A quick word on Masha Gessen’s Autocracy: Rules for Survival

Republicans, Trump supporters, and especially evangelicals do not care about fair elections and integrity, they care about abortions. It’s not about winning the presidency, its about overturning Roe V. Wade.

I wish the left and especially DEMs would take Masha Gessen’s insightful rules seriously. Claim: Republicans and Trump’s MAGA cult, and especially evangelicals, are following Masha Gessen’s rules to a T, and that’s why they seem to win in the long run. Plea: The left needs to play rough.

Rule #1Believe the autocrat. They believed through and through that Trump would support pro-life ideologies. They care not about this country or presidency; they care about the abolition of abortion rights. How many judges now? How long have they been waiting for this?

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Diplomatic Drop Out

It does the US no good to fake diplomacy on the world stage. It causes our enemies to say the president has a learning disability. Ivanka Trump playing secretary-of-state or first-lady without any credentials, and Donald Trump using the DMZ between North and South Korea to embrace a despot hurts our global standing, and that will hurt us nationally. Each day the world loses faith and trust in the United States of America, and each day authoritarians and those who trade in hate gain power.

Throughout the G20, Donald Trump has again embraced the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, MSB, who ordered the killing and dismemberment of a US resident and journalist. Donald Trump once again embraced Putin, who helped him hack and steal the 2016 US presidential elections. They subsequently conspired to obstruct justice and whitewash the crimes through intimidation, violence, and murder. Donald Trump then met Kim Jong Un at the DMZ in what can only be seen as consenting to a lesser power. Donald Trump didn’t even use his power and position and make Kim Jong Un come to him just as he didn’t do with the first two meetings.

Ivanka Trump playing first lady or secretary of state didn’t do the US any favors as well. The entire world knows she is there to lift her and her husbands brand. That same brand which has a lot of business in China with voting machines and Israeli real estate developments passed off as a Palestinian peace process. They know she represents the corrupted nature of the US government, and they see it all as decline. They know this represents the implosion of a hegemon and the ushering in of what might be multi-polar chaos. Those who support this regime openly seek that chaos. Those who seek consensus understand what happened the last time we fell into multi-polar chaos.

We’re crumbling inside because of ethnic nationalism and greedy corruption stealing natural and social resources. We’re crumbling inside because justice and truth are silenced and those who seek structural reform and reconciliation are ignored. We’re crumbling inside because we have a president hellbent on committing crimes against humanity to be ‘infamous’ rather than ‘famous.’ We’re crumbling outside our borders with economy killing trade wars and cooperation busting climate denial. The rhetoric Donald Trump uses can cause the middle-east to fall into a world war does us no good — the writings on the wall.

It’s visible but unseen by many just how far the US has slipped into tyranny. The world will play along and let Donald and Ivanka have their photo opportunities, but they are moving forward without us in every other way. They are moving forwards because policy and progress are not achieved with photo ops. The Trump regime is not governing; they are grifting and turned the United States into an authoritarian regime. We cannot always think of our exceptionalism and believe we’re immune to authoritarians and their chaos. The Trump family playing government looking nothing other than a despotic regime continues to erode the United States from the inside and out.

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The US Needs a Female President

After two nights of Democratic debates, what sticks around for me is that we need a female president to beat Trump in the 2020 US elections. While I am not ready to throw full-throated support at Elizabeth Warren, I do tend to sit comfortably in the progressive camp. It isn’t only Warren, though, who inspired my thoughts this morning after the second debate. It’s also Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and dare I say, Tulsi Gabbard. I am not saying we should support all of them, but they have given me hope for the 2020 US elections if Russia and China don’t hack them.

The Men

Their natural wit, even-tempered nature, and exhaustive intelligence appear to be unmatched compared to their male counterparts. Admittedly, Pete Buttigieg embodies these same qualities, but Pete, as a person and politician, seems suited for the Obama era as much as Biden and Booker. The rest of the men I am sure are competent and worthy, but too many of them make it hard for any of them to seem relevant. I know it is early, and many will drop out, but this is a reflection of the table now. Yeah, I also know Biden and Bernie have massive support and will be a tuff act to beat, and will make decent leaders. It is hard not to fall into a visceral desire for nostalgia when thinking of Biden, even Bernie to an extent. We all miss the warmth, family, and chance at inclusion that was the Obama era. Unfortunately, November 2016 changed everything and mos. def. made getting back to something like the Obama era a far off dream. The underside of America has awoken, and we’ll all perish if we keep wishing for nostalgia.

Warren and Harris

Warren can weave her numerous plans into the thread of her life story, which is something Bernie has never been able to do. Her natural ability to create those narratives makes you believe her sincerity. You don’t question if Warren will back you up. She can outpace Trump in substance while keeping the audience captivated with her middle-America personality and heritage. Kamala Harris can duke it out in a dogfight while holding on to the bigger picture. This has been shown time and time again when she cross-examines someone in a congressional hearing, and then in a brilliant display on the second night of debates. Warren and Harris represent the heart and identity of what it to be in ‘the left’ today. I know Harris is not a progressive, per se, but you can feel her carry on her shoulders every point of intersectionality women encompass today. I don’t think we’ve ever had a candidate like Harris.

Klobuchar and Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar has to be given respect for representing moderate Democrats quite well. I worry about the center of things, but she held her own and did it boldly. She is not ashamed of being a moderate and even has an air of pride about it. Like nostalgia, though, pride might have been an asset in the past, but lots of things have changed. The political power of the center does appear to be in decline, though. Tusli Gabbard gives me the most worry, and I tread lightly on my words about her. Taking away all the trappings that follow her, Tulsi would do very well in foreign policy. She has both the black box temperament of a diplomat and the decisiveness of those classic male leaders. I am sure this won’t sit well, but she reminds me of Hillary Clinton when it comes to foreign policy. And for the record, Clinton was incredibly useful at foreign policy and always has been. While I worry about Klobuchar and Gabbard, they are still inspiring.


We’ve got a load road ahead of us, and these opinion of mine will change but we need a female president. Post-debate, at this moment in time, I am inspired that female candidates are what I remember the most. I didn’t find myself wanting to hear from the men, aside from Booker and Buttigieg. Full disclosure, I am a gay man, and it does pain me that I can’t muster the same support of Buttigieg. He is even the same age as me. I find him light on substance. However, the library is not open, so don’t even try to read me. These feelings might also describe why it’s time for a female president. The female candidates are the ones who are inspiring us the most, they have real working plans (Warren does), and they have the temperament and persistence to lead this country and beat Donald Trump.

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Beyond the Wrapper: Cultural Dissonance

Cultural dissonance is the largest problem facing the United States. It is not fake news or shallowly branded politicians nor is it Russian hacking, and it is not Donald Trump as a President. Although, his foreign policy might really put us in grave danger. Cultural dissonance is the underlying diseases with fake news, shallow politicians, propaganda hacking, as well as many other visceral fears we hold as a society representing the symptoms. But do not forget, cultural dissonance has to have a population willingly believe in falsehoods (yeah, it’s just as much our fault at this point). Many of you are going to say that you don’t buy into a lot of the falsehoods out there. Well, good for you, but we’re a nation, not only a group of different states and communities and we are all in this together. So, if my neighbor is stupid, so too am I, at least in an attempt to relate and understand.

Sad day, I know

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