The great NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin is quoted as saying “Pressure makes the good fold, and the great focus.” Americans who believe in democracy and the rule of law need to focus right now to maintain and improve what we have as a country. What we must defend is our constitutional republic. Freedom loving people cannot turn away from the hot mess that is America. Donald Trump and Republicans want to create a country where they have overwhelming power and no accountability. The reality of Republican overreach does not mean that Democrats can do no wrong, but it does mean that we must factor in the threat posed by Republicans and their media echo chamber when voting or participating in civic life. Right now Republican lying and coverup for crimes and attempted coups are the major threat to the American way of life. Research and act to protect the future of decency and democracy.
Have you noticed how many times you watch the news and you get a lot of perceptions and feelings about an issue, but not details that are important? Why are there so many lies swirling around but no truth? Is the truth unaccessible or are media outlets not interested in you having the major facts to make a decision? I hear a lot of talk about voting rights bills, but rarely any facts about what is in the bills. Why don’t we start with the facts of the bills and then ask politicians (who work for us) what is their opinion and vote on the bills? Mass media outlets are so involved in the politics of the major events of our times because they have their own angle: access to decision-makers, and ownership’s interests in outcomes. Every story about voting rights should begin with what the major pieces of the bills are; but we never hear that because that might sway us one way or the other. It is clear that citizens or viewers are not the bottom line; it is the interests of the elites. America is dying a slow death because truth and facts are relegated to the sidelines. Ask your favorite network or channel to display the major facts about bills, acts, proposals, and any events they cover; if they get something wrong or leave it out they can always update and revise. What our media is doing is dumbing down content to the point where consumers have no idea what is in their interest, and lies make as much sense as facts.
The John Lewis Voting Advancement Bill and the Freedom to Vote Bill are critical to the strengthening of the American republic. The more Americans who vote based on factual information will translate into better leadership and American success. The Republican wall to minimize voting and the Manchin/Sinema resistance to change cabal are problems that may lead to catastrophe. Opposing making it easier to cast a thoughtful vote while eliminating dark money, political gerrymandering, and Election Day lying is corrupt. If you are an American voter you have a long and short term strategy to minimize the threat to our future. In the short-term you can contact your representatives and the two Senators while contributing to Democratic campaigns. In the long-term you can support Democrats until Republicans start telling the truth and acting to support a stronger future for the American republic. People of good will must act with alacrity and energy to stave off violence and insanity in our streets.
We are entering a critical period in the story of America. We cannot undo what has already been done to bring us to this point, but we can act to avoid doom for our republic. Call, email, text, or write to your representatives to vote for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Fighting to make voting easier for American citizens is the best way to stop delusional authoritarians from destroying the country. When dark money is taken out of our elections and gerrymandered districts no longer allow politicians to select their voters; we will be stronger. Access to the truth, voter education and high citizen participation are critical for a strong democracy; we are trending in the wrong direction. Today’s Republican Party lies so often because they have propaganda networks that will echo what they say without challenge. Talking points that attack the truth and science are running rampant in our country. Before it is too late we must all remember the famous words of Senator Hiram Johnson; “The first casualty of war is the truth.” Who and what will be next in a struggle that January 6, 2021 only made clear?
We live in a time of steroidal bad news, but there is reason for hope as we finish 2021 and roll into 2022. Joe Biden is President and Donald Trump is not, and the failure of the Trump coup effort to date is a reason for hope. The truth is stronger than it was in 2020 because Trump is not in office spewing a stream of lies. Scientist say that the climate crisis is bad, but could be worse. Because government and private industry are responding to the challenge the worst version of climate change may be avoided. More will need to be done on climate, but the good news is we have reason for hope, and must push for a more human-friendly planet on all people (as well as other creatures and living things). Governments and institutions are making progress in protecting society against COVID. You can feel the potential for a return to a comfortable new normal after the pandemic has become manageable. Responsible institutions and organizations are pushing the idea of human dignity and against far-right hate, misogyny, and nazism. Major issues will remain with us, but there are reasons to hope for progress and improvement in 2022 if we remain engaged.
We live in a time of liars and criminals attempting to determine reality and the future for America. Many of us thought that the forces of this sort of evil were defeated in World War II, but that is not the case. Accountability for people who have committed crimes and been pardoned by the 45th president, or others involved in the ongoing coup attempts seems too slow. If you are an American who has traditionally been Republican ask yourself are you a patriot, or a party member first. If you are independent ask yourself who is seeking accountability for people who attempted the overthrow the will of the people in the last election. If you are a Democrat keep contacting your representatives to push for justice and a better America through voting rights bills and the Build Back Better Act. If you are a decent person who dreams of a better world do all of the above, and be prepared to act against evil attempting to take over your country.
The Omicron variant of COVID is making it’s presence felt while many Americans continue to refuse wearing a mask. The Build Back Better plan with half a trillion dollars in funds to fight climate change is blocked by one Democrat because no Republicans will vote for it. America and the world face existential issues as politics continue without reference to impending disasters. We seem to be whistling in the graveyard; not past it. The Antarctic ice sheet that is forecast to break off in 3 to 5 years is not discussed much on the evening news because we have trouble handling negative predictions. The idea seems to be that real estate moguls and elites in Florida (or other coastal areas) will be able to gain the high ground before the masses have a clue. We all need to spread the word to demand truth and justice while it is still legal to do so.
America has not been dealing with the truth for years. Seeing a buffoonish, hateful conman like Trump as a leader was a manifestation of internal division, broken media, and power lusting politicians. The Republican Party practices the big lie with relish. Their mantra is to lie and keep lying without apology. Weak media combined with Americans not wanting to believe anything that doesn’t match pre-conceived notions foretell a devastating future. Lying has paid off so far for Republicans; if they ride it to victory in 2022 the path forward will reveal an America in steep decline. The January 6 commission will hopefully get the truth out about an attempted coup assisted by numerous Republicans in leadership positions. Hopefully the truth will cause Americans to exact a price for threatening the power of the people. The odds are reportedly favoring the Republicans right now despite clear evidence of ongoing corruption and lies. Americans who support Republicans want to believe immigrants, the truth, science, and minorities are a threat, America’s choice in 2022 and 24 will have monstrous consequences.
In the world of Trump no one is responsible for anything. If you tell people to show up and threaten to get what you want; is it your fault? Trump did it on January 6, 2021 and he is not being charged with anything; are the smash and grab crime spree organizers different? I think that both should be held accountable, but in today’s America we are waiting almost a year later in Trump’s case. Leadership matters, but in modern America a wink and a nod agreement sends the message that others are to be targeted for behavior that has no impact for the right kinds of people. From mass murderers being taken for hamburgers by South Carolina police, to Trump leading a decades long crime spree with no consequences, we are witnessing an America lost and in danger. Millions of Americans claim they do not trust medical doctors or science, while others claim elections are rigged but provide no evidence. America’s enemies see a nation that is more likely to devolve into civil war than to fight to save democracy, or a liberal world order. America is weak and short-sighted enemies may pursue selfish goals rather than work together to save human civilization from climat crisis. The 2016 election may have been the final nail in the coffin; we shall see.
Temperature averages are going up all over the world, but we can all be thankful that hope still exists for the survival of human civilizations. The issue is that we have no idea when hope for the future will vaporize in a spiral of endlessly increasing temperatures. Will the permafrost catch on fire, will we notice that temperature records are being broken every day? We do not know what the end of hope for human friendly climate will look like. Who wants to wait for hope to disappear? Contact your representatives and let them know the Build Back Better Act must be passed as soon as possible.