The party of Lincoln: Tears of Abraham

  
Lincoln is easily my favorite president, for without him the United States of America would not exist, and the world would be a vastly different place. We’d probably be speaking Russian and waiting in bread lines. Lincoln’s essential goodness propelled the nation to great heights. He was willing to shed blood to truly take America back. He freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclimation and believed that our greatness lay in our unity.
Lincoln weeps among the stars as he watches Trump pander to the worst in us. Fear. Rage. Suspicion. 

Trump is unwilling to condemn David Duke, former Grand Wizzard of the KKK, and The Donald wants to outlaw an entire religion. The more offensive his is, the higher his ratings go. He is putting the Republican Party out of business. And conservatives know this.

Trump is surfing a wave of outrage, a tsunami of destruction and paranioa crashing into the country and smashing the nation. He won’t win the election. But he isn’t nearly as dangerous as the incoming wall of poision he’s riding. Because those waters won’t recede any time soon.

What happens after Trump looses the general election? Well, I wrote a book about that. Tears of Abraham releases March 22 2016. The first Civil War was bloody. The next one will be worse.

http://www.amazon.com/Tears-Abraham-Sean-T-Smith/dp/1618688197

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America Divided: “We, the sheeple…”

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I mourn for my country as it tears itself apart. We are better than this, and seem to have forgotten. Not since the Civil War has the United States been so torn, and it’s along similar geographic lines. In the wake of the California, Paris, and Planned Parenthood shootings, the vitriolic rhetoric is nastier than ever.

We are under attack

America is under attack from enemies foreign and domestic. ISIS is no joke, no J.V. team, and they are not contained, despite what President Obama has said.  The war on terror, and ISIS in particular needs to be swift and brutal and waged without mercy. Before it’s over, there will be thousands of troops on the ground again because airstrikes will not stop ISIS. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution to a problem with roots more than a thousand years old.

The only way to truly stop ISIS and other violent, nasty terror groups long-term is for the Arab nations, and the Imams that dictate religious policy decisions in particular, to put an end to the cries for Jihad and reign in the fundamentalist interpretations of the Koran. Because while there are violent verses, there is also a message of peace in the mix. It’s a question of what people choose to focus on and believe.

Violent fundamentalism is a cancer, and it is spreading. Unfortunately, the U.S. plays into ISIS’s hands by turning a war on terror into a war on Islam. It’s what they want, both by making recruitment easier, and by undermining our collective values as a nation.  That’s how terrorists win.

The threat within

Our own citizens are far more likely to kill us than someone who sneaks into this country. Worse, they are more likely to destroy us as a nation.

Social media makes this worse. Reporting so slanted that it cannot rightfully be called news pours gasoline on the fire. Misinformation and lies abound, with memes designed to incite hatred and violence. People are inspired by fear, and fear sometimes leads to action. The fact that the leading GOP candidates are completely insane illustrates this.

Donald Trump Speaks To GOP Women's Groups

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 28: Chairman and President of the Trump Organization Donald Trump yells ‘you’re fired’ after speaking to several GOP women’s group at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino April 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trump has been testing the waters with stops across the nation in recent weeks and has created media waves by questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Trump is woefully incompetent to lead the nation, his main attraction that he is willing to say anything, whether it is true or not, in order to get media attention. He seems bulletproof, in that he can get away with spouting absurdities and insults; people like this about him. “He says what we’re thinking, but afraid to say.” He is a dick, and people actually respect that about him.

It’s not just Trump, obviously, but his astonishing popularity is indicative of the greater problem: we’ve turned into a hateful people. There is virtually no reasoned discourse, no ability to look at issues from both sides. Whether it’s the Second Amendment, women’s rights, the war on terror, immigration, or health care, each issue is framed in black and white by the media. And people eat it up.

Gun control

I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. That said, the word “regulated” is right there. I fail to see how supporting thorough back ground checks or better enforcement of existing laws is an infringement of this right. No one is coming to get our guns. That’s fear-based paranoia, and it works out well for the multi-billion dollar industry that manufactures firearms and ammunition. Every time there is a mass-shooting, stocks and profits see a huge spike.

This is an American issue, not one of left or right. Yet it’s framed in such a way that the very idea of restrictions on firearms becomes jackboots and Nazis confiscating our guns. Gun restrictions have not led to dramatic drops in gun violence, that’s true. But, the areas with the most guns have the most gun violence. Something needs to be done beyond more people walking around armed.

The looming Civil War

I routinely see people calling for a revolution or secession on social media. My next book, Tears of Abraham, which releases from Post Hill Press in March, is about this very thing. People call themselves patriots with one breath, and demand a revolution with the next. It’s despicable, unpatriotic, and in the end, evil.

The first page of Tears of Abraham:

Often, that which is done cannot be undone. Sometimes a pebble unleashes a landslide; a small object becomes unstoppable, smashing and sliding and gathering momentum until chaos pulverizes everything. When the dust settles, there is a new landscape, crushed and snapped and desolate, which surely the pebble did not intend. The illusion of control can be more destructive than nature itself, when hubris convinces men to believe the lies they tell themselves.

It began with a few powerful men, tinkering and arrogant, manipulating and prodding. Wealth and power, unfettered by wisdom and conscience, smashed the United States of America. History now remembers the conflict as the second American Civil War, although there were many citizens who then fervently believed they were fighting a Revolution.

The first Civil War cost the lives of more than 600,000 people, and was the bloodiest conflict in our country’s history. The second war was worse.

We, the people, are too easily led by fear and hate. We need to talk to each other, not at one another. Listen, and work together to fix what has become broken.  I shudder at the world my children will inherit, and can only pray that we find a way beyond the consuming darkness

.http://www.amazon.com/Tears-Abraham-Sean-T-Smith/dp/1618688197

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America’s Second Civil War

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A storm is building on the horizon, one which threatens to smash this great country. As the nation becomes increasingly divided and the level of rhetoric reaches new, jarringly painful levels, a thing which once was unthinkable  is now a real possibility. The United States faces very real threats from an increasingly pugnacious Russia, a surging China, and the insane ISIS movement, yet the greatest threat may well be from within.

Last week, former Senator Ron Paul, father and mentor of leading Presidential candidate Rand Paul said this:

“I would like to start off by talking about the subject and the subject is secession and, uh, nullification, the breaking up of government, and the good news is it’s gonna happen. It’s happening,”

Good news? What? The first Civil War killed more than 650,000 Americans. More American boys died at Antietam in one day than in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Ron Paul is not alone in his thinking.

In Texas, which has the world’s 15th largest economy, a petition to secede from the Union several years ago garnered 60,000 signatures. Texas Governor Rick Perry said “When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation,” adding, “And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.” Governor Perry later attempted to clarify his remarks, stating that he never mentioned the word “secession.”

Last April in Wisconsin, the state’s Republican party voted on a resolution which would give the state to secede from the union; it was opposed by Governor Walker, who has his eyes on the White House. The fact that so many lawmakers were even considering this possibility is chilling.

The country itself seems to be broken. Our federal government does not function in the way it was designed to do, for compromise is the essence of democracy. This Republic, with all it’s brilliant checks and balances, breaks down when the political parties refuse to compromise. The founding fathers were very conscious of the danger of tyranny by the minority or majority. Congress isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. The executive branch has increased its authority by using executive orders to circumvent congress, and the nation finds itself on the brink of disaster every time a budget issue comes up. Right now, it’s Homeland Security, and House Speaker Boehner is blowing kisses at reporters.

The polarization of the nation is insidious and potentially lethal. For some reason, both parties have become ensconced in their positions, and have convinced the general populace that to be a Republican, one must think one way and that to be a Democrat, another set of opposing beliefs is the gospel. The media pours gasoline on this inferno of lunacy, and helps frame the debate in the most divisive way possible until there is no reasoned discussion, only howls of rage and pain on both sides. When people only hear one side of the story, whether or not it’s true and balanced, eventually we accept it as reality. Politics and morality are not so simple, the talking heads only want us to believe that.

We, the people are allowing others to define our beliefs for us, rather than thinking for our selves. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The sheep are happier to themselves than under the care of the wolves.” We have become a nation of sheep, and the wolves are hungry.

http://www.amazon.com/Objects-Wrath-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00IK7MH9M/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

I find problems with both parties, which is why I don’t vote a straight ticket, and why I wish I had more choices, more moderates to chose from. I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment, a strong military, and less government intrusion. But I think regulating big business is a good idea, though and have no desire to return to the 1800s, when robber-barons ran amuck, when labor laws, environmental and anti-trust laws did not exist. To me, less government intrusion also means that a woman should be able to choose what to do with her body, and gay people should be allowed to marry. It doesn’t mean I agree with those choices, but that the government has no right to decide for them. That’s what limited government means. There is a big dichotomy there for the GOP.

I’m dreading the next election cycle, which is certain to break records with the money spent on television and radio ads, and which will be the nastiest Presidential election in history. I consider myself an Independent, and I’ll weigh my choices between the lesser of two evils carefully. I talk politics with my friends on both sides of the isle all day long and sometimes they convince me I’ve missed something, or that I’ve viewed a specific issue wrong, and I’ll agree that they’re right over a beer. That’s what’s missing in the country now, I think, on a large scale. Our politicians and the media machines which drive this nation are intent upon taking us off a cliff, firmly believing that there is only one right way. The American People are better than that, smarter than that.

So what will the next Civil War look like? be on the lookout for my coming novel, The Tears of Abraham. In the meantime, check out SUNSHINE PATRIOTS, a  prepper-themed novella about liberty and freedom under siege.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Perseid-Collapse-Series-Sunshine-ebook/dp/B00T41JBYM

adding, “And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.”

We The People

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I love the United States of America; we are the greatest nation in the history of mankind, yet we are not the country that we were, nor the one we believe ourselves to be. America  lost its light along the way.

America stopped Hitler. America invented rock and roll, the automobile, and the internet, and put men on the moon. We are a nation of innovators, fiercely independent, and hard working. We as a people were admired for standing for freedom and democracy. That is part of our heritage.seantsmithauthor.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/what-do-i-need-to-know.jpg”>Self-Compassion

America defeated the Soviet Union without firing a shot. (Not The Big shot, thank God.)

Those are defining moments as Americans, right? We stopped Stalin, King George, and Saddam Hussein. We helped rebuild Germany and Japan after World War II.

But…America became a nation by killing off the people that were actually Americans first. Whoops.

Along the way, America built a nation upon the backs of people who were enslaved. Slavery happened. People owned people. That’s also part of our heritage.  This country would not exist as we know it without the push west at the expense of the Native Americans and the generations of slave trade and labor which built the agricultural base in the South.

I love America. I love the United States. We are not all one thing, though, either good or evil, nor have we ever been a homogenous society. In fact, our diversity is one of the things that made us great.  We have been a champion of freedom and that which is good, but we have also committed atrocities and grave mistakes.

And now, while the United States consumes itself with bitter fire and ignorance, self righteousness and self- loathing at the same time, what is the truth of it?  As a people, as Americans, can we recognize the difference between a patriot and a fool?

It’s harder than we think, and now a war within looms because we’re that idle and dumb. The patriots, who are not actually patriots but those who undermine the country with lies, ignorance, and hatred, are dangerous because many of them advocate open war, rebellion, and violence. And their numbers are growing.a

The amount of misinformation being blasted over the airways and internet is mind-blowing. The truth seems hard to discern, and many people, it seems , prefer to believe lies, whether the lies we tell ourselves or the lies of others, than to look for the cold, hard truth. The truth, like the America itself, is not just one thing.

The United States strove to be a beacon of hope for the world, a “city on a hill,” and in many respects, the country succeeded in fulfilling the hopes of our founding fathers. It seems to me though, that we the people no longer strive for this ideal.

We watch videos of cuddly cats on the internet rather than try to learn something. We past memes on social media full of ignorance and hate because it is easier to click than it is to actually read. We are convinced we are right and that the other side is wrong, seldom listening to those who disagree with us, remaining in a bubble of ignorance.

The true patriot will listen, learn, and read a history book.

One of the building blocks of our democracy is compromise. Without it, the government cannot function, either at the national or local level.  When politicians and voters become so entrenched in their beliefs that they are unwilling to bend, the whole system breaks down.  The government now is a picture of this dysfunction. Unfortunately, the government reflects the will of the people, and we are divided.

The true patriot will strive for unity over division. The only way this great country will find its light again is if we the people become that light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America At War… The Enemy is Us.

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A ranty, political post…

Thomas Jefferson wrote that “the sheep are happier unto themselves than under the care of the wolves.” America is under attack, and while China is scary, they are not the greatest threat to our way of life, nor are terrorists or Russia. We have become our own worst enemy. Political, economic and racial rifts within the United States are like tectonic plates, storing up pressure and eagerly awaiting an earthquake. Unless the tension is relived, the ensuing chaos could consume us all.

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Politics touches on the economic and racial problems. Politics touch a raw nerve, but the solution to the nation’s problems are less about politics than about community, common sense, and communication. I have many friends who are liberal and many who are conservative, and most of them don’t get nasty when it comes to discussing politics because they are able to see beyond the virulent rhetoric spewed in the media and by extremists on both sides. Compromise, not polarization is the solution.

The battle between conservatives and liberals has been waged since before the Constitution was ratified, and is not inherently destructive. There is a natural pendulum which swings back and forth, and our leaders should reflect the will of the people. The problem now is that politicians are so entrenched within party positions and dogma, compromise is almost impossible. We now have the most statistically ineffective Congress in U.S. history, and this is a reflection of the deeper problems within a divided nation.Image

The top 1% has turned the nation against itself with a genius Jedi Mind Trick. They have convinced the middle class that a class war is being waged against them by the lower class, and therefore the middle class should side with the jet set. Meanwhile CEOs write themselves million dollar bonus checks, ship jobs overseas, and manage to pay almost nothing in taxes. Some of the wealthiest international corporations are posting profits of more than a billion dollars, and have zero tax liability. Yet plenty of hard working, middle class people side with the yacht class. Go figure. It’s all a sleight of hand.

To distract us from the real issues, the corporate cabal zeros in on gun rights, abortion, entitlements, and a flagging economy while at the same time counting their money over cigars and Scotch on private jets. Meanwhile, the middle class battles against itself in between episodes of American Idol and Desperate Housewives. If indeed there is class warfare being waged, there is no doubt about who is winning and who is losing.

Reasoned, intelligent debate has been replaced by personal attacks, knee-jerk reactions, and sensationalized news which is designed to manipulate rather than inform.

The wolves are among us, and we need to open our eyes. Otherwise, we will eat ourselves.

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