Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘2021’

Donald V. Watkins, Sr. Is A Convicted Federal Felon

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 20, 2021

Update: Saturday, 20 February 2021
NOTE: TO THE READER: As you read any story anywhere mentioning, involving, or written by Donald V. Watkins, Sr., it must be borne in mind that he is now a Federal Convict, and along with his son, Donald V. Watkins, Jr., was found guilty of numerous charges.

“Donald Watkins Sr. was convicted of seven counts of wire fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy.
Donald Watkins Jr. was convicted of one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.”

As of the date of this note, he is in Federal Custody at Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Tornado Ravages Birmingham Suburb of Fultondale

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Monday night, 25 January 2021, a tornado swept across north central Alabama in the small Jefferson county town of Fultondale, a bedroom community adjacent to and north of Birmingham, the state’s most populous city.

Long considered part of the state’s “Tornado Alley,” residents were struck around 10:30 PM when a category EF-2 storm with winds in excess of 135 mph (217 kph), twisted a quarter-mile wide swath of destruction after touching down near Interstate 65 and mowed a 10-mile path from Fultondale to Center Point in the same area destroyed by another, larger tornado some years earlier.

Patti Herring sobs as she sorts through the remains of her home in Fultondale, Ala., on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, after it was destroyed by a tornado. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Fultondale residents haven’t forgotten about April 27, 2011 when they were struck by the tail end of an EF-4 tornado that wreaked a devastating path from the college town of Tuscaloosa south and west of Birmingham, though northern Jefferson County killing 65, and injuring 1500. The National Weather Service said that storm was over 80 miles (130 kilometers) long.

Last night’s search and rescue efforts were hampered by darkness, and indiscriminate wreckage which was strewn about like so much flotsam and jetsam. First Responders and rescuers from throughout the county sifting through the rubble were weary by daybreak, but kept up their efforts, hoping to find people, instead of bodies. Their hopes were Read the rest of this entry »

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Radicalized Religion Has Come Home To Roost In America

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 25, 2021

There’s a saying, that one becomes like the object their hatred.

In which case, many Evangelical and other sects of Christendom have become like the radical Muslims that they so despised and feared.

Haters are not isolationists, they seek to join groups of others, which for them, provides strength, and anonymity, with diminished, or absent accountability or responsibility.

Dr. John R. “Jack” Schafer, Ph.D. is a retired FBI Special Agent, now Professor at Western Illinois University in the Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA) Department. While with the FBI, he served as behavioral analyst assigned to the FBI’s National Security Behavioral Analysis Program. Dr. Schafer earned his Ph.D. in psychology at Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California, has authored numerous articles and books, conducted research, is a consultant, and lectures domestically, and internationally.

Through his behavioral research, that found that, among other things, that “Hate masks personal insecurities. Not all insecure people are haters, but all haters are insecure people. Hate elevates the hater above the hated. Haters cannot stop hating without exposing their personal insecurities. Haters can only stop hating when they face their insecurities.”

His 7-stage model of hate is:

Stage 1: The Haters Gather
Stage 2: The Hate Group Defines Itself
Stage 3: The Hate Group Disparages the Target
Stage 4: The Hate Group Taunts the Target
Stage 5: The Hate Group Attacks the Target Without Weapons
Stage 6: The Hate Group Attacks the Target With Weapons
Stage 7: The Hate Group Destroys the Target

Dr. Edward Ludwig “Ed” Glaeser, Ph.D., is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, where he has taught since 1992. In 2004, he authored a paper entitled “The Political Economy of Hatred,” which stated in part that, “People say that they hate because the object of their hatred is evil. Hatred relies on people accepting, rather than investigating, hate-creating stories. Hatred declines when there is private incentive to learn the truth.”


theconversation.com

How Self-Proclaimed “Prophets” From A Growing Christian Movement Provided Religious Motivation For The Events January 6 At The U.S. Capitol

by Dr. Brad Christerson, PhD
January 12, 2021 – 8:24am EST


In addition to symbols of white supremacy, many of the rioters at the Capitol on January 6 carried signs bearing religious messages, such as “Jesus Saves” and “In God We Trust” while others chanted “Jesus is my savior and Trump is my president.” In a video interview, one of those who breached the Senate floor describes holding a prayer to “consecrate it to Jesus” soon after entering.

Many white evangelical leaders have provided religious justification and undying support for Trump’s presidency, including his most racially incendiary rhetoric and policies. But as a scholar of religion, I argue that a particular segment of white evangelicalism that my colleague Richard Flory and I call Independent Network Charismatic, or INC, has played a unique role in providing a spiritual justification for the movement to overturn the election which resulted in the storming of the Capitol.

INC Christianity is a group of high-profile independent leaders who are detached from any formal denomination and cooperate with one another in loose networks.

Prayer Marches

In the days and hours leading up to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 the group Jericho March organized marches around the Capitol and Supreme Court building praying for God to defeat the “dark and corrupt” forces that they claimed, without evidence, had stolen the election from God’s anointed president – Donald Trump.

Jericho March is a loose coalition of Christian nationalists formed after the 2020 presidential election with the goal of overturning its results. Leading up to and following the Capitol violence, their website stated: “We are proud of the American system of governance established by our Founding Fathers and we will not let Read the rest of this entry »

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Inaugural Address by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 21, 2021

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/01/20/inaugural-address-by-president-joseph-r-biden-jr/

WhiteHouse.gov

Inaugural Address by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

The White House
13-16 minutes
The United States Capitol

11:52 AM EST

THE PRESIDENT: Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, distinguished guests, and my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day.

This is democracy’s day.

A day of history and hope.

Of renewal and resolve.

Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.

Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.

The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.

We have learned again that democracy is precious.

Democracy is fragile.

And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.

So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.

I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

You know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength of our nation.

As does President Carter, who I spoke to last night but who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.

I have just taken the sacred oath each of these patriots took — an oath first sworn by George Washington.

But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.

On “We the People” who seek a more perfect Union.

This is a great nation and we are a good people.

Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far. But we still have far to go.

We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility.

Much to repair.

Much to restore.

Much to heal.

Much to build.

And much to gain.

Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now.

A once-in-a-century virus silently stalks the country.

It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.

Millions of jobs have been lost.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.

A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.

A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.

And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words.

It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy:

Unity.

Unity.

In another January in Washington, on New Year’s Day 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

When he put pen to paper, the President said, “If my name ever goes down into history it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.”

My whole soul is in it.

Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this:

Bringing America together.

Uniting our people.

And uniting our nation.

I ask every American to join me in this cause.

Uniting to fight the common foes we face:

Anger, resentment, hatred.

Extremism, lawlessness, violence.

Disease, joblessness, hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things. Important things.

We can right wrongs.

We can put people to work in good jobs.

We can teach our children in safe schools.

We can overcome this deadly virus.

We can reward work, rebuild the middle class, and make health care
secure for all.

We can deliver racial justice.

We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of Read the rest of this entry »

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We’ll End Up Thanking Trump For What He Did

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 8, 2021

I suppose, in a somewhat oblique manner, we can thank Trump for making America “great again.”

And, I do mean that in all sincerity.

I never voted for, nor supported his candidacy, nor his Presidency, nor practically anything done during his maladministration.

So, how could we The People possibly stoop to such a level as to actually “thank” him for what he did?

Perhaps in much the same way that we could thank Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks, Putin! For you, it’s “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 8, 2021

The Trump presidency, and the White Supremacist social unrest during his administration were exclusively caused by Russian KGB Chief Vladimir Putin.

It should be noted that the KGB has changed names several times, and has also been known as the GRU, and FIS, FSB, FSS, or SVR – by whatever name it’s called itself, it’s a Russian intelligence agency – a rose by any other name, you know. But otherwise, all the same old folks during Russia’s communist era are still in power. And Putin, who relatively recently was allegedly “approved” by about 75% of the Russian population who voted (We know how they vote, right? Ballot box stuffing.), Ol’ Vlad is now effectively “President for Life,” and will remain in power until 2036, at which time he’ll be the ripe old age of 84. So much for “reform,” eh?

Some, most notably Republicans, have hailed the alleged “demise” of “the former Soviet Union” in favor of whatever government is now in place in Russia, under whatever banner they may fly over themselves at any given time.

But the odd thing is, the Russian story is best exemplified by lyrics from the song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by renown rock group The Who:

We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

“Meet the new boss… same as the old boss.”

Again, a communist by another other name.

But let’s get one thing ABSOLUTELY straight: Russia has NEVER been America’s friend, nor our ally at any time in history. NOT EVER! Not even during WWII when Stalin, FDR, and Churchill sat together for an outdoor photograph at The Tehran Conference: November 28 – December 2, 1943, the subsequent Yalta Conference, and the final Potsdam Conference during which representatives from the 3 nations (United States, United Kingdom, and Russia) strategized for the defeat of Hitler’s Nazi Germany forces during WWII. Perhaps the oft-repeated adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” may seem apropos in such a case. While it doesn’t necessarily indicate friendship, per se, it merely illustrates cooperation for a mutually beneficial cause.

Again, RUSSIA HAS NEVER BEEN America’s ally, nor friend. Not even during the era of the final imperial dynasty by the Romanov family has Russia ever been “friendly” to the United States.

But more to the point… the conclusion arrived at by our nation’s intelligence agencies, their analysts, and the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, is that Russia interfered in our 2016 election, preferred Donald Trump as their candidate to win, and made significant effort toward ensuring that he was elected.

Why?

Because Russian intelligence had long known about Trump’s myriad weaknesses as a “leader,” about his corrupt practices as a “businessman,” of his well-known penchants for aggrandizing and narcissism, his numerous personal failures as a human being, and every possible weakness he had… and they exploited it to the hilt for THEIR own benefit, because they KNEW that he was a patsy, a pussy, a weakling, a bully, an idiot, an ignoramus, and worse -and- that he could be easily manipulated. Trump was, for the Russians, a tool to be used to achieve their means, and they worked tirelessly to ensure his election.

Again, think of the idea expressed by Read the rest of this entry »

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Warnock and Ossoff Defeat Loeffler and Perdue To Win Georgia’s U.S.Senate Race

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 7, 2021

The two Democrats challenging Georgia’s incumbent Republican Senators, David Perdue, and the appointed Kelly Loeffler, have won.

A full 100% of Georgia’s 2652 precincts have reported, and their votes tallied.

Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has certified the results.

The Reverend Doctor Raphael Warnock, pastor of Atlanta’s famed Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of the late Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., has been declared the winner in his race against Kelly Loeffler, with 50.84%, or 2,259,769 votes, to 49.16%, or 2,185,063 votes, for Kelly Loeffler. Loeffler was temporarily appointed by Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp to fill the unexpired term of Republican Johnny Isakson, who announced his retirement effective 31 December 2019 to care for his health following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. The Reverend Doctor Warnock has made history by being only the 11th Black person to have been elected to the United States Senate.

In the other Senate race, Jon Ossoff has been declared victorious over incumbent David Perdue with 50.41%, or 2,240,822 votes, to 49.59%, or 2,203,958 votes for Perdue. Aged 33 years, Mr. Offoff will become the youngest United States Senator ever elected.

Jon Ossoff LEFT and Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock RIGHT in a joint campaign event.

The balance of power in the Senate is now changed, with Read the rest of this entry »

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Texas Republican Makes An Easy-To-Understand Argument Against Trump’s False Election Claims

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 7, 2021

U.S. Capitol Police in plain clothes stand behind barricaded doors to the House floor and draw pistols upon Trump 2020 mobsters who violently invaded the U.S. Capitol Building, Wednesday, January 6, 2021 during the Constitutionally-ordered tallying of the states’ certified Electoral College votes.

The shocking events that unfolded yesterday in our nation’s capitol – rioting thugs, marauders, and hooligans who violently overthrew and violently invaded our Nation’s Capitol building complex thereby participating in insurrection after being egged on by their losing candidate, the soon-to-be-former President Trump – are unprecedented. Not since the War of 1812 when British soldiers breached and burned our nation’s capitol has the capitol been invaded. The sad part is, that it was brought about EXCLUSIVELY by a Lying, Lawless and Treasonous American President – Trump – whom the GOP has coddled and cultivated.

Again, yesterday’s domestic terroristic events were brought about exclusively by President Trump, who has consistently falsely asserted that he “won” the 2020 General Election, despite numerous Read the rest of this entry »

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger interviewed by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 5, 2021

“Truth matters.”

Hmm… where have we heard that before, eh?

ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America”:
“David Worley, a Democrat member of the State Election Board, which you chair, has asked you to open an investigation into the call. Will you open that investigation?”

Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos, ABC News Chief Anchor on “Good Morning America” Monday morning, January 4, 2021 following Sunday’s news that President Trump and his team had called the Georgia Secretary of State and asked him to “find” enough votes to overturn the official results and throw the election to Trump.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger:
“I believe that – because I had conversation with the President, also he had conversation with our chief investigator after we did the signature match audit of Cobb County last week – there may be a conflict of interest.

“I understand that the Fulton County District Attorney wants to look at.

“Maybe that’s Read the rest of this entry »

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Political Corruption Abounds

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 2, 2021

There is little-to-no question that the damage done to the Republican Party by the Liar/Narcissist/Loser in Chief has taken a toll upon the party, and it may well be years before they can recover from the 4-year onslaught.

There is also little-to-no question that they have been their own worst enemy. That is not to say that the Democrats are all light and goodness, for they are not. Hillary Rodham Clinton did her damndest to hobble the party by literally having the party’s directors and upper level managers sign a contract over to her relinquishing, and ceding control of the party to her. While that was not illegal, it was unethical has hell, and spelled the end of Bernie Sanders candidacy, who, with crowds surpassing those of Hillary and Trump combined, and with a political history that was unwavering and consistent, appeared TWICE as if he would be the party’s nominee. But for Hillary.

Her corrupted actions were detailed in a book authored by Donna Brazile, which was entitled “Hacks.”

And, perhaps you may recall how she later revealed in her book, an excerpt of which was made into a Politico article, what she’d found when she was briefly DNC chair, specifically, how a back-room deal was struck between Hillary and the DNC a year before the 2016 election campaign season began.

So, let’s recap.

Here’s two of the article’s first three paragraphs, which are excerpted from her book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House:

“I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.

“So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.”

“When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.

“The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook [Hillary’s Campaign Manager] with a copy to Marc Elias [General Counsel for Hillary’s campaign]—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.”


theatlantic.com

The Unbearable Weakness of Trump’s Minions


Senator Josh Hawley isn’t just engaging in civic vandalism—he is an emblem of a weak and rotten Republican Party.

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri
Ryan Christopher Jones / The New York Times / Redux

Those hoping for a quick snapback to sanity for the Republican Party once Donald Trump is no longer president should temper those hopes.

The latest piece of evidence to suggest the enduring power of Trumpian unreality is yesterday’s announcement by Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri that he will object next week when Congress convenes to certify the Electoral College vote.

Hawley knows this effort will fail, just as every other effort to undo the results of the lawful presidential election will fail. (A brief reminder for those with faulty short-term memories: Joe Biden defeated Trump by more than 7 million popular votes and 74 Electoral College votes.) Every single attempt to prove that the election was marked by fraud or that President-elect Biden’s win is illegitimate—an effort that now includes about 60 lawsuits—has flopped. In fact, what we’ve discovered since the November 3 election is that it was “the most secure in American history,” as election experts in Trump’s own administration have declared. But this immutable, eminently provable fact doesn’t deter Trump and many of his allies from trying to overturn the election; perversely, it seems to embolden them.

One such Trump ally is Tommy Tuberville, the newly elected senator from Alabama, who has suggested that he might challenge the Electoral College count. And there are others. But what makes Hawley’s declaration ominously noteworthy is that unlike Tuberville—a former college football coach who owes his political career in a deep-red state to Trump’s endorsement in the GOP primary against Jeff Sessions—Hawley is a man who clearly knows better. According to his Senate biography, he is “recognized as one of the nation’s leading constitutional lawyers.” A former state attorney general, Hawley has litigated before the Supreme Court. He graduated from Stanford University in 2002 and Yale Law School in 2006. He has clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts; he taught at one of London’s elite private schools, St. Paul’s; and he served as an appellate litigator at one of the world’s biggest law firms.

Recommended Reading

It is one thing for Hawley to position himself as a populist, something he had done even before he was elected in 2018; it is quite another for him to knowingly engage in civic vandalism and, in ostentatiously unpatriotic ways, undermine established norms and safeguards. This is precisely what Senator Hawley is now doing—and he is doing so in the aftermath of Trump’s loss, when some political observers might have hoped that the conspiracy mindset and general insanity of the Trump modus operandi would begin to lose their salience.

A longtime acquaintance of the Missouri senator explained to me Hawley’s actions this way: “Hawley never wants to talk down to his voters. He wants to speak for them, and at the moment, they are saying the election was stolen.”

“He surely knows this isn’t true,” this acquaintance continued, “and that the legal arguments don’t hold water. And yet clearly the incentives he confronts—as someone who wants to speak for those voters, and as someone with ambitions beyond the Senate—lead him to conclude he should pretend the lie is true. This is obviously a very bad sign about the direction of the GOP in the coming years.”

Think about this statement for a moment: The incentives Josh Hawley and many of his fellow Republicans officeholders confront lead them to conclude that they should pretend the lie is true.

Those who have hoped that Republicans like Senator Hawley would begin to break free from Trump once he lost the election have not understood the nature of the change that has come over the party’s base.

Trump was the product of deep, disturbing currents on the American right; he was not the creator of them. Those currents have existed for many decades; we saw them manifested in the popularity of figures such as Sarah Palin, Patrick J. Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, Oliver North, and many others. But their power grew in force and speed over the past decade. In 2016, Trump tapped into these currents and, as president and leader of the Republican Party, he channeled those populist passions destructively, rather than in the constructive ways that other Republicans before him, such as Ronald Reagan, had done. (Even if you’re a progressive who loathed Reagan, the notion that he was a pernicious and malicious force in American politics in the style of Trump is simply not credible.)

What is happening in the GOP is that figures such as Hawley, along with many of his Senate and House colleagues, and important Republican players, including the former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, are all trying to position themselves as the heirs of Trump. None of them possesses the same sociopathic qualities as Trump, and their efforts will be less impulsive and presumably less clownish, more calculated and probably less conspiracy-minded. It may be that not all of them support Hawley’s stunt; perhaps some are even embarrassed by it. But these figures are seismographers; they are determined to act in ways that win the approval of the Republican Party’s base. And this goes to the heart of the danger.

The problem with the Republican “establishment” and with elected officials such as Josh Hawley is not that they are crazy, or that they don’t know any better; it is that they are cowards, and that they are weak. They are far more ambitious than they are principled, and they are willing to damage American politics and society rather than be criticized by their own tribe. I’m guessing that many of them haven’t read Nietzsche, but they have embraced his philosophy of perspectivism, which in its crudest form posits that there is no objective truth, no authoritative or independent criteria for determining what is true or false. In this view, we all get to make up our own facts and create our own narratives. Everything is conditioned on what your perspective is. This is exactly the sort of slippery epistemic nihilism for which conservatives have, for more than a generation, reproached the academic left—except the left comes by it more honestly.

The single most worrisome political fact in America right now is that a significant portion of the Republican Party lives in a fantasy world, a place where facts and truth don’t hold sway, where “owning the libs” is an end in itself, and where seceding from reality is a symbol of tribal loyalty, rather than a sign of mental illness. This is leading the party, and America itself, to places we’ve never been before, including the spectacle of a defeated president and his supporters engaging in a sustained effort to steal an election.

The tactics of Hawley and his many partisan confreres, if they aren’t checked and challenged, will put at risk what the scholar Stephen L. Carter calls “the entire project of Enlightenment democracy.” This doesn’t seem to bother Hawley and many in his party. But what he should know—and, one hopes, does know, somewhere in the recesses of his heart—is that he has moved very far away from conservatism.

Whether the Republican Party can be salvaged is very much an open question. I don’t know the answer. But here is what I do know: Patriotic Republicans and conservatives need to fight for the soul of the Republican Party, for its sake and for the sake of the nation. America needs two healthy and sane political parties. Trump’s departure on January 20 should open up space for at least a few brave and responsible figures to arise, to help ground the GOP in truth rather than falsehoods, reality instead of fantasy, and to use the instruments of power for the pursuit of justice.

Their task won’t be easy; right now the political winds are in their face rather than at their back. Trump’s hold on the GOP remains firm, and separating from Trump and Trumpism will trigger hostility in an often angry and radicalized base. The right-wing ecosystem is in a mood to find and (figuratively) hang traitors, whom it defines as anyone in the Republican Party who doesn’t acquiesce to Trump’s indecency and paranoia. Which in turn means that those hoping to lead a Republican reclamation project need to find ways to be shrewd and persuasive, to be crafty while maintaining their integrity. They need to connect with the base but find ways to elevate it instead of pandering to it. In better times, many Republican leaders have done so, starting of course with Abraham Lincoln, “the great hero of America’s struggle for the noblest cause,” in the words of his early 20th-century biographer Lord Charnwood. But others have done so as well.

Our collective hope should be that principled Republicans will find their voice and prevail—one courageous step at a time, one act of decency at a time, one year at a time.

Read the rest of this entry »

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