A lot of people want me to shut up.

They find me annoying, grating, shrill.

Some have even claimed I hate America.

I really have to wonder where these people are coming from.

I’m not claiming any heroics here, certainly not comparing myself to those courageous individuals who spoke out against Nazism or the persecutions in the Soviet Union under Stalin, in Cuba under Batista, in Iran under the Shah, on and on — sadly too many to enumerate here.

But I am saying I share with them a duty, as we all do.  I share with them as do all citizens of any country, to speak out against injustice, to criticize the country to which they belong.  We must all speak out and geography is not pertinent.  Whether one lives inside a country or has by circumstance or choice lives outside, oppression is still oppression.  Tyranny is still tyranny.  Villainy and genocide are still villainy and genocide.

Speaking out to praise or to criticize one’s own country is not just an option, it is a duty.  And the volume of that voice is not to be arbitrarily turned down or turned off.

Each of us is identified with a nation.  We both have the rights and privileges that are conferred by citizenship, and likewise have a stake in what that nation does in our name, hence a responsibility not just to be aware of those activities but to be discerning, and laudatory or critical when necessary.

So I won’t shut up.

On the other hand, there is a difference between caustic damnation and constructive criticism.

I see a lot of the former, little of the latter.

Frankly, it’s getting tedious.

There are a lot of people — apparently some 64% according to the polls — who object to Trump as president and what he represents.

This makes entire sense.  He is objectionable at best, foul and pestilent at worst.

But we have to recognize, it’s not just the man we are at loggerheads with here.  “What he represents” has been in the making for a long time.  Over forty years at least, many would argue much longer.  Maybe it was set in motion from the very beginning of our country, as America was founded by slave-holding elitists who were to one degree or another fearful of mob rule.  ‘Mob rule’ is of course just an ugly euphemism for government by the people — all of the people.

A nation run by an elite few is not a democracy by any stretch.  It is the exact opposite of a democracy.  That those elite few then guilefully brainwash the “mob” into thinking they actually have some say in the decisions which determine the direction of the nation and the future is an insult — a vile and patronizing form of manipulation.

Trump and his crew will attempt to rule by fiat.  As corporate businessmen this is all they know.  They will play the “enlightened patriarch” card the whole way.  Some will go along.  Most — at least 64% — will not and have every right to raise hell.

Recognize that raising hell is but one approach.

How about this?  What if we try raising heaven?

Ha ha ha!  Funny play on words, eh?

Not really. Here’s what it boils down to . . .

2017 and 2018 will present historical opportunities.  We will be presented dramatically and starkly contrasting visions for the future.  People who have never been interested in “politics” will start seriously paying attention, because everything that America allegedly stands for, its most noble and worthy values and dreams for all its citizens, will be under assault.

And it will then come down to this . . .

Certainly we know WHAT WE’RE AGAINST as enlightened progressives.

But more crucially we have to know WHAT WE’RE FOR as enlightened progressives.

It’s time to be decisive, clear, engaging, positive, thorough, meticulous, captivating.

And truly visionary!

Because within the next two years, American citizens will be hungry as never before for a truly genuine, positive and sweeping renewal.

With no irony here’s my take:  There is enormous opportunity which will spring out of the dark days ahead.  I hope we’re ready.  Alert, informed progressives know what’s going on.  The vast majority of the American public does not. They are distracted and misinformed, numb and preoccupied with daily life.  They are not to be vilified for this.  They are victims of a highly organized, well-orchestrated assault on the public consciousness, maybe more accurately, an inducement of a hypnotic public unconsciousness.  Trump is just the most effective recent embodiment of that assault.

Certainly there are some big bumps in the road coming soon.  The crash of the economy is inevitable, accelerated by Trump’s extremely inept and uninformed administration.  The neocons will get their war because some diseases are beyond any medical intervention.

When war and bankruptcy destroys any hope for improvement of living and working conditions under the orange autocrat, there will be at least 160 million new very angry Americans — many who voted for Trump — asking the questions we progressives have been asking ad nauseam for many years.

It will all come to a crescendo.  Progressives MUST BE READY with an agenda presented in the language of everyday Americans — not politico-jargon-speak — but BIG, CLEAR messaging which presents a POSITIVE PROGRESSIVE VISION for America. 

We can do it.  But we have to start now!

When it all starts to crumble, it’ll be too late to be brainstorming and formulating plans.

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