Waking up, I resolve not to think, talk, or write about Trump for at least a day, maybe a week. His brew of likely criminal corruption, manipulation, lying, complicity, collusion with dictators, bullying, sexism, racism, xenophobia, and historical and scientific ignorance is too toxic to consume daily. It is now considered likely that he is a traitor, to boot. I want relief from this “Trump fever.” Yet, Trump is hard to avoid. His toxic brew is loud, brash, and grabbing the attention of everyone in media every hour of every day. Trump and his surrogates who roam the White House or our nation’s Capital areRead More →

The words of the framers of our Declaration of Independence held the promise of a grand, exceptional design: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Within that asseveration lies the first glimpse of what is meant by the phrase “American exceptionalism.” Those words in our Declaration of Independence also belie veracity. To the millions of black slaves already part of the fabric of the new nation, those words were a falsehood and cruelty. To the women ofRead More →

Ah, if only Aristotle was more widely read today in America. The ancient Greek’s work on blame, force of circumstances, undesirable consequences, and individual responsibility is not widely known to the general public, even the most educated among us. The American public, however, purports to be experts at assigning blame, and in the advent of Trump, there is plenty of blame to go around. A recent New York Times front page news headline read: “Democrats as Toxic as Trump.” That would certainly place blame equally in a way that makes absolutely no sense at all. Not every reader is aware that headlines are an editor’sRead More →

Journalists are finding themselves in the increasingly uncomfortable position of being attacked since the advent of Trump. Donald Trump has led the way in demeaning actual news organizations that report on information he does not like, calling the outlets and reports “fake news” and journalists the “enemies of the people.” Without much analysis, it would appear that Trump finds his attacks on journalists play well with his base, as he creates new scapegoats even when evidence to the contrary is right in front of our eyes. The old line about a “liberal media” bias is long outdated if it was ever based in fact, notRead More →

Straightening up my living room one evening, I stopped to listen to the local news station broadcast. Suddenly, the announcer changed mid-broadcast, and a woman I had not seen on the channel before appeared and started talking about the FBI and Clinton conspiracy to illegally violate the Constitution. I stopped what I was doing and paid careful attention. Then, the segment cut back to the local newscaster who proceeded to describe a fire in Syracuse. Something was off—way off. I immediately checked all reliable news outlets to see if there was some bizarre story I had missed, but I had not. The “newscast” about theRead More →

The Washington Post recently received a tape of a GOP meeting on Capitol Hill. This anonymously gifted tape demonstrates yet another grave problem to American democracy. The only surprise is that Trump—in this specific instance—was not revealed as the main threat. Before going into details about what GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan said on the tape, it is necessary to provide some information in order to gain perspective on the relative fragility of democracies. The world’s first democracy, or “rule by the people,” was formed in ancient Greece around 470 B.C. Women and slaves living in Athens were not part of the equation, however, soRead More →

Black holes, in simplest terms, are formed when stars collapse and pull everything into them, making the mass even denser and more compressed. We don’t want to create black holes because the kind of annihilation they cause is almost unimaginable. Which makes the scientific phenomena of black holes an intriguing metaphor for the Trump presidency. While Trump is no star, he most certainly feels like a destructive mass to millions of Americans. Under the Trump administration, data of all kinds is disappearing. While everyone is either distracted, disgusted, or horrified with the revelations coming up about ties between the Trump administration and Russia/Putin, Trump andRead More →

We are living during a time of extraordinary ill will, glaring meanness that is embedded not only in our politics but every facet of our national life. This period of divisive cruelty, I will term the “age of Trump” since his arrival on our political scene landed with a racist and deliberately false screed about President Obama’s place of birth and question of his citizenship. While I would not want to advocate adding to the cruelty and crudity of our current rhetoric, I do believe we should consider our choices for magnanimity. Comedic actress and impersonator Melissa McCarthy has given the gift of alternative SeanRead More →