I think the game of Monopoly describes our society very well.

We’re all players here: I’m quite fond of the thimble. It neatly fits on your pinkie finger. Maybe you’re a race car guy. Or a battleship type. Maybe you like the Scotty dog. And we all set off going around the board trying to better our standing. Sometimes you can get around Go and get a little more money that you seek to invest before you have to pay it to someone else.

And there’s all kinds of players. Some guys like to BE the banker. In control of all the transactions. Some are the type who like to sit to the side of the banker and slip an occasional $500 from the till when nobody’s looking. Some are the types who like to argue about the rules in order to get an advantage.

“You can’t do that! That’s cheating!”

“It is not! It’s in the rules!”

Did you ever sit beside that guy when you had to actually pull out the rules and go over them? Yeah, that’s a blast.

But our capitalist economy and society is kind of like that, right? Sometimes life is fun. Sometimes it’s a drag. You win some.

America, though, is the table upon which you set the board. The playing surface is nice and level and it facilitates the game. It stands upon three legs or pillars; Truth, Justice and the American Way. If it’s good enough for Superman (who was a news reporter in his day job, by the way) it is good enough for me.

Let’s examine America’s pillars, shall we?

Truth is in a difficult state of repair right now. Our founding fathers noted that to have a democracy, you first must have a well informed public. A well educated public.

Justice. The rules. Yes. Much fighting about the rules now. Much fighting about the arbiters (judges) of the rules too.

The American Way? I’d say that comes down to fairness. Equal access to the truth and to the justice.

Step one. When your President, who was born of fake news, has fake skin, fake hair, and plays a business man on TV, came out and identified journalists as “enemies of the people,” he took a chainsaw to one of the pillars of America.

Step two. When the Republican party decides to pack the court with activist judges, something they used to scream about non-stop, but which they do non-stop today, they seek to not only change the rules of the democracy in their favor but to also work the referees, swaying the judges to see things their way.

Step three. When the Republican party has filed hundreds of lawsuits prior to election day to limit access to the polls during a pandemic, they’ve released a wave of termites into the third pillar of democracy.

There are players at our table who want to saw off portions of the table’s legs, so that the game goes their way no matter what. And when the table, itself, tilts, so that those who did the damage reap the benefits as all the cream of the American experiment slides off the table into their own pockets no matter the roll of the dice, well, America has changed into something else.

I’m sick of Republican efforts to rig the game while they call out fraud across the barricades.

Trump has sued every county in Pennsylvania and lost prior to the election. Now, after the election, Rudy Giuliani appears in full clown attire in court in Williamsport to cry fraud. But under direct questioning from the court, Giuliani had to admit, “This is not a fraud case.”

Rudy can scream fraud all he wants on Fox: They have no ethics. But in a court of law, where you need EVIDENCE and PROOF, the lie is apparent.

Republicans are trying the same stunts in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia and their cases are being dismissed almost out of hand. In the recent Pennsylvania case, a half-dozen lawyers on the Trump side have withdrawn, leaving Trump bag-man, Rotten Rudy, to enter court for the first time in thirty years to argue conspiracy theories not even alleged in the complaint.

If you’re going to cry fraud, you have to put up evidence or shut up.

The Republicans don’t hate America. They just want it all for themselves.

Listen. If this democracy is to work properly you need both parties to behave responsibly. Democrats appear to believe that government has a role to play in our society while Republicans disagree. Why else would Trump appoint saboteurs to head so many important government agencies? Trump, and the Republicans who enable him, are fire-bombing the democracy. Worse, they’re doing it for their own benefit.

Republicans are not just rigging the game, they are damaging the table.

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Shawn Inlow is an English major out of Slippery Rock State University when they were still called “The Rockets;” a former Journalist for the Courier-Express and The Progress and WOKW radio; a soccer coach since the ’70s; a founding member of the Clearfield Arts Studio Theater (CAST); a Pennsylvania State Trooper for 20 years. He is retired now and building a new theater in Philipsburg.

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