March 14, 2022
We are all seeing the vicious, brutal, unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine on TV. The pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people is heartbreaking and infuriating to watch while their determination to resist and fight back is truly inspiring. There’s no question that Vladimir Putin and numerous members of the Russian military are war criminals as innocent Ukrainian civilians are clearly being targeted. Nations of the world need to support Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid while imposing severe financial sanctions against Russia for as long as it takes to help Ukraine prevail.
The issues of a potential NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine or sending fighter planes to the Ukrainian Air Force are being discussed right now. I agree that NATO should not try to implement a no-fly zone because it would almost certainly lead to a much wider war with multiple nuclear powers involved. In order to enforce a no-fly zone, NATO would almost certainly have to shoot down Russian planes and likely also have to engage ground based Russian anti-aircraft systems. That would be a shooting war between NATO and Russia. In other words: WW3. So the risk is too great for a NATO no-fly zone.
But I do think we should supply Ukraine with fighter planes that they would use themselves. I would recommend that Ukrainian pilots be the ones to fly the aircraft across the border into Ukraine with the provision that once in Ukraine, the planes stay there no matter what. It would also be preferable for the planes to try to avoid combat until they have landed inside Ukraine, refueled and armed there. At that point, they could take back off to then engage Russian forces. While Russia would not like this, I think it’s highly unlikely they would do anything militarily against NATO because of it. We are already supplying Ukraine with other military equipment such as anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and considering the crimes against humanity that Russia is inflicting upon the Ukrainian people, I think we should include military aircraft in those supplies.
As much of the world as possible needs to stand up against Vladimir Putin and his brutal tyranny. While we need to be smart about it (so as to avoid a wider, more devastating war), the time is now to support Ukraine and stand up for democracy.
Feb 7, 2022
A significant amount of the Republican Party is heading down a dangerous, undemocratic, authoritarian style, and potentially violent path that is absolutely threatening American democracy. This may sound like an outrageous statement, but it is still unfortunately true. Quite scary indeed. But we cannot and should not ignore the dangers. Instead, we need to educate ourselves about what is happening and speak out. We should stand up for truth, justice, open-mindedness, kindness, thoughtfulness, fairness, and democracy.
We have seen over and over how so many Republicans have followed Donald Trump no matter what, even when he is clearly in the wrong. The evidence is overwhelming that the 2020 election was free and fair and that Trump’s claims of widespread fraud are false. Every election will have isolated issues or problems. That is normal in a big election, but there was no widespread fraud here. Ballot counting rooms in every state had Republican, Democrat, and Independent observers monitoring the process and responding to questions that arose. There were also international observers from multiple countries watching things, and every state certified the election, because it was fair. The Trump campaign lost over 60 court cases where it tried to claim widespread fraud, and many of the judges who ruled against it were conservatives. The Trump campaign lost all these cases because it did not have the evidence to back up its outrageous claims. In other words, the 2020 election was free and fair with Biden legitimately winning and Trump legitimately losing. Yet Trump and others have continued spreading their false claims and lies about it, and what is disturbingly frightening is how millions of Americans believe these lies. The spreading of these false claims led to the violent Jan 6 assault on the US Capitol Building by Trump followers. But the danger to American democracy doesn’t end there.
Donald Trump uses the willingness of millions of Americans to blindly follow him to enhance his power and control over much of the Republican Party in an authoritarian style way. He has many Republicans in elected positions bowing to him, even when a number of them know he is wrong, because they fear he will turn his followers against them and vote them out of office. A scary number of Republicans in elected positions appear willing to undermine democratic values in order to keep their jobs, and another disturbing facet is how some of these officials are true believers. Republicans in numerous states are fighting to pass laws that would make voting much more difficult for millions of Americans. They appear to be doing this to make Trump happy and to increase their chances of defeating Democrats in future elections because it’s no coincidence that these new laws often target people who are more likely to vote for Democrats.
Recently, we saw how the Republican National Committee (RNC) officially censured Republican Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger just because of their participation in the Congressional Investigation of the violent Jan 6 attack on the Capitol Building. In this censure, they actually referred to the Jan 6 events as “legitimate political discourse.” Think about that for a minute. We all saw the violence of that day as Trump supporters literally assaulted the US Capitol Building. We could see members of Congress fearing for their lives and Capitol police being physically attacked because of lies being spread by Trump and others. The events of that day were not “legitimate political discourse,” yet that is how the RNC referred to it. At the same time, we have seen elected Republicans such as Marjorie Taylor Greene make numerous hateful, false, cruel statements without being censured by the Republican Party.
Think about this. And these are just a few examples of the dangerous trend many Republicans are going down.
This is why we must educate ourselves and speak up. We should stand up for truth, open-mindedness, tolerance, kindness, thoughtfulness, fairness, justice, and democracy. And we have to get out there and vote for individuals who also have the courage to truly stand up and fight for these ideals as well.
Jan 3, 2022
It’s really frustrating and disheartening that people are still arguing about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. And when you think about it, it’s downright scary.
Here are the facts: there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Let me say that again: there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Donald Trump legitimately lost, and Joe Biden legitimately won. That is the truth. How do I know that is the truth? Well, consider the following.
Every single state (including those controlled by Republicans) certified the election. There were Republican, Democrat, and Independent observers in all the ballot counting rooms in all the states. On top of this, there were international observers from multiple countries monitoring the election. Now consider that Trump and his people lost over 60 court cases where they were trying to challenge the election results with their false claims of fraud, and many of the judges who ruled against Trump were Republicans themselves. The reason they ruled against Trump is because Trump and his people had no evidence to back up their false claims of widespread fraud. When you consider all of this, it is clear that the election was free and fair and that there was no widespread fraud.
Yet Trump, his allies, and many of his devout followers continue promoting their false claims of fraud with regards to the election. And what is further concerning is how polls are showing that the majority of Republicans feel that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump despite the fact they don’t have legitimate evidence to back up these claims. Many Republicans are saying they currently don’t trust the election process in the United States.
This state of affairs is truly frightening and extremely dangerous because it is undermining our democracy and could lead to authoritarianism especially when one considers the authoritarian style power Trump is currently wielding over the Republican Party and how millions of Republicans continue to devotedly follow him no matter what (even when is lying outrageously to them). Trump is spreading his false claims about the election over and over with the idea that if he says them enough, people will believe him even though the claims are totally untrue. And it’s scary that millions and millions of Americans are believing these lies. Trump is essentially demanding that all Republicans, especially those in elected positions, bow to his will and demands. There are some Republicans in elected positions who secretly disagree with Trump, even strongly disagree with him, but are so afraid of him that they go along with his demands even when those demands are wrong.
The events of January 6th, 2021 were horrifying and unprecedented in American history. Of course Congress needed to investigate what happened to try and prevent it from ever occurring again, yet the majority of Republicans in Congress voted against a bipartisan 9/11 style commission to look into the events that occurred. I think secretly, numerous Republicans wanted such a commission, but they voted against it because Trump demanded they do so. And many were likely also afraid that the legitimate results of such a commission would be at the very least embarrassing and possibly hurt them politically in the future.
When you look at what is going on these days, especially with regards to Trump’s lies and hold over the Republican Party, one can see how our democracy is in serious danger. There are retired military leaders who are genuinely concerned that in 2024 we may see violence worse than the January 6th riot (or insurrection) and that there is a chance that members of the US military might join in. Such a possibility is beyond horrifying because that is what leads to authoritarianism and full-blown dictatorship. The cold hard truth is that in many ways, a significant portion of the Republican Party is now going in the direction of authoritarianism and away from true democracy.
Whatever political persuasion you may be, we all need to be vigilant and speak up for truth and democracy. We need to be smart about what we say and how we say it and make sure that we can back up our positions with evidence. We need to stand against the lies and authoritarian trends that Trump and his allies are pushing.
Democracy is a wonderful thing, but as history has shown, it can be easily lost. So let’s stand up for democracy and be sure that it lives on for many years into the future.
I’m deeply disturbed by how Republicans these days have become so extreme in the way so many are following Donald Trump with an almost cult-like zeal. It’s to the point where our democracy is being seriously threatened in the near and long-term future, particularly if this trend continues.
Donald Trump lied more than any other modern American president, and his outrageous false claims and lies about the election incited the January 6th riot and insurrection at the US Capitol Building. These facts are clear. Donald Trump lost the election fair and square, yet he continues to make outrageously false allegations and claims trying to say he won. He lost. There were international observers overseeing the election. Every single state, including those run by Republicans, certified the election. Ballot counting rooms had Republican, Democrat, and Independent observers overseeing the process and present to deal with issues. In addition to all this, Trump and his people went to court making their false claims about the election and lost over 60 times. And many of the judges who ruled against them were Republicans themselves.
And here we are with Trump out of office yet still controlling the Republican Party. It is clear that he is expecting and demanding Republicans, especially those in elected offices, to bow to his will and obey his instructions. If an elected official doesn’t do this, then Trump will lash out at them and turn his followers against them. He appears to be demanding that Republicans go along with his outrageous lies about the election and that if elected Republicans want to get anywhere politically in the party, they have to espouse these lies as well. We’re seeing this with the way Republicans are turning on Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney. These two have stood up to Trump with regards to his false claims about the election, and they’re being torn viciously apart by the Republican Party as a result.
The cult like control Trump is holding over the Republican Party is beyond disturbing and is truly endangering our democracy. Having one person who is no longer in an elected position holding such authoritarian style control over a major political party goes against what democracy is supposed to be about. In addition to this, Trump is convincing many Republicans not to trust United States elections if the person they voted for doesn’t win.
This situation is extremely dangerous to the future of our democracy. More people in the Republican Party need to speak out against Trump’s horrible, dangerous lies and stand up for the United States Constitution and the American people instead. Will this happen? Right now, the verdict is still out on that which is scary.