Speaking of threats to democracy: this is the anniversary of the day in 1944 that voters elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt to a fourth consecutive term. There is little question in my mind that had FDR been healthier, he was perfectly capable of deciding to run for fifth and sixth terms too; this was a looming American dictator who wasn’t hiding it, and Americans still blithely voted for him. Everything about Roosevelt made him the template for a democracy-busting, cult-of-personality Big Brother USA, including his ruthlessness. We were lucky: another of the many examples proving Bismarck right when he said, “There is providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America.”
Oh, he probably didn’t say it, but I’ve taxed quote maven Tom Fuller enough for one week…
1. For my own mental health, I’m going to eschew reading the pre-election freak-outs by New York Times pundits showing up today with titles like “Republicans Have Made It Very Clear What They Want to Do if They Win Congress” and “Dancing Near the Edge of a Lost Democracy.” Still, I couldn’t resist starting to read “What Has Happened to My Country?” but quit when Margaret Renkl made me read, “…Right-wing politicians and media outlets have turned American democracy upside down through nothing more than a lie. They put forth Supreme Court candidates who assure Congress that they respect legal precedent but who vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade the instant they have a majority on the court….”
There is nothing inconsistent about respecting precedent while deciding that a particular case precedent is too misguided and destructive to uphold, Margaret.
“…They endorse political candidates who openly state that they will accept only poll results leading to their own election….”
No candidate has stated that, openly or otherwise, Margaret, you hack.
“They denounce calamities where no calamities exist…”
That was it! I quit. A mouthpiece for the party claiming that electing Republicans will destroy democracy, whose #3 ranking official in Congress compares the U.S. today to Germany in the 1930s when Hitler was on the rise [Pointer: Other Bill], that thinks “The Handmaiden’s Tale” is about to become reality because of the Dobbs decision, and that has gone all in on speculative climate change doomsday predictions does not get to say that about Republicans and be taken seriously.
2. Dangerous slippery slopes ahead….NBA superstar Kylie Irving shared a tweet that promoted the “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” documentary and book. Both are, by all reports, pretty vile, with familiar anti-Semitic tropes like Holocaust denial and claims of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy. There is nothing inappropriate about employers disciplining employees who put their organizations in unflattering light that might hurt reputations and profitability, nor with the Brooklyn Nets suspending Irving for “at least five games” without pay over the controversy. That’s reasonable, even a bit lenient. He responded with a publicist-drafted apology. Then Nike announced that it is suspending its relationship with Irving and will not release Irving’s highly anticipated new shoe, the Kyrie 8, which was scheduled to be released this month.
That’s also fair. A celebrity who represents a corporation and its products can’t engage in high profile prejudice and expect to keep the gig. The loss of the Nike deal will cost Irving many millions of dollars, and that’s what happens when you embarrass a business partner. However, now the Nets have given Irving an ultimatum of sorts: in order to rejoin the team and start collecting his salary, he must.fulfill six requirements:
- Apologize and condemn the film he promoted
- Make a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes
- Complete sensitivity training
- Complete anti-semetism training
- Meet with the ADL and Jewish leaders
- Meet with team owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate an understanding of the situation
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