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.

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!

5 Things I Don’t Want to See in 2022

Dr. Tanya asks us to list 5 things we don’t want to see in 2022.

1. I don’t want to see Donald Trump get away with having almost destroyed the American democracy.

What I do want to see is Donald Trump being arrested, tried, convicted, and incarcerated. Along with all of the others who schemed, planned, and participated (and are still participating) in the Big Lie and the attempt to overturn the election of Joe Biden in 2021.

2. I don’t want to see Republicans taking back control of Congress in the midterm elections in November.

What I do want to see is American voters recognizing that, should Republicans gain control of Congress, that could be the last nail in the coffin of our democracy.

3. I don’t want to see COVID-19 and its variants continue to plague humanity.

What I do want to see is people willing to get vaccinated and to mask up so that we might finally put this pandemic behind us.

4. I don’t want to see continued complacency around climate change.

What I do want to see are definitive actions by governments around the world to abate the devastation that continuing on the path we’re on with respect to climate change will lead to.

5. I don’t want to see a decision by the Supreme Court that would, for all intents and purposes, overturn Roe v Wade and make abortions illegal in the United States.

What I do want to see is a recognition that women have equal rights, especially when it comes to managing their own reproductive health, and that the ultimate decision a woman makes about her pregnancy is a personal and private one.

The Headlines of the Day

I was reading the morning paper this morning and came across these three ominous headlines

Water-Use Limits Now Mandatory

The article warned that violations of the new state regulations could result in fines of up to $500 a day!

Holiday Infections Shatter Records

But the “good” news is that hospitalizations and death are far below last year’s highs.

Fewer Than Half of Republicans Say January 6th Was Very Violent

The above headline is the most disturbing of the three. According to the Associated Press, the fighting at the Capitol Building was so primitive and ferocious that one Capitol Police officer described it as “medieval” and another as a “trip to hell.” It left more than 100 law enforcement personnel injured, some beaten with their own weapons.

Video cameras captured the violence live, with rioters clubbing officers with flag polls and fire extinguishers, even squeezing one officer between doors as he begged for his life.

Yet nearly a year after the siege only about 4 in 10 Republicans recall the attack by supporters of the former president as very violent or extremely violent, according to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. About 3 in 10 Republicans say the attack was not violent, and about another 3 in 10 say it was only somewhat violent.

Seriously? How could anyone have watched the siege that day or seen the video clips and come away saying that what happened was only somewhat violent or not violent at all? Are these Republicans so blinded by Trump’s Big Lie that they can’t see that they’re complicit in a plot to destroy democracy in America? When did the paradigm shift so far away from facts and truth that we can’t even agree to the verity of what we see with our own eyes?


This post includes E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (paradigm) and Your Daily Word Prompt (verity).