Once upon a time we had leaders who found ways to inspire us rather than denigrate various parts of our population and warn us that we were going to be overrun by evildoers if we didn’t let the powers that be work their will.
Ordinarily, we might count on the good sense of the American public to see through all of this bamboozling (not the word I really want, but I’m trying to keep this on a high plane). But thanks to the administration’s perversion and corruption of the institutions that supposedly protect us, it may not matter how level-headed the American public is, they’ve cut the phone wires so we can no longer call for help. This is “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” all rolled into one.
We no longer need to use our imagination to conjure up what might happen. It is happening:
Item: We keep hearing warnings about election fraud, months before the election, despite the lack of any evidence that it’s actually happening. These warnings come from the same quarters that denied and continue to deny the reality of actual election tampering in 2016.
Item: Because of the continuing threat from the novel Corona virus, states are scaling back on in-person voting in favor of mail-in voting, something five states already do exclusively. Again, we hear warnings about fraud despite the lack of any evidence that it has occurred or will occur.
Item: The U.S. Postal Service is being starved and knee-capped to make it harder for it to deliver the mail, so good luck getting your absentee ballots or mailing them back in time.
Item; A trial balloon was floated about delaying the election. It never got off the ground, but it indicated how desperate the current White House occupant is about his re-election prospects. That at least was a public attempt. We have no idea as of yet what private efforts are being made to subvert the election.
Do I sound worried? You bet. Paranoid? Maybe, but we’ve been given plenty of cause to be looking over our shoulders. The extreme right warned for years about “jack-booted government thugs” and black helicopters invading our cities to deprive us of our rights. We recently witnessed it in Washington, DC and Portland, Oregon.
Meanwhile, we keep giving gifts to Vladimir Putin, withdrawing troops from Germany (which reportedly has its own internal issues) and raising the alarm about China while simultaneously failing to take meaningful steps to thwart its efforts—like maintaining our participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership. We are ceding the field to our adversaries, and we will pay a price for it.
But enough hand-wringing. We need a moment of inspiration. We got some during Rep.John Lewis’s very moving funeral service in Atlanta from several speakers, including three former presidents. We have to remember that we are not alone. We are in this together. And, at the risk of being a little (or maybe more than a little) soppy, here’s a reminder: