The Swamp is powered by Vocal creators. You support The New Progressives by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

The Swamp is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Nazis, Rebs, and Reds—Oh My!

All the evil is here.

More than two-thirds of the Republican Party is made up of confederates and confederate sympathizers. People in the Republican Party now openly walk around saying that they would rather be Russian than Democrats. And the Nazi descendent Koch brothers are now trying to buy the Supreme Court…in 2018. When Americans have access to all of this information, how is it that we have not connected the dots—and still aren’t?

We’ve been looking at the dots instead of the big picture. This is a Pearl Harbor moment and we don’t even realize it. Americans are asleep at the wheel, even those of us who think we are “woke.” We’ve woken up to the fact that the GOP does not care about treason. Why would they? I don’t know why we haven’t said it before—they are historically traitors. That old party of bigots has never been pro-democracy. Next to Japan attacking us at Pearl Harbor, southerners, confederates, to be more precise, “Rebs” (as American Union troops called them) are the only ones to have ever made war against the United States (9/11 was an attack but stood up no army).

After that war and for a hundred years since, they’ve cried "The south will rise again." Well, look at the GOP now. Look at all of the positions of power in our Federal government. Have they not risen while Americans slept? George Voinovich, belated Governor of Ohio said about southerners in Congress, “What the hell they got to do with Ohio?”

What the hell indeed.

The Fix IS In

In the midterms of 2010, just two years after President Obama was elected, gay activist Dan Savage ran a campaign telling people not to vote because Barack Obama had broken his promise to overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (in his first two years in office, while the economy was collapsing). Every 10 years is a census year. That means that in two years, just like in 2010, whichever party controls Congress will have the power to redraw the district maps.

Each county in every state in America is broken up by district. If you live in northern Ohio for example, your local issues are different than someone living in southern Ohio. For representative democracy (as we are supposed to be) to work, each district has its own representative that represents that part of the state in Congress—in the Federal government.

Image from: “Here's what Ohio might have looked like in 2016 without congressional gerrymandering”

When Democrats sat out in 2010, Republicans gained control of Congress, the majority of State Legislatures and governorships, and therefore the power to redraw district maps everywhere. They went ham gerrymandering districts across the country so that each district has more Republicans in it than Democrats. So that no matter how many Democrats in your area vote against the Republican representative, the number of Republican voters outnumbers them. That’s why in some districts in America now, a Democrat has to win 10 or 20 percent more votes than the Republican just to break even.

Instead of drawing the district lines so that each representative in Congress represents the people who actually make up a particular area on the map of your city and county, the GOP basically diluted democratic votes across the board. Now you don’t pick your representative—they pick their voters and if you are against them, they carved you out. Just look at how the GOP redistricted North Carolina (the “former” map at the bottom). The top or “new” map is what the district is actually supposed to look like.

North Carolina redistricted maps (New and Former)

Those crazy misshapen squiggly lines show just how extremely partisan the lines were drawn. So partisan in fact that the old map was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. These lines are politically and thus racially drawn to give an unfair advantage to white voters and Old Party Republicans.

Now play that out across the country. Not every map has been redrawn or ruled unconstitutional. Take Texas for example. Beto O’Rourke is pulling away from the incumbent Ted Cruz, but the Texas Supreme Court has allowed certain districts to remain heavily gerrymandered; which is why, despite his statewide popularity, Mr. O’Rourke has to have a massive voter turnout in order to win his race for the Senate.

When Democrats failed to vote in the 2010 midterm election, they helped Republicans set up a permanent GOP majority—and not even just the regular asshole Republicans—teabaggers; extremists who believe that they have a right to white supremacy.

Union troops stand on the high ground against rebel troops

So yeah, the fix is in. There are districts that are brazenly slanted in the GOP’s favor. Looking at your shoes and screaming at the ground, Democrats fell into a pit. So here we are at another crucial midterm where it’s not only gerrymandering but the entire fundamentals of our government that is on the line.

Ye old rebels will do what they’ve always done—everything to make this country less democratic, whiter, and more southern. The question is what are the rest of us going to do about it? Unlike in the 1860s and 1960s, the majority of white people are not with them. This isn’t a 50/50 debate anymore. They are the minority—the 25 percent. Those of us who actually believe in the greatness of America, we are the 75 percent. If we get out and vote they can’t stop us. Then we can put down the rebels once and for all!

Company E, 4th US Colored Troops at Fort Lincoln, November 17th, 1865.

What Makes America Great?

Let’s be honest, many of the soldiers fighting on the Union side didn’t believe in the equality of all men. Many didn’t even believe in the abolition of slavery. What they did believe in was democracy, America, and the U.S. Constitution. They understood what actually makes America great—something we have certainly lost over this last generation.

Fundamentally, setting aside the Salem witch hunts, the Indian Massacres, and slavery, fundamentally the ideal that formed America is the idea that we don’t need a ruler. We don’t need a monarch and we certainly don’t need a dictator telling us what we can and can’t do. The people who founded this country—again, ignoring that indigenous people were already here—were escaping tyrannical monarchs who changed the rules based on their own base interests. They didn’t rule for the people, they ruled for an aristocracy, the monarchy, to get and maintain power.

America’s founding fathers created something new, something that had never been done before. All great powers ruled by one eventually are toppled; eventually see revolution where the ruled overthrow their rulers. What about a government formed from the ideals of the people, for the exclusive benefit of the people, written and enforced by the people to be governed? What about a society where we govern ourselves?

People forget that we are young and new. Our system of socialist democracy is a new concept. Over all of the thousands of years of human civilization, it was just understood and accepted that there had to be a leader to rule over the people. America is different. We rule by majority. The “demo” in the word democracy is derived from the Greek word “demos” which means “people.” The “cracy” in democracy comes from the Greek word for power—“kratos.”

However, unlike in most of ancient Greece, in principle, our Constitution doesn’t create an “aristocracy, in which political power is concentrated in the "aristoi," the people considered to have the greatest virtue or merit.” In practice though, we began with an aristocracy—white male landowners, the only ones with the right to vote.

Despite the limitations of our initial democracy by race and gender and wealth, the founders were brilliant in making our Constitution something that would change and grow with the times. Over our 240+ year history, we have worked to try to make this country a true democracy where all people have a say in how we are governed. We still have felons who are stripped of that right and in some places never get it back—something that we still need to fix.

In a blog written by a Pakistani blogger who argues that there is a “lack of true spirit of democracy in Pakistan” he reminds us what makes us great, what makes our system of democracy special, and why peoples all over the world have sought to have what we obviously take for granted today:

“Many political scientists say that it is the best form of governance among all other forms of governance. Moreover, the key components of a democracy are the inviolability of the constitution, sovereignty of parliament, supremacy of civilian rule, rule of law, protection of fundamental rights, fair, free and transparent elections, ruthless accountability, free media, independent judiciary and highly powered and impartial election commission.”

Who Is the REAL Enemy of America?

Connect the Dots

Since the unstable dingus, I mean, an illegitimate president took office, the key components of a true, legitimate democracy that Wazeer (the Pakistani blogger) cited have been under attack. Anyone who tries to violate or circumvent these key components of our system of democracy is the real enemy of America and the people. And it’s not just Trump. He couldn’t do this alone. It takes a complicit Congress, an ignorant people, and a gullible press to usurp the power from the people in our democracy.

In less than two years, this administration along with the traitorous GOP has violated the U.S. Constitution over and over again. He started his administration with a constitutional violation when he used religion as a means to ban certain immigrants from coming into our country. Ironically, he is only a second generation American and is married to an immigrant from a hostile power—I digress.

The laundry list has only grown from there—denying asylum seekers entry into our country, separating parents from children and caging or jailing them, interfering in a legitimate FBI investigation, on and on and on. The enemy of the people is trump and the sycophantic GOP; sycophantic: “(of a person or of behavior) praising people in authority in a way that is not sincere, usually in order to get some advantage from them.”

Image From: Learning Advanced English

Those tariffs that Trump put into place, which is the job of Congress, is a violation. The only way a president is granted leeway to set tariffs is if he or she can prove that it is in the interest of national security. Canada has in no way threatened our national security yet that was one of the targets of those tariffs. And Trump didn’t even bother to make a legitimate argument for national security and the GOP controlled Congress just let him get away with it.

This one is a biggie and the bull’s-eye for this one lands squarely on the GOP and their voters. As pointed out earlier, when districts are gerrymandered to create a permanent Republican majority, it silences the majority and thus, civilian rule. That’s why 95 percent of Americans believe in commonsense gun laws but it can’t be passed in Congress. The vast majority believes in universal healthcare and free education but the GOP held Congress working from both the minority and the majority has worked hard to end it. Again, the list goes on and on.

The rule of law has been broken all along the way from Trump getting financial benefits from governing, violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, to obstructing justice by firing people and pressuring our independent law enforcement agencies to violate their constitutional mandates. This administration has shown no interest in protecting fundamental rights of speech, just to name one, by trying to bully citizen protesters—NFL protesters, the women’s march, Dr. Blasey Ford, etc.

The great big elephant in the room: all of our national security agencies identified Russia as the ones who attacked our elections in 2016 and put Trump into office, violating our national sovereignty. To this day, neither this administration nor the GOP held Congress has even attempted to investigate this and thwart their ongoing attacks. That alone is treason! There go your fair, free, and transparent elections. What he did do was try to order every state to give his administration private voter information to which the majority of states thankfully said eat shit turkey—but not all of them.

Forget ruthless accountability, this dude hasn’t been held accountable for anything…yet. Everyone is banking on the Mueller investigation to provide the smoking gun to make even the GOP fanatics that have been supporting this coup back down. However, if the Congress remains in GOP hands after November 6 and they get his second Supreme Court nominee through, they will end that investigation and set Trump up to be able to pardon himself, his criminally convicted and charged cabinet, as well as the aiding and abetting GOP Senators and House representatives.

We all know that in true dictatorial style, Trump has repeatedly called the free press the enemy of the people. If the people cannot access any independently verified information, they are easier to control and manipulate. It’s in the dictator’s handbook. One of the first things Hitler did when he came to power in 1933 was to kick out the free and independent press.

Hitler named person of the year by Time Magazine in 1938

Then when the Olympics were held in 1936 in Berlin, he ordered all of the swastikas to be taken down and allowed the free press in just so they could report back that everything in Germany is great! They never saw any swastikas or mistreatment of Jews. German fans even cheered when American, Jesse Owens (and OSU graduate) beat the so-called master race to become the world’s fastest man. Hell, Time magazine made Hitler man of the year in 1938 after he had taken over Czechoslovakia!

In the Time’s defense, they have made many bad actors person of the year including Stalin and Putin. They never say these are good people, just people that have “had the greatest impact on the news” over the year. In 1938, that was the murderous sociopath Adolf Hitler.

The South Has Risen

The last pillar and key component of our democracy is the “independent judiciary.” Our federal courts have stopped the Muslim ban as long and as far as possible. They have interceded in the atrocities happening to immigrants on our border. But our highest court, the Supreme Court to which the decisions they make there is no appeal, that is now under attack by the real enemies of America—Trump and the traitorous GOP Congress.

At this very minute, both are fighting tooth and nail to put a person on the Supreme Court who has lied under oath repeatedly and verifiably, possibly sexually assaulted at least one woman, possibly raped others, who is an extreme partisan with an erratic and volatile temper, and to cap all of that off, is perhaps the only judge in this country who actually believes that the president of the United States is above the law.

He has already proven that he is also a sycophant and even threatened Democrats everywhere in his hearing to determine if he is qualified to serve on the highest court in the land, saying, “what goes around comes around.” The only thing standing in his way is two or three GOP Senators of conscience who may vote to seat him and who may not. The vote is (tentatively) scheduled for this Saturday.

Clearly, the last decade of gerrymandering and the apathy of the majority of Americans (46 percent didn’t even bother to vote in the 2016 presidential election) has resulted in a southern majority of old white men. These people have proven that they are still hell bent on rolling back the progress that our country has made in attempting to perfect our union by making it a true rule by majority that includes all people.

Image From: Thomas Legion - American Civil War History; Massachusetts

Of the 238 Republicans in the House of Representatives, only 28 are from the northeast. Only 39 are from the Pacific West Coast. The vast majority are from the south (110) and the Midwest (61). The mountain states only have 19 reps.

Of the 51 GOP Senators serving now, you can count the number of northeasterners on one finger: Susan Collins of Maine. There are a handful of Midwesterners, several from the plain states, but again, the vast majorities are southerners from the old confederate states—TN, MS, KS, MI, AS, NC, SC, LA, TX, OK, GA, KY, FL, and AL.

Not surprisingly, since this bunch of anti-democrats and anti-constitutionalists has risen to power, Congress has been objectively abysmal. Earlier this year, The Journal of Politics concluded that “the legislative record of the 115th Congress [the current one] has been less impressive than that of other recent majority parties in control of unified government.”

The Red Menace Approaches

We shouldn’t be surprised that the GOP is bad at governing a democracy. Again, they’ve never believed in actual democracy. The southern way of life included oppressing an entire race of Americans, then subjugating that same race of people, and they had that for over 400 years. Each step of the way, our history has turned toward democracy because we fundamentally believe that we can’t call ourselves a free country while subjugating a portion of our population. We’ve been getting better…slowly but surely. We’d move a lot faster if we got rid of the traitors who keep holding us back and who keep trying to make us into something that we don’t want to be.

Here are the dots that we’ve all missed. The fact of the matter is we’ve won these debates time and time again. The federalists won the argument over whether or not we would be a collection of states or a unified country—state’s rights versus a federal Constitution. We thought that the debate was settled until the Civil War.

We won that argument again, officially banning slavery in the U.S., let bygones be bygones (big mistake—traitors are to be hanged or kicked out of our country for good reason). Only they never moved on. They created that myth of the old south and vowed to rise again. Then in the 1960s once again, we won that argument officially writing into the Constitution the equal protection under the law for all citizens (despite not being equally applied in many cases even today).

What we failed to account for is the sour grapes and bitterness that remains in these assholes. They’ve never stopped cooking up schemes to at last take control of the power in this country and create a rebel America. Only problem is, these 70 and 80 year olds are remembering an America from the 1940s and 1950s where they would actually succeed in convincing half of the people to back them. Instead, they are speaking to an ever-shrinking base of old white men who are nostalgic for the former white male hierarchy.

Image From: NY Mag 'World Trusts Putin More than Trump'

That bitterness however was not lost on another bitter rival of ours, of America. When the Berlin wall went down and the USSR was broken up, we called it victory and moved on. Putin did not. He blames America for their loss of status and wealth and has been working ever since to try to undermine not just our system of democracy but all democracies which work together to check bad actors in the world like the Hitlers, Putins, and Kim Jung Uns of the world.

What’s apparent is, just like the traitorous GOP, Putin found a witless idiot to carry out their secret agenda. What was it that Grover Norquist said in 2012?

“Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared."

They can’t win a general election, so they cheat by skewing districts to prevent the popular will of the people. They’ve been instituting voter restrictions and threatening immigrants to prevent them from even being able to cast a vote. And they are willing to team up and side with the Russians in order to do it. After all, like Josh Bolton (Bush war criminal and now Secretary of State) said to a Russian audience, ‘…we have a lot in common with you.’

The GOP does—America does not!

The Thousand Year Reich—Kill the Baby!

Americans have never lived under a Nazi style dictatorship – not even a Putin style communist government. They truly have no idea what a monster they are creating. The only people in this country that have lived that were former slaves and the southern blacks who lived through a hundred years of Jim Crow. That’s the heyday that these old crackers controlling the Senate right now are dreaming of with euphoria. Who cares what it means for everyone else.

Same thing happened in Nazi Germany. The people said that they had no idea what was happening to the Jews despite the rhetoric and the blatant anti-Semitism coming from Hitler and the Nazi party, their government. There was meat in every pot, jobs galore, and without the benefit of an independent free press, they were convinced that maybe it was the Jews who were responsible for all of their woes.

Today, we Americans stand at the precipice. This is a really long piece but there is a lot of ground to cover and we need to understand the true stakes before we sit out another – perhaps our last – free election. It’s not good enough to impeach trump. We have to name the rest of the traitors and kick them out of power too. We have to clean house of all threats, foreign and domestic.

We have a chance to do what German citizens didn’t do when Hitler was just a psychotic hoodlum vandalizing Jewish neighborhoods and harassing people. We have a chance to kill the baby in the crib. With brazen and open white supremacists in the White House and in the broader population, even running for office, in our faces, what will this generation do with our Pearl Harbor moment? Will it take bombs coming down or concentration camps not just for asylum seekers but for naturalized and native born U.S. citizens before we get really woke?

Now Reading
Nazis, Rebs, and Reds—Oh My!
Read Next
The Problem with Plastic