The Ukrainian offensive against the Russians (in a war that should have never been started in the first place) proves an old point all over again. Authoritarian governments are terrible ways to run any country. Corruption and lies in authoritarian governments destroy the interests of the people and lead to death and destruction. Biblically it was termed “without a vision the people perish”; but we see groups of people conspiring to create authoritarian movements in our country today. Republicans surround Trump and lie to keep him in power and relevant. The question is what do they think will happen when such a broken person has power? Voting in our near future (possibly as long as several elections) will be an exercise in purging those who love authoritarians out of government power. Republicans have allowed their party to be turned into a clear threat to democracy. Research the issues and vote like your life depends on it. Climate change has to be addressed in the near future (just like women’s rights, voting rights, and many other issues). The time for games and foolishness is over or humanity will face dire consequences.
We live in a time that demands action. Joe Biden and the Democrats have been pushing to address climate change for a long time (since Jimmy Carter) while Republicans have been pretending nothing is going on. It is abundantly clear to rational people that Earth’s climate is turning hostile to human civilization. Most scientist tell us that we have not been responsible in the last few decades and time is running out to avoid catastrophe in coming decades. Republicans want to play games and fool people into spying on their neighbors while never holding politicians accountable. A nightmare in our society, our climate, and in our economy is a real possibility for us if we do not act decisively in the 2022 elections. There are many reasons to vote Democrat in 2022. If you don’t like fascism and lies; vote Democrat. If you believe in women controlling their own bodies; vote Democrat. If you want to live in a world with any hope of a decent future; vote Democrat.
One of our two major political parties is crumbling before our eyes and taking the country with it. Republicans lie to the point where they cannot stand for anything consistently. Examples: Republicans used to say keep government small and leave choice to citizens; now they want excessive meddling in women’s reproductive decisions with large prison systems and reduced voting/protest rights. Trump asks Putin for help in attacking President Biden and is not condemned by other Republicans; while those elected Republicans are not held accountable by the press. Republicans like Josh Hawley talked to NBC news reporter Garrett Haake about getting information on Hunter Biden while not being questioned about his January 6 insurrection behavior, or Trump asking a foreign dictator for help against an American president. A republic like the United States cannot last without facts and justice. Republican and media cowardice are an existential threat to America because of their persistent failure to hold the powerful accountable.
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.
Questions are being asked about whether one of the two major political parties is dedicated to America’s democratic experiment. Here are some of the reasons that Republicans are considered to be an anti-democratic force right now: 1) Republicans have adopted the big lie sold by Donald Trump that the 2020 election was fixed, or hacked, or stolen; with no evidence. 2) Republicans have not rebuked Donald Trump for his assault on the 2020 election or his encouragement of the January 6th insurrection. 3) Republicans do not want to investigate what took place at the US Capitol on January 6th or the events leading up to the assault. 4) Republicans are implicated in spreading the Big Lie before the assault on the Capitol and have politicized it to make voting more difficult for US citizens. 5) Republicans are gerrymandering voting districts to create imbalance in legislative bodies at the state and federal levels; removing representation from US citizens. 6) Republicans will not identify policies that they are in favor of as a party for the second time after the 2020 elections when they also had no party platform. The idea seems to be selling whatever fear works for the weeks during elections without a direction or theme. There are more reasons that today’s Republican Party represents a threat to democracy. Research and act to protect your rights as a citizen. Authoritarians and oligarchs reward those who sell themselves for status and power, but they have no interest in the common good. Voting against the current Republicans until they rebuild themselves as responsible leaders with new principled candidates committed to government that represents the American people.
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.
The John Lewis Voting Advancement Bill and the Freedom to Vote Bill are critical to the strengthening of the American republic. The more Americans who vote based on factual information will translate into better leadership and American success. The Republican wall to minimize voting and the Manchin/Sinema resistance to change cabal are problems that may lead to catastrophe. Opposing making it easier to cast a thoughtful vote while eliminating dark money, political gerrymandering, and Election Day lying is corrupt. If you are an American voter you have a long and short term strategy to minimize the threat to our future. In the short-term you can contact your representatives and the two Senators while contributing to Democratic campaigns. In the long-term you can support Democrats until Republicans start telling the truth and acting to support a stronger future for the American republic. People of good will must act with alacrity and energy to stave off violence and insanity in our streets.
We are entering a critical period in the story of America. We cannot undo what has already been done to bring us to this point, but we can act to avoid doom for our republic. Call, email, text, or write to your representatives to vote for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Fighting to make voting easier for American citizens is the best way to stop delusional authoritarians from destroying the country. When dark money is taken out of our elections and gerrymandered districts no longer allow politicians to select their voters; we will be stronger. Access to the truth, voter education and high citizen participation are critical for a strong democracy; we are trending in the wrong direction. Today’s Republican Party lies so often because they have propaganda networks that will echo what they say without challenge. Talking points that attack the truth and science are running rampant in our country. Before it is too late we must all remember the famous words of Senator Hiram Johnson; “The first casualty of war is the truth.” Who and what will be next in a struggle that January 6, 2021 only made clear?
We live in a time of liars and criminals attempting to determine reality and the future for America. Many of us thought that the forces of this sort of evil were defeated in World War II, but that is not the case. Accountability for people who have committed crimes and been pardoned by the 45th president, or others involved in the ongoing coup attempts seems too slow. If you are an American who has traditionally been Republican ask yourself are you a patriot, or a party member first. If you are independent ask yourself who is seeking accountability for people who attempted the overthrow the will of the people in the last election. If you are a Democrat keep contacting your representatives to push for justice and a better America through voting rights bills and the Build Back Better Act. If you are a decent person who dreams of a better world do all of the above, and be prepared to act against evil attempting to take over your country.
It has been said that the attack by Republicans and the right wing is really about blinding any analysis of systemic racism and white supremacist structures. Republicans lie and say that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is being taught in K-12 schools not to stop it from happening, but to demonize an analytical approach to understanding structural racism. If you make questioning evil a bad thing, then bad actors can continue the journey to hell unobstructed. Historians and academics are routinely warning us that we are on the road to authoritarianism because of the fascist playbook right wing politicians are using today. The right is increasingly desperate to limit democracy and intelligent discourse on the issues of the day. The goal of current Republicans is power; not improvement, or liberty and justice for all. Control the truth, control history, control the future. Research, act, and vote to preserve the American republic because white supremacy leads to authoritarianism.