The good, the bad, and the yucky – how far can the circus lurch from weird to over-the-top wacko

Vs. MAGA whiners, Olympic winners should be the iconic role models – testifying to the glories of hard work, good faith and respect for majority rules.

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Where’s the bottom to this no-bottom farce? 

Okay, who’s dying to become Trump’s VP – considering the last one ran for his life when MAGA forces threatened hanging? I get hard trade-offs in high ambition jobs but this is a bit much. Clearly, past downsides of guilt by association dissipated when “moral character” exited as presidential virtue. The era’s truism remains unabated: never underestimate the next chapter’s mayhem, that tomorrow’s whopper will outdo yesterday’s horror show. Oh well, let’s for a moment embrace grim gallows humor to sustain our sanity after November – and not end up alongside the Criminal-in-chief babbling about eternal innocence, stolen elections, and the gall of Founders not to anticipate the need for crooks to have total immunity.

“Unstoppable” fits the wave of jaw-dropping deviants that outdo each over. Who of us deserves to hear whether or where Trump got spanked, aside from his reckless, no-condom sex? “Yucky” or worse “fleshes in” sexual abuse by the “playboy of the western world” so repulsive he had to keep buying sex? And why can’t a strong judge reign in a boorish defendant cursing a credible witness in open court? The Trump “career” is descending to new bottoms, propelling the latest parade of shock and awe since Clinton or Dubya.

Then along comes still weirder shockers, like RFK Jr.’s parasitic brain worms and serious memory loss. That certainly explains the cringeworthy amateurism of this village idiot. Really, who scripts a conspiratorial 70 year old Kennedy crackpot (on vaccines, foreign policydemocracy, and more) also afflicted with impaired memory from mercury poison? And no vaccine heals either condition, with who knows what long term effects. Who other than MAGA types respond well to even more talk of pardons for jailed Jan. 6 convicts (truly, a knife in the heart of our “justice” system). And what about Trump’s parallel cognitive declines, with worsening Tourette’s syndrome – is it from natural stupidity, fantasy bone spurs, or bad vibes from screwing thousands? Pick ‘em! Brain worms or brain salad? A visibly aging 77 year old – or a compromised 70 year old Kennedy matching the Criminal-in-chief in looniness. 

Bad gets worse

More random, weekly rightwing whoppers, beyond puppy killing, from heartland Indiana: only this week we just learned a Congressional GOP primary winner had died of a heart attack two months ago. Or the puzzling saga of MTGreene, the nutcase loudmouth who committed party suicide by trying to depose her own GOP House speaker? Or the growing list of Republicans either not voting for Trump (Pence, Ryan) or a backing Biden (Georgia’s ex-lt. gov.)? And atop the unexpected weirdness scale: the unsolicited (boomeranging) admission from the SD governor showing off “toughness” by shooting her own puppy. OMG.

Legal accountability took another mammoth hit as two federal courts flubbed even starting the two Trump crimes of the century in Florida or D.C. until after the election. That double blow is an unforgivable insult to what all voters need to know. Of course, Trump’s unhinged propaganda drones on, that all prosecution is persecution of the would-be martyr. Only fools or suckers still believe Trump’s bluster, “I am totally innocent of all charges, past, present and future, never done anything wrong, never broke a law, never abused any horse-faced, intimidated porn star (I never met). The only retribution: re-elect me so I stay out of jail and save the country from bad guys with law degrees.”

Finally, today’s polling only adds to the bizarro situation where an unfit, deranged, terrorist-style dictator is either ahead or even with a flawed yet humane and productive president with competence, stability, and the skill-set to be president. I get why permanently minority losers hate federalism, taxation as theft, perceived interference in their lives (except with draconian abortion bans), secularism, gender diversity, and gun access limits. But what justifies backing a self-absorbed fascist who majors in law-breaking on elections, electors, campaign and business law, theft of top secrets, peaceful transfers of power, malice towards opponents, predation against women — and the inability to know the truth from lies? Exactly how, except on abortion and gun access, did Trump help run of the mill MAGA types? Not on job creation, economic growth, pandemics, stability, or advances to stop overseas belligerence. 

Are liberals doing more than lament?

Who thus need the upsurge of facile, bad news bears – merely lamenting appalling phonies crawling from under rocks everywhere. I say: let’s enjoy the mind-boggling circus show – then assess the insight exposed about human nature, echoing Einstein, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Stupidity is not good in your neighbors or suckered voters, but there you are. 

On the other hand, we have a cornered Democratic president who thinks that words alone can make war-mongering fanatics stop destroying their neighbors (just this week belatedly threatening fewer arms). I get why Biden is no king of popularity, but Trump is unequivocally the most criminal, baggage-laden national menace imaginable – dramatized by blatantly justified trials and evidence-packed indictments. Equal in weirdness to the rightwing deviancy is low credit for good Biden legislation, positive economic news, improvements to mass health care, infrastructure and climate legislation, or the reduction of student debt. 

Who cares that this president sidesteps the gross Trump lying sweepstakes and talks in measured, adult tones, even on controversial topics? Who cares that this commander-in-chief has a moral compass, looking downright saintly against Trump, yahoos and the gang of anti-freedom Caucus MAGA grifters? Who’s awake and who’s sleeping through trials or history?

Act, don’t just throw up your arms

No wonder my friends are fed up with headlines that invoke the dirty word “Trump,” skipping to safer, more uplifting news, as if Trumpism were a contagion. This is the reverse of the Trump “catch-and-kill” conspiracy. Do liberals just hope some magical higher power will simply catch-and-kill bad guys? Good faith folks rightly scorn that immoralists gained prominence by majoring in bad faith violations of rules, laws, and social contracts. But avoidance or not spreading the word is no solution. 

Trumpism is a bottomless pit of Constitutional bad faith – still escaping accountability. Does that not spur outrage equal to the wicked and weird? When do all liberals and rational centrists start acting, even if it’s only donating to sensible adults?

Before further depressing ourselves, let’s recall the universality of Dickens’ famous line, “It was the best of (political) times and the worst of (political) times.” On point, the summer Paris Olympics are well timed for our degraded times – not just with multiple distractions but with the clear moral message that dedicated, global athletes who work incredibly hard win by heeding the rules and dwarfing the competition. Contrast with loser MAGA screaming “the results are rigged, judges are all against us, and the elitist world is out to steal what’s rightfully ours.” 

Against MAGA whiners, suckered by corrupt media, Olympic winners should be the iconic role models for us and our children – testifying to the glories of hard work, good faith and respect for majority rules, agreed-on in advance. In sports (and much of life), throwing a tantrum just to get attention defines loser-dom. What does it say that honorable sports figures (and a few public figures) provide the greatest, dramatic moral contrast to cowardly rightwingers, corrupt officials and wannabe autocrats who get weirder and scarier by the week? 

Look not to once-active, now AWOL religious leaders, silenced academics or beaten-down artists and performers, but to visible models of winners who honor families and backgrounds, redefine records, and advance civilization.

FALL FUNDRAISER

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For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.

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