Why I’ve Lost Hope

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.

One Minute Fiction — A Toast to Our New Life

It used to be that people from Mexico and South and Central America were desperate to come to the United States. But that was before Trump. And before the Republican Party became infected by The Big Lie and the insanity that it inevitably led to. And after Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress failed to enact the Voting Rights Act, the Republicans were able to take control of Congress after the 2022 midterm elections.

The Republicans used that control to impeach and remove both President Biden and Vice President Harris from office in early 2023. They installed Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, as interim president until the 2024 elections. Ron DeSantis, the far right governor of Florida won the GOP nomination in July of 2024 at a contested convention, edging out both Donald Trump and McCarthy. DeSantis selected Ted Cruz as his running mate and they ultimately won the general election, since most votes by black and Hispanics were disallowed and votes in heavily Democratic districts around the country were “mysteriously” tossed.

Before DeSantis could be sworn in as President in January of 2025, the U.S. broke out into a violent civil war and thousands of Americans fled to Mexico until the Mexican government shut down its northern border. You and I were among the lucky few who were able to escape the chaos in the States before the border closed.

So here we are, safe and sound in sunny, warm Mexico, sitting and relaxing with our Coronas. I propose a toast to our new life south of the border.

Written for Cyranny’s One Minute Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Cyranny. I confess this took me more than a minute to write, but once I got started, I couldn’t stop.

Who’s the Victim Here?

“Okay, so tell me what happened” the police officer said.

“As I was passing by the alley minding my own business,” she said, “an arm shot out, grabbed me, pulled me into the alley, and threw me up against the wall. I thought he was going to rape me.”

She began to sob, but then regained control. “He grabbed my purse, ripped my necklace from around my neck, and then told me to remove my watch and ring and give them to him. And then he just slipped away toward the back of the alley.”

“Can you describe him?” The police officer asked.

“He was heavy, maybe 250 pounds. He had a bad complexion, lots of acne, the kind of zits that ooze pus. And his breath was rancid.”

“Did you catch the color of his eyes or hair,” the officer asked.

“They were brown and the whites of his eyes had a tinge of red, like he was stoned. He had on a knit cap, so I couldn’t see what color his hair was.”

“When he spoke, did he have an accent?”

“No, but his vocabulary was atrocious, for what it’s worth.”

“Okay, so despite the fact that you are very provocatively dressed, his motive apparently was not rape,” the office said.

“Wait, are you suggesting that, by the way I am dressed, I was looking for trouble?” the woman indignantly asked. “Listen, I’m not the one who was breaking the law here. I am the victim and I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“What I’m saying,” the officer said, “is that a pretty woman like you, walking alone at two in the morning and wearing a skimpy tank top and tight jean shorts, makes an attractive target for certain types of men.”

“By certain types of men,” she said, “do you mean men like you?”

Written for Jim Adams’ Thursday Inspiration, where the word is “top” and the photo above. Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (slip), The Daily Spur (heavy), Word of the Day Challenge (complexion), Ragtag Daily Prompt (ooze), Your Daily Word prompt (tinge), My Vivid Blog (vocabulary), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (motive), JusJoJan (looking), and Scott’s Daily Prompt (breaking the law).

Not Unexpected, But Disappointing Nonethless

U.S. Senators Sinema and Manchin

Last night, the United States Senate rejected a proposed rules change that would have allowed for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, to advance with a simple majority of 51 votes (as opposed to the arcane Senate filibuster rule, which requires a 60 vote “supermajority” to pass certain — but not all —pieces of legislation).

But two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin from West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona, joined all 50 Senate Republicans in opposition of that rules change. It failed by a vote of 52-48.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, which, if passed, would have overhauled election laws and enabled Congress to counter an onslaught of new and extreme voting restrictions enacted by Republican-controlled state around the the country.

The key takeaway that every American who cares about their constitutionally guaranteed rights to vote in free and fair elections should remember is this.

Not one Republican senator in the United States Senate, and not one Republican representative in the United States House of Representatives voted in favor of ensuring and protecting the rights of every American citizen to vote in free and fair elections.

Not a single Republican member of the U.S. Congress! It makes me see red!

FOWC with Fandango — Slip


Welcome to January 20, 2022 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “slip.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.