Battle on the Border- Why The Democratic Fight Against Wall Is Worth It.

The Berlin Wall of Shame is a mistake that should remain unrepeated.

“Something there is that does not love a wall”, said the famous American poet, Robert Frost, in his famous poem Mending Wall, and that seems like a good place to start, in discussing the proposed border Wall of Donald Trump, a completely unAmerican project if ever there was one. A constitutional crisis has come to our Southern border, latest in a long line of artificial disasters created by the illegitimate and infantile man who with Russian help stole the 2016 election.

Returning again to his use of executive power to bring chaos to the country and deflect national attention from his crimes, crimes which his old campaign manager Paul Manafort got a 19-year prison sentence recommended for last week, Donald Trump has declared a national emergency where there isn’t one, announcing his intention to try and build the Wall he’s been screaming about, twelve hundred miles worth of ugly mess and dark symbol on our entire Southern border.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gave us the story Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He’s pretty much daring the court to strike this down,” the California Democrat said. “It is going to be a real test for my GOP colleagues in Congress and their devotion to the institution.” Knowing the Republicans, they will roll right over for Trump.

It hardly bears repeating why this whole thing is moronic and despicable. Readers of this blog will most certainly already know. But what’s the other side of the story? How can the Republicans possibly justify this? What are the Fox News talking points? How could the fight be worth it in their ridiculous eyes? As they see it, here’s how the story goes, at least in the observations of this Millennial Democrats contributor.

The Wall is not immoral because it has a door. People will be allowed through according to legal channels. The current state of affairs wherein new waves of immigrants pass under bushes and across the desert to flock into our country by the hundreds will be ended. What Trump is doing is understandable, he needs it for his base, and above all, the fight is not worth it for the rest of us. It cost the country $7 billion.

Their solution? We should simply give up the fight and let him build the thing.

Let’s start out in the Aristotelian model, by conceding that there are aspects of truth to this. As always with Trump, like Charles Manson, he is very good at taking the truth and making a lie out of it. Another point to consider is that if the president of the United States wants a $5 billion appropriation for a pet project that’s important to him personally and partially fulfills a campaign promise, then he ought to be able to get it.

This is also true. The time-honored way for him to get it is to do what Trump promised above all else- come to the negotiating table, and make good deals. But back at the beginning of 2018, we were ready to cut a deal that could have given him the wall if in so doing we could have secured legal rights of citizenship for our DREAMers, the roughly two million Latino-Americans who were brought here by their parents as small children.

We, Democrats, came to the table offering a compromise involving wall money and a path to citizenship for DREAMers. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer came up with a good plan and brought it to the table for him to sign. He almost went for it, too. It was immigration hardliners in Trump’s own administration who scuttled the deal, and that is what brings us to the core truth of this whole standoff.

The Wall is a completely pointless waste of time.

Everyone knows it, including the immigration hardliners. They themselves clearly don’t think the wall is particularly useful or important in the real world. If they really wanted a wall, they would go get a wall by offering something in exchange for it, like protection for the DREAMers or letting the immigrant children their thugs have hijacked out of the warehouses they’re keeping them in, or some other thing. Nothing has been offered and nothing will be, because the only one who wants this done is Trump. As for the aforementioned hardliners, they know the whole concept is idiotic, so they won’t offer to trade for it. It’s as simple as that.

That the Wall is pointless and not worth it is true enough, and it is also Trump’s fault. He himself immediately admitted, “I didn’t have to do this” and then went on to recite his worn out old stump speech for the umpteenth millionth time. This whole boring episode makes it clear that Trump is even more isolated in his position that what’s happened on our southwestern border constitutes any kind of a national emergency than he was when he first caused the #TrumpShutdown. The immigration hardliners and the sane center agree on that much.

But where considerations of silver and gold are all that kind of person sees, it’s only where we’re getting started.

For one thing, the belief that a wall alone will keep anyone out of anything is just plain stupid. It’s a ridiculous concept all around. It’s a medieval solution to a post-industrial problem. If they really wanted to keep immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande they would lock up the guys hiring these guys. If they didn’t know they could come here and get jobs easy, they would stay back home.

Trump cites the “migrant caravans” as a reason why this is a crisis, pointing to the disgraceful failure that is Venezuelan socialism and noting that the refugees heading out of that area are in desperate straits. He sent our troops to the border in response to one of these just before the midterms.

Now that was disgraceful.

Militarily speaking, there are no modern examples of a wall being a successful defending strategy, but there sure are lots of examples of their failure. We don’t have to go all the way back to when the Mongols hopped right over the Great Wall of China, nor do we have to make mention of the founder of Rome, Romulus, having killed his brother Remus for mocking the wall he’d built around the city. He laughed at him, just like we’re all doing at Donald, which should serve as an abject lesson of how ugly people can be in a state of wounded pride.

Fixed fortifications failed the French at the Maginot Line, which was the most heavily equipped fortress of a border there ever has been. The Germans simply drove tanks through the Ardennes Forest around it, and conquered France in a little over six weeks back in 1941.

Likewise, in 1944, American troops stormed the beach at Normandy and cracked Hitler’s vaunted Atlantic Wall in one day.

France proved our point again on its way to dragging the United States into Vietnam, by getting themselves annihilated at a fortress called Dien Bien Phu.

But above all others, it was a non-military barrier as this one will be, as ideological as physical, the border of the Berlin Wall that stood for many years as the world’s largest eyesore.

The premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, put it up across Berlin in 1967. It was the result of a fit of petty rage, his own pride wounded when he understood just how unpopular his communist system was, that many people were escaping to the free lands of the West through the part of Berlin controlled by the Allied powers.

This was because, above all else, people wanted to be free than live under the hells of socialism. We still do.

Someone ought to tell Bernie Sanders that, not that he’d listen.

The Berlin Wall came down in 1991, right behind the evil empire of the Soviet Union that was propping it up, and it’s nothing but a memory now. But the scars it has left on the psyche of the human race are very large and have yet to fully heal. Something there is that does not love a wall, indeed. Willy Brandt, the Social-Democratic mayor of Berlin, and soon to be chancellor, called it the Wall of Shame. The term caught on quick and was totally accurate. If Trump does build a new one, it will be revived.

In the end, it isn’t all a question of money and impracticality. Trump’s Wall is a symbol and an evil one just as much as the one in Berlin. As Nancy Pelosi said, it really was total immorality. To placate his base would be insane, since they are all insane, and there’s no sense in appeasing dictators or their bases anyway- because it can’t be done. They will take and take until there is nothing left.

As the old saying goes, and as we have written in the past, never give Poland to Hitler. If we rolled over on this Trump would be emboldened to try for the next wicked item on his unending agenda of corruption all the harder, not that that will ever happen. Walls keep people from coming together, and that’s exactly what the human race does not need. Our history is vibrantly sad already. It’s time for us to begin learning how to heal, not to begin inflicting new wounds.

All cancer comes from one form of inflammation or another. This has gone on for too long. It’s bad for the presidency, it’s bad for America, and it’s bad for the whole human race. The border must remain open, the government must remain open, and Donald Trump must be made to stop using his powers in this egregiously ridiculous and damaging way. America has had enough.

Enemy of the People- Trump’s Attacks On Media Border The Deranged.

Our illegitimate president behaving like a thug.

When demagogues incite their followers to violence, they are to blame. Perhaps they are not solely responsible, but they play a key role, a bigger role than any other person. That is what Donald Trump either doesn’t understand- or understands all too well.

Controversy has emerged in recent days over a story carried by CNN in July that was co-written by Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame. In it, the story gets broken that Michael Cohen knew that Trump knew in advance about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 between members of his campaign team and Russian individuals.

Cohen’s lawyer later said he misspoke, but CNN stands behind the story. Two of its employees told Business Insider senior politics reporter Allan Smith the network’s level of commitment to its story is “100%.”

On Wednesday, Trump called Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who co-wrote the piece, “sloppy” and a “degenerate fool” in response. Bernstein retorted on Twitter that he has spent his “life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties.”

That may be true, but it sure isn’t what Trump wants to hear. And it isn’t what he wants people to do. That’s why he’s always going on vile rampages and outbursts against the American press, people whose jobs are getting more dangerous by the day.

Earlier this year five journalists were massacred at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, and for a few days in the aftermath, Trump toned down his slanders and slurs. He invited New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger to the White House, and for a second it had started to look like things would be okay.

But the next day he reverted to his Stalinist slogan, “Enemy of the People“, to incite his followers to future mayhem.

Not long after, Trump held a “campaign” rally in Tampa. At it, a frenzied mob went berserk with reviles and rage toward CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.

The scene left most of us who write about politics deeply shaken, including Acosta.

“It felt like we weren’t in America anymore,” Acosta said.

Earlier this week, a man named Robert D. Chain was arrested for allegedly threatening to murder journalists at the Boston Globe.  He was said to have been mimicking Trump’s language.

“You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every f***ing one of you.”

Anytime in the past that we’ve had this sort of thing, we’ve always come together to insist that we won’t have it. Whoever our leader has happened to be at the time has always done what they could to help things calm down. They certainly haven’t made it their policy to make things worse by inciting it.

The fact that Trump is doing just the opposite is yet another warning, a huge flashing neon sign, that things have gone wrong and we are now all in a really bad situation.

Earlier this year, we were dismayed to learn the U.S. has dropped to spot 45 in this year’s ranking of countries based on press freedom, conducted by the non-government association(NGO) Reporters Without Borders.

Their survey ranked 180 countries based on factors such as pluralism, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of their news.

Unsurprisingly, the report specifically calls out Trump as the reason for the United States’ reduced standing.

“A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters as ‘enemies of the people,’ the term once used by Josef Stalin,” the report says.

Trump has done more than anyone to appropriate and misuse the term “fake news” in retaliation for critical reporting, even though his campaign was the source of most of the garbage that brought the term into common use.

He also got us bad marks for revoking the broadcasting licenses of media outlets who are critical of him and his lousy policies.

Last year Trump released a doctored pro wrestling video of his halcyon days hanging out at the Madison Square Garden, clotheslining an opponent who has the CNN logo slapped over his head. It was pretty ridiculous to think that such a man is now our president, but that is nevertheless how it went.

The first time it was merely silly, but nobody is laughing now.

This morning, on the topic, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wrote that whether rhetorical excesses can be blamed for violence or the threat of it is a complicated topic, with no easy answers.

I’m not sure I agree. The complexity lies only in degree; it seems pretty clear that people can whip each other up into violence if they’ve got a stage and a microphone.

You don’t have to be Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson, either; there’s no wizardry of dialect needed. Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst told his fans to “get angry” at Woodstock ’99, and they did, and people rioted, and a girl got gang-raped in the middle of the mosh pit.

Is Fred Durst a man who is blessed with the same rhetorical gifts as Cicero or Demosthenes? Doubtful, but he does at least seem to be better than Trump. Was he solely at fault? No. But he certainly helped to kick things off.

Likewise, our nation’s 45th president will have helped to kick off his own fanatical followers, if any of them decide again to actually do what he’s been nudging them to do, and treat members of the press as though they really were Enemies of the People.

Here at Millennial Democrats, we want to emphasize how important a free press is, how important it is to adhere to journalistic standards. Without one we’re back in the Dark Ages. The media is the friend of the people, because they bring the people its information. It’s good to promote this point of view, going forward.

Russians And Republicans- A Match Made In Helsinki.

Donkey Punch.

It has been an interesting week for America, but not a good one. Trump sold us out for Putin on Monday in Helsinki and it’s all gone downhill from there. Things have come to quite a pass when it’s okay in the president’s eyes for American citizens to be sent to Russia for “questioning”.

Trump slobbered on Putin Monday. There is just no other fitting word. He was justly criticized for this all day on Monday, by Democrats and also many Republicans.

On Tuesday he appeared to change his mind.

But then on Wednesday, he said he was considering Vladimir Putin’s offer to take people like Bill Browder- one of the architects of the sanctions against Russia in the Magnitsky Act- hostage, in return for their assistance with the Mueller probe.

And on Thursday he invited Putin over here to hang out.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Trump will discuss allowing Russian investigators to come to the United States to question U.S. citizens, including Browder, a prominent Putin critic who is the former American ambassador to Russia.

That did not go over well.

Trump backed down and punked out, of course, and now says that he “disagrees” with Putin’s proposal. But the fact that he spent ten seconds on considering it confirms the very worst things ever said about him. And on Thursday he invited Putin to Washington, D.C.

How much more is it going to take? Probably more crap than even the Russians have got! Republicans are in love with Russia now. The number of them who view Russia in a positive light has more than doubled, according to recent statistics.

Ronald Reagan is rolling right over in his grave. He’s headbanging and moshing down there.

Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), as well as Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), introduced a resolution to stop such a thing from ever happening, a resolution which was voted on and confirmed by the Senate.

They voted overwhelmingly against letting that ever happen, by a vote of 98-0. Even Bernie Sanders voted against Russia this time.

“A resolution is the minimum we can do,” said Schumer in a statement Friday. “Our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are so cowered by a president that they cannot stand up for national security. They cannot stand up to Vladimir Putin, just as the president seems not to be able to.”

That is exactly right, but try telling this to his devotees.

They said Trump was right on Monday when he was defending his groveling behavior during the Helsinki Treason Summit. But they also said he was right once he backed down off it the next day, citing a whole new set of nonsense reasons. Finally, he invited Putin to come over to America and hang out.

Frankly, it’s disgusting that such a vote ever had to be taken. It’s sickening to the core.

Post-truth is pre-fascist, and that’s what we’re running into right now. Fascism has reared its ugly head.

Hitler and Stalin would be mighty proud, and many of the enemy’s participants in this conflict are aware of that and proud of it themselves.

It should not be forgotten that during the World Cup last week, while Putin was playing the genial host and offering visa-free entry into Russia for all the soccer fans, the dictatorship that Putin has created remained every bit as brutal as ever.

The only ones in Russia to make any sort of a meaningful statement was the band Pussy Riot, who have demonstrated their bravery in the face of this authoritarian state before.

They dressed up like police and rushed onto the field, pell-mell.

It was great.

Pussy Riot listed several demands as part of its World Cup action, including the release of all political prisoners in Russia, not locking people up for things “Liked” or “Posted” on social media, stopping illegal arrests during rallies. They also brought up Putin’s not allowing political competition in the country.

While they were being arrested, one police officer went up to them and said, “You shit all over Russia, yes? Too bad it isn’t 1937!”

That is a reference to the Red Purge, in which Josef Stalin killed untold multitudes of his own people as dissidents and “thought criminals”. The true number of victims can never be known, but the estimates range in the tens of millions.

That is what Donald Trump was talking about letting them do to us. And the way things have been going, it cannot be doubted that many Republicans would already be glad to acquiesce as well.

Any “policeman” who yearns for that as the good old days should be in prison, not putting others there. It really says it all about what we are up against. And regardless of that cop’s thuggish remark, on Tuesday, Pussy Riot defeated Russia, in the European Court of Human Rights.

At Millennial Democrats, we stand in solidarity with all people everywhere who are being suppressed illegally. One day, we will see a better world. In the meantime, we’ll be right here, working for the good health of this one.

America has heard the voice of treason loud and clear, and while Republicans waffled, Democrats responded forcefully. The day must never come when political prisoners in America can be sent to a Russian gulag. Those who understand that will understand the need for a strong Blue Wave.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie’s Legacy.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie's Legacy.

Contrary to the ongoing narrative regarding the politics of our millennial generation in the media, not all millennials are in for socialism, or Bernie Sanders. Most of us are not. That narrative might have had some truth to it, once upon a time, but not anymore. Millennials have learned.

Hard and painful experience has taught us not to invest in a gambler, or his roulette table.

Since the upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over New York Democrat Joe Crowley last month, there has been a lot of talk about this, and most of it has revolved around the question of socialism. The concept has come to be notoriously misunderstood, and most of the reason why is thanks to Bernie Sanders.

The prime minister of Denmark said it best when he pointed out that Bernie did not understand socialism in the context of Denmark; he could have added any other context and been equally right. Bernie didn’t understand socialism at all.

The Nordic countries have excellent social services, which to be fair were adapted from socialist theory. Governmental regulation and social work are both taken seriously there. But their economies are free-market, which means that they are capitalist. Completely capitalist.

The only countries that can legitimately lay claim to being socialist are those countries that have fully planned, one-size-fits-all, Big-Brother-is-watching style economies. Like Venezuela.

The mixup comes from a confusion over two terms, Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. They sound a lot alike, but that is where the similarity dies.

Tempering the harshness of laissez-faire capitalism has been a good thing for the world, and is known as Social Democracy. Every civilized country, including the United States and Sweden, uses a type of social democracy to govern its people.

Bernie switched around the order of the words and called it Democratic Socialism. No one knows why Sanders insists on using that term, but in our opinion, it’s because he enjoys getting the attention that comes with being contrary and starting arguments all the time.

People have been going around repeating it ever since he first began, but in fact, the phrase doesn’t even have a precise meaning. Thirty seconds worth of using Google is enough to tell you that.

Socialism has been floating around for 188 years, since 1830, and not once in that time has it led to a successful society. Aspects of it have been implemented in normal societies and its influence in putting the social welfare of workers on the agenda is important.

As an overall idea, though, it has been a disaster, as nearly every country to have tried it has ended up with the goose-step and the concentration camp.

Back when it was just an archaic, discredited system, I thought it was kind of neat. I used to think about it while jogging. It was kind of like a Sudoku puzzle for me.

Once people started to take it seriously again, though, I stopped musing and started figuring out how to explain the inescapable truth- that socialism is a disaster, completely incompatible with human freedom and dignity.

Why can’t we learn from all the times it failed? All the horrible revolutions that produced even worse regimes? The thousands who had to die because of someone who wanted to apply ideas from a political theory to the real world?

Mark Perry, the creator of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem, referred to socialism in 1995 as “The Big Lie of the 20th century”. He reported in 2016 that he was shocked at its resurgence, such a short time after the fall of the Soviet Union, the so-called “Worker’s Paradise”.

“I perhaps assumed the failures of socialism were so apparent and obvious it would be forever considered only as a discredited system of the past, and never as a viable option going forward into the future!”

“Given the recent resurgence of socialism, especially as it is now being embraced by young Americans, I thought it might be a good time to review why socialism: a) failed in the 20th century, b) is failing in the 21st century (e.g. Venezuela, see photo above), and c) will always fail. And that’s because it’s a flawed system based on completely faulty principles that aren’t consistent with human behavior and can’t nurture the human spirit.”

This has always been the case. People are people. And while the socialists do join us in believing society can do better in many areas than it is doing now, the transcendental human change required as a prerequisite for socialism shows no sign of taking place next week.

Socialism does not mean Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. It only begins there. It ends with Hitler and Stalin. Going forward, we’ve got to raise awareness about this until people understand. Socialism is a universal failure.

Thebalance.com did a piece called “Socialism and its Characteristics”, telling us that there are eight types of socialism, but really, the distinctions are semantical. There is only one type of socialism. The evil kind.

Theresa May, Show Us the Way! TOUGHER RUSSIAN SANCTIONS.

Great Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of former Russian spy Nikolai Glushkov on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. In a speech, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

GOOD.

We have been wondering all year: When are we going to get sick of this? We’ve been getting walked all over by Putin, for years now. The stories fill many volumes of books. Now they come into Britain and they kill a man given exile by the British. Not for the first time, either. We all remember the Alexander Litvinenko case. Turns out those men were directly tied; Glushkov was a witness in the Litvinenko trial.

This is not the first time history has seen the Russians do something this ugly. Far from it. This is exactly what Stalin did to Trotsky. He sent a task force, under a general, onto foreign soil and in blatant contravention of the Monroe Doctrine, to murder a private citizen under the legal protection of a sovereign power. That general sent a man named Ramon Mercader to bury a claw hammer in the back of Trotsky’s brain.

That was bad enough in 1940. It’s 2018. When are we going to get fed up?

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is also an exile living in Britain, has been trying to tell the world for years what it’s like to live in fear of being assassinated by Putin. Putin is a dictator and if he isn’t stopped he will get worse. He used to be a local problem. Now he’s everywhere.

Today it is only other Russians he orders dead for speaking out against him. If we don’t speak up and fight for them, tomorrow it will be foreign critics too.

The writer of this article will admit to feeling fear, just for writing this. Russian hackers are probing this blog all day long, trying to get in and hack it and do God knows what. To our work, and to us. Our entire email inbox is filled with notifications our Sucuri plugin gives us of these people trying to hack us.

Creepy.
Lviv is a very famous place, world renowned for the quality of its IT experts. 
Bored, uncreative loser who tried to hack me
An example of one stinky turd who tried to hack us.

Nor is it just Russians. It’s also the entire, vast, right-wing network of thugs that have linked hands all across the world. It’s actually quite interesting to note where the hacking attempts come from. It shows you exactly where their enclaves and strongholds are. It illuminates who is making this thing with Donald Trump their fight.

Had it not been for the fact that they tried to hack our site, we would probably not have discovered, for example, that there is a rabid Chinese support for Donald Trump in many circles. They’ve even got their own version of the word “libtard”. They call us the “White Left”.

Adelaide, Australia. Beauharnois, Quebec. Here’s one from London itself, speaking of which; this could have been Glushkov or Litvinenko or Sergei Skripal’s poisoner, for all we know. A fresh one from Ukraine, that’s really nice there. Provo, Utah, a whole bunch from Chicago.

All for what? For telling the truth, and for raising awareness.

The struggle that is taking form here is a very old one. The West, vs. the East. It’s Greece attacked by Xerxes again. It’s Rome being sacked by the Huns. We have been here before.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their big obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized. So has that of the British. So also France, whose new president, Emmanuel Macron, was to have been assassinated on the same day they held a parade in Donald Trump’s honor.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, we have been marched down the road to war piece by piece, and it’s so much like Hitler and the Nazis that it’s really uncanny. Russia and England fought a war once before, over the Crimea.

As this article was being written, Putin went to visit the Crimea, on his way to the elections. It looks like the Cold War goalposts have been dragged out of the closet, so this guy can rattle his saber.

Everyone thought that everyone was happy about the end of the Cold War. It used to be not so hot, living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Putin, however, values Russian control and power over world peace and stability.

Putin has expressed the unkind and ungrateful view that the West “would like Russia to be down at the heels”. He said, “I sometimes get the impression that they love it when they need to send us humanitarian aid. These so-called ruling circles, elites — political and economic — of those countries, they love it when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand. As soon as we start declaring some interests of our own, they feel that there is some element of geopolitical rivalry.” This is mostly unfair, considering that much of the over $22.6 billion dollars raised by the International Monetary Fund created to aid the Russians in their post-Soviet reconstruction was raised by the United States, who never got any of it back.

Mighty Russia, for all its cyber-terror and nuclear weaponry, still has only around the economic strength of little Italy. Every thought Putin has, every strategy that motivates him is how he can continue to assert strategic control over all those resources.

We are constantly being told that Putin is popular in Russia, and we’ve been hearing it a great deal lately.

Perhaps George W. Bush, for once in his life, summed it up best. “People say, ‘He’s the most popular guy in Russia.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I’d be popular too if I owned NBC,’” not to mention all the other networks.

The main opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, is not available to run. He got murdered within sight of the Kremlin three years ago. Today’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is not available to run either. He’s not dead yet. He has suffered various physical attacks, but he’s still above ground. He is simply barred from running. He’s also usually in prison.

Putin’s actual opponent is known as the Paris Hilton of Russia. I’d take Perez Hilton, over Putin.

Putin’s ultimate goal is to reassert Russian international power with himself at the helm. To Make Russia Great Again. He wants it to resume what he considers its rightful place as a respected world power- which it already is- although he will settle for being merely feared.

To secure this world power, he must first shore up and be in firm control of Russia’s domestic power. An understanding of all of this is where U.S. policy must begin, as British policy has. Millennial Democrats would like to thank and support the people of Great Britain for drawing a line in the sand. We stand with you.

A Faceless Apparatchik- Putin, The Early Years.

The name of Vladimir Putin has been on a lot of minds this last year. Everyone knows who the Russian president is. And yet, in many ways- many specialists might even say most ways- no one really knows him at all.

Journalist and Putin biographer Masha Gessen provided us with the following anecdote.

‘I remember in 2005 I was asked to write a piece about Putin as a threat to Russia’s newborn democracy. I said you’ve missed the story – he’s not a threat, there is no democracy. And then I realised that the real story was to try and explain who this man was. Because really, nobody knew.’

It is the opinion of sources more venerable than Millennial Democrats that if you know your enemy, and know yourself, you will fight without danger through many battles. We are therefore going to be taking a look at this enigmatic Russian leader, and the strange set of circumstances that installed a complete outsider on the very top floor of the Kremlin.

Let us first say this- Russian politics are highly unpredictable. The court of Peter the Great resembled a carnival sideshow more than it did the orderly court of Queen Anne of Britain. Right down to dwarves and giants.

A certain amount of uncertainty in Russian society should therefore not be viewed, as some early Putin apologists used to argue, as a product of the idiosyncrasies of Boris Yeltsin’s personality. Nor should fault for it be laid completely at Putin’s door. It has been a part of Russian life since the days of Kievan Rus and before.

In 1999, Washington Post writer Daniel Williams referred to Putin as “an all-but-unknown figure, an uninspiring speaker with no known political program — in short, a faceless apparatchik.” He came from nowhere and indicated no interest in politics until just before taking power. But, it’s Russia. So it’s not a total anomaly.

Vladimir Putin was born in 1952 in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), a city still traumatized by the aftereffects of the Second World War.

After graduating from Leningrad State University, Putin began his career in the KGB as an intelligence officer in 1975. Putin rose to the top ranks of the Russian government after joining President Boris Yeltsin’s administration in 1998, becoming prime minister in 1999 before taking over as president.

The young Putin boasted to his official biographers that he was  ‘a real thug’. One is reminded of Trump, boasting of having punched his music teacher in the eye in second grade.

Putin was one of a generation of young recruits brought into the KGB by chairman Yuri Andropov in the 1970s. Andropov was largely attributed to spearheading the KGB’s efforts to annihilate political dissent. He was also key in the creation of the notorious network of psychiatric hospitals that prominent dissidents were often dispatched to “for treatment.”

In the newborn Russian Federation, Putin was the third prime minister in a row with an intelligence background. It was an early sign of Putin’s predatory tendencies that he rapidly managed to become the head of his former employer, i.e. of the FSB.

One aspect of his rise was predictable. The institutional mechanics that granted his elevation were ripe for someone like him to step in and take over.

The Yeltsin system was held together purely through nepotism, and political succession hinged on his prerogative as the incumbent leader. It was disorganized and corrupt. Excellence is not the term one would choose when describing the Yeltsin regime. He publicly declared Russia to be the “superpower of crime” and the “biggest mafia state in the world”.

The Russian economy performed horribly throughout the 1990s. From 1991 to 1998, Russia lost nearly 30% of its real gross domestic product (GDP). Numerous bouts of inflation decimated the savings of Russian citizens, who also saw their disposable incomes rapidly decline. Capital left the country in a flood, with close to $150 billion flowing out between 1992 and 1999.

The post of prime minister became a sounding-board for potential successors and the security apparatus was the source of its candidates. Three of the four prime ministers appointed in the last 18 months of Yeltsin’s rule came from security.

Yeltsin was not unrealistic in fearing for the future. After all, he and his immediate circle were about the only ones in the country doing well. They had become the new bourgeoisie. Their embezzlement of public property was nothing short of extreme. The people were angry.

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov threatened to build additional prisons, so the Russian business elite could be incarcerated should he come to power.

Following the initial idea of the notorious businessman Boris Berezovsky, known as the “Rasputin of Modern Russia”, the Yeltsin circle- known as the “family” -created a new party, called Unity (Yedinstvo) in order to stymie Primakov and promote another candidate.

Primakov was sacked in May of 1999. By August, Vladimir Putin was handed the keys to the Kremlin.

Putin’s rise to power was intimately tied to Yeltsin’s fear of Primakov, who as prime minister famously played the part of Heel to Putin’s Hero. The narrative proved of vital importance to Putin’s media manipulation, so much so that he has often been referred to as the “TV president.

Unity party campaign-leader Ksenia Ponomareva said the party seemed to have no ideology and no program whatsoever except promoting Putin. And she continues: “Our problem wasn’t only that we supported Putin, but that we actually created him!”

In this fortunate position, free to do whatever propaganda tricks he wanted against the weakened and scattered opposition, he easily won the March 2000 election with a final support of 52 %. We’ve been stuck with him ever since. 

Most of the world believed that the outrage of the world would be enough to inspire the people of Russia to rid themselves of him, but here again, Putin enjoys an advantage peculiar to Russia. Corruption has been a fact of life in Russia for centuries. Most Russians hate it, of course, but life and dour circumstance has taught them to accept it as normal.

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov had the following to say in his new book on the subject, Winter Is Coming.

“Back when Putin first took power in Russia in 2000, the question was “Who is Putin?” By 2007 it had changed to “What is the nature of Putin’s Russia?”

The solving of this riddle is one of the most pressing questions addressing the human race at this time. This is no Donald Trump we’re dealing with. Putin really is what Trump is only playing at- a billionaire tyrant, willing to crush with violence any and all who oppose him. He’s got his claws in us, and he is kicking with all his might to bring us crashing down. In order to prevent his plan to destabilize the global order, we will need to answer Mr. Kasparov’s question.

”.

Democratic Dedication in the Age of Trump- A Call For Help.

Living in Donald Trump’s America has been a lot like living in a pressure cooker.

The time leading up to the election was not the worst year in American history, but it may well have been the most stressful. Around 2014, ominous signs began popping up, in strange form and large number, that we had a real problem on our hands. The forces of radicalism are always given a shot in the arm by economic recessions, i.e. the Great Depression and the rise of Adolf Hitler. On the left and the right alike, people started getting really out there.

By the time it was widely realized that Bernie Sanders was actually going to not only be taken seriously, but held up as an example and idolized, it’s not hard to think looking back that it was already too late. If I would have started organizing sooner, worked a few more hours, shared to a few more Groups, tried a little harder to reach people, etc. It’s a wistful feeling, looking back on a great battle lost.

It started to become clear that a great many, a terrible many people, were not going to embrace Hillary Clinton as a candidate, no matter how good a President she would be, and she would have been great. The biggest tragedy here is the scale of the missed opportunity.

We’re talking about a person who had on-the-job approval ratings that were through the roof in every job she had. Those are the only kinds of polls that really matter; the others are nothing but a photograph, one second’s popularity contest. Rational people know that. So when it had clearly started falling by the wayside, in favor of emotional considerations poorly expressed and ill-conceived of, it became darkly evident that things were not going to continue managing themselves.

In our lives, when we come up against a wrong too big to be ignored, it forces us to make a choice. We either take a side or turn a blind eye. We are given a voice for a reason. The time had come to use it, for every American. We were, and are, in the midst of facing a major existential crisis, one to set the direction for the entire nation’s paradigm. Simply stated, the question is: Do we want to keep being a democracy?

A terrible shame is self-claimed by anyone who was fortunate enough to grow up in this country, and still attempts to justify answering that question in the negative. The very fact of people being able to run around on the streets spouting off in that manner is in and of itself a tremendous luxury, one that was paid for and made possible by the success of American democracy. In the days of fascism and communism, things were otherwise to a very horrible extent.

Stalin’s gulag system held nearly 3,000 to 100,000 of its citizens at any given time.  Most, like author of the Gulag Archipelago Alexander Solzhenitsyn, were there for speaking out against the government. The Tiananmen Square incident in China was a murderous repression of democratic protesters. It is not yet thirty years old. The Nazis had a whole interior of labor camps, such as Dachau or Mauthausen, reserved exclusively for German “political criminals” until the final days of the war.

There have never been such things in America. We have plenty of prisons, but no concentration camps. Foreign radicalism has never taken deep root over here, because for the most part, people have had the good sense to know how lucky they are to have the chance to participate in this. To risk all that because you are angry is insane. Recessions and depressions are a part of human life on Planet Earth, and that is not going to change to suit anyone.

At this stage in our history, the entire global economy is already deeply interconnected. Wherever you live, they are going to come and go.

If you think that’s a good reason to start down the road toward a second Dark Ages, you might want to read up on the first ones. There are many problems in this country. We are not a perfect nation. But for all our faults, we are the linchpin of the entire global order. Every life in the world will feel it, should the lights go out again.

All through the year of 2016, we heard a great deal about a revolution. Why is it we never heard any of this under Bush, when it was necessary? Back when the world really needed that power, it was found lacking and largely absent. All these brave revolutionaries waited for a kind and tolerant President Obama to come in and start actually making America great again, to start screaming about a revolution. They gambled with the utmost recklessness with the future of the whole human race. Why?

It’s been like this all throughout history. Tightly repressive regimes are rarely overthrown. It’s only after the restrictions are loosened, that the people tend to break levees. We see this all the time, in the Middle East. Its hallmark was all over the place in Syria. It was also this way when the French Revolution felled the monarchy in 1789, and again when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Just as soon as a system starts to mature, it suddenly collapses.

The events of American life since the year 2000 have indeed been nauseating; it’s worth remembering that Hunter S. Thompson took his own life just after the second Bush was reelected. Times have been hard since Bill Clinton left office.

Still, after Obama got elected, and particularly when compared to the past, we had things really good. We suffered for eight years under Bush, but after that things started getting better.

The economy started recovering, we got universal health care in the form of decades worth of work with the Affordable Care Act, and we started getting back to work. We were once again having the time to worry about things other than base survival. To risk that, on the gambler’s promise of some screaming demagogue, was the absolute height of stupidity. How anyone could have been so foolhardy as to risk our tangible, hard-fought gains on a pack of ridiculous pipedreams will never be explainable by any sort of logical standard. Everyone is trying somehow to get to the answer. Yet for all we have learned along the way, the governing dynamic still manages to elude.

As we approach the midterms in 2018, the Republicans have been killing us in terms of small donors. That’s an ugly fact. For Republicans to be outdoing Democrats, on a grassroots level, is the very worst case scenario. They have taken the strategies of the Bernie Sanders campaign and turned them into a juggernaut.

For all the ugliness and chaos surrounding his presidency, Trump is getting stronger. And not a day goes by that he doesn’t use that strength to chip away further and further at the bedrock of our democracy. Koch Industries has had an unprecedented opportunity to pass through their long-sought Libertarian agenda. The star of fascism is clearly on the ascendant.

What is it going to take? That’s the question we keep coming back to, ever since November of last year. What can we possibly do, to pull back from this chasm we are heading toward? A disturbing percentage of us are behaving like nuclear powered lemmings. There is no one on the horizon at this time who can do much about any of this, except possibly for Robert Mueller, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of our whole drama.

Think as well, about Bob Mueller himself. His good, kind, honest face. How hard he is working, and in his retirement age, no less. All the years he was the director of the FBI, the best one that we ever had. He chose James Comey as his successor. He spent many years training him. He made sure he was the best man to head up the Agency.

Trump threw Comey away like the garbage, and it makes me want to vomit. All the best people in the country right now, are completely excluded from its government, while the worst are getting away with bloody murder. Putin is laughing at us. The Russian media laughs and boasts about the way he’s made a toilet out of Trump. And rock bottom is still nowhere in sight. Surely some revelation is at hand.

In the interim, the author of this article is in Facebook jail, over sharing the articles we recently published regarding the Zapad war games in Russia and the fact of Russian Stuxnet viruses being found in over a hundred American power grids. Facebook Jail is slang for when you get blocked from various Facebook features by its robots, because the Russians and their proxies have figured out how to game its Report as Spam/Abuse buttons.

Sixteen other Democratic activists I know are in jail also. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg does nothing with the greatest of industry. As a good friend and mentor of mine wrote recently, Congress must reform Facebook.

Posting is way down. Russian ads are everywhere. People are scared, and actively exploring other platforms. We are being stopped from participating in the political process of America, as Americans, by foreign agents and agitators who have effectively conquered our entire section of cyberspace, while the people able to handle it have their hands tied behind their backs. The indignance I feel at this state of affairs cannot be adequately expressed by language.

The only clear way forward for us is to get serious about education. Education is the key to it all. That’s why the Kochs and the DeVos’s and all the other Tea Party monsters have been paying so much money to destroy and withhold it. It’s why Betsy DeVos was chosen for the Secretary of Education post. They know knowledge is power, and they don’t want reliably Democratic voters to have any- which includes every single at-risk part of our population, including all persons of color and women.

That’s what this is all about for the opposition. Power, dominance, and money. The Republicans have no actual social agenda. They can only whip up enthusiasm among their supporters by lying about and otherwise savaging ours. It’s become a trench battle, and it threatens every day to break out into another wild fight.

In the end, is it really possible for reason to understand emotion? Because when we analyze the 2016 election, that is the task that faces us. Donald Trump is not something most people wanted, but they chose him all the same, out of desperation.

We’ve got to find a way to address the pain that caused that desperation, because it is severe in the extreme. In the midst of it all, heroin use has gotten so bad that our children are in prison and dying. And Jeff Sessions wants to go back to locking us up for weed. People are looking for a release valve, and if they do not get it, then one should fear wholeheartedly for the future of our beloved, hopeful, wonderful country.

Shortly before he was murdered, Robert Kennedy had these words to say.

“What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis, and that is what has been going on within the United States—the division, the violence, the disenchantment with our society; the divisions, whether it’s between blacks and whites, between poor and more affluent, or between age groups or on the war in Vietnam-is that we can start to work together. We are a great country, an unselfish country, and a compassionate country.”

Those words are still true, but it’s going away. If we don’t fight for it, with all that we have got, it will be too late before much longer. Millions have lived and died, for the future of a great America. We cannot disgrace our ancestors, and we cannot let down our descendants.

This is the purpose of Millennial Democrats. This is the task that lies before us. It is largely up to us now. We have to get our peers to see the light and get active in their own fates and futures. Remember when we were kids, and we all watched the NeverEnding Story on the big screen? It is like when the Nothing came. It has eaten everything, and the last glowing seed held by the Empress is ours to blow life into. We must somehow find the courage to dare what we dream.

 

The Koch Network- Enemies of Democracy Revealed.

When examining American political life today, the discussion has to include the Koch network. This conglomerate of groups covers a wide range of recent and radically conservative organizations, such as the infamous Tea Party movement. They have been responsible for a great deal of trouble in recent history as a result. It is therefore worth taking a close look at who they are, what they are doing, and why they are doing it.

Charles and David, the Koch brothers, are the sons of Frederick C. Koch, who co-founded Koch Industries. It has grown to be the second-largest privately held company in the United States, of which they own 84%. If their individual fortunes were combined in one place, they would likely represent the wealthiest person on earth.

They have used this gargantuan wealth to subjugate one of the two parties and subordinate it to an ultra-conservative and authoritarian agenda. They have spent a fortune on it. Most estimates show numbers of more than a billion dollars, every one of which proves the rise of the Tea Party movement was far from an accident. It was orchestrated, and it was well funded. It also had a deliberate aim: to destroy Washington’s ability to pay for its social programs, which would be to break Washington itself.

In this way, bothersome regulations passed down from the Teddy Roosevelt era could be smashed at last. Unions could have their backs broken, forever. The era of graft and corruption and big bosses could return with a police state to back it up. They tipped their hand when they used Wisconsin as a model, by creating the golem known as Scott Walker.

In short, the entire apparatus of American government itself, is to gradually be delivered, bound hand and foot, to the door of big capital, thereafter to act at its behest. Fascists are not against centralized authority per se, although they will make such a pretense if expedience requests it. They fight it because they are trying to gain control of it. It’s an exercise in reverse engineering. They want to strip it down to the core and reassemble it, to suit their laissez-faire agenda. The goal is as ugly as it is audacious.

Koch Industries was initially a company for refining crude oil, which has always played a big part in the Koch family fortune, dating back to the 1930’s. Fred Koch was one of its founding members. He was a founding member in another organization also- the John Birch Society.

The society was built on Fred Koch’s oil money in the 1950’s. It can fairly be considered the center of neo-conservative politics. Both the JBS and the Tea Party fit into this mold of liberalism being the root of all evil, mustrust and hostility toward persons of color and other groups of at-risk persons, and a deep seeded fear of change.

This value system, which is typified by racism, nationalism, and an ideologically devoid will to power, is the essence and spirit of fascism. So the question begs asking: when did Fred Koch become so attached to the ideas he passed on to his sons? Foreign radicalism is generally not thought to have taken deep root over here. But evidence now suggests that may not be the case at all.

One book, “The Kochs, A Nazi Past, Oil & The Foundation of The Rights,” by Damien Crisp, claimed that Fred C. Koch was both related to and involved with Hitler-era Nazis. Crisp made the statement that “Koch Industries is the child of the violence of Buchenwald.”

Information concerning the family backgrounds of Buchenwald commandant Karl and Ilse Koch is hard to find, and it should be noted that this claim is unproven. While there are fragments of information that suggestively connect the American and German Kochs, and although it gives a clear image of the sentiment behind the Tea Party and conservative American politics since the 1950s, the connection between the Buchenwald Kochs and Fred Koch is tenuous at best and should probably be discounted.

Democrats fight with honor, and have no need to rely on disinformation. That’s what the German Kochs were doing back then, and that’s what the American Kochs do now. The significance of this claim, lies rather in the fact that it’s so easy to believe and that its belief is prevalent.

If you have embarked down a course of conduct that makes you resemble those two monsters(Karl was executed by other Nazis for corruption, whilst Ilse, known best for her plan to make lampshades of the skins of tattooed Jewish prisoners, was the only woman charged for war crimes during WW2), closely enough so that millions of people would suspect to ask this question and believe the accusation true, it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that you ought to cut it out.

However, although there is no solid evidence the American Fred Koch was related to Ilse’s family, there are ties to other Nazis named Koch that are far more solid. Erich Koch was a Nazi official placed in charge of Prussia in the days of Nazi Germany, who invited Fred Koch to sell his oil there. After the Nazi fall, Erich and Fred Koch expanded their oil empire to the Soviet Union. Erich Koch had been in charge of Prussia for Hitler, so his ties to the neighboring Soviet Union ran deep. However, a few years later, the Soviets purged some of his colleagues and prosecuted Erich for war crimes.

Fred Koch returned to the US as the most fervent anti-communist crusader one could imagine, and was allowed to do business in the States again. He hated Communism and Communists so much that he even expressed public admiration of Mussolini’s tactics against it. When he embraced this sort of thinking, he started down a road that led him to become a staunch opponent of civil rights. He grew more rigid as he grew older, and he passed both his grudge and his empire to the sons who have carried on his causes.

Since then, the brothers have attempted to impose this secretive agenda on the rest of America. Significant financial contributions by the fascist Koch network have been made to conservative, Libertarian, and Republican causes by way of effecting these changes. They pledged to spend $889 million from 2009–2016, and although the Citizens United ruling makes it impossible to say exactly how close they came, most specialists agree that this estimate is very low. The political infrastructure they have built has been said by Politico to rival that of the Republican National Committee.

Conveniently, the Koch brothers’ fervent commitment to libertarianism coincides precisely with their foremost, bottom-line interest: the elimination of government regulations aimed at containing toxic pollution and ozone-damaging emissions. Koch companies are spewing these everywhere. Around the country, around the clock.

It is no accident that Scott Pruitt ended up heading the EPA. It was one of the concessions made by Trump’s team to reconcile themselves with the Koch brothers, who were opposed to him all the way up until when it became inevitable he’d be the Republican candidate.

Nancy MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, recently published a  book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, detailing the corrosive practices of the Koch network.

The New York Times said the book joined an emerging corpus of important work of scholars and journalists that was “documenting the systematic, organized effort to undermine democracy and change the rules.”

But it didn’t take long for the apparatus of the “radical right”, or what we now have come to think of as the alt-right, to to prepare a counterattack. The attacks came from the same individuals and institutions that the Duke University history professor documents in her book.

At some point, the Libertarians, particularly people who are part of the apparatus in one way or another — either academics or the think-tanks — weighed in, and did the same thing with my work as they have done with climate science,” says MacLean.

MacLean’s book charts the “radical right’s stealth plan” through the fortunes and influence of the late James M Buchanan, a pioneer of so-called economic “public choice theory” who was awarded a Nobel memorial prize in economics in 1986. For a look at his thinking process, we can look to the explanation given by Buchanan himself in a famous essay. By helping the unlucky, we cushion them against the consequences of their bad choices.

Luckily for no one, the dutiful Kochs are busy as can be even now, making sure to seek out and destroy every such cushion they can find.

Their most visible front is Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group founded by David Koch. This branch comprises the ground forces of the Koch Network. They hold rallies in 34 states, they bus people into them, and they use them to exert pressure for their anti-government, anti-education Libertarian agenda. For example, Koch think tanks spend at least $19.4 million annually, to cripple the public school systems.

The Koch donor network has exploited Buchanan’s economic system to mutate the rules of American politics. This is exactly the sentiment voiced by Republicans of both branches of Congress who voted to strip away Obamacare.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” Doug Deason, one of the few known donors in the Koch network’s fundraising rolodex, told GOP leaders recently. “You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done.”

Every new proposal the Republicans tried jamming through the Congress would have sorely punished people with preexisting medical conditions. They were perfectly aware of this, of course. Congressman Mo Brooks even touted it as a benefit in one CNN interview, stating that the new bill has the advantage of “reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives.” This is a pure application of James Buchanan. The term he used was “misguided Good Samaritanism”.

In the wake of America’s increasing disgust with Trump, the Koch brothers are currently enjoying a new level of ascendancy. The announcement last week by the Koch network that Vice President Mike Pence will be the keynote speaker at the brothers’ policy and political strategy meeting, set for October 12 and 13 in Manhattan, is a big sign.

Another sign was the placement of Americans for Prosperity president, Tim Phillips, just one seat from Trump at a White House dinner last week for conservative group leaders. Phillips has long been one of the Kochs’ top lieutenants. In announcing Pence’s appearance, top Koch aide James Davis crowed, “Pence truly understands how good policies can help all Americans improve their lives.”

Also notable was that the only Trump cabinet member at the dinner, seated across the long table from the president, was Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt. Pruitt, the former Attorney General of Oklahoma, has literally spent his entire life fighting the agency that he is now the head of. This appointment in particular embodies the Trump administration’s desire to turn over crucial environment and energy policy decisions to the collective fossil fuel and chemical industries of which the Kochs are bedrock members.

This donor network has been tremendously successful in the spreading of self-serving misinformation to elected officials. They’re doing it for banal reasons like the rights to save money dumping waste in local rivers. This is why climate change is a reality the oil moguls do not want to face.

The consequences of that policy are so far reaching and brutal in their effects, that they require most of the populace to be kept in a disgraceful state of ignorance. They can’t let us learn, because what they’re up to is so obvious, and they don’t really bother to hide it. They just counterattack with viciousness and lies. A people softened up by decades of misinformation coming from the Koch Brothers and others were lambs to the slaughter for disinformation coming from the Russians.

It’s a liberal tendency to assume that Republicans and the right wing media can’t possibly really believe its message, but there’s too much evidence that the contrary might be true. At the level of the populace, those who deliver and receive the message are being manipulated by their fears, for a profit so large that it’s hard to imagine: global domination in total. This reality has to be faced and fully realized before counter-efforts will prove effective.

The disastrous election of Donald Trump has had one good effect and one only- it has brought America’s people to the point where more and more people are recognizing the issue and acknowledging the problem. Women in particular are mobilizing like never before. We must all join their struggle, en masse and in dead earnest.

That is the only hope we have of taking back the reins of our democracy.

If the majority understood what they were doing, they would stop it. I think that’s a really powerful thing to know,” said MacLean.

They are doing all of this in the knowledge that they can’t win if they say openly what their end game is. If people work to patiently inform and activate the majority, then they could be stopped.”

Moving forward, our goal will be to do exactly that. We will spread the word every way we can. We will also be sure to avoid the past errors of excess and rage that awareness of these people and their garbage have caused in the past. It’s understandable to want to get back at people who are hurting you, but if in so doing, you strengthen their position, you are only making sure you get hurt some more.

We have learned from the lessons of Occupy. We won’t make those kinds of mistakes again. We will remain calm. We will acknowledge the existence of their propaganda tanks. We will drag them out into the light. We will refute both their pseudoscience and their petty lies.

We will learn to recognize their organizational structure and the techniques they have employed to subvert our democracy. They are like poison ivy, sucking life out of a grand old oak tree. The record shows that clearly. We will just have to highlight it. Most importantly of all, we will continue to provide better alternatives to their unkind and ungenerous schemes. America is strong, because America is kind. The strong are always kind. We can do better than Charles and David Koch.