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The Day Before The Grifter Leaves

Here’s an ancient border wall near where these words were typed. Seems fitting considering we are soon leaving a particularly bad chapter of our history and, thankfully, moving on to another, hopefully, brighter one.

Tomorrow, the Grifter-in-Chief will be ousted from a position and office he was unsuited of holding and should never have been voted to do so.

It’s clear to most smart people that traditional media together with social media, especially Twitter, enabled the four-year rampage by Trump & Co. I can almost hear a collective sigh of relief now that an era of hatred, division, and chaos is coming to a close.

Generally, there are two fractions that supported Trump; the ignorant millions that could not see that Donald is just a grifter, a conman, a huckster, and the über-cynical opportunists that kissed his ass and injected their tongues so far up his asshole, that they no longer could breathe without him passing wind. Among these mice (not men) are Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, and Ted Cruz. They should feel immeasurable, eternal shame for supporting the Grifter.

I’m not a big fan of Hillary Clinton, but she certainly recognized Trump and his followers very early on: In September 2016 she said:

– You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. The other half feel that the government has let them down and they are desperate for change.

And George Orwell, writing in 1946, had this to say about the deniers, conspiracy theorists and revisionists:

– The point is that we are all capable of believing things that we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.

Finally, I highly recommend listening to this interview with Ronald Reagan’s son, Ron Reagan. Interesting, inspiring, and very funny. While I think Reagan Sr started pushing the Republican party down the dark path that brought forth a character like Trump, in no small way by playing heavily on the nationalistic “America First” fiddle and making it clear that if you’re not a flag-waving patriot, you’re possibly a communist, he was still a decent man worthy of the presidency. Here’s the interview.


Bye-Bye Trump & Co

Here’s a collage that’s fresh from the drawing board. What to say about the rioters and protesters storming Congress yesterday? Should we really be so surprised after all of the instigating from Trump and Rudy Giuliani? I think not.

What I do think is that both of these shady characters should be thrown in jail for their incendiary behavior and for manipulating millions of ignorant Americans (including some of my family members).

This morning I asked myself: can I really blame people for making godawful decisions when their ability to parse what is true and what is not has become too fuzzy and complicated for them? What can you expect from folks that have been emotionally hijacked insofar that they are willing to fight for every single oddball theory and crazy-ass rumor – as long as it feeds their narrative, no matter how implausible or diabolical it may seem?

Maybe these people should automatically get a free pass. They’re certainly lazy-minded and therefore can’t help themselves being drawn into a movement created by sinister politicians and fueled by right-wing media. A movement that has perpetuated conspiracy theories and audacious lies for years without realizing how negative and cynical life has become for those soaking it all up?

Isn’t this similar to what happened in Germany during the 1920s?

Final thought: Maybe someone should ask the Department of Defense how wisely they’re spending their annual 700 billion dollar budget. I mean, how can the US be expected to defend the world from tyranny, fascism, and communism, if they can’t even secure the building where the legislative branch of government resides – let alone stop Russians/Chinese/Whoever from hacking their way into crucial data networks?


Winning and Losing

I made the above collage with both passion and sadness.

At this stage, it looks like Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris are going to secure enough electoral votes to win the election. Feels good to have voted for predictable/reliable sanity. Even if I doubt that ticket is going to be capable of leading the country out of its multiple crises. Already back in July, Trump declared he would contest the mail-in ballots if he lost. So no surprise that he’s followed through on that threat/promise. It’s just a continuum of the president’s devious strategy to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of his many ignorant followers.

Regardless of whoever wins, the US is forever a changed nation. Why? Exhibit A: close to 70 million people voted for a sociopath. The most saddening fact? There’s not enough glue in the known universe to mend that which Trump has so consciously crushed: the remaining trust in the democratic process.

Because of the collateral damage Trump intentionally created in order to try to secure this election, something he began doing soon after he won in 2016, it’s going to be hard to feel any real joy, even when the last vote is counted – and then re-counted.


The Donald Effect

Well, it’s finally time for the 2020 Presidential Election. Not that you hear much about it, but there’s are actually a lot of other elections going on today, too. The Senate could flip and the Dems might end up “owning” Congress. At least for a couple of years.

I spent a few hours walking along the beach earlier today. Instead of listening to a podcast or music, I just let all thoughts that flew into my mind flow freely there. The point was to just contemplate, not try to resolve anything. I’ve been doing a lot of that recently and I am finding the results interesting.

Today, being the “E Day”, I spent considerable time thinking about the two candidates and how unbelievable it is that there are millions of supporters that back a man so far removed from what I think is decent and presidential. A man so full of his own loud-mouth, bullying bullshit, it’s impossible to conceive that he’s ever anything but disingenuous. Talk about fake.

I’m not saying Biden doesn’t produce or represent a great deal of bullshit as well. He is, after all, a seasoned politician. But at least he’s not doing his best to instigate hatred, promote division and be a total dick like Trump is time and time again. I get that he likes to fire up his “Tumpsters” while simultaneously provoking the Democrates. But could he also just try to be a nice guy once in a while?

A surprised as I am that so many can cast their vote on the most blatantly insincere president in modern history, it still ain’t nothing compared to how strange it is to know that I have family members who are wholeheartedly supporting Trump.

How does one deal with that, I ask you? Aside from the fact that we are related, what could I possibly have in common with someone that truly believes in their heart of hearts that this vulgar and crude populist is worthy of their love and vote? What can possibly bridge our divide when so many fundamental human values are swept to the wayside? What do you talk about? The weather? No, cause that will certainly lead to a discussion about climate change. Travel? Nah, cause that too will lead to a discussion about how piss-poor the federal government has and continues to manage the pandemic, making it impossible to travel to the States. Politics? Uh, no. Health? Maybe. But that too would surely lead to a discussion about how shitty the American health care system is – and the cesspoolian orgy in which insurance companies, private hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and doctors participate frenziedly. No, I don’t think I have that much to talk to a Trump supporter about. *

Hopefully, this family conundrum might change once he’s actually out of office in a couple of months.

Am I worried that there might be a civil war? Nope. Most Americans are too old, too fat, and way too dependent on their entertainment addiction. The mighty few remaining activists, those that are really engaged, well, they’re just too few to initiate and fulfill the demands of a full-on civil war. Civil unrest? Yep. That’s for sure.

My biggest concern isn’t about Trump losing or the potential for wide-spread, civil unrest. Both of those things will likely occur within the next 72 hours.

During my walk today, I spent time pondering what the heck Donald is going to do between his concession speech and the time he has to pack his stuff, check out of the West Wing, leave town with his tail stuck between his legs and retreat to the Sunshine Orange State.

One really interesting theory I’ve heard is this: To avoid prosecution for crimes committed prior and during his presidency, Trump will strategically resign ahead of Biden’s inauguration, enthusiastically handing over the reins to the East German bad guy dude aka Mike Pence. This so that the new President (taken from Central Casting of Die Hard VI), can exonerate his ousted predecessor. We shall see…

The Donald Effect is part of my ongoing art series “Resurfacd”.

 


American Pancakes & Election Woes

Here’s me this morning after a most sumptuous breakfast. I’m feeling more American right now than I have in many years. I’m excited. The election is nearing and it’s nothing short of a thriller! With the crazy-ass, winner-take-all system, where all the votes from a state’s electoral college go to the winner of the popular vote of that state, how can it not be the most exciting happening of at least the last four years? Last time around, Trump won the electoral vote after losing by 3.000.000 in the popular vote.

As if that exciting enough for us, we also have the virus, Macron stirring things up in the Middle East, a devastating earthquake in Turkey/Greece, the climate stuff and, not to forget, how shops in Beverly Hills and elsewhere are boarding up their store windows ahead of what many seem to think could be a looming civil war.

Anyway…

There are times when I question my judgment. Some would probably argue that I don’t do this enough. I think a little self-analysis is a sign of relatively good mental health. I’m doing a lot of that these days. Time seems to stand still in Vejbystrand so there’s plentiful time for introspection, taking inventory, and judging one’s ideas, perceptions, and conclusions.

In any case, like most reasonable people, I too have moments where I question a very hardline opinion I have about something or someone. Like the ongoing debate about who is best suited to steer the US of A out of these abysmally seeming troubled times.

There have been a few occasions recently when I needed to ask myself if I was absolutely sure that I was actually “getting” Trump. Could there be a slight possibility that he is in fact a good guy, just a different kind of good guy? A leader that we’ve never seen before and feel unaccustomed with. An oddball business tycoon that can cut through the cocktail murmur and just get stuff done faster without worrying too much about polish or finesse. Or about tomorrow. A man at the moment, so to speak.

Perhaps I am judging Trump too much on appearance and his inability to communicate with tact and intellect. Maybe Fox News, all those right-leaning activist groups like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, and the minions of Trumpsters are in fact looking out for the country’s best interests. Maybe all the rest of us are just plain wrong and too blind to see it.*

But even if my judgment has been unfair, that I’ve been biased in part because the transition from the decent, rhetorically gifted Obama to the bombastic Trump has been too much to absorb, there are still just too many people way, way smarter than me that are in total agreement; Donald J. Trump is by far the worst president in modern history. He’s bad for the country domestically, bad for international relations and goddammit, bad for the reputation of the presidency as the highest office in the land and something all Americans should admire, respect, and perhaps, at least at some point in their lives, even aspire to hold.

Still, I have hope. Hope that I would have all the necessary ingredients needed to make simple American pancakes in the kitchen when I woke up this morning. And low and behold, I did! I did! Here are the recipe’s ingredients:
1 cup flourAmerican Pancakes
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk or Oatly’s iKaffe.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mix it all together and then make yourself some thick cakes in a scorching hot, buttered skillet. While the first side is being fryed, I added thin slices of banana and a few sprinkles of cinnamon for extra yum.


VOTE 2020

I am genuinely proud that I voted in the presidential election of 2020. I sent off my ballot a couple of weeks ago and now I can only hope that more Americans than ever before will be voting so that we collectively can kick scary Donald J Trump out of office.

There are literally thousands of elections across the country on November 3rd. But as a permanent resident (and citizen of Sweden), I don’t feel informed or engaged enough to vote in anything other than the presidential election, which I’ve followed closely.

Like for many, many others, my vote for the Biden-Harris ticket is just as much a vote against the incumbent, incompetent douchebag president – clearly, an unapologetic, narcissistic megalomaniac of which the USA and the world have never before had to endure.

Not even now that he has been infected with the virus is he humbled or cautious about his fate and the millions of others that have succumbed to Covid-19. Worse yet, Trump is through his careless actions and bold but idiotic statements making it perfectly clear that he thinks that those poor souls that have become seriously sick, or even died, are just losers. I obviously don’t want anybody to get sick or die, but I have to admit to feeling a little schadenfreude should the virus keep him bedridden for the remainder of the campaigne.

The more I see of Trump and his tail-wagging, ass-kissing entourage, not to mention the flag-waving, gun-totting Fox News-watching degenerate fan base, the more I realize that President Trump is evil personified – a Beelzebub that has cast a powerful spell on his followers. Followers that have either been so hypnotized and dumbed-down by decades of multi-orifice ingested crap culture or, just spinelessly following someone they perceive to be a winner and hope to benefit from. What a bunch of fools.

If you’re an American citizen reading this from abroad and still haven’t mailed in your ballot, please do it as soon as possible!


Sunday Thoughts

From the other night here in rural Sweden where things seem peacefully timeless – at least until you go online.

Generally speaking, I’m an optimistic dude. I literally wake up most mornings and have at least one fun or interesting thing to look forward to. Today, it was first practicing yoga, then making a tasty breakfast for Charlotte, and finally, working on a super-snazzy presentation for a client.

I’m taking a break from that right now. Got to get some thoughts out of my head.

I still read a lot. Mostly news from liberal outlets like the Washington Posts, New York Times, The Atlantic, Chicago Tribune, and, of course, The L.A. Times. I dig into Swedish news as well, but honestly, it just reads so incredibly trivial – pebbles thrown in a tiny pond of political indulgence. At least when compared to all the really important issues the rest of the world is going through now. Obvious biases aside, I still feel I have a pretty good objective sense of key ongoings.

I continue to worry about the state of the US and what could be a potentially devastatingly chaotic, disastrous autumn. Living in this part of the world (EU) feels a whole lot safer, more secure – but also uneventful. I have family in California and Alaska, so that gives me a little anxiety. What if things get really bad? Lawless, even.

The rioting and protests aside, the socio-political upheavals have so far been mostly sensationalized by the media but trivial in the grand scheme of things. But what if there’s a dramatic escalation as we near November? What if Trump double downs on the confusion and deploys more military troupes, declares Marshall Law and does his best to fan the fires so the pandemonium spirals, spreads, and blankets the entire nation prior, during, and after the election?

The United States is going through so much turbulence right now. It’s mindboggling. I watched this really well-made documentary about Fascism in Europe the other day and was taken aback by how many parallels there were between the 1920s-30s in Italy and Germany and how things are right now. Trump isn’t smart enough to fully emulate the strategies of Mussolini and Hilter. But he does surround himself with a gang of ruthless thugs that could – and they are already in control of the narrative on Twitter and Fox News. Amazing that we forget how to recognize the signature elements of dictators. It’s like we all suffer from collective amnesia or dementia.

Maybe it’s time for a total reset. Maybe the fall will be so chaotic, so violent and disruptive, that good thing will come from it all once the dust has cleared.

Finally, a reminder of a few things that I think needs immediate fixing.

Monopolies

I learned of what is referred to as “The Chickenization of America” the other day. Not that I wasn’t aware of how monopolism, in general, is slowly but surely eating away and destroying democracy around the world. I just hadn’t heard it framed and phrased that way before. Just like at the beginning of the last century, a few key actors, huge, publicly-traded conglomerates, focused entirely on domination and increasing profits at any cost, are pulling all the strings today. Forbes has an excellent piece that points this out incontrovertibly. And since America has this problem, I can’t see how not breaking up the monopolies wouldn’t spread the wealth and revive competition!

Lobbying and Political Finances

The amount of money in US politics is another issue that needs to be fixed pronto. I think you have to either be cretinous or just plain ignorant not to see how American politicians are bought and sold left and right. Someone recently suggested that the American public should hire a lobbying firm to represent them in Congress. A brilliant idea, however sad it is. Shorten political term limits are also high on my list of ways to improve sound political activism in the US. To put it bluntly, Americans are too fat, physically, and mentally to understand how their democratic system is being dismantled and sold piece by piece by piece. Just the fact that their needs to be lobbyists should be a clear warning that the system is fucked.

Healthcare

Universal Healthcare is such a no-brainer that I don’t get how anybody could question it. How to finance this? Easy. Just reduce 10% of the Pentagon’s budget. Take another 5% and you could have a free college education for everyone. The Guardian has written an interesting article about this could save trillions. On the other hand, Americans would probably not need full universal healthcare if they just started eating and living healthier.

Ok, back to work.


(NO TRUMP) YOU CAN’T TOUCH THAT

Shocker: Because he’s trailing in the election polls, the president is becoming increasingly desperate. So much so, that the lunatic is now toying with, or, at least floating the insane idea of postponing the general election. Though he’s already gotten away with a bunch of crazy-ass stuff, this idea is, fortunately, something he cannot do on his own (no, not even via an Executive Order). Check this well-sourced article for how a postponement could theoretically work and why delaying the general election still won’t in reality make much of a difference.

Trump has always and will always blame anything and anybody but himself for his many well-documented shortcomings. And the president’s lackluster polling performance and receding popularity among the millions of like-minded, lost souls is certainly no exception. The blame game has always been Trump’s MO: deflect responsibility, deny wrongdoings, lie about facts, obfuscate the truth and create so much confusion and doubt that some folks, usually the most gullible, end up so utterly bewildered that they pick him out of sheer desperation.

Yes, it’s finally looking bad for Trump – but increasingly good for the American people. At least for those that can and choose to see beyond the pile of bullcrap, the current regime has been dishing out left, right, and center for the past three years. It’s about time to move on and beyond this era and start getting stuff right about improving education, creating universal healthcare, taking on institutionalized racism, reducing military spending, reeducating the nation’s police force, getting big corporations like Amazon, Google, and Facebook to pay a reasonable level of corporate tax and so on. There is so much work to be done and once Trump is out of office, hopefully, Biden & Co will waste no haste and just dig in. That is if the nation survives this election season. Have to admit, I’m a little worried…

Ok, feels much better to have gotten this off my chest.

I met this green lady in her for this post apt Halloween outfit during my last visit to New York in 2018.


An Honest Insight vs The Rectum Perspective

While Donald, frustrated and thirsty for Putin or Xi Jinping’s unbridled, undemocratic powers and once again managing to insert his giant orange head way, way up his rectum, making it unambiguously apparent that he has no clue of what the First Amendment represents, I’ve been busy building a small deck.

It’s an ongoing family joke about how impractical I am at just about anything that has to do with home improvement. I love the idea of fixing stuff, but I just don’t have the knowledge, patience, or eyesight to even come close to achieving the results I honestly think I am (theoretically) capable of. By now I certainly know my strengths and weaknesses. So for me, the key to successfully executing an idea where any kind of carpentry is involved is to hire someone for the job.

Yesterday, my buddy Thomas Hansson was the designer, foreman, and Master Carpenter and I was his clumsy, impatient apprentice. I’m sure that had I not been the employer, he would have fired me early in the day. Which would have been totally justified. As I said, I know my limitations and shortcomings. Which is something Donald J. Trump time and time again proves he does not. The millions that still don’t recognize his apparent ignorance and inability to serve the nation and heal the pain so many are going through right now are nothing more than halfwits. They might not even know they are, but such is the plight of ignorant folks. Not even when presented with an abundance of evidence do they let go of their trust in halfwittedness.


The Known and Unknown

From yesterday’s walk along the beach here in Vejbystrand. Cold, windy yet stunningly beautiful. So far, far away from the turmoil and chaos of many of the world’s great cities and many of my favorite destinations. Thankfully, neither Charlotte or I know of anybody that has caught the virus yet. I doubt that statistic will hold indefinitely. It’s kind of like with Trump supporters, you know they are out there, in droves, even. And one day, you might actually meet someone that has been infected with his venomous rhetoric. If and when that day arrives, I’m guessing it’s going to feel a lot like being in an episode of the original Twilight Zone.

I speak to a lot of Americans – wherever I am. I just can’t help myself. As soon as I hear an American accent (or, a Canadian), I’m in their face asking them where they come from, where they’ve been and where they are heading. Yet oddly, so far, I’ve not come across a real-life MAGA supporter in any of my travels. Not that I survey the political views of people I meet when abroad…but still.

I’m well aware that there are tens of millions of “normal” Americans among his base. Most seem to cherrypick the stuff that serves their personal narrative and agenda and just ignore much of what comes out of his chaotic, erratic and dysfunctional administration, and the endless flow of mostly degenerate, often racially charged, quips and tweets he heaves round the clock.

I doubt I’ll meet a Trump supporter in Vejbystrand. The locals here are way too sensible to bite into the pile of crap he’s trying to feed the rest of the world. No, to get someone that can coherently defend the blustering, self-congratulatory, master conman, I’d have to fly to the States. And that ain’t going to happen for quite a while. Hopefully, by the time it becomes doable, there’ll be a new president. An older dude, for sure. But at least one with the right stuff: decency, empathy, and intelligence.