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Setting a bad example

rainey

So, now we know. Our incompetent President lied to us about COVID-19. Well, Boy Howdy! D-U-H.

The difference between those lies, and non-stop torrent of others in the last four years, is nearly 200-thousand people have died and millions of others are likely scarred for life or will have continuing health problems. Because he lied.

At the end of my life – four score plus – it grieves me to write the words “our incompetent President.” There have been 13 Presidents in my years. And not one – not one – could have been called “our incompetent President.” Some were better than others; some worse. But none could be called “incompetent.”

Or a liar. Oh, there have been lies in all those administrations. To be sure. But, nowhere near the avalanche of pure verbal B.S. we’ve experienced since 2016. Not even close. DJT is the hands-down winner!

His lying and law-breaking ways have, in my opinion, unleashed a violent strain of anger, rage, in-your-face behavior that’s been just under the surface of our society for a long time. We’ve seen occasional outbursts. But, nothing like recent events of protests, vandalism, thievery, deliberate violence and outright murder – much of it by self-proclaimed followers of Donald.

“Proud Boys,” Prayer Boys,” KKK,” “Sons of the Confederacy,” “Antifa Killers” and individuals like 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, the shooter in Kenosha, WI. All have burst into our consciousness because of their violent behavior, public militance and their attempts – often successful – to turn legitimate protests into near-riots.

Then, as if the senseless murder of two innocent Wisconsin protestors wasn’t heinous enough, the aforementioned President gave his personal support for Rittenhouse that may become the cornerstone of his trial defense.

Trump’s lies, law-breaking and occasionally putting himself above the law, can be tied to lots of things. Take that September 10th game between the Kansas City Chiefs and The Texans. At the end of opening ceremonies – and after playing the National Anthem – the field announcer called for a silent moment to honor those fighting racism in this country. The players joined arms and stood quietly. But, after about 10 seconds, the boo’s started. The boo’s. During a silent moment honoring those “fighting racism?” Yep. Did you check the MAGA hats?

In Portland. Hundreds of peaceful protestors in the streets. Suddenly, some 600 Trumpers – many armed – drove pickups and other vehicles into their midst. They sprayed chemicals on surprised marchers. They clubbed a few. And beat a few. All the while waving guns and dozens of large “Trump-Pence – 2020” flags that looked official. But, in large, red letters across the bottom of all those flags was printed “Stop the Bullshit.” Real “Trump-Pence” signs expressly printed for a law-breaking attack on innocents.

That charge had to be planned weeks before. Professional printing of those banners had to be ordered way in advance. The “Prayer Boys” were from out-of-state. Their demonstration permit was for another Oregon county about 20 miles south of Portland. Still, there they were: breaking laws, attacking innocents and doing so in the name of our President. Our President. A guy who has not discouraged such violence and who has, in fact, openly “excused” such acts. In Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, Oregon and elsewhere.

Here in Arizona, we’ve got a GOP guy running for sheriff who has 38 years of service in the Maricopa department. On the surface, he looks proper and imposing in his official uniform, a large badge and military-style crewcut. But, his campaign signs are the tipoff.

Across the top, they read “Enforce our laws.” Across the middle, “Turn back the mobs.” Now, Maricopa County, which has four-million citizens – has had a few street protests. Yes, we have. A few arrests – very few – but no deliberate “mob” scenes. Fact is, the largest “mob” gathering around here was when the last Costco store opened. And the average age of that “mob” was well into the 60’s.

But, this veteran cop has taken a page from Trump and Joe Arpaio (for whom he worked many years), made up his own “facts” and prominently displays his lies on our street right-of-ways. He’ll likely lose. We already have a good sheriff.

We’ve got two GOP representatives – both Trumpers. One denies the existence of Coronavirus, saying it’s a lie created by Democrats and tells his followers to throw away their masks. The other decries immigration of any type, wants borders sealed “from sea to shining sea” and is also a virus denier. They’ll likely be re-elected.

Look at the Trump “rallies.” Listen to the crowds. Hear their chants which are often racist. Watch their demeanor. Trump’s lies at such events often have racist undertones. The crowds of Fox-watchers have refused reality and have no factual basis for refuting what he says.

And, what he says, supports their distorted view of reality. They often leave the events roused and armed with his lying speech confirming their own warped thinking. Too often, they’re angry and feel threatened by societal changes they don’t understand and are unwilling to accept. They openly distrust the very government that, in many cases, makes a monthly deposit in their bank accounts.

Been to a theater, a concert, a ball game or other large venue lately? Is crowd behavior what it was five or six years ago? Have you seen more instances of road rage? Do your kids respond properly to your family rules or are they more defiant? Do you get angry more often? Does it seem there’s more violence in the news? That’s because there really is more violence. In the news. In our streets.

We’re living in a new environment, very different from what we knew just a few years ago. COVID-19 has affected normal behavior in nearly all phases of our lives. It’s isolated us. Made us more fearful. More tentative. It’s changed the way we shop. The way we do business. The way we educate our kids. We’re wary of crowds. Relationships have been changed by the virus and, often, by more aggressive behaviors by those we come in contact with. Life is very different.

While Trump can’t be blamed for our involvement in a worldwide pandemic, he certainly can be blamed for his lies to all of us, his denial of fact, his deliberate and willful rejection of international intelligence when faced with reality. As Nero is said to have “fiddled while Rome burned,” Trump has rejected the responsibilities of his high office as he spends 10-12 hours daily watching Faux “news”

His behavior, his domination of the airwaves, his distorted view of reality, his personal support of violence and violent people, his all-consuming lies about everything – all this has permeated our lives. Even WE are different. Truth is often hard for us to find. We’ve been under constant “attack” from the top of our own government.

It’s up to each of us to “counterattack.” November third.
 

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