When did Americans start rooting for the bullies, the traitors?

Torn poster on a wall along a street of Donald Trump’s image painted blue with “Make Bullies Great Again” written below.

I’m still thinking about the late Sen. John McCain.

You know, the man who was shot down over Hanoi in October 1967, badly injured, and then tortured on and off for more than 5 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, so badly at times that he considered…

Half a century ago, Wendell Berry wrote of growing up in rural Kentucky and articulated the “mirror wound” that white people suffer due to our history of racism.

Photograph, by author, of the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors, Philadelphia, from 1934, showing Black American soldiers and sailors, in bronze, looking at a female figure of Justice holding laurels.

Words matter; poetry has power. It’s not for nothing that authoritarians first go after the intellectuals, the journalists, the poets.

Consider these well-wrought statements:

All men are created equal.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Black lives matter.

Republicans have worked tirelessly to undermine the Disestablishment clause, “the true genius” of our Constitution, and adding foes of “Roe” to the high court is part of that scheme.

In the first nation where government and religion were explicitly made separate — according to journalist and historian Garry Wills, the true genius of our founding, the one unique thing — we find ourselves with a Supreme Court with essentially seven Catholics, of whom five are political conservatives: Chief Justice…

The Right has devolved into what even conservative commentator Charlie Sykes calls “performative assholery,” and there is no bottom to it.

Everything causes a fit, all is an outrage. Throughout the pandemic, people have refused to wear masks, to social distance, to get vaccinated — going so far as to verbally and even physically attack employees at groceries, stores, shops, restaurants, and on planes who have dared ask them to wear…

It’s past time for a class-action lawsuit against Fox News, and health care professionals who have suffered most caring for the endless stream of coronavirus patients should bring it.

As the nation watches, many seemingly dumbfounded, the Delta variant of the coronavirus has filled hospitals again, often to the levels seen at the height of the pandemic back in February — depending, stupidly, on the politics of your local and state officials.

It’s time to sue Fox News, the…

Has America’s myth of individualism and white resentment–based concept of “socialism” lessened our chances to pursue happiness as individuals and, as a nation, to compete in the world?

Sidewalk chalked in light blue “Peace, Love, and Facemasks” outside an elementary school.

Recently, the New York Times ran a terrific video piece showing how people around the globe respond when confronted with details of the U.S. healthcare system. The reactions — from citizens of Canada, Germany, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom — to how we manage health care…

Is it time for the left to start using that hoary old conservative line “Love it or leave it”?

As many Americans tuned in to see news about the meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, no doubt a frightening percentage of those viewers were pulling for Vlad, their favorite strongman.

Who can forget the comparisons made by Republicans during the Obama presidency of our…

America appeals to the vaccine-hesitant while the world begs for shots. In the meantime, variants gain ground and the IHME recounts the dead.

Fully vaccinated since March, we have had some wonderful, almost surreal, moments of late. I got the chance to hug my dad, aged 91, for the first time in more than a year. I’ve been able to visit with my mother-in-law, 95, without wearing a mask. …

It’s true, Giuliani and Stone may not be lying — in an alt-realty universe.

Rudy Giuliani speaking in an interview on Fox News.

We continue to hear protestations of innocence by Trumpians — rioters, white supremacists, those oh-so Proud Boys, and the like (who mostly, rightly say My president asked me to do it). …

The Ohio representative demands to know when Dr. Fauci will give him his liberties back.

Watching Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) go after Dr. Anthony Fauci last week about his suggested measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, one witnessed a truly tiny and narrowly focused mind attempting to go up against a large, deep and supple mind.

What Jordan blathered about hardly merits repetition because we’ve…

Kirk Swearingen

Kirk Swearingen is an independent journalist living in St. Louis. His work has most recently appeared on Salon.

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