Factors in Place Meaning America is in Trouble….When our democracy is under attack, but a large percentage of the population don’t seem to care & are falling for the lies, indeed America is in trouble! What we’re witnessing is our free country being threatened like we’ve never seen before. To the extent Americans watch & believe the twisted tales on Fox News & the rest of the echo, is the extent our constitutional democracy is put at risk of crumbling. A major political party is putting tribal rooting interests over truths. How can a nation exist based on lies? Inside the echo’s hermetically-sealed bubble, the conservative base is being manipulated by corrupt pro-Trump loyalists who have taken the side of tribal demagoguery, putting our Constitution & rule of law in peril. The Republican Party, at the urging (& lying & distortions & gaslighting) of Trump & his echo, has essentially been transformed into a evil cult (how else can we explain this?).

I’ve seen this alternative-facts universe coming for nearly a decade with the advent of the tea party movement, but the party’s deranged messaging keeps getting more & more unhinged, now firmly in the tank for the cult leader they worship. We just don’t know how low our president can go:how-low-can-trump-go. I keep imploring true patriotic Americans to fight back! By sharing this information from us here at TheVORACS, we shouldn’t magically expect Trumpeters to suddenly see the light & rediscover some semblance of sanity. The brainwashing from Fox & the rest of the echo has a real hold on them. But don’t be deterred in spreading a message of

The Voice of Reason and Common Sense.

All we seek to do is poke little pinholes through that bubble’s tough exterior & give the truth a chance to challenge the mental psyches of those who occupy that world, enough to just cast some doubt over all the false beliefs they adamantly believe of their leader which have been masterfully implanted in their minds for years. With us now helping cast those doubts, it could prep some Trumpeters to someday turn on their hero when irrefutable proof comes out revealing the President’s guilt over multiple scandals.

Make no mistake, our greatest enemy is ignorance. Much of Trump’s nonsensical blathering backed by the echo comes across as a wave of confusion, which Trumpeters don’t even begin to have the understanding or discernment to make sense of, but whenever the message comes from the leader of their tribe, they blindly follow along:donald-trumps-latest-conspiracy-theory-is-impossible-to-follow-thats-the-point. It’s why we ask you please spread the message of TheVORACS near & far, since it’s critical we counter the narrative of deception which has its clutches in our nation’s psyche more than ever before, particularly among the snookered far-right Trumpeter/echo crowd. The takeaway from these excerpts insidestop-wondering-whos-going-to-save-us-from-trumpis protecting our free democracy requires shining the light of truth to repel the forces of darkness, plus encourage all eligible Americans to register & vote:

No matter where I am, here in Washington or elsewhere in the United States, the question is almost always the same. “Jonathan, who’s going to save us?” Not an unreasonable question given the daily assault againstmorality,truthanddemocracythat is President Trump and his administration. At first, I struggled for an answer. Like everyone else, I’ve run out of words to describe what we are living through. But each query forced me to think and to find my voice and a solution. Stop wondering who is going to save us. We are the ones to save us. Long ago, the Trump presidency revealed that our solid, seemingly indestructible Constitution isfragile. Thanks to the 45th president of the United States, we now know that our founding document is only as strong as the reverence of it by the 44 men who swore to protect it. The genius of the Founding Fathers was to create a government built on a system of checks and balances. A system that is failing.

Most folks not residing on Earth 2 are appalled by Congress’s inability or unwillingness to fulfill its responsibility to check-and-balance the excesses of the executive. The legislative branch is AWOL. The Republican-controlled House and Senate simply roll over for a Republican president with an88 percent approval ratingamong fellow Republicans. And with theretirementof Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Supreme Court majority is poised to swing hard to the right.Past remarks of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to replace Kennedy, erode confidence that the judicial branch of government will protect hard-fought rights or be an effective brake on Trump’s chaos. But watching the failure of our three branches reveals a fourth branch that we never really took seriously: Us. We the people.

It’s one thing to sling outrage on social media or evenmarchinthestreets against Trump’s horrific policy du jour. It’s another thing to get out and vote. Considering an anemic36.4 percentof eligible voters cast ballots in the 2014 midterm elections, the lowest in 70 years, there is plenty of room for the American people to flex their electoral muscles. If we are to shake the complacency and stop the complicity of the legislative branch, then the Republican majority must give way to members willing to take their constitutional duties seriously and hold the president accountable for his assault on the rule of law at home and the damage he has done to the nation’s standing abroad. That can’t happen without us.

How many obvious Trump/echo lies, distortions & conspiracies have to be disproven before Trumpeters finally catch on to the realization they’re being played? The gullibility demonstrated by Trump’s base is stunning. The lies are relentless:3-charts-show-trumps-false-statements-rise. Let’s battle this curse before our nation is consumed by it. As we keep spreading truths to counter all the lies, I keep emphasizing let’s not be discouraged we can’t change people’s minds right away. We’re only planting seeds. It’s only necessary we change or soften the views ofsomeon the far-right,, while doing it gradually over time. Fully understand what we’re up against, extremist viewpoints which like any cult have been hardened through the years by exposure to repeated falsehoods:political-psychology-trump-explain-studies-research-science-motivated-reasoning-bias-fake-news. By reducing the Trumpeter hardcore base down to less than 1/3 or even 1/4 of the nation, they can be more easily contained inside their alternative-universe bubble, minimizing the damage & threats to democracy they pose.

More Signs America is in Trouble

History teaches countries like Germany & Italy did manage to recover from their tragic bouts with authoritarian fascism, but far better to first nip it in the bud, plus in this nuclear age any effort to defeat fascism could bring about widespread annihilation all over. This current scourge & threat to our nation is so dangerous, it must not be taken lightly by just assuming the safeguards built into the system can protect our democracy. Complacency & just not paying attention could be our undoing. Please read these excerpts patched together fromhistorian-rick-shenkman-on-donald-trump-all-the-worst-things-in-american-history-piled-together, since suppressing fascism may ultimately require freedom-loving Americans standing up to combat it (from a rhetorical standpoint rather than physical violence):

One possible explanation for Donald Trump’s cult-like allure lies in the realm of political socialization: Trump and the Republican Party have created an alternate reality for their public where empirical reality and facts do not exist. Moreover, in that bizarre universe, commonsense rules of human decency and virtue have also been rewritten to serve grotesque goals. I do see very real differences between Donald Trump and all previous presidents. He’s like having elected Joe McCarthy as president. Trump is not only using racist tropes in his rhetoric but he’s just a pure demagogue, and we’ve just never had that kind of a combination in the presidency before. Trump is wrong for this country in so many different ways such as his egotism, his self-aggrandizement, his gross ignorance, his unwillingness to learn basic facts about the issues that he’s talking about.

I have reservations about using the term “fascist” because there are parallels with Trump, but fascism was a particular moment in history. For example, Mussolini was a fascist and that word alludes to very specific cultural arrangements. As a professional historian, everything has to do with context. Fascism was a word that best fits the period of the 1930s. They didn’t have Facebook, they didn’t have social media, they didn’t have television. So I am not sure if suggesting that Trump is a ”fascist” is helpful or not. What I’m most comfortable with is how historians of the Holocaust have said what they see going on daily — particularly after the separation of parents and children on the Mexican border and elsewhere — has stunning parallels that make this a frightening moment. I don’t need the “fascist” label to see that parallel and to draw inferences from it.

The key turning point will be when people feel that supporting Donald Trump is a bad reflection of who they are. Suppose Trump is indicted and his tax returns show that he is worth much less than he claims. Well, that’s the kind of thing that’s going to make people feel like chumps and will drive a huge wedge between the supporters and the cult leader. There will be dead-enders of course. Even Nixon at the time he resigned was at 23 percent in the polls. You’re never going to be able to change those people’s minds. But for the great bulk of the population, particularly the people who don’t follow politics all that closely, they’ll be more willing to shift their commitments . . . but hard evidence is going to have to come out. It can’t just be a headline in The New York Times. It’s going to have to be something really explosive that moves the needle. We’re not there yet. As a society, we will confront reality. The question is, does it take five years, 10 years, 20 years? In that period an awful lot of horrible things can happen. What makes me frightened is that Donald Trump has now been president for more than a year-and-a-half. It’s like all the worst things in American history have been piled together and shoved into one presidency. It can get much worse.

More Dangers Exposed

When a congressional leader on the House Intelligence Committee calls Trump “the gravest threat to American democracy,” we’d better start paying attention!:adam-schiff-trump-prepared-essentially-betray-u-s-interests-helsinki. Our prez is a bully to most but putty in the hands of Putin:republicans-know-trump-putty-putin-let-him-betray-america. The vulnerabilities & dangers we’re up against are revealed in excerpts fromputin-xi-trump-demise-of-democracy, where authoritarianism is gaining favor in many places around the world. Could America be next? The ingredients are now in place like never before:

Unforced by coup or war, one developed country after another has chosen an authoritarian style of democracy over the last two years, an all-but unforeseen shift that has left more mainstream leaders scrambling to understand it and turn back time.The big picture: Economics ultimately underpins the turmoil, leading scholars tell Axios — a financial slide that has eroded the association of democracy with rising living standards and upward mobility, all while populists and partisan media have stoked resentment and promised better.Why it matters: “The big danger,” says Yale’s Timothy Snyder, author of ‘The Road to Unfreedom,’ is that people decide that full-bore authoritarianism is inevitable. Neither democracy nor authoritarianism are inevitable, he tells Axios. “Authoritarianism is, however, more likely if we don’t attend to the challenges that make democracy harder.”

  • Giving the trend powerare heatrically outsized personalities — Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and of course President Donald Trump.
  • Most recently,Trump assailed NATO allies in Brussels, courted U.S. rival Putin, and threatened, in an all-caps tweet, to annihilate Iran.
  • Polls show that such unrestrained behavior does not weaken the populists’ hand, but instead seems to strengthen it.

“Populist authoritarian politicians are successful because they promote themselves as the voice of the people, and hence ‘true’ democracy, while undermining these checks and balances,” says Roberto Stefan Foa, a professor at the University of Melbourne. “And their success in country after country would suggest the degree of public support for democracy in its liberal sense is weaker than previously understood.”


Here we’ve posted the entire op-ed fromis-trump-a-traitor, where Reich lays out a compelling case our president may indeed be a traitor. I know it’s shocking to ever say that about any American president, but it’s Trump himself who has brought about the need for such conjecture:

Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was a betrayal of the nation he has a sworn duty to protect. Under Article III Section 3 of the Constitution, the crime oftreasonis defined as “giving aid and comfort” to enemies of the United States. Trump has betrayed the American people in 5 ways we already know of:

  1. He ignores attacks on our democracy. According to American intelligence, there’s no doubt about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. And no doubt they’re continuing to attack, and planning further attacks, on our democratic institutions and even our energy infrastructure.

YetTrump casts doubt about the conclusions of the intelligence community, blames past presidents, and turns a blind eye to safeguarding America from current and future attacks.

  1. He publicly undermines U.S. intelligence officials— taking the side of Putin, a former KGB officer, when Putin claims Russia didn’t interfere in the election. And Trump accuses his own government officials of being part of a so-called “deep-state” conspiracy out to get him.
  2. He attacks our closest allies, weakening America’s standing in the world and playing into Putin’s hands. During his trip to Europe, Trump insulted German Chancellor Angela Merkel, mocked British Prime Minister Theresa May, and was rebuked by the French President. His unreasonable demands on NATO —that members increase their military expenditures to 4 percent of their GDPs —have frayed our most important security alliance.
  3. His campaign knowingly sought help from a Russian agent.In June, 2016, senior members of Trump’s campaign, including Don Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, met with a Russian lawyer who, before they met, had promised them damaging information on Clinton.
  4. Then in July 2016 Trump publicly encouraged Russia to meddle in our election,asking Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email server and release the emails to the public. That same day Russian operatives initiated their cyberattack, and weeks later released the emails.

Never before has a President of the United States so brazenly sided with a ruthless dictator intent on destroying American democracy. If this is nottreason, what is it?

Reich also offers insights seen here fromthe-fog-of-trump, where our president has mastered some of the same tactics used by dictators & cult leaders down through the years:

Trump uses 5 tactics to create a fog of confusion and bewilderment, so we don’t pay attention to the real damage he’s doing –undermining our democracy; rewarding the rich and hurting the working class, middle class, and the poor; stoking hatefulness; and undercutting America’s standing in the world.

  1. His first tactic is to distract us — dominate the news with tweets and rants, accusations, who he’s fired, who he’s insulted, what he’s demanded. He wants us to be so preoccupied with all this that we lose sight of the big picture.
  2. His second tactic is to divide and conquer, pittinggroups against each other, riling up his base, stoking racial tensions, and vilifying opponents. He targets transgender people in the military. Goes after athletes – mostly black – who won’t stand for the anthem. Fuels fears of immigrants and foreigners, of liberals and Democrats. This way, public dialogue and discussion becomes so angry, bitter, and vitriolic that we end up shouting at each other instead of seeing the damage Trump is actually doing.
  3. His third tactic is tolie and distort. He generates a torrent of “alternative facts” so we become disoriented and confused. Asserting that 3 to 5 million people fraudulently voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election, with no evidence they did. That unauthorized immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate number of murders and rapes. That climate change isn’t caused by people. His goal is for us to lose confidence in the truth so we can’t be sure of what he’s doing.
  4. Fourth: conjure up conspiracies. He fuels paranoia about a “deep state” that’s intent on removing him from office, engaged in a “witch hunt” to undermine him, plotting to impeach him. But he never identifies who or what this “deep state” actually is. The mere assertion of a conspiracy is enough to generate suspicion, erode trust in the political system and in the media, and sow doubts about anyone who criticizes him or any findings that could show he acted illegally.
  5. Fifth and finally: accuse the accusers. He alleges that others are doing what he is in fact doing. When the media catch him in a lie, he accuses them of disseminating fake news. He allows corporate lobbyists to run departments and agencies, and then accuses critics of being part of the Washington swamp. He seeks to cover up whatever he and his aides did with Russian operatives, and then accuses investigators of a being involved in a coverup.

(These 5 tactics are all designed to hide what Trump is actually doing so we don’t mobilize against him. Be aware. Don’t allow Trump’s fog to cloud the truth.)

Others Making the Case America is in Trouble

Please check this out, coming from a conservative GOP state rep:its-time-to-impeach-the-president. As a vindictive Trump threatens to pull security clearances from former intelligence/security officials, Sen. Corker calls it a banana republic stunt, something we’d expect to see in Venezuela, as seen insideone-republican-calls-out-trumps-authoritarianism-now-where-are-the-rest. The conclusion to that article is posted here:

In January, Freedom Housereleased its annual report on democracy. In case you thought its findings alarmist six months ago, review them today in light of the continued assault on free expression on which so many other freedoms (e.g. fair and open elections) depend:

The president has . . . lambasted and threatened the media—including sharp jabs at individual journalists—for challenging his routinely false statements, spoken disdainfully of judges who blocked his decisions, and attacked the professional staff of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He signals contempt for Muslims and Latin American immigrants and singles out some African Americans for vitriolic criticism. He pardoned a sheriff convicted of ignoring federal court orders to halt racially discriminatory policies and issued an executive order restricting travel to the United States from a group of Muslim-majority countries after making a campaign promise to ban all foreign Muslims from the United States. And at a time when millions around the world have been forced to flee war, terrorism, and ethnic cleansing, President Trump moved to implement major reductions in the number of legal immigrants and refugees that the United States would accept. The president’s behavior stems in part from a frustration with the country’s democratic checks and balances, including the independent courts, a coequal legislative branch, the free press, and an active civil society. These institutions remained fairly resilient in 2017, but the administration’s statements and actions could ultimately leave them weakened, with serious consequences for the health of U.S. democracy and America’s role in the world.

IfFreedom House concludedthen that “the United States retreated from its traditional role as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy amidan accelerating decline in American political rights and civil liberties,” we can now say its president has joined the pack of thuggish leaders who crush dissent and suppress free expression, the greatest danger to their rule. In short, the Trumpized GOP has gone so far off the rails that Trump feels emboldened to use government power to suppress dissent in brazen contempt for free expression. Is there any doubt that it’s time for that party, and its leader, to be shown the door?

Fox Lies

America is in trouble if the rightwing base won’t accept facts. Trump told a group of veterans this week to not believe what you hear, only believe him (a clever line from a cult leader who by all indications is himself a pathological liar). He gets away with all his lies among his devoted base, which is now closing in on 4000 provable lies since becoming president, because he knows Fox fake news & the echo has his back, serving the role of adorning the greatness of their omnipotent leader much like the propaganda media in Russia & North Korea:trump-alternate-reality-survival. Fox once had a more logical presentation of conservatism, which through the years built up cred with their right-leaning viewers. As Fox has gradually shifted in recent years from a rational to radical conservative agenda by matching the rhetoric from the rest of the echo, their devoted fans followed submissively along, even going so far as falling for deranged depravity by watching those hideous prime-time shows.

Inside the various link articles here, we find Trump relies on Fox more than his intel experts, while maniacal lunatics like Hannity & Dobbs have become as hysterically crazy as Alex Jones: Check out trump_reliance_fox_news_over_u_s_intel_even_more_pernicious_than_seems& alsosean_hannity_unhinged_rant_sounds_terror_michael_cohen_tapes& alsoat-what-point-does-lou-dobbs-become-an-actual-liability-for-fox& also alex-jones-shoot-robert-mueller-facebook. This next link illustrates how truly divided we are:one-country-two-radically-different-narratives.And it sincerely pains me to see my fellow-evangelicals being consumed by the spirit of deception:trump-evangelicals-race-status-threat. It’s important we challenge the imbedded extreme political beliefs they’ve fallen for:dem-candidate-makes-case-for-christians-to-vote-for-her-party& alsoBlue-Christian-pastor-condemns-cowardly-dangerous-sinful-silence-in-church-demands-resistance.

Corruption Contest

In the ongoing battle for the title Most Corrupt Member of Congress, we see Nunes & Jordan ratcheting up the competition. Nunes is relentless in his all-out assault on the Constitution & rule of law:prominent-scholar-nunes-should-be-expelled-from-house, while constantly dredging up outlandish conspiracy gambits which even GOP Sen. Burr has called out as without merit:richard-burr-devin-nunes-fisa-carter-page-robert-mueller-donald-trump-russia-investigation. Not to be outdone, Jordan spearheaded a resolution to impeach Rosenstein (all a ploy to cast doubt on the Mueller probe), which is every bit as ridiculous & dead-end as his announced run for the Speakership:judge-napolitano-disagrees-gop-lawmakers-move-impeach-rosenstein. Jordan’s case for being more corrupt than Nunes (& possibly outdoing even Trump) stems from the case where he’s accused of covering up for a serial sexual predator at Ohio State, which if proven would win Jordan the corruption title hands down (which shortly thereafter he could go from Congress to a correctional facility).