Once Again America Turns to the Youth of Our Country to Defend Our Democracy.

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Eighty years ago the youth of America, your grandparents, and great aunts and uncles, rallied to defend our democracy from the evils of fascism, racism, and hatred, in Europe and in Asia. Many returned, broken and maimed and many never returned. They fought and died to defend the freedoms and rights that we all enjoy today.

Today those rights and freedoms that our relatives fought and died to preserve, are once again severely threatened. Already women’s right to make decisions on their health has been taken away by an extremist right-wing court, whose majority of Conservative justices were installed by Donald Trump, a wannabee dictator. Voting rights, earned in the past 50 years are slowly being stripped away. As we speak this same Supreme Court is planning on abolishing affirmative action which will virtually destroy the ability for minorities to be able to compete on a level playing field with whites. The Voting Rights Acts of 1965 is slowly being dismantled, limiting or abolishing the right to vote for Blacks and other minorities. The right to marry the one you love will soon be destroyed, as promised by Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Hard-fought LGBTQ rights earned in the past 50 years will soon be just a memory.

The foundation of our American democracy, the right to vote, has become the target of the new Trump Republican Party. Many election-denying Republican candidates have openly stated that they would not accept the results of the midterm elections if they lost. According to the Republican Party, the only elections that count are the ones they win. Just like elections in Russia, China, and Iran.

This upcoming midterm election could possibly be the last real election that we may participate in. If the Republicans regain control of Congress, it’s all over. It’s all over for women, seniors, immigrants, Black, the LGBTQ community, and the middle class. Once again our country, our democracy, needs the nation’s youth to come to our rescue. We need you to vote. Your relatives fought and died for over 4 years in WW II to save our democracy. We need only that you take the time to vote to save our democracy. Youth of America, PLEASE VOTE!

The Insurrection is Almost Complete, The Next Step Depends Upon You

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We all saw the violent Trump-supported mob attack the US Capitol on January 6th in an effort to overturn the 2020 election and our government. We saw those domestic terrorists desecrate the Capitol building, smashing windows, breaking down doors, and even defecating on the floor, all the while searching for Nancy Pelosi, and other members of Congress Trump saw as an enemy, in order to kill them. We also saw these Trump loyalists attack, beat, and either severely injure or kill law enforcement officers defending the seat of our government. We all saw these despicable and treasonous actions unless you were watching Fox News or listening to the cowardly members of Congress, like Minority Leader McCarthy or Ted Cruz, who hid crouched under their desks or some other protected space. Even Vice President Mike Pence was targeted for hanging because he didn’t decertify the election, as Trump wanted. They instead called this bloody, heinous attack on our Capitol and our government merely patriots peacefully voicing their opinions!

We saw Trump’s “big lie”continue to be amplified by Trump and his toadies. We saw every judicial effort by Trump to nullify the election fail. With each failure, Trump and his supporters increased their hateful, divisive, and dangerous rhetoric, often calling for violence toward anyone perceived as Trump’s enemy, Democrat or even the rare Republican. Along with Trump’s perceived enemies being attacked, he and his supporters are attacking the Department of Justice, the FBI, Secretaries of State of individual states where he lost, and even election poll workers. No one is safe from Trump’s pathological revenge.

We saw and are still seeing, thanks to the work of the Select Committee investigating January 6, the extent of Trump’s involvement in the treasonous attack, as well as his other numerous crimes. We are also seeing that Donald Trump has stolen top-secret government defense and intelligence documents that, in the wrong hands, could be a grave danger to our country’s security. Why did he need to have these? Extortion, selling them to Russia?

Since the insurrection, we have seen numerous low-level soldiers of Trump’s MAGA involved in the attack, arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned. At the same time, we have seen those responsible for the organization, planning, and funding of the insurrection go free to continue to spread lies, hatred, and division. Trump, Giuliani, Stone, Flynn, and many prominent Republican Congressmen are walking free to help finish the insurrection, using the very judicial system they plan on dismantling if they come to power. Even Mike Pence, whom Trump wanted to be hanged, is too much of a coward to speak up against Trump.

Since the insurrection, we have seen SCOTUS, with 3 of Trump’s far-right extremist appointed justices, after lying to protect Roe vs Wade, repeal it. We then have seen Justice Clarence Thomas promise to go after contraception, gay rights, and same-sex marriage. We have seen that Thomas has not recused himself from court dealings that involved Trump, while his wife is an ardent supporter of Trump and his lies, and has even financially supported the insurrection. Recently we have just seen the husband of House Speaker and second in line to the presidency, Nancy Pelosi, viciously attacked and beaten by an intruder yelling “where’s Nancy”. These are the same words echoed by the January 6th terrorists seeking to assassinate Nancy Pelosi.

Now the midterm elections are upon us. We are seeing voting rights being attacked, especially in Red states, to prevent Black people and Native Americans from voting. Republican legislatures have enacted legislation making it more difficult, if not impossible, for minorities to vote. Not surprisingly, the state courts have upheld these new laws. We are also seeing governors and legislatures in Red states give the authority to the secretary of state, the governor, or the legislature, to overturn an election if they disagreed with the results.

Republican states were quick to ban all abortions, with no exceptions, right after SCOTUS repealed Roe vs Wade. States like Florida have passed laws that make it illegal for teachers to even mention the word “gay” or mention their spouse if their spouse is of the same sex. They have banned all books containing material about the LGBTQ community. They have set their sites on banning gay marriage.

According to Brookings, there are over 300 Trump-supporting election deniers on the ballot in the midterm elections and according to Politico, 57 people involved in the January insurrection are running for office. If you listen to them you will discover their platform is pure white supremacy. They are Trumpers who vilify immigrants, the LGBTQ community, people of color, non-Christians, especially Jews, and anyone who does not fully worship Donald Trump. Most of them have labeled their opponents and all Democrats pedophiles whose policies seek to groom children into the “gay lifestyle” or child prostitution. They have accused Democrats of child trafficking and being members of the “new world order”, whatever the hell that is, and of trying to destroy religion, meaning their “Christian” religion.

The Trump Republican party has laid the groundwork for a new Trump-led authoritarian government to replace our democracy. They have divided us, they have stoked fear of those who are people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and anyone who is not a white Christian conservative. They are already saying that if Trump is brought to justice or if Republicans lose in the upcoming elections there will be violence. To the man, or woman, far-right candidates have publically stated that they will not accept the election results if they lose.

Now, what happens? It’s up to you. If you are a woman, you have daughters, you or a loved one are a member of the LGBTQ community, you are Black, Brown, or Native American, you are Jewish, Muslim, or any non-Christian, you are a scientist or are highly educated, and you love democracy and your freedoms you have everything to lose if Republicans take control of Congress in the midterms.

You have two choices. You can bitch and moan and panic over having to pay a little more for gas and groceries, a temporary situation that people my age have seen come and go numerous times during our lifetime, and vote Republican. Or you can vote Democrat to save your freedoms and democracy. Inflation is temporary, but our loss of democracy is permanent. Remember, Republicans are targeting voting rights, so if Republicans win you won’t have the chance to vote ever again!

To My Fellow Senior Citizens, Are You Senile or Just Plain Stupid?

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With the midterm elections just a few short weeks away I am shocked and saddened by the stupidity of some of my fellow senior citizens. Like most seniors, I depend on my monthly Social Security benefits to stay alive. Fortunately, I also have a pension and an annuity to support myself in my final years. But there are millions of people who rely solely on their monthly social security benefits. Like all other seniors, I also depend on Medicare to help with my medical expenses. Also like other seniors, I have health needs that include numerous prescription drugs, many of which are extremely expensive. For many seniors, these prescription drugs are not affordable on their meager monthly income.

This Democratic administration has managed to pass a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs for Medicare recipients, set the cost of insulin at $35, and set a cap of $2000 for drug costs. Every single Republican in Congress voted against the bill to help senior citizens live a comfortable, worry-free life. Seniors are also affected by the high gas prices and higher cost of groceries. The Democrats passed the Anti-inflation Act that will lower costs to families and lower the deficit. Once again every single Republican voted against it. Democrats also introduced a bill that would impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies charging exorbitant prices at a time when the poor and middle class are suffering economically. And guess what? It didn’t pass because every single Republican voted against it.

The Democrats are asking voters to give them a larger majority in the Senate and to maintain their majority in the House so they can continue to lower drug costs for everyone, provide effective healthcare for everyone, strengthen Social Security, lower inflation and the deficit, strengthen voter rights, codify Roe vs Wade and same-sex marriage. The Republicans are promising to abolish the Anti-inflation act and repeal the legislation to lower the cost of insulin for Medicare recipients. They have promised to block the debt ceiling vote until the Democrats agree to make major changes to Social Security, including lowering the benefits, extending the age for retirement, and even the possibility of denying benefits to those who also have a pension in addition to Social Security.

Yet many of my fellow senior citizens stupidly and ignorantly sit their fat asses on the couch while they watch Fox News spread hate and fear that some non-white immigrants are coming after their way of life. They cruise around in their golf carts in places like “The Villages” wearing their little red “Made in China” MAGA hats praising everything their fat, orange god, Trump, has done and will do for them. They’re all rallying around the Republicans either not caring or not aware that their democracy, their social security benefits, and their Medicare will soon be gone if they vote Republican.

When our Social Security and Medicare are gone, who will you blame? Biden, immigrants, Blacks, Democrats, gays? I’m sure you won’t accept any responsibility, just like Trump and the Republican traitors you voted for.

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.

You’re Not My Ally and You Are Not My Friend!

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Now that the Supreme Court has abolished women’s reproductive rights they have signaled they are not stopping there. The extremist justices on the court, at the same time they destroyed Roe vs Wade, signaled they would “rethink” contraceptive rights and marriage equality. The ultimate moron, Sen. Ted Cruz (R), came right out and called for banning gay marriage. Needless to say, my husband and I are concerned about the future of our marriage and how long we will have the right to exist as gay Americans.

Our friends and neighbors, all tried to assuage our fears by telling us it won’t happen. Yeah, the same bullshit they said about Roe vs Wade, but look what happened. What really pisses me off is that friends, neighbors, and even relatives count themselves as LGBTQ allies, to our faces. But then when it comes time to vote, these backstabbing hypocrites, vote straight Republican. They vote for the same Republicans who have vowed to ban gay marriage and eliminate all LGBTQ rights. Since election ballots are cast in secret, they’ll just turn around and lie to our faces, saying what a shame that we lost all of our rights, but they “will always accept us”.

I don’t remember ever voting on your right to marry your spouse. There have been times when I didn’t like your choice of a spouse, but hell I didn’t try to dissolve your marriage. I also don’t remember voting on your right to apply for or hold a job, rent an apartment, buy a house, or visit your spouse if they are hospitalized. I don’t remember voting on your right to leave money or property to your spouse, or significant other. I’ve known some people who have had butt ugly or downright evil spouses, but I never did or said anything, because it’s none of my business.

Since Republicans are so against gay marriage I would like to know how my marriage has affected your marriage or your lives. Please tell me. I want to know. Don’t give me any of that “Christian” bullshit because Jesus Christ never said anything about gay people. He did say a lot about loving “thy neighbor as thyself” though. I guess He wasn’t a “Christian Republican!

Since my husband and I live in New York State our rights and our marriage is safe, as long as we live in this state. But we are not sure if we will be safe in all 50 states or if we will have federally protected rights. We live in a Red area in western New York that almost always votes Republicans, regardless of how bad or unqualified they may be. Most people still believe Trump’s Big Lie” and will always believe it. I can say with almost complete certainty that many friends we have here in our community will vote Republican, thus voting against our future. And then they lie and say how much they support us.

I’m sure that those of our friends, neighbors, and allies, will not see or read this blog post because, in reality, they don’t care about LGBTQ issues, gay marriage, or our own marriage. If you do vote against our existence as gay people, you are no longer our friend or ally. We’ll never know the truth, but you will, and you will have to live with that betrayal.

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.