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The California Governor’s race: an endorsement (first ever on my blog)



You may have heard that the insulter-in-chief, Trump, called the next Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, “a clown.”

Trump loves to insult people, especially those who can’t fight back because they’re not rich or strong enough to stand up to him. Gavin, however, did stand up, and in a most creative way: not defensively, or in anger, but with humor, he put Trump in his place. And Newsom benefited tremendously from the “clown” remark. The Twitter string gave him plenty of earned, or free, media publicity.

The “clown” smear wasn’t Trump’s first attack on Newsom. That occurred two weeks ago, in Montana, when Trump accused Newsom of being in favor of “open borders” and letting “anybody come in that [sic] wants to.” This isn’t true, but it seems to have gotten to Newsom; in my interview with him, he went out of his way to reassure voters: I support border security. I am not an open-borders Democrat. And I do not believe sanctuary policy should be a shield to criminal activity, and I reject the assertion by the right that I believe in any of those policies! I simply do not.”

Well, the truth hardly matters to Trump, or to his credulous followers, who actually manage to believe that Donald J. Trump, the man, would never cheat on his wife (whoever she currently is) and would never grope a woman’s pussy, even though Trump boasted of doing exactly that. They’re also naive enough to believe that when the U.N. General Assembly laughed at Trump’s braggadocio on Tuesday—so embarrassing to him–it was all part of Trump’s plan to amuse them. You would have to be thinking with only the reptilian part of your brain to believe that howler, but there’s your modern Republican—or Trumpian—Party: they’ve exchanged rationality for cult-style faith.

We see cult-like behavior in every dictatorship. Hitler was the role model par excellence, but so were Pot Pot, Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. They were all men of the type Trump admires: authoritarian, intolerant, vengeful, amoral, egomaniacal, paranoid and, ultimately, sad. And all, let us remember, came to brutal ends, as tyrants tend to. Now, it’s sometimes said that democracy is messy: everybody yelling and screaming at once, clashing agendas, hard to find common ground. This is a critique dictators often level against democracy. Mussolini used it to great advantage in promising to make Italy’s trains run on time. Singaporean authorities use it to keep crime at a minimum in their country, where a petty thief may suffer thirty lashes. And, of course, authoritarianism works quite well in a country like Saudi Arabia, where a robbery can get your fingers chopped off.

Trump often says things that suggest he wishes he weren’t burdened with such inconveniences as the Congress, or the free press, or an opposition party. Just think (goes the refrain in his mind), if I were unopposed, what I could accomplish! It’s not hard to have some empathy with him. He knows (or thinks he knows) exactly what should be done to solve any problem. The trouble is that other people think they know better, and all too often, they’re in a position to challenge Trump, to stop him, to resist him.

It must be super-frustrating for a guy who’s pretty much had his way all his life, from stiffing vendors to grabbing pussies to cheating on his taxes and on his serial wives. Then, suddenly, he’s the most powerful man in the world. You’d think he’d be freer than ever. But no! Instead, there are pesky annoyances, like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, and Robert Mueller, and the New York Times, and the Democratic Party, and world leaders like Justin Trudeau who won’t kowtow to him, and that darned Constitution. If only he could wave his chubby little hand and make it all go away! But he can’t.

Thank goodness we do have a Democratic Party. I know it’s not perfect. Too often the party lets its adherents down, through compromise or neglect. But at least the Democratic Party has high ideals. It’s true the party can’t always get the things done it wishes to. But Democrats are an aspirational party—one that (as Bobby Kennedy said), sees things that never were, and asks, Why not. Universal healthcare…racial, ethnic, gender and sexual equality…respect for the environment…trust in science…decent wages for workers…fair taxes. If we did have not a Democratic Party in America, what would be left? A Republican Party that wants to go back to 1955, or 1855, or 1355, when nobody had any rights except for strong men who clawed (or inherited) their way to the top and clobbered anybody who didn’t go along.

That’s not what our Founding Fathers wanted for their new country. They wanted—as Lincoln echoed—”a new birth of freedom,” the kind of freedom men and women couldn’t find in Old Europe. It’s the kind of freedom Americans will never find under the Republican Party, or, at least, the party that has morphed into a white supremacist, superstitious cult under Trump.

I support Gavin Newsom for Governor of California. I have personally watched this man develop his political and philosophical skills for close to 30 years. I know his values and what he stands for. He is an aspirational politician, much as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were and are. Newson too sees things that never were and asks, Why not?

How any decent human being can possibly have watched Trump over the last two years and remain in support of him (let alone in admiration) stupefies me. One can only think that some dreadful, blinding sickness has temporarily robbed these Republicans of their common sense, not to mention their values. Whatever the cause of Republican madness, we can quarantine them and keep the plague from spreading by voting on Tuesday Nov. 6. Please vote! Make sure all your friends and relatives vote! And vote Democratic! #BlueWave




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