Bob Stannard: A tough week for America

This past week America took some hard body shots. Renowned chef/educator Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade both decided to call it quits. Depression is a terrible disease/condition and is easily disguised from friends. We all have our demons. The trick is to keep them in check. This is harder for some than others. Smart, successful people may struggle with success or may be so overwhelmed with sadness and frustration that they can no longer handle being here. We'll never really know for sure as we don't get to do an exit interview.

Our country and our world is in a pretty depressing place right now. We've learned that upon failing in America, Steve Bannon, is now working hard to spread his message of hate and racism in Italy of all places. Oh sure, he's working up "white nationalists," as he likes to call his racist movement, in Germany and other countries, but Italy is where he now thinks he has the best chance to forge ahead.

You may recall that Bannon, along with financier and right-wing billionaire, Bob Mercier, was the co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, a corrupt company that was designed to keep African Americans from voting and influencing the 2016 elections. So much for these people caring about our democracy. For them democracy is only for white people. We should keep watch of people like Bannon, but their message of racism, hate, white supremacy and/or white nationalism should be defeated.

Bannon was fired by Trump; not because Trump didn't agree with Bannon's racist messaging, but because Bannon grabbed the spotlight away from Trump. Bannon was the key source for Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury." Bannon's ego and desire to be relevant passed his brain at warp speed. He forgot who always had to come first. Big mistake. Bannon's hoping that by stirring up racism in Europe that maybe Trump will take him back for the 2020 elections.

As if this wasn't enough to ruin your week we had a meeting of the G-7; nations who consider themselves to be allies came together to discuss global concerns and policies. Our morally bankrupt leader arrived late and left early (he couldn't handle sticking around for the meeting on global warming, something he believes to be a hoax - fake news). If you agree that it's in America's best interest to alienate our friends and coddle up to our foes then this meeting was a resounding success for Donald Trump. Trump is singlehandedly imposing tariffs on our allies and intentionally creating tension. He believes we're being cheated; the message he's spewing out daily.

Simultaneously he suggested that Russia should rejoin the G-7 (formerly known as the G-8 until we tossed Putin out for invading Ukraine). By advocating on Russia's behalf Trump is making it clear that he supports Putin's meddling in our 2016 elections. And why wouldn't he? After all Putin's efforts were designed to help elect Trump. Trump knew what Putin was doing and was more than willing to accept any help offered. Although he chants daily "no collusion" even a blind man can see that nearly everyone in his campaign colluded with Russia.

So our allies' response to Trump's aggression is to sadly say that they may very well be better off as the G-6 and let America go it alone. Great! Reading today's paper we see where China is now reaching out to the G-6 to see how they might be able to assist the G-6 with trade. Our allies may very well decide to work with China against America. Probably Putin will team up with China and double cross his puppet, leaving us in dire straights.

Yes, it was a hard week and it's clear that more hard weeks are on the way. You can either hang in there and fight to save our nation's democracy or take the easy route and just check out.

Livin' ain't easy. Neither is dyin.' You decide.

Bob Stannard lives in Manchester.


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