I’ve always thought of myself as a glass half full kind of guy. But I’m sorry to say that I no longer feel that way. Any optimism I have felt in the past has been displaced by an overwhelming sense of doom. I have lost hope for America.
Why? Well, while 85% of Democrats say what happened on January 6, 2021 was “an insurrection,” 56% of Republicans describe it as “defending freedom.” Basically, according to the Republican way of thinking these days, left-wing violence is anti-American terrorism, but right-wing violence is understandable, and even justified. It’s patriotic, they believe.
Yesterday I posted about how the Republican senators blocked the efforts by Democrats to pass legislation that would guarantee voting rights to all Americans. Not one Republican lawmaker in either house of Congress voted in favor of ensuring voting rights for all Americans.
Why else am I pessimistic? Republicans in red states spent much of 2021 hunting for the alleged widespread voter fraud that the former president told his supporters cost him the election. Of course, they never found any. Still, last year was characterized by a wave of Republican-led voting restrictions fueled by Trump’s Big Lie. As a result, 19 states, most of them controlled by Republicans, enacted 34 laws that made voting harder, while many blue states expanded access, particularly to mail voting. And with the federal voting rights legislation having been stymied by congressional Republicans, that trend is likely to continue — and maybe even accelerate — this year.
Additionally, at least 15 Republican candidates for secretary of state in 13 states have publicly gone on record questioning the legitimacy of Biden’s victory last November, despite no evidence of significant fraud. In all but one of those states, the secretaries of state oversees the electoral process.
And if all that’s not bad enough, at least 57 people who took some part in the January 6th attempt to overturn the election are currently running for elected office. This includes some candidates who breached the Capitol and face criminal charges. More than two dozen are running for Congress, state legislatures, or other statewide offices. At least five are running for governor in their states. Can you believe that?
So, sadly, I don’t see anything on the horizon that is going to bring our country back together.