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.
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.