Tearing another page from Hitler’s book.

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Donald Trump concocting a myth. (White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Erich Ludendorff birthed the “stab-in-the-back” myth. Adolf Hitler perfected it. Donald Trump is resurrecting it.

Trump lost the presidential election of 2020; Joe Biden won it.

But in the three weeks since the election, Trump has refused to admit his defeat, and he has dispatched a legion of sycophantic attorneys and surrogates to peddle the myth that he would have won reelection if not for traitorous Democrats and local election officials in battleground states.

He’s saying that he was stabbed in the back, and his followers believe him.

Trump knows he lost. And he will leave office on January 20, 2021. But he wants to cast doubt on the election results and emerge as a martyr for his millions of supporters. Whether he goes on to become some right-wing media mogul or disappears into the pantheon of political has-beens, Trump is just trying to salve his battered ego. …


James Buchanan fiddled while the nation burned.

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James Buchanan, 15th U.S. President. (National Archives)

Donald Trump is presiding over the worst presidential transition most of us have ever seen. But knowing how much Donald likes to be “Number 1,” he’ll be sad to learn this is not the worst presidential transition in the nation’s history.

James Buchanan, the 15th U.S. President, presided over that one, between November 6, 1860, and March 4, 1861.

At this writing, Trump still denies he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, and he continues scattershot and spurious attempts to throw out or discredit votes in battleground states that he lost. …


We deserve truth and transparency from Trump’s doctors.

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Rose Garden super-spreader event: Trump, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and a host of guests, non-socially distanced. (Official White House photo by Andrea Hanks)

How sick is Donald Trump?

We don’t know. And while Trump is the one in the hospital, we the people of the United States are the collective patients in this COVID crisis.

Trump’s doctors have twice now obfuscated and shaded answers to questions that not only have bearing on the president’s health, but on the governance of the nation.

Not that Trump has been any kind of a leader, but the leadership of the country is in question.

How ill is Trump? We know he’s had two dips in oxygen saturation, we know that he’s on steroids. We know, from watching his own short videos (without benefit of his classic orange spray-on tan), that he looks pale and is not his usual bombastic self. …


He doesn’t know anything about it anyway.

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Donald Trump proclaims Constitution Day, September 17, 2020. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

You know how there are two sides to every story? You know how some stories are so complex there are often many more than two sides?

When it comes to American history, Donald Trump wants you to know only one side — the one where wealthy White guys made the world safe for democracy and pried open a narrow window for other White guys to claw their way into the middle class. In that narrative, Native Americans, Blacks — whether slave or free, women, and immigrants get trampled underfoot.

Trump would balk at that. Call it “fake news.” But that’s essentially what MAGA is. A callback to a time when White males had it great and a few others might come along if they could negotiate the social and political obstacles strewn before them. …


This crap year is cutting through our cognitive dissonance. Good, we’ve got a lot to do.

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Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

When I walked into my classroom yesterday the first thing I saw, aside from some masked students, was a phrase written in bold black letters on the white board.

“COGNITIVE DISSONANCE!”

I’m not sure who was using the classroom before me. It could have been any number of professors, because my usual classroom is prime real estate this COVID Fall. It seats 120 people, and everyone wants it because it has ample room to spread out. The writing may have been left over from a psych class.

“That applies to us,” I said to the 15 or so students who had shown up. …


Its message is hard to miss, and that’s just what we need.

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Whipping scene from Glory. (Courtesy IMDB)

For a filmmaker with a message, sometimes the subtle approach is not the best approach.

Sometimes you have to beat people over the head so they get your point.

That’s the case with Edward Zwick’s 1989 Glory. Glory is anti-war, anti-segregation, and anti-racism all at the same time. It was Black lives matter a quarter century before that phrase came into usage.

There are only a few good Civil War films. Glory is one of them.

Because action and war movies usually need an antagonist — an enemy — to work, Civil War movies are problematic. After all, it was brother against brother, American against American. …


A Pandemic Plea.

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Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay

I’ve ventured out several times in the past couple of weeks, not much, a couple of trips to the supermarket, once or twice to the home improvement place, and a few departmental meetings.

What I saw appalled — and frightened — me. People “wearing” masks, and yet not really wearing them.

Texas has been under a mask mandate since July when the numbers of both COVID-19 cases and deaths began rising. That’s fine with my family. We’ve been wearing masks to venture out since April.

I’ve been comforted — a little — knowing that everyone out there is going to be in a mask. …


Yep, he used the term “necessary evil” to refer to American slavery.

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Tom Cotton, Republican senator from Arkansas. (Michael Vadon, Flickr)

No one in 2020 should say the words “necessary evil” and “slavery” in the same sentence.

And yet there it was.

We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country. As the founding fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction,” Cotton said in a newspaper interview.

It doesn’t matter what Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) was trying to say, he sounded like an apologist for slavery. …


“Make America Great Again” calls for a return to 1947 — before Civil Rights.

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U.S. Representative John Lews and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser at Black Lives Matter Plaza. (Photo: Twitter/Mayor Bowser/CNN)

This morning, watching television coverage of John Lewis’ funeral procession through Washington, D.C., I heard the Rev. Al Sharpton say, “‘Make America Great Again’ means pre-John Lewis.”

That’s exactly right.

I was moved when Lewis’ hearse passed down Black Lives Matter Boulevard, over the bright yellow “Black Lives Matter” mural on the street. I’m so glad that Lewis was able to stand on that very street, on that very mural, just a few weeks before he died.

As the procession moved away, you could see the White House in the distance. I could imagine Trump inside, grumbling because, once again, Black Lives Matter and Civil Rights had eclipsed his reality-show attempt at a presidency. …


From here on out, be wary of infection and death counts.

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We know Donald Trump cheats at golf. Now he’s poised to cheat on COVID-19 stats. (White House Flickr)

As of July 14, 2020, Donald Trump wants COVID-19 statistical information to go straight to the Department of Health and Human Services, bypassing the Centers for Disease Control.

That will give the Trump administration the ability to change the stats to fit its political agenda.

You know how Trump wants to downplay Coronavirus so Americans can get back to work? So kids can go back to school? You know how infectious disease expert and game-show host Chuck Woolery said it’s all about the election?

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Watch out folks. Trump’s alternative facts shop can now massage those stats to make it look like the pandemic is abating, even when it’s not. …

About

Steve Jones

Writer, editor, photographer, historian, Ph.D. & irreverent academic.

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