America’s 2020 presidential election is over. Its aggravation isn’t.
I’m one of the many folks who opted to vote by mail. Election results weren’t entirely good or bad news from my viewpoint.
This month’s news hasn’t been all bad.
Even my corner of social media has simmered down a bit.
I still see expressions of angst and anger over the fascists and/or pawns of the New World Order, but nowhere near as often.
But an item in this month’s news was disturbing.
I’m pretty sure that someone planned the incident. What America’s traditional news media describes does not seem like the actions of a disorganized “mob.”
And I’m quite sure that several folks were killed during the incident. Maybe by the “mob,” by Capitol security, or by others.
And I’m pretty sure that eventually we’ll learn more of the what and who. And maybe even the why of that incident.
For the moment, America’s traditional news media assures me that the current president’s supporters planned and executed the attack.
And that it’s the current president’s fault.
Assorted folks on social media have their own ‘what-who-why.’
As for me, I think that I don’t have enough data to form a reasoned opinion. And that what I do know is disturbing. More disturbing, in a way, than traditional news media’s version.
I talked about that, weekend before last:
“…Other possibly-significant results include at least two social media services banning the American president. And, maybe, the start of a renewed and urgent discussion of restrictions for non-traditional news services.
“I gather that these actions are intended to defend democracy. By silencing folks who lack sufficient enthusiasm for my country’s proper rulers.
“Not that anyone’s been quite that blunt about it….”
(January 9, 2021)
I remember when stopping dissent in the name of ‘national security’ was in vogue.
I didn’t like it then.
Maybe ‘defending democracy’ will become the new ‘national security.’ I hope not.
We don’t live in an ideal world. I keep saying that, and that’s — you guessed it — another topic.
I was going somewhere with this. Let me think. Presidential election. Voting by mail. Sound and fury. Traditional news media and insufficient data. Right.
I’m not entirely happy the 2020 state and national election results. But I’m not entirely unhappy with them.
“…Beatniks and politics, nothin’ is new
A yardstick for lunatics, one point of view….”
(“Incense and Peppermints,” Strawberry Alarm Clock (1967) via Genius.com)
The small ones, too, for that matter.
A couple years back, I took several of those political online quizzes.
Compiling the results was — interesting.
I learned that I’m a right-wing liberal libertarian. 😉 Which isn’t surprising. Over the decades, I’ve become more and more unimpressed with politics and politicos.
But Timothy Leary’s “…drop out” advice isn’t an option. It doesn’t make sense. It didn’t, to me, when I was young. Maybe I’ll get back to that.
Back, briefly, to those quizzes. Each had maybe 20 questions. That’s not nearly enough to be thorough. So each quiz sampled a different slice through my beliefs.
I’ve been called “some conservative guy.” That’s accurate. If “conservative” means not being on the same page as today’s American establishment. But if it means desperate yesteryearning for a ‘good old days’ that never existed? And that’s yet another topic.
Next, why I don’t simply ignore politics.
Basically, it’s because I’m a Catholic. And a convert who has been learning what the Church has been saying.
Back in the Sixties, I associated “patriot” with folks whose blind devotion to their views was equaled only by their hatred of commies, Catholicism and rock music.
They helped me learn to love rock and roll, and that’s yet again another topic.
Dictionaries give several definitions of “patriot,” including —
But I’m a Catholic, not a Dictionarian. If “Dictionarian” wasn’t a word before, it is now. Still more topics.
I’m a Catholic. There are things I should believe, and act as if I believe.
I’m also obliged to do what’s possible in public life. That includes recognizing humanity’s solidarity and respecting authority. Within reason. (Catechism, 1778, 1915, 1897–1917, 1939–1942, 2199, 2238–2243)
I like being an American, so maintaining a ‘love of country’ isn’t hard. Usually.
But there are times when it takes effort. And reminding myself that there’s more to America than jingoistic chauvinists and folks who enjoy thinking that they’re in charge.
“Pope Francis ‘astonished’ by disruption at US Capitol”
Hannah Brockhaus, CNA (January 9, 2021)
“Pope Francis has said he was surprised by the news of the incursion of pro-Donald Trump protestors into the U.S. Capitol Building this week, and has encouraged people to learn from the event in order to heal.
“‘I was astonished, because they are a people so disciplined in democracy, right? But it’s a reality,’…
“….’Something isn’t working,’…”
“Pope Francis asks Immaculate Virgin Mary to intercede for US after Capitol violence”
Courtney Mares, CNA (January 10, 2021)
“Pope Francis prayed Sunday for the United States, asking the Immaculate Virgin Mary to help foster a ‘culture of encounter’ after the recent violence at the U.S. Capitol Building.
“‘…I pray for those who lost their lives, five lost in those dramatic moments,’ …
“…’…violence is always self-destructive. … I urge the authority of the state and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility in order to calm the spirits, promote national reconciliation and protect the democratic values rooted in American society,’ the pope said….”
“U.S. Bishop Chairman Urges Peace Following Reports Warning of Plans for Additional Violence at State Capitols and U.S. Capitol”
Chieko Noguchi, Miguel Guilarte; Public Affairs Office; USCCB (January 16, 2021)
“Following the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and reports of an FBI bulletin warning of ‘armed protests’ in state capitals and Washington, DC, in the coming week, … Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged peace.
“The full statement is as follows….”
“Something isn’t working.”
America’s going through a rough patch.
We’ve been through worse. Like the War Between the States. (June 1, 2018)
A civil war could happen again. I hope it doesn’t. War breaks things and kills people. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and I’ve talked about that before. (May 23, 2020)
I’m pretty sure we’re not at a point where our only option is mass homicide.
I also think I can do something besides wait for the next debacle. So I’ll keep praying. And reading, writing — and doing my best to make sense:
- “Fog, Frost, Feelings: and Another Washington SNAFU”
(January 9, 2021)
- “November 3: The End of Civilization as We Know It (Again)”
(November 2, 2020)
- “Election-Year Weirdness: An American Tradition”
(October 21, 2020)
- “Beyond George Floyd”
(June 6, 2020)
- “Homer, Hegel, History and Hope”
(May 12, 2018)