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.
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.
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.
In an excellent New York Times opinion piece titled The Resentment That Never Sleeps, Thomas B. Edsall boiled down the facts of our current politics. Voters support Trump against our constitution because they are afraid of losing status and need their fellow citizens diminished to feel good about themselves. It is appalling that people are so empty inside that they want a dictator to attack women and minorities to feel good. Our current situation is that dark and we must face this darkness directly to defeat it. A quote from the article: Building on psychological research on status-seeking, we argue that at the core of extreme political discontent are motivations to achieve status via dominance, i.e., through the use of fear and intimidation. Essentially, extreme political behavior reflects discontent with one’s own personal standing and a desire to actively rectify this through aggression. – source “Beyond Populism” research paper. Lyndon B. Johnson said it more simply: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he wont notice your picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” It is time for Americans to embrace our constitution and the truth to defend the dignity of all people, and hope.
Despite chaos being pushed from the Oval Office the country continues to respect it’s citizens and their vote. Lies and liars do not dominate our country yet. We have to push on to Inauguration Day despite the pandemic, armed citizens harassing officials to get their way, and an array of threats to decency in our republic. The Republican Party is in trouble and if enough people vote for them without forcing a correction; the problem will metastasize to destroy the country as we know it. Joe Biden has been elected to fill the breach, but he will need all the help he can get. Every American must research, prepare, and act to protect the United States Constitution and our rights as citizens. “The vote is our most powerful non-violent tool” said John Lewis, and he was right. In my book “Centurion Crew (a great gift idea available at Amazon) a group of patriots battle to save the republic from evil, but this is reality and the heroes are the majority of us; if we are to be saved.
To re-state the quote from Jesus in the Bible “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. America barely passed a test of our knowledge of the truth in the last election. A man who lies regularly and was identified by many generals, doctors, scientists, journalists, and politicians as a threat to democracy was asked to continue as the president by over 70 million Americans. Fortunately over 75 million Americans knew what the cost of freedom was; knowing the truth and voting based on that knowledge. Many who voted for more Trump had rationalizations; a good economy, democrats were socialists, Joe Biden voted for a Crime Bill. Many minds were blind or minimized the daily truth of lies and attempts to overthrow our constitutional republic. The nearness of disaster in 2020 demands the implementation of policy aimed at making truth more abundant in our country. The next authoritarian personality will likely be accompanied by a more skilled political mind, and be a larger threat. Trump is not gone yet and he is trying to overturn the elections, so we are not out of the woods yet. Stay vigilant and urge your representatives to pass legislation to strengthen our republic.
After participating in the elections, very voter should feel good about their concern for their world, country, and community. Voting is a very important tool in creating the world we would like to see, but it is not the only tool that we have. As citizens and people who care we should advocate for our values and hopes for a better future. We can use our influence with friends and family, we can contribute our time to causes and groups, and we can give resources to further the policies or movements we want to succeed. There was not a wave in any direction in this election, and there is a lot of work to do on justice, climate change, and healthcare to name a few. COVID-19 is raging in our country and we must continue to protect ourselves and others. If Joe Biden wins the presidency he will need a lot of help to get anything done. Consider getting the Five Calls app to contact your legislators and advocate for bills you want enacted into law. Every citizen who cares should vow to find ways to stay informed and involved in building a better future while continuing to protect our republic. Develop a plan to support your values while staying safe and focused.
“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 does DuBois mean when he says that the cost of liberty is less than the price of Repression? I think he is saying that we must act quickly to protect our freedoms because once they are lost it is costlier to regain them. Wise citizens are vigilant in protecting their freedoms because they know the price of failure is very high. Ferguson, Missouri was an example of DuBois’ quote. Black citizens wee the majority of the city, but did not vote in large numbers until after the killing of Michael Brown and the protests that followed. The Department of Justice found that Black citizens were targeted for tickets and fines by Ferguson police to raise revenue for the city. Ferguson represents an example of the high price of repression for Black citizens who did not pay the cost of liberty by organizing and voting in their city. Every American citizen is now witnessing scientific organizations like the CDC being overruled by Trump, and lies costing lives. Repression warps and degrades people and systems. We have to educate ourselves and act to pay the cost of liberty. As Jesus said “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. We are paying a price for the current repression taking place, and worse days are coming if Trump is re-elected. Plan your vote to end the Trump chaos; restore truth and liberty!
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!