The United States is still in shock after the January 6th attempt to storm the US capitol and overthrow the government. Indeed, the whole world has the jitters about the incident. Remember, the United States is still the world's leading military power, a cornerstone of the global economy, and one of the most manifested current democracies in the world. What happens in America affects every nation on Earth, at least through our foreign policy if nothing else.
Your humble author has kept his big yawp shut about this whole affair for awhile. For one, I have been waiting to see how events shakedown in the days directly before and after the inauguration of president Joe Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris. For another thing, I have to take some time to absorb the news and get a handle on this mess just like the rest of you. And I've got some insight for that handle which, as usual, I see the rest of you are overlooking.
Let's take a deep breath and relax because things are not as bad as they seem, and in fact, are nearly cause for celebration!
The Trump-Nazis Know They Are Losing
Call them whatever you will: Confederates, Conservatives, MAGA, right-wing, Republicans, racists, the KKK, bigots, Nazis, Evangelicals, fascists, Alex Jones fans, FOX News watchers, or the cult of personality around failed dictator Donald Trump. They all mean the same thing. We will just call "those guys" MAGA, for their self-adopted acronym "Make America Great Again."
We'll just call them the "MAGAs." A group identifier destined to go down in history as a synonym for the KKK, Nazis, and the Confederacy.
When they say "make America great again," they mean they want to reinstate this America:
That, to them, is when we were "great."
The point is that MAGA will lose, was always losing, and knows that it's on the wrong side of history. I've pointed out before the folly of mistaking willful evil for ignorance. Don't let the knuckle-dragging idiot act that MAGAs put on fool you; that's just a smokescreen. These people are wrong, know that they're wrong, know that they're working to doom us all, and they are doing it on purpose.
- The people with White Privilege know that they have it.
- Every last MAGA who fights you over not wearing a mask knows that they're spreading a deadly virus. They are doing it because they want other people to die.
- The "anti-science" people know damn good and well that science is real. But they fear science. Science is based on knowledge, knowledge is power, and power is what MAGA is afraid of other people having.
MAGA is losing and they know it, which is why they are fighting so hard. It's not to win, it's to delay the inevitable. They fight like it's the end of the world, because, to them, the world IS ending! The world where they were free to own slaves and rape women and lynch colored people and own all the wealth, that world is gone. MAGAs think they're the Master Race, and they want all of the power, even if that means taking away everyone's power.
Pretend there was only one MAGA left in the world. If that MAGA could send us all to Hell, himself included, he would do that. Because that means he has all of the power; because then all of us would have zero power and he would be the one who got to make that decision for all of us, therefore in his mind, he "wins." This is literally how MAGAs think. "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."
I'm not even the first to point this out. Rolling Stone and Mother Jones both point out that Evangelicals (synonym MAGA) love Donald Trump because they think he IS the Antichrist. MAGAs think that he will bring about the rapture, the literal end of the world.
They are not trying to fix the world. Every Republican who gets up and makes a big filibuster in Congress about Conservative ideals, yada yada, is pulling your leg. It's not about solving problems and running a society at all, it's about seizing the controls of society just long enough to blow it up.
Republicans do not want a president and do not want a "United" States. They want a warlord who will launch Armageddon. After Armageddon, they believe, comes the New Earth, where their scripture foretells - wait for it - that they literally get to reign in Hell!
But MAGA is losing in the long term, and they also know that. This is why they behave like a Doomsday cult. To them, Doomsday was here long ago.
Human History is the Steady Story of Progress
Now I'm sure all you cynical Millennials (hey it rhymes!), and the rest of you who follow the news, just gave me the big ol' eye-roll. What a shame. That is because you are tempted, thanks to our media environment, to focus only on the bad news, the setbacks, and the struggle.
History is a dead subject in the United States. We teach dystopianism and not enough about the history of progress. Progress always feels slow, because we are all so impatient to have it right now this minute.
Look at this:
That is how America was in the mid-1960s! The 1960s! Just some fifty-sixty years ago! There are plenty of people walking around right now who remember this time. Jim Crow and segregation was "normal" to them. They have taught their children this. This is the "America" they want back, hence MAGA, "make America great again." Media outlets across the political spectrum love to wring their hands about how divided America is now. Yeah, read up on the 1968 Democratic Convention, the rash of riots and assassinations that year, and the actions of the Chicago Seven. Then get back to me about how divided our country is now.
Let me give you a little time-line of the United States, focusing on the positive progress for a change:
- 1865 (156 years ago) - The Union won the American Civil War
- 1920 (101 years ago) - Women in America won the right to vote (19th Amendment)
- 1938 (83 years ago) - US minimum wage was created by the Fair Labor Standards Act
- 1945 (76 years ago) - The Nazis lost WWII
- 1954 (67 tears ago) - US Schools were desegregated (blacks and whites could go to same schools)
- 1964 (57 years ago) - All segregation was outlawed in the US, ending "Jim Crow" laws (Civil Rights Act of 1964)
- 1965 (56 years ago) - The Voting Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in voting in the US
- 1969 (52 years ago) - Apollo 11 landed on the moon (count this as a win for science)
- Also 1969 - The first computer operating system was created (the Information Age born)
- 1970 (51 years ago) - The first Gay Pride parade was organized in Chicago
- 2008 (13 years ago) - The first black US president was elected (Electing Trump was MAGA's punishment to us for doing that)
- 2012 (9 years ago) - States began to legalize cannabis in the US (prohibition was aimed at minorities)
- 2015 (6 years ago) - Gay marriage legalized in the US
- 2020 (last year) - First female US vice president elected (and first woman of color in that office)
There, do you feel better now?
Look at the above timeline from the MAGA point of view. Can you understand why they're panicking? Even though Baby Boomers take more than their share of credit for social progress, let us not forget that even through all the tambourine-banging activism in the 1960s, not every Boomer was progressive. There were holdouts, people who did *NOT* think that Civil Rights was a good idea.
History is a testament to just one fact: The MAGAs. Always. Lose.
They fight back against progress as hard as they can. Occasionally, they can assassinate an Abraham Lincoln or a John Kennedy or a Martin Luther King, or they can storm the US capitol, but the progress just keeps going on anyway. The MAGAs erect monuments to their Confederate generals, but nearly every major US city has a street named after Martin Luther King Jr., starting in Chicago in 1968. The MAGAs got their one term of Trump, but it was between two terms of Barrack Obama and now newly-elected vice president Kamala Harris.
And now, at long last, came the helicopter ride we had all been waiting for.
Even the corporations have begun to fight back…
This is the weird thing that is happening now. I said that we have a crisis of leadership in the global social media network. I have said that it is time to police social media. And now, corporations have begun filling in for the inadequate powers of government in doing just that.
First, one after another, social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, all banned Trump and his MAGA hate groups.
Next, most of the US' leading corporations cut political donations to Republicans. Some cut off only the Republicans who opposed the legitimate vote to elect Joe Biden, while others just cut off the Republican Political Action Committees and be done with it.
These two developments are landmarks! They have never happened before. These landmark actions are not done altruistically or idealistically. They are done out of self-defense. Because, as it turns out, Fascism also happens to be bad for business.
Why is it so controversial to say these things?
This is the part where I get in trouble with all the left-wing kids who go out protesting to #OccupyWallStreet, and also have their own Q-Anon-style mob formed about Ajit Pai and Net Neutrality. Look, I get it. Rich people have money and the rest of us don't. But the fix to that is reform of business, banking, and tax laws. Trying to get rid of business doesn't fix anything.
In the big picture, we practically owe our existence to commerce. It runs the entire Internet. It takes up the slack where government fails. Business thrives in an open democracy, and so whenever your democracy is threatened, business is allied with your cause. Business is YOU! Business is all of us - unless we all reform society into a collective Communist anthill. Are you ready for a collective Communist anthill? Then there's only one other social plan that comes close to working, and that's open (or at least prudently regulated) market commerce thriving under a free democracy.
This goes for the Internet too, which is why I dismiss both sides of the Net Neutrality debate as nonsense. There is never going to be a giant disaster that wipes out the Internet. Half the Forbes' top billionaires made their fortunes from the Internet exactly as it is today. What madness could possibly possess them to just unplug it and walk away? Count on this law in a free democracy: If a thing makes money for anybody, that thing is never going away.
Bernie-crat liberals have posted a million death threats to me whenever I say any of the above, but again all I'm pointing out is all just the same immutable laws of nature. You might as well get mad at me for saying water's wet. It is simply a completely dispassionate observation of how business and democracy inter-operate. Bernie-liberals (or maybe it's just online Russian trolls pretending to be liberals) HATE me for pointing out that businesses can do ANY good at all, even by accident, just because the Bernie-lib platform is "But Business == Doubleplusungood!!!"
(Note: I'm not saying that the rich should get richer while the poor get poorer. I'm not advocating "trickle-down economics." I'm not saying that industry shouldn't be regulated. I'm not saying that the system can't be improved.)
The left, too, can be brainwashed, as can the center and every other direction on the political compass. Every time I point out anything positive about America, no matter how incidental, both the right and left political wing rush up to start cramming a bunch of words in my mouth which I did not say. But I digress.
The point here is that, even at the billionaire corporate business level, the world is headed steadily in the direction of progress. It may not be perfect, it may not ever get to a utopia. But there is a steady, natural force, a law of nature, which continually drags human society towards progressive ideals.
It is easy to be impatient with progress
None of this means that we can just sit back and do nothing. Obviously, progress is *also* spurred by the constant tide of protests, voting blocks, editorials, speeches, the acts of guiding the hand of liberty. The MAGAs have just shown us that the battle isn't even close to over.
The tide of MAGAs tries continually to turn back the clock, to undo progress, to take freedom back out of our hands after we have won it. Case in point: Iowa was briefly seen as a progressive state in the late 2000s when it became the first Midwestern state to legalize same-gender unions. What the history books don't say as loudly is that the three high court justices who upheld that decision paid for it with their jobs, when a MAGA-led campaign to vote them out circulated through the state.
When we look at that result, from the short term, it looks like progress has had a set-back. But in the long term: gay marriage is still legal in Iowa, it just cost a few judges. Worth it! Progressives in America have to learn the concept of "acceptable casualties."
Decades of progress have unrolled in the American story. We still have our Civil Liberties, we have still elected more diverse candidates, we have still shaped the course of American destiny towards progress. This is important to understand, so that we do not let lack of perspective dim our view and undermine our cause.
MAGA will assassinate an Abraham Lincoln or a John Kennedy or a Martin Luther King, or storm the US capitol, or vote out some judges. These are snipes, taking out one target at a time, while history runs over the MAGAs in multitudes. MAGA will always fight until there is no MAGA left. That, too, is a force of nature, the dark animal side that we are striving to evolve away from.
Fight the fight. Don't give up. Good triumphs over evil - sometimes even in spite of itself.