Author Archives: Paul Steven Stone

THE SMALLEST MAN IN THE WORLD

How could we elect someone whose very instinct is to
destroy what we’ve created over centuries?

How have we come to this?

How has America, once the world’s leader in extending hope, compassion and critical assistance to a world standing beneath our shadow, undergone such a size-mic shift in empathy and generosity?

How could we, the richest nation in the world—in the history of the world!—suddenly view the pain and suffering of others, whether they be Mexican immigrants, Kurdish allies or American Covid-19 casualties, as of little or no concern?

When did we make such a tragic and perverse turn in direction?

As I suspect you already know, it happened when we gave in to America’s worst impulses, craven fears and our most selfish values. They were buried beneath the surface of the high-minded ideals that have carried us forward from the days of our founders.

It happened when we elected Donald J. Trump as our 45th president.

And it happened because we unknowingly elected THE SMALLEST MAN IN THE WORLD to captain our ship of state and bring us safely through the sudden storms and dangerous waters we would inevitably face. A man unfit for the job both in temperament and character. A man so driven by his own sense of self-importance and self-indulgence, he is unable to see the needs of others, the true functions of government or the importance of our traditional values.

In fact, Donald Trump is unable to see anything except in relation to his own well-being and his puffed-up narcissistic view of Donald J. Trump. If it increases his wealth, it is good. If it weakens his enemy, it is good. If it redounds to his self-created legend, it is beautiful!

In Donald Trump’s mind, better to kill off tens of thousands of Americans than admit his inaction or inept response to a pandemic was in any way his own fault. If Americans had to die to protect his reputation, then they died in a worthy cause. No reason for regret or tears. Anything Donald J. Trump does, or doesn’t do, must be the right thing. 

Conversely, anything left undone by Donald J. Trump, should never have been done in the first place.

Thus the reasoning of THE SMALLEST MAN IN THE WORLD. The man who would pit the power of the government against anyone who would oppose him. The man who would politicize the workings of government so that his friends’ crimes would be forgiven, and his friends’ taxes decreased and his business interests would be the primary beneficiary of his foreign relations.

As Nancy Pelosi said,
“With Trump, all roads lead to Putin.

Nobody is too small to escape his wrath. Not Alexander Vindman, whose career in the military was squashed after he testified against Trump for an extortionary phone call with the president of Ukraine. Not Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, who Trump still assails to his followers, even after her thwarted kidnapping. Not the territory of Puerto Rico who, for reasons known only to Trump, has earned his undying enmity. Not Michael Cohen. Not Nancy Pelosi. Not the Democrats. Not Mitt Romney. Not Andrew Cuomo. Not Blue states. Not the United States Post Office.

And not Anthony Fauci whose only real crime was to earn the trust of the American people where Trump could not.

It took us 44 previous presidents to arrive at the man who would tear this nation apart and drag it down, if that’s what it takes to raise himself above the flag. And above us all.

Ironic to think THE SMALLEST MAN IN THE WORLD is so blinded by his narcissism, he believes himself bigger than America.

And by the time he’s done, he just might be right.

REPUBLICAN 2020 JOB PLAN: PUT JIM CROW BACK TO WORK

Not since the days of widespread suppression of black voters in the South has Jim Crow seen such popularity and regular employment within a political party. 

Only this time it’s the Republican Party suppressing votes. 

Only this time it’s in every state they can get away with it.

And this time it’s not just blacks whose votes are suppressed, but educated whites, young people and, of course, any minorities unlikely to vote for Republicans.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott became the poster child for the GOP’s National Voter Suppression Movement. Abbott’s executive order to limit ballot drop-off boxes to only one per country flies in the face of logic, geographic reality, the needs of Texans and political fairness.

In Harris County, Texas, a county with almost 4.5 million citizens in an area of 1,777 square miles, which is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island, Abbott ordered the county’s usual 11 drop-off boxes be reduced to one.

In a recent North Carolina election, GOP Congressional candidate Mark Harris was caught using a political consultant, a known GOP vote-rigger, to collect and fraudulently alter mail-in ballots. 

Fake GOP Ballot Box

In California, just two days ago, Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued a cease and desist order to the state’s GOP Party for placing fraudulent ballot drop-off boxes in three counties. The fake drop-off boxes were all labeled “OFFICIAL.” 

That’s just the most obvious tip of the iceberg. For years, in election after election, Republicans have used their positions of power to make voting near impossible in non-Republican districts. In 2016, Arizonans had to wait 3-5 hours in line to vote, many to only discover their voter registrations had been misfiled, lost or mysteriously non-existent.

In Florida, thousands of felons have been wiped off the voter rolls, ostensibly because they owed some nuisance fine or fee.

The examples run on and on, like a sad litany of woes that shout “Lie!” to any claim America makes to being a democracy. 

A reasonable person might ask, what price Republicans pay for disenfranchising Americans as part of their national strategy? 

Yes, what is the punishment for trying to reduce the voter rolls or, failing that, to exhaust voters’ patience and desire to vote with insufficient poll locations, faulty equipment, poorly trained poll workers, and hacked voter registration rolls?

Nothing.

Just think, if a runner wins a race by tripping his or her opponent, would they ever be declared the winner? If the owner of a racehorse crippled the favorite in a race, would he or his his horse ever walk in the winner’s circle?

Only in American politics can such unfair, illogical and, yes, un-American behavior result in the candidate who should be disqualified end up winning all the spoils.

It’s time we sent Jim Crow out to pasture for good. 

And time that any politician—Republican or Democrat—who cheats the system or disenfranchises the other guy’s supporters be sent to a place where he’ll get a free orange suit for his troubles. 

Even if that means no Republicans are left free to run for office.

LITTLE TIN SOLDIER

Steadfast tin soldier

Little tin soldier all in a row,

Locked in a box with nowhere to go.

You have to feel sorry for Mike Pence. Not only for having nothing he could honestly defend last night in confronting the 4-year catastrophe he and his boss have presided over, but for having to do it in front of the only audience he really fears or cares about, the mad, mad steroid muncher in the Oval Office. 

Little tin soldier all in a row,

Locked in a box with nowhere to go.

Loyal to a tin autocrat everyone knows

Is cruel, unforgiving and a liar who sows

Chaos and confusion, Covid-19 or no.

But, valiant in his own way, Pence defended the administration. An administration unparalleled in history for poor judgment, lack of empathy, and refusal to face reality, all of which has brought our country to the edge of a cliff whose drop would erase the affluence, the world leadership and defense of freedom America has always stood for. 

Two incompetent peas in a corrupt, unfeeling pod.

Poor little tin soldier raising a tin rifle to shoot at birds too big to fall for his flaccid denials of responsibility or culpability. “210,000 deaths,” he was frequently reminded, never dreaming of saying he was sorry or saddened by it, the only reply that would have done him any credit as an honest or compassionate human being.

Little tin soldier locked in his box,

While back home his boss tweets off his socks.

One lie after another he sends through the air

Spewing grievances, conspiracies and hate everywhere.

Little tin soldier locked in a box with nowhere to go.

“The flies have it!” I grinned and wanted to cheer

As one musca domestica* landed on Pence’s hair.

How surely discerning the fly must have been

To spot bullshit so quickly and then to dig in.

Poor little tin soldier. Poor defender of defenseless behavior, poor bobbing head sitting in the back of Trump’s limo, his head bouncing up and down as his boss rides in circles around Walter Reed Hospital. Poor little Mike Pence whose pact with the devil is about to come due. He didn’t choose to jump off the cliff, but his nose was too deeply stuck up Trump’s rear end to pull out in time.

Little tin soldier all in a row

Locked in a box with miles to go.

Locked with Trump’s lies and headed for a fall

No wings, no parachute to protect him at all.

Poor Little Tin Soldier!

So sad to see you crawl.

*American housefly

THE PRINCE OF IRONY

You’re in deep shit when you elect a president who would be King.

Was there ever another president, or national ruler, whose every action, decision or statement would effortlessly cascade across his country in a torrent of irony?

Starting with the obvious, this Coronavirus from which we all seek protection or recovery, was detected and reported to President Trump sometime in late January. That he fully understood the danger it posed for the country and its citizens is made clear in the tapes Bob Woodward released with his latest book, “Rage.”

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump confides to Woodward on February 7th of this year. “And so that’s a very tricky one,” he continued. “That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu…This is deadly stuff.” 

Compare those words from a fully informed president with the actions, or lack of action, Trump subsequently undertook, and you’re left standing on a quickly melting iceberg in a sea of irony. 

Faced with the greatest threat of his presidency, Trump always managed to find a golf course to relieve the pressure.

Rather than marshal the forces of the US government to withstand this looming invasive threat, rather than invoke the power of the Defense Production Act to offset predictable shortages of medical equipment the country would need, Trump imposed a partial ban of travel from China and went about his business as usual. Choosing to view the ensuing death and calamity as a problem best left to the states to manage.

Not only did President Trump fail to take ample measures to protect the country, his words and actions up until this past weekend were all designed to give the public a false sense of security. 

Trump often projects his behavior onto others

Knowing full well that the virus was passed in the air, he nevertheless chose to model irresponsible behavior by not wearing a mask and making those who sensibly chose to wear masks subject to derision and ridicule, setting one group of Americans against another. So, yes, the irony of turning a life-saving measure like mask-wearing into a political schism, amongst other actions to obscure the truth of the virus from Americans, will haunt Trump’s presidential legacy down through history.

Two Russian Bears in full gallop

The ironies of this Prince of Irony are countless, though the motivations behind them still remain obscure. Many of Trump’s questionable decisions about American foreign relations defy comprehension. Most of them can only be answered by leaps of logic that border on treason and traitorous behavior. The abandonment of our Kurd allies in Syria, the crumbling of relations with age-old NATO allies, the withholding of critical military supplies from Ukraine, all redound to the interest of Russia instead of America.

And now, we are left to face the biggest irony of all. The man who famously denied the virus has been struck down by it. The billionaire who paid either nothing or $750 a year in taxes during the last 15 years, is now enjoying taxpayer-funded medical care only a monarch could normally afford.

But that’s not the biggest irony we now face. Those of us who dislike, distrust and resent Trump’s boorish and irresponsible  behavior in office are left to face our own intractable irony. 

As compassionate human beings we cannot help but wish a safe—but maybe not so speedy—recovery to this man we fear will complete the destruction of American democracy if he’s left to pursue another four years as President of the United States.

If that’s not irony, what is?

I CAN BREATHE FREELY NOW

I can breathe freely now that Trump is ill
I can see all outrages fall away  
Gone are the daily crises that blew my mind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Tested positively day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Tested positively day!

Oh, yes I can say it now that Trump is ill
Most of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that respite I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Tested positively day!

Look all around, there’s nothing but Mike Pensive
Look straight ahead, nothing seems truly offensive

I can breathe freely now the lies are gone
I can see all corruption falling away
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Tested positively day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Tested positively day!


It’s going to be a bright (bright)
“Karma’s gonna get you” day!
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
“Karma’s gonna get you” day!
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
“Karma’s gonna get you” day