David Byrne of the Talking Heads was ahead of his time 40-plus years ago when he penned the song “Psycho Killer.”
“I can’t seem to face up to the facts … tense and nervous, can’t relax … can’t sleep ‘cause my bed’s on fire … don’t touch me, I’m a real live wire.”
Listening to this president, reading his tweets, watching him on the news, my head reverberates: “Psycho Killer. Qu’est-cequec’est?”
Straining to understand Trump’s supporters, Byrne’s lyrics resonate:
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“You start a conversation, you can’t even finish it. … You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything.”
“Qu’est-cequec’est,” indeed — what IS this? What is this “Outer Limits” / “Twilight Zone” / “Stranger Things” madness, this “I’m-a-very-stable-genius” psychodrama we’re inhabiting?
The “psycho” part of the nightmare isn’t so much the TV-addled juvenile in the White House as it is the Republicans who abet and excuse him.
Abandoning principle, Republican congressional leaders and back-benchers support this quisling whose loyalty to the United States is an open question, who willfully enables Russian aggression against our democracy, who views brown-skinned nations and the continent of Africa as sh*tholes and who views women as chattel.
What IS this? Seems like only yesterday when righteously indignant Republicans bayed at the moon about the Red Menace, Dixiecrats and President Clinton's philandering.
They’re no better on policy. Personal freedom and states’ rights are trammeled by Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general cum house elf, who predictably went all anti-weed jihadi just as California, the most populous state, legalized pot and took aim at federal overreach on tax policy, immigration, climate change — getting all rebellious against this radical administration.
The Republican tax “cut” erases state and local tax deductions, caps mortgage interest deductions at $10,000, effectively raising taxes on Californians while ballooning the deficit in a cynical ploy to notch a single “win” before the midterms. Meanwhile, armed ICE goons round up undocumented moms and dads, shackle them before their American-born children and ship them off to detention camps.
As the GOP’s once-solid moral core rots, we wonder: What to do? Then, light bulb! Every local Republican holding every elective office in every jurisdiction must go.
To paraphrase the cliché: Resist globally, overthrow locally. Republicans must pay for this Caligula-esque disgrace.
Had your fill of Trump’s elected enablers? Defeat them. End their smash-and-grab, government-by-anarchy madness. Tear it out by the roots, starting at home.
“My God, what have I done?” Byrne asked in “Once in a lifetime,” a question every elected Republican should ask themselves.
The answer from a newly energized opposition: “You’ve debased our country. Now we want your job.”
There are some 115 elected positions up for challenge this year in San Luis Obispo County, many occupied by Republicans, including these on the June 6 Primary ballot:
▪ State Assembly 35th District (Jordan Cunningham, facing challenger Bill Ostrander)
▪ District Attorney (Dan Dow, facing challenger Judge Mike Cummins)
▪ Sheriff-Coroner (Ian Parkinson)
▪ Assessor (Tom Bordonaro)
▪ SLO County Supervisor District 4 (Lynn Compton, facing challenger Jimmy Paulding)
Other offices, such as the county Board of Education, may yet have Republicans run.
The filing period closes March 9.
Nov. 6 General Election ballot races include city councils, special districts and school boards where Republicans preside. A few notable city races:
▪ Arroyo Grande City Council (Barbara Harmon), mayor (Jim Hill)
▪ Paso Robles City Council (John Hamon, Jim Reed)
▪ Pismo Beach City Council (Mary Ann Reiss), mayor (Ed Waage)
Some 40 other offices are contestable for community service district boards in unincorporated areas such as Cambria, Templeton, Nipomo, and Avila Beach.
Nationwide, some of the toughest political fights (creationism vs. evolution, prayer in schools, vouchers, etc.) take place at the school board level. There are contestable seats on the boards of Cuesta College and 10 other school districts throughout the county.
The filing period for the November election runs approximately July 16 to Aug. 19 (the official timeline has yet to be posted online).
Local offices are the political trenches, the training grounds where Republicans have groomed their bench for decades. Reversing their success will take energy and discipline.
If you run for local office, three things you need to do:
1. Check with the SLO County Clerk Elections Division to pick up a candidate packet, which has detailed instructions.
2. Recruit a team that shares your goal and passion.
3. Put your shoes on and run. Do it.
Liberal columnist Tom Fulks serves on the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee. His column runs every other Sunday, in rotation with conservative columnist Andrea Seastrand.