Sigh . . . . .
For about 20 minutes Tuesday, NPR traveled back to 1776.
To echo its 29-year on-air tradition, the public radio network’s main Twitter account tweeted out the Declaration of Independence, line by line.
There — in 113 consecutive posts, in 140-character increments — was the text of the treasured founding document of the United States, from its soaring opening to its searing indictments of King George III’s “absolute tyranny” to its very last signature.
Who could have taken issue with such a patriotic exercise, done in honor of the nation’s birthday?
Quite a few people, it turned out.
The blowback increased when the tweets reached the portion of the Declaration that outlined, in unsparing detail, all the ways Britain’s George III had wronged the then-Colonies.
“He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers,” read one line of the document.
“A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people,” read another.
Some people — presumably still in the dark about NPR’s Fourth of July exercise — assumed those lines were references to President Trump and the current administration.
So to summarize --- NPR, in celebration of America's independence day holiday, tweets out the entire text of the Declaration of Independence -- 113 consecutive tweets to accommodate Twitter's 140 character, per-tweet limit. And right on cue -- a bunch of right wing yahoos see a few of the excerpted tweets from the hallowed American document, like the ones about a certain leader obstructing justice and behaving like a tyrant, and they go bug-eyed ape shit thinking that NPR is spreading liberal propaganda against their dear leader Drumpf.
This, dear readers, is the unfortunate (mostly for democracy) byproduct of several decades of the conservative dumbing down of society, fueled primarily by their relentless attacks on public education, truth and reality. They have effectively cocooned their movement in a grotesque, insipid form of paranoid, martyr-complex tribalism, thus creating their very own culture of celebrated ignorance on subject matter both historical and contemporary. They have positioned themselves as the poster children for the iconic adage, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."
It's pretty telling, in an amusing sort of way, that Drumpf's disciples got especially butt hurt about the tweets containing wording describing the 240+ years ago oppression by King George III, fully believing that the wording was NPR hurling ad hoc insults at Trump and his present-day behavior as U.S. president. It's almost as if they truly know, deep down in their little wing nut hearts, that Drumpf has indeed been behaving like a tawdry, tyrannical little prince, pissing all over the constitution and the concepts of equal justice for all and an autonomous judiciary being a co-equal branch of government -- as such, and in point of fact, making him "unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
But these are the fellow citizens who we are dealing with in this epic struggle to steer the course of America's democratic future. It's a struggle between those who, when given a choice between having a boorish, shady con-artist oligarch, congenital liar and democracy hating, amoral traitorous coward as their leader -- or a decent, intelligent, fair-minded, statesmanlike, humane and principled leader who's skin color was a shade darker -- or god forbid even, a strong, smart, take-no-shit woman - they would willfully choose the venal degenerate.
This really is a battle for this country's future dear readers - no two ways of looking at it. And one thing that is clear is that there are still quite a few fence sitters out there. The Gadfly has only one thing to say to you people -- you better choose a side pretty quick -- and then pray to whatever god you pray to that you chose the side that will end up writing the truthful, unvarnished accounting of this hideous period in our nation's incredible yet clamorous history.