It is 5 a.m. and I am lying in bed, and I am crying. This is not me. Or, at least, it is not the person I was before November 8. As I lie in bed, I think, desperately, about my options. I am tempted to clear my DVR of all the MSNBC and CNN news shows I tape regularly; I listen to them during the day and they haunt me at night. I think I might try a couple more Tylenol, or a cup of tea. Then I decide to get up and post.
After a lifetime of being afraid of dying, I find myself relieved that most of my life is past.
I try not to think about my kids.
It is quite amazing, watching our democracy being destroyed. We have seen the wealthy fighting with their many dollars to take over the whole thing for decades now, since they nearly lost the fight in the middle of the last century. They won't let that happen again. Irony is the policy that prevails as Trump lines up an anti-education billionaire to run the department of education, an anti-worker billionaire to head the department of labor, an oil billionaire to run the EPA (into the ground), a billionaire whose life goal is privatizing Medicare to head HHS, a racist to run the department of justice, and for balance, a couple of idiots for HUD and the UN.
And these are not the scary appointments. They are the ones that can take down our programs, but it is the military arm of our new cabinet that will take down our democracy.
Our furor enjoys his Victory Rallies (He wanted to call them "Thank You" rallies, but KellyAnne advised him to tone it down.). He especially likes the cheers he gets when he proclaims General "Mad Dog" Mattis as his choice for secretary of defense. His voice gets all funny when he says, "Mad Dog" and as much as I fight it, I can imagine him lying on his side of the bed getting hot over the thought of the Mad Dog. "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet," is a quote for which Mad Dog Mattis is famous. He has a lot of them.
On our own shores, Trump has picked paranoia and son, General Michael Flynn and Jr., for national security adviser, the latter more in an advisory role. He was pursuing a security clearance for junior, who came close to blowing it by having his crazy tweets implicated in the incident of the nutcase who "self-investigated" the satanic cult hiding in a pizza parlor. I say, came close to blowing it, because we all know that Trump sees the word "no" as only a temporary barrier, a challenge, one that money and influence can easily remove, and these days he has ever more of both.
National security adviser. If you can continue reading after that, there is indeed more. On the foreign front is Mike Pompeo, proposed head of the CIA, who can now continue to investigate Hillary with new purpose and energy. Here on the home front, to head the already creepily named Department of Homeland Security, will be another retired general, John Kelly. He will be in charge of rounding people up: Hispanics, Muslims, and I imagine anybody that gets in the way of his round-up. Maybe journalists and, I don't know, bloggers. There will certainly be investigations of commie groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center. And Kelly is the moderate of the bunch.
Also lined up to militarize these United States is David Petraeus, maybe for the big enchilada, Secretary of State. But first they have to figure out what to do about his guilty charge for mishandling classified materials, leaking secrets to his lover. Wonder where Jason Chaffetz and Trey Gowdy are these days? I would think that after all the Sturm und Drang (yeah, I know how appropriate that is) over Hillary's emails, they would at least wake up long enough to make a statement of concern.
Here is the thing. Trump is an insecure, obsessive narcissist who we know is motivated by revenge. And he has -- oh, I haven't mentioned it yet? -- Steve Bannon as his Trump-whisperer. This is how bad Bannon is -- Karl Rove and Glenn Beck have spoken out against him. Bannon is the secular evil to Mike Pence's religious evil. Bannon is Hitler's adviser, and Trump adores Bannon. Bannon knows just the right way to flatter the leader of the once-free world. He also knows how to rile the crowd. Breitbart.com was his trial run for taking over the country.
I know where in Trump's brain the billionaires came from. Helped along by the right-wing GOP and huge donations, those picks were no-brainers. But the military, the military came from the kind of evil that is Steve Bannon.
I am thinking in phrases of 140 characters these days. And hashtags. When I wake up in the middle of the night I find myself thinking of tweets that I could send out like alarms to people who could save us. To the Democrats, who at this point can't even get it together to fight for the one Senate seat up for grabs in Louisiana, much less fight for our democracy. And who continue to want to prove that they aren't obstructionists. To the media, who mostly I think we should give daily, "Most Inane Question" awards to. Just how many times can you ask various Trump minions whether Mitt Romney is still being considered for Secretary of State?
My heart goes out to the Democrats who are smart and courageous enough to see this threat for what it is, and who plan on fighting. And journalists who will in the days to come be risking their careers (maybe even their freedom; remember Judith Miller). I hold great hope for Obama to come forward and fight to maintain the democracy he has already saved from the brink of economic failure. And after a time, Hillary will join the fight. But there may be a day, with all those generals and all those police forces that Trump courted with his vows of "law and order," when imprisoning political enemies in the United States of America becomes a reality.
No, I am not paranoid. I know just enough history to see the signs. Thinking that we are above the fray because we have a strong democracy means that our leaders, from the spineless Paul Ryan to the West Virginia "Democrat" Joe Manchin, would have to fight the abhorrent and extremely telling staff choices Trump has made. And they won't. Biden and Harry Reid have both made conciliatory noises pretending to like some of Trump's picks. Will Dems run scared and choose someone safe to lead their party over progressive black Muslim-American Keith Ellison? Boy, now is not the time to cower, folks. (Note to media: the most pressing issue about Ellison's bid is NOT whether he stays in Congress while he serves as DNC chair.)
Well, the sun is coming up. I had an emergency piece of medicinal chocolate that I smuggled home from Denver before I began my blog, and I am hoping I will be able to escape through sleep for a couple of hours. But we all have to keep returning to the reality of a Trump oligarchy. We have to stop trying to find the good in the turd. We have to keep trying things we've never done before, like appeal to the Electors to dump Trump. We can't use ignorance as an excuse. We can't let Democrats compromise us out of our democracy.
We can't let the generals take over. And we have to #StopBannon.
Trump is an idiot. But he is a rich and powerful idiot, and he knows how to buy smart and powerful people.