The Moment I Knew America Was In Trouble, 3.0

We are reposting a piece from June 1, 2020 as we are very concerned about the stability of the American Street and how much of our country is slouching toward a bizarre and unprecedented form of a dangerous fascism.

[A]t least the Civil War…was about something. Compared with the bizarre ideas and half-baked wackiness that now infest American political life, the arguments between the North and the South look like a deep treatise on government.

The United States now faces a different kind of violence, from people who believe in nothing—or at least, in nothing real.

…all of us face random threats and unpredictable dangers from people among us who spend too much time watching television and plunging down internet rabbit holes. These people, acting individually or in small groups, will be led not by rebel generals but by narcissistic wannabe heroes, and they will be egged on by cowards and instigators who will inflame them from the safety of a television or radio studio—or from behind the shield of elected office. Occasionally, they will congeal into a mob, as they did on January 6, 2021.

…I spoke with one of the original Never Trumpers over the weekend, a man who has lost friends and family because of his opposition to Trump, and he told me that one of the most unsettling things to him is that these same pro-Trump family and friends now say that they believe that Trump broke the law—but that they don’t care. They see Trump and his crusade—their crusade against evil, the drama that gives their lives meaning—as more important than the law.- The Atlantic 

Originally Posted on

The Conversation:  When I Knew America Was In Deep Shit 

In early February,  I drove to San Diego to attend a trade show.  I stayed overnight in the beautiful beach town of San Clemente, the home of President Richard Nixon’s Western White House.

I awoke on Super Bowl Sunday and headed down to the ocean to grab some breakfast before driving down to San Diego to pick up my good friend and colleague at the airport and to prepare to watch my 49ers give an ass-kicking to the Chiefs.  Wrong!

Bear Coast Coffee

I had been pretty bearish on the market at the time and thought how appropriate it was to eat at the Bear Coast Coffee.  I do believe in omens, by the way.  This was about two weeks before the market peaked on February 19th [and experienced it’s sharpest and quickest bear market  in history, falling 35.4 percent over the next 24 trading days before a multi-trillion-dollar bailout, which was genesis of the inflation we now suffer.]

I snapped this picture and even thought about posting it while I was eating breakfast.

San Clemente,  February 2, 2020

San_C_3

Clean & Pristine San Clemente

San Clemente wreaks of wealth (ranked 11th wealthiest city in the country), multi-million dollar ocean view homes, and I was very impressed by the clean and pristine character of the city.  I thought what a great summer vacation spot for my daughter and me.  Sat next to and had a great convo with a nice couple, who said their son commuted on the Amtrak to high school into Santa Ana.  Great morning.

San Clemente,  February 2, 2020

San_C_1

San_C_2

San Diego Convention Center

After nursing the wounds of the 49ers fourth-quarter collapse, we were about two days into the trade show when an elderly gentleman stopped in our booth and began to chat with my colleague.

Let’s call him Joe and my colleague Jim.  After exchanging niceties, the conversation went something like this.

Joe:   Can you believe what is happening to the world?  The homeless are overrunning the country.  Shitting in public.  You can’t even walk in San Francisco now without stepping in human feces!  Those god damn liberals can’t run anything.  The homeless have even overrun my town of San Clemente.  God damn it! 

Jim (from back east)No, haven’t really thought about or noticed it. 

I found out later Joe’s net worth puts him in the Top 1 percent and couldn’t really confirm if he was a college graduate.  I almost jumped in and told Joe he was full of shit and had been sniffing too much Faux News.  I was primed for such a debate as I’ve had many similar Twitter debates with people making the same argument about San Francisco but have, you guessed it, never set foot in the town.  Their perception was all painted by hard alt-right pundits.

In fact, I was in San Francisco just the prior week and snapped the following picture to use in my Twitter debates.  If anyone can find a human turd in the photo, I will send you $1000.  The same goes for the pictures of San Clemente.  No photoshopping.

San Francisco,  January 2020

SF_1

Of course, every city has a homeless problem and San Francisco’s is more acute than most.  But the problem is not as ubiquitous as Faux News portrays.

I also wanted to wrap Joe on the knuckles with the fact that the People’s Republic of SF sports the most billionaires per capita by a factor 8x to the second-highest, NYC, and the city has the highest rents in the nation, which might help explain, in part, its homeless problem.  See our post here.   I bit my tongue and kept quiet.

The Bombshell

Then the convo turned very ugly.

Joe:  My wife told me the other day she wanted to buy a gun.  I said, “honey, why do you need a gun?  I have several and we have a very good and expensive alarm system for the house.  What’s up.”   She told me, “I don’t want a gun for protection,  I want one to shoot the liberals!”

WTF?

O.M.G!

I thought WTF is wrong with this guy?  I am almost certain he was 100 percent serious.  The dude is not a poor uneducated cracker from some “‘Podunk’ Town In The Middle Of Nowhere”  He’s a one-percenter and lives in the 11th wealthiest city in the nation.

How could this be?  Didn’t he realize he could just have been easily born a crack baby in Harlem if not for being born into the Lucky Sperm Club?

Whatever happened to the noblesse oblige practiced by the likes of the Kennedy clan and George H.W. Bush, the unwritten obligation of people of means to act honorably and generously to others of lesser means?

Right then and there, I realized the country was near a very ominous tipping point.

What Next?

If you think the instability in the American Street is going away anytime soon, think again. 

There may be an ebb and flow of calm and violence but unless the underlying issues discussed above are addressed and mitigated the country has crossed the Rubicon into failed state territory.

Trump can continue to talk tough and even send the M1 tanks into the streets but it won’t make a damn bit of difference but to make matters worse.

It’s time to get to work and begin to really address the issues at their very core, America.

All of us united, even if the goal is to save what’s left of our own personal and selfish interests.  The alternative is peril.

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3 Responses to The Moment I Knew America Was In Trouble, 3.0

  1. Mike says:

    How do we even begin to disguss core issues with an R Party that no longer gives a damn about truth or facts?

    • Thornton Prayer says:

      I think constantly attacking the GOP as being antithetical both to America and to democracy is a good way to start. They are longer worthy of consideration as legitimate participants in our political system.

  2. Joe R says:

    If I photoshop a picture of Trump into that photo, post it somewhere, and then claim I found a human turd in it could I claim a 1000 dollars? I hear that would be 1000 euro more or less. I’m a bit hard up this month.

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