Jesus effectively told us ‘we will know the truth and the truth will set us free‘, but Republicans like Ron DeSantis and Glen Youngkin don’t want instruction in history based on truth. Why not? The Republican governors say that truthful history will hurt young white people’s feelings, but they say nothing about the feelings of African-American children. Truth and history are not about feelings; they help us to be strong and intelligent people. The same Republicans worried about feelings also attack people they call “Woke”, but they do not explain what they mean by this. Do they want American citizens to be “Sleep”, and if so why? Fascist do whatever they can to achieve power. The classic move of fascists is to pit people against each other while lying and claiming to be victims; their intent is to victimize others. The Republican leaders pushing fascism claim to be for freedom, but the only freedom they are concerned with is their own to abuse, harass, and threaten the other. Americans must be ready to choose in upcoming elections between dignity and respect for all, or power for some at the expense of others. The fascist Putin has been quoted as saying that he will “do anything for his friends and for his enemies the law.” Fascist in America will sell a similar message of law and order in the streets, but the crime wave will be in the halls of power. Research and act to preserve our republic.
America is still a country relying on truth as the bedrock of our republic but increasingly we are under attack by lies and selfishness. Ron DeSantis seems to be the replacement for Trump should he face conviction for his legion of alleged felonies. DeSantis pushes attacks on marginalized groups like Blacks while claiming to defend traditional values. He offers ideas like more power for police over civilians, and centralized state control of education. Everything would be routed and controlled by DeSantis and those he would pick to defend what Professor Eddie Glaude Jr has called the Big Lie of White Supremacy. Using tribalism to achieve strongman status is not a new trick. People like Trump and DeSantis love the poorly educated as they seek to achieve the power of a Putin so they can pillage and loot America. Truth has never been more important for the American republic to have a future. Research and act to protect the decency and dignity of American citizenship. President Biden and Democrats cannot save us on their own. We need two parties based (predominantly) on truth and integrity; not just Democrats. After the Trump assault on the law and democracy don’t buy the “both sides do it” lie. Republican practice lying and deception far more because they dupe the poor with tribalism while selling out to corporations and the wealthy. Vote Democrat until Republicans return to policies and ideas that put improving American society for all citizens first.
State and local governments controlled by Republicans are increasingly passing laws and removing opposition to take absolute control. Whether through gerrymandering or pandering to favored media outlets a full press is taking place to control thought. Media and education are targets for culture war attacks and takeovers targeted to leave people with no knowledge contrary to party orthodox propaganda. Truth is the target and mind control appears to be the goal. The project of culture war as the guise to seize power by Republicans is starting local, but will spring to the federal level as soon the GOP regains control. America will likely lose democracy if we do not recognize that our differences do not represent a threat but opportunities to learn and grow. The dangerous ‘them’ that represent such a large threat that we must give all power to politicians is a hoax. Research what Governors like DeSantis in Florida, Abbott in Texas, and others are doing to impose their will and their beliefs on other Americans. Become active in the effort to protect democracy at the ballot and in your community.
Any casual observer of American current events and history sees we are in trouble. Friends and foes know that the American people face basic choices about the future. Trump tried a coup once and failed; if Republicans choose him again (as they seem to be ready to do); the rot will move to a dangerous stage of malignancy. People everywhere understand that some Americans hate the idea of America. Tribalism will triumph with Republican support as Nixon’s Southern Strategy morphs into Trumps fascist kleptocracy (related to Putin’s oligarchy?). Racism creates a tax on marginalized minorities that is winked and nodded at by those in on the conspiracy. Whites benefit while marginalized are harmed in the racist version of politics that has dominated our past. Whites will likely lead the way to whatever future we will have in America. If Whites decide to be evil and buy what Trump is selling we will all be in for nasty surprises that will end badly. When Jesus told us to know the truth if we wanted to be free it was a roadmap for life. No matter what your background be a seeker of wisdom and truth; then act accordingly.
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the American population has more mental illness than other countries around the world. We are known for having a high usage of illicit drugs with more people locked up than anywhere else in the world. American culture has a built-in deceptive current of racism that caused the Association of Black Psychologists to state that if you are Black and not paranoid; there is something wrong with you. Politicians and media networks regularly declare that our greatest enemies are our fellow countrymen, and Trump stated that he trusted the Russian intelligence agencies more than American ones while he was president (receiving a lot of support after saying this). Americans are so distrustful of each other that we have more firearms than people in our country. It is valid to assume that a nation with so much conflict has more people suffering mental distress and illness. America has had a lot of success and much to be proud of; but selfishness and out of control egos make truth illusive. We need a new social contract that strengthens values like belief in a common good, individual work ethic, accountability, and integrity. Research and vote to keep liars and sociopaths out of power in our government, and to preserve our republic.
The Republican Party has abandoned democracy and gone all in on White Nationalism using White Replacement Theory as their tool of choice. The murderer at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York was radicalized by White Replacement Theory like many others. White Nationalist propaganda is using the Climate Crisis as a recruiting tool; appealing to selfishness and ego-centrism to bring out the rat in it’s targets. the idea is that whites will eliminate other people for access to land and food in a diminished world. A percentage of whites has always quietly supported terrorism aimed at Blacks and other minorities. Research shows that while racism costs everyone, it does have some beneficiaries. Too many people are okay with being vampires to their fellow citizens. Every decent person must push for Republicans to stop their overtly racist lies about Critical Race Theory, Blacks and other minorities. Every politician should cite sources for their stances and policy choices; and the burden of proof should be higher when pitting Americans against each other. I have never met a person who wanted to replace other Americans; they just want to be Americans. In America we talk a lot about “getting ahead”, but rarely about working together for a better world. Time is a resource that we can no longer waste if we want a future worthy of our potential. Will we end up in a race to the bottom, or a triumph of humanity? The future looks dark for many reasons today, but hope is still alive.
Ukrainians are battling Russian forces sent by a person who has seized control of the government and divided a lot of the money between his friends. America barely missed joining the club of nations run by authoritarians and their oligarchs on January 6th; but we are still awaiting what will happen to the would-be dictator (no charges for an attempted coup or other issues yet). Russians are lied to by state media and live in fear of being thrown in jail for saying the word “war”. Americans are lied to regularly by Republicans and radicalized media that place politics over truth. The battle between democracy and authoritarianism is more obvious after the invasion of Ukraine by Putin, but the result is far from clear. Some Russians dream of a great empire led by their country. They want to feel special and high on the hierarchy of cultures, just like some Americans who dream of an openly racist society that elevates their status. Lazy people with dreams of grandeur are fine with lies and violence to prop up their pathetic egos. Cain slew Able because he felt his brother had something that he lacked and was too weak to work on. Research and act to support truth, freedom, dignity for all, and democracy, Victimizing others will not create stronger people, societies, or futures.
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.
Far-right Republicans (who are rarely rebuked by other Republicans with Trump never held accountable) and Fascists around the world have adopted a strategy of lies and threats to shape their version of self-centered reality. Everything that does not elevate the disturbed people who are filled with self-hate and repression is attacked. If you are different that is attacked with the victim portrayed as less than human. The fascist typically slip up and reveal the truth – there is not a threat from others driving their behavior; it is a profound disturbance inside themselves that they lack the courage to face. Every person who dreams of better days for humanity and the world must first seek the truth while fighting indecency, disrespect for others, and violence. Humankind is facing the increasing threat of climate crisis that will reveal our true nature; we will learn to work and live together as brothers, or die as fools. Act and prepare now to resist the power of hatred, greed, and deception. Ukrainians are seen on the front line of the battle against fascism now, but it is really all of us.
America today is a dysfunctional democracy. One party is under the control of Donald Trump, a person who tried to overthrow the will of the American people in 2020. Trump maintains his control of the Republican party through fear, so it is hard to claim the elected persons in that party are leaders. The Republican Party is full of cowardly followers and opportunistic charlatans who will say and do anything to advance their personal careers. The dysfunction of the Republicans has been a long journey fueled and bolstered by racism, misogyny, and fascism. Ridiculous lies and criminal actions by Republicans have become meaningless because their supporters seem not to care. We may be drifting towards a crisis where the usual loudmouths threaten and harass the republic; the real explosion will come when the silent democracy-loving majority responds in the streets. Republicans will use voter suppression, gerrymandering, harassment, lies, and propaganda to win or appear to win elections. We all should do everything that we can to avoid Republican political victory due to apathy or confusion. Research and act to preserve peace and hope in America.