Acceptance of Legitimacy 

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the supposed legitimacy of Donald Trump taking the Office of the President of the United States of America. 

I will personally regard him as legitimate when he takes the following steps:

He must release his taxes for the last ten years. 

He must appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the role of the Russian Government in the presidential  election of 2016; someone of the stature of Mitt Romney, Sam Nunn or George Mitchell. 

He, his children and Jared Kushner must completely divest and liquidate their corporate assets into a blind trust or stock index trust. 

He must appoint Merritt Garland to the Supreme Court. 

Until such time, I refuse to accept as legitimate the Usurper Donald Trump. 

Fifth Avenue 

Donald Trump famously said he could “shoot a man on Fifth Avenue” and not lose any supporters. 

He’s doing something even worse than cold-blooded murder. He’s murdering our democracy. 

Trump’s claims that our democratic process is rigged are extremely toxic and damaging to the very idea, the ideals of democracy. 

Donald Trump is the most dangerous human being alive today. He’s a criminal asking to be given the White House so he can be a fascist dictator. He must be stopped by the very people he wants to lord over. 

God save the United States of America. 

Visions

He wanders through a desert
lost, surrounded by her presence
seeing her hair streaming in sand
blown from fragile dunes, her eyes
caught in the stars of the Scorpion’s tail
her hands holding him up through all
his inattentive staggering
her face so well remembered in the deep deep sun
all her curves and mysteries lost
in the distant horizons of his dreams
her voice and breath in the endless
wind and everywhere her love, her love
carrying him through every step towards home…

Cliff Goodwin
Summer 2016

The Banality of Evil in the age of Trump

The Banality of Evil in the Age of Trump

Recently I have had occasion to discuss with more than one friend the
candidacy of Donald Trump. As a lifelong leftist I find his campaign
abhorrent and his personal shortcomings disqualifying in the extreme.
But, is he evil? Is this man evil? Could he be “The next Adolf Hitler?”
This is an important question that can only have one answer: We do not
know. We cannot know.
Let me say in the beginning, that I know this is not the Weimar
Republic of 1930’s Germany. Runaway inflation caused by punitive,
exorbitant wartime reparations in the wake of the First World War was
bringing that once proud nation to its knees and America hasn’t fallen
that far.
But there are reasons to worry.
First and foremost are the violence we’ve seen at many Trump rallies.
Protestors are not heard and treated with respect, they’re immediately
removed from the premises and often physically attacked on the way
out. In several cases Trump himself has egged on the beatings, offered
to pay bail for people charged with violence against protestors and
always shouting into his microphone “Get’em out, get’em out of here”.
This conduct is absolutely unacceptable in any democracy and this is
the greatest indictment of the Trump campaign.
Second, we’ve seen how badly Trump handles criticism and opposition.
He has no respect for anybody who finds fault with him, his proposals
or past business practices. He treated his rivals for the GOP
nomination like they were all utterly beneath him, governors and
senators, several of whom would have probably been well accepted as
presidential candidates and successors to Obama in office. They
received nothing but contempt in the put-downs of nicknames and
personal criticism, like Lyin’ Ted or Jeb “Low energy” Bush. In fact,
Trump generally conducts himself as though he has no respect for the
basic humanity of minorities, women, opponents, foreigners,
journalists, and almost anyone other than himself. Certainly a kind of
baseline respect for human dignity is an important part of
decision-making and this man is utterly lacking in this regard.
Third, we have seen a lot of scapegoating in the Trump campaign. He’s
blaming Mexicans and the Chinese government for economic stagnation
and promising to bring back economic prosperity, to “Make America
Great Again.” His proposals to ban Muslims from entering the country
and to build a great wall on our southern border and deport millions
of undocumented immigrants are blatant racist wedge issues pitched to
appeal to Republican primary voters who see Obama as a Muslim
socialist, born in Kenya and selling this country out to ISIS. This
would be his base if he actually won the presidency and it’s difficult
to imagine him failing to carry out these catastrophic and racially
charged campaign promises.
Fourth, look at his personal life. Look at how he humiliated his first
two wives, with lurid tabloid cheating scandals. Look at how
completely shameless he is in his personal comportment. Shame is an
important part of our social contracts and it has no affect on the
man. He is absolutely without conscience. What is such a man, with an
appetite for violence against the weakest of his opponents, a man with
no respect, shame or conscience capable of? That is the question I
hope and pray we never answer.
In the end, I think the question of evil is irrelevant. People always
find a way after the fact to justify evil deeds, no matter how
monstrous. So let’s not bother to ask if Trump is evil. Let’s all
unite in putting a stop to this amoral march to the White House.

Arrest the Fascist criminal, Donald J Trump

Freedom of speech does NOT give you the right to shout FIRE! in a crowded fucking theater.
-Felix Fucking Frankfurter (sic)

I am an angry citizen demanding action. A venomous viper has lodged his fangs into the heart of our American democracy and the poison is attacking the very basis of our political process.
Without a free, safe and nonviolent exchange of ideas, we have nothing but a descent into the darkness of Fascism ahead of us.
Donald J Trump is destroying our democracy with his acceptance and encouragement of the legitimacy of violence in his presidential campaign. He frequently, in his speeches and appearances, incites his followers to commit violence against anyone who disagrees with his policies and plans. He packs journalists into little pens and in every speech launches into Thirty Seconds of Hate towards the “disgusting” reporters telling the truth about what goes on in his rallies.
Even his OWN CAMPAIGN MANAGER is committing violence against protesters and the press.
He must be stopped by any legal, peaceful means.
I call upon the Attorneys General of any locality or state he visits to arrest this man on charges of incitement to riot.
His illegal rallies must be shut down before someone dies. His policies of mass deportation and the catastrophic results of his insane economic policies would similarly lead to more suffering and death.
The Trump candidacy is on a trajectory to a Fascist dictatorship. We still have a chance to stop him.

December

The month of winter
solstice is a slow
Long turning of the earth
from darkness back
To longer days again

The axis of the year’s
descent into
The underworld of
Apollo’s fair cart
And countless stories told

Around low campfires
where dreamers long
For longer days and heed
the call to bed and warmth
Until the deepest night…