Watching Governor Greg Abbott of Texas hold a press conference in Uvalde, TX made it plain that no one takes the media seriously. Abbott said that eighteen year olds in Texas have been able to buy “long guns” for the last 60 years. No journalist asked about assault rifles or the period of the ban on them (from 1994 to 2004) and mass shootings in Texas during that period. Governor Abbott and the Texas media initially after the shooting said the shooter had a handgun, it was only late in the day of primary elections that the true murder weapons were revealed. Journalists never asked Governor Abbott about the delay in identifying the weapons, or if there were a political reason for this. Abbott said the murderer had no adult record, but there was no discussion that his eighteenth birthday was only a week before the shooting. An obvious question for the Governor and legislators is whether they believe that eighteen year olds need weapons of war like assault rifles; no journalist asked about this. It is reported that most mass shootings are committed by young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four; if this is a fact it was never brought up by journalists. Governor Abbott said that mental health is a problem in the Uvalde, Texas area; he was not asked why he would not expand Medicaid to get more dollars from the federal government for healthcare. Journalists in America have a problem; they seem to have limited mental capacity, courage, or character. Greg Abbott, Republicans, and other politicians regularly get away with ridiculous lies, misdirection, or spin to the detriment of American institutions and citizenry. If journalists are record keepers they need to use it to ask questions that matter.
America has long seen itself as the home of the fee and the brave, but we have been clearly slipping in the last six years or so. The Trump campaign and presidency were built on lies and grievance, but he was in the White House thanks to the electoral college. Free and brave people do not elect or tolerate low character criminals. Even though the majority of American voters have never chosen Trump; his long-term ability to influence our politics are an indictment of us all. Why do I say this? Jesus said that we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. Truth is the basis for freedom in the world; access to, and reliance on the truth are protected ferociously by intelligent free people. Trump attempted to overthrow an election after an apparent crime spree during his administration; yet Republicans continue to support him. In private Republicans reported;y claim that they are fearful for their political and personal survival if they cross Trump. Is large-scale fear and cowardice indicative of a free and brave people? Most of the press and political elite today seems focused on safety and acquisition of personal status or power. The coming elections in 2022 and 2024 will be a referendum on the character and decency of the American people. Act to make sure that good triumphs in America and vote against Republicans who do not stand up to Trump. We live in interesting times./
The Republican Party has morphed into a collection of lost and power-hungry con-artists. They no longer want small government; they want dictatorship, or at least oligarchy where the desire of the few matters more than that of the majority. The Republicans have achieved their collapse by the continuous failure of the American people to hold them accountable. The leaders of the party have exhibited the worst criminality and corruption and gotten away with it, and now there are only two places left to go; destroy the US Constitution or lose power and re-create themselves. Will voters follow up and deal with Republicans? Will Greg Abbott be held responsible for needlessly slowing commerce at the border and placing bounties on Texas women? Will Ron DeSantis win his culture war with Disney over LGBTQ rights? At a time when Climate Crisis tells us we are running out of time; are Republicans questioned about their plans to deal with carbon in the atmosphere, or if they believe in man-made climate change? The American media is not a strong institution because they are dominated by oligarchs, but I hope enough American citizens recognize this time of peril for what it is. We are moving toward reckonings that will lift the veil of delusion and reveal our true nature. I hope every American realizes the truth of our time and our role in creating or saving a decent world.
Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs appear to be set for an attack on Ukraine despite warnings from a united NATO. Putin does not seem to be concerned about the long-term consequences because he has allies. American right-wing media buy the fascist tribal rationales that Putin and the oligarchs use to obscure their theft and greed. The Russian oligarchs have heavily invested in western businesses and have made a lot more headway than the communists ever did. Money and power are desired by amoral opportunists everywhere. Republicans are attacking the right to vote and the impact of the vote in America; just like Putin and the oligarchs in Russia. Russians are not free and they will be distracted by Putin’s war in Ukraine as he solidifies himself as ruler for life. Are we headed for a similar fate in America? Americans need to be ready to defend freedom and democracy over here, and over there. Support President Biden and the Democrats until Republicans cease their support of Trump’s attacks on truth and democracy.
The Russian leader and his oligarch henchmen currently menacing Ukraine and NATO’s eastern border are counting on a weakened United States and Western Europe. Putin’s primary tools in weakening his foes are cyber warfare, white supremacist fascism, and propaganda spread by right wing mass and social media. The Russians know America is divided and that they have allies who openly champion the cause of the oligarchs under the cover of racism and grievance. We don’t know who the new oligarchs will be in America, or if they are already members of the club. We have a lot of evidence of strange behavior by people in power who seem not to care about democracy or truth. Every American should make themselves aware of clear and present dangers that have factual basis. Conspiracy theories can typically not be proven, but we have evidence piling up of internal and external threats to freedom and democracy. Act and vote to defend your rights and freedoms.
Examples of Republican weakness in the face of an attempted fascist takeover byTrump and his followers continues to grow. Many Republican officeholders appear to have participated in a conspiracy to overthrow a democratic election in 2020; but former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich threatens Democrats with imprisonment if they keep investigating. The saying that power corrupts absolutely is played out daily in front of the American people by Republicans who offer racism and victimization of the other as a rationale to vote for obviously corrupt liars. We can no longer pretend that both sides do it when one party has made an effort to overthrow the will of the people and is planning to block access to the ballot after manipulating voting districts. Tribalism is a powerful force but so is love of the truth and freedom. America is at a crossroads where one road leads to a land of lying politicians whose only goal is power as they increase their control of reality through media propaganda outlets. When you see or hear stories about how terrible Biden and the Democrats are think of Trump and the weak twisted liars running the Republican Party.
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.
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.
The United States and it’s mass media outlets have a problem in identifying and reinforcing the truth. We have many manifestations of this problem: 1) Many Americans including highly educated and famous people do not believe in science and health professionals, or their vaccines despite over 700,000 deaths from COVID. 2) Many Americans believe more in a lying conman than the American voting system or the FBI; despite mountains of evidence of long term corruption by Trump. 3) Republican political strategy is increasingly reliant on comfortable lies like Critical Race Theory being taught in K-12 schools, or January 6th insurrectionists were just tourists. If Americans do not start to wake up to the truth and act on it we risk that Wiley Coyote moment realizing we are over a cliff about to fall.
Recent reports from US intelligence agencies say that Konstantinos Kilimnik was a Russian agent who received information from Paul Manafort that helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election. Due to the polarization of our media and politics some Americans are outraged that a former president and his campaign collaborated with a foreign attack; others (typically Republicans) will pretend it never happened while lying about people they don’t like. Foreign attacks on our country will continue and escalate as long as we are too busy fighting each other to deal with outsiders. I hope we can become a nation where politicians cannot hide from the truth by going on Fox or other right-wing outlets and lying. Let’s pray that American reverence for the truth will return and we can build a greater future for ourselves on solid ground.