Comes a Down Ballot Rider

If you are anything like me, and would like to rudely unhorse our current commander in chief, there is no better way, metaphorically, than the tip of a lucky joust strike right through the eyehole of our president’s helmet–like Henry II suffered. Had he survived, Henry’s entourage were prepared to call him “Blinky.” Or “Left-turn Henry.” Clearly, in keeping with our current “king” culture, Henry II must also have enjoyed adoring, idiotic enablers. Sycophants. But did old Hank truly deserve what he suffered–and will Trump, when it finally befalls him? As to the latter, a resounding yes. But let’s first just stipulate that Trump contains no brave bone within himself–he would no more joust an opponent than speak truth five times to the draft board. He’s a bully and a coward, both.

The current slate of soulless Republican senate enablers certainly, en masse, deserves an unhorsing. Actually, they deserve worse. Having looked the other way this whole time, they merit a voting into–entirely–oblivion.

Trump did not deserve any of this coronavirus illness–no one does–so when I wrote that I wished him a rough go of it, it was only for a brief time and in the hope that he could absorb a learning moment. What wishful thinking that turned out to be. Naturally enough, my worst fears materialized when, infectious and back at the White House, he immediately tore away his mask and stalked inside, apparently in an effort to kill off so many witnesses–also, possibly, accomplices–as he could before his unelection. I call that depraved indifference.

The best way to unhorse this obese pretender is not with a joust, of course. It may not even be with a presidential election. He lost the popular vote in 2016 by 3 million votes, but the electoral college still granted him victory. Not even a robust, landslide popular vote win is any guarantee of the peoples’ will being done.

The best way to defeat Donald Trump? Nobody knows. Because you do know this: he will cheat–he will hang a chad. He’ll hang the Supreme Court. A Norm. Maybe a distant family member or former friend. Anything, in his own best interests.

He will claim the election was rigged in some form, just as he did four years ago–an election he subsequently “won.”

The best way to stuff such nonsense back down Trump’s throat–a joust in his eye, as it were–is for many down ballot Republicans to lose. Then, irrespective of the actual count, it can be demonstrated that Republicans in general have been eclipsed. Maybe even properly repudiated.

We have to recapture our country from the type of Republicans who enabled Trump to fester in his presidency. And that’s not a partisan sentiment. The Republican party itself will be bigly improved by Trump’s removal–much in the way it was after Nixon resigned. Are you getting the trend?

A further improvement will be to welcome back Republicans of integrity–if any yet so remain.

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  1. Do I Hear a Bell?

    by Wayland Jackson

    During the conflict between Hamas and Israel, three Israeli soldiers on patrol came under fire. The lead soldier fell after receiving injuries. His companions judged his injuries were life threatening, and he was so far ahead of them their own lives would be lost if they tried to rescue him. Under heavy fire and with little time to consider all the factors, they concluded that his life was probably gone, and they should retreat. Reluctantly, they withdrew, returned to post, and reported their leader MIA.

    Later, a peddler, a former Hamas soldier, came along and saw the Israeli soldier lying in the ditch, badly injured, but alive. Without hesitation, the peddler stopped and with difficulty helped the soldier into the backseat of his car. From his first-aid kit, he brought out antiseptic to cleanse the wounds and painkillers to ease the soldier’s distress.

    The peddler drove to the next village held by IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces. When they saw the Israeli soldier, they came and helped him into a mobile hospital facility. The peddler said he was headed for the next town but would stop by on his return to check on the wounded soldier. The Israeli unit filled the peddler’s tank with gasoline and sent him on his way.

    On a Tuesday in May 2023, the Fresno Poets Workshop met at Fresno’s Gillis Branch Library at 2:00 PM. At the small table where we met in the center of the library, I spotted the blue tote bag of our leader, Bill, a published poet, but Bill was not in sight.

    Instead, there sat a middle-aged woman, without possessions or adornment. Although there was no evidence to support it, I assumed she was there to join our little group.

    “Are you a poet?” I asked.

    With a furtive glance, she replied, “I had a poem published in a book once.” When she spoke, I saw she needed dental care. Although she was neat and her dress was clean, it was not a stretch to guess that she was homeless. Her furrowed brow showed deeply ingrained lines. I could only describe her expression as desperate. She looked like she might tear up at a moment’s notice.

    “I need help,” she pleaded.

    I was 92 and used a cane to walk, still I drove. While I was struggling to remember the name of a women’s shelter, Bill appeared. I barely knew Bill, so I was uncertain how he would react. His straggly, disheveled gray hair and irregular beard made him look like either a great poet or also homeless.

    The woman’s drawn face telegraphed her distress. Her chin trembled as she mumbled, “I have nowhere to turn. I spent the last night under a railroad bridge nearby. Someone took my money and jewelry and raped me. I have nothing.”

    Before I could begin a polite discussion of how to help her, Bill spoke up. “I’ll help you.”

    He whipped into action like a U. S. Marine on speed. In a few minutes, he contacted a women’s shelter downtown, arranged for them to take the woman in, and was calling his wife. “I need you to go with me. We’re helping a woman.” He was not familiar with downtown but said he could find the shelter.

    In a flash, Bill and Maggie (short for Magdalene) were out the door, and I stared with my mouth open. I had just been in the presence of an angel. Perhaps, two.

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