Happy New Year!

Donald Trump Mugshot

This humble spirit has been hovering about the earth for well over 150 years now and I can hardly recall a grimmer holiday season or a glummer prognosis for the new year, either here in America or around the globe.  In preparation for what is to come, however, I thought it might prove instructive to revisit some of the issues that dominated 2023 and, given Donald Trump’s exhausting omnipresence, will very likely dominate 2024 as well.

Trump’s Conspiracy to Defraud America  

How fitting that the first of four charges included in the January 6 indictment against Donald Trump is “Conspiracy to Defraud the United States Government.” The man has been defrauding the entire world for most of his life. He’s the ultimate con-artist and grifter; his entire presidency and political career is one big grift. Read the article.

I’m Being Indicted for You (Yeah, sure)  

Trump wants us to believe he’s being persecuted by a “weaponized” DOJ and the “deep state,” despite having no evidence. He portrays himself as a martyred victim, claiming it’s really his MAGA followers the “deep state” is after, this being a common approach among demagogues and dictators. Read the article.

America’s Haves and Have Nots

America’s stark social and economic divide is more than just “inequality”—it’s a monumental, unbreachable chasm. We have one group that’s prospering in a knowledge-based, globalized economy, while another finds it increasingly difficult to survive, let alone prosper. Read the article.  

MAGA Republicans vs. the Majority of Americans

MAGA Republicans continue to assault the will of the majority, along with the rule of law, whenever they have the opportunity.  Waiting for the next shoe to drop from these MAGA extremists increasingly feels like a bad nightmare about Whac-A-Mole. Read the article.

MAGAs Can’t Handle the Truth

MAGAs not only don’t care if they’re blatantly lied to (e.g., Trump, Fox “News,” QAnon), they WANT to be lied to and even demand it. There’s no rational reason to still believe Trump won the 2020 election, but no matter, lies sooth them and give them strength to carry on. Read the article.

You Ain’t Supposed to Be Here

Sadly, there’s no denying that a significant portion of white America, especially those with a “MAGA” mentality, don’t want black or brown people in this country, plain and simple, and are perfectly happy to see them done harm whenever the opportunity arises. Read the article.

“Wokeness” Had Nothing to Do with It

In Mae West’s first film, 1932’s Night After Night, the nightclub hatcheck girl compliments Ms. West’s jewelry: “Goodness, what lovely diamonds!” To which Mae responds, “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.” That about sums up the Republican Party’s current obsession with “wokeness,” one more fabricated boogeyman that has very little to do with anything.  Rather than govern and tackle important issues—admittedly difficult given their donors’ marching orders are diametrically opposed to what’s good for the country—Republicans obsess over wokeness, a convenient catchall term used to describe any societal change their MAGA “base” fears or dislikes, which seemingly includes just about everything. Read the article.

And remember, as John Stoehr put it so well in his excellent “Editorial Board” newsletter:

Trump’s Christian nationalist followers “aren’t drawn to him in spite of his being a lying, thieving, philandering sadist. They’re drawn to him because he’s a lying, thieving, philandering sadist.”

Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2024!

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