Archive for January 9th, 2021

For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.

Hosea 8:7

This verse from Hosea is echoed in the events of this week. Having encouraged sedition and insurrection, Trump and his acolytes have “ sown the wind”. Now comes the whirlwind.

We will be visited by all manner of demons and innocents will be sacrificed to the insatiable unholy appetites of anarchists and antiChrists. Trump and the Republican Party have much blood on their hands, including the many Covid-19 related deaths owing to an absent National strategy to combat the disease.

Rather than an all-hands full court press focus on saving the country from a raging pandemic, these hollow men and women are obsessed instead with preservation of power in the face of certified election results. The events of this week are tragically only the beginning.

The perfect storms of Covid 19 and a pandemic of hatred and rage have combined: a recipe for ongoing suffering. I suspect that there will be further violence perpetrated against our country especially now as the unthinking Trumpists feel betrayed by their dark lord.

Among Biden’s tall challenges is grappling with the problem of political echo chambers serving as instruments of motivating propaganda. The “ free speech” provision needs to be re-examined to nullify the unsubstantiated and hate-soaked rhetoric that incites violence. The majority in our society is demonstrably unskilled in telling the difference between facts and fictions.

The psychology of propaganda becomes an area for high priority consideration. Social media companies need to educate their users and exercise far greater oversight. Banning Trump for life is a good start along with flagging sites containing disinformation. Fresh legislation is needed this year once the new Congress is seated.

Fantasy has no place in governance and policy making. It has its place in the exercise of creative imagination and entertainment. It has its place in fashioning fresh hypotheses for testing. Beyond that, we need to forcefully reassert the dignity of empiricism and call out anything that violates the fact-based canon of methodologies.

It is now a matter of life and death. We are all entitled to our opinion, but not our own body of unverified “ facts”.

© The Harried Mystic, 2021 and Br. Anton, TSSF. 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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Events of the last few days have brought to mind an observation made by the renowned essayist Jonathan Swift: “There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake.”

After the all too predictable deadly assault on the Nation’s Capitol, ( a culmination of celebrated white supremacy over four years by a racist President), quite a few of Trump’s Republican enablers appear to have miraculously located their long-lost moral compass; well, at least as reflected in their majority vote to accept the results of the electoral college.

We listened to some lofty speech making this week. It was suitable for legacy-making and clearly crafted to project noble intent and statesmanship. Even Mitch McConnell, the self declared “ grim reaper” of the Senate, gave a seemingly heartfelt speech on the need to “do what’s right.”

It would all have been downright moving were it not for the last four years of defending the criminal madman at the helm and his corrupt and corrupting crime family of misanthropes. I suspect that these seemingly sudden expressions of Constitutional stewardship are but artful devices intended to spin a “ CYA” counter-narrative for what comes next.

While I am certainly glad they finally got down to what their limited proforma Constitutional task was really about, counting and declaring the winner of an already confirmed electoral outcome, the late post- insurrection pontificating was appallingly too little too late. People were killed and injured and we came close to a far more horrific catastrophe.

Besides this one class of artful dodger feigning integrity, there is the even more grotesque monsters of unmovable arrogance who delight in modeling Trump-styled narcissism. Men the likes of Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Mo Brooks are yet another even more poisonous species of political con artists.

Undeterred by the rampaging assault by the mob of Trump worshipers, these political hitmen proudly resumed their objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. Their own egoistic agenda was simply more important than the common good. It “ trumped” the well-being of colleagues, democracy, their oaths to the Constitution, and the security of the country. They should be sanctioned and then impeached.

As of tonight, the House will likely move to impeach Trump a second time in a matter of days. They must. There has been a slow trickle of Republican voices who have “seen the light,” as it were, ( e.g., Ben Sasse, and Lisa Murkowski), but McConnell has made clear that he has no intention of convening a trial in the Senate before the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Despite his high-minded rhetoric on the need to acknowledge the results of the election, the clear and present danger of Donald Trump, commander of an anarchic militia of white supremacists and Nazis, still has not risen for him to a level warranting urgent action. He can certainly move articles of impeachment to the floor for trial quickly if he so chose. But, he still fears the Trump voter more than a threat to the well-being of our Republic.

The Nation is in a more dangerous and fragile place than I have seen in my lifetime. The risks are especially high over the next 12 days before a new administration is sworn in. We need to remove Trump immediately.

Trump has leaned out all departments. He has filled key positions with incompetent puppets. Our adversaries recognize this time as one of weakness. Outside of the House and the few Republicans who are sounding the alarm, the Republican base and leadership appear profoundly unconcerned. Even now, they voice satisfaction with the job Trump is doing!

All of this underscores for me why character is prerequisite to any special leadership competence. The pain we are suffering as a country today is a consequence of the ascendancy of men and women of poor character with Machiavellian proclivities.

The principles and values alive in a person’s actions should always be primary assessments in considering them for leadership roles. Forever hence, Trump will be the go-to example of what happens when character is set aside and considered incidental by an uninformed electorate. Consider how many voters chose Trump despite his peccadillos, dalliances, and longstanding record of corruption and self- aggrandizement.

As Jonathan Swift opined, the 11th hour epiphanies are quite likely a continuing deceit of political theater: a projection of calculated repositioning. What they are not, with only a few exceptions, is genuine contrition and humble recognition that the Republican Party made a Faustian bargain with the devil and its time to pay up.

“Let Trump be Trump” was the Republican meme that has nearly killed the soul of this country. This logic is no less inane than would be tolerating a toddler’s penchant for biting people. Trump has not changed one bit in four years though Republican Senators, who are just now changing their tune, are acting as if he just lost his mind this week.

They chose to back a psychopath for four years. They and those who voted for and continue to support Trump ( a large percentage of the Republican Party) are complicit in the assault on our democracy. They are tantamount to a collective “Frankenstein” now expressing regret about the misguided reasoning that led to unleashing their dark vanity project on the world.

Spiritual integrity is impossible absent intellectual and emotional integrity. These events are real-time morality plays. They are challenging us to true citizenship for the sake of the future.

We are also called in such times to examine our own sinful estates and look to the spiritual work needed to ensure that we become parts of the solution.

As an act of personal leadership in troubled times, may we reflect on:

– the authenticity we project in the world

– what weakens or undermines it

– what strengthens it

– and how we can bring light to the task of chasing away the shadows.

I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

Jonathan Swift

© The Harried Mystic, 2021 and Br. Anton, TSSF. 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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