Finally, the last week of Bearing Witness to Trump, I hope, at least while he is in office. I am completely exhausted after 48 months and 208 weeks of chronicling how the dysfunctions of this one man infected all those around him and the nation as a whole. Trump and Trumpism was just as much of a malignant disease or contagious virus as Coronavirus has become. And we discovered the normal vaccines that used to inoculate America from bad leaders and their Big Lies – a well informed electorate based on shared facts, news, and reality – have been severely eroded. When I started writing this blog in January, 2017, I absolutely had no idea of all that was to come to America in four years. It has been a marathon but one that I and the nation survived. Yet, there was one more week of breathtaking news and history. Read More
A week ago President Trump, the leader of the executive branch, provoked an attack by his rabid supporters on the legislative branch and the US Capitol Building. This led to a riotous mob desecrating the Capitol and halting proceedings of Congress to certify the presidential election. As reported in last week’s Bearing Witness Trump post, the President on a stage in front of the White House worked up thousands of his supporters into a fit of anger, grievance and victimhood. He called on them to “fight much harder” for their country and “to be wild” against “bad people.” He shouted to not let the Democrats “get away with it” and “to show strength” and “you have to be strong” and there are now “very different rules” and “you will never take back your country with weakness.” He also warned them they would have an “illegitimate president” and “we can’t let that happen” and “won’t stand for a landslide election to be stolen.” In more personal attacks, Trump threatened “We’ve got to get rid of the weak congress people, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheney’s of the world, we got to get rid of them.”
And now a week later the country has passed into yet another frightening new normal, as if the one due to the Coronavirus pandemic was not enough. It feels similar to the weeks after the 9/11 terrorists attacks. But this time the enemy of democracy lies within our borders. It’s like we are in a state of civil war; one where the boundaries of conflict run through and divide families, workplaces, communities, cities, states, and of course our local and federal governments. Read More
Today on the hopeful and joyful inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, along with the departure of now former president and twice-impeached Donald Trump, I recall and honor this quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi:
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
Featured image from Quotefancy.com at https://quotefancy.com/quote/303/Mahatma-Gandhi-When-I-despair-I-remember-that-all-through-history-the-way-of-truth-and
We only had five days in the new year to hope 2021 might be far better than last year, but we should know otherwise with Trump still in the White House. Where does one begin after a week like last? One which will go down in the history books for future generations to contemplate just how close we came to losing our democracy due to a deranged President who lit the fires of an insurrection by inciting a mob to attack the United States Capitol, all part of a desperate coup to thwart the inauguration of the next president. Warning; this was a painful long weekly news summary to write, and just as tough to read. Read More
The countdown in a return to reality and sanity continues with only two weeks left. But we live in constant fear for what might happen next.
In a desperate act that is unbelievable, even when we thought he could not do anything worse than he already has, Trump and his attorneys place a rambling hour-long call to Georgia election officials urging them to overturn the presidential vote of the state. He asks them to “find” just enough new votes – over11,000 – to negate three previous recounts. In a recording of the call leaked to the press he threatens, berates, intimidates, coerces, prods, lies, extorts, and cajoles them to undo the will of Georgia voters. Trump fraudulently claims he won the state and that Georgia only needed to “recalculate” the results which everyone would understand. He then floats a number of disinformation and conspiracy theories which even his own Justice Department has said there is no basis for. Most of the time Trump sounds like a mobster trying to shake down or blackmail an opponent. We can easily imagine this has been his same modus operandi with others, such as trying to extort political favors from the President of Ukraine for which in part Trump was impeached. This was not the first direct attempt by Trump to interfere with state processing of election results as he had previously contacted Michigan state lawmakers asking them to subvert their state’s election by replacing their electors committed to Biden with loyalist to Trump.
The 10th month of the pandemic in the US sees another million confirmed cases, this time in only 5 days. The total infections are now over 14.6 million. We are adding nearly 200,000 new cases every day with a record of 226,000 set this past week. The death count surpasses 280,000 with an average of 2,000 per day. One day this week saw more than 3,000 new fatalities recorded, nearly as many as those who died in another avoidable tragedy, the 9/11 attacks.
Total hospitalizations are rising steadily above 100,000 which is more than double a month ago. More hospitals are overflowing and expanding their emergency rooms and ICUs into other floors or buildings as well as parking garages and tents. Several cities, regions, and states are now being put into a stay-at-home lockdown, not seen since the Spring, when community spread was not as bad. And the surge from Thanksgiving gatherings and travel is said to still not be here.
In a meeting of world leaders on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate accord, and one month after the US officially left it, President-elect Joe Biden restated his pledge for the US to rejoin. Heads of state and government officials from over 70 countries, with the exception of the Trump administration, participated in the virtual event. Biden also called for a climate summit within his first 100 days in office. He then reaffirmed a campaign pledge of setting a target to cut US emissions to net zero no later than 2050. More than 200 countries have pledged to achieve net zero by 2050. Read More
The countdown in a return to reality and sanity continues; now only three weeks left having to chronicle the Trump lunacy week after week after week.
We no longer expect Trump to graciously, or even ungraciously, concede his election loss. We don’t expect him to invite the Bidens to the White House as most out-going presidents have done over the years. We don’t expect him to put the security of the country above his own fragile ego in cooperating with the transition of power during perilous times. We don’t expect him to put the safety of Americans as a priority in his few remaining weeks by ensuring vaccines are distributed and administered as if a national war-time effort. We don’t expect and now don’t want a damn thing from this man, ever again. I just hope Putin will reward him for a job well done with gifting Donald and Melania a far-away kingdom of their very own to rule over; perhaps a former Soviet-block country in need of a law and order autocrat who does not like to work very hard at it. Read More
Countdown to reality and sanity: now only four weeks left in the Trump presidency…and my having to chronicle chaos of the Trump presidency every week. And what a week it was between street violence by Trump supporters, the electoral college, the first COVID vaccines delivered, news of a gigantic Russian hack of federal agencies, the resignation of the Attorney General. And of course more lies from a delusional treasonous president who is MIA in saving American lives from COVID, jobs from the recession, and national security from the Russians. Read More
Countdown to reality and sanity: now only five weeks left in the Trump presidency! (Sorry the following reads like a broken record, but blame Trump not this blogger of history.) And six weeks after the election, did President Trump finally concede his loss? No, of course not. Did he stop his lying about voter fraud, and everything else? No, of course not. Did he get back to work in his few remaining weeks left trying to save American lives and jobs during the pandemic? No, of course not. Did he try to bring America together with words of comfort in one of the worst years most of us will ever experience? No, of course not. Did Republicans in Congress acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden? No, of course not. Their silence demonstrates a contempt for democracy that is second only to their fear of Trump and lust for remaining in power, despite the dishonor it brings to the graves of so many who died in wars protecting our democracy that they so profess to admire. Read More