My blogvesary’s recent comment-bombing campaign reached new levels of absurdity this week. Pokey said, “Your statement, Zano, how ‘fascism is here already’ is a baseless claim. It’s a claim that is repeated, without evidence, by the democrats in a stream of propaganda that rivals the soviets.” Wow. My friend is not mincing words, just concepts. Of course, we need to move left amidst this populist assault on reason. Whereas this new Duck Soup will include a little Bernie, will it contain some Marx and Mao? And how far left is too far? I don’t think we need to worry about that, probably ever. Big Pharma, big Aetna, and the Big Kahuna in office aren’t going down anytime soon. You can lead Gumby’s horse to Watergate, but ya can’t make him think? Again, we have a sociopathic authoritarian-wannabe in office; a man so legally cornered and mentally unfit that, if and when his high crimes and misdemeanors are exposed as high crimes and misdemeanors, he’s currently hedging his bets by stoking a violent uprising. But I know why you’re giving him a pass, Poke, you want some of that luke-warm victory fast food! McWinning! This is going to be the good kind of violence! The best violence!! #AskNotWhatUCanDo4McDonalds. Despite hangin’ at this crucial crossroads, my friend refuses to even acknowledge our arrival in Robert Johnson country—after making that fateful deal with the devil.
Every time my blogvesary makes a point here at The ‘Cord, I tend to follow with a link or two to the nonstop affronts to our system. These examples typically range, week after week, post after post, year after year, from blatant corruption to outright attempts at authoritarianism. Granted, many are just attempts because our checks and balance are working feverishly to restrain the this mad man, but some areas of our democracy are certainly buckling from the strain. Two such points were discussed in my last article, circa yesterday.
[In Pokey’s defense, it was early yesterday.]
I covered how Mitch McConnell was currently blocking an anti-corruption bill, HR 1, a bill that intended to make all dark political money traceable (aka corruption) to Trump’s former AG refusing, under oath, to answer the question as to whether or not he had discussed ending the Cohen case with the president (aka, fascism /authoritarianism). Our president fired everyone leading the investigation of him, and even floated the idea of firing Mueller himself until someone explained how this wouldn’t actually work. Yesterday, Politico covered Trump’s plan to keep stonewalling the judicial committee. The White House intends to hand nothing over to Congress …in the name of democracy and transparency. So it looks like Mueller stayed in his lane, so much for the insurance policy, and now Trump can ignore any other inquiries. Just the way our forefathers intended. Meanwhile congress has allowed the president to invent a national emergency for the misappropriation of funds and he also keeps hinting that he has the military, “my generals.” So I can only assume that by ‘no signs of fascism’, you mean a constant stream of damning evidence. A man with his diagnosis is capable of great harm if and when he’s cornered. You are in the field; have you taken any notes?
Let’s pick up the debate in comment-thread-land when Alex Bone’s article offered a pragmatic solution, albeit a controversial one, to our immigration problem. He posited that by only allowing atheists to migrate into the country, this would naturally weed out the vast majority of the folks with religious/violent/zealot tendencies. Real Facts Matter?
That’s when, yours truly, made the mistake of playing middle man. Here are my responses to his rather lengthy comment:
Pokey: Oh, wonderful! Mick Zano is intervening in a dispute to “help.” I appreciate that as much as I appreciate the bartenders intervening in my disputes “to help” me—yeah, they helped me, alright—out the door. Soon the picture over the fedora and microphone on The Discord will read: Atheists Only: as for the rest of you, please immigrate off this website. And your statement, “Like it or not atheism is on the rise across the globe” is an exact quote from the Bolsheviks to the Orthodox church goers in Russia in 1917.
Zano: What a load of Bolschevik! Do you have a physical church somewhere that I can nail some declaration to? I have GPS, a Sharpie, and a hammer. Sorry, but stating a known fact does not imply I’m going all Communist Manifesto on you. Granted, I do have some respect for Marx, even Trotsky (aka one of the first to warn of the rise of Stalin and Hitler). Trots tried to sound the alarm before most were even waking up to smell the Keurig. Lattewaffe? Not to mention he won the cup four times in a row with the NY Islanders.
Does this make me a Trotskyite? Hell no, that’s not even a word. He was mostly evil, but since republicanism no longer has any merit even the Genghis Kahns of the world are starting to look good, at least comparatively. I believe you can like aspects of each of these economic models and still maintain both your libertarian sensibilities as well as your hatred of authoritarianism (See: Christopher Hitchens). You believe, wholeheartedly, that any change to our flawed and ailing system is some ideological affront to our founding fathers.
Pokey: The Bolsheviks made the exact same argument as you, Zano. They pointed to the church and the “damage it has unleashed” with its unreasonable superstitious indoctrination upon the uneducated masses. Finally, the Bolsheviks would bring the light of science and progressive politics to this backward nation to create a paradise on earth…
Zano: Look, if you don’t want to be pigeon-holed as ‘damage unleashers’, then how about trying to unleash less damage? Initially I encouraged reform for your party, not full mitigation/abandonment. One of my main tenents was to support and propel the best parts of the Christian/Republican worldview. Then at some point I stopped finding any. If your ideology is prone to lies and remains mired in a web of false assumptions then the obvious conclusion of any society at some point is going to be, uh …NEXT.
In fact, today the church is so scandal-ridden that, well:
“The crisis (in the church) is so profound, the corruption so deep, the duplicity so brazen that only a radical change will help.”
Now let’s shift to your better half, today’s conservative party, where we find *cough*.
[Retraction: please remove the words ‘better half’.]
’nuff said. Meanwhile, you have spent all of your time and energy fighting windmills instead of cleaning up your own house of Mr. Burnsian and religiosity horrors. You lose. I predicted capitalism would fail under the care of such absent stewards as yourselves. The more radical approaches of an AOC probably won’t be on the menu anytime soon, as there’s far too much corruption between here and there. And I am not cheering capitalism’s demise, but nor will I stand by idly as it sinks into gross disparity and corruption, which you haven’t even noticed, let alone tried to stop.
Pokey: Then, Zano, you said, “So I don’t believe that means atheism is a gateway to communism,” but I never claimed it was. Not all atheism is actively hostile to religious faith (Australia, Canada, UK, and Germany). I’m pointing out that Mr. Bone’s proposal to promote “more progressives”, because “open mind(ed), science oriented immigrants will only strengthen the Democratic Party and help develop progressive policies which will advance green agendas, support programs, and help foster technological development” sounds a whole lot like the early 20th century Bolsheviks. Just change the words Democratic Party to Communist Party and this quote would probably be found in their political playbook.
Zano: Hey, Bone is more insightful than I thought. You both make a strong case for the Bolsheviks, but Bone’s article was meant to be read with the tongue firmly adhered to the inner cheek. Yet when societies reach this level of disparity, revolution does tend to follow, so what is your solution to revolution? Oh right, you’re backing a group that continues to increase said disparity. Bravo. Perpetuating vulture capitalism amidst our current end-stage democracy is a gutsy position. I think the Kamasutra calls this one the “bent over” pose. If destroying capitalism was your plan all along, then kudos.
[Anti-establishment yet pro-literiate joke removed by the working class and added to the Zanofesto.]
Pokey: Now fast-forward to the present Democratic Party, where candidate Bernie Sanders returns from the Soviet Union in 1986, raving about the great cultural and progressive government policies implemented by scientific-minded government bureaucrats. AOC, one of the most popular voices in the Democratic Party, expresses enthusiasm for policies that align nicely with her Bolshevik comrades. Talk to any average recent college grad and you’re increasingly likely to find a self-proclaimed (indoctrinated) Communist.
Zano: Well, let’s hope so. So what you’re saying is that we should bow to any emperor? Let’s not talk improvements just as long as Czar-whatisface is anti-abortion and is ‘looking out for you’? Let’s not perfect the system, but rather become its slave. I think Jeff Bezos is showing us a glimpse of what the future holds as we shift from people to robots. Zaps for extra steps and any bathroom breaks longer than two minutes. This is your utopia, not mine, Mr. Roboto. So Nicholas II was the good guy in this scenario? Of course, by not identifying disparity as the issue of our time and by continuing to ignore both the pending constitutional and environmental crises …well, that’s the truly radical position in 2019, isn’t it? If your aim was to bolster some other historical economic philosophies and models, then well done, sir! You should hang your Mission Accomplished banner over some aircraft carrier.
If you are correct then I guess it’s time to welcome our communist overlords. Czar Pokey I? Power to the Pokeys! Couldn’t have done it without you. If one group no longer shows any redeemable value then, of course, we’re going to the throw the baby out with the baptismal water. Today, for those paying attention, conservatism is associated with greed and authoritarianism and the church is associated with wars and child abuse. Is that my fault? Any country, with this current maligned and dangerous state of your union, would look for some sweeter substitute. The Seven Saccharinments?
You’ve had a twenty year notice, Poke. Instead of championing Republican reform, you used that time to call out every anecdotal wrongdoing for some exaggerated, unhinged and unfounded fear of progressivism. Meanwhile, as we investigate your next bullshit scandal, the GOP continues to test both the boundaries of our Constitution and our collective patience. Whereas I will admit Karl Marx was never the funniest of the brothers. Why not? Let’s do this thing! By ignoring all meaningful data and misinterpreting all current events and issues, your ilk has triggered this leftward march. I always promoted a more gradual shift off fossil fuels, a higher minimum wage, a better healthcare system. Now, thanks to the endless stalling of the GOP the need for more drastic measures is becoming unavoidable. Will it even happen? In this environment, probably not. Too many sociopaths are making too much money to ever let off the gas pedal, regardless of the votes tallied. This is going to get ugly, before it gets uglier. Sorry, folks, but we’ve chosen the frostier, bumpier road and it comes with a hefty toll. The road less graveled?