Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “empires of the future will be empires of the mind”. To me he is saying that the old tribal empires are the past, and the future will be driven ideas. Until recently America was perhaps the most admired nation in the world. Four years of Trump’s xenophobia, fascism, and racism have left even allies feeling that they cannot trust America because Americans put him in power. We allowed our strengths of truth and diversity to be undermined by a clownish wannabe dictator. America is on the comeback trail under the leadership of Joe Biden, but our problem is a Republican party that has surrendered to the ideas of white supremacy and Trump. The fight against the idea that tribalism will give followers a better life than other Americans can be won by truth, courage, and the embrace of the humanity of all. Dr. King said that “we will learn to live together as brothers, or we will die as fools.” The struggle to save our republic is critical on multiple levels. Failure will result in chaos, collapse, and on-coming climate disaster. Be an ace. Research our societal issues and stay active in our politics; activism and voting is better than any alternative.
Texas GOP leadership of Texas has been in effect for decades and has delivered an infrastructure that has failed to serve it’s citizens. The same leaders urged citizens to not wear masks. The situation is bad enough when citizens face freezing to death in their homes, or being poisoned by toxic water. But Texas politicians have started to spin lies about the Green New Deal, windmills, and how citizens should expect nothing from their government. Texas has been warned numerous times in the past about winterizing it’s energy infrastructure and done nothing. Republican behavior in Texas and across the country is appalling because they continuously get away with failure due to tribalism reinforced by lies. The invasion of Iraq, COVID19, the Capitol insurrection, and more are the result of people not fearing accountability. If Republican wholesale lying does not stop, the destruction will increase. America needs to hold Republicans accountable, to do it we must all stay vigilant, stand up for the right to vote, and the truth.
President Biden has plenty of work to do, and so far he has done the job of restoring faith in our republic and his leadership of it. The president has been clear in stating what he wants to do and how he will go about trying to achieve bipartisan support. The Republicans want to pretend that the insurrection, and their attempts to hobble the Obama administration before wasting money on a tax cut for the rich with Trump did not happen. President Biden saw all of it and knows that he cannot waste time negotiating with people who have only bad faith towards him achieving anything for the American people. The president knows that he has to play both the long and the short game to be successful and if anyone can do it, he can. The administration’s job right now is to help those who are in jeopardy from the pandemic before moving on to climate change, racial injustice, immigration, infrastructure, and healthcare for all Americans. Many of these issues are interrelated whether Republicans realize it or not. America’s enemies will attack us where we are weak, which right now is our societal divisions and lack of a strong healthcare system. If COVID was an attack it was successful, and the next attack could be stronger and more devastating. America needs a robust healthcare system that services every citizen. The next four years will require a lot of money to be focused on strengthening our society to compete for the future.
Poet Amanda Gorman spoke of people who would rather shatter our republic than share it. The description sounds completely appropriate in light of the MAGA crowd and Republicans threatening the vote for 2020 and beyond. Republican legislators around the country are working to make voting harder, in a country that already has low percentages of the eligible population participating. The United States increasingly seems a country where a percentage of the population views the rest as targets for submission, not fellow citizens. The main tools in the conflict to control America are lies, threats, gerrymandering, and terrorism from Republicans; Democrats counter with demographic trends leading to political dominance because the other side offers nothing for working people. The Republican issue is failing to believe in conservative theory leading to policies and solutions the majority of Americans will vote for; so they lie. Our politics can be fixed if we can get Republicans to get back to practical solutions to problems rather than just knee-jerk anti-spending and anti-socialism. Capitalism is the engine of our society, but is not the best solution for every problem. Do you want police officers paid by the number of tickets they issue? America and Republicans can easily do better by rejecting Reagan’s idea that government is the problem. Real life is more complex than zero-sum thinking allows for. Sharing is far better than a broken country for all of us.
Stony the Road (Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow) by Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a history text. The book is dry and factual; not exciting. If you want to know the various ways that Black Americans were attacked and used as the antithesis of White; this book is a top resource. Today many of us know that people believe what they want to believe, but illiterate former slaves had to deal with an array of forces working to humiliate and diminish them. White was ultimately defined as everyone with European origins viewing and working to keep Black people inferior. Doctors, scientists, journalists, etc. were all in on a conspiracy to feed White egos and marginalize Black ones. Details are a strength of this book; the election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and his White supremacist policies, racist movies like “Birth of a Nation” (1915), Whites feeling anxious about Black troops coming back from World War I leading to the terrorist Red Summer of 1919. The book starts with Reconstruction after the Civil War and follows the hellish reality the Black Americans lived with through the 1920s. If you want to understand more about the history of White Supremacy in America put this book on your list.
President Joe Biden is showing Americans what leadership looks like. He is talking and acting like a person of character and conviction about COVID19, climate change, racism, infrastructure, and making work pay. President Biden cannot do everything he wants without the help of Congress, but by using executive orders he is not sitting around waiting for them to act. The Biden/Harris administration is sending the signal that citizens matter by exhibiting transparency and answering the questions of the press. Our government is not supposed to solve all of our problems, but it is supposed to set the stage for the success of our efforts. With numerous challenges for America we now have adults in charge who know that leadership in government matters for the future and success of hard working citizens. When Biden talks he is optimistic and focused on our issues; not talking about himself and lying about bizarre issues like inauguration crowd size. I do not believe everything will be perfect now, but we have good reason for hope. Let’s keep paying attention and sorting out truth from fiction because the ultimate decision makers are us.
The Democratic controlled House of Representatives and Senate is where the action is for rebuilding the base of the republic. Joe Biden has told us what he wants to do, but he needs congress to make it a reality. Trump has been impeached but now should be convicted and banned from ever holding office again; unless we want to see more like him in the future. The COVID19 pandemic threatens to morph into a new threat with variants overtaking vaccines if we do not act quickly to finance the fight against it. Assistance for people financially damaged by the pandemic and the rest of the economy is needed sooner to prevent more damage later. Civil rights for all Americans to be treated with dignity is urgent as our society battles extremism and hate. Climate change has it’s own timer and does not care if we respond or not, but if we care for future generations the time is now. Democrats have been given control and now must show supporters that they really care about the issues important to voters. I am hopeful that we will see boldness from congress and the Biden administration. Stay focused and be ready to provide feedback and support to your representatives and the administration.
Republicans like Ted Cruz continuously lie with impunity about the Paris Climate Agreement and other issues. Cruz implied that Joe Biden cared more about what the citizens of Paris cared about than the citizens of Pittsburg (borrowing a line from Trump). The idiocy of the line could not be resisted and a Democratic representative asked if the Geneva Conventions were about what the citizens of Geneva cared about. Republicans like Cruz and Hawley do not care about the truth because they do not respect the voters in a system where the conservative media supports lies to support an evil agenda. Evolutionary Biologists say that when events occur that are ruthless and amoral they are not an accident. The events are attempts to maintain an advantage for future generations and the perpetrators. There is no consequence for Republicans lying because there is less fear of God than the prime motivation of maintaining an advantage. The old saying is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Trying to create advantages for progeny is as old as humanity, but it easily turns into evil (we used to have royalty that claimed their inherited advantages came from God). Every respectable American must be focused on their soul and character before party. Too many Republicans have sold our in the pursuit of power and the rot threatens to destroy the country. More information about the degeneracy and corruption of the Trump administration will be coming out. Make sure that you hold the line and ask your representatives to do the same and not allow the truth to be a casualty of the pursuit of power. Stand up for the truth and the soul of our nation. Make sure that criminality does not go unpunished, or worse rewarded and invited to return in the name of white power.
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 American legal system has to capture and punish the terrorists and criminals who assaulted and sacked the US Capitol. The mere fact that this must be stated is an indictment of systemic white supremacy in America. Many Americans think the Capitol assault was not a big deal, and a few people got out of control. The same people would be ready to declare war and invade another country if the same assault had been staged by Iranians or Chinese. If the attack had been staged by Black Americans the death toll would have been tremendous. America has an issue with racism, and it threatens to become a lot worse if white supremacist terrorism is not dealt with appropriately. The focus of the attack was to take the defeat of Donald Trump and create victory by deleting unwanted votes (both minority and white votes). The plan was a repeat of what took place in 1876 to end Reconstruction, beginning the Jim Crow era of racial marginalization and segregation. The lies about the election being stolen were not challenged by most Republicans or the conservative media echo chamber. Truth and justice were not even speed bumps in the pursuit of a reinforced system of white supremacy. Whether people claimed to be evangelicals, QAnon, proud boys, or Klu Klux Klan, the truth was not deemed to be worthy of consideration to keep a lying Trump in office for four more years. Four more years of corruption, abuse, and lies to create a revised America that no longer respected the Constitution. For America to move forward in strength we must believe and act as if ‘knowing the truth will set us free’ to paraphrase Jesus.