Tell Me This Isn’t Really Happening..

According to the New York Times and other media outlets, “The Donald” has proposed a mandatory registry of Muslims in the United States. Trump has also suggested that Muslims in the United States be required to wear special badges identifying their religious beliefs.

Because that worked out so well in Germany…

Trump may be the most visible, but he has lots of company. Responses to the desperate plight of Syrian refugees in the wake of the attacks in Paris have been chilling.

Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have suggested that we “might” resettle those who can “prove” they are Christians. Ben Carson called Muslims–not just radicalized jihadists– “rabid dogs.” Chris Christie insisted he wouldn’t even accept five-year-old orphans in New Jersey. And 20 plus Republican Governors–including, of course, Indiana’s embarrassing Mike Pence– have announced that, Christmas season be damned, there’s no room in their state inns for any Middle Eastern supplicants.

Pence argues that his “suspension” of resettlement is warranted as a safety measure. Let’s deconstruct that argument.

  • Governors have no legal authority to prevent resettlement. Pence and the others undoubtedly know that; they’re using this as an opportunity to pander to the GOP’s increasingly xenophobic base.
  • All of the terrorists were French citizens, including the three who lived in Belgium. The Syrian passport found near one of them was fake.
  • As Condoleezza Rice and others have noted, shutting out Syrian refugees is exactly what ISIS wants. It helps their recruiting. (The French, who “real Amuricans” like to dismiss as weenies, and who were the victims of the recent attacks, understand that, and immediately reaffirmed their acceptance of 30,000 Syrian refugees.)

What is heartbreaking is that these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists that our politicians say they are trying to “protect us” from, and the very small number (10,000) that the U.S. has agreed to resettle—the vast majority of whom are women, children and people over 60– have been undergoing 18-24 months of very rigorous vetting.

Could any sentient American really believe that the politicians demanding that we turn these people away are relying on an assessment of the risks involved?

Pence and the other “we’re-just-being-prudent” politicians issuing dire warnings about the risks of admitting refugees are, by and large, the very same politicians who adamantly oppose the most cursory background checks for gun purchases, even checks intended to weed out convicted felons and the mentally ill. They are perfectly willing to assume that risk, which–unlike the risk attendant to Syrian refugees– is anything but theoretical; guns kill 32,000 Americans every year.

Since 9/11, hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants have been safely woven into the fabric of this country. Furthermore, terrorist attacks in the U.S. are more likely to be perpetrated by homegrown religious extremists and racists than by Islamic radicals. According to the New York Times,

Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.

For that matter, the magnitude of the terrorism risk, both homegrown and jihadist– the risk that has Governor Pence and others so panic-stricken– is minuscule: In 2011, the National Counter-Terrorism Center calculated that Americans are as likely to be “crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year” as they are to be killed by terrorists.

Let’s be honest. What motivates Mike Pence and those like him isn’t prudence. It’s bigotry. And we’ve been here before.

In 1939, the United States turned away the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees. Nearly half of those sent back to Europe later perished in the ovens.

The officials refusing to allow the ship to dock argued that some of those aboard could be Nazis. The rhetoric was all too similar to what we’re hearing today, as politicians played to, and stoked, popular fear and hatred of “those people.” Then, as now, their rhetoric reflected polls showing that most Americans wanted to keep the “others” out.

As the President has said, it’s unAmerican.

Maybe we should rewrite the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. Stephen Colbert has suggested an amended text: “Give us your tired, your poor, mostly Christians, and maybe one or two Indian guys with engineering degrees.’”

We should be ashamed.


63 thoughts on “Tell Me This Isn’t Really Happening..

  1. “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” Martin Luther King Jr.
    Where are the “good people”?

  2. Always enjoy reading your blog. I usually find something I agree with. In this case, Pence pandering to his base. He should remember that folks who respond to opinion polls don’t always show up in the voting booth… and as we saw with RFRA, the moneyed interests that actually run this country, will smack down any politician that threatens those interests.

  3. How many of us can claim relatives whose first welcome to the American Dream was Bartholdi’s iconic lady and her silent words:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!””

    America was beautiful.

    Blame both the terrorists and the cowards here hoping for freedom that is free for our demise.

  4. Regarding Preaident Obama’s statement that “it’s unAmerican”, I am beginning to realize that this judgemental and selfish way of thinking actually “is American”.

    I completely agree with Stephen Colbert’s suggestion. At least it would be a more honest statement.

    Finally, I am sooo tired of the rampant ‘fear and hatred of others’ in our country that seems to spread like wildfires.

    The Native Anericans could teach us so much.

  5. Theresa,

    The “good people” are there. They are just scared. And they should be. However, there is no place for them to go.

    Sheila’s intelligence and courage is vitally important , but her Blog is not enough. There has to be an organized effort to EFFECTIVELY ENGAGE the extreme right wing movement operating under the umbrella of the “Tea Party” which so far has not materialized.

  6. Marv, you are right, of course. There is no place for the good people to go. To rally. Not yet. But you are not right about the good people being scared. I’m not scared. I’m angry and perplexed and sad all at once. We need a leader. A counter to Trump. A counter to the fear. I ain’t seeing it in Obama’s elegant words.

  7. From my vantage point, the biggest problem for America is that President Obama’s hands are tied at this pivotal moment in our history. He needs the “good peoples” help in finding a way to get untied.

  8. “Because that worked out so well in Germany…”

    ‘Judea Declares War on Germany’

    March 24, 1933

    People conveniently bury the Jewish terrorism in Germany during Weimar. Jews were burning German shops and committing all manner of nastiness on Germans to preserve their economic power.

    In response to the Jewish attacks on Germany, Germany unsurprisingly had a nationalistic response.

    You’d think people would learn that assimilation is the wiser course.

    “Because that worked out so well in Germany…”

    Well, the Jewish terrorism did abruptly end, didn’t it?

    “The Israelite people of the entire world declare economic and financial war on Germany. The appearance of the Swastika as the symbol of the new Germany revives the old war symbol of the Jews. Fourteen million Jews stand as one body to declare war on Germany. The Jewish wholesale dealer leaves his business, the banker his bank, the shopkeeper his shop, the beggar his miserable hut in order to combine forces in the holy war against Hitler’s people.”

    People forget their history. When one people won’t fit in with another people, problems arise.

    What people right now are talking about “holy war?”

  9. Beautiful quote, Theresa.

    “When the power of love is greater than the love of power, we will have peace.” Jimmy Hendrix

    “If a man of 50 views the world the same as he did at 20, he has wasted 30 years of his life.” Muhammad Ali

    All quoted from Black men; all about love, life, peace and learning from the past and our mistakes. Racism is still rampant in this country; in Indiana the LGBTs are rivaling the Syrian refugees in Pence’s religious fervor to save us. The Syrian refugees, like those 937 Jews aboard the German ship St. Louis, are refused sanctuary. I recommended the book, “Voyage of the Damned” on Facebook, one reply thanked me for the information and said he had ordered the book. I am in the process of rereading it myself. There were indeed Nazis on board the St. Louis; they were crew members forced on Captain Gustav Schroeder despite his demands they be removed. He was anti-Nazi, refused to wear the Nazi lapel pin; he was used as a scapegoat to captain the ship on the voyage going nowhere for many months…till it returned to Germany where most passengers were sent – or returned – to concentration camps and died.

    I guess President Obama is the current scapegoat regarding his decision to follow the Refugee Act of 1980 and welcome the victims. Where will the Syrians go; they have nothing to return to and have lost many family members in the ISIS attacks. Trying to lure Republican governors – and Congress to action – with facts is wasted effort. Maybe someone could organize those in Republican states who want to help refugees to send financial support or goods to the states with an open door policy? Like those who took that action after Katrina and the collapsed levees. Just a thought.

    If Pence were really concerned about the safety of Indiana residents; we would have rational background checks to purchase guns and military style weapons would not be available to buyers. I wonder how safe Syrian refugees would be in Indianapolis, what is our murder rate as of this morning? If Pence could “deport” Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, LGBTs, women who want birth control and Democrats from this state – they would be left with only themselves to deprive of rights and rule by bogus religious beliefs.

  10. We all talk about how un-American it is to turn away refugees, but it stikes me that it is very American to try to do that. The last Americans who didn’t were the natives who were here when the Puritans landed. That didn’t work out so well for them. Nobody wanted the Irish to come in. The Irish later joined in trying to keep the Italians from coming. Everyone joined together to keep out the Jews before and during WWII. We spent much of last year shouting loudly about refugee children from Honduras and other Central American countries.

    We talk a lot about American Exceptionalism. How about American Hypocracy?

  11. Theresa,

    “The “good people” are there. They are just scared.”

    I apologize for implying that you’re scared. I sometimes forget that there is a world outside of Jacksonville and North Florida where everyone (emphasis added) is scared.

    You might think it’s bad in Indiana. Take a trip down here and get a good feel of what it is like to live in Jacksonville: “TheTea Party Prototype City.” It’s scary and it is a very dangerous place to be if you’re not scared.

    “You better keep your mouth shut, if you know what’s good for you.”

  12. Maybe it’s just me but I find that the evil that Gov. Pence and the other moral supporters of domestic terrorism is irrelevant to the refugee issue. I think the important point here is that a group of politically minded folk think we live in a version of the Confederate States of America. I was gladdened by the statements from the groups involved in the resettlement process that they are prepared to defy the State of Indiana in bring refugees here. To me this is as much an issue of the supremacy of the federal government as the resistance campaign conservatives mounted against the Brown Supreme Court decision.

  13. Theresa,

    Jacksonville is America’s MUNICH of the 20’s and 30’s. It makes no sense to leave because its theocratic/racist system of municipal control has the potential for spreading throughout the Southern Bible Belt and parts of the Midwest including Indianapolis in a very short order.

    Everyone needs to remember that the Nazi Movement first found its momentum in the provincial areas before gathering enough steam to effectively “infect” the urban areas.

    Just listen to the Gopper today

  14. Marv, you’re silly. Jacksonville is perhaps the most “American-feeling” big city in Florida.

    I know you’re getting ready for church, but consider going to St. Peter’s in Fernandina to remind you of just how good you have it there.

  15. It’s interesting that what Gopper reports is the same as what could be reported about our times – the propaganda that creates the fear that is alleviated by handing over our freedom to the powerful.

    Worked then, will it work now?

    We’ve always known that freedom is earned and people following Gopper’s lead have no trouble sending others overseas to face death earning ours. But they are the first to line up well to the rear behind someone who promises them safety.

    Just as the powerful created the fear before WWII in order to enslave the masses by creating a Jewish bogieman, so the Republicans today use the faces of those whose homeland we helped to destroy to stir up cowardice here.

    I think that freedom is worth fighting but not running for. The running are never free.

  16. I lived in Pasco County Florida for 7 1/2 years; silly me, I thought the U.S. was divided into the north, the south and Florida. Had no idea how “white” Florida was till I had lived there for a few months. Florida is Indiana with better weather.

  17. It’s always funny to hear people unilaterally blame Nazis and think the Nazis were the sole villains in German society.

    The Nazis were a response, a very predictable response to very bad things people were doing in and to Germany.

    You’d think people would learn from the Nazi experience and not provoke people to defend their race and culture.

  18. The brave Syrians and Kurds are fighting their revolution against tyranny. Bashir and ISIS are fighting for the power of a dictator or a theocracy. The Syrians caught in the middle, the families, have lost everything to the cause. No work, no food, no water, no transportation, no refuge. Us turning them away is truly pathetic.

  19. Gopper remembers all of the good that the Nazis did for Germany. The death, the disease, the burned out buildings, the total wreckage of a great civilization, the total enslavement of the people the humiliation of having to beg their enemies for welfare.

    He recommends that we try it here.

  20. Mr. Pence had an article in the Post-Tribune, and probably many other papers this morning, defending his cowardly and mean-spirited decision. Basically he says he’s scared, and Sen. Coats is holding his hand to defend us against the mothers, the kids and relatives “yearning to be free” (NOT his words.).

    Mr. pence’s biggest problem is that he says he is a Christian. If he says that’s so important, then he is obligated to follow the command of all scripture, to “welcome the stranger”. I don’t know what sort of “Christian” he is, but I think the answer to that may also be in scripture.

  21. Gopper,

    Thanks. I’m serious. I really like Fernandina. My best friend growing up was the Sheriff or Acting Sheriff of Nassau County as I remember. You live in Yulee. Am I right about that?

    I would also agree with your description of Jacksonville, If I happened to be looking at it thru your eyes.

    But I’m looking at it thru my own eyes. And I can still describe your white supremacy ideology my way.

    I don’t think you can understand me and that’s your right, but I’m deeply concerned what would happens to AMERICA, if the “good people” would ever follow your ideas. And it clearly looks like some of them are starting to do it.

  22. I’m glad Obama is at the helm. He has had a steady hand. I like Bernie’s Democratic Socialism too. King Midas has vilified Socialism and organized labor but thanks to FDR, we have quite a bit of it and will not willingly part with a mote of it.
    Boots on the Ground? I see John Kerry being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The restraint of the Obama administration is admirable.
    George hiding in that rabbit hole in Texas reminds me of Saddam’s last days. Ideal location for refugee resettlement: hot, dry and Republican.

  23. Marv, I’m no stranger to the history of Germany, particularly the how of the Nazi take over. It started long before Hitler gained power. It started with rebranding the Jewish population as a race instead of a religion. Then came the ideas of a pure race. Hitler used those ideas, along with nationalism, to gain followers out of the already very prejudiced, very parochial German population. The seeds of a similar tyranny have long been sown in the US by the bigots and haters. Mostly kept in check by vigilant and forthright people, those seeds now appear to be sprouting unchecked with the help of the Republican Party. Time for the Roundup.

  24. All of what these xenophobic reactionaries are doing is playing right into the hands of ISIL and their prophetic ideology. If this is the best we can do in reaction to the threat that they pose then we are in serious trouble. All of this bluster and all these knee-jerk reactions won’t help us at all. To the contrary, they undermine any real and sustained effort to beat these fools down and turn their game against them. We have to play this game as coherently and as intelligently as we can and do so without all of this nonsense. It will just slow us down as it eggs them on.

    Please read, if you haven’t already, Graeme Wood’s piece in the March 2015 The Atlantic Monthly, “What ISIS Really Wants”. It is quite an eye opener.

  25. Vonnegut wrote something to the effect that history does not repeat itself, it just rhymes. We seem to ignore the policies and events that have brought us these waves of attacks. We (the United States) have bombed, with 80 percent accuracy at best, people in the Middle East for years, most recently with drones. We reacted to 9/11 by invading Iraq. 9/11 and the previous attack on the WTC were sparked by resentment over the First Gulf War—not a “war” under the Constitution at all, still a lot of people dying. That “war” was about preserving Saudi power and our access to oil. The more we bomb, the more we encourage recruitment by groups to whom people who are bombed by us perceive they can turn. Policies of corporate and militaristic intervention—policies seemingly embraced by the current President, his predecessor, the one before, etc—have worked out really well for shareholders, but not so much for anybody else.

  26. JoAnn: You asked “where will the Syrians go?” My answer: resettle them around the Bush estate, Prairie Chapel Ranch, near Crawford, Texas. Plenty of room. Need the pot to boil, resettle some Jews, too.

  27. Today is the anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination and hatred in this country is at an all-time high. Fear has more targets today, the world has gotten smaller in many ways but hatred has escalated and is more widespread. Differences between Democrats and Republicans today is no longer a difference of political opinion – it is a difference of lifestyles, deeply held animosity against anyone and everyone who does not believe and accept the exact understanding and belief in human nature and humanity as held by the Republican party who control this country. We, in Indiana, are but one small cog in the giant wheel of hatred, fear and desire to rid the world of those who are “different”, including those of us in this state who are “different” by speaking against Pence and his cronies. I wear my difference proudly, like a banner or the badges Trump believes Muslims should wear.

    How in hell have we come to this? I cannot ask, “How in God’s name have we come to this?” because God is nowhere in this perverted condition that used to be the UNITED States of America. Pence is adept at waving his Bible as he produces more and more un-Christian ideas and ideals and pushes them into laws. The Jews in Germany lived with the fear of – when will they come for us? When will they come for those of us who deny Pence’s Bible thumping, Nazi-like ruling of his small realm, the sad state of Indiana? “Honest to Goodness, Indiana” I say again the motto should be “WTF, Indiana?”

  28. Apparently, the next Syrian family that Pence will turn away is scheduled to arrive in mid-December. They have family in Indiana, so when they are re-settled in a state with a sane governor and come to visit their relatives here next Thanksgiving, will Mike call out the State Patrol to turn them back at the stateline, or order a raid on the relatives house?

  29. The newspaper Gopper links two is from two months after Hitler gained power. It is evidence of a reaction against the Nazis early actions in power in Germany, and it’s all about economic boycotts. So yes, Gopper isn’t just making up stuff to claim that Hitler’s actions were defensive, he’s waving phantom sources at us.

    A white supremacist is a lost cost, but I have to point out misuse of evidence in case anyone starts to fall for it.

  30. Evidence Critic,

    You’re completely right about Gopper. He’s just fighting “The (Confederate) Lost Cause” again. We recovered from that disaster. That was 150 years ago. We were in our “ascendancy” then. That’s not the case now.

    If the “epidemic of hatred” continues its present course, there is no assurance that America can make a significant recovery again. This is just what ISIS wants. We’re giving them the World’s future on a “Silver Platter.”

    This isn’t Genocide nor Democracide, but FUTURECIDE.

  31. Terrorist? We had someone walk into a school and shoot 20 little kids and we did nothing about it. What could a terrorist do that we don’t do to ourselves?
    Robert Walker, November 15th 2015 CSPAN’s facebook page.

  32. I wouldn’t worry much if it were real Christianity competing with real Islam. But it’s not. It’s extreme Christianity competing with extreme Islam. There will be no winners from that. Only survivors.

  33. Let’s pause for a minute. The Mid East today is in turmoil as a direct result of Congress handing a loaded weapon to the Dummy (GWB), Rummy, Cheney and the other NEO-CONs to invade Iraq in Gulf War 2. Obama, Shillary and Kerry have played their parts in destabilizing and over throwing governments in Libya, Egypt, and Syria.

    The response to the refugees by some is typically American. It is not our fault. Now we have the Joe McCarthy playbook updated to the 21st Century, by Governor Mike Dense and others.

    I just read where Trump and Ben Carson want to bring back waterboarding and other forms of enhanced interrogation. Marco Rubio is floating the idea of inflicting “high-profile, humiliating defeats” including the use of US Ground Troops. I think I can be fairly certain Marco will not be leading the American Troops into battle.

  34. Actually Gopper liberals are fighting to destroy the Occident. And the Orient. And all ideological borders and other forms of cannibalism.

    Your approach has failed so many times that it’s time to rethink the future. Free ourselves from your burdens and devote ourselves to a successful future.

    For everyone.

  35. No kidding, plenty of room in Texas. Not sure about water but there’s plenty of room. Abbott isn’t going to set up check points at state lines, is he?
    Yesterday I was at a protest rally across from the governor’s mansion. I was just there to register voters (a few) but it was wonderful. Music, speeches, banners, and caring people. They were there to protest the women and children jailed up at Hutto, near Taylor. Their crime? Being refugees. After the speeches, the people who had WALKED from Hutto (a long way, taking 2 or 3 days) shouting and waving signs, went over and walked five times around Abbott’s house. I doubt he noticed but I hope the media said something. My husband said the STATESMAN said there were 400 (amazing) people there.

  36. Everyone in the US should be required to read “Thinking fast and slow” by Daniel Kahnemann. Among other important things, it points out how poor we are at gauging risk. No matter how often we are presented with the facts on terrorism vs. riding in cars, say, we are still perfectly happy to ride in a car, but not willing to let down our guard against presumed terrorists. The Right, whether through bigotry, assumed added financial burden (another error) or a desire for smaller government, embrace the belief. Last week with the house bill on Syrian refugees. a large number of Democrats fell into the trap as well.

    However, as Sheila has pointed out several times, it is extremely hard to teach anything to Americans as a group, Probability and Statistics is another important field that we should all have under our belt to live in and govern this country successfully. It’s is currently not happening.

  37. Sheila – You read my mind with today’s blog entry.

    Refugees go through an incredible vetting process by 9 federal agencies, one of those being the Homeland Security agency. That agency alone turns to each of the additional and several intelligence agencies of our federal government – including the Defense Dept.’s intelligence gathering personnel – which conduct investigations of refugees’ police records and military history, employment, bank and other financial records, social media, family members, and more. It takes so long to complete these and other steps (18-24 months on average) that security checks are done again at the end of that period for any issues that may have cropped up during that interim. International intelligence sources like Interpol are also checked. The process is so effective that refugees have a near perfect track record as law-abiding citizens, and as you noted, much better than that of native-born Americans.

    The conservative CATO Institute reveals that refugee applicants have been denied for acts as innocent as owning a food stand in a neighborhood under opposition control and from which an opposition fighter bought a falafel sandwich.

    Our visa program has a lot more loopholes than our refugee program. As CATO notes, terrorists are highly unlikely to subject themselves to all the background checks of the refugee process. It would be quicker and much easier for them to get a visa to Canada and walk across our border to the U.S. where they can purchase assault weapons at auctions and gun shows or through a straw-man purchase without any background check whatsoever. The NRA opposes background checks on terrorists wishing to purchase guns and would go ballistic (no pun intended) if a small fraction of the refugee process were applied to American gun customers.

    My pastor’s sermon today dealt with the subject of discrimination and hate. Among new members welcomed to our church today were a couple who moved here from Atlanta, Ga. The wife is a Methodist and her husband is a Muslim from India who is a physician – a heart transplant specialist. EVERY week they both attend a Muslim and Methodist church service. Their powerful example was not lost on our congregation – even without the sermon about the discrimination of our biblical forebears.

    Anti-Muslim rhetoric and discrimination are used skillfully by ISIL and Al Qaeda terrorists for recruitment. If some of our politicians are afraid to let their humanitarian side shine through, at least they should stop helping terrorists recruit more Americans into their ranks.

  38. Two points:

    1) Gopper should be banned. He is a troll, not expressing anything valid or useful. This character exists to disrupt, not to communicate in any other useful way.

    2) Religion is the problem. Religion, religion, religion. Let’s define that: Ignorance resulting from believing in things with no evidence. Whether it be worshiping an imaginary prophet or messiah or a vengeful god, it is nothing but an avoidance of truth. Similarly worshiping a fuhrer or a king or charismatic candidate is nothing but the avoiding of responsibility. The only answer is the acceptance of reality and the willingness to question everything and learn every day.

    When we defeat religion and ignorance, we will no longer have these problems.

  39. Adolf Hitler was as far right and ultra conservative as he could be. Comparisons between Hitler and some–not all–politicians are truly frightening. We don’t want this ultra conservative mind set to repeat itself here or anywhere.

  40. Serene didn’t even get close. The cause of wars is a lust for power/money. Korea was a religious conflict? No. Viet Nam? No. WW2? No. WW1? No. Need I go on, or do you just want to lean on the crusades as your crutch? Silliness.

  41. Perhaps after Trump is elected he can appoint Pence to a new position as commandant of the Chicago-based Gestapo Region to keep track of Midwestern Muslims, Jews, Orientals, Native Americans, Baptists, Lutherans, atheists, agnostics, Catholics and other such terrorists who might interfere with his campaign to “make America great again.” A great America, after all, is first and foremost a safe America. Fantasy? That’s what ordinary Germans thought prior to burning of the Reichstag by Hitler’s goons and construction of his gas ovens for Jews, gays, gypsies and others, when fantasy became reality.

    The Republican candidates for president seem to range from the mildly neurotic to the psychotic, and who can know what sorts of programs one of them might initiate if elected which give short shrift to an individual’s constitutional and human rights under the flag-waving guise of protecting America from harm (real or manufactured – see Bush’s WMD and other gross misrepresentations of fact which led to the Middle East chaos of today)?

    It is clear that Trump, Carson and Cruz (despite the goodie-goodie demeanor of the good doctor) are dictators-in-waiting and that the rest of this motley crew of candidates are just a step or two behind them awaiting only the consent of the governed before cutting taxes on Wall Street and wages on Main Street (as demanded by tea partiers and libertarians) while accelerating our descent into Third World banana republic status of only rich and poor – no middle class members need apply. If that is to be the new America, if the “shining city on the hill” as described by Reagan is nothing more than a marketplace for greed and control on the one hand and poverty on the other, then stop the bus. I want off. That’s not a country; it more resembles a criminal enterprise. Perhaps Canada will take in a political refugee from its southern neighbor – me.

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