Republicans want to destroy democracy and how Democrats can keep it

by Guest Blogger David Gerrold

On January 6th, in Donald Trump’s fevered imagination, he intended to lead an armed mob into the halls of Congress and declare himself the winner of the 2020 election. That armed mob would not have hesitated to use their guns on anyone they perceived as an enemy.

Fortunately, it didn’t happen that way, but there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that there was significant planning for that coup attempt.

Had Trump made it to the Capitol, I suspect his reign would have been very short. The members of our military have taken an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Thwarting the certification of an election is sedition.

Would the military have fallen in line behind Trump? I don’t think so. Well … I hope not.

Meanwhile … Donald Trump is now suggesting that he will run again in 2024. That’s not a hint, that’s a threat.

A shadow government has already been formed, ready to take possession of the national machinery on January 20th. Around the country, various state legislatures controlled by Republicans are taking steps to guarantee that their states will choose Republican electors in 2024 so that regardless of the popular vote in those states, they can return Donald Trump to our White House.

This nation is at a cusp.

If the Republicans regain control of the House and Senate, it stops all attempts to preserve the mechanics of our democracy.

If, however, enough Americans are alarmed by the actions of the Supreme Court, it is possible that there could be enough of a blue turnout in November to protect the Democratic majority in both houses.

We will know in November if we still have a democracy.

If not … well, I know several people who are justifiably predicting that this nation is headed toward violence. The unholy alliance of evangelicals, fascists, and corporate oligarchs, has created the greatest threat to the United States since the slaveholders’ rebellion.

The USA has been targeted by a carefully calculated long game designed by fascists. Their goal to suspend the Constitution and replace the federal government with their own home-grown Reich.

I suspect that they will fail. But this nightmare will not be defeated easily. If the Jan 6th Commission cannot stop the seditious movement in this country, violence will be inevitable. There are too many veterans in this country who took their oath seriously.

There are many ways to bring down a government. The women of Iceland demonstrated that a few years ago, when 90% of them went on strike, hitting the streets, and shutting down the government.

Can we shut down a fascist coup in the United States?

I don’t know.

But there are several things we must accomplish in the next few years to stop the possibility:

1) Campaign finance reform. End Citizens’ United.

2) End the electoral college. One person, one vote. Period. Everybody who reaches the age of 18 is eligible to vote. Automatically.

3) Oversight on the Supreme Court. I’m not sure how this can best be accomplished, but there are several possibilities. Term limits for one. And having one Justice for each of the thirteen districts. Both of those would be a good start. A third option — the Senate has 90 days to approve or disapprove an appointment. Failing to give the appointee a hearing, he/she automatically gains the seat. (There is nothing in law that says the Senate must approve an appointee.)

4) End the fucking filibuster. I can understand why some Democratic senators might not want to establish this precedent. So a Senator can only filibuster as long as he/she can stand and talk.

5) No one can hold office as either Senator or Representative or President without passing the same citizenship test that all immigrants must pass before nationalization.


Ten-time Hugo and Nebula award nominee DAVID GERROLD is also a recipient of the Skylark Award for Excellence in Imaginative Fiction, the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Horror, and the Forrest J. Ackerman lifetime achievement award. He was the Guest of Honor at the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention. Gerrold’s prolific output includes teleplays, film scripts, stage plays, comic books, more than 50 novels and anthologies, and hundreds of articles, columns, and short stories. He has worked on a dozen different TV series, including Star Trek, Land of the Lost, Twilight Zone, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5, and Sliders. He is the author of Star Trek’s most popular episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” His most famous novel is The Man Who Folded Himself. His semi-autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, The Martian Child, won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet. His latest story can be found in Three Time Travelers Walk Into… (edited by Michael A. Ventrella). His web page is

Biden’s poker strategy

by guest blogger David Gerrold

I know that a lot of people are impatient for Biden to come out swinging.


Let me tell you a story. In 1968, George Romney was running against Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination. Nixon was holding back during the early part of the year and his advisors were a little worried. They wanted him to speak up.

Whatever else he was, Nixon was a very astute, calculating, poker player. He said, “Let the press chew on the other fellow for a while.”

Because Nixon kept himself out of the spotlight, the press focused on Romney — who seemed like a pretty good guy, until finally, he stumbled. In order to backpedal his position on the Vietnam war, he said he had been “brainwashed.”


The press turned it into a big story and Romney’s campaign evaporated.

Nixon then had the field to himself without ever having to get his hands dirty. He had other tricks to pull. But in terms of managing his campaign, it was the right thing to do.

Biden is wise to avoid the attention of the press right now. It’s too early. The public will get tired of him in two months. But, after Labor Day, when the campaign starts in earnest, Biden and all the other Democrats, all the surrogates, etc. will start hammering their message like a battalion of blacksmiths.

But right now — let the press chew on the other fellow for a while. The Trumpalumpas have only one place to go — Fox Noise. All of the other media are reporting the bad news. It’s fun to watch some of those people trying so hard to keep a straight face when you know they really just want to smirk and grin when they report Trumplethinskin’s latest political face-plant.

And it’s only going to get worse for him. The pandemic is going to get worse. The economy is going to stagger into a depression. And all it takes is a couple more police murders and the summer of protests will escalate into a general strike. Oh, and SCOTUS might rule against him on keeping his tax returns secret. And Mary Trump has a tell-all too. And there are half a dozen other rough scandals slouching toward Washington, waiting to be borne.

The karmic chicken has come home to roost.

So why should Biden say anything.

“Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

Nebula and Hugo award winning author David Gerrold is the author of over 50 books, several hundred articles and columns, and over a dozen television episodes. TV credits include episodes of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Land Of The Lost, Logan’s Run, and many others. His most recent novel, now available, is HELLA. Other novels include WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF, the “War Against the Chtorr” septology, The “Star Wolf” trilogy, The “Dingilliad” young adult trilogy, and more. The autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, THE MARTIAN CHILD won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette of the Year and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack. He also has stories in my anthologies BAKER STREET IRREGULARS, RELEASE THE VIRGINS!, and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. His web page is here.

Understanding Trump (the ultimate spoiled brat) and what we must do now

by Guest Blogger David Gerrold

The only way to understand the orange harangutan is that he doesn’t deal well with the word “no.”

He’s the ultimate spoiled brat — he’s learned that temper tantrums get him what he wants. That works everywhere in business, but nowhere in politics.angry trump

Because he’s been a spoiled brat for so long — all his life — he thinks that’s winning. He thinks he’s good at everything because no one says no to him, they’re afraid of him, and he perceives everyone around him as either an enemy or an object to be used.

He has no empathy.

It’s an alien experience.

He’s never had to figure anything out for himself, never had to solve a problem, never had to learn any of the real skills of success.

For those who came in late — the real skills of success are partnership, negotiation, contribution, generosity, self-awareness, rationality, and an ability to consider the consequences of every action and choose appropriately. Trump has none of these. He is an undeveloped human.

But he has been so good at conning people and bullying people that he looked like a white knight for all those people who were frustrated and angry — Trump knows how to con people, he knows how to bully people, he knows how to claim all kinds of things that he isn’t. It’s a shallow pretense, not backed up by anything he demonstrates — because he is a gigantic spoiled brat.

He didn’t want to be president, he didn’t want the responsibility, he didn’t want the challenge. He simply wanted the prize. He wanted to win for the sake of winning, not because he wanted to actually roll up his sleeves and do the job.

And 60 million Americans fell for it.trump evil

Are the coal miners winning? Nope. Are the steelworkers winning? Nope. Are the farmers winning? Nope. Are you tired of winning yet?

The only ones who are winning are the millionaires, the billionaires, and the Russians.

We are approaching the end of Act 2 in this farce — the badministration of the Screechweasel-In-Chief is being peeled back like the layers of an onion. More and more of the corruption and collusion is being exposed.

The precedent is Watergate, where the crimes of the underlings gave the investigators a ladder all the way to the top. There are indictments yet to come. There is evidence yet to be heard. There are crimes yet to be uncovered. There is so much more that will come spewing out of this nightmare.

But when enough has been laid out, there will be a sea change in the country, a shift in the wind, a moment in which the national conversation will turn from an outraged submission to process to an outraged demand for an end to the frightmare in the White House.

That could happen before the end of this month. It might not happen until some time in the summer, but it will happen. We are too far down this road for it not to happen.

Removing Trump from the levers of authority?

Well — because he has turned us into a gigantic banana republic, all bets are off. All of the political and judicial processes that we have depended on for so many years have been under assault by the neo-fascists in our midst. The political mechanism has been captured. The judicial mechanisms are under assault.

What’s left — unfortunately — is violence. Assassination? Either political or literal? It could happen. Even the possibility of a military coup cannot be dismissed. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that somebody in the Kremlin has blocked out various scenarios for taking out Trump — probably before the full extent of Russian meddling can be known.

But Trump represents the greatest existential crisis for the identity of America since the Civil War. Before this is over, all of us are going to be asking who are we? What are we up to? What does it mean to be an American? What is the American promise?

Myself — I’m old fashioned.

Donald Trump

I believe that the founding document of the nation, the Declaration of Independence, had a one sentence mission statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

(The words “by their creator” were added by the religion-imbued fuddy-duddies of the Continental Congress, pouring God over everything like ketchup over a burnt meat-loaf to hide the flavor.)

Notice, by the way, that the mission statement does not say that these are the only inalienable rights. It says “among these rights” with the implication that there are others — like, oh say, the right of privacy for instance.

Our Constitution has a bill of rights, affirming the freedom of expression in its very first amendment.

Our greatest president, the man who preserved the Union, said that this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. He also meant that this government must be accountable to the people.

The idea of America is that no government can exist without the consent of the governed.

The idea of America is that we are a land of opportunity — that we are the land of the free, the home of the brave.

The idea of the America is that we are a nation of immigrants, with the Statue of Liberty not only standing as a beacon of hope, but also as a welcome to those seeking a better life.

As a nation, we have not always kept our promises. We’ve been selfish, stupid, greedy, and dangerous. We have a history of slavery, genocide, and conquest. We’ve been at war for most of our history. We’ve exploited the resources of other nations. We have bases all over the world, we have become an empire.

And yet — we still give lip service to the promises of the past. Despite the efforts of the neo-fascists to rewrite the national conversation, most Americans have grown up with the promises of the past as a promise for a better future. It is up to us to remember the better angels of our nature, the greater goals that this nation has set for itself.loser

The words of John F. Kennedy are a good start. “We choose to do these things because they are hard, not because they are easy.”

That’s the spirit of America that has inspired us to greatness. This is the nation that ended polio and put men on the moon. There are greater challenges ahead of us. Economic. Ecological. Social.

But it’s in our Constitution: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Right there — that’s the promise of America. That’s what we need to remember. That’s what we need to recommit ourselves to.

Nebula and Hugo award winning author David Gerrold is the author of over 50 books, several hundred articles and columns, and over a dozen television episodes. TV credits include episodes of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Land Of The Lost, Logan’s Run, and many others. Novels include WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF, the “War Against the Chtorr” septology, The “Star Wolf” trilogy, The “Dingilliad” young adult trilogy, and more. The autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, THE MARTIAN CHILD won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette of the Year and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack. He also has a story in the anthology BAKER STREET IRREGULARS (edited by me!). His web page is here.

There is a clear-cut choice

by Guest Blogger David Gerrold

So … I think I’ll blur the details here.

There was this person who was expounding on the upcoming election and why he wasn’t going to vote for Hillary Clinton. It was his first time voting, you see, and he wanted someone who understood and represented his generation.

He said to me, “You don’t understand — “donald-trump-h-1024

And that’s where I had to stop him. “Look, I do understand. Really.”

“How can you understand? You’re too old.”

“Do you think I was born old? Y’know, I have pictures. Here’s me at thirteen — ”

“But times were different then — ”

“Yes, they were. You could get polio and measles and smallpox. An appendectomy was a serious operation. People smoked everywhere, there was no getting away from the smoke. In school, they taught us to duck and cover in case of a nuclear attack. Whites and blacks still had separate restrooms and drinking fountains. Women couldn’t get a legal abortion. Gas had lead in it. Vegetables were sprayed with DDT. You could be arrested for being gay. Yes, times were different.”

“No, I meant that protesting was a fad, not serious like — ”

“Excuse me? Do you want to see the scar on my scalp where I was hit by a thrown bottle at the first gay rights march? We also had civil rights demonstrations, anti-war marches, and rallies for women’s rights as well. That was no fad. People were dying — ”

“No, look, man — it’s the establishment. That’s what’s wrong — ”

“And you want to replace the establishment with what? A different establishment? Listen — when I was your age, when my generation was your age, we were just as frustrated and just as impatient as you are now. Honest. Am I saying we were wrong? Hell, no. We were right. Better than that, we were so right, we were self-righteous. We went around saying, ‘Don’t trust anyone over 30,’ as if somehow when you turned 30, you became one of them. Y’know?

“You know what we missed? We missed the obvious — that there were a lot of good men and women over 30 who understood the issues, and the complexities of the situation better than we did — because they’d been fighting that fight for a lot longer. We had emotion, we had energy, we had spirit — but we didn’t have enough experience, enough history, enough of everything we needed to effect real change.

“So we didn’t turn out for Hubert Humphrey and we handed the country to Richard Nixon. And a generation later, other people didn’t turn out for Al Gore and handed the country to George W. Bush. And what was missed — both times — was the fact our impatience was the single biggest mistake we could make.

“Hubert Humphrey had experience, he had wisdom, and he shared our goals. Al Gore had experience, he had wisdom, and he shared our goals. But somewhere, enough of us decided that he was too old or too much of the establishment or didn’t really represent us enough, or would just give us more of the same when what we really wanted was more, better, and different, even if we couldn’t define it — enough of us felt that way to hand the presidency to a much worse administration.

“So, no — it isn’t that you’re wrong. It’s that there are people who’ve been down this path before. We know where it leads. And it’s not a good place. We know what this mistake looks like. Because we’ve made it ourselves — and we’re asking you not to make the same mistakes we did, because each time we make this mistake, everyone gets hurt.”

And he said, “So that’s a fancy way of saying ‘suck it up, buttercup, you can’t have what you want.”

And I said, “No, but if that’s the way you want to hear it, then that’s the way you’re going to hear it. The way government works, nobody gets everything they want. The way government is supposed to work, everybody negotiates — and eventually everybody gets a piece of what they need to keep going. Nobody likes that, but consider what the alternative is — if some people get everything they want, that means a lot of people are going to get nothing at all. We keep trying that, it doesn’t work. Let’s go back to the stuff that does work.”

“But I don’t like her — ”

“I’m not asking you to like her. I’m asking you to respect that she knows how to do the job. He doesn’t. You can have your protest vote, that’s your right, but that’s letting everybody else decide who gets the oval office. And you might want to think long and hard about which of the two will build on what President Obama has accomplished and which of the two will tear it all down with no idea of why it worked in the first place. Your choice.”

And he said, “That’s not much of a choice.”

And I said, “The hell it isn’t. It’s a choice between experience and ignorance. That’s the clearest choice I’ve ever seen in an election.”

He didn’t have an answer for that.

And that’s the point —

I might be old, but I’m not stupid. And I suspect that a lot of other members of my generation feel the same way. We remember when we were impatient. And we remember the mistakes that our impatience created.

Old people don’t tell young people what to do and what not to do because we want to control your lives — we just want to warn you not to make the same mistakes we did.

But you will. Or you won’t. Because it’s your choice. Always.

Nebula and Hugo award winning author David Gerrold is the author of over 50 books, several hundred articles and columns, and over a dozen television episodes. TV credits include episodes of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Land Of The Lost, Logan’s Run, and many others. Novels include WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF, the “War Against the Chtorr” septology, The “Star Wolf” trilogy, The “Dingilliad” young adult trilogy, and more. The autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, THE MARTIAN CHILD won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette of the Year and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack. He also has a story in the upcoming anthology BAKER STREET IRREGULAR, edited by me. His web page is here.




An alternate scenario for November

by Guest Blogger David Gerrold

So, here’s an alternate scenario for November.

Let’s look at the numbers.

Donald Trump does not break 40% in his primary victories. That’s not 40% of the electorate — it’s 40% of the republican voters. That’s the fanatics, the whackadoodles, and the energized rednecks. It’s the ignorati — the ones who hold up signs saying, “Keep your govt hands off my medicare.”Keep-Your-Government-Hands-Off-My-Medicare

Let’s assume he gets the republican nomination. Despite all the machinations of the party, lets assume he shows up at the convention with 1237 pledged delegates. The convention turns into a massive floor fight. The convention is supposed to be that moment when the party unifies — but not this time.

Or, let’s say he shows up with 1236 pledged delegates and loses the first nominating ballot. The convention turns into a massive floor fight and possibly a riot. There will be protesters and demonstrators outside the convention hall. There will be a lot of tension. Things will get ugly.

Either way, the convention becomes an embarrassment and the party adjourns in greater disunity than ever before.

(By the way, Trump broke the law when he promised Carson a cabinet post for his endorsement. Will there be an indictment? Or will this be conveniently forgotten?)

The key point here is that the republican convention will not unify around Trump — and if anyone else gets handed the nomination, he will not be able to unify the party either, because the Trump supporters will be so angry, they’ll quit or walk away or try to mount a third party effort.

If Trump does get the nomination, the idea that the republican party will try to mount a third party effort against him, so as to throw the election into the house of representatives is a fascinating scenario, but don’t hold your breath. Organizing that would be a monstrous problem.

So … it’s either Trump or Cruz or Romney or who the hell knows, trying to unify a party that has been trumpripped apart by evangelicals, tea partiers, Trump supporters, and what remains of a tattered establishment.

If it’s Trump — and I suspect it will be Trump — if he’s only pulling 40% of the republican vote now, how will he do in the general election? (Or substitute Cruz, who does even worse.) Not well.

This fracturing of the republican party means that many republicans will stay home in disgust, feeling that there’s no one to vote for.

It also means that many republican women — even those who hate Hillary Clinton — will end up voting against their own party’s candidate. (This is not wishful thinking on my part. This was a real phenomenon in 2008 and 2012. It will be even more so in 2016.)

I don’t think the remaining primaries are going to be easy on Hillary — but, the prolonged primary season of 2008 was good for both Hillary and Barack Obama, because it gave them both good practice. It hardened Obama for the campaign ahead. This year, Hillary and Bernie are both being tempered (strengthened) by the forges of the primary battle.

But this is the point — the democrats, for all their various faults (all of which the concern trolls will be quick to list) have learned how to organize, have learned how to unify, and have demonstrated that they have learned the importance of a well-planned ground game.

The democratic convention of 2016 will be as well-constructed a show as it is possible for them to create — it should be at least as good as the 2008 convention.

So, post-convention, the republicans will see a slump in their numbers. Post-convention, the democrats will see a bump. This should result in adding 5% to the lead of the democratic nominee.

If Trump is the candidate, he will attempt to bully the democrats. It won’t work. The debates will be fascinating. Either Hillary or Bernie will demonstrate just how little Trump actually knows about anything.

If Cruz is the candidate, he’ll have to run on what a terrible job President Obama has done. This will give the democratic candidate the opportunity to point out that DESPITE REPUBLICAN OBSTRUCTIONISM, including Cruz’s own effort to shut down the government, President Obama has still managed to cut the deficit and get the economy back on track.

If Cruz or Trump attempt to denigrate Obama’s record, it’s the perfect opportunity for Clinton or Sanders to list the successes of this president and promise to build on those successes. It’s a bear trap for the republicans.

And … President Obama has made it clear he intends to lend his support to the democratic nominee. If it’s Hillary, she’ll have the President, she’ll have Michelle, she’ll have Bill, all campaigning for her. She’ll have three of the most popular democrats working to energize the base and get out the vote. A lot of other high-profile democrats will be given their moment in the spotlight too.

And if it’s Hillary, expect there to be an evening for Bernie Sanders to speak to his supporters and explain that even if they haven’t won the nomination, they have won a very big victory — they will have been able to force more progressive issues into the party platform, they will have moved not just Hillary Clinton, but the whole party in the right direction — and that it’s time to keep pushing in that direction because every step in the right direction, even a few small ones, is a good thing.

If it’s Bernie — well, the convention will be an old-fashioned revival meeting that leaves people breathless and inspired — and Bernie will pull a lot of Trump’s voters away from him.

Now this might all be wishful thinking on my part — but it’s based on two things.

Every time I’ve said the republicans can’t be that stupid, I’ve been wrong. So this time, I’m predicting they will be that stupid.

Every time I’ve said that the democrats have a pretty good idea on how to win the election, I’ve been right. So … I’ll stick with that.

The one thing that is every bit as critical as the presidential election is the downticket races. This is one area that the dems have not mastered as well as the republicans. But this year, with the republican ground game possibly in tatters, who knows?

We shall see.


Nebula and Hugo award winning author David Gerrold is the author of over 50 books, several hundred articles and columns, and over a dozen television episodes. TV credits include episodes of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Land Of The Lost, Logan’s Run, and many others. Novels include WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF, the “War Against the Chtorr” septology, The “Star Wolf” trilogy, The “Dingilliad” young adult trilogy, and more. The autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, THE MARTIAN CHILD won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette of the Year and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack. His web page is here.