GOP Ignorance And Cynicism On Full Display.

Now that Republicans have taken control of the US House of Representatives, there is no hiding the idiocy and corruption of many of their members.

For example, this past week, during a congressional hearing, Marjory Taylor-Greene compared the death of insurrectionist Ashley Babbitt to the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols whose only apparent crime was driving while black. On the House floor, there were charges of treason against Rep. Ilhan Omar before a vote to remove her from the foreign affairs committee. Her supposed crime? She posted a tweet following the election of extremist Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu saying, “It’s all about the Benjamins (money). When notified that it offended some in the Jewish community, she quickly deleted it. But the GOP accused her of antisemitism and worse – a charge that is particularly puzzling coming from a political party that condones the blatant antisemitic acts of many of its members and supporters.

Earlier, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy similarly fabricated claims against Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell to justify removing them from the House intelligence committee.

Yet another GOP member thought it appropriate to pass out AR15 pins to his colleagues immediately following several mass shootings while other pro-murder GOP House members demanded that the metal detectors be removed from the Capitol so they can carry loaded guns into debates on the House floor and committee rooms. And, in retribution for the impeachments of the disgraced former president, four GOP members filed articles of impeachment against Biden. That group included Rep. Andy Biggs who has been credited for arranging the “Stop the Steal” event in Washington that led to the insurrection of January 6, 2021.

Others, like Matt Gaetz, are calling for extreme cuts to the SNAP food program, to Social Security, and to Medicaid and Medicare.

Worst of all, McCarthy and his band of bullies are planning another form of insurrection that could have damaging consequences for the entire world. They seem intent on using the debt ceiling as a weapon to take over control of the budget without negotiating in good faith with House Democrats, the Senate or the White House. The impact of refusing to raise the debt ceiling could not only collapse our economy. But most of the economies of the western world.

The mere fact that serial liars, insurrectionists, and conspiracy wackos such as Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Marjory Taylor-Greene, Lauren Boebert, Scott Perry, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and Geoge Santos are now occupying positions once held by the likes of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin is nothing less than a national disgrace. But even more troubling are the Fox viewers who accept GOP lies and vote for these idiots despite their many lies, blatant hypocrisy, obvious racism, faux patriotism, and autocratic fantasies in order to “own the libs.”

Republican voters no longer have the excuse that they were deceived by the celebrity of a TV “star,” conman, and mafia confidant in 2016. Despite having seen his cruelty and selfishness, they voted for him again in 2020. And, in 2022, they again voted for the aforementioned candidates who openly place the interests of their party and those of our nation’s enemies above the health of our own nation.

It is abundantly clear that Republican voters are accepting of racism, discrimination against the LGBTQ community, and hatred of the poor and refugees. They are okay with the cruelty of ripping children from their mothers’ arms; with denying abortions to women whose lives are at risk; with the widespread distribution of military-style weaponry that annually cause tens of thousands of murders.

It seems that Republican voters would happily trade our form of government for an autocracy modeled after Putin’s government of oppression and gang of oligarchs. Indeed, they have become collaborators with those who would make a mockery of our government and destroy our democracy.

“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” — Primo Levi, Auschwitz survivor

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due.

In thinking about the many problems that we face as a nation, it has become clear that the vast majority can be traced to policies enacted and supported by the Republican Party, a political party that has evolved from the party of growth and controlled spending (Eisenhower and Nixon) to the party of small government (Reagan and Bush I) to the party spreading global democracy (Bush II and Cheney) to a party intent on undermining our own democracy (Trump).

The GOP has coalesced around white supremacists and religious zealots to claim the title of “Faith and Flag” party. Yet few have any concept of ethics or patriotism. 147 Republican lawmakers assisted in the attempted coup of January 6, 2021, with the intent of helping a wannabe autocrat remain in the White House. Indeed, the party’s love affair for autocrats and kleptocrats has been made clear by its many connections to Putin’s Russia (see the Muller Report) and its invitation to Viktor Oban as the keynote speaker of CPAC.

Moreover, the party’s thirst for power and its desire to court the favor of billionaires and multinational corporations seem to be the cause of many of our nation’s most enduring problems.

Wealth inequity? By any measure the growing disparity between the ultra-rich and most working Americans has been caused by the GOP’s longtime commitment to Trickle-Down economics. Rather than money trickling down to the working class, it has created a gusher of wealth flowing upward to the wealthy and large corporations.

Gun deaths and mass shootings? They’re a direct result of the gun lobby’s influence on the GOP and a fraudulent interpretation of the Second Amendment. Because of liberal gun laws, we now have more guns in this country than people. And the number grows by a million or two every year. Moreover, a growing number of crimes involve the use of unregistered ghost guns – many with inexpensive “Glock switches” that convert semiautomatics into fully automatics. But any attempt to restrict such lethal weapons is met with GOP obstruction.

Violence against people of color, ethnic groups, and LGBTQ people? Many GOP candidates have successfully campaigned with ads and rhetoric demonizing these communities and unfairly blaming them for our societal failings. And since words have consequences, hate crimes continue to rise.

Misogyny? The GOP and its evangelical supporters have long tried to relegate women to a secondary social status. And now the GOP majority Supreme Court has gotten into the act. By overturning Roe v Wade, it has put the economic, mental, and physical wellbeing of women at risk.

Climate crisis? The GOP and its oily supporters have long denied that humans have contributed to climate change through our addiction to fossil fuels. For decades, they sponsored fraudulent climate studies to support their denial. And though we are now suffering through the resulting consequences, the GOP is still fighting any attempts to address the problem. It is now almost inevitable that, in our lifetimes, we will see a massive rise in sea levels and the extinction of more than a million species – maybe our own.

Inflation? Though the GOP has blamed rising prices on an overheated economy, rising labor costs, and attempts to mitigate the climate crisis, in reality, inflation has been caused by corporate greed and supply chain issues following the GOP’s failed response to the pandemic.

Corporate consolidation and the export of jobs? The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reports that GOP policies have actually rewarded multinational corporations for sending jobs overseas. Other GOP policies such as “repatriating” offshore profits at bargain tax rates have led to corporate stock buybacks that reward shareholders, instead of creating jobs. They have also encouraged consolidation by creating incentives for corporations to buy out competitors rather than to compete with them.

Border invasion? There are many causes for the wave of asylum-seekers, refugees, and immigrants at our southern border. So-called Democratic “open border” policies are not among them. The “invasion” has overlapped both Democratic and Republican administrations. Not even the fence and the GOP cruelty of separating children from parents could stop it. And despite repeated calls for a comprehensive immigration policy, the GOP has blocked it.

Failing education? In public education funding, the GOP sees a large pool of taxpayer funds that could be used to create profits. That’s why it is so determined to direct those funds to charter schools and private schools that are not subject to the same fiscal transparency as public schools. It also sees a well-educated public as a threat to its own survival – hence its current attempts to ban books along with those who would dare to teach an accurate account of slavery and genocide as part of American history.

Inequities in IRS audits? In its long-standing efforts to starve the federal government of revenue, the GOP has made draconian cuts to IRS funding and staff. As a result, the IRS does not have the resources to ensure that large corporations and the wealthy are paying their fair share of taxes. So, it has focused attention on ordinary citizens who don’t have the benefit of high-priced tax accountants and tax lawyers.

Political division? For the cause of our conflicts look no further than the GOP and its propaganda outlets. Fox News pundits, rightwing radio hosts, social media, websites, and online podcasts all spew a steady stream of hate, misinformation and outright lies. All of this means that Americans no longer share the same set of “facts.” As evidenced by the former president and George Santos, it’s increasingly rare when the truth escapes a GOP mouth.

We Cannot Live Alone.

Our lives are made possible by a delicate ecosystem. We rely on our forests and plants to create oxygen. We rely on bees and other creatures to pollinate the plants that produce our food. We rely on coral reefs to sustain our fish. On birds and bats to control insects. On wolves and other predators to control rodents. On glaciers to provide much of the water we drink.

We like to think of ourselves as stewards of the planet’s ecosystem. But instead, we are its greatest threat.

There are now more than 8 billion humans on planet Earth, all of which demand water, food, housing, and energy. More and more, they also demand a life of convenience, travel and recreation. One in which the niceties require resources. But after a single use, many of the products we use become disposable. As a result, we are rapidly destroying our oceans, our rainforests, and the air we breathe.

Obviously, this places our entire population at risk.

Scientists tell us that our lifestyle and our reliance on fossil fuels are heating the atmosphere. That they’re melting our glaciers at an astonishing rate. That they’re causing extreme wildfires and increasingly damaging storms. And that they will result in the extinction of more than a million species in the coming decades. The very species on which we rely to sustain life.

Yet our politicians, corporations, some religions, and many of our neighbors are in denial of the obvious dangers. They have placed political power over science. Short-term profits over the future. Ignorance and fantasy over reality.

This simply cannot continue. Scientists and activists have created a Climate Clock to show us the time to act is quickly running out. We can prevent the coming catastrophe if we treat climate change as the crisis it is. But once the ecosystem has been destroyed, we will not be able to fix it. And, contrary to the beliefs of some, we are unlikely to find planet B. Even if we could, we would not be able to transport more than a tiny fraction of our population to it. Moreover, we’d quickly destroy that planet, too. Better that we take care of the one we have.

How Political Extremism Becomes Self-Sustaining.

When economic and societal problems go unaddressed, dissatisfaction with government grows. Far right extremists use that dissatisfaction to get elected. Then, when they’re in the office, they ignore the problems to pursue their own ideological agendas. After all, it’s not in their self-interest to solve issues they can use in their campaigns for re-election. Indeed, they may even pass legislation to make the problems worse. (Remember the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations that exploded the federal deficit? Or how about their cuts to the IRS which made it virtually impossible to audit the tax returns of the wealthy?).

To cover their deceit, the extremists blame others for the problems. They distract voters and create fear by vilifying minorities, such as people of color, immigrants, non-Christians, and the LGBTQ community. Meanwhile, real world problems such as the climate crisis, immigration reform, corporate consolidation, and wealth disparity worsen.

It’s a cycle that has inspired some voters to embrace autocrats in the hope that a strong man unencumbered by democracy can make the desired changes. Indeed, that pattern has led reasonable people to embrace the world’s worst dictators: Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Zedong, and others.

Once the autocrats are in power, they attack and dismantle the institutions of democracy. They vilify the free press by calling it the enemy of the people and they replace it with propaganda outlets. To protect themselves, they undermine the judicial system by packing it with loyalists. They appoint loyalists in positions of authority throughout the government giving it the veneer of respectability while, in effect, turning it into a useful tool against any opposition. And they create doubt in the electoral process by claiming interference by the opposition and limiting those who are allowed to vote.

If all this seems a bit familiar, it is exactly how Donald J. Trump and his Republican allies operated. When enough voters recognized the attempt to destroy our democracy, Trump and his allies attempted a coup by challenging electors and encouraging violence resulting in the January 6 insurrection.

When the insurrection failed, they turned to propaganda to accuse Biden of inflationary policies and used the courts to drag out investigations long enough to gain a slim majority in the House. Given control of the federal purse strings and oversight committees, they are now in a position to investigate the investigators. Moreover, they can use their positions of power to create a flurry of propaganda and misinformation to further their cause – to replace democracy with the form of white Christian autocracy envisioned by their sponsors.

That much should be obvious to even the most casual political observers. The question is: Will ordinary Americans care enough to prevent it?

George Santos Exemplifies The Entire Republican Party.

The Republican representative-elect from Long Island campaigned on a background and resume that were complete fiction. He lied about his education and his work experience. He even lied about his religion and his mother’s death. Such behavior is obviously unethical and immoral. And, in the context of an election campaign, it should be illegal. Yet it’s only marginally worse than the lies regularly spewed by the majority of the Republican Party’s leadership.

Indeed, Santos was likely only following the lead of the former president who told more than 30,000 documented lies during his four years in office. And he’s accelerated his output of lies since leaving office.

Unfortunately, once Santos takes the oath of office, he will fit right in with the many other Republicans in Congress who have long been estranged from the truth: Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Lauren Boebert, Jim “Gym” Jordan, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruz, Tommy Tuberville, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul – the list is seemingly endless. And that’s only the Republican candidates who were successful in their quest for power. Failed candidates such as Kari Lake, Herschel Walker, Mark Finchem, etc. are as bad or worse. So, too, are their on-air propagandists such as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lara Logan, and all the rest of the hosts on Fox News Channel.

In short, the GOP has become a party of lies and deceit. A party willing to say and do almost anything to win.

Moreover, it appears that much of the funding of Republican candidates, like Santos, has come from mysterious and anonymous donors, some of which are believed to be Russian oligarchs and other foreign sources intent on destroying US democracy. Is it any wonder then that the Republican Party supports autocrats, war criminals and other despots?

If our democracy is to survive, voters must demand better. The least we should expect from politicians is transparency and truth. For, as famed Filipina journalist Maria Ressa says, “If you don’t have facts, you can’t have truth. If you don’t have truth, you can’t have trust. If you don’t have trust, you can’t have democracy.”

God’s Will?

In the ongoing abortion debate, those who oppose the procedure justify their opposition by saying that a pregnancy is God’s will, even if that pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. They even claim that if the pregnancy endangers the woman’s life, that, too, is God’s will.

Really?

This philosophy presupposes that God is the ultimate micromanager. That everything that happens on Earth (or in the cosmos for that matter) is dictated by a supreme being who is constantly watching over us. So, if someone miraculously survives a calamity, that’s God’s will. But aren’t such calamities and the deaths of all those who don’t survive them also God’s will?

At the risk of being dismissed as an atheist, I have a few more questions:

If God is to receive credit for all the good that happens in the world, shouldn’t He/She also receive credit for everything bad that happens? Why don’t the football players who point to the sky after scoring a touchdown also point to the sky after they fumble, miss a tackle, or involuntarily drop a pass? Do the player’s innate talents, character, determination, and training have no part in their successes and failures?

In the case of abortion, how can those of faith deny a medical procedure to a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy – even if it endangers her life, or contributes to the pain of having been raped, or leaves her facing poverty? Who are they to make such a life-changing decision for another human being? Moreover, isn’t it hypocritical to then support medical intervention for other issues? Aren’t broken bones, burns, lacerations, infections, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer also God’s will?

Likewise, if you are willing to deny plan B pills or abortion pills to a pregnant woman, shouldn’t you also wish to deprive others of the prescription medications they need for other medical conditions? Shouldn’t the patients who seek such medications, and the doctors who provide them, also face rejection and possible imprisonment?

After all, why would any mere mortal choose to intervene with God’s will? (Sarcasm very much intended.)

What To Expect From The GOP House Majority.

In short, nastiness, revenge, political posturing, and impeachments.

James Comer, who is expected to chair the Oversight Committee, will lead an investigation into the business dealings of Hunter Biden. (What’s really on that laptop?) In doing so, he and the rest of the GOP members of the committee will almost certainly try to damage President Biden and, at the same time, justify the actions of the former president that led to his impeachment.

In a promised investigation of Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the incoming chair of Judiciary Committee will try to exonerate the January 6 insurrectionists, claiming they were mere tourists who were victimized by the Capitol Police, the FBI, and the DOJ. The coatless and tieless Jim Jordan will roll up his sleeves and attack. He’ll insinuate, imply, and claim wrongdoing. He’ll bully and threaten witnesses, all as part of a show for TV, most especially Fox News Channel.

Comer and the Oversight Committee are also expected to investigate the origins of Covid-19 and Dr. Fauci. In doing so, we may be treated to questions from that famed scientist, Marjorie Taylor Greene, such as the one she recently posed on Twitter: “If a pair of underwear, really thick ones, high quality cotton, can’t protect you from a fart, then how will a mask protect you from covid?”

There will almost certainly be investigations of supposed election fraud in both the 2020 and 2022 elections. In that case, we may be treated to testimony from such notables as Kari Lake, Mark Finchem, Herschel Walker, and every other Trump-supported candidate who lost. In the process, we might even learn how many children Herschel actually fathered and how many abortions he’s paid for.

In addition, Republican House members are likely to use the debt ceiling and the threat of a government shutdown to block much of the Democratic legislation that has already passed, such as infrastructure spending, support for Ukraine, and efforts to address the climate crisis.

So, buckle up. It’s going to be ugly. Little will get done – at least nothing that will benefit you. But if you view it for what it really is – performative politics – it promises to be entertaining, if not downright laughable.

The GOP And Traditional Churches Have Suffered The Same Fate.

Both devoured from within by Bible-thumping, government-hating, election-denying Americans who are gleefully leading the attack on democracy and civility.

Traditional community churches have been overwhelmed by mega churches led by demagogues spewing prosperity gospel (the notion that sanctimonious zealots will receive riches beyond their imaginations through blind devotion to their version of the gospel). Despite its obvious contradictions to the teaching of Jesus, this is a compelling argument for those who reject critical thinking and believe in the infallibility of their leaders. Worse, this warped interpretation of the gospel is often accompanied by large doses of hate for non-believers, immigrants, and the poor.

Over the same period, the GOP has fallen prey to a conman who has embraced white supremacists and gun-toting, treasonous militias – his way paved by Lee Atwater’s southern strategy which, following passage of the Voting Rights Act, reached out to the southern proponents of Jim Crow-style segregation; by James M. Buchanan’s libertarian economics; and by Ronald Reagan’s embrace of the ironically named Moral Majority led by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and other power-hungry televangelists.

These two groups have merged to create the MAGA movement that threatens our nation today. Their shared grievances of seeing their white Christian majority diminished by immigrants of color, their disdain for expertise and education, their lack of compassion for the poor and the weak, their hatred of progressives has led them to embrace a would-be autocrat who they believe will restore power to the white Christian majority.

This new Republican coalition has even separated itself from GOP icons like Ronald Reagan, John McCain, Dwight Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, dismissing them as weak and misguided, unwilling to take the steps necessary to maintain power and destroy the libs. Add to this toxic mix the millions of followers of Q-Anon with their wild conspiracy theories and you have a recipe for the destruction of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy.

Without serious opposition and intervention, the destruction is not only likely. It’s almost inevitable whether by acceptance, inaction, or by violence.

To stop it, Democrats, liberals, and progressives must vote in numbers never seen before. Longtime conservatives must reject the current iteration of their party and vote for candidates of the only political party – the Democratic party – that still believes in democracy. To save our nation, they must eviscerate their party before they can restore it. They must ignore the threats from MAGAts and join with other longtime conservatives who have left the GOP, including former party leaders, candidates, strategists, and government officials, to build the party anew.

The US needs a political party to compete with Democrats. It needs a Republican party. Just not this one.

Treat Trump Like A Winner.

Reality Winner, that is, the 6-year Air Force veteran, recipient of a commendation for meritorious service, and former contractor for the National Security Agency who was sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in federal prison, plus 3 years of supervised released.

What horrible crime did she commit?

She was convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917, 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) for sharing a classified document with The Intercept. That document revealed that Russia had interfered with the 2016 presidential election on Trump’s behalf through a cyberattack on a US election software provider and spearfishing emails to more than 100 election officials. Without Winner’s actions, US voters may never have learned of Russia’s interference.

In other words, Reality Winner acted as a whistleblower in service to the American citizenry.

Contrast her actions with that of our deposed president and dictator wannabe who was found to have stashed 700 classified and top-secret documents at his home in Mar-a-Lago. The FBI search warrant used to search his home cited the very same charge as Winner. The difference is that Winner was trying to perform a public service. And Trump was almost certainly expecting to profit off our nation’s secrets.

There is also a substantial difference in the threat that the two represent. The classified material that Winner exposed could not reasonably be considered a threat to national security. On the other hand, the material Trump hoarded represents our nation’s most highly guarded secrets, including information about our nuclear arsenal and our human assets (spies) working undercover around the globe. Such documents should have never been removed from a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility), let alone stored in a resort frequented by dozens of members including foreign nationals.

So, to paraphrase the MAGA chants of 2015 and 2016: Lock him up! Our nation’s security may depend on it.

Fox News Has Gone Full Goebbels.

During a recent Laura Ingraham show in which she questioned Mike Pompeo about his interview with the Jan 6 committee, a headline appeared at the bottom of the screen reading “Dems prop up phony democracies abroad, shred ours.” In other words, the radical conservatives are angry that we are supporting Ukraine and investigating the January 6th insurrection.

And the Ingraham show is not even the worst thing on Fox. Tucker Carlson, the multi-millionaire heir to the Swanson Foods fortune, takes partisanship to a new level in his show by blatantly promoting autocrats and white supremacists, by excusing Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and by fawning over our deposed president and crime boss, Donald J. Trump.

Despite Fox calling its content “news”, it has long been little more than a propaganda network for Republicans and Libertarians. Its schedule is packed full of hate, fearmongering, and falsehoods. So much so that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish it from the pre-World War II work of Joseph Goebbels. (Goebbels, of course, was famously known as the chief propagandist who helped Adolf Hitler rise to power.) In fact, it could seriously be argued that many of the Fox hosts, Newsmax, and other MAGA propagandists are more extreme.

This pattern of radical anti-Democratic (and anti-democratic) rhetoric has been going on since the end of the Fairness Doctrine in the late eighties. A number of TV, radio and podcast hosts (Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, Mark Levin, et al) are deeply involved in Trump’s seditious conspiracy. And their rhetoric is getting worse.

It is abundantly clear that such propaganda is the primary reason for our nation’s divisions. As Trump and his MAGA followers have labeled the legitimate press as “enemies of the people” for reporting the truth, Fox and the other propaganda outlets have promised to tell you the real story. And what a story it is – full of partisan distortions and lies which blame immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and people of color for many of our nation’s problems.

They portray immigrants as criminals and “illegals.” They raise fears that same-sex marriage will somehow undermine the marriages of heterosexuals. They portray people of color as “lazy thugs” who have destroyed the rule of law in our cities. Like Trump, they describe our nation as a democracy in decay with carnage in our streets.

Yet, in truth, it is the Trump supporters – the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, white supremacists, and violent militias – who have taken to the streets with guns and body armor. It is these MAGAts who tried to bully governors, legislators, and judges from instituting policies to mitigate the pandemic. It is the MAGATs who invaded our Capitol to threaten Congress with the apparent intent to murder individuals and overthrow an election. And it is their NRA’s greed that has made Americans feel unsafe in theaters, in shopping centers, in churches, at concerts, even at schools.

There are other striking similarities between the Republican MAGAts and Nazis. They both intended to seize power based on bullying and armed insurrection. And they both aimed their hatred at minorities.

And even though the insurrection of January 6th was stopped, the Republican Party’s attempts to destroy our democracy continue. The propagandists are unbowed, and their falsehoods are unabated. Moreover, recognizing that knowledge is a threat and a counter to propaganda, the GOP continues its attacks on education and the educated. For decades, the GOP has dismissed and ridiculed expertise. It has dismissed economists who proclaimed trickle-down economics an abject failure. It has ignored the negative impact of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. And it has ridiculed the vast majority of the world’s scientists who warned about the devastating impacts of climate change.

Republicans have undermined public schools by slashing their budgets and channeling tax dollars into private schools through vouchers. They have threatened teachers for schooling their students in our nation’s history of slavery and the genocide of natives. They have sought to marginalize LGBTQ students. And their push for private schools allows conservatives to prioritize Christianity in classrooms over science.

Republicans have also exposed the flaws of mainstream television networks. By trying to appear nonpartisan, the networks too often offer airtime to Republicans intent on spreading falsehoods and hatred. Moreover, by presenting news in soundbites without context, the networks offer a distorted and incomplete version of the truth which makes it more difficult to counter the Republican narrative.

Of course, social media plays a part in the conservatives’ attack on democracy by creating information (more accurately, disinformation) silos where many people go for their news. It is in those silos, hidden from the public eye, where extremists, seditionists, and insurrectionists can go to reinforce their twisted ideas and plot their attacks on civil society. And despite the claims of those who profit from social media, little has been done to enforce decorum on their sites and to block disinformation.

Unfortunately, there is little government can do to counter all of this. Certainly, it can prosecute crimes as they happen. And we can vote out those who would destroy public education. But given our constitutional rights to free speech and a free press, we can’t stop the propaganda. We can only make a real effort to inform ourselves and seek the truth. Let’s hope that’s enough.