The New Definition of the Red Scare

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In America, in the late 1940s and 1950s, the country was engulfed in the hysteria of the Red Scare, the fear of communism. The enemy was the Soviet Union, under the control of the dictator Joseph Stalin and his Communist Party, symbolized by the red star. The Red Scare gained popularity when Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy alleged that there were hundreds of communists living in the United States, plotting to overturn our democracy. He theorized that communists had infiltrated the U.S government and were prominent in the Hollywood community. You can learn more about Sen. McCarthy and his activities from the United States Senate site here.

Growing up I can remember being warned that communists could be lurking around every corner of our society. Anyone who was in the least bit different from the average American citizen (white, Ango-Saxon Protestant) was a communist. Popular Hollywood actors and entertainers were accused of being communists and most people who espoused policies that would today be called liberal or progressive were either called communists or socialists. The Republican Party called FDR a socialist for implementing Social Security, which benefits all Americans today and is a prime target for destruction among most Republican politicians today. FDR’s policy of helping the poor and working class has always come under fire from Republicans, as being socialist policies. They attempt to stoke fear among Americans that we will become a socialist country. They and most Americans are truly ignorant of what socialism is. That’s a lesson for another blog post, however.

In my youth and my college years, people were leery of the “Red” Chinese, Russia, and “the Reds”. They were communists and our sworn enemies. When Cuba was overtaken by Fidel Castro and became a communist country 90 miles from Florida, the Red Scare became very real. I can remember being in grammar school and hiding under our desks in practice for a possible Russian nuclear attack. I can still remember how close we came to war when JFK stared down Nikita Khrushchev and demanded Russian missiles be removed from Cuba.

The Red scare was in response to the fear of an overturn of our government from a foreign power, beyond our shores. Today our democracy is threatened again by the color red. This time red star is not associated with communism, but with the Republican Party. It’s not the Red Star we must fear, but the Red MAGA hat!

On January 6th, 2021 Trump red-hatted supporters incited by Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election and our democracy. The attack almost succeeded. But Trump and allies are still spreading his big lie, that the election was stolen. Trump Republicans have succeeded in nominating extremist candidates, who if elected will succeed in finishing what Trump started on January 6th. These candidates support the big lie and have vowed revenge on anyone who did not fully support Trump. The Republicans have promised, if they take control of Congress, to propose a national ban on abortion, sunset Social Security, end Medicare, abolish same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights, and end the separation of church and state.

Amazingly these far-right extremists, some of whom are convicted felons and participants in the January 6th insurrection, stand a good chance of winning in November. In Red states, they are almost assured of winning. Despite numerous investigations into Trump’s plethora of alleged crimes, including stealing top-secret national defense documents, he is the front runner for the GOP nomination for 2024. People’s fealty to a wannabe dictator is stronger than the desire to preserve our democracy. Yes, people are that stupid. You may want to read a previous post on the danger of losing our democracy here.

Former Trump administration and Republican members of Congress are attacking the same judicial system they are using to deflect and delay criminal proceedings against them. They are destroying our rule of law and our Constitution in an attempt to install an authoritarian form of government that would assure that a white Christo-fascist America will replace our democracy. When I was younger it was common to hear the phrase “better dead than Red”. If Republicans regain power that phrase may be reworded to say “be Red or be dead”.

Astonishingly many people I talk with are entirely unaware of the dangers our democracy is facing. I hear comments such as ” I don’t watch the news”, “it’s all politics”, “Trump is being treated unfairly”, or this one I have written about before. There is a good chance that if Republicans are victorious in the midterms and the 2024 election these same people will wake up to a reality of a dictatorial fascist government and wonder how it happened.

What Will Happen If Trump Goes to Jail?

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With the recent FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar- a- Lago the likelihood of his being indicted for a crime and possibly being incarcerated if he is found guilty has grown considerably. Even though the traitors and toadies of Trumpworld are outraged at the event and calling for the Justice Department to be investigated or defunded, as reported here, they have completely disregarded the fact that the search was legal and carried out with a warrant signed by a federal judge with the consent of top DOJ officials. The warrant would not have been issued without probable cause that a crime was committed and there was cause to believe evidence could be destroyed.

The party of “law and order” are now attacking Attorney General Garland, the FBI, and the Justice Department. They complain that no other president or former president has ever been treated like this, which is true. But they forget that no other president in our history has been so corrupt or attempted a coup to remain in power. If any other citizen of this country had committed even one of the crimes Trump has committed or been accused of, they would have been thrown in jail long ago. But Republicans believe that their furor is a martyr and is above the law.

No president has ever been indicted and sentenced to prison, either while in office or after leaving office. The logistics of a former president serving time in prison are unknown. If found guilty would Trump serve his time under house arrest, be pardoned, placed on probation, or jailed? What would happen to his Secret Service coverage? Would they too have to go to jail? Many pundits believe that because of these concerns Trump would not or should not be imprisoned if indicted. Some go further saying he shouldn’t be indicted either.

People worry that if Trump is brought to justice his supporters will take to the streets causing mayhem, violence, and bloodshed I sincerely believe this will happen, as Trump has already alluded to this in a speech at a rally in Texas in January of 2022. You can read about this here. Certainly, Trump would rather burn the country down, than give up his quest for dictatorial power.

There is a distant possibility that if Trump sees that it is inevitable he will be indicted, he may flee the country, possibly to Russia or Saudi Arabia. I’m sure he would flee, alone, leaving his wife and family behind to suffer their own consequences. To Trump, only power, money, and himself matter.

If Trump is not indicted and is not held accountable for his crimes, it will send a signal that some people ARE above the law, and no matter what they do they will not be held accountable. The likelihood of another coup, this time successful, will be assured. Our democracy will certainly come to an end.

This country is between a rock and a hard place thanks to Donald Trump. If he is not held accountable for his crimes our democracy will definitely be destroyed. Our freedoms and even our lives will be at risk. The rule of law will no longer exist and blood will be shed. With Donald Trump free, he will always be a danger to our country. If he is held accountable for his crimes he will surely ask his supporters to fight in the streets and there will be bloodshed. Red states will threaten to secede and Republicans in Congress and state legislatures will retaliate against anyone they perceive has wronged Trump. The only true choice we have is to uphold the rule of law and uphold the Constitution.

Different People, Same Objective!

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On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were attacked and destroyed, the Pentagon was attacked and a hijacked plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania before it could have reached the Pentagon. In all 3 attacks, 2977 people were killed and numerous more injured. The 19 perpetrators of the September 11 attack were radical Islamist members of al-Qaeda. 15 of them were from Saudi Arabia and the others were from Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE. They wanted to destroy American democracy, the “American” dream, and our system of values. We all considered them to be terrorists and we all united against terrorism. President George W. Bush, in retaliation, attacked and invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and 2003, respectively. It was the beginning of America’s war on terrorism. Every non-white, non-Christian was suspect, and many were harassed and discriminated against.

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On January 6, 2021, an armed mob of Trump supporters called to Washington, DC by defeated President Donald Trump to protest his election defeat and overturn the election of President-elect Joe Biden and attacked the United States Capitol. Their purpose was to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, at all costs, even the murder of the Vice-President and Democratic members of Congress. When it was all over and law enforcement regained control of The Capitol, 9 people had lost their lives and the Capitol building was desecrated.

The January 6th insurrectionists came from many of the 50 states of our country. They all had several things in common. They were all supporters of Donald Trump. They all believed his “big lie” that the election was stolen from him. They all believed that the “American Dream” belonged only to them and that the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution were possessed by only white, Christian people born in this country. They believed that the American system of values was defined by Trump and his cult and not by Democrats, immigrants, people of color, or anyone who doesn’t look, act, worship, or talk like them.

Unlike after the 9/11 attacks when America was united in defiance of terrorists, America became deeply divided, with Trump and his Republican toadies leading the way. Those who attacked the Capitol and attempted to murder members of Congress to bring down our Democracy, instead of being labeled as the terrorists they are, are considered “patriots” by the Republican Party.

The perpetrators of 9/11 have been hunted down and held accountable for their actions. Bin-Laden and most recently al-Zawahiri have paid the price for their actions. As of today, the people who organized and orchestrated the insurrection, Trump, his closest advisors, and members of Congress remain free and unaccountable for their treasonous actions. The boots on the ground, the little guys, who actually stormed the Capitol are slowly being brought to justice, albeit in most cases, with just a slap on the wrist.

Why is it that foreigners can attack our democracy and try to destroy our freedoms be labeled terrorists and suffer the consequences, while a bunch of American citizens, led by a narcissistic, autocratic, sociopath is labeled patriots and are not held accountable for their actions? What does it take to be considered a domestic terrorist? If you are a white Christian and perform terrorist acts, you are considered mentally ill. If you are a Muslim, and an American citizen, you are considered a terrorist, not a domestic terrorist. If you try to destroy our country from outside our borders you should be considered a terrorist, a foreign terrorist and if you try to destroy our country from within, you are still a terrorist, a domestic terrorist.

After 9/11 the American people were outraged and still are. They vowed to never let this happen again. On January 6th Americans were outraged and placed sole blame on Trump, but a week later Republicans in Congress, many of whom owe their lives to the Capitol Police, called the insurrection just a bunch of “tourists”. Instead of investigating the insurrection Republicans lined up on their knees to kiss Donald Trump’s ass, either out of fear of Trump or complicity in the insurrection. Instead of exposing “the big lie”, they encourage its spread. Instead of assuring that this would never happen again, they have laid the groundwork in swing states that would assure that when it happens again, it will succeed.

The January 6th Committee has been doing an astonishing job investigating the attempted coup and those responsible for it. They have uncovered evidence of the involvement of Republican members of Congress, Trump administration officials, Trump associates, and even the wife of a Supreme Court justice. The only 2 Republicans on the Committee have been chastised and demonized by the Republican Party, simply for doing their job defending the Constitution. Instead of doing their constitutional duty and supporting the Committee, they have been fighting it every step of the way hiding behind the Fifth Amendment, “executive privilege”, or refusing to testify, being in contempt of Congress. These are not the actions of patriots, They are actions of terrorists attempting to cover up an insurrection.

If Trump and his MAGA Republicans are not held accountable as domestic terrorists for their actions in the January 6th attempted coup, they WILL try it again. The greatest dangers to our country and our democracy come not from abroad, but from within our borders. Some of the very laws that now protect us, will be the ones that will destroy us. As radicals have taken over the Islamic religion, so too have radicals taken over the Republican Party and the Christian Right. If we don’t realize the dangers that Trump and his sycophantic Republican followers pose to our Constitution, our democracy, our country, and our freedoms and vote as if our lives depended on it, the United States will cease to exist as we once knew it.

I’m Not Really Into The Fourth of July This Year!

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Usually, at this time of summer, I am eager to enthusiastically wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July. But not this year. I have always been proud of being an American, especially after same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015. But no more.

When Donald Trump was elected President I was pretty leary of what he might do to the LGBTQ community and in particular my same-sex marriage. With every attack from his administration on gays, immigrants, Blacks, Muslims, and women, my paranoia grew. When I saw Conservatives, mainly Christian Conservatives, viciously attack Roe vs Wade and call for its repeal and call for the repeal of all LGBTQ rights, as well, I became increasingly alarmed. My Republican friends and many political pundits said not to worry, it will never happen. They are now legal precedents and part of our American culture and our rights as Americans. Well, guess what? They were all wrong.

Trump’s picks for SCOTUS were given a mission by the GOP, the Federalist Society, and the Christian Right. Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett are all Roman Catholics, belonging to a radical faction of that religion. All three were pushed through by McConnell, regardless of their qualifications, and accusations of sexual misconduct, on Kavanaugh’s part. They were not entirely vetted by the FBI, at the behest of the Trump administration. Their mission was to destroy Roe vs Wade, repeal same-sex marriage, ban contraceptives, and limit voting rights with a preference given to whites and Republicans.

In 10 days the Supreme Court for the first time in American history took away rights from the American people. They banned abortion and took away the rights of all American women to control their health and reproductive rights. They destroyed the time-honored tradition of Separation of Church and State, undoubtedly favoring the Christian faith. They weakened gun control laws making it easier to carry concealed weapons, thus making it easier for more of our children to be slaughtered in their classrooms. At least the children will be able to be led in prayer as they are being massacred by an AR-15! Finally, SCOTUS sided with the fossil fuel industry instead of the health and safety of future generations, in America and worldwide, by stripping the EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies of their powers.

In his majority opinion on the repeal of Roe vs Wade, Clarence Thomas made it clear that they would “revisit” the decisions on contraception and same-sex marriage. The court is now in recess until October, but there is an item on their docket that could take away our freedom to vote. That item would allow state legislatures to overturn the popular vote in the individual states. This means that if a Democrat wins the vote in a state with a Republican state legislature, the legislature could overturn the vote and award the state to the Republican candidate. If they allow this to happen our democracy is over.

If the Republicans retake the House and Senate, Biden will become the last Democrat to serve as President. Soon after the Republicans return to power, same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights will be gone, women’s rights will be further eroded, voting rights will be severely restricted, Civil rights will be curtailed, First Amendment rights will disappear, and a Christo-fascist authoritarian government will be installed.

I can hear the fireworks from our community’s Fourth of July celebration as I am writing this article. I cannot be excited as women’s rights are being taken away, and my rights are on the chopping block. I cannot be excited about being an American because, to me, this year’s celebration seems more like a deathwatch. If people don’t vote the Republican fascists out of office in November, the next July Fourth will be a funeral. A funeral for our democracy and our once cherished freedoms.

Our Democracy is on the Eve of Destruction!

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In this June of sorrows, we have seen the antifreedom rogue supreme court, for the first time in our country’s history, remove rights from the American populace. In a direct and savage attack on women, they abolished Roe vs Wade and banned abortion and women’s reproductive rights and health. Three of the four Conservative Justices voting to ban abortion were all appointed by Trump and lied under oath about protecting Roe vs Wade as a matter of precedent. Roberts and Uncle Clarence Thomas also voted to ban abortion.

Thomas, in his written opinion, not only destroyed a woman’s right to manage her own healthcare and reproductive rights, but looked forward to eliminating other rights, including contraception, same-sex consensual relations, and same-sex marriage. Oddly enough there was no mention of interracial marriage, such as the one Thomas is in. This is only the beginning for the Christo-Fascist members of SCOTUS.

Shortly after downgrading women to second-class citizens, the rogue court obliterated the separation of church and state in deciding that a teacher can lead his/her students in prayer. Does this include Islamic prayers, Jewish prayers, Hindu prayers, or Buddhist prayers? And then the Court struck down a New York State open carry law that required the applicant to give a reason for needing a pistol permit. Apparently, the Court feels that prayers and guns are more important than a woman’s right to oversee her health and reproductive rights.

Banning abortion has literally divided the country into 2 different countries. Those states where abortion is legal and those where it is banned. Red states have already instituted their own draconian abortion bans that go well beyond abortion, and include banning medications given to a woman who has miscarried and banning in-vitro fertilization. Thanks to our own American Taliban, women will be forced to give birth to their brothers and sisters or will die from suffering a miscarriage. Also, millions of couples, who want to have children but can’t, will be forbidden to bear children via IVF. And then of course there will be millions of unwanted children who will suffer from abuse and neglect because their mother is unable to care for them. And of course, these dear white Republican Christians won’t lift a finger to help them.

As a gay man in a same-sex marriage, I am worried that my rights as an LGBTQ person and my marriage will be next on Uncle Clarence’s chopping block. And probably after that women’s right to vote will fall. And then slavery will be reinstated, as a white Christian nation replaces the United States of America!

A lot of people tell me not to worry because Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch said that same-sex marriage is settled precedent. Not to worry? That’s exactly what people said about the possibility of Roe vs Wade being overturned?

Looking back, I wrote a forwarning article about 4 years ago that is worth a read now, https://medium.com/your-voice-counts/will-same-sex-marriage-survive-f13b1768d7e2.

If the Republicans regain the Senate and the House in the midterms, I’m sorry but the great American democratic experience is over. We will be living under a Christo-Fascist authoritarian government. If we don’t vote blue we are doomed.

Ukrainians Know How to Fight for Their Democracy and They Put Most Americans to Shame.

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I’ve had nothing but hope and admiration for the people and President of Ukraine, since Russia’s horrific invasion of the country, for no reason other than to destroy the young democracy and fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to bring back the Soviet Union. Ukraine has never been a threat to Putin’s Russia, but its successful fledgling democracy and the accompanying freedoms are.

After weeks of failed diplomacy, Putin invaded Ukraine with the full might of 2/3 of the Russian military forces. But Ukrainian President Zelinsky and the Ukrainian people would have nothing to do with Putin’s attack on the peace-loving nation. The Ukrainian people, women, and children of all ages rallied behind their duly elected leader and their military to defy the Russian troops at every step of the way. Putin miscalculated the Ukrainian people’s strong will to defend their freedoms and their country. The capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, was supposed to be Putin’s prize for the taking, but after 3 days the Ukrainians still hold the capital.

We have seen photos and newsreels showing Ukrainian women making Molotov cocktails and brandishing weapons in defense of their homes. We have seen old men volunteering to join the military to defend their homeland. We have also seen President Zelinsky, in full military gear ready to die for his country, along with his fellow countrymen. We have heard him refuse to be evacuated to safety, choosing to fight rather than seek his own personal protection.

I am amazed at the unity of the international community in standing up to Putin. Almost the entire airspace over Europe has been closed to Russia and the rest of the world, except for China and North Korea, have imposed economically crippling sanctions that will bring down Russia’s currency and hit Putin’s oligarch friends in their pocketbooks.

Tyler Merbler – Wikimedia Commons

And then we look at what’s happening at home. As the world rallies around Ukraine, Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are rallying around Putin. Remember it was Donald Trump who was impeached for attempting to extort Zelensky by threatening to withhold military aid unless he fabricated lies to help Trump’s re-election campaign. From the first day of the Trump administration, Trump tried to eliminate Russian sanctions imposed on Putin for his earlier incursion into Crimea. All during his term, Trump bent over backward to weaken NATO and curry favor with Putin. Trump tried to destabilize NATO, Europe and divide the American people to pave the way for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

When I see the brave patriots of Ukraine fighting for their lives, their freedom, and their country I can’t help but think of Trump and his cult of ragtag supporters attacking the U.S. Capitol because their cult leader lost the election. I remember Trump firing up his followers saying “follow me to the Capitol” and then running back to the White House to hide ( I guess those bone spurs were acting up) and letting his supporters face the dangers in the midst of the violent attack.

Then I see his supporters attacking healthcare workers, government officials, and even school children for trying to take away their freedoms, by having to wear a piece of cloth to help protect themselves and other people from dying of COVID-19. These brave patriots are willing to attack the Capitol, but they’re too damn afraid to get a simple vaccination, to protect themselves from a severe illness. Now they want to form a convoy of trucks to disrupt the flow of food and goods to their fellow citizens, goaded on by Fox News and reprobates like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, because of non-existent mask mandates.

These pathetic excuses for Americans would drop dead of fear if they had to face the real losses of freedom that Ukrainians have been facing since the invasion. The Ukrainians stand to lose their government, their country, their homes, their businesses, and their lives. The so-called American patriots are a disgrace to America and every freedom-loving democracy in the world. They have brought shame to every veteran who put on a uniform to fight for America’s freedom far from home.

Remember the people of Ukraine in your prayers and thank God for people like them. If only all Americans valued our democracy as much as they do. They are a model to freedom-loving people all over the world.