A core characteristic of evil is the belief that what one person desires is more important than what others want. Putin and his followers in Russia believe that what they want matters more than what the people of Ukraine want. Ukrainian refugees who abuse persons of color also attempting to escape war are guilty of exhibiting the same characteristic. I am not saying the evil acts are the same. I want to point out and clarify that evil can easily exist in any human being. The way that we can fight evil is to be clear about what it is. Rabbi Hillel described the Old Testament as telling us to ‘treat others as we would wish to be treated’; but modern life is full of examples and prompts that lead us to diminish others to maximize ourselves. Prompts for evil can be subtle or overt; a real estate commercial with testimonials from customers who all happen to NOT be Black or Asian people (are they too different or not transact real estate?), A presidential candidate telling police to handle suspects roughly, a political party denying accountability for criminal behavior while constantly lying and then saying “both sides do it”, state legislatures reducing the rights of women to control their bodies. Jesus told us “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. Liars attack decency and reality because they want to set up a world that puts them at the top of a hierarchy with EVERYONE else diminished. Do not buy the fascist idea that your group or tribe will be elevated over others, ultimately liars play everyone else for pawns in their delusional pursuit of power. Real power comes from controlling ourselves, not stealing it from others. Demand the truth and hold liars who damage reality to undermine others and aggrandize themselves accountable. Having a decent world depends on us being warriors against evil in all of it’s forms.
It appears the Biden administration has COVID in retreat after Trump refused to deal with it seriously. A new book says that Trump was totally fooled by the Chinese leadership and then became angry. He could not admit being tricked so kept lying to cover up and protect his fragile ego. Biden now has to deal with a range of issues that the previous administration ignored or just made worse. From climate to low social mobility and voting rights our country is in danger. Democrats have seen that Republicans are not dedicated to the US Constitution, but focused on power. Lies about the election, the need for masking, climate change, and massive corruption are major issues today. Lies flow too easily from too many Republicans. The old saying that ‘the first casualty of war is the truth’ rings true for today’s America. Joe Biden and the Democrats must continue to make significant progress against major real world threats. while preventing civil war and fighting for the soul of America.
On this MLK holiday every American needs to reflect on current events and where we go from here. The two quotes in the title of this post are great words to ponder. I don’t want my country to go to hell, but we seem to be drifting in that direction. Our culture has become toxic to the decency and dignity of the average citizen. America has media empires built on consistently lying to advance a viewpoint that some people are better than others, and democratic government is a problem. We are far away from believing that all men are created equal, or that the truth will set us free. Evil and selfish people believe that they should control other people while getting a pass for themselves because they are part of an entitled group. We used to believe that some people were royalty and they had special entitlements, now we are fighting the racist lie with the same foundation. There is nothing that says we will make it to a better future for all humanity. Dr. King and great leaders have tried to save us from our worst impulses, but we live in a world where people are fine with supporting evil. The rationales for supporting treachery, corruption, and authoritarian creatures like Trump are increasingly absurd, but Republican majorities of citizens continue to do it. The level of degeneration in our country is dangerous, it will take every decent person to protect our democracy and hope for a better future. Dr. King said that we will get to the promised land; I pray he is right. Be ready to support American institutions, the dignity of your fellow citizens, hold evil accountable, and protect our republic.
The sacking of Capitol by seditious domestic terrorists should have the attention of every American. The terrorists have different belief systems according to reporting. A good deal of the terrorists are white supremacists who want a violent civil war to achieve their goals. Another portion of the terrorists are Qannon conspiracy believers who have lost touch with any known reality, and believe the country is run by evil pedophiles (No one can explain why these people support Trump who hung around with an accused pedophile). Another portion of the terrorists are reported to be religious fundamentalists who believe our society of individual freedom should not exist, and a dictatorship controlling all behavior is preferable to a democracy. The remainder of the terrorists are apparently lost souls who believe that Trump is somehow their savior. The reality for Americans who love our republic is that we face a real and committed threat to our way of life. The common focus of the terrorists is to bring about an authoritarian government that can exert more control over personal freedom. All authoritarians promise their followers special status that others do not enjoy as long as they follow orders (See Timothy Snyder). Right now the terrorists are focused on terrorizing Democrats and our government leaders, once they win that struggle they will come after us. The land of the free and the home of the brave must be just that right now. Be ready to support President Biden, his administration, and our elected lawmakers at the federal and local level because patriotism has never been more important.
The news that the governor of Michigan was the target of a plot to kidnap and murder her is appalling. I wrote a thriller (Centurion Crew available at Amazon) based on a fictional president using racists militias to overthrow the republic. When I wrote the book I was thinking of worst case scenarios, but the headlines keep walking closer to my plot. It is uncomfortable to live in times when unstable people actively seek power while spouting evil thoughts and ideas. So far we have had elements of the government uphold their allegiance to the Constitution. I pray that reality does not mirror fiction. Tom Clancy said “The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.”. Let’s vote and work to make sure the good guys win, and America helps to save the world from Climate Change and evil.
“As long as people believe in absurdities, there will be atrocities” – Voltaire
When I read this quote by Voltaire I feel he is warning us that lies come with a heavy penalty. This is an age where presidential lies are common occurrence, and a group called QAnon makes unfounded claims about pedophile rings running the Democratic party. Americans have to fight to hold media and organized political parties accountable for knowingly spreading lies, or we will all be in danger. While we cannot change others, we can begin with ourselves, and insist on research and facts in communications about issues of the day. Our nation and survival on this planet will depend on our insistence on truth and our valuing of humanity. These are daunting times for us all. Take a break and relax with my new thriller Centurion Crew, available at Amazon!
What happens when people who believe insane theories are in leadership? Voltaire said that “As long as people believe in absurdities, there will always be atrocities”. What we have coming in America is death and destruction if we do not get the conspiracy theories out of positions of power. Trump and many right-wing Republicans are pushing racism, lies, and divisiveness. Leaders who push lies leads to followers who act to destroy freedom and create fear. The truth will set us free and we should select leaders who tell the truth and can cite sources for what they say. Don’t fall for conspiracies that cannot be validated by multiple reliable sources. Vote Democrat up and down the ballot to stop Trump and the fascists in 2020!
Citizenship in a functional republic requires people to pay attention and evaluate the performance of politicians and parties if they want to maximize their freedom. Jesus said “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – he was speaking to us. Benjamin Franklin said “Those who wish to be ignorant and free wish for what never was, and never will be.” – he was speaking to us. We live in an age where people believe in outrageous conspiracy theories and rumors without doing any serious research. It seems our society follows an ethos of; if it feels good or seems to reinforce what I think, believe it. We are in an amazing place where science is questioned for no apparent reason, and a wanna be dictator has run wild for over three years. We got here because we allowed the Republican party to commit serial outrages and when caught get away with the claim of ‘both sides do it’. We stopped evaluating based on truth, the liars got away with it, and here we are. I am hopeful that Americans will stop allowing childish people to claim leadership positions for making war on fellow citizens because of race, class, sexuality, or religion. Stop tyranny and save the republic. Vote in 2020!
America is a world leading country in the worst way right now. Why are we failing so badly? Americans are no longer comfortable with the truth. We feed ourselves comforting lies that feed our selfishness and usually we get away without any consequences, but now the virus has shown us who we really are. We survived three years of a lying president and only our reputation was noticeably damaged. Covid19 is likely our final warning before climate change takes the stage to show mankind what an existential catastrophe looks like. We need to listen to the science and care about each other while resisting foolish selfishness, or the worst will happen. Dr. Martin Luther King said that ‘we must learn to live together as brothers or we will die as fools’. Under the Trump administration we are living as fools with increasing death among us. Wake up and vote like your life depends on it; because it does.
The protests are about much more than Black Lives Matter. A protester sign said “All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.” Some say African Americans are the proverbial canary in the coal mine. In 2016 we elected an individual who gained political fame using the racist birther lie. The individual continues to lie and distort reality to attack others and defend himself. There is no accountability for the individual because his political party chooses to block the truth and limit voter participation. People can ignore a lot when they think things will turn out well for them and those they care about; but they can’t ignore looming disasters to protect a clear threat to their own futures. Citizens are seeking a rock (the truth) to build momentum for decent futures because Trump’s lies and incompetence are so monumental. Trump does not deal honestly with disease, climate, police abuse, and a shaky economy. The myth of strength has been punctured and the evil orange clown is seen increasingly for what he is. Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said you can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time. But, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Many people are tired of the deception as threats grow larger. Please research, talk to friends, register, and vote in 2020 and every election!