“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” – John Locke
Today, a Republican senator from Arizona – Jeff Flake – gave a speech on the Senate floor. Oh, it was somewhat impassioned and seemed so, so sincere, criticizing the Idiot-in-Chief for trying to undermine the First Amendment of our Constitution by labeling every news item he (45) doesn’t like as “fake news”.
Pundits lauded this as “Senator Flake standing up to President Trump”.
A Google search quickly brought up Sen. Flake’s voting record on the site “Five Thirty Eight”, where we can see that this “courageous” politician voted in agreement 90% of the time with Not-My-President Trump (“Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump”, Aaron Bycoffe, FiveThirtyEight website, no date given).
What’s clear to me, after seeing how he votes, is Flake – who is retiring from his position this year – appears to be setting the stage for wresting control of the Republican Party away from 45. And, of course, running for president in 2020.
He wants to be seen as taking the moral high ground, a “reasonable” and “moderate” Republican.
But he is just another dangerous politician.
For example, he voted for the horrendous tax bill just passed, that sets up the basis for curtailing or eliminating entitlement programs.
Aside #1: Kentucky was quick to start the ball rolling by making Medicaid recipients (up until age 64!) go to work if they want to keep their healthcare. Never mind that 60% of Medicaid recipients already work, we gotta get Grandma and Grandpa out there too, the slackers!
That is just one example. If you click on the link I provided you can see Flake’s record in all it’s disgustingness.
So we have one Republican pretending to spar with his leader. I am not impressed, and you ought not to be, either.
It’s so tempting to cheer anyone appearing to stand up to the Bully-Elect, because things are so awful and most Republicans either don’t condemn anything 45 does/says or they flat-out lie for him (“Sens Cotton and Perdue are Outed for Lying on Trump’s Behalf”, Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post online, 1/16/18).
Also, I think that moderates, liberals, and other folks who lean left want to think the best of people, even Republicans.
That’s a mistake. A dangerous mistake.
We have to judge people by what they do, not what they say, especially in this political climate where lying by the right-wing is as natural to them as breathing.
The Not-My-President lies, his press secretary lies, his Ass-Kisser-Assistant (Pence) lies, and, except for the people who are leaking information on what really goes on in the White House, everyone who works in this administration lies.
We can only judge them by what they do. And hold them accountable, no matter how many times they insist we “misheard”, “misinterpreted”, “are making things up”, or “aren’t supposed to take the president literally”. The reaction of Republicans to any criticism or confrontation is to gaslight the public.
I don’t think most people are falling for that now.
Before you yell, “But his base!” may I remind you of who 45’s base really is?
It’s the people who fund him. The Russian SVR, and the 1%. And wannabe 1%-ers.
So, while his base is small, even when you include who really is responsible for him, they are well-funded. And you need to consider, part of the reason 45 goes on campaign tours still is to reinforce this idea that his base consists only of rural whites who come out to see him.
Because they’re just a bunch of dumb rednecks, right? Not particularly dangerous, and if they are…well…we have people on “our side” who will fight back.
As long as we continue to focus on this small section of the population, most of whom do not have two nickels to rub together, we are distracted. Heck, most of us won’t even admit there are middle-class to upper-middle-class supporters who support 45 – that cuts too close to home.
Never mind, though, because our real opposition is the 1%. We can never lose sight of that, we can never be manipulated into fighting each other.
Because as dangerous as their speech and actions can be, we’ve got to remember that they see our speech and actions as dangerous, too.
The difference is, it’s much easier to shut us up or punish us for what we say and do. And if we don’t get it together and unite, we might find ourselves unable to fight back.
Because they hold the power.
Remember Leonard Peltier, still in prison. Think about Red Fawn Fallis, arrested for something she didn’t do – because she is a human rights advocate and a Lakota.
You want a window into the future about how the 1% and their servants will eventually come after us? Look at how they have dealt with indigenous people since they landed here with their dreams of conquest right on up until today. There’s your signpost.
Aside #2: That is not to diminish how other groups in American society are treated, such as the unjust imprisonment and/or murder of POC, or the violence against women and LGBTQ community, or…I’m sure you can think of others.
Focus. On actions, not words.
Weird news of the week: Mind how you deal with sneezes…“Man’s Throat Ruptured After Holding His Nose During Forceful Sneeze”, Rebecca Taylor, Sky News website, 1/16/18.
Recommendation for this week: Website (GovTrack) listing all the committee meetings in Congress, for all you political junkies. I would bet you can see most of these on CSPAN.
Be good. Be kind. Watch what people do, not what they say.