Michael Dobson newspaper

By Michael Dobson


Will the desire for power, the art of politics and strategically created division, supercede what it means to be the best of America?

What I heard on July 24, 2019 in the Mueller hearings is that there is  evidence which culminates  into all of the essential elements of obstruction of justice,  and that there was obvious complicity with a foreign government to put its thumb on our elections (and lying about it). With that, and because no one contested them,  I came away  knowing that those facts are real. Yes, remarkably, no one disputed the unthinkable by  an inhabitant of our highest office.

The things that the Mueller report points to really happened... even if we don't want to admit it. And, we should be concerned about them regardless of political parties or teams. The facts are simply the facts.

Furthermore,  it was said more than once by Mueller that a regular citizen would have been jailed had he/she engaged in the same activity. What is even more disappointing is that the GOP knew those facts were there, and are real... but to combat what is the plain truth as laid bare during the Mueller testimony...chose a strategy to divert their acolytes and the nation's attention rather than even try to defend the indefensible. It chose to talk about the Steel Dossier, which they knew Mueller could not get into, as a distraction... a loud one at that.

It is time for our political leaders to stop putting power and politics ahead of American values and America itself. We've not always been a country that would sit back and tacitly approve of  what this president has clearly done... which the GOP suggest when it did not even deny fact, as bad as they are ...acknowledge them, nor rightfully condemn them for their global and moral implications  as reflected upon a nation and its highest leader. I honestly don't know what is happening to our values. We have  so called evangelicals,supposed Christians... who props up a man that is in no way a Christian by his actions, his language, one with lacking demonstrable ethics and morals throughout his public and business life,  who does not go to church regularly and never have, his treatment of others and etc... nothing about his behavior reminds me of Jesus or what Jesus says on the Sermon on the Mount... a man who has shown no respect for women,  to see them only as sex objects all of his life... to grade them based on physical appearance, to be what can best be described as simply a transactional opportunist. Despite propagandized photos of him hanging out with black athletes entertainers and etc back in the day, the truth is, he was doing so because it was beneficial to HIS business as a casino owner, who was also in the fight business at the time. Did you know that he was also a Democrat? This is not a man who really cares about either party. As a transactional opportunist, he engages in things and makes allegiances that he needs at the time to benefit himself.

To know him, you only need to read a few things... read anything you can get your hands on by Ayan Rand, and know who Roy Cohen is. I've been there... had my being an Ayan Rand acolyte days, but mine was short lived and not life long. This is just who he is and in some regards, its not his fault. He was born an elitist, into a family that practiced open bigotry, that cut corners using their wealth... again, not his fault. From birth he was taught that the rules did not apply to him.... that the world only employed two categories... winners and losers. He knows... and you will get it in Ayan Rands writings, that no one cares about 2nd place... that it only matters who is winning, and who is the loser. He seeks winning at all cost, and in the present that includes dividing our country .. dangerously... on issues of race and culture to exploit the division that is always under the surface. Does he care that there are unhinged folks out there stock piling weapons because they believe a race war is imminent? No. He's not concerned about that danger and how some will react to what he stirs up. Again, all he cares about is the winning...as he is a transactional opportunist, concerned only with winning... to end up with the advantage. This is who he is, and we need to be honest about it.

In the past few months, I have had people tell me that this is the end of times (the end of the world) according to signs they speak to in the bible. Some have mentioned needing to get a gun to prepare for what they believe will be an impending race war, and some simply voiced fear.

Don't kid yourself, we are indeed in a dangerous time. Because of the science of social media platforms, algorithms, the message targeting and etc, one can easily identify and target the unhinged or those that prescribe to a certain racial view or set of beliefs based on their identified interest, websites visited and etc to send them whatever propaganda that can be created to deepen their hatred or their fears and further divide a nation; and use that same supersized division to win elections, to saturate their inboxes and social media portals  with pointed propaganda and a radical political agenda, to ultimately keep those engaged in such information so focused on their hatred.... that they fail to realize  that their pockets are being picked by the most wealthy among them. At the Mueller hearing, we learned that Russian operatives understood our vulnerabilities and exacerbated them using various tools  ( including mostly social media)  to influence an election with the goal of electing the current president, and our president welcomed it... and even asked for more.

Dr. Martin Luther King tried to do an end around how our divisions make us vulnerable to such by creating the Poor Peoples Campaign, with the idea that putting poor or marginalized people together across racial, culture and gender lines on the issue of poverty and lack of opportunity to address the real disparities that exist in America. It's an idea that was first brought to his attention by a young NAACP lawyer in Mississippi by the name of Marian Wright, who is now Marian Wright Elderman, the founder of  the Children's Defense Fund.  Dr. King was killed shortly after starting that campaign. He understood that if all people of modest means ever got together and rose up together knowing that they are in the same boat.. to not be separated by demagoguery that pit race against race, that we would have a real economic movement in America,  and substantive discussions to level the playing field for all Americans. But today, while those in power have never been keen on this idea, technology has given them diabolical tools to even better and more deeply divide Americans in a way that is not only perhaps permanent, but also dangerous. I wish there was a way to have perhaps a week whereby we divest ourselves of our smartphones, our divisive and manipulative cable news shows, and simply be communal and contemplative. A dream for sure.

Attending high school in the 1970's in my little central Florida town of Bartow , there was one class which everyone had to take and pass before graduating. This class at Bartow Senior High in 1977 was called "Orientation". Orientation was a class where we studied the Soviet Union (Russia) and to be more frank, we studied communism mostly... and  Joseph Stalin's totalitarianism that oversaw mass repressions, ethnic cleansing, deportations and executions. Back then, we understood the slippery slope of censorship, of divisions based on ethnicity as we were then bringing our country together after school integration and the civil rights act. We understood who America is and was uniquely and painfully focused on being that America, as our  striving for diversity then was a national goal as we formed our identification as a diverse nation seeking equality in all sectors of American life. This was the 70's. It included us accepting ... finally... this beautiful mixture of ethnicities, shades, languages; native Americans, immigrants and descendants of slaves. We promoted strong families, christian values, hard work , passion and compassion for the least of those by developing fair housing models, affirmative action to level the playing field, multiculturalism... all the things a strong, talented and diverse nation needed to be the powerhouse it would become. In a bad war, the vietnam war, flags were burned,  and even some of  those who served ....came back home to protest the wrongness of that war. We knew that loving America included criticizing it... that the freedom to do so is what made American great and is Americana itself. Criticizing America is loving America in its oldest tradition... as it is the charge given us by our founding fathers so that we indeed have a free society, where we constantly strove to make our union stronger... to have redress of government and to challenge power, so that we would not have a king or be ruled by a tyrannical leader. I always understood that America is where people came to escape religious persecution, to be this place where there is no state sponsored religion.... that we have religious freedoms to worship or not worship as we please. But, who are we now?

Who are we when we suggest that someone  of Muslim faith is less than me because i am of Methodist faith... that somehow by simply the designation of religious faith,  a Muslim must love America less. Are we so ignorant to actually believe that because a radical bastardized version of Islam created the suicide bombers of 9/11, that such was a true representation of its faith; what about when christian men kill outside of abortion clinics, or shoot up churches or synagogues ? Does the latter mean that all Christians like myself are bloodthirsty  murderers who hate America and the people in it, and  that they are not Americans  who are exercising our freedoms provided by our constitution as the promises of our founding fathers? We were not that way under any president in my lifetime until now. We have always been principled and careful about power, but not anymore. It's drunken and blazen displays of it in the most crass ways unimaginable.

Today, regular folks like you and I are pawns for what is an absolute power grab of the most wealthy. We used to have a FTC that realized the danger of monopolies and sought to break them up, but that no longer exist either. Our social media platforms and associated apps  are essentially just a few companies ( with some outliers waited to be bought by a larger one). In some respects that one  company ( or group of a few) is actually the government. While we march  at state capitols and march on Washington for various reasons, why are we not matching to stop our government from spying on us? Yes, that little device in you pocket is what the government, through private social media companies, use to spy on you.. to know your every interest, your exact location at all times, who your friends are, what you've taken a picture of..... to know every  aspect of your life from minute to minute because it knows where you are at all times. Why are we not picketing or marching about  that? When did we become so passive? Why do we sit back and  do nothing when we have a president whose mode of operations is to divide rather  than bring us together.. to speak to our higher angels, that does the bidding of a foreign dictatorship, that shows open preference to strong men who are often enemies of the state. Is it because we are distracted... that there is two much noise, or that there is information overload which makes it even easier for us to be manipulated... because that information overload itself forces us to get our information from those places we are predisposed to agree with.... to not challenge anything said there. Are we free thinkers anymore, or do we only think we are ... while being essentially programmed by clever algorithms and media self-targeting that we unwittingly let control our lives? When will we take our country back... take ourselves back... all of us, every hue, ethnicity, religion and all that is America?  I worry.


Michael Dobson is a longtime Tallahassee lobbyist, President/CEO of the Dream Foundation,Inc.,  founder of Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association (FREPA), Publisher of Talking Florida Politics,   and founder as President and CEO  of Dobson, Craig and Associates... one of Florida's oldest minority owned lobbying and political consulting firms in its state capital. Reach him at Michael@dobsonandcraig.com

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