A Pence for Your Thoughts

Speculation abounds that Mike Pence is the author of the NY Times op-ed that lauds a cabal in the White House that is protecting the world from the President’s mental collapse.

So here’s how the scenario will play out: Trump will be ousted from office a few weeks before the mid-term elections. Pence will be sworn in, and the Republicans will count on the general mood of relief to lift them on polling day in November. They expect to retain full control of the Federal government and many of the states as well.

Trump is a tragedy, but he is loyal only to himself. The Republican restructuring of the federal government was delayed by his need to benefit at every turn. Pence has no such compulsions. He is a true believer, a religious and political dogmatist, and will cooperate fully with the conservative male politicians that seek to preserve their hegemony over the nation.

White-Washing

Paula White, one of Trump’s “spiritual advisors,” claims that refugees that break the law are not entitled to the same empathy given to the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt with the infant Jesus. White goes so far as to claim:

If he had broken the law, then he would have been sinful and he would not have been our Messiah.

The entire Old Testament is the history of how the seminal grace of Abraham’s covenant was subjugated by temporal authority. Jesus came to liberate the covenant, responding to “Are you king of the Jews?” with the simple plea:

You: say I am.

This is to remind us that true authority does not come from man-made laws and institutional arrangements. It comes from loving unconditionally. It comes from being willing to surrender your entire being to bring grace to those you cherish. Only the beloved can grant that authority.

Dear Mrs. White: run, don’t walk. You have taken up company with the anti-Christ.

 

Phase Change

I’ve spent my life ignoring the fear that predators generate, offering love as a win-win alternative. But – being in the mode of fear – predators are good at simulation of it, and have taken up the strategy of marshaling social hostility by pretending to fear.

Predators operate in the brain stem. Yesterday, I decided to push them out. I have turned all the psychological discipline that allows me to create beauty in the face of anger, and isolated them in the lower part of my personality.

I now confidently traverse the places they have tried to ward against me, and upon encountering them in person offer a cheery “Good morning!” My mind is clear of the thoughts that they cultivated to justify their enmity.

Woken early this morning, I turned my focus on them – primitive personalities trapped in the amber of my will – and extended its boundaries, out to the criminal enterprise that has occupied the White House and the Kremlin, cauterizing the fear.

We’ll see where this goes now.

The New Political Math

Shortly after I entered high school, mandatory busing brought students from the inner city out to the white haven of Woodland Hills. The lunch area was voluntarily segregated, black students in one corner set off from the milling WASPs and JAPs.

Busing was an attempt to address the social divide created by white flight from the city out to the Los Angeles suburbs. When my parents sold the family home in the ’90s, it was part of a progression that ceded the Valley to a growing Hispanic population as the Caucasians headed up the freeways to Camarillo, Palmdale, and Santa Clara.

In some part this was driven by real estate values: owners that once saw their houses as homes began to consider them to be assets, avoiding maintenance under the assumption that they could always trade up against their growing equity. Neighborhood blight was their legacy, allowing hard-working minorities in the trades the opportunity to profit from their sweat equity.

But a significant factor, visible in resegregation all across the country, was the desire to live among “those like us.”

Of course, part of being “like us” is making money without getting our hands dirty. This pulls minorities in to do that work. Rural communities in Georgia find that they have to make room for the people that clean their chicken coops. They may still be dominated by the Caucasians that retire to attend the Evangelical mega-church, but there’s nobody waiting in the wings to replace them. Sooner or later, the population will tilt to homogeneity.

In California, the end game has been apparent for twenty years. Having no other haven in the state, the majority fled out of the state to Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and further. What has been unnoticed is the electoral calculus of that movement.

Remember, these are the people most committed to maintaining white hegemony. In fleeing to low population states, they are assisted in that aim by electoral math: each of the 15 million voters in California elects two senators, just as each of the 500,000 voters in Montana. In terms of senatorial power, each voter in Montana has 30 times as much power as a voter in California. In the electoral college, each voter in Montana has 3 times as much power as a voter in California.

So this explains why the Republicans are ceding the House of Representatives to the Democrats in the midterm elections. In the House, every voter has equal power, and the will of the majority will rule. The Republicans will continue to cater to the ethno-nationalists to maintain control of the Senate. With control of both the Senate and the White House, they can continue to stuff the Judiciary with economic and religious conservatives.

I can’t imagine that the Founders envisaged this reality. Mass migration in their age brought social dislocation that disrupted political cohesion. In our age, communications and transportation infrastructure sustain political cohesion, an opportunity that the ethno-nationalists are exploiting to their advantage.

The Self-Interment Option

As the Supreme Court appears poised to uphold Trump’s Muslim travel ban, my colleague at work mused (jokingly) that he was prepared to leave the country if they opened interment camps.

Given that the people I would really like to see interred are the racist ethno-nationalists, I tripped down the road to the realization that they are. They have bought weapons and fenced off compounds, claiming sovereignty on the grounds that their closely-held freedoms are violated by the modern welfare state.

The question is whether we can create some kind of financial incentive to speed the process of self-interment. Maybe relief from the Obama-care mandates? Or maybe we could dam some portion of the Mississippi river, flooding the basin for Richard Thiel’s “one-man, one-island”-state.

Not to distort Donne…

President on the Couch

It was obvious during the second Bush presidency that Jr was working out his father-figure-issues in the Oval Office. He was fortunate to have a mother and wife experienced in managing fragile men, and it wasn’t until retirement that he began to paint pictures of himself in the bath tub.

As we watch ethics and legal issues whittle down Trump’s inner circle, we are seeing a narcissist exposed to the world. Trump lacks the resources of the Bush clan. He’s going to have a psychotic break.

Heaven help us.