Some New-ish Quotations About Growing Old
INTERESTING STUFF – 31 December 2016

Inspiration for Our Resistance in 2017

...or, How His Excellency * Stole America.

As I explained on Wednesday, I had been down with a virus since last Friday. I'm much better now – you could even say I'm well. But one of the hardest lessons of my old age is that it takes much longer to recover from a setback than when I was young.

Now, at last, I have learned this truth and am giving myself time to get up to speed again. Hence, another post today on which I don't need to expend a lot of effort.

This comes from TGB reader Richard Hannigan who says he received it from a friend. It is a poem titled How the Trump Stole America, written by one John Pavlovitz who is a minister at the North Raleigh Community Church in North Carolina. He has a personal website here.

JohnPavlovitz250As Richard pointed out in his email to me, given where Mr. Pavlovitz lives and works, making this poem public takes a lot of courage and so it does. But I also see it as an inspiration for our coming work to resist “his excellency” and the Republican Party in the new year.

Here then, as our quadrennial interregnum proceeds on course, is John Pavlovitz's How the Trump Stole America with as he says, “many apologies to Dr. Seuss”.

In a land where the states are united, they claim,
in a sky-scraping tower adorned with his name,
lived a terrible, horrible, devious chump,
the bright orange miscreant known as the Trump.
This Trump he was mean, such a mean little man,
with the tiniest heart and two tinier hands,
and a thin set of lips etched in permanent curl,
and a sneer and a scowl and contempt for the world.

He looked down from his perch and he grinned ear to ear,
and he thought, “I could steal the election this year!
It’d be rather simple, it’s so easily won,
I’ll just make them believe that their best days are done!
Yes, I’ll make them believe that it’s all gone to Hell,
and I’ll be Jerk Messiah and their souls they will sell.
And I’ll use lots of words disconnected from truth,
but I’ll say them with style so they won’t ask for proof.
I’ll toss out random platitudes, phrases, and such,
They’re so raised on fake news that it won’t matter much!
They won’t question the how to, the what, why, or when,
I will make their America great once again!”

The Trump told them to fear, they should fear he would say,
“They’ve all come for your jobs, they’ll all take them away.
You should fear every Muslim and Mexican too,
every brown, black, and tan one, everyone who votes blue.”
And he fooled all the Christians, he fooled them indeed,
He just trotted out Jesus, that’s all Jesus folk need.
And celebrity preachers they all crowned him as king,
Tripping over themselves just to kiss the Trump’s ring.
And he spoke only lies just as if they were true,
Until they believed all of those lies were true too.
He repeated and Tweeted and he blustered and spit,
And he mislead and fibbed—and he just made up sh*t.
And the media laughed but they printed each line,
thinking “He’ll never will win, in the end we’ll be fine.”

So they chased every headline, bold typed every claim,
‘Till the fake news and real news they looked just the same.
And the scared folk who listened, they devoured each word,
Yes, they ate it all up every word that they heard,
petrified that their freedom was under attack,
trusting Trump he would take their America back.
From the gays and from ISIS, he’d take it all back,
Take it back from the Democrats, fat cats, and blacks.
And so hook, line, and sinker they all took the bait,
all his lies about making America great.

Now the Pant-suited One she was smart and prepared,
she was brilliant and steady but none of them cared,
no they cared not to see all the work that she’d done,
or the fact they the Trump had not yet done thing one.

They could only shout “Emails!”, yes “Emails!” they’d shout,
because Fox News had told them—and Fox News had clout.
And the Pant-suited One she was slandered no end,
and a lie became truth she could never defend.
And the Trump watched it all go according to plan—
a strong woman eclipsed by an insecure man.

And November the 8th arrived, finally it came,
like a slow-moving storm but it came just the same.
And Tuesday became Wednesday as those days will do,
And the night turned to morning and the nightmare came true,
With millions of non-voters still in their beds,
Yes, the Trump he had done it, just like he had said.
And the Trumpers they trumped, how they trumped when he won,

All the racists and bigots; deplorable ones,
they crawled out from the woodwork, came out to raise Hell,
they came out to be hateful and hurtful as well.
With slurs and with road signs, with spray paint and Tweets,
with death threats to neighbors and taunts on the street.
And the grossest of grossness they hurled on their peers,
while the Trump he said zilch—for the first time in years.

But he Tweeted at Hamilton, he Tweeted the Times,
And he trolled Alec Baldwin a few hundred times,
and he pouted a pout like a petulant kid,
thinking this is what Presidents actually did,
thinking he could still be a perpetual jerk,
terrified to learn he had to actually work,
work for every American, not just for a few,
not just for the white ones—there was much more to do.

He now worked for the Muslims and Mexicans too,
for the brown, black, and tan ones, and the ones who vote blue.
They were all now his bosses, now they all had a say,
and those nasty pant-suited ones were here to stay.

And the Trump he soon realized that he didn’t win,
He had gotten the thing—and the thing now had him.
And it turned out the Trump was a little too late,
for America was already more than quite great,
not because of the sameness, the opposite’s true,
It’s greatness far more than just red, white, and blue,
It’s straight, gay, and female—it’s Gentile and Jew,
It’s Transgender and Christian and Atheist too.
It’s Asians, Caucasians of every kind,
The disabled and abled, the deaf and the blind,
It’s immigrants, Muslims, and brave refugees,
It’s Liberals with bleeding hearts fixed to their sleeves.
And we are all staying, we’re staying right here,
and we’ll be the great bane of the Trump for four years.
And we’ll be twice as loud as the loudness of hate,
be the greatness that makes our America great.
And the Trump’s loudest boasts they won’t ever obscure,
over two million more of us - voted for her.


Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!!

Wow! Thank you, Ronni.

Hope you continue to feel better soon.

One thing Trump has done is gotten me to put some effort into calling my Congressmen and Senators. I have a simple little script that basically says don't mess up my Medicare and SS. You can find these scripts and how best to contact your reps online. I don't know if it's going to help but it makes me feel a little better.

Yes, we're staying right here. United we stand.

Sorry I have to say goodbye to your blog. There is so much anti-Trump material, I just don't find the rants interesting or particularly fair. I liked your other material, but this is the last time I will read what you have to say. I wish you could have toned down the political content. You certainly have a right to your opinion, but the other content about elderhood
is so much more interesting.

Nice Ronni.

Get well soon


Thanks, Ronni, you made my day! I'm finding that for me, personally, laughter is a great help in coping with the advent of his excellency, the most Deplorable One.

As for me, I am grateful for your political content. And given what the GOP plans for the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Social Security, your political content IS most definitely content about elderhood.

I like the poem and I especially like your political stance - including if/when I disagree with you. Airy-fairy blogs, features, articles that fail to connect what is happening to people/communities to politics are failing their readers. Politics are everywhere - from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the money in our pockets, the buses we catch (or more likely, don't) etc. And denying that is the case does not help anyone: well, certainly not me.

Had the poem not been so delightfully written, I'd have turned away. I'm sick of reading about how awful Trump is. And I think it a bit childish for a serious journalist to keep calling him *. The election is over; he won. It's time to "get real."

This was great! For those who take offense, then move on. Or tolerate. Isn't that what we're all rallying against - intolerance?

Hope you feel better Ronni. I too am discovering how much longer it takes to bounce back from a minor setback. But reading that others are finding that too is another reason why I find your blog so helpful.

I appreciate what you do.

I completely agree with Patty-in-New-York's comment.

With Trump talking favorably about repealing so-called ObamaCare and then taking an unspecified number of years to consider a replacement AND to talk about changes to Social Security, it's not surprising that many of us over 60 or 65 or 70 would be alarmed about the next four (or eight) years.

Happy New Year, Ronni, and keep up the good work!

Those of us who were old enough to be aware of the feminist movement in the 1960's and early 70's, may remember a phrase that was popularized around that time: "The personal is political." Indeed it is, and ignoring the effects that politics and politicians are increasingly exercising over all of our lives, will not serve us well. Posts like today's amusing rendition of "The Grinch" are rarely used for weekday posts, but provide occasional diversions from, or alternatives to, heavier posts for a number of reasons.

Although the political orientation of TGB should be clear to anyone who has been reading this for more than a day or two, in my mind, TGB is not so much partisan as simply supportive of those who strive to protect the well-being and rights of all of us, and lets the chips fall where they may. The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to being punitive and Scrooge-like and taking things away from the poor and bestowing favors and privilege on the rich, the chips happen to fall increasingly on the Republicans, and brings politics front and center when resisting oppression and fighting for people's rights.

This site has been the source of some of the most helpful resources I've come across in responding to a number of issues that affect my life and well-being, and I plan to continue to read it as long as it's around (unlike my local daily newspaper, with which I broke up last month after a 48 year relationship, due to their patronizing and paternalistic response to those who have expressed disappointment in the outcome of the election).

And here's another quote to add to those from earlier this week, though it's not directly related to aging: "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him," - John Viscount Morley On Compromise, 1874.

Happy New Year y'all!

Oh my, Cathy. I am blushing and I am so pleased that you and others above understand how crucial it is to resist this new world we live in - not only the new president but the Republicans too who will control the entire federal government and have made crystal clear that they mean to impoverish everyone not in the elite one percent.

TimeGoesBy will not give up reporting on and musing about elders issues of all kinds. But the threat to our well-being is real and bigger than at any time in our (long) lives. We have no choice but to fight back with all we've got. Well, I must. Win or lose, I need to be able to say that I did as much as I could.

I love this, Ronni. Going to save it, so clever. Thanks for sharing it. Feel all better soon.

I've been reading your blog for quite a few years, but I was not a regular reader until the Trump effect kicked in. I appreciate your voice -- you are inspiring us all to action. The people who say it's time to get over it and move on should re-read the words of Martin Niemöller.

Love the poem!

Thanks for introducing me to Mr. Pavlovitz.

I'm writing from Oz and hope someone can answer this thought that popped into my head as I read the last verse. There is the popular vote but it is the electoral college that counts when it comes to electing The Prez. What happens with the polls carried out over the term by various organisations? Do they give just the popular vote or do they translate into what it means in electoral college terms? Surely, what the majority of Americans think is the important thing from day to day, not just the four yearly electoral college vote. Please advise.

Polls make no difference to anything about elections; they are just public opinion and may or may not even be accurate in any kind of way.

America's founding fathers invented the electoral college for complicated reasons involving protecting slavery in the southern states. Each state is given a certain number of electors based on their population. There are 538 total meaning 270 are needed to win the presidency.

Americans do not vote directly for a candidate. They vote for electors in their state who, for the most part, although there are differences in a few states, are committed to a certain presidential candidate.

The number of electors is equal to each state's number of senators (always 2) and representatives (varies widely depending on population). The states with the smallest population still get a minimum of 3 electors.

So, you can see that sometimes (as happened this year) depending on the math, the electors may reach the 270 mark for the candidate that received fewer popular votes.

For more detail, Google "how does electoral college work".

Things operate differently here, Ronni, but thanks for the comment. We vote directly for all our political representatives. We have preferential voting in the House of Representatives and proportional representation in the Senate. The dominant party in the HofR votes for the Prime Minister. The Australian Government over the last decade or so has hardly been the most stable whether the government has been Labor or Coalition (Liberal and National Party). We have changed Prime Ministers slightly less often than we change shirts. We have almost begun to long for fixed term Prime Ministerships as the US Presidents have. Various forms of electoral polling by various experts and organisations looms large in the news and has its effect on the standing of the Prime Minister at a given time. Our current governing party, the Coalition, has a wide spectrum from reasonable to stark raving mad conservative. One of the SRMCs has just spent three months in the US and heaven knows what liaisons he has refreshed and/or entered into. There are even threats that he wll leave the Coalition and establish his own political party - which, some of us guess, would be a propagator of Trumpism. Australians are beginning to feel uneasy. This is because of our own political instability now added to with the success of Trump.

I love John Pavlovitz's blog, have read it for some time now and I don't identify as Christian... But his wisdom, love and respect for all, and the quality of his writing are inspirational.


Hillary Clinton has been in politics long enough to know the popular vote is not what wins elections, its the electoral college. Her campaign team shares in the blame for her loss, but ultimately it comes down to Hillary's lack of message, her dishonesty and her inability to bond with voters outside her base. Bernie Sanders had a message and people were very enthusiastic about him. It is truly a shame that the DNC helped to scuttle his chances. He would have been a more viable candidate against Trump.

Donald Trump will be our president now and its time to accept that and move forward. Trump will be our first citizen president that has never held a public office or served in the military. He's a businessman and his goal is to bring back real jobs that pay well and prosperity to the country. I'm for that.

Trump said he would protect SS benefits and modernize Medicare. He isn't planning to repeal all of Obamacare. He will keep things like letting kids stay on their parents insurance until they're 27. That's good for a lot of families. He'll keep the good and change the bad. I'm for that.

I really wish people would give him a chance. He is a very serious businessman. You don't get to be a billionaire if you aren't.

Great Poem.......get well, Ronni.

I *strongly* support the political comment of your posts, along with the elder-related information you provide. As you say, politics is an integral part of our life.

I really DON"T understand how people cannot see Agent Orange for what he is: a con artist. Especially after the revelations coming out in recent days about Russia, and his and family's pay-to-play antics. Why would a billionaire care about the working poor??! He and his cronies are out to make themselves richer, full stop. I give up - if people are that stupid, they deserve all they get.

Thank you for keeping up the good fight. Its important NOT to accept Agent Orange as a normal prez. He is affected by popular opinion - witness his family's drawback from the recent two pay-to-access the PEOTUS. My fondest dream is to see him get his comeuppance. I still rage inside when I see the idiot, unprepared conman win over an extremely well prepared and qualified candidate.

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