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Political Prose


Welcome to TVDC's "Political Prose" page! This webpage features interesting articles written by our members and staff. It will also from time-to-time feature select articles that we believe will be of interest to the membership. The articles are excerpted here, to save space. You can click on the title or on the "Read More" link to see the full article.

You are free to comment on any article you see here, but please be respectful.

If you have a political piece you've written - or one shared with you from the outside - please feel free to send it to Chris Stanley at  chrisstanley.vdc@gmail.com for consideration. 

ENJOY!

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  • Tuesday, April 06, 2021 2:04 PM | Shirley Schantz (Administrator)
    Is it the story of Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), implicated in a sex scandal, or Trump campaign scamming supporters, or Georgia and other states trying to suppress voting? https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-5-2021
  • Tuesday, March 02, 2021 7:11 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    The following is an excerpt from Ms Richardson's March 1st article. You can read the entire article, as well as subscribe to her newsletter,

    HERE .

    "...conservative pundit William Kristol wrote in The Bulwark what a number of us have been saying for a while now, and it dovetails cleanly with the current Republican attempt to suppress voting.

    Kristol warns that our democracy is in crisis. For the first time in our history, we have failed to have a peaceful transfer of power. The Republican Party launched a coup—which fortunately failed—and “now claims that the current administration is illegitimately elected, the result of massive, coordinated fraud. The logical extension of this position would seem to be that the American constitutional order deserving of our allegiance no longer exists.”


  • Sunday, January 17, 2021 8:10 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    "...Post-truth is pre-fascism, and Trump has been our post-truth president. When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place."

    This somewhat lengthy but excellent article by Dr. Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University, can be read in its entirety at the NY Times website:

     https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/magazine/trump-coup.html



  • Monday, January 11, 2021 5:59 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    Click thumbnail below to view on YouTube.


  • Saturday, January 02, 2021 11:07 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)


    Dear President Trump,

    You had your shot at governing. Four LONG years! Now it’s time for you to move on and let the country heal.

    In 2016 you came on the scene not having ANY political or military experience. American voters – with the help of Russian intelligence operatives (Konstantin Kilimnik, the Internet Research Agency based in St. Petersburg and others), and with your urging (“Russia, if you’re listening…”), gave you a narrow electoral victory. You also got help from your former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who went to prison partly for helping to hide a pre-election scheme of hush money payments to two women who you had affairs with while married. Remember that whole “Individual #1” stuff?

    Of course, you got the usual help from anti-democratic Republicans in State legislatures who continued to implement policies to suppress minority voters – in some cases illegally throwing people off voting rolls in the months leading up to the election.

    While in office your first year, you implemented a Muslim Ban, separated 5K+ families crossing the US-Mexico border, and placed many of their children in cages. This latter action – which was reportedly voted on affirmatively in a WH Cabinet meeting – resulted in the deaths of at least six children, and was deemed by the American Academy of Pediatrics as “…nothing less than government-sanctioned child abuse.

    Just prior to the 2018 mid-term elections you sent US military troops to the Southern Border to supposedly stop an imaginary threat about some “Caravan.” At this same time, you told voters you were implementing an imaginary replacement for the Affordable Care Act and would give Americans an imaginary “10% middle-class tax cut.”  As we enter 2021, we are still waiting for a new “great healthcare plan” replacement for the ACA – as well as a 10% middle-class tax cut. We aren’t holding our breath!

    You promised to “Build a Wall” on the US-Mexico border and promised that “Mexico would pay for the wall.” According to latest reports, you’ve built roughly 63 miles of “new wall” and Mexico hasn’t paid for any of it.

    You signed a massive tax cut bill that was pitched by Republicans to provide “rocket fuel” for the economy and would “pay for itself” in tax revenues. The bill -  which mostly provided benefits to corporations and the wealthy – has done NONE OF THAT, even before the COVID pandemic struck. What it HAS DONE is, predictably, ballooned the federal deficit to record levels.

    In 2017 you showed your true colors by siding with KKK/neo-Nazi ralliers in Charlottesville, VA. You did this again in 2020 by telling the “Proud Boys” - a far-right white supremacist organization who describes itself as  “western chauvinists” – to “…stand back and standby”! Question: What did you mean by this?

    On the foreign policy front, you removed the US from the “Paris Climate Accord”; you pulled us out of the “Iran Nuclear Deal”; and during a pandemic you removed US support to the World Health Organization. You pulled US troops out of Syria, effectively abandoning our Kurdish friends - who, by the way, bore the brunt of the fight against ISIS in the region – to a Turkish military invasion. Reportedly you did this without consulting with your national security team, after a phone call with Turkish president Erdogan.

    The full US security ramifications of these disastrous policy reversals have yet to be realized.

    You’ve alienated us from our European allies, and cozied up to dictators like Putin and Kim-Jong-un (as well as the aforementioned Erdogan). According to a 2020 Pew Research survey of 32 countries, 64% showed that they do not have confidence in you to do the right thing in world affairs.

    Your relationship with and subservience to Russian President Vladimir Putin are especially alarming. In Helsinki you sided with Putin over our own intelligence officials. Since then you’ve repeatedly refused to criticize Putin for any number of his transgressions – including reports that Russian intelligence put bounties on US troops in Afghanistan. You’ve even boasted in the past about your efforts to free US hostages held overseas, but you’ve been noticeably silent about the two former Marines that were sentenced recently in Moscow.

    In essence, you have been acting more like a Russian asset than a US President. What’s up with all this?

    Finally, you have completely mishandled the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At year’s end, millions are unemployed. The economy is in shambles. And, over 340,000 Americans are dead. More Americans have died from COVID than the total number of US troops killed in combat in every war since 1945 COMBINED!

    Your early attempts to repeatedly downplay the virus, to deliberately mislead the American people about its dangers and seriousness are, in my opinion, CRIMINAL.

    Your recent attempts to overturn a free and fair election, and to have members of your administration slow-walk/interfere in the peaceful transition of power are also criminal and needs to be addressed by the incoming administration and new Congress.

    So, in closing, I’ll say again:  You had your chance. YOU BLEW IT! Now you should just go away and let the professionals clean up the mess you’ve made to the country and our democracy!

    A concerned citizen.


  • Wednesday, November 04, 2020 6:33 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    The following excerpt is from an article appearing in the Thom Hartmann blog. The entire article can be read HERE .

    "...America needs a 28th Amendment that establishes an absolute right to vote for all citizens who've achieved the age of majority. While we're working on that, we need laws that assert the right to vote in such emphatic language that courts can enforce it and reverse decades of Republican voter suppression.

    Only then can America call itself a functioning democratic republic."
  • Monday, September 14, 2020 9:19 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    The following is from the "Good Trouble Blog." It is lengthy but very well done; it's one of the very best of "...the case against Donald Trump" I've seen.

    The author remains anonymous. You can read the full article here:  https://goodtrouble974588398.wordpress.com


    The Case Against Trump (and why some of your friends and family no longer want to speak to you)

    I love this country. I always have. But the last few years in the USA have left me truly aghast. Just when I think that there are no more surprises left in American political life, I am handed a freshly squeezed surprise. Bluntly put, I think we’ve reached the point where Donald Trump could drown a bag of kittens on live TV, or indeed “shoot someone on 5th Avenue”, and some people will still consider him the lesser of two evils...


  • Saturday, September 12, 2020 7:00 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    The following article appeared in the London Daily today. It aptly describes our 45th President. You can read the full article here:  Why do some British people not like Donald Trump ?

    “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

    "A few things spring to mind. Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief..."


  • Monday, July 20, 2020 7:15 PM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    The following links to an interesting article in The Washington Post, written by Christopher Fonzone, Joshua A Geltzer and Laurence H. Tribe.

    "Trump could lose and not leave. But Cabinet members who try to help face prison"


  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020 8:30 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    The following Opinion article, by TVDC Board member Marsha Shearer, appeared in Newsweek on July 9, 2020. It is pasted here in its entirety.

      

    Confession time: My name is Marsha Shearer and I live in The Villages, Florida. Yes, that place: the place where a golf-cart driver was filmed yelling "white power", and made it all the way to Trump's Twitter feed, via a presidential retweet. We are now firmly known to the world as the heart of Trump country, full of ill-behaved retirees—with a bunch of racists thrown into the mix. Even before Trump came along, this was identified as the Conservative and/or Republican bastion in Florida. Both of these descriptions are accurate, but they are not the whole story; far from it. And while this is the belly of the beast for those with progressive, liberal, left- leaning beliefs and values, I wouldn't live anyplace else.

    First, that video needs to be put in context. What happened on that day in June is a glimpse in miniature of what it's like living in The Villages. Earlier that day, several hundred people met in the Square, the community's gathering place, to solemnly acknowledge and share the pain resulting from the murder of George Floyd. Poems and essays were read, community members voiced their grief, and there was a communal sense of loss and commonality of emotion and purpose. The hour ended in silent kneeling for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. People carried signs saying 'Black Lives Matter.' Mine said "Are we great yet? #Black Lives Matter." The other side of the sign quoted Martin Luther King; "Our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter."

    Immediately following our event, a golf cart rally was scheduled in support of Trump and to celebrate his birthday. Talk about lousy timing. Several hundred golf carts took a drive around the Square honking horns and yelling support. That's where the video came from. It was embarrassing, disgusting, confrontational and sickening.

    So there you have it: juxtaposed opposites, two groups splintered from one another while living and interacting in the same community. But that's only part of a complicated picture. 

    In this Trumpers' paradise is the largest Democratic Club in the State of Florida. Not because we have more Democrats than other similarly sized communities; we're outnumbered here 3 to 1. It is because we live in a vivid microcosm of an America we can't relate to – one that is an insult to what most Americans believe America was conceived to be. Trump and his administration have galvanized us and served as an impetus to come together to proudly share the values of Democrats—of liberty and justice for all—with emphasis on the last two words. The values of concern for others, of respect and appreciation for cultural differences, of truth and transparency. The values that call for a commitment to work to make this country and our community a better place, to heed our better angels, and to help bend the arc of justice. Those aren't just iconic words. We do not accept what a chance visitor might mistake for The Villages' universal political stance. We walk the walk. We are active.

    We walk out of establishments that refuse to change channels from FOX News. We boycott shops that sell only Trump paraphernalia. We write letters to the editor and opinion pieces for the local online paper. We cancel subscriptions to the Daily Sun—the local developer-owned and influenced paper that serves as a mouthpiece for Trumpian "values." We support one another and we work like hell for candidates who represent the best of who we can be. We embrace needed change as we embrace each other. And we detest everything that Trump stands for and represents.

    In addition to The Villages being home to some of the most wonderfully supportive, intelligent, caring people I've known, are the kind of amenities that make The Villages a great place to live. Normally—but not in the time of a pandemic— there are literally thousands of different clubs and activities that are available to everyone. Many focus on personal growth and learning new skills and information. Clubs like Civil Discourse, Free Thinkers, the Philosophy Club, Foreign Films, Humanists, foodie groups for—yes— foodies, creative groups that teach skills and provide opportunities you never had the time for, like dozens of art/sculpture classes, writers groups, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, classes in everything from the martial arts to Pilates, from the Constitution to cheerleading. There are dozens of golf courses and pools. If lifelong learning is a personal goal than anything you can dream up is here and available.

    Most important of all, regardless of your party registration, if you are a thinking, open, inquisitive person, looking at retirement as an adventure and an opportunity for personal growth and giving back, you will find your new best friends here, eager to welcome you.

    In many ways, we are like any other community of 130,000 and growing. People come here to live from all over the world, each bringing with them a lifetime of experience. And like any other community, we represent a bell-

    shaped curve of education, experience, values and beliefs—the latter admittedly skewing right. But don't allow a few people to influence your view of The Villages. What you saw in the video exists. That's a fact. But it is not representative of who we are, however we identify ourselves, any more than Donald Trump is representative of the values of this nation.

    Marsha Shearer has lived in The Villages for the past 20 years. She is a retired educator and school administrator. Her last position was with the Department of Dependent Schools overseas. A lifelong Democrat, she is the author of the recently published book, "America in Crisis; Essays on the Failed Presidency of Donald J. Trump."

    The views expressed in this article are the author's own.​​​​​

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