VIEWPOINT During times of universal deceit

by John Forney, President, Democratic Club of Claremont

George Orwell, a keen observer of his corrupt and dissolute age, wrote, “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

Friends, these are corrupt times. I, like you, have never seen our society in such a sorry state when lies have become the coin of the realm while truth is on the chopping block.

In olden days He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Mentioned was referred to as the Father of all Lies. Now our president has richly earned that moniker for himself. Do you not wonder what is to become of our youth growing up in such a duplicitous environment? When up is down and down is up; if sufficient funds are applied.

Black men and women are shot down in our streets by rogue police officers, for nothing other than driving while black. Yet too many juries will not consider the evidence of the video tape before their very eyes. Do black lives matter? Do any lives matter when the response to one white woman pulled over for a traffic stop is, “Oh, don’t worry. We only shoot blacks,” when she hesitates to reach into her purse for her driver’s license.

Such law enforcement practices only give the lie to any concept of equal justice for all. And now some insensitive people within this administration would urge that Black Lives Matter be designated a terrorist organization.

Do any lives matter when we again barely survive a third attempt to kill Obamacare, with a pack of lies that would have thrown over 30 million off their health care and thousands out of their nursing homes? Just what is the Republican plan here? Die in the streets? Put your family through bankruptcy paying outrageous drug costs and co-payments? 

And those people in Puerto Rico—days have passed since Hurricane Maria devastated their beautiful island home and these American citizens are now without water, without medical help, without electricity, without a care from our government. Our president paid a visit to Puerto Rico and was videotaped throwing rolls of paper towels to people who had just lost everything. Yes, indeed, Mr. Trump—you’re doin’ a heck of a job. Maybe Puerto Ricans are not considered real Americans by your administration since they speak Spanish? What’s the deal here? Do Puerto Rican lives matter? It looks like maybe not so much. 

Dear Puerto Ricans, you need to be patient. Our president is very busy. He has a feud to carry on with the NFL and other sports stars over taking a knee to show solidarity with those of our citizens subject to racist brutality and neglect. This is much more important than water or food. We are sure you will understand.

Unfortunately, we have too few politicians who will venture out into the zone of truth. Truth can be hazardous to one’s electoral health. Unfortunately, too many Americans would rather ignore many of the ugly realities of 21st century America. This immaturity is our bad. Mr. Trump just took advantage of it, and did he ever!

Confucius said that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. To this point: racism is racism. Neglect is neglect. Cronyism is cronyism. And collusion with a hostile foreign power to undermine our nation’s core institutions is treason. 

In this age of deceit we Democrats have the greatest weapon of all—TRUTH. And we are now rising to the challenge of living in the Fox Newsland of Fake News. Democrats are finding their voice and are willing to fight for a nation where our president’s word is again his or her bond.  

This last week I joined progressive Democrats in calling the people of Maine and Alaska, urging them to contact Senators Collins and Murkowski to vote no on the compendium of lies that comprise this current iteration of Trumpcare. 

And we won! It looks like Abe Lincoln was correct when he concluded, “but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” And Rand Paul—well, politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. But we’ll take it wherever we can get it. And Mitch McConnell’s house of lies came tumbling down.

It has been said that sunshine is the best disinfectant.  And the brilliant light of a prying media, investigations and active citizens is presently more urgently needed than ever. Beginning with Robert Mueller, the light he has been shedding on this seamy White House corruption is sending the rats scurrying. The cesspool created by Trump and his minions have the possibility of dragging climate-denying Republicans down into the stench in record numbers. Like my friend Merrill’s t-shirt says, “It’s Mueller time.” I’ll hoist a brewski to that.

In our own backyard we already have a contingent of Democratic activists, a Truth Squad if you will, bringing sunshine to Dana Rohrabacher’s district. They’re walking door-to-door letting people know that this Trump-enabler’s days are numbered. The lies of this administration will not stand. As Harry Truman famously said, we “just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.” We will shortly be in Darrell Issa’s district with another big helping of Democratic sunshine.

Our message is one of solidarity. You are not on your own. Hillary Clinton is right, “We are stronger together.” 

In these perilous times, when truth is on the scaffold and the Big Lie appears to hold sway—we Democrats say, “Not so fast.” 

We are ready, willing and able to commit revolutionary acts of truth telling—and walking for it, precinct by precinct. And opening our wallets for it, dollar by dollar. And engaging in supermarket checkout line conversations about it, fact by fact. We will persist. Count on it.

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