Archive for the ‘Political Statements 2022’ Category

A High Price Tag for Homophobia in Florida   Leave a comment

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is waging a culture war in the hope of advancing politically.  In the process, he does not think through the consequences to the taxpayers of Orange and Osceola Counties, apparently.

Due to Disney’s pushback against the “Don’t Say Gay” law, DeSantis and allies in the legislature have potentially saddled the taxpayers of Orange of Osceola Counties with more than one billion dollars in debt.  Dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District (created by state law in 1967) triggers a provision of that 1967 law obligating taxpayers in the affected counties to pay off the outstanding bond debt for the Reedy Creek Improvement District first.  That debt is nearly one billion dollars.  Not counting the one billion dollars, dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District imposes an additional tax burden of 163 million dollars on the taxpayers of those two counties.  This translates into a 25 percent hike in property taxes.  Adding one billion dollars really hikes property taxes, potentially.

The attorneys at the Walt Disney Corporation know the 1967 law well.  Ron DeSantis has learned about it after making a greater fool of himself.

In chess terms, this situation seems to conclude with Disney checkmating DeSantis.  I congratulate Disney.  May responsible, cool, heads in the legislature head off these tax shocks.  In the meantime, how high is the price taxpayers must pay for the bigotry and vindictiveness of Ron DeSantis?




Outlawing the Truth   Leave a comment

Georgia, my native state and my home, has joined the Hall of Shame yet again.  Governor Brian Kemp has signed into a law a bill that severely curtails the discussion of racism in public school classrooms.  The son of a bitch, who denies being racist, has emboldened racists and set back the cause of racial justice.

Pardon my “French,” O reader.  I harbor no objections to selective, well-placed, and strong language that calls proper attention to the reality of situations.  I do object, however, to profanity as verbal wallpaper.

For the record, I am White.  Most of my ancestry came from the British Isles and Western Europe.  The major exception is the Cherokee ancestry on my mother’s side.  But, for all intents and purposes, to steal a line from Gilbert and Sullivan,

I am an Englishman.

I add the following details to the list of relevant background information.  My main academic interests are race, racism, and religion, especially in the U.S. South.  I am, unavoidably, a product, to some extent, of my culture, for good and ill.  The racism in my thoughts comes from my sick, racist culture, not from my parents, who taught me better.  Their influence helps me to counteract and not to give voice to the racism that reveals its ugly self in private, inside my cranium.  My better angels fight these battles valiantly.

I reject the premise that people of color have a duty to avoid making White people uncomfortable.  I also reject the premise that the proper response to discussions of racism and its effects in society is to shut down those conversations, perhaps even to criminalize them.  Such discussions ought to make all people profoundly uncomfortable.  That discomfort is evidence of an active social and moral conscience.  That discomfort ought to lead to constructive efforts–both individually and collectively–to combat racism and to correct its corrosive social effects.

Doing that is challenging.  Shutting down and outlawing those conversations is easy.  The latter strategy is consistent with one conservative strategy regarding racism–to deny racism and to play at being color-blind.  Conservatism emphasizes personal responsibility and downplays collective responsibility.  An emphasis on personal responsibility has a legitimate place, but that legitimate place is never in the context of downplaying collective responsibility.  Both personal and collective responsibility should exist in balance.

Here I stand.  I will do no other.




Remember January 6, 2021   3 comments

On January 6, 2021, I watched the news in horror as a mob Donald Trump sent to the United States Capitol attacked that structure and the brave police officers guarding it.  I wondered what had happened to my native country, which I love.

I still wonder what is happening to my country.

The dominant wing of the Republican Party is Trumpian.  It is, therefore, an existential threat to the continuation of representative government in the United States of America.  The dominant wing of the Republican Party in 2022 has authoritarian tendencies.  These tendencies are antithetical to a political party with a long track record of favoring smaller government.  The dominant wing of the Republican Party is a fascist death cult of personality.

This cult has outgrown Trump.  Elements have turned against him.

I like to be cautious.  When I become alarmed, I do so because people who know far more than I do have become alarmed.  When I read of people who witnessed the rise of the Third Reich become alarmed about the United States, I take those voices seriously.  When I read political scientists saying that the future of our democratic republic is at risk, I take those voices seriously.

I lay my proverbial cards on the table.  I am a Democrat.  I am, to be precise, a Democratic Socialist.  If I were a Canadian, I would vote for the New Democratic Party.  Fixing the Republican Party is not my job.  No, that is the responsibility of Republicans.  I recall hearing about George H. W. Bush, when he was a Republican Party leader in Texas in the 1960s, expelling members of the John Birth Society from the state party.  The Republican Party needs latter-day George H. W. Bushes, who will expel all who were complicit in and supportive of the treasonous activities of January 6, 2021.  The Republican Party needs to do this now, for the sake of the country.

Elections have not always made me nervous.  I have frequently disapproved of the results.  Yet, prior to 2016, I did not think that when, my preferred candidates lost, the future of the republic was at stake.  Prior to 2016, those candidates against whom I voted and who won were usually were freedom-loving patriots.  (A few scared the hell out of me, though.)  Overall, however, they were misguided, but they did not seek to bring down the republic, at least.

Now I fear for the future of my homeland.  The threat is internal, from the far right, which is becoming less marginal.  We have a republic, if we can keep it.  I pray that we can and will.

Another internal threat arising from the Big Lie is that, in some states, including Georgia (where I live), new election laws permit the state government to overturn the election results–all in the name of “election security.”  This does not soothe my fears for the future of representative government in the United States of America.

May God help us all.  May God save us from each other and ourselves.