Phone calls, strongmen, and sedition

A couple of observations, and then I’m going to recommend you read a column by Tom Nichols, who said exactly what I’m feeling and much better than I would if I tried.

  • The phone call. Another “perfect” phone call, just like the one to the Ukraine in 2019. I read the transcript first, and then had to listen to the audio because I needed to confirm what I suspected from reading Trump’s words. I’ve wondered for four years how much of his bullshit was him playing three-dimensional chess (as his supporters suggested) and how much of it he actually believed. After reading the conversation and then listening to his voice, I’m convinced he really believes he won the election. Losing is anathema to him, but this is beyond that. He’s sure he won. He had so many people at his rallies, there were dead people who voted, they ran Biden votes through the machines dozens of times. In his mind, those aren’t just talking points to try to get Georgia’s Secretary of State to lie, cheat, and steal and election for him, but absolute truths. And that’s far more frightening than if he just cynically and malevolently were trying to cry “fraud” in a crowded polling place. He’s president of the United States. He has, for another 15 plus days, the ability to create imaginable and unimaginable chaos because he’s a petty man-child who has inexplicably lost his favorite toy. He should have been removed by impeachment. He should have been removed by the 25th Amendment. He still should be, even with two weeks left in his term. Mike Pence should finish the term. I dislike Pence and disagree with everything about him at this point, but he’s not delusional.
  • Strongmen. I wrote about freedom versus order the other day. There’s a not-small demographic of our citizens who favor the strongman concept over democracy. It tends to be (but isn’t exclusively) white men, of course, who are used to being strongmen, at least inside the walls of their homes. Losing that power outside of their personal kingdoms, especially to women, people of color, those from ethnic and religious backgrounds they don’t like, and other “deviants” has pushed them ever closer to ditching the whole democracy thing in favor of autocracy. And Wednesday, we’ll get to see just which members of the Grand Old Party still believe in democracy and which ones support a dictatorship. Watch the vote closely and never forget. None of those who vote against democracy should ever be taken seriously ever again.
  • Sedition. Tom Nichols said it better than I can. I highly recommend his honest and angry commentary on The Atlantic today. Early in the piece, he lays down his cards:

This is sedition, plain and simple. No amount of playacting and rationalizing can change the fact that the majority of the Republican Party and its apologists are advocating for the overthrow of an American election and the continued rule of a sociopathic autocrat.

We’ve had a lot of critical days in the past few months. Tomorrow’s election in Georgia and the drama in the House and Senate on Wednesday are two more, back to back. Our country is at a breaking point. It’s survived so far, but the outcome of the next two days will be vital to who we are moving forward.