A Few Thoughts On The Aftermath of Las Vegas

I’ve been trying to figure out how to best express my feelings about what happened in Las Vegas on Sunday, and have found, I can’t. My feelings are jumbled, emotions a mess. However, I would like to say the following:

Fuck you Cheetolini, you miserable, worthless piece of shit! Fuck you Sarah Huckleberry Saddlebags, you lying moron! Go fuck yourselves Pat Robertson, Alex Jones, and every asswipe pundit on Faux News, as well as every supposed pundit or news reporter who, yet again, are bending over and taking it up the ass to express how “presidential” Cheetolini is being!

Fuck you every single member of Congress (both houses), who steadfastly refuse to do anything to stop this epidemic of mass shootings because your hands are so deeply in the pockets of the NRA and gun manufacturers, you don’t give a shit how many human lives are taken, so long as your own pockets are lined with this blood money (especially you Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Jason Chaffetz, you unmitigated scumbags!) It’s too fucking early to talk about it? ‘The issue is not guns, but mental illness — we have to deal with that,’ from the cocksucking piece of shit who helped Drumpf push through a bill overturning President Obama’s — you remember; the black guy — ban against the mentally ill being able to get guns!!!

A giant FUCK YOU to the members of the Supreme Court who have conspired to keep this shit going, by based decisions on their right wing political affiliation, rather than constitutional law. And while I’m at it, a special FUCK YOU to the NRA and gun manufacturers, whose only goal is to sell more assault weapons in order to line their own pockets, with no concern whatsoever for how they’re used.

Oh. And FUCK YOU Bilbo O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, you fucking opportunists!

An additional fuck you to the members of the corporate news media, who are too cowardly to call this shooting exactly what it is — TERRORISM! And fuck you every single person offering their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families, while participating in allowing these kind of things to continue happening. Fuck you to every asshole who’s said, “don’t politicize this,” then immediately turned around and politicized “this!” And fuck you, every other politician, pundit, so-called “religious leader,” or individual who has, or is using the Second Amendment (incorrectly) to justify this prick’s right to own 42 weapons of mass destruction, and uncountable rounds of ammunition!!! How convenient to quote a portion of the Second Amendment while leaving out the part that says, “A well regulated MILITIA, being necessary to the security of a free State.

Every single one of you scumbag motherfuckers are complicit in the murder and wounding done to every person who was shot in Las Vegas (and Sandy Hook; and Aurora, Colorado; Fort Hood, Texas, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando; Virginia Tech, and every other mass shooting in this country since the turn of the millenium). The victims of these shootings had the constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! This does NOT include having their rights ended by a bullet shot by some psychopathic terrorist making a complete mockery of the Second Amendment.

And to anybody who wants to take issue with what I’m saying, FUCK YOU!!! You post ANY COMMENTS trying to justify this in any way, your cretinous remarks won’t see the light of day, so don’t even bother. You want to challenge my thoughts, do it elsewhere!

This rant, and expression of disgust, outrage and pain, is mine! Don’t fuck with it!

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Insulting Sanders Supporters Will Not Help Win Hillary Clinton Friends Or This Election

The_ScreamaIn the days leading up to the start of the Democratic Convention, as well as during the first night of the convention and into day two, I have watched and listened as supporters of Secretary Clinton, and even many people who once supported Bernie Sanders candidacy (I’m talking to you, Sarah “you’re being ridiculous” Silverman), spewed an unending arsenal of insults and vitriol toward those remaining in the Bernie Or Bust camp. I’ve seen memes and articles calling those with the audacity to say they will refuse to vote for Secretary Clinton “privileged,” as a means to ridicule and delegitimize their right to vote (or not) as their conscience dictates.

As I have had to wrestle with what I will do when I step in that voting booth come November, I’d like to offer a perspective I hope those hurling invective will listen to.

To start, you have to be fair-minded enough to understand there are a lot of legitimate reasons why people who supported Senator Sanders don’t feel they can support Secretary Clinton. Certainly the actions of the DNC, led by former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz — an obvious Clinton surrogate — cannot simply be ignored or sloughed off. There’s an excellent editorial in today’s Chicago Tribune that deals with this.

Also, the failure of the corporate media to give any credence or coverage to the rash of lawsuits filed, accusing the DNC and party leaders of election violations, fraud, and the outright theft of primary votes from Senator Sanders, with nary a word from candidate Clinton on the subject, has not exactly added much faith in the system to people — especially young, idealistic people — who have given themselves to changing a system they see, legitimately, as rigged.

Even if you believe all these reasons disappear in light of the frightening possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, by simply dismissing these people and what they’re saying as the ranting of a bunch of “spoiled sore losers,” “privileged crybabies,” or any of the other pejoratives I’ve seen blithely tossed off over the past few days, you risk alienating millions of voters who could be an important part of the future of the Democratic party, not to mention swinging this election to Hilary Clinton.

The concerns and issues these people voice have to be dealt with fairly, honestly and diplomatically. If you tell them to just get in line and support a candidate for whom they have a great deal of distrust, the only thing you will do is confirm their lack of faith in the candidate. If nothing else had, the Wikileaks revelations highlight the fact that Clinton’s supporters — if not Clinton herself — engaged in major ethical lapses. Without a sensitive approach to address these concerns, the resolve of some Sanders supporters to not vote for Secretary Clinton will only harden.

And to defeat Donald Trump, make no mistake — Secretary Clinton needs Sanders supporters — all of them. In order to accomplish this, you also have to be open-minded enough to understand, the Sanders campaign brought millions of new people — many of them, millennials — into a system they mistrusted and had avoided until the inspiring words of Bernie Sanders reached them in a way no other politician ever had. For many, this was their first political campaign. These are not politically experienced operatives; they have not been wizened (or jaded) by previous campaigns; they don’t comprehend how you just shunt aside your anger about your candidate getting screwed, and support the person whose minions did the screwing.

Standing there, calling names and wagging fingers, is not going to instruct anyone in political realities, or rally support to the Democratic banner. You have to exercise patience, restraint and acknowledge the validity of much of what they’re saying and feeling. Only then can you open a dialogue and hope to make them understand the ramifications of this election on their future. If that is not done, don’t blame them, alone, for what happens. It will also be due to the arrogance of people saying things like, “we won, get over it, grow the fuck up!” — which, by the way, is also ridiculous, aside from being patronizing and insulting. That, as much as any other factor, could help elect an orange headed Nazi to the highest office in this country.

Bootylicious

bootylicious2There’s a line in the script of my wife, Tanya’s, erotic romantic comedy, Euphoric Tendencies, where the lead character, Beth, proclaims, “I can’t stop staring at people’s butts! On the way to work; on the subway; I keep looking at people’s butts! All of a sudden, I’m fascinated by them. I’m afraid someone’s going to catch me checking out their butt, but I can’t stop myself.

Now, it’s a well-known fact among those who’ve known me for any length of time, when it comes to the female form, I am, and have always been, a self-described ass man. Is this some genetic trait? Is there something in my DNA? Or, perhaps, did something happen early in my life that led me down this path?

The answer is, I have no idea.

But like Beth, I can’t stop staring at women’s butts! And while this has been a lifelong trait, for some unknown reason, over the past week or so, my normal state of fascination, has become almost obsessive. Maybe it’s the advent of Summer, and the clothes (or lack thereof) the steamy weather brings. But whatever the cause, my brain and being are currently in hyper-active overdrive.

Fortunately for me, I am married to a woman who not only understands, but shares my fascination (which should be somewhat obvious from the line she wrote for a character partly based on herself). And, bless her little heart,, she appreciates this quality in me.

The first time I actually met Tanya, was my first day as a teacher at NYC’s Creative Acting Company. Tanya was the Managing Director of the company, and thus, my boss. As I walked into the office that first day, a rectangular space, with desks on the far side of the room, there was the woman who would become my wife, leaning over a desk, her backside raised and facing me at a most provocative angle, speaking to someone across from her. She was wearing stretch pants, skin-tight in her current position, accenting one of her most glorious assets (take that as you will). Naturally, I was a goner.

Being the perv I am, I was overwhelmed by the desire to walk up behind her, rear back, and smack that gorgeous backside with everything I had. In my mind’s eye, I could hear the sound of that crack reverberating throughout the room and beyond. Naturally, I did not give in to this temptation (although I really wanted to!).

Fortunately for me, in the ensuing years, this situation has been rectified…many times.

At this point in the narrative, I feel the need to explain a few things (and I apologize to those who resent my continuous focus on women’s backsides — I write what I know. I leave it to those who feel similarly about men’s backsides to write about their feelings).

There are two things that attract me to a woman. First, her face; if there’s not something I find warm, inviting, enticing or interesting in a face, the chances of any other physical aspect attracting me are slim. If that sounds in any way superficial, so be it. Attraction starts at the physical level. This is a simple human truth. It doesn’t mean once you actually meet and get to know someone, physical attraction can’t develop because of someone’s keen intellect, purity of heart, sense of humor, or a combination thereof. But when you look across a room or pass someone on the street, it’s the physical traits you find appealing — whatever they may be — that first attract you to that person.

In any event, in case my subtlety on the topic hasn’t made it clearly obvious by now, the second item that attracts me to a woman, is her backside. And please let me be clear — I don’t have some idealized shape of what a woman’s backside should look like in mind. I consider myself a student of the female posterior. As with my attraction to women of varying ethnicities, hair colors, etc., part of what I find glorious, fascinating and enticing in the female booty, are the differences. Bubble butts, round, muscular, meaty, slim — they’re all a delight!

In my previous blog, I’ve Got Euphoric Tendencies, I outed myself as a member of the spanking community (not for the first time — I’m rather open about it). This begs the question — does my affinity for spanking have anything to do with my love of the female backside?

The truth is, I couldn’t tell you which came first, or if they were borne of the same desire. All I know is, I can’t remember a time when both didn’t send me into orbit. I never experienced that Freudian latency period. I remember feeling this way in kindergarten. I was eight years old the first time I had the opportunity to spank a girl (I really should post a blog about this, as well). It had the same effect upon me then, it continues to have upon me today, probably why I haven’t stopped since that first glorious experience.

The sum total of all this is, I proudly and happily salute the beauty of the female backside, along with the pleasure and joy they have brought to my life. And later today (or, yesterday, by the time I post this), as my beloved wife and I watch fireworks light the sky in celebration of the 4th of July, we will be looking at the beautiful backsides surrounding us, and celebrating those.

When Political Vitriol Awakens the Sleeping Psyche

The political brain is an emotional brain. It is not a dispassionate calculating machine… The partisans in our study were… bright, educated, and politically aware… And yet they thought with their guts.
Psychoanalyst Drew Westen

Yesterday, still distraught about what had transpired in California on Tuesday, including what appears to be yet another example of massive voter suppression (http://www.gregpalast.com/california-stolen-sanders-right-nowspecial-bulletin-greg-palast/), and amidst the clamor of Facebook and other posts both pro and con Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, I had the temerity to voice the sentiment: I may vote for Secretary Clinton, but don’t ask me to be happy about it.

Obviously, from the number of ad hominem attacks and vitriolic comments I received from Clinton supporters, agreeing to vote for the Secretary wasn’t enough. I had to be happy about it, too. I should be willing to get out there and fight for the election of a candidate I’d only be voting for to prevent the horror of electing someone I believe to be even worse.

The apparent contradiction of many liberals is they’re illiberal when it comes to people who disagree with them. But this is a seeming inconsistency only on the surface for, as Dr. Westen and other brain researchers understand, when it comes to politics, emotion always supersedes — trumps, if you’ll pardon the expression — logic and intellectual processes. And for the record, I don’t exempt myself from that.

The result of the venom and vitriol pointed at me, as well as that directed at numerous others, was a miserably sleepless night. And when I did finally manage to drift off at one point, I had horrible nightmares. As I snapped awake at four yesterday morning, disoriented and breathing heavily, two gut-wrenching memories — long suppressed — surfaced. To say they smacked me in the face is to minimize their impact. More appropriately, the feeling was one of being grabbed, metaphorically, by the balls in a way I could not have anticipated.

The first memory was an incident that occurred early in my junior year of high school. I was part of a newly-established, experimental school within our school (it was actually called School Within A School, or SWAS). SWAS was created and oriented for more independently-minded students looking for new pathways to learning, and so, especially being 1971, was primarily made up of liberal hippie types (among which I counted myself).

The student body and our “Co-Learners” (a pretentious term created for the teachers involved in the school) held a Town Meeting every Friday to discuss, deal with, and hammer out, issues. One of the initial issues we dealt with was the method by which credit toward graduation was to be granted to students working, as many of us were, independently. As the conversation bogged down, some insisted their fellow students document what they had learned or justify what they had been doing. I stood up and asked (I’m paraphrasing here), why were we trying to mimic the workings of an educational system we’d opted out of? Why is everybody so concerned with how credit is doled out to others? Shouldn’t we be focused on the education itself, the projects, rather than fretting about ‘proving’ ourselves to third parties?

By the response, you’d think I’d just said: “Richard Nixon is the best and most moral President, ever!” For the next 25 minutes (which felt more like hours), I sat there in shock as I was verbally attacked, insulted, lambasted, threatened and ostracized for voicing my opinion. Not one person — including the adult Co-Learners — came to my defense, or even suggested enough was enough. The meeting broke up and I sat there, shaking uncontrollably, exerting every effort not to break down completely. As my fellow SWASies departed the room, one girl came up to me and said, “I thought you were absolutely right.” If I’d possessed the ability to speak at that point, I would have asked, “why were you silent while I was being attacked?” The traumatic lesson of that event was the realization that fear, hatred, hypocrisy, intolerance and cruelty were not exclusive to so-called conservatives.

As for the second suppressed memory…so very suppressed… This is something I had never told another living soul until I shared it with my wife yesterday morning — I hadn’t even admitted it to myself, or allowed it to surface for half a century! But, it’s important to give voice to it now because I believe it informs much of who I am, most especially the rage I feel toward those who pick on the poor, the innocent and the helpless. It also speaks, quite profoundly, I believe, to what’s occurring now.

Robin_Hill_Day_CampI was five when my parents hocked everything they could, borrowing from family and friends, in order to buy a house in the beautiful NYC suburb of Larchmont. They wanted to give their children the kind of idyllic childhood they’d never had, sacrificing much to do so.

When we moved there in 1960, the Village of Larchmont was in something of a transitional phase. While a few Jewish families (Joan Rivers, whose father was a doctor, grew up in Larchmont) had been living there for a number of years, when my family arrived, the Village was primarily made up of Protestant and Catholic families. My parents were part of an influx — an exodus, if you will — of Jewish families graduating from the five boroughs of NYC, something that didn’t sit well with many of Larchmont’s earlier residents.

To the right of us lived a stolid Protestant family. The father, a doctor, was a member of the John Birch Society, an extreme right-wing organization with anti-Semitic tendencies. Directly across the street lived a Catholic family of German extraction, with 12 kids. The parents of that family, as well, made no bones about their feelings that the neighborhood was going to the dogs (read: the Jews).

Each of these two families had a son a year or two older than me. As a new kid on the block, I was thrilled when these two older neighbors allowed me to play with them. However, when they got me alone, my new “friends” informed me I was a “Christ Killer,” and, as such, had to show them the proof of my crime — my circumcision. I had no idea who or what a Christ was, although I was certain I hadn’t killed anyone. And, as my pants and underpants were pulled down, I was certainly not prepared for the molestation that occurred because of my “sin,” especially at the hands of the two neighbor boys.

It’s no coincidence that I woke up with these two traumatic and painful memories rising from the depths of my unconscious.

As anyone who reads my political posts knows, I have supported the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders because his values and beliefs mirror my own more closely than those of any other presidential candidate in my lifetime. The mockery of his detractors aside, I do not look at Senator Sanders as a messiah or guru. I regard him simply as one of the few politicians in Congress who cares more about this country and its citizens than he does power and money, unlike the lobbyists, corporations and their political hirelings, who actually run the United States of America.

I will refrain from repeating the reasons — written about ad nauseum — why I am not an admirer of Hillary Clinton. Those who agree with me already know my thinking, and those who disagree, will, in any event, refuse to listen. Suffice to say, I have not and cannot support her candidacy for President.

To be perfectly clear, that does not mean I won’t vote for her, assuming she is the Democratic nominee for President (a “fact” I have not yet accepted). I distrust Secretary Clinton and believe her move to the left during this campaign has far more to do with political expediency than representing an actual evolution in her values and beliefs. If, Heaven forbid, Senator Sanders is no longer in the mix, my emotional predilection would be to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. However, the memory of the election of 2000, and the results thereof, are still too fresh in my mind to permit that indulgence. Still, if I do pull that lever for Ms. Clinton, as I said earlier, don’t expect me to be happy about it.

The venom and vitriol I have observed and experienced over the past couple of days, is unlike anything I have ever seen. Democrats have spent the past year or two gleefully watching the Republicans implode from within, failing to realize the same thing was happening within their own party — and maybe worse.

The unbridled anger on the part of supporters of both Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton toward the other camp is threatening to create a rift that could, quite literally, tear the party asunder, ironic at a time many are calling for unity. It also puts the outcome of the coming election in jeopardy. And unlike some on my side of the political fence, I have to admit, the thought of an irresponsible megalomaniacal sociopath like Donald Trump in the White House, scares me more than does a representative of the status quo like Hillary Clinton.

Unquestionably, some Sanders supporters have gone overboard in voicing their disdain and disgust with Secretary Clinton, her campaign and her supporters. For my part, while I am at a loss to understand the free-pass Secretary Clinton has been given by many liberals for her votes on the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and all the other things I have written about and promised not to repeat here, I don’t hate those who support her. I don’t have disdain for them, or blame them for supporting someone I believe, at best, represents everything that’s wrong with this country. Quite simply and honestly, I don’t understand it. I have asked dozens of Clinton supporters to explain it to me, yet not one has risen to the challenge.

On the flip side, I know many Clinton supporters believe Sanders supporters — especially those who refuse to fall in line behind Secretary Clinton (the Bernie or Bust camp) — to be pie-in-the-sky dreamers, fanatics, naïve, vindictive, vicious, ignorant, pampered, over-privileged, etc. — there’s been a lot of name-calling. A young woman named Amée LaTour has written an excellent response to those charges, which echoes my feelings rather well. If you’re interested, you can find her article at this link: http://www.bustle.com/articles/165761-im-a-bernie-sanders-supporter-who-wont-back-hillary-clinton-calling-me-names-wont-change

In the meantime, I’m going to do my best at this point, to opt out of the conversation. The pain of watching people who should be working together reacting so hatefully toward each other — with not only a complete lack of respect for differing thought and opinions, but vile name-calling and the hurling of accusations — has opened a door to my own traumatic and painful memories. It’s time that I deal with those. Perhaps by focusing on my own healing, I can bring a measure of therapeutic benefit to a process that has devolved into a bitter partisan struggle.

Footnote — After posting this blog, I was dealing with a flood of suppressed memories threatening to overwhelm me. In my mind, what happened to me at the hands of the two little bastards I’d trusted, had been about anti-semitism — until I received a call from someone whose anonymity I wish to protect. What I learned in the course of this phone call was, while anti-semitism may have played a part in what happened to me, the leader of this little party of two, had also molested two little girls in the neighborhood we all lived in (the extent of what we know) — the caller had been witness to both these incidents. I was so immersed in dealing with my own painful memories, it had never occurred to me this son of a bitch was a sexual predator, and as such, might have had god knows how many other victims, over who knows how many years. As the events in the trial of the Stanford RAPIST, as well as the now trending unbelievably light sentence given the billionaire scion of the Johnson & Johnson corporation, for consistently molesting his 12-year-old step-daughter over a period of years demonstrate quite clearly, this country needs to wake the fuck up to ALL forms of this kind of abuse, and do whatever it takes to stop this on-going criminal epidemic.

A Few Thoughts On the Democratic “Process”

sanders-stewartI’m just going to say this and be done with it. Naysayers and rationalizers, fair warning up front: I will delete responses questioning the veracity or accuracy of my recollection, as I’m over it.

In 1992, my brother Richard and I were asked to be local Jerry Brown delegates for the presidential nominating process in Norfolk, VA. At the time we were excited as hell to be part of the process. What we didn’t know was, the Democratic Leadership Council — a group founded in 1985, by a number of prominent and powerful Democrats whose concept was to push the party to the right, in order to counter the Republican move rightward — had already chosen their golden boy, former Arkansas Governor, William Jefferson Clinton.

When we, and I don’t know how many others, raised our hands at the nominating meeting for Governor Brown, we knew none of this. However, even though the support in the room was resoundingly in favor of Gov. Brown, when the gentlemen (and I use the term in the loosest sense) running the Southeastern Virginia Democratic Party — two brothers from a prominent Norfolk law firm that advertised frequently on television — counted hands, they somehow managed to call the majority for Governor Clinton. At that point it became clearly evident the fix was in — the candidate had been pre-selected.

To say there was an uproar in the hall would be putting it mildly. The Brown delegates, who outnumbered the Clinton ones by a sizeable number, were in open rebellion. I think the Democratic Committee folk realized their mistake and tried to backtrack. The Brown delegates left that hall, knowing support for our candidate had won the day. Except, somehow, that’s not how it turned out.

I witnessed first-hand the machinations of the Democratic Party leadership, albeit in a small way. But if you extrapolate and multiply those machinations around the country, it constitutes a frightening indictment of our so-called democratic process.

No one, unless you are deaf, dumb and blind, can deny, Hillary Clinton is the predetermined choice of the Democratic Party hierarchy. Simply look at the Superdelegates already pledged to her, and this is plain to see. The DNC, under the chair of Clinton stooge, former co-chair of her 2008 campaign, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has given every conceivable edge to ensure Secretary Clinton’s nomination. And, as with her husband, the leaders of the Democratic Party are not going to be stopped by something as insignificant as the challenge from Bernie Sanders and the millions of voters who support him. Steal a nomination? Why not? They’ve done it before. That’s our party!

And Clinton’s stupefied supporters witness the process, refusing to accept the reality of what’s happening, even though it would be obvious to a supporter of Donald Trump.

So if millions of Democratic voters, sick at what the party they have spent a lifetime supporting, end up sitting this election out, or writing in the name of the candidate whose name should have been on the Democratic ballot, or — a possibility looming larger and larger — separating from the Democratic Party to make a fresh start, remember: you saw the corruption and stood by, saying nothing. As your party slid inexorably to the right, you did nothing. You got your candidate and were happy. Now live with the consequences.

A Few Thoughts On the Democratic Party From The Depths of An Anxiety Attack

bernie-sandersI’m writing this in the midst of a full-blown anxiety attack, so if this comes across as somewhat disjointed or incoherent I apologize. Right now my mind is in overdrive, with thoughts coming at me far faster than I can process them. I am in psychic agony — angry, hurt, scared, disgusted, fed up, and worst of all, there’s a hopeless dread gnawing at my soul.

For the past year, everyone on the Democratic side of the political spectrum has gleefully watched as the Republican Party implodes before our eyes. In the drive to direct American capitalism into fascist channels, where corporations and bankers run the country, the right has, for a quarter century or more, successfully used the anger, hatred, xenophobia, racism, and fear of the Republican base as a political tool to divide this country. But now, in 2016, that nabob of narcissism (take that, Spiro Agnew!), Donald Trump, has been throwing a monkey-wrench into the process, and the Dems — drunk on holier-than-thou Kool-Aid — have been having a party.

Unfortunately, what eluded many mainstream Democrats was our party’s own ineluctable slide to the right. As the citizenry dozed, major corporations and banksters were busy buying Democrats by the bushel. In reality, President William Jefferson Clinton was hated by the Republicans, not for being too liberal, but for stealing their thunder; while he had the priapic tendencies of a Kennedy, on a political level he co-opted many Republican ideas and programs. Rather than being the victim of “a vast right-wing conspiracy,” as Hillary alleges, the Clintons adopted much of the right-wing agenda. By the time we reached the second decade of the 21st century, in the bizarro political landscape of America, the Democrats had come to embody Ronald Reagan conservatism. As for the Republicans, their anthem could well have been the Horst Wessel Lied.

That Clinton was able to con so many Democratic voters, is a sad but very real tribute to his indisputable charm and talent as a flim-flam man. And now, once again, they’re back; this time out, we’re given Ms. Clinton as the Democratic front-runner and the Party’s entrée de jour: the one, the ‘inevitable’ … Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Senator from my home state of New York, as well as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. And once again, many in the Democratic Party are blindly falling for the con.

To state the obvious, I am not a dues-paying member of the Clinton Fan Club. At their best, I believe they represent the status quo — day-old goods. A more realistic appraisal would describe them as war-mongering, neo-cons representing a privileged elite. Many immigrants to these shores called America the Golden Land, and we all know that he who has the gold makes the rules. The status quo in this country — which the Clintons embody — is one where banks and corporations preside. The Clintons are good friends with the Bush Mob. And why shouldn’t they be? The two families front for corporatist interests and lead the charge for the same interventionist military policies and disastrous trade deals that have bankrupted this nation and caused so much havoc and destruction around the globe.

If, God forbid, Hillary Clinton is elected president, we can forget about overturning Citizens United. A candidate who raises hundreds of millions of dollars, primarily from major corporations and banks, ain’t gonna bite the hand that feeds her so lavishly. As George H. W. Bush might say: “it wouldn’t be prudent.”

As Senator, Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq, claiming she was misled by the Bush administration. You’ll have to excuse me if I call BULLSHIT on that. I have not served as a United States Senator. I do not have access to inside information or classified CIA files. But even to me, a plain citizen, it was unbelievably obvious the Bush administration was full of shit, and was using the pretext of a tragic terrorist event to go to war in order to line the pockets of their corporate cronies. Our last five-star General, President Dwight D. Eisenhower — a Republican — cautioned America to be on guard against the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex. Unfortunately, we have not heeded his warning. Because of this, a lot of rich people got much richer, and a lot more poor people got, and continue to get, dead.

To my continuous astonishment, Clinton’s supposedly liberal supporters don’t question her militaristic proclivities. I have raised this issue literally dozens of times over the past months, and not one Clinton supporter has given me a direct, let alone thoughtful, response. Typically, they divert the discussion to something unrelated — they talk about her vast experience and foreign policy expertise (remember Henry Kissinger is her go-to man) and ultimately fall back on “it’s time to elect the first woman president.”

Senator Clinton voted for the notorious Patriot Act. As an attorney, she doubtless understood the bill was unconstitutional from top to bottom. She nevertheless voted to subvert the Constitution, which forms the bedrock of our political institutions because it was politically expedient, a calculating and cowardly act — one certainly unworthy of the potential leader of this country. But ask, as I have, supposedly liberal Democrats how they can bring themselves to support a candidate who pisses on the personal liberties that are the birthright of all Americans and all you get is deflection and denial.

And now, with Senator Bernie Sanders campaign fomenting something of a revolution, the division within the Democratic party is threatening to fracture this party every bit as much as the Republicans are imploding theirs. The Democratic National Committee, under the stewardship of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a long-time Clinton stalwart, has thumbed its nose at democracy as they have done anything and everything they could to discredit Senator Sanders, so they can quickly anoint the candidate they’ve chosen, voters be damned.

A number of Sanders supporters have said they will not support Secretary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee, resulting in a hue and cry from more mainstream and party Dems, invoking — not without merit — the memory of the election of 2000, and the results thereof. However, what most of these people are in complete denial of is the fact that a number of Hillary Clinton supporters have said the exact same thing in reverse, if Senator Sanders is the nominee. I guess, in that case, a repeat of 2000 would be fine in their eyes.

I have not missed voting in one election in the past 42 years. I am a lifelong Democrat, having grown up in a politically active, “progressive” Democratic family. I have always voted for candidates of my party, even if I wasn’t always happy about it, simply because the alternative, allowing more Republicans in office, was the far worse choice. And up until a short time ago, I felt the same way about the coming presidential election. If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, I thought, I will vote for her as the lesser of two evils. Events over the past few weeks, however, have caused me to rethink my position.

I recently took a three-week sabbatical from Facebook, as well as this blog (where I frequently write about things of a political nature), because things were heating up to such a degree — animosities, vitriol and divisions among friends, myself included, were getting so horrific —I felt someone whose emotional grip was already as tenuous as mine, was best served putting myself in a time-out.  Recovery from a nervous breakdown and a vicious political cycle is a potent mix — not a particularly beneficial one.

But even during my time-out, I couldn’t help but read — I subscribe to so many print and online news outlets, I was barraged with information on a daily basis. And one particular strain that kept surfacing made my blood boil to the point my resolve to stay out crumbled. Like Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.”

Every day, I saw some meme, or article, or post saying the exact same thing — anyone who didn’t trust or support Hillary Clinton was the victim or prey of decades of anti-Clinton propaganda propagated by the political right. People I knew, liked — respected even — were spewing this insulting, patronizing and demeaning drivel, as if Sanders supporters were too moronic to be able to think, read, analyze and decide for ourselves how we felt about Ms. Clinton. No, we were poor pathetic dupes of right-wing propaganda.

In my fury, I wrote a scathing, profanity-laced diatribe, which I posted on my Facebook page, condemning these unfounded insults, pointing out a number of the reasons there was such distrust toward Secretary Clinton among Progressives and Independents. As narrated above, when I asked the Clinton supporters who call me, and others who believe as I do, “dupes of right-wing propaganda,” to explain Clinton’s voting record as Senator, her actions as Secretary of State, and her intimacy with the business oligarchy, there is no logical response, simply more obfuscation and bullshit.

When Senator Sanders won the Wisconsin primary, the shit really hit the fan. The Clinton machine came out blasting to spin the story (they have plenty of guns — two of her top corporate donors, after all, are Comcast and Time Warner, which happen to own a huge segment of the American media, including NBC, MSNBC, and CNN).

Studies show these outlets have, so far, given more than $400 million dollars of free publicity and coverage to the Clinton campaign, over five times more than the coverage given to the Sanders campaign. Within one day of Senator Sanders’ stunning upset in Wisconsin, articles appeared in newspapers and online news outlets all over the country, misstating Senator Sanders views on gun control, the Mid-East, and you-name-it, followed by even more memes and posts from Clinton supporters on Facebook, flinging the old, “ha ha, I told you so,” propaganda line, and anything else they could think of to demean Senator Sanders and his supporters.

The colossal arrogance demonstrated by Clinton supporters, even as they steadfastly refuse to question anything their candidate has done, the outright lies told, the vicious, accusatory attitude of complete contempt they continuously demonstrate toward a man who has spent his entire life fighting for the rights of Americans — rights long forgotten by most politicians and all too many citizens — very clearly demonstrate to me that Republicans don’t hold a candle to Democrats when it comes to self-destruction.

So now, I find myself for the first time in my life, actually considering the possibility of sitting out this election. And while I know many people will wonder or be outraged that I could possibly consider such a thing when so very much is at stake, my response is this: I have been so deeply offended at the callousness and blindness of so many in the Democratic party, their refusal to look in the mirror and hillary_clinton_american_traitor3see a political party corrupted by the forces backing the very candidate they unquestioningly support, I would rather leave this country upon the election of a fascist like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, than bring myself to vote for someone whose sense of entitlement to the Presidency, allows her and her supporters to say and do anything to secure that position, with no sense of conscience or decency. That just makes Secretary Clinton a more cunning fascist. This, in my opinion, makes her eminently more dangerous.