Archive for November 13th, 2020

This time it’s not a “ Joe” but a “ Kevin” who “ has no shame”.

Despite a decisive Biden-Harris win, Representative Kevin McCarthy has the audacity to say he’s not sure Biden will be President come January 20th. He joins the surreal Republican off-key chorus that insists on stroking Trumps fragile ego, channeling his rage and vengefulness, and supporting the denial of a bonafide Biden win.

They do so, once again in unprecedented fashion, to the point of refusing to insist on a smooth transition of power in support of the central tenet of our Democracy. They have no hesitation to undermine the transition and, along with it, the National Security.

Beyond the absurd folly of it all, we need to be very much on our guard right now, and in the years to come, as the inexorable March of fascism once again raises its ugly head. The strong ethic of anti-fascist sentiment in our Nation needs to push back boldly and with deep conviction and resolve.

It is especially needed now as the “ Great Generation,” keepers of the memory of the horrors of fascism, are dwindling in numbers. We should listen to the voices of our European brothers and sisters who saw such horrors perpetrated on their own soil.

Why am I so deeply concerned?

There is seemingly no end to the daily post-election toxic assault on the dignity of our Democratic values. This is especially so when one radicalized political party joins a would-be autocrat, thankfully defeated, in denying the results of fair and now verifiably secure elections.

Make no mistake, well beyond “the Donald’s” penchant for despotism, adoration of autocrats and his obvious psychopathology, there is a far greater ongoing threat from the puppeteers who back his tactics and histrionic alternative reality. There is no shortage of demoniacs ready to fill his shoes who are far more intelligent, cunning and likely less obvious in their pursuit of power for power’s sake.

Philosopher Jason Stanley, scholar of fascism at Harvard, has defined fascism as “ a cult of the leader who promises national restoration in the face of humiliation brought on by supposed communists, Marxists and minorities and immigrants who are supposedly posing a threat to the character and the history of a nation.”

Even a casual study of the last four years and what’s being said now by Republicans about the upcoming runoff Senate seat elections in Georgia is evidence of Stanley’s definition on display. We hear a persistent rhetorical drumbeat about the “socialism” that will surely come to America if the democrats there win those seats. Once again, they raise their voices about Bernie Sanders and his “ socialism” finding a seat in the Biden cabinet if the Senate goes to the Democrats.

Far less concerning frankly than another run for the Presidency in 2024 by DJ Trump (though I confess the thought gives me hives) is the continuing March of a fascist agenda among Republican senators and representatives.

The radicalization of the once dignified party of Lincoln is just about complete. This is why so many thinking and truly patriotic conservative leaders have left the Republican Party in abject disgust. It quite simply bears no resemblance to the party of yesteryear.

So, dear friends, the election is not over. We need to give the new administration a fighting chance to put a countervailing ethic in motion in Washington and do all we can to have the Georgia seats go to the democrats. These two Senate seats must be on the National dashboard for all who are concerned about protection of essential democratic values and freedom.

Republicans would surely denounce my characterization of their actions as fascist. In response, I simply invoke Jason Stanley’s definition, invite an objective examination of the facts of current behavior and rhetoric (compared with like historical banter from Benito Mussolini), and quote the words of their current “ führer” ( translated as tyrannical leader) who spoke of the horrors of the pandemic in five words that seem to fit quite well here: “ It is what it is!”

What does all this have to do with practical spirituality? Everything. As a member of a Franciscan Third Order I am “pledged to fight against the ignorance, pride, and prejudice that breed injustice or partiality of any kind.” The common good is under siege and silence is not an option.

Freedom itself is in the sights of determined political sharpshooters who value power over genuine servant leadership, care for our Democracy and authentic commitment to a secure future for our all of our children.

© The Harried Mystic, 2020 and Br. Anton, TSSF. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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