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Anno Horribilis

January 3, 2021

 Well, that was a year, wasn’t it?

  2020 was the perfect exclamation point tp the end of the Trump presidency. In all fairness, he probably would have lost this election anyway, but his lies, mismanagement, magical thinking, ignorance, finger-pointing, utter lawlessness and shocking incompetence told us all that we needed to know about this business genius, who knows less about the management of a supply chain than my dogs know about the inner workings of a wristwatch.

More importantly, this year showed us, in stark relief, what we need to understand about ourselves. A pandemic that should have brought us together only further divided us. The wearing of a piece of cloth over one’s face to protect fellow citizens from an explosively contagious and dangerous disease became a political statement. As of this writing, we have lost 350.000 Americans to this virus. In ten months. In WWII, we lost 407,000 Americans in combat. In four years.

 Let that sink in for a moment.

Freedom is a s freedom does. This pandemic will continue to burn out of control, regardless of vaccines, until we reestablish some sort of community bond based in a willingness to look out for one another and make small sacrifices in order to protect and defend fellow Americans. The dumber and more self-absorbed we are, the longer the agony continues. It’s your nightmare, America. Cherish it.

 Can you imagine this current population of self-absorbed whiners facing down global fascism in the mid-20th Century? Making the sacrifices our forebearers made to protect this country? Don’t like masks? Try gas rationing. Think you have a Constitutional right to go drink and party with your pals at the local bar? Try slogging through the jungles of Guadalcanal sleeping in mud and just trying to keep you and your pals alive. No one is going to miss spring break and come home with the thousand-yard stare.

 If our current crop of Bravehearts were called upon to make genuine sacrifices like we did only three generations ago, then The Man in the High Castle would be actual history, instead of just a dark and terrifying alternate universe work of fiction.

Also, we learned that our tolerance for crypto-fascism is pretty high. Of course, Trump is not the root cause of this. We are our own root cause. Trump is merely an accelerator and amplifier. But then Trump did set the stage for an assault on our democracy by proclaiming, before the election, that the only way he loses is if the election is rigged. Why a Trump loss was so inconceivable to the cultists, given that Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight Presidential elections, is beyond me.

They insist, without evidence, that the election was stolen. Most Republicans believe this. If the only possible result of an election is that your side wins or the election was stolen, we are very close to Banana Republic/African dictator territory. There would be no point in having elections at all. Every recount produced the same result. Team Trump marched into court and had every challenge and every bit of supposed “evidence” thrown out of every Court in the land. No Court slammed the door harder on Trump than the Supremes, where Trump himself had appointed one third of the sitting Justices.  Even William Barr, the most servile of Trump’s bootlickers, stated there was no evidence of fraud at a scale that would call the results of the election into doubt.

 In one of the last acts of clownish defiance, the Attorney General of Texas thought he had the right to sue another State over that State’s duly enacted election laws. This suit was joined by several red State AGs and126 Republican members f Congress, I am quite sure that if the Attorney General of California sued Texas over laws that make it harder for minority citizens to vote, the good citizens of Texas would have a collective pants crap one could smell from space. And speaking of Texas, we should note Rep. Louie Gohmert’s (R-Asshat) failed lawsuit that sought to make the Vive President the sole decider of which Electoral votes should be counted, But that’s the belligerent stupidity and hypocrisy of Trump World.

To borrow a phrase from Gerald Ford, if the Founders were still alive, they would be rolling in their graves.

 Yes, it was a horrible year. But we learned some truths about ourselves. These are hard to look at but truths we must force ourselves to see—that is, if we care about self-governance and we care about the American experiment continuing. 2021 is not a fresh start. The first day of the new year leaves us exactly where we were on the last day of the old year.

 I remain cautiously pessimistic. Cy Vance has January 21st circled on his calendar.


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