags of them that the managers carried around. These picnics were my first lessons into the caste system that exists in America and especially how the wealthy look down their noses at those less fortunate. I guarantee you those guys carrying the bags considered themselves above those who anxiously awaited their gifts. The act alone of reaching into a sack and retrieving a shiny silver dollar to hand to a smiling and grateful child is reserved for those who own the sacks in the first place. It inflates their egos and warms their hearts to know that THEY can be a blessing if they so choose.

I suppose that sounds all very cynical. Well, you got me!

My father was also a staunch Democrat, a working man, an Adlai Stevenson supporter, one who thought labor was essential for the wellbeing of him, his family, and people like us. There aren’t many of these people left today; they’ve been replaced by people who, incredibly, cast their lots with the people who rule them. Some of this support comes from Christians who’ve been duped into thinking that rich people are their friends. After all, they support pro-life zealotry, Israel, and the licentiousness that passes for freedom in the name of business and industry.

I wish my dad was alive today to talk some sense into these have-not Christians (who insist they aren’t have-nots).

In the South, nothing has devastated local communities like the almost complete destruction of the American textile industry. Oh don’t get me wrong. The industry is alive and well, but their corporate masters have moved everything away from our shores, because it’s more profitable to do so. Cotton is grown in the South, so it makes sense that “our” industry would’ve been textiles. Those Levi jeans of old were grown and manufactured right here, but the industry has moved to where foreign labor is cheaper, which means more profits. This is just one obvious example of how the wealthy cannot be trusted to have the backs of those less fortunate. And yet, visit any community abandoned by the textiles industry in the South, and you’ll find the people there voting Republican. Imagine that? The party that supports the people who moved their plants OUT of their small towns and to foreign shores now gets the votes of the people left behind to beg.

The aristocracy in any community operates under the assumed responsibility to act with generosity and nobility toward those less privileged. It’s called “noblesse oblige” (nobility obligates), a French term that identifies this assumption. Since it is inferred, there’s no law or legal obligation for the wealthy to behave in such a manner, which is why we see a completely different mentality today. It’s “grab all you can get, and then grab for more.” It’s all about me getting mine and the hell with you.

Such are the haves in a world of avarice and license, where regulations are stripped away (for the most part) and taxing the rich is presented as a net economic liability, because they are presented as the ones who provide the jobs. Hence, your President gave them $2 trillion in welfare that he borrowed on our behalf to “stimulate” the economy for his reelection in 2020. Donald Trump will be long gone after that debt comes due, so he could give a crap. Besides, the guy’s business acumen is in borrowing and not paying back.

My dad is rolling over in his grave.

These are the silk stockings of life in our world today. They could care less about the underprivileged, except when it comes to supporting their lifestyles, whether as cheap labor, service providers, or political puppets of every scale. And “underprivileged” is defined as anybody who’s not them, including some very good and hard-working people who want nothing more than peace and quiet in which they can raise their families. They are blinded by religion, emotions, and a lack of intellectual pursuits from determining when they’re being fed a heaping bowl of bullshit or not. Tasty bullshit, perhaps. Varnished to keep the smell down bullshit, for sure. And, perhaps even expensive bullshit, but it’s all bullshit just the same.

Make no mistake. Washington today is a silk stockings’ town. Actually, it’s been that way for a number of decades now, and at least partially to blame on a news media that doesn’t understand the basic reality the silk stockings represent. After all, when they grow up, they want to be just like them. But the silk stockings narrative badly needs exploration today as we face yet another four years of this fascist nonsense.

We need to change minds, and pointing to this disparity is the only way to do it effectively. We have no business whatsoever in aligning ourselves with the silk stockings, and I hope we hear a lot about it instead of the relentless pounding of progressive social justice. It’s not sufficient to pull voters away from the right wing nationalists represented by the GOP.

That’s my fear as the campaign begins to unfold. Who will be the first candidate to use the term “silk stockings” in their fight against Republican fat cats who smile all the way to the bank?

I won’t be holding my breath.