Some Idle Mulling Of Using The Slogan “Take Back America” For The #Resistance

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am frustrated. It’s frustrating that 2018 is fast approaching and it doesn’t seem as though anyone is taking seriously the titanic, epic fight against dark forces that The Resistance has to face down during the the mid-term election cycle.

I have proposed “Take Back America” as a slogan for The Resistance, though “Take America Back” would be just as good.

But I don’t know. It’s all kind of sad. I don’t know what to make of it. I wish there was something I could do personally to spearhead things in 2018, but there’s nothing I can do. I got squat. Anyway. I guess I can keep bitching and moaning on Twitter and Facebook Live to anyone who will listen.

Talk To Me Internet: Al Franken Has Got To Go

by Shelton Bumgarner

It’s really sad, but Sen. Al Franken has to resign. It’s the right thing to do and it’s the only way to eliminate this distraction from the issue at hand: getting rid of Donald Trump. I go into a to of detail about my thoughts on this matter in these two Facebook Lives.

‘Have A Great Life’ — #Lyrics To A Woke Power Ballad

Trump, besides putting his grubby hands on a great Beatles lyric, is just a fountain head of lyrics today. So, here goes. The meaning of these lyrics is kind of muddled.

Have A Great Life
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

the end is near it seems between us
we’re going to have to accept
that the last lap has been run
we’re done, done, done
you’ll be gone soon enough
leaving all this behind

have a great life
is all I have to say
have a great life
I mention to my dismay

the powers that be have kicked you out
you had power over me now you’re just a lout
when we look back upon this time
we’ll struggle to figure out
how it happen at all
we will climb to a new fate
leaving me to wonder why we ever did date

these days are scary
with the tweeting going on
war seems about to happen
so I hide in the lyrics of a song
when it will be over is anyone’s guess
but will tell you now Godspeed and God bless

have a great life
is all I have to say
have a great life
I mention to my dismay

you’re quoting Beatles’ songs
much to may dismay
how would you do such a thing
I say with a sway

but goodbye is all I have to say
you’re gone now for good
at least that is your claim to fame

have a great life
is all I have to say
have a great life
I mention to my dismay

Bill Clinton’s Legacy, A Reassessment

by Shelton Bumgarner

Then President Bill Clinton’s impeachment was the first major political event of my adult life. I felt so strongly about it all, that I wore perhaps wisely, a black armband to work to signify my opposition to it. But now, 20 years later, we find ourselves forced to reassess his legacy because of the numerous horrible accounts of sexual misconduct that people are finally beginning to take seriously.

All of this is complicated because the Right is quick to point out that Hillary Clinton “stood by her man” through it all an as such is “complicit.” Before it’s over with the MAGA people are all but demanding you vote for Trump again and you’re left shaking your head given what Trump is accused of doing, as well.

But let me be clear: if the only way I can get Trump out of office is to say Bill Clinton should have resigned 20 years ago, then so be it. He should have. Now what. Now will Trump leave office so we can go back to fighting over the usual stupid shit instead of having to worry about an unhinged president potentially being the death of us all?

It is an embarrassment to the American experience that we even having this argument over Bill Clinton versus Donald Trump in the first place. Both are self-evident in their loathsomeness on a human level and I will gladly concede Bill Clinton’s status as a monster if the other side will do the same for Donald Trump and agree with me that he needs to immediately leave office, never to be heard from again.

But they won’t. The MAGA people are so deluded by the political blackhole that is Donald Trump that they are completely unable to see the actual, legitimate more equivalency of what Bill Clinton did and what Donald Trump did. They’re all such raving sycophantic lunatics that all they can see is the bad of the their political opposition and the good of their God king. They simply can’t comprehend that by attacking Bill Clinton that they are admitting, in effect, that Donald Trump did was, like, bad and stuff.

It’s all really surreal. It’s all tragic and surreal and difficult to process. I don’t really know how things progress from this point. What Bill Clinton is accused of doing is really bad and, like I said, if the only way I can get rid of Donald Trump is to say Clinton should have resigned 20 years ago, then so be it. But at this point it doesn’t make any difference either way, really.

Bill Clinton isn’t president anymore and Donald Trump definitely isn’t going to resign.

Some Thoughts On How America Gets Out Of This Trump Mess #Resist

by Shelton Bumgarner

The existential question of the day is whether or not Donald Trump is a fluke or the dawn of a new, dystopian era in American history. One thing is fore sure, Trump’s rise to power is the culmination of structural, systemic issues in the American body politic. Not to invoke his name too lightly, but Trump, in a sense, is an American Hitler if you think of history but as the biography of great men.

It is possible that the United States will bounce back, at least momentarily, from this Bad King. I mean, Caligula in all his insanity didn’t manage to bring down the Roman Empire. But I do think Trump is endemic of the end of the American Republic. The entire system is so broken, so built to squash leadership in any meaningful way, that there’s a real chance the United States is fucked.

And, yet, it is at least possible to put a positive spin on things. But it would require some pretty astonishing things to happen. The crux of the issue is — has Trump so fundamentally warped American politics that we can’t go back to traditional politicians? Have we reached Idiotracy at last and from now one, our politicians have to be establish celebrities and our celebrities have to be politicians? The answer to that kind of question will come, probably about November 2018.

When people begin to throw their hats into the presidential ring in earnest in late 2018, that will determine the tempo of things. A lot, unfortunately, depends on one Donald J. Trump. If Trump manages to survive past 2020 and have a second term, it’s really likely that there really will be no turning back. It’s very possible that we will have entered a new era in American political life that really is dark and uncharted. A lot depends who Trump is going to be up against in 2020.

I have long suggested that the only type of person who could defeat Trump, who is nothing more than overgrown middle-school bully, would be the adult equivalent of a middle-school class clown. It seems readily apparent that someone like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or even Chelsea Handler might be the silver bullet that might be able to slay the political monster that is Trump. Handler, in particular is, in a weird way, perfectly suited to the task at hand. She’s got just the right acerbic wit combined with a tough as nails sensibility that she could effectively deal with whatever horrific vitriol the Right wing managed to throw at her. There is the issue of a sex tape released by a vengeful ex-boyfriend, but I would like to think in this bizarre political world we now live in that wouldn’t be held against her too much, at least by most voters.

Meanwhile, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would be great candidates as well, but it’s highly unlikely that Stewart would leave his petting zoo in New Jersey or that Colbert would leave a successful late night talk show to run for president.

One thing we have to take seriously is how the Russians might try to meddle in the election again. The American political system is so fucked up in a structural way, that it’s very well possible they could throw the election to Trump AGAIN and nothing would happen. Trump really has a near mystical hold on his followers that is difficult to explain or break. It is very well possible that he will not only survive, but thrive and prosper in the coming days and that there really will be nothing to stop him from finishing two complete terms.

That, of course, would leave the issue of where will America be once he finally has to step down. I would, again, suggest that that will be settled by who his successor is. If Trump’s successor, after eight years in office, is another celebrity, then that would be a definitely different spin on things than if it was a career politician. At this point, it’s too early to tell which it will be. Right now, it seems as though Trump is going to plow his way through the American political system, doing as much damage as possible.

And, yet, if, say, someone like James Comey were to succeed Trump at some point in the future, the American Republic might bounce back a lot quicker than you might think. But that is being really optimistic. It is difficult for me to say in good faith that the United States is even a Republic at all anymore. We are careening towards a theocratic, autocratic plutocracy of sorts. No amount of leadership will fix such long term trends. Effective leadership might manage it, mitigate it or ameliorate it but it won’t eliminate it altogether.

Having said all that, I would also like to say that as an American, I have hope that American exceptionalism still burns in the hearts and minds of its citizens and we ultimately will reject the “managed democracy” of Russia. I’d like to think that at some point people power will kick in and we’ll take back our government from the kleptocracy that it’s succumb to for the time being. But I don’t know, I just don’t know. I can’t predict the future and it could go either way, it really could.

At this point, we’re just going to have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune until November 2018. If the “Blue Wave” really does wash down on the shores of Washington, then we can talk. Then there is a real chance that this Trumpian nightmare will end sooner rather than later and we can put it behind us. But every day Trump is in office, we risk bigger and worse disasters.

A real chance exists that Trump will try to save his sorry ass politically by pulling the biggest “wag the dog” in American history by initiating a “preemptive war” against the DPRK. I could totally see him doing it by, say July 2018, so in about November 2018 his approval rating will be in the high 80s as TV and social media are awash with the spectacular images of the long-oppressed people of North Korea at last being liberated. We could all wake up in 2021 to a truly distopian future.

One fear I have is Trump is, really, the only thing keeping the United States away from a civil war. The peace of mind that Trump gives the insane Right wing may be a weird firebreak that we won’t realize we enjoy until it’s gone. The United States is, right now, effectively two different nations and it could tear itself apart if we don’t find some effective leadership in years ahead. But sometimes you don’t get leadership until there’s a reason for people to rise to the occasion, so who knows what will happen.

Of Brexit & The Russians

by Shelton Bumgarner

From what I can gather, it seems as though there is increasing evidence that the Russians meddled in the media coverage of Brexit. So, it is at least possible that there might be a close re-examination of the whole disaster. But there are no easy answers. I just don’t know what will happen.

It will be interesting one way or another.

The Death Of Blogging

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m kind of slow on the uptake on this one. But it suddenly occurred to me that blogging is totally dead in the water. By “blogging,” I mean the concept of someone starting a blog and then, with a lot of hard work making name for themselves in this or that field. Blogging gave a lot of undiscovered talent a new venue to feature their work and it notion had a good rum of about a decade.

But no more.

Now, the energy that would otherwise be put into blogging now exerts itself with Twitter, podcasts and Facebook. It’s an interesting change. It’s interesting that something that was so common, so powerful for what seemed a long time simply doesn’t, in real terms, exist anymore.

I have repeatedly explain in great depth a new social media platform that would aspire, at least, to bring back some for of blogging. But since I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn, it’s not like it’s going to happen.

How I Would Fix Social Media & Save The Republic #Resist

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have gone into great detail here and on my Instagram account about my concept for a new social media platform. But this post is about what, specifically, we need to do to fix the obviously broken social media model.

First and foremost, we need to manage bots and trolls better. I would go so far as to say that if you built a better mousetrap and, in essence, required all your users to be, like, real people and stuff, that that would go a long way to fixing the problems associated with modern social media.

The reason Twitter is such a shit hole is they willfully facilitate bots and trolls’ use of the service. If you built a service from the ground up that made it difficult for bots to use the service as well as had an aggressive, proactive management of trolls I think you would win over a lot people who feel overwhelmed by Twitter’s shit experience.

Another thing I would do is give verified account holders on a service a sense of stakeholdership by giving them added rights and responsibilities. In my fevered imagination, you might give them the ability to make Groups that would be the cornerstone of the service. Theses Groups would be divided into Discussions that would be a mixture of the old AOL Chat Rooms and the old Usenet news groups. It’s a start, at least. Twitter wasn’t designed for discussion and if you built a service from the ground up for just that then I think it would be a success. Yes, Reddit exists, but I don’t like the interface and you would need a service designed more as a Twitter Killer than a Reddit Killer. Reddit does its job quite effectively, while Twitter, alas, does not.

It’s weird that it’s so obvious that you could build an effective competitor to Twitter doing these basic things and…yet…no one seems all that interested in doing it. Probably because the nerds in Silicon Valley are now abuzz over AR and VR. Social media is a dead issue to them and they just don’t see the point. It’s a mature market and they see no challenge.

And, yet, Twitter is so bad and such a threat to the Republic that something needs to be done. I would do it myself, but I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn.

Trump’s Campaign Colluded With Russians. Now What. #Resist

by Shelton Bumgarner

It’s pretty obvious that we now have proof that the 2016 Trump Campaign knowingly and in a systematic manner colluded with the Russian government to rig the election in their favor.

The question, of course, is now what?

I’m afraid we’re just going to have to wait and hope that Congress is flipped in 2018. That’s all I got. I say that because, well, the Republican Party is so surreal in its partisanship that they would rather protect treasonous behavior on the part of Trump than potentially risk the passage of an enormous tax cut for the wealthiest amongst us.

So, in short, we’re fucked. We are so completely fucked that this lurch towards authoritarianism will grind on for at least another year. In the end, I think this scandal will be a lot like Iran-Contra. We’ll know the facts, the president might even admit what happened and say something akin to “I’m sorry,” but ultimately we won’t get rid of the fucker in any meaningful way.

I fear that even if we do flip Congress and impeach Trump, he won’t be convicted by the Senate. Or if he is convicted by the Senate, I worry he won’t see the vote as legitimate and we’ll have shoot out on the West Lawn between the FBI and the Secret Service.

The prospects of things going back to normal are extremely dim. We’ve entered a new age and the future is dark for the American Republic. I think when we look back upon this period 20 years from now, we’ll see it as the period where the United States finally transitioned from a constitutional democratic republic to an theocratic, autocratic quasi-fascist state.

Is 2018 Our 1968? Next Year May Be A Crucial Year In American History #Resist

by Shelton Bumgarner

The thing we have to understand is that because of gerrymandering, The Resistance could win 54% of the popular vote and still lose the House to Republicans. Let that sink in. That’s why if you love the United States as I do, you may have to seriously contemplate getting out of your comfort zone and begin to actively participate in politics in a way you never have.

The 2018 mid-terms are so crucial because House Republicans are so Vichy and callow that if we don’t vote them out of office in a big way, the morphing of the United States into autocracy. Trump is doing real damage to the American Republic and if nothing happens to change the current chronic Constitutional long-jam we’re in, there may be no stopping Trump completely seizing power.

There is an ebb and flow to politics and it was inevitable that Republicans would come back into power. What we didn’t fully appreciate is the hysterical rage caused by the bullshit echo chamber epitomized by FOX News would make the Republicans so bad at governing. So, we have a historical imperative to throw them out of office in at least the House, if not the Senate. If we could flip the Senate, then we could end the appointment of extremely Right wing, extremely unqualified judges to the federal bench. But we’re kind of desperate, so we need the House to flip more than anything else.

A lot of things could go wrong between now and November 2018. Chief amongst them being, Trump could do his failsafe and start a preemptive war against the DPRK. This is a serious possibility that we need to see with clear eyes. We can’t take for granted that Trump will “do the right thing” and not kill a few hundred thousand people by prompting the North Koreans to freak the fuck out. I am of the opinion that they have a vested interest in not starting a war on their own simply for the reason that they know that in the end they will lose, and lose badly.

Regardless, there is a real chance that 2018 will go down as 1968 as a year where the universe changed in a big way. In many ways, 1968 marked the beginning of the modern age and it will be interesting to see of something similar happens in 2018. We face a historical turning point. Either the Republic fails and we become an autocracy, or it bounces back and Trump is destroyed politically.

I am not very sanguine about our prospects. It seems as though the Republic has fallen already and we’re a “managed democracy” like they have in Russia. It’s all over but the shouting, as the say. But we have a small window of opportunity in 2018. It’s possible, just possible that I’m wrong.

One thing is for sure, we need new leadership. We need a new generation of people to fight the good fight. The current crop of leaders is old and out of touch. Trump isn’t going anywhere, but maybe we can mitigate his damage if we manage to flip Congress in 2018.