(Some of) Rural America Dislikes Trump Too

Rural Americans posting on social media in six swing states are getting through the coronavirus pandemic with humor, clear-headedness and, surprisingly, by dissing Donald Trump, according to a rural-focused Democratic organization.

from The Daily Yonder

I’ve been saying for years that there are a lot more progressives, and progressive blends, in rural America than many city-dwellers think. I’m pretty far to the left, yet I have guns, spend much of my time in the woods, and hunt and fish. There are a lot of others out here with similar views, and combinations thereof.

There are a lot of Republicans and conservatives, as well. But not a ton of obvious Trump supporters. Sadly, the ranch one over from mine has a giant Trump flag on constant display. I cannot imagine why anyone would do that, other than as a giant middle finger to those of us who value everything Trump is not (logical, mature, Presidential, coherent, that sort of thing). I suspect they’d say it’s because he’s some combination of Republican, conservative, and Christian. He’s none of the above, but whatever.

But that’s sort of the exception. I see a smattering of Trump signs on fences and in yards, but not all that many.

Rural America is a complex place. We don’t all see things the same way, and we aren’t all glued to Fox News.

Thank goodness.

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Clown Show: Budget Edition


“Budget proposals always involve some guesswork into the unknowable, and administrations routinely massage numbers to their political advantage. But this proposal is unusually brazen in its defiance of basic math, and in its accounting discrepancies amounting to trillions-with-a-t rather than mere millions or billions.”

(via Politico)

Misplaced Fandom and the American Clown Show

“The suggestion that Comey was fired to punish him for overzealously mishandling the Clinton email investigation appears laughable: Just this morning, Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino gleefully proposed to release video of Hillary Clinton’s concession call in order to hurt and humiliate her—and top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway laughed along with him.”

This is Not a Drill – The Atlantic

Anyone who is OK with the way Donald Trump is attempting to run our (our, not his or theirs or yours) country is neither a Republican nor a Democrat nor a rational being.  He or she is rejecting everything that matters in favor of some irrational, misplaced concept of fandom and disdain for the “other team.”

Star Spangled Eyes

And when the band plays “Hail to the chief,”
They point the cannon at you.

River Whyless, because it’s time for anyone who isn’t complicit in this train-wreck to stand together and make it clear that these racist, misogynist oligarchs who are waging war against our country from the inside aren’t representing us, and they don’t represent America.

I love a good cover. This is a fucking perfect cover. And maybe the most timely video I’ve ever seen. My name is Kent Newsome. I’ve got two awesome daughters, and I approve of this message.

Like always, it will be the women who will lead us out of this mess.


Things Just Don’t Feel Normal

This sums up 2016 pretty well.

Things don’t feel normal.  Unless unfettered bullshit is the new normal, which based on my unscientific survey of my social media feeds, it may be.  My disinterest in wading into the digital fray makes me wonder if I’m done with Facebook, and maybe social media in general.  There’s far too much going wrong, seemingly on a daily basis, for me to rationally digest.  Heck, I still haven’t got- and may never get- my head around the fact that we (actually some of you) elected Donald Trump as President of the United States of America.  It all seems remote, and reality-TVish now, but just wait.  It’s going to be a clown show, and all of us are going to pay the price.


So maybe the thing to do is pull back a bit, and see how it goes.  If the hordes of gullibles who elected an unqualified, petulant billionaire simply because he isn’t Hillary Clinton continue to bathe in cognitive dissonance after he turns on them (it’s hard to imagine how the slate of characters above are going to line up in support of the working man) and makes American foreign policy look like an Idiocracy outtake, we’ll know all is lost.  If enough people veer back towards logic and facts, maybe there’s a chance for something better than disaster.

Meanwhile, things that were once constant continue shifting.  Temperatures and tempers rise, combatants skirmish and then retreat to their corners.  Science takes a backseat to ideology.  It looks bleak, but it’s not yet full-on terrifying.  Like a filtered sky at the crossroads of thunderstorm and tornado, it could go either way.  My grandmother told us to listen for the sound of a train.  If you hear one coming, head for the storm cellar.

I’m listening.  At the moment, all I hear for sure are some coyotes out in the woods.  A few early fireworks off in the distance, getting ready to usher in a new and maybe better year.  A lonesome cow out in the pasture, wondering what mysteries the future holds.


Political Nihilism

“The United States has fallen into a state of utter political nihilism, where there is no limit to what one party can say or do in order to achieve and maintain power.  Worse, there is no meaning other than political theater behind it.”


“Trump and his people play by the reality TV rules. All that’s required is a plausible facade, while we expect adherence to actual facts. ***  All that Trump’s followers want is a powerful fiction, something they can sink their teeth into, something with which to taunt us college-educated Atlantic readers.”

(via The Atlantic)

Guns, Conscripted Religion, Mental Health and Other Horrors

Like everyone else I have been heartbroken by the senseless murder of children and those who teach and nurture (and protect) them.  That goes without saying.  What needs to be said is a few things about the way people are, not unexpectedly, using this tragedy as a springboard to rattle on about whatever social or political issue they feel strongly about.  Can’t we just be sad for a little while?

First, a word about politics.


I am so completely uninterested in politics that it defies description.  Other than Wake Forest basketball, there’s literally nothing that bores me more.  Mostly because politics is a game, played by plutocrats for the benefit of other plutocrats and nobody really cares what the rest of us think.  Again, sort of like Wake Forest basketball.  I am also uninterested in labels, though if I were awarded a political one, it would be decidedly left of most of the people I know in the real world.  They lean (or in some cases tumble wildly) to the right, while I lean, in many respects, the other way.

But I may be about to jeopardize my membership in the liberal knee jerk reaction club.




But maybe it’s OK because IT’S ALSO NOT AS SIMPLE AS PUTTING THE GOD YOU HAPPEN TO PRAY TO AND THE RELIGIOUS RITUALS YOU OBSERVE “BACK IN SCHOOLS,” and stuffing them down everyone’s throat.  You know what: anyone can pray any time they want, anywhere they want.  I pray all the time (to what or whom is a mysterious and complex topic for another day, maybe).  But I rarely feel compelled to pray out loud in public and I would never, ever force others to pray with me.

Now about this mental health business.  The sympathy I feel for a mentally ill person is an atom in a universe of universes when compared to the sadness and rage I would feel if children were harmed by said person.  Let me be blunt.  If I start to lose my mind and there is even a slight chance I am going to hurt some babies, then whoever is responsible for me should lock me up and throw away the key.  Err on the side of the babies.  Sure, we need better mental health services in this country.  But we need to keep people from killing children more.  A lot more.

What we don’t need is more people shouting solutions from one impractical end of the spectrum to others at the other impractical end of the spectrum.

Taking guns away might be great in theory.  Sort of like taking alcohol away.  Or nuclear bombs.  Or Keisha.  But it doesn’t work in practice because some Nucky Thompson or another will fill the demand.  Only thing is that only the people who live around the edges of the law will know how to get the illegal goods.  Think about it this way.  Marijuana is illegal most places.  While that may keep some yuppie kids from lighting up, it doesn’t do much to keep committed smokers from finding weed whenever they need it.  It also creates a shady industry of suppliers and dealers who get rich off of inflated prices.

There is no doubt that making all the guns disappear would reduce violence.  Zero doubt.  There is serious doubt, however, about whether you could- in the real world (e.g., outside of Facebook)- actually make enough of the right kind of guns disappear to make a difference.  And whether doing so can be reconciled with the rights of legitimate gun owners who have legitimate reasons to legally own a gun.  In other words, it’s complicated.  There is a balance to be considered.  A middle ground.

No one ever wants to talk about the middle.

I have guns (and a CHL for crying out loud).  I absolutely do not want anyone to take them away.  On the other hand, I don’t have, don’t want and don’t need a machine gun.  I think Ted Nugent is an idiot and I think the NRA is the lunatic fringe.  Ban automatic weapons.  I could care less.  That might stop some killing.  But most killing isn’t done with machine guns.  It’s done with handguns, shotguns, bombs, cars, pit bulls and whatnot.

And about this God thing.  I completely believe in God.  Yet I cringe almost every time people who purport to speak for religion open their mouth or touch their keyboard.  Because too many times people are using religion to go on some digital crusade against someone God would tell you to love and be compassionate towards.  Stated simply, lots of people all over the place are wrongfully using religion as a means to launder hate.

So let’s recap.

One, you can’t have my guns.

Two, stuffing your version of God down people’s throats will make things worse, not better.

Three, help those who have mental issues, but first and foremost help others to not get killed by them.

Four, people need to stop giving the lunatic fringe all the attention and rediscover the silent middle.

Finally, it’s OK to be sad without immediately attacking someone who doesn’t share your beliefs.