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Quite a day. Day of joy.

There are a lot of things from yesterday on which one could focus.

One of my favorites was seeing Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who came to fame for his bravery and quick wits in facing down, delaying, and luring the insurrectionists away from the Senate chamber a mere two weeks ago. Yesterday, he was the security escort for our new Vice-President and her husband at the swearing in ceremony and has been promoted to Deputy Sargent at Arms. A good deed rewarded.  And the sight of this Black hero with Kamala Harris, whose presence in her new position breaks all sorts of glass ceilings, was truly an inspiring sight.

Of course, there was Lady Gaga with a stunning and emotional rendition of The Star Spangled Banner and Jennifer Lopez delivering lovely performances of America the Beautiful and This Land Is Your Land.

And President Biden gave an Inaugural Address that was memorable and powerful in its call for unity while offering strength, determination and humility. Humility. Remember that? His address was not filled with self-adulation nor did it focus on recrimination and demonization of his opponents. It was sincere and forward looking. If you watched that speech and found it divisive and dark in any way then we are truly living on different planets.

But the star of the day was slight young Black woman who delivered a poem that spoke so directly to the moment that it became one for the ages. I hate to admit it but I wasn’t aware of Amanda Gorman, all 22 years of her, until she burst onto the national stage yesterday like a comet in a golden coat. She is the first Junior Poet Laureate of the United States and the youngest person to ever deliver an Inaugural poem. Her poem, The Hill We Climb, and her delivery of it became a viral sensation.

It is a poem of hope, strength, and a unified vision for this country. It very much echoed the tone of the day and if we carry this feeling and determination forward, we will get up that hill one day.

Below is a video of her delivering her, The Hill We Climb, and the full text is below that.

As I said, it was a good day but there is much work to do and so many challenges before us. Over 4,400 Americans died yesterday from covid-19. And we must deal with those who will fight against the future at every turn, those who seek to move this nation back into a darker age of racial and societal division. 

We can and will persevere though. As Ms. Gorman puts so eloquently:

So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.

Now get to work. Have a good day.






When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.
We braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.
And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.
But within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain.
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the West.
We will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid.
The new dawn balloons as we free it.
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

 

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What a diff’rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain



It’s almost over.

Just a few more hours and a dark period in our nation’s history begins to fade into the background. The dustbin of history where those who formulated and did the dark deeds over the past four years along with those who enabled them will be given the harsh judgement they so deserve.

Oh, it’s certainly not over by any stretch of the imagination nor will it be easy going forward but already there is a palpable change in tone and attitude. For example, last night the President-elect presided over a moving ceremony on the National Mall that paid tribute to those Americans who have lost their lives to covid-19.

Over 400,000 citizens.

Actually, the count is most likely at least 10% higher than that, more like 450,000 or even more, when you factor in the excess mortality rates that are well above that number and the fact that the number of deaths we normally experience from the seasonal flu and the common cold is almost non-existent due to the mitigation efforts put in place for covid-19. 

In that short ceremony in the evening before he would actually take on the mantle of the presidency, Joe Biden provided comfort and empathy for the for the 400,000 families who suffered loss as well as the whole of the American people. It was far more than his predecessor ever even attempted during this past horrific year. 

Yes, the change of tone is evident.

We have endured thus far.

Thank you to those who resisted, who spoke out against the many wrongs that were being perpetrated. It was not an easy choice for most folks, many who are not used to speaking up, who in other times might just shrug and go about their business. But the time demanded it and without those gathered voices, their tireless efforts at organizing and affecting change, we might be looking at a whole different scenario and future on this very morning.

That scenario would most likely make the chaos of the past few weeks seem like a cakewalk.

So, thank you to all who spoke up, who took to the streets in peaceful protest, who volunteered, who stood in long lines to votes— all 81,200,000 of you! Thank you to those who knew that we could be better than what we were witnessing if we simply came together. Thank you.

And to those of you who gathered behind the flag of this corrupt and malevolent wannabe dictator, we now fully know who you are.

We see you.

There’s a lot of hard work ahead and accountability for the misdeeds of the past must be part of it. But the President-elect will most certainly not be obsessed with the retribution and revenge we would expect from his predecessor. No, it’s a different perspective coming into the White House.

You might not agree with everything he does- I doubt that I will- but you can rest assured that he will believe that what he is doing is the best course for us as a whole.

And that is a breath of fresh air.

What a difference a day makes.



I wasn’t going to write anything this morning but felt I wanted to comment on the transition to the presidency. I was planning on just playing a song and at first songs with a little snark came to mind– Ding Ding The Witch Is Dead, I’ll Be Glad When You Dead You Rascal You, or Hit the Road Jack, which was played by one of the military bands yesterday as they rehearsed in front of the White House. A classic bit of thrown shade as ever there was. [Late addition and apology: Later discovered that the video showing the band playing “Hit the Road Jack” was a doctored piece of film with another song actually being played.  I bit. My bad.]

But I decided not to go with snark and decided to go with the cool and brightness of What  a Difference a Day Makes from the late, great Dinah Washington.

I am tired of being angry and disgusted. A change in tone is what we all need right now.

Be well on this historic day. And keep up the good work.



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“They are all in the same category, both those who are afflicted with fickleness, boredom and a ceaseless change of purpose, and who always yearn for what they left behind, and those who just yawn from apathy. There are those too who toss around like insomniacs, and keep changing their position until they find rest through sheer weariness. They keep altering the condition of their lives, and eventually stick to that one in which they are trapped not by weariness with further change but by old age which is too sluggish for novelty. There are those too who suffer not from moral steadfastness but from inertia, and so lack the fickleness to live as they wish, and just live as they have begun. In fact there are innumerable characteristics of the malady, but one effect – dissatisfaction with oneself. This arises from mental instability and from fearful and unfulfilled desires, when men do not dare or do not achieve all they long for, and all they grasp at is hope: they are always unbalanced and fickle, an inevitable consequence of living in suspense. They struggle to gain their prayers by every path, and they teach and force themselves to do dishonourable and difficult things; and when their efforts are unrewarded the fruitless disgrace tortures them, and they regret not the wickedness but the frustration of their desires. Then they are gripped by repentance for their attempt and fear of trying again, and they are undermined by the restlessness of a mind that can discover no outlet, because they can neither control nor obey their desires, by the dithering of life that cannot see its way ahead, and by the lethargy of a soul stagnating amid its abandoned hopes.”

― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life



I was reading an article that referenced the essay De Brevitate Vitae ( On the Shortness of Life) from the Stoic philosopher Seneca that written sometime around 49 AD. The passage above really struck me because it seemed to describe the dissatisfaction so many people have with their lives and the actions that result from this.

I can’t quite put my finger on it but it feels like the underlying current of what we’re seeing take place these days in this country. I have tried to discern what the desired outcome for the insurrectionists is or what drove them to act as a violent mob and I keep coming up with blanks.

What do they want?

They are not the downtrodden nor poor. They are not voiceless or without political power. There’s a high probability that most of them have livelihoods and assets that place them well above that of the average American. They are not trying to gain rights for themselves or others that have been denied. They are not fighting injustice.

And if they succeed, they have no plans for a future. Certainly not a future that will be in any way better.

All they have is anger and dissatisfaction with their lot in life. As entitled and privileged as they are, their lives lack purpose, lack meaning. It is a spoiled and bored existence, devoid of real consequences for bad behavior and fortified by the highs and unreality of video games and action flicks combined with conspiratorial bravado and cosplay costuming.

And that’s a recipe for disaster. 

This is just an observation this morning. Like I said, I am not sure I have a finger on what really is behind it. I am just trying to understand it so that I can begin to make sense of what I am seeing.

Still not there.

Here’s a topical song, Unsatisfied, a favorite of mine from The Replacements and their great 1984 album Let It Be.

Be careful out there and have a good day.



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We are living through a revolt against the future. The future will prevail.

–Anand Giridharadas, The Ink, January 15, 2021



The words above are the final line in a what I believe to be a brilliant essay from writer Anand Giridharadas that was posted a couple of days ago on his blog, The.Ink that bears the heading We are falling on our face because we are jumping high. I hope you’ll click on the link and read this short essay.

In it, he observes that the chaos that we are experiencing is not the chaos that often comes with the beginning of something but is actually the sort that comes with an ending. I have also felt for years that we were watching of the death throes of a certain type of power and control, that those who were predominantly white and male felt they were entitled.

We are falling on our face because we are jumping very high right now. We are trying to do something that does not work in theory.

To be a country of all the world, a country made up of all the countries, a country without a center of identity, without a default idea of what a human being is or looks like, without a shared religious belief, without a shared language that is people’s first language at home. And what we’re trying to do is awesome. It is literally awesome in the correct sense of that word.

This is one of my favorite passages from this essay. To be the country we desire it to be, one that offers equal hope for each of its citizens, is enormously difficult and unlike anything ever done. No nation has ever aspired to so diversely share its rights and governance among all the groups that make up its citizenry.

There are massive challenges and it will not be easy. And in a nation whose default setting is easy, that means we will have to do much more than than that which we normally are accustomed to doing. We will have to work and scrap, to strain far beyond what we believe our limits to be. 

But if it succeeds, we all benefit, all boats are lifted and we all become part and parcel of something great, something unique in human history.

Something of which we can all truly be proud.

Please give Mr. Giridharadas’ essay a read. It is short but potently hopeful. Definitely worth a few minutes.

For this week’s Sunday Morning Music, I am going with a recent tune, Tough to Let Go, from the Drive-By Truckers, whose last couple of albums have been dark and timely.  I think it says a lot about what we are seeing in the chaos of this struggle between those who look to the future and those who want to hold onto an imagined past. Our beliefs, even when we can see that they defy logic and fact, are sometimes tough to leave behind. They continue to haunt us and dictate our actions until we can fully separate ourselves from them.

It’s tough to let go. But it has to happen.

Do something good today.



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Well, we’re still standing.

It was a historic day that gave us examples of those who see themselves as being part of something bigger and doing what is necessary even though it may not be expedient. It also gave us a view of those who represent us in the worst light– narcissistic and self-serving– letting us know that there are still difficult days and more repercussions ahead of us.

But, all in all, it was a good day for democracy. 

Amidst the hoopla of the impeachment hearing and vote there were images that really brought the gravity of the moment home for me. They were mainly of the National Guard troops who were summoned to the nation’s Capitol to defend it against the insurrectionists and seditionists that  stormed it last week and threaten to do it once more.

Troops were bivouacked there for the first time since the Civil War. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, scattered through the Capitol hallways and public spaces as they tried to find space to sleep on the marble floors there. Their presence stood in stark contrast to the desecration of the building perpetrated last week by the rioters. There were numerous shots of the troops taking in the statues and artifacts displayed, many with deep reverence as they looked.

I thought the shot below of black troops posing respectfully with the statue of Rosa Parks created the greatest amount of contrast to the violent and destructive images from last week.

These troops were there for the right reason, out of duty to country. The insurrectionists of last week were there for the wrong reasons, that their prejudices and beliefs in unfounded and illogical conspiracy theories somehow entitled them to attack and destroy the very foundations  of our democracy. 

There is a reckoning ahead in this country. We must rid ourselves of the toxic stench of white supremacy that has long plagued this nation. There can be no unity so long as those who preach hatred and intolerance of others are allowed to roam the halls of our nation’s capitol. There must be a stand made against the bigotry and intolerance so openly on display.

There can be no tolerance of the intolerant.

I refer you to a blogpost from a few years back that I wrote on Karl Popper and his theory of the Paradox of Tolerance. It basically says that, even in an open society where free speech and belief is the rule, if you don’t stand up to those who champion intolerance at some point, if you tolerate those who would harm or take away the liberties and rights of other citizens, then you risk being destroyed by your tolerance by the intolerant.

That might be where we are right now, where are tolerance of the intolerant is at an end, that they have went beyond what we, as a free and tolerant society, can accept.

We shall see in the days ahead.

Stay safe and have a good day.



National Guard Troops Posing with Rosa Parks Statue

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For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.

Hosea 8:7



‘Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences’

— Robert Louis Stevenson



I don’t usually use Bible quotes to open my blog but this was such an obvious equivalent in meaning to the Robert Louis Stevenson words above that I originally intended to use that I decided to go with it in conjunction with the other. 

Actually, the Stevenson quote is not a sentence he has ever put to paper or spoke, to the best of my knowledge. It’s one of those online citations that catch on and become forever attached to a personality.  This misquote is, however, distilled, from words that Stevenson really did write, this from an 1887 essay, Old Mortality.

This is the bit from which the misquote is derived:

Books were the proper remedy: books of vivid human import, forcing upon their minds the issues, pleasures, busyness, importance and immediacy of that life in which they stand; books of smiling or heroic temper, to excite or to console; books of a large design, shadowing the complexity of that game of consequences to which we all sit down, the hanger-back not least.

In the essay before this excerpt he speaks of an older man walking through a graveyard, looking at the monuments, wondering if that was all that remained of a man’s life when he was gone, the only shadows of lives lived. He then above points out that our creations are the real shadows of our lives, that they speak better and with greater complexity of the part we play while alive. The part where he points out that nobody is exempt from participating in that game of consequence called life. Even those who try to stay in the shadows, the hanger-backs as he calls them, are engaged in this game.

Through the years, Stevenson’s game transformed into a banquet which is basically saying that we must eat the meal we prepare.

We reap just what we sow.

Actions have consequences.

And today we may witness a singular day of great historical consequence. The actions of the past four years, the past year, and the past few weeks may come to a head this day, bearing the consequences of the actions of this past period of time.

It may not be an endpoint and it will no doubt have actions that will have consequences of their own but for now a mighty wind has been sown and its whirlwind approaches.

The banquet table may be finally set and we must eat the meal we have put together.

Every one of us.

We will get through this. 

Here’s song from Rival Sons that is basically paraphrasing both these quotes as far as karmic hammers go. It’s Get What’s Coming. It might be  setting the tone for today and the coming weeks for those who will be called on to answer for their actions: When it comes back around you’re get what’s coming.

Pay close attention. It’s going to be a day.



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Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.

― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity



Good and evil both increase at compound interest.

Think about that for a minute.

Think about examples from your own life that you may recognize.

Speaking for myself, I will admit to having made both good and bad decisions in my life. The good ones lifted me higher and allowed me to experience the better things in my life– the victories as Lewis puts it. The good decisions generally came from looking outward, from considering someone other than myself. The good decisions began an upward spiral.

On the other hand, the bad decisions almost always resulted from selfishness ego, and anger.

I spent much of the first half my life making bad decisions. And it did indeed compound. The plummet on the downward spiral quickened and each level lower was worse than the one above it. It seemed as though there was no way to stop it. It was dark and awful in those times and places.

Without going further into my personal experience, I believe we are seeing a group of politicians and their followers who make up a substantial portion of the public who are in the midst of a downward spiral, one that is increasing at compound interest. 

I watched the newly released video yesterday showing the crowd on the steps pulling a DC Metro Police Officer from the doorway and dragging him down the stairs by the back of his helmet. A photo from the attack is above. He was tasered and beaten, one attacker pounding on him with the flag pole holding an American flag. Fortunately, that officer survived the attack.

I don’t know how anyone could watch that video and not be shocked or infuriated. It shook my day.

It was evil at compound interest– naked and pure.

It was based on absolute lies and bad decisions, from the very highest levels to those at the bottom with blood on their hands. 

And unfortunately, we are all– ALL— still trapped in this dark downward spiral because there are politicians and their followers still unable to recognize that they are making one bad and evil decision after another. And like my personal bad decisions, theirs are also based in selfishness, ego, and anger, with little thought as to where their actions might ultimately take them. 

They don’t see that they are the very antithesis of patriots. They don’t understand that they are the spearpoint of a movement that would result in a fascist dictatorship that would ultimately eat them as well. A fascist dictatorship that will ultimately fail and fall as they always do, often in a bloody purge brought on by disillusioned adherents of the movement. 

That misguided yet evil spearpoint is still there. They are still plotting, making evil decisions as they are shielded and egged on by their cohorts in power who still believe they can somehow ride and selfishly profit from the wave their riotous followers are creating.

That is yet another bad and evil decision by the power hungry.

Our peril as democratic nation compounds so long as there are no consequences, no accountability, for these people. There can be no unity or move forward until this happens. Those who incited and enabled this must be removed from their positions of power now. There is no shrugging this off and just moving on as though this were a mere aberration, a blip on the screen.

No, there must be accountability and action now to stop further compounding of this evil.

Now.

They hide behind the shield of politics but this is not political. This is life and death, right and wrong.

Good and evil.

I have intimately known good and evil. I choose good but know that we must first rid ourselves of this evil before we can move upward again.

Be careful out there and think about your decisions. Do some good in your own lives, please.

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“A Time For Reckoning”– Currently At the West End Gallery



We’re barely ten days into the new year and it’s already fed us a heaping helping of the darkly dramatic.

We’ve had elections with enormous ramifications, a seditious president*** booted from nearly all social media, a coup d’etat in our National Capitol that left five dead, and, to top it off, an out of control pandemic that is crushing our health system in some parts of the country. Hard to believe something that is killing 4,000 US citizens a day– and will most likely hit 5,000 in the coming weeks– has been under our radar in recent days.

Such is 2021 this far.

There are ten days until the Biden inauguration.

Ten days. Ten days that may test this nation in a way it has not been tested in anyone’s living memory. 

I do believe we’ll make it through. It won’t be pretty and we won’t come out the side with all 340 million of us holding hands and singing Kumbaya. But we will persevere.

There have been calls for unity from some of the very people who fed into– and profited from– the madness of the insurrection effort that took place this week and still still remains a threat in the coming days. They are somehow demanding from one side of their mouth that it is incumbent on the incoming President to unite us while still trying to push their lies and conspiracies with the other. 

It can’t work that way. You can’t have two contrasting sets of perceived facts, especially when one is grounded on baseless, wild conspiracies and outright lies.

Plus, even if you wanted to appease these insurrectionists, what could you give them that make them willing to unite?

I have absolutely no idea what they want, other than the overturning the results of an election that has been deemed by state and local leaders of both parties across the land as being as fair and transparent an election as we have ever conducted. But other than that, what do they want? They have no discernible ideology. It’s not about gaining rights or righting real wrongs or grievances. 

Their only grievance, the only way they seem to have been wronged, seems to be that they didn’t get what they wanted and won’t accept the fact that there are many more people who don’t hold their opinions.

Honestly, I don’t think they could tell you what it would take to make them happy. I don’t think they know. They just have a blind anger and a sense of grievance that is constantly being fed by leaders who profit from it, both financially and politically.

Look at the people who have fed these conspiracies. They have no ideas, no plans, nor cares for the betterment of all the people of this land. They have blind ambition and a craving for money and pure power. They will say anything, they will outright lie, they will spread any falsehood and conspiracy in an effort to gain and maintain power. No act of blatant hypocrisy is beyond these people.

Unity requires honest discussion based on common sets of facts. You cannot have unity with these kind of leaders* on the other side of the table. Disagreement with one another is acceptable when you can trust that both sides are being genuine in their arguments. But when one side is disingenuous and still spouts lies to incite their followers, unity is impossible.

And that’s a sad and dangerous thing. For all of us.

Sorry. I had no plans to write this this morning. I was simply going to play my normal Sunday Morning Music selection but this just fell out.

Getting back to regular business, here’s a new song from John Fogerty that speaks to the sadness of the moment. It’s titled Weeping in the Promised Land. It’s a pretty powerful song and video.

Pharoah keep a-preachin’ but he never had a plan…

Be careful out there.



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“A prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent, so that if he does not attain to their greatness, at any rate he will get some tinge of it.”

― Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince



Character matters.

I have written this before. The words, the actions, and the manner of the leader of a nation are tremendously important. They shape the words, actions and manner of the nation.

Think of the great and revered leaders of our past. Abraham Lincoln. FDR. JFK. MLK. Even LBJ in those moments that mattered. All were fallible men with human flaws, yet for the most part all spoke in aspirational terms, for the betterment and elevation of all people. Their words, their actions, and their manner gave us a template for behavior.

What we are experiencing now is the result of the words, the actions and the manner of a person unfit to lead this nation, a man who does not seek to elevate all the citizens of this land. He and his apologists and enablers, especially those in power who take their cues from him, have set a divisive tone, one that pits us one against another. 

His ugly manner, his crude behavior, his hateful words, and the embrace of lies and lurid conspiracies with no basis in reality have taken hold in his followers. This along with his selfish and narcissistic behavior have become the template for his followers. They exhibit the same selfish, illogical and uninformed thinking as their leader.

I have asked how those who have stood behind the president can justify their support for a man who deals exclusively in lies and hate speech. I have been told that while they don’t particularly his “style,” they endorse his actions. 

This is a justification I have never understood. This Machiavellian bargain is totally unacceptable because, for those who lead nations, “style” matters. Style comes in the form of their words, their actions and the manner in which they treat the totality of their citizens. It is character.

You can’t accept his actions without accepting the whole of his character. He and the wreckage he has produced are a result of those who thought they could pussyfoot around his style, that they could somehow rationalize away those many ugly parts of  his character in exchange for a few things that they coveted for their own benefit. 

Well, it doesn’t work that way, folks.

It’s a package deal. 

In for a penny, in for a pound” as the saying goes. 

Everything in his character, including his racism and acceptance of white supremacy, belongs to those folks now.  

Some will say they never saw this type of thing coming, that nothing pointed to this sort of thing happening. 

My response to that, as our next president likes to say, is Come on, Man!

It has been in the open and in plain sight since long before he was first nominated to be the Republican candidate in 2016. It was written in his words, his actions and his behavior in the years he has been a public figure. Nothing in his character suggested he would be anything but a disaster as the leader of this country.

He even pointed out plainly that this time was on the horizon for this nation under his leadership. In his inaugural address in 2017, he promised us American Carnage.

That is truly the one promise he made good on.

Character matters.

Once you accept the deal to overlook the character of your leaders, your own character becomes attached to theirs. It goes to the quote at the top from The Prince, the classic written in the 1530’s by Niccolo Machiavelli that gave the world the phrase The ends justifies the means. While there are many who hold this as a principle, Machiavelli advised people to try to follow great men so that they might attain at least a tinge of that greatness for themselves.

Conversely, we are tinged and marked as well by our bonds to the horrible and the evil. 

We know what this man is– a cheap gold-plated shell filled with lies and hatred.

Those who were attracted to appearance of his shiny surface in the past now carry his tinge.

Those who support him going forward have adopted his character.

And character matters.



“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince



 

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Yikes



Well, the first week of 2021 is behind us.

Yikes. 

The horror show that was 2020 lasted for what seemed ten years. 2021, thus far, seems intent on carrying on that legacy.

So much craziness has taken place in such a short span of time that things that have momentous ramifications get thrown aside. I mean, I can hardly believe that it has only been five days since the now notorious hour long phone call from the president*** to the Georgia Secretary of State was first revealed. It seems like it was a month ago.

The elections in Georgia that swung the balance of power in the Senate and opened up the field for what is possible by the incoming Biden administration took place Tuesday, a mere three days ago. Three days! 

And it was just the day before yesterday that the incited insurrection took place at the Capitol where five citizens died, including one law enforcement officer. 

And yesterday, amid the ever increasing calls for the resignation or impeachment of the president*** of this country,  over 4,000 Americans died from covid-19. 

4,000 souls. 4,000 families. In one awful day in a week that did it’s best to outdo the high bar set by the year 2020.

I don’t know what the coming week or weeks will bring but I am more than a little apprehensive.

I’ll get back to you on January 21, in what will most likely feel like several years from now.

Yikes.

Here’s a great tune from Alabama Shakes to let you know that we can get through the next few weeks. It’s Hold On.

Hold on, folks. We can get through it.



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