Moments that tell all? Or points in the time-space continuum that hide from view but are always there? One thing stands out from all the 2016 GOP debates. There is something seriously wrong with the mindset that has produced the current iteration of the republican party in the united mistakes of #americant. Double seriously. I mean, this shit’s no longer funny. Or is it? Even to worst-writer, who thinks only in terms of WORST, there are moments where I think things can’t get any…. Enter NOW. Not only is the true face of the republican party being shown in all its ugly, hate-filled glory–along with its blatant racism–but the entire world has now been indelibly impressed with a new level of incivility, #americant style! American men can now dangle their private parts in a show of presidential prowess that has never been witnessed before. I mean, that’s it. The American electoral process can go no lower. Or? Ok. There is the race thing. Which means we can’t go any lower than racism and dicks when it comes to our democracy. No. Wait. That’s can’t be true. Maybe it’s always been this way. What’s new is that The Donald has opened up the secret door where this behaviour has been going on all along. But I digress. §Even though I hate what Reagan did with America one has to admit that thirty years ago isn’t enough time to claim that civility once ruled. Thirty years isn’t that long, now is it? From New Delhi to Hong Kong to Paris to Moscow–this is what people around the globe can talk about when discussing the 2016 election for US president: dicks and unmitigated racism. With that in mind, where else can #americant politics go from here? Through out these modern times of human greed ruling everything and being the sole source of action one can witness other governments, parliaments, democracies hammer out there differences–but have they’ve gone so low as America? Haven’t Russian politicians slugged it out with their fists at times on the floor of their parliament? Haven’t south American elected officials thrown water in each others faces while disagreeing? Well, I guess there are some Americans who feel that we have to put something out there to challenge all those other governments–and their civility. Thank you Donald Trump. Thank you GOP. Now we have dick hanging–thanks to not just my beloved #americant but to those voters who played this game for the last thirty years. Oh my. As a kind of pseudo diplomat I’m gonna have to start thinking of new ways to change the subject when I’m at dinner parties in Bangelore or Bangkok and people ask me about America. Rant on. -Tommi
There’s no beating it, dear worst-reader. As Ferguson explodes (again) I can’t help but think about Richard Nixon. Why? Nixon is, without doubt, one of the greatest politicians in #americant history. The reason for that is simple. Few presidents have left so much in their wake as Nixon. Obviously there are a few before him, but I’m comfortable putting him up there in the top five–impeachment be damned! The greatest politician, btw, has to be slick-willy, Mr. Teflon: Bill Clinton. But he’s another worst-post.
As my beloved #americant spirals into chaos and anarchy–at least among the so-called ninety-nine-percent–all I see is the beast in the room that is the cause. It is a multi-headed beast, allow me to presume. Each head, not unlike the heads of Lernaean Hydra, once removed, is replaced by two. Hence the brilliance of some politicians. Yet how did this beast come to be? Unlike the Hydra–and any other Spaghetti Monster nonsense made up by men from never-more to the bronze-age–there is something almost scientific, at the least planned, about what’s going on these days. And what is going on?
Again. I’m thinking of Richard Dick Nixon. Boy do I remember this guy. I remember my mother crying while watching the TV as Dick waved to the cameras, showing the victory sign while boarding Marine One that was parked on the White House lawn–for the last time. I remember Watergate and even visiting the building, a friend pointing to the window where the break-in took place. I remember President Ford on TV pardoning Dick Nixon. Heck, I even remember Nixon trying to impose rent-control on the country in 1971. But there is one thing that I do not remember about tricky-Dick. And I’m kinda bummed by that. I mean. I should remember this one thing. Because if I would remember it, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time trying to figure it out now. Or? Ok. Maybe not.
Do you know why republicans were so blood thirsty to impeach Bill Clinton? I know. I know. They think they did impeach him. But people forget that Mr. Teflon won that whole Ken Starr whack-job hook, line and sinker. Clinton lying about a blowjob is such a minor and insignificant piece in the annals of #americant history that it will forever be referred to only in a comedic context–or bewilderment over the luscious nature of Monica Lewinsky’s lips. Yet what does that whole piece of history say about a batshit, rightwing House of Reps impeaching Bill Clinton and an equally batshit Senate acquitting him? It says that bloodthirsty (or batshit hungry) republicans are incapable of impeaching and/or making a democrat quit the presidency–like democrats did to them! This tiny piece of history is so infuriating to republicans that the foam from their mouths drips down to be the garb they wear.
Lapel flag-pin anyone?
Yeah, I guess I can’t help but drift at times. I blame that on Lewinsky’s lips, you know. So let me try to bring this thing (beast) around. Richard Dick Nixon is one of the greatest politicians in #americant history because he has made The Southern Strategy a permanent part of politics. In fact, post Reagan, that strategy is what governs everything. Yet no one talks about it. Can one talk about it when white cops are constantly shooting young black men? Can one talk about it when batshit conservatives indirectly condone the murder of abortion doctors. Can one talk about it when the so-called middle-class has been systematically drained of its wealth, only so that wealth can be caught by the upper-class? I will assume that most have heard the question: why do people vote for a party or candidate that is obviously not going to govern in their best interest? The answer is more than just blaming the money and the connections politicians make in order to forge their careers. The answer is The Southern Strategy.
So go ‘head. Thank Dick Nixon for Ronald Reagan, etc.
So let’s talk about Ronald Reagan. If it wasn’t for Nixon’s southern strategy, Reagan would have never gotten so far as an actor/politician–even in California. Do you remember his rhetoric? Welfare queens anyone? Big government is the problem? Just because a president was impeached and subsequently pardoned for his (obvious) crimes, doesn’t mean that his way of politicking can’t be copied. Copied, indeed. Ronald Reagan is the first president to use, post 1929 depression politics, extreme right-wing ideology to influence the political process. This process isn’t just about law-making, governing and elections. It is about:
influencing/controlling the entire electoral process through gerrymandering, indirect poll-taxing (requiring state issued photo ID or driver’s license), and redistricting,
appointing judges who are born of and adhere to conservative ideology so that, among other things, corporations can’t be held liable for their actions,
attacking and demonising the education system, especially colleges and professors,
and creating a propaganda system that could influence voters to vote against their best interests.
With #4 in mind, dear worst-reader, sing with me: thank you Roger Ailes for faux newz and for one-upping Joseph Goebbels! And thank you, Mr. Pig, aka Rush Limbaugh, for selling a nation so much grievance, sentiment and belonging.
Although The Southern Strategy is the multi-headed beast, each head representing something strategic, the core or the body of the beast, the animal itself, is racism. Hence politicians using The Southern Strategy were able to make inroads in their politicking that at first glance doesn’t make much sense. Example? George Wallace won presidential primaries in states that one would think he shouldn’t win–and not just because they were northern states. He won the Democratic party primary in Wisconsin in ’64 and again in Michigan in ’72. This can only be attributed to The Southern Strategy while one of the heads of the beast sung its rhetoric of hate among angry and frustrated white voters.
Indeed. We should all be doing more today than just singing thanks and praise to the likes of Roger Ailes and conservative talking heads. We should instead be sticking our heads up the next guys ass–because that’s obviously where it belongs. Or maybe not.
Some things just give me the creeps, dear worst-reader. Like, for example, thoughts of whether or not I should still be riding. I gave up motorcycling about ten years ago. Mostly because of finances but also because of, well, it was time. I’m proud to say that when I stopped riding bikes, my last bike wasn’t a puss ride. No rag-tag motorised couch for me to take me into retirement, i.e. no Hardly Drive-able (aka Harley Davidson) to fatboy-super-glide me off into the sunset. No. I didn’t go out with a whimper when I stopped riding. Every bike I owned up to that point was a betterment of the previous machine. That is: each bike was more sportier than the last. My last bike was an Aprilia Mille and it was the best bike I’d ever owned. It was a ninety-degree one-thousand c.c. v-twin packing about hundred and twenty horses and redlining at ten and half thousand RPMs. When I gunned it, horizons would snap shut. When I hit the brakes, gravity readjusted to accommodate me. And when I was just cruising down the highway and accidentally ran over the remains of roadkill, let’s say a squirrel, the suspension on that bike was so good not only did I know I just ran over a squirrel but I also knew what nuts he ate for lunch. (Ok. Enough. This worst-post is about something more than silly motorcycle suspension. Or?)
Speaking of motorcycle suspension… and creeps.
As good as the front forks were on my Aprilia, the rear suspension had room for improvement. When buying suspension for a sportbike there really is only one option: Öhlins. The only problem is Öhlins products are very expensive. My dealer recommended a different product that wasn’t as well known as Öhlins but was just as good and, more importantly, was better priced. Ok, I thought, after looking over the shock. There was just one very serious problem with buying such a product: It’s name. It was made by a company called White Power. “It’s called what,” I asked my dealer. “White Power”, he said. “The company is from Austria and they are really, really great,” my dealer continued, pushing, wanting to close the deal. I paused for a few moments and looked back at the Öhlins shock that was priced three hundred Euros more and thought: I can’t have anything on my dream motorcycle named “white power”. So I turned to the dealer, thanked him for his help, said I’ll think about it, and then went out the door. I drove my bike home and decided to stay with the stock rear shock–until I could afford the Öhlins.
I was born and raised in the southern part the state of Maryland, USA. Maryland is an odd place. It’s odd because it is sandwiched between two of the most important states in the union, plus it boarders the nation’s capital, Washington DC. To its north is Pennsylvania, to its south is Virginia. My stepfather was raised in rural PA where I subsequently spent much of my youth visiting his family or just taking vacations there. As I got older, due to other circumstances, I spent more time in VA, even living in Norfolk for a while. And here’s the thing. Nomatter where I was outside of MD I was neither a Yankee or a Confederate–even when I tried to claim being southern by telling argumentative and über-proud Virginians that, according to the landmark known as The Mason Dixon Line, I was definitely from the south. Not that I was trying to make any claim toward the confederacy that gave #americant its greatest and most deadly conflict–from which it obviously still hasn’t recovered. No. I’m not a southerner. But I’m most certainly not a yankee. And so. Other than the proximity of my birth and a designation of citizenship, I always pretty much considered myself a skeptic when it comes to cultural heritage. For I have learned that between Virginia and Pennsylvania there is a whirlwind of hate and bigotry that in every way rivals what one can find in the darkest corners of Mississippi, Alabama and now, of course, South Carolina.
Which brings me to flags … and more creepiness.
Last year I was in VA. I was visiting my sister who lives there. One of the things that’s really hard for me to adjust to is how people can still wave that flag. And they not only wave it, they wave it proudly. You know what flag I’m talking about, don’t you worst-reader? I hate that flag. Heck, even in Europe, in Germany, I sometimes see that flag. It’s on bumper stickers or on license plate holders–sometimes it feels like its always on some young white man’s rear truck window. Drive through certain parts of all of America and it waves in front yards, it waves in your face. And it always gives me the creeps. It gives me the creeps because I know what connects that flag to so many people around the world. I grew up in its confusion, its bigotry, its… hate. Even today, in places like Virginia, USA, or Dortmund, Germany, or Charleston, SC, if you ask someone why they wave that flag their answer is (and can only be) a cesspool of creepiness. People lay claim to that flag as though whatever they say obfuscates what it truly means and represents. And that’s not enough. Not only do these people wave that flag but they wave other flags, too, like flags from apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia. White power. Holy cow! That kid who shot up that church looks like he’s twelve years old and yet he waves flags as though he is capable of understanding what they truly mean for humanity. Where does a twelve year old learn that kind of stuff? Could it be he learns it from people still stuck in the fact that they lost because, well, they deserved to lose. Hate deserves to lose. And I hate them because they can’t stop hating. OYG! Wow.