Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Illegal & Un-American

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I understand why some people are scared of Muslims as a whole. I get it. It makes sense. But if you scratch the surface just a tiny bit, the argument for a Muslim travel ban falls apart, especially on a Constitutional level. Trump can’t seem to make up his mind if it’s a ban or not.

He tweets about it being a ban, then his lawyers and White House spokesman says it’s not. It’s all very surreal. But the whole thing is un-American because America isn’t supposed to discriminate against you because of your religion and the Constitution as as much itself.

But that doesn’t seem to phase Trumplandia. That doesn’t seem to phase Trump’s supporters. I don’t really understand how people can so willfully go down this dark and scary path that Trump is leading them down. Trump’s vision of “American carnage” is so completely bonkers that I struggle to understand how anyone could possibly support it.

And, yet, people do.

This is all a part of how much of a clusterfuck, a dumpster fire Trump’s administration is to date. I keep struggling for an answer and I find none. I keep trying to figure out what it all means, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that makes any sense.

But we have to try to engage. We have to keep the faith. We have to have hope.

Trump’s Twitter Freak Out Over The London Attack Is Not Productive

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

So our ever-so-esteemed 45th president, Donald J. Trump did not send his “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the recent terrorists attack in London. No, instead of doing that he freaked the fuck out. It really makes you wonder what he will do when a real tragedy strikes American shores.

As an American, I find this embarrassing. We have a president who obviously is completely unhinged and is bringing down the dignity of the office every day he continues to serve in his present capacity. And there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it. The Republicans are completely callow and Vichy and that is why we are in a surreal and chronic Constitutional crisis.

That is why things are so difficult and aren’t going to get any easier any time soon. The normal levers of power just aren’t working. And not until the mythical “Blue Wave” occurs in 2018 will anything change. And, at this point, it’s very mythical and hypothetical. There’s just no evidence at all that Trump is going anywhere for the next four, if not eight years.

We need effective leadership and that’s just something that Trump can’t provide us right now. He feeds off of fear and division. He feeds off of us fearing “the other” and watching too much FOX News. I just don’t know what we can do to fix this problem anytime soon.

There are some titanic things afoot in the American political psyche that can’t be fixed easily or, even at all I’m afraid. The Baby Boomers are growing older and more conservative every day. Trump and Steve Bannon are surprisingly adept at playing to the base and keeping the opposition divided. These are all basic issues that we’re just going to have to deal with.

As I keep saying — a lot — the only thing we can really do is not rage, but be engaged. If we do our personal part to keep civil society intact while we suffer through the Trumplandia era, then I think maybe things might work out. But it’s tough. It’s tough not to think that someone who simply disagrees with you isn’t trolling you. Maybe they’re not. Maybe they honestly just disagree with you.

So, keep engaging is all I can say at this point. Keep fighting the good fight. That’s all we got.

A Personal Appeal To Hollywood To Produce Movies About Trumplandia

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have made similar appeals several times before, but the continuing epic silence on the part of Hollwyood when it comes to Trumplandia leaves me puzzled. I have not heard about any remakes of Being There, or 1984. I have no heard of any movies in product that would adapt The Mule portion of The Foundation Saga.

If there was a lot of buzz about such movies being produced, then I would at least have some sense that the shock and awe that Donald Trump evoked within civil society might finally have been overcome. But, as of yet, I am not hearing any such buzz. Movies don’t happen in a vacuum. You can’t just make one without someone, somewhere taking note of it being in production.

I am aware that it takes time for scripts to be written and produced. That goes without saying, but you’d think some really talented coke head in Hollywood would have at least finished a script by this point that would be something of an Apocalypse Now of the Trump Era.

I think maybe some of the problem is civil society has yet to figure out what all this means. Is this Watergate? Is this Vietnam? Is it something else completely? I guess I’m being extremely impatient for more than one reason.
All The President’s men came out after Watergate, as did Apocalypse Now. So, maybe if I want civil society to respond contemporaneous to these tragic, surreal events, I’m going to have to rely upon Saturday Night Live or the monologue of The Late Show.

And, yet, given that there is obviously but an audience and a marketplace for art that addresses Trumplandia head-on, you’d think the process might get sped up a little bit. We live in unprecedented, bizarre times and what I wouldn’t do for a movie about Trump written by the folks that produce South Park or The Simpsons. The Simpsons, oddly enough, of late have become more relevant through some the shorts they have been producing on the fly.

Maybe things just haven’t gotten as dire as they need to get for what I want to happen, to happen. Just looking at my twitter account, things seem to be pretty fucking surreal. Things really are dire enough for the usual years-long gestation for content to be sped up a little bit.

If anything, the delay on the part of people with actual talent makes me — someone with only marginal talent — want to produce my own content to make myself feel better, if nothing else. But hopefully civil society will strike back sooner rather than later.

It’s our only hope.

Don’t Rage, Engage: What We Need Is A Good Novel About Life Under Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

In fits and starts, I’m beginning to work on a novel that’s something of a metaphor for life under Trump. I have been working on a novel just in general, but the concept I was working with grew increasingly meh. So, I’ve decided to spice is up a little bit by trying to tell the same general story but also telling a metaphor for life under Trump.

It’s likely going to take me a long time to finish it if I do it the way I want to, but given that there’s no sign Donald Trump is going anywhere, there doesn’t seem any reason to believe it won’t be timely by the time I finish it.

I’ve decided that the best way to go about it is to make the story something of a surreal sci-fi satire. Something that might not only make you think, but cause a little bit of a chuckle from its absurdity. The fact that I’m using my anger towards Trump’s agenda to create art goes well with my general belief that the time for outrage is over.

Artists, as creative people, need to use the one weapon we have that we can easily use: our talents. I’m not saying I’m all that talented, but I do enjoy writing and I do, in fact, want to write a novel so the concept I have in my head is solid enough to try to turn it into something of note.

But it shouldn’t be people like me on the edges who should be creating art inspired by Trump’s behavior, people with actual talent you do be up to the task, as well. I continue to be puzzled as to why what is so obvious isn’t being done. Where are all the movies, TV shows and novels about Trump?

Maybe creative types in LA and NYC are simply still in shock. I don’t know. I’d like to think that eventually they will stop being in shock and awe and start producing the art that we all need right now. If something doesn’t happen sooner rather than later, I worry that creative types will be look back upon as complicit in this clusterfuck we’ve gotten ourselves into.

I, for one, am going to not only stand up for what I believe in, but be creative along the way as well.

Clueless American Observes: British Press Is Hysterical About Jeremy Corbyn

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

As the British General Election cycle heats up — they election is just a few days away at June 8th — it seems as though something must be up with Jeremy Corbyn given that portions of the British Press are growing pretty hysterical at the prospect of him winning.

I honestly am a clueless American, so I don’t know if what I’m observing is accurate of what is going on or not. But it makes sense that the mood of Great Britain’s populace may have shifted and there could actually be a chance that Britain’s Bernie Sanders may, in fact, win.

Now, there are some things to take into consideration before center-Left people like in America can get all excited that maybe the long-hoped for “Blue Wave” here in the States may first start across the pond. None of this means squat until people have actually voted and I don’t know about Great Britain, but in America a similar point in an election campaign people are so worked up one way or another that the some of the hysterics on the part, of, say The Sun, could, in fact, just be that.

Jeremy Corbyn would bring Britain to its knees within a week if he snatches power as a chaotic alliance would prop him up is the headline that caught my attention on this matter. So, that seems to be the opinion of people who read The Sun. As you know, The Sun has a topless Page 3 girl, so take that into consideration.

But having said all that, for me, a moderate Liberal, if Corbyn won it definitely would put a spring in this American step. It would indicate that maybe the tied is turning against the forces of Trumplandia. Maybe if someone as Leftist and odd ball as Corbyn can win for no other reason than he’s not center-Right, then maybe, just maybe something similar can happen here in the States.

When Margret Thatcher won in the late 1970s, it was looked upon in hindsight as an indication that the Reagan Revolution was about to happen in the States. The American press would probably flip out if Corbyn won, and make a lot of similar comparisons, only for the reverse political spectrum.

Yet it doesn’t take too much thought to realize a Corbyn win might be a goof, a one-off caused by some very specific British conditions. Say what you will about Donald Trump, he is surprisingly good at the divide and conquer tacit and unless something truly astonishing happens, it is very possible he will not only survive but prosper.

Having said that, a Corbyn win would really make me happy on a personal level. For the center-Left in the States, it would signal that maybe, just maybe the pendulum is beginning to swing back towards some sort of sanity and there might just be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel that, for once, isn’t a train.

So, Like, How Would Trump Handle A Major Crisis?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

To date, most of Donald Trump’s disasters have been self-inflicted. His gross incompetency is such that it’s pretty obvious he has no clue what he’s doing and it that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. That, of course, raises the question: what happens if there’s a major external crisis that he had nothing to do with?

Given that the major Western leaders now think Trump is a complete nincompoop, that is a very real question with very real consquences. If, say, Russia was to attack Ukraine in a major way or the DPRK finally attack South Korea, I just don’t see how Trump at this point could lead the free world. And those are just the man-made crisis I can think of off the top of my head. God only knows if there was a Hurricane Katrina level level event or even “the Big One” in L.A.

We are in unprecedented, uncharted territory. There just is no easy answer to any of this. The rank inability of Trump to lead himself out of a tweet, much less a major global crisis is something we all may have to deal with at some point. Trump can only delude the base for so long.

There is going to come a point when the cold hard facts of the modern world will come crashing down on the Trump Administration. The question, of course, is what do we do? Probably what will happen is, as with 9/11 leadership will come from unexpected places.

It could be a mayor, it could be a Senator, it could be a governor. You just don’t know. Or, if you really wanted to rejiggle the international order, it could be the leader of France or Germany who lead the free world to confront some horrible new event.

One thing is for sure, if there isn’t a major crisis in the next four to eight years, we’ve been very, very lucky. My only fear is if it’s a terrorist attack, Trump will use it as an excuse to impliment the darker aspects of his vision for the United States and beyond.

Trump 2019: A Nightmare Scenario

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

As I have repeatedly said that I am not really that hopefully that there will be a Blue Wave in 2018. Donald Trump is just too oddly adept at appeasing the base of Trumplandia for it to happen. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that The Resistance wins big in 2018.

This is where things might get interesting.

What might happen is there could be a titanic struggle between the suddenly woke Vichy Republicans and The Resistance Democrats to see who will impeach Trump. I suggest this because, well, if the Republicans push through an impeachment during a lame duck session after the November election, then they would have the ability to pick who Mike Pence’s replacement might be. So if things get really, really bad politically for Trump, you might have the Republicans finally finding their backbone while Democrats would be against impeachment simply because they wanted to wait a few months so they could do it themselves.

But the much more ominous scenario is the Democrats impeach and convict Donald Trump in early 2019, but Trump turns around and pardons everyone — including himself — as part of the process, and claims the whole thing is thus illegitimate and won’t acknowledge it.

You want a Constitutional crisis, now that would be a Constitutional crisis.

I don’t even know what could possibly happen then. Would the FBI and the Secret Service have a shoot out on the White House grounds to evict Trump? How would we wrestle the nuclear codes from Trump if he was hold up in Trump Tower like a madman, tweeting his every thought with abandon?

That, of course, is a nightmare scenario and highly unlikely to happen. But it would be a fitting in to the Trumplandia Era.

A Clueless American Asks: Could Trump Lead To A Victory For Jeremy Corbyn?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m just a clueless American, but at least from what I can tell from my Twitter feed — it definitely seems as though British Prime Mister candidate Jeremy Corbyn has got some energy behind him. Now, relative to American politics, it seems as though Corbyn’s old school Labour politics are Left of even Bernie Sanders.

But I’m only now getting up to speed about what’s going on in Great Britain in large part because, well, things are getting interesting. Incumbent Tory PM Theresa May, at least to these American eyes, has a little bit of Hillary Clinton in her, in that she’s kind of a meh candidate. And, yet, Corybn seems so Leftist in his outlook that I struggle to believe Great Britain would vote him in.

The fact that Corbyn is beginning to surge in the polls seems to indicate that Corbyn is benefiting from something of an anti-Trump effect. Corbyn is a way for British people to express their displeasure with Trump on a practical level. If Corbyn was to win, I think it would give a lot of heart to people like me in the States who hope that maybe, just maybe, the mythical “Blue Wave” everyone hopes will happen in 2018, might, just might in fact happen.

But I just don’t know enough about British politics to know if I’m anywhere near making the right conclusion. One question I have is what would happen to Brexit if Corbyn pulls off a miracle and wins? Is it too late to stop the Brexit process altogether?

If anything, given that Corbyn was 20 points behind up until recently, is is pretty obvious that Trumplandia’s gravitational pull is far more significant than any of us are willing to comprehend. It could very well be that Trump’s victory will be sen as the high point of the Right Wing Nut Job movement and as the pendulum swings back to some sense of sane thought, Trumplandia will begin to fade.

But I fear that’s really too wishful thinking on my part. It’s going to be a struggle to extract the rotting tooth of Trump. He ain’t going nowhere. But, if nothing else, a Corbyn victory would be a victory for the global Resistance to Trumplandia.

It will be interesting to see how things work out, indeed. I just wish I knew more about this subject. I’m going to keep a close eye on things and try to write blog posts that are a little bit more clued in as we grow closer to the actual election date in Great Britain.

What Hath Trump Wrought: Bill Maher, Sen. Sasse & Kathy Griffin

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It goes without saying that we live in unprecedented, extraordinary times. It seems as though not a day goes by when a celebrity’s reputation and career doesn’t implode in an inexplicable fashion because of this new age of Trumplandia we live in.

The latest person to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune is Bill Maher. As you may know, Maher — who most notably lost his job soon after the 9/11 attacks for calling the terrorists “brave,” recently during a conversation with Sen. Ben Sasse very casually dropped the “N-word.” This is not acceptable for a white person to do, regardless of context and I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot — a lot — about this in the next few days.

I expect that Sen. Sasse is gong to promptly distance himself from what Maher did and we’re all going to have to go through the long, drawn out process of either getting Maher to apologize in some way or drumming him out of showbiz for good. That’s just how things work in this modern era. I mean, I feel like clutching my “safe space” and asking for a trigger warning over Maher’s remark, and I don’t even believe in such things. It just wasn’t cool.

Speaking of not cool things, Kathy Griffin’s photo shoot where she held a Squatty Potty made out to be the decapitated head of the president continues to reap nefarious rewards. Now she, apparently, is on the attack against the Trumps, saying they have “bullied” her. This is bizarre and outrageous. She should just shut up and lay low for a while.

But the issue, of course, is it s difficult not to lay all of this at the feet of Donald Trump. The president sets the tone of the era that he leads and Trump and by extension Trumplandia is now a major source of cultural influence throughout the nation and beyond. The damage is done on a cultural level, if nothing else and the how we will fix this damage in the long term is something we are going to have to grapple with for decades to come.

And it’s only going to get worse. Each day that this tyrannical madman holds sway at the center of our culture, the more corrosive our culture will become. The big question, of course, is what happens next. Will our civil society snap back or are we all doomed.

I am a strong believer that the civil society of the United States, the strongest in the world, will ultimately save the day. Things will snap back into place and this era of Trumplandia will be a horrible nightmare that we just don’t talk about.

Though, as an aside, I continue to find it odd that Hollywood hasn’t done something about the fears generated by Trump. I know it takes time to develop original scripted content, but I haven’t heard of anything in development. It’s really weird. I don’t know if it’s being done in private so it can pop out in 18 months or not, but I try to keep tabs on such things just casually, and I haven’t heard of anything.

But only time will tell, I guess. We live in fucked times and it could be that this is the beginning of the end. We could be about to enter a real life version of Idiotocracy. Or not. I just can’t seem to figure this all out. It’s too profound to understand while it’s happening to get a handle on it.

Yet I have hope. I think things will sort themselves out for the best. I have to believe that. I have to have hope.

Cut The Covfefe: The Tragedy That Is Trump’s Tweeting

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Long ago, when we were all younger, cuter and we could have avoided this mess, the issue of Donald Trump’s tweeting came up during the presidential campaign. Trump did not really give an explanation for why he did it and did not really indicate if he would stop if he became president.

Alas, we know the answer to that now.

The issue for me, at least, when it comes to Trump’s tweeting is we, as a society, continue not to know exactly how to process the tweets themselves. Some of them are so shocking and somewhat mind-bending to be coming from the president himself that we just don’t know how seriously to take them.

On one hand, they’re coming from the president, so we feel as part of respecting the office we have to at least listen to what Trump has to say. Given that he’s the president and has all this power over our lives, it makes sense for us to read what he tweets in an effort to better understand his mentality, if nothing else. So when he accuses former President Obama of “wire tapping” him, we feel we have to take it seriously for no other reason than the President of the United States is the one saying it. And, yet, it seems as though Trump, himself, doesn’t really take what he tweets seriously. It’s almost as if he doesn’t realize that people are actually reading what he tweets.

Meanwhile, some of his tweets — most notably the recent “covfefe” tweet — are almost absurdest art, obviously not meant to be taken seriously by anyone. And, yet, again, because the president tweeted it is has a cultural significance that may last long after the original tweet is forgotten.

But, to me, at least, the crux of all this is the tweeting is yet another way how Trump has brought down the reputation of the the office in a monumental fashion. It is also yet another example of how complicit the Vichy Republicans are in rationalizing out of existence anything the president does. If Obama had done the “covfefe” tweet the demand for the 25 Amendment to be invoked on the part of the right would be staggering.

And, yet, we’ve reached point where we have to stop making such comparisons. They’ve gone from being a common refrain, to be a cliche to just being tired. We have to admit — then move on — that the Right is simply better organized and better at leading a charge of outrage when the time arises.

So what do we do about the damn tweets? That’s a tough one. It seems as though it’s just going to take some time. The instability caused by Trump’s tweeting isn’t going anywhere. Trump is going to continue to tweet for the foreseeable future, continue to stir up trouble for his own reasons and at times leave us all scratching our heads.

We had a chance to stop all of this in November 2016 and we blew it. The sooner we figure out what to do about Trump in the larger scheme of things, the better. But we had all be prepared. It’s going to be at least early 2019 before the tweeting will stop being so significant, and that’s only if we flip Congress and Trump is impeached and convicted. There are no assurances that anything like that will happen.

Hence, we are living a slow moving tragedy with no exit. It’s like we’re suffering from a chronic disease that flairs up every once in a while when we get stressed out. I wish there was some easy answer to it all, but there isn’t.