MSNBC host Ari Melber is reported to have said something like “a failed coup that is not punished is practice”. The impeachment hearings wrapped up with Republican lead senator Mitch McConnell saying that Trump was responsible for the assault on the US Capitol, but the court system should deal with him. Every sensible American should push for their government and representatives to be strong in dealing with the insurrection. Our politics may be rough right now but they are heading to a far worse place that may destroy the country. There are a reported 400 million guns in the United States, and there are many right-wing zealots who threaten to use 2nd amendment solutions to get what they want (meaning gun violence). If our government is not strong, the bullying will continue and get worse as it would on a proverbial schoolyard. Harsh penalties for the insurrectionists whether they broke into the US Capitol, or were urging on the assault from the White House are unavoidable. We cannot wait for the next assault by better prepared terrorists. Push or support your legislators and government officials toward providing a strong defense for our republic.
Trump got away with it. Thanks to Republican senators Trump will be allowed to run for president again, and worse, fundraise as if he were running. Trump’s record shows he is a grifter and criminal sociopath who is free to continue in his ways. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell said that Trump was guilty of sending a mob to attack Congress after he voted not to impeach him based on a made up technicality. America remains a republic but now our history includes a party that refuses to confront criminal behavior due to the fear of a group of voters. America is now a weaker country that enemies view as an opportunity because we have citizens who are interested in attacking fellow countrymen. We have revealed ourselves as not committed to the truth (which had been our strength), and more interested in a leader who lies to us. America has a clear new weakness demonstrated by a commitment to things other than truth and justice. Foreign affairs and our internal politics will shift as a result of Trump. America’s intelligence and police agencies will now be diverted to domestic terrorism because Trump needs threats to get what he wants. Every citizen will need to be more focused, and active, to prevent the rise of authoritarians who are fine with breaking a republic that does not give them what they want.
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.
If you want to read a scholarly analysis of what has taken place at the Capitol and in our country The American Abyss by Timothy Snyder is at the top of the list. Timothy Snyder is a Yale professor of history and expert on fascism. Professor Snyder wrote Bloodlands an intense history of Stalin and Hitler’s mass murders in Eastern Europe which I previously reviewed. The American Abyss gets to the heart of long term issues that led us to the assault on the Capitol and the divisions in our society, but Snyder also identifies what we must look out for going forward. A key finding in the article is the complicity of the Republican Party in using racism to get votes while channeling power and resources to the wealthy. Snyder identifies two types of current Republican politicians; gamers who use Trump and racism for election and power, breakers who like having a white authoritarian in power and could care less about democracy. Armed with the insight and information of this article citizens can both understand the history that led us to near disaster, and correctly analyze what needs to happen in the coming years. Snyder identifies truth as a necessity for democracy and all parties having agreement on basic facts. I strongly recommend that every literate concerned citizen read or listen to The American Abyss by Timothy Snyder at the New York Times website.
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.
After watching the Capitol building being sacked and looted by fools who were lied into a mindless frenzy; I had to pause to reflect on how we became so lost as a country. Trump’s criminal rampage was fed by the political party he joined to run for president based on the consistent use of racism to turn out white voters. The Southern Strategy (designed to appeal to white grievance) was successful for Nixon in 1968, and continued to be successful for Republicans going forward. Trump had to make a calculation that he could use the Republican’s sea of lies and subtext of racism against them, and he did. He sold himself as the angriest and most genuine white supremacist candidate for 2016, while labeling the other Republicans as the real con-artists. Republican voters bought it despite never examining Trump’s own lies because they wanted fighter who would bring white supremacy beyond the wink and a nod, to a focused mainstream. Trump is undisciplined, but he knew that he was a match for the desire of his voters and gave them what they wanted. We are now dealing with the fallout of our democracy allowing this racist demagogue to run our great nation into a ditch, because hatred and laziness do not make good leaders. People of goodwill should be vigilant and elect leaders who work towards liberty and justice for all.
It is 2021 and we are still dealing with the orange con’s criminality and madness. The nation’s first failure was to empower a racist liar in reaction to the election of the first Black president. Failure was compounded as desperate White supremacists in the Republican Party refused to confront continuous lies, corruption, and criminality for the sake of power. The result is the moral collapse of the Republicans combined with the diminished power and status of the United States. People worldwide no longer trust America along with many US citizens losing faith. The system of support for the corruption we see is able to contort on command to maintain the pretense that what we see is somehow reasonable, while rational adults recognize criminality when they see it. Every day of the current regime is a threat to decency and our Republic. If we survive these times remember what you have seen to motivate continued involvement in current events, and politics. There is not someone else out there who will look out for your interests, well-being, or freedom.
Several Republican Senators and representatives have shown their true colors and sought to undermine voters as the determining factor in our government. These Republicans believe that what they want matters more than what the people want, and they do not care about destroying the Republic. Citizens will have to display discipline as Trump and his minions threaten violence to overturn the election. The group of Republicans refusing to accept the certified results from the states will likely focus on diverse voting populations to nullify results they don’t like. Trump has not been a great president or even an average one. Trump has been a cruel racist president who wants to take the country to a previous time when minorities were subservient. Foolish people believe this is Trump’s gift to their whiteness, but intelligent people realize he wants everyone to be subservient to him and his empty soul. The Republicans in some cases are accepting their own results from the vote, but not those going to the other party. The vote is the greatest non-violent tool that we have to shape our future to paraphrase the late John Lewis. We are witnessing evil in our time and we must make sure every bad actors are held accountable in the media, at the ballot box, and in the courts. We are not going back deeper into Jim Crow, we will continue the fight to end it in all forms, and gain equal respect for all citizens.
We have a large question hanging over our country and the answer will depend on the wisdom of the masses. Millions of voters in Georgia will decide on whether two Senators who have used their offices to corruptly enrich themselves will return to do it again. The Georgia vote will signal what Americans really care about, and if there is any moral failing that is too low for a Republican in a red state. Republicans seem to care about selfishness, greed, and power while not building a better country for working people. The COVID pandemic has been badly mishandled leading to lives cut short and economic distress across the country, but the current president and Republican politicians say nothing. Mitch McConnell and his friends say that we must now be concerned with the national debt after giving a large tax cut to the wealthy; while millions stare at disease with no healthcare, possible homelessness, and the mental duress that comes with life on the edge. The eighty plus million people who voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris wait to see if Donald Trump and his Republican political minions will destroy the constitution, while law enforcement is on the lookout for white supremacist terrorists who want to support the overthrow of our republic. I am hopeful that the republic will survive the current chaos, but democracy cannot last long if those who assault it are not held accountable. We are currently an unstable country dealing with multiple threats that have not all been mentioned in this post. Contact your representatives and let them know that you expect them to honor their oath of office and defend the constitution.