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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits from Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp (over three years), Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, the SF Chronicle and others.
Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (M.A., Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was a half-time, anti-gravel mining activist (Cache Creek, California) while doing marketing, business and writing consulting for the Yolo County Resource Conservation District plus specialized, mainly high tech businesses. Since 2005, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.
(34 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 26, 2016 Looming Trump Whoppers: What If We Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet?
Winning will not make Trump moderate his excesses -- or think less of his brilliance. Au contraire. Does not Trump's core ploy demand ever more outlandish bellowing? In short, the worst is yet to come so let's take Trumpery to its "logical" ends. Let's try to understand Trumpism by imagining his first State of the Union address:
(22 comments) SHARE Monday, May 16, 2016 Dream On: GOP Unity is Nigh, Trumpster Closing the Deal
Just as the Donald will say anything to win votes, the GOP now broadcasts it will support anyone who says anything to win power. Is that how to to make Republicans, let alone America, great again? Trump is the perfect media candidate, talking in such empty constructs angry campers can project whatever they want. Now we understand why rightwingers will readily embrace the Trumpster, less for unity than desperation.
(12 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 4, 2016 Only Sanders Defeats Trump the Old Fashioned Way: With Truth-telling, Character & Competence
The best retort to an unqualified, full-throated narcissist is dramatic contrast with a principled, selfless career professional. Take on the Trumpian worldview, glorifying the cash nexus, against the life of public service -- in which honor and persistence reinforce good intentions, adding flesh to idealistic campaign pledges. The only adult way to trump Trump is dramatize a political life opposite to his entire "life-stye."
(19 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 26, 2016 Trump Like Sanders? Hardly. More Polar Opposites in Mindsets, Values & Proposals
Similar? Parallel? Sanders stands for all the Trump hates. Trump is the poster child that drives the Sanders movement. Let us banish this easy distortion: Sanders is not like Trump or vice versa, more like polar opposites. Sanders widens the people-serving debate while Trump's proto-fascist, money-driven demagoguery shrinks debate with deceptive war cries that end up serving those in his own affluent class.
(20 comments) SHARE Friday, April 15, 2016 Trump Witches' Brew: Flimflam Prophesy, Propaganda & Genuineness
Trump succeeds until sufficient critical mass unmasks his fables as bad propaganda, rife with contradictions, falsehoods, racist code words. That comes when his "spontaneous" slew of nonsense is unmasked as nothing more than self-absorbed, twisted billionaire vanity. One defeats an immoral storyteller by exposing the predatory storyline, then the nasty, arrogant charlatan who presumes his black magic can gain the White House.
(41 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 31, 2016 Does Trump Want Out? Orchestrating His Own Demise?
Trump never thought he'd get this far and is now showing why he should go no further. How does he reverse this week's torrent of self-abuse? Who can't imagine Trump's PR skills now going into protective mode, damage control sniffing out some imagined, positive finale. It ain't over 'til it's over, but these are genuine, self-inflicted body blows.
(37 comments) SHARE Monday, March 28, 2016 How to Short-circuit Trump's Lying Noise Machine
Thus the ultimate bunker buster against Trumpism is to demolish his fraudulent magic show, not let him escape when his incompetence is scrutinized. Trump exemplifies the "triumph of the will" school in which he's the special, self-appointed strongman destined to save the world by ruling it. The great vulnerability is this magic shell game has neither hidden bean, nor relevance to the world outside his selfish bubble.
(36 comments) SHARE Monday, March 14, 2016 Whistleblower Sanders Battles Status Quo, Buffoonery, & Extremism
Let's expand our notion of the national political whistleblower to cover educating the masses with knowledge, messages and frames they don't have -- and which politicians and the media obscures or blocks. Let's recognize Sanders as the greatest progressive educator this era, maybe back two eras. Just naming his triad of empowered opponents confirms his historic significance.
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 12, 2016 In Trump We Trust: A Satire
Another reworking of a great poem, this one bridging the Trumpster with our greatest dramatist, Shakespeare, who did make English theater great. And his verse did by showing the truth behind appearances and the distinction between delusion, deception, and reality. Ready, Trumpsters, for truth?
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 6, 2016 Lord Trumpismo, pace 'Ozymandias:' A satire
How the mighty do fall, and how the fake mighty fall, often amidst high comedy -- with a whimper, not a bang. A little fun skewering the Donald. The good news is he won't appreciate the joke.
(31 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 28, 2016 Want America to be Great? Nominate Trump and Sanders
What if 1/3rd of the embittered, trust-their-gut, Obama-hating gang cram Trump, already a General Election underdog, down the party throat? Fire-breathing Trumpery has not just dismantled the rightwing propaganda machine. He's discredited lead "conservative" ideologues and their tiresome, failed ideology. Daily, Trump decimates the broken Bush coalition of billionaires, evangelicals and angry, racist white works. Bravo, I say!
(21 comments) SHARE Monday, February 22, 2016 America's Addiction to Firstism -- Delusion Decoyed as 'Greatness'
We are addicted to Firsts, no doubt related to false perceptions of winning. But Firsts are often more about token markers than systemic breakthroughs. Obama the great reformer was not a failure because of skin color but regressive politics. Like so many others, first is not best and doesn't correlate with greatness, Trumpery notwithstanding.
(44 comments) SHARE Monday, January 25, 2016 Could Flint Fiasco Poison Austerity As Stupid, Wasteful & Cruel?
In severity of health damage, media staying power, and political indefensibility, the Flint, MI lead poisoning looms as a national turning point. What disgrace better spotlights Republican government poisoning one hundred thousand of its own people -- failed austerity at its worst? Rarely does stupid and wasteful, if not immoral merge so dramatically.
(17 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 19, 2016 Is Trump Not Already Our Greatest Political Hustler?
That Trump's flummery has staggered the GOP wing nut field, hardly teeming with truth-tellers, then forged frontrunner status -- that confirms truly championship hustling. What other charlatan with zero elected experience ever got this close? And imagine the bomb President Trump would drop on history, taking America down a road it's never gone before.
(75 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 7, 2016 What Must Bernie Do To Break Out?
While Sanders has done extremely well, harder tasks remain. Apparently, being honest, realistic, well-informed, nearly gaffe-free, and compassionate aren't enough. The "easy" voters are in his camp. How does he widen and energize a movement?
(10 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 31, 2015 The End is Nigh: Repent, Read Fast, Rush the Exits
Frankly, I am surprised Providence, Fate or the distraught Creator looks to grant us one more year awash with impossible dilemmas: rising populations, greedy bankers, depleted resources, nukes galore, too many guns and too much hot air -- all coming together to spell doom. Or Doom, for does not such a mind-blowing word deserve formality. Some days the dread I read makes me wonder if another year is a blessing or a curse.
(15 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 30, 2015 Instant Debate Closure: Just Call Something 'Evil'
Big words, like good and evil, come with lots of emotional baggage, little of which stands up to logical scrutiny. The rhetoric of evil drags terms from old-time religion and serves the political class by oversimplifying moral complexity, a kind of facile moral sound bite. Is money really evil? Or all of capitalism? Or the western world as if personifies only the worst of humanity?
(99 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 20, 2015 Left-Right Overlap: Putin's The Man, Bestriding the World Stage
What active and celebrated world leader draws such praise not just from conservative circles (Limbaugh, Drudge, Breitbart, Palin, PC Roberts) but adulation from the other side as well. For leftists who staunchly hate the west's imperial militarism, Putin is the hero battling the west ("noble" for journalist Finian Cunningham), the strongest moral and political bulwark against the spreading Evil Empire.
(52 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 9, 2015 Trump: The Party Divider, Unifying Everyone Else
I come here today not to praise Trump but not to bury him either: the longer his vicious vanity campaign lasts, the more calamity Trump brings to the insular, reactionary Republican brand. Trump = mayhem. His meteoric rise, though apparent only in the poll-iverse, has gone where no celebrated agent provocateur has gone before: not Palin nor Cain, Carson, Gingrich, Sanctorum or Huckabee unify foes like |Trump.
(30 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 6, 2015 Citizens of the World, Unite!
Significantly, soiled citizenship illuminates an incredible range of world dilemmas, especially war, violence and economic inequality. Whether Syrian refugees fleeing horror, over 11 million of our undocumented neighbors, or the dislocated seeking political asylum, what stateless people lack beyond a resident state is enough cash to offset customs harassment, even deportation.