It is coming out, just how extensive the ongoing attack on our country is. An attack that is coordinated with corrupt Americans, cyber warfare, and propaganda. It is a war that Russia is winning, will continue to win, unless we all wake up, for pity’s sake!
The collusion of prominent Americans and elected officials will continue coming to light. I hope this becomes a turning point for the American electorate. I hope eyes and minds open. I sincerely hope everyone is deeply appalled by what has happened, by what we have allowed to happen.
The right to vote is under attack. It is under attack by politicians now in power (I am looking at you GOP) who will stoop to any sort of perfidy to consolidate and preserve their power, including gerrymandering, voter suppression, and corrupt campaign finance rules. This has been a not-so-slow chipping away at the average person’s right to vote. Now that, in my book, is real treason.
You know, going to the polls to cast your vote is not just a civic duty. It is a sacred right. It is made sacred by the blood that shed by our fore bearers in war after war to protect our way of life. My father, a WWII veteran, did not die on the battlefield, but parts of him either died or were wounded by his experiences in the arena of war. Imagine how it would affect you to witness and endure the sights and sounds and feelings of war.
My dad had to flee German strafing runs as air attacks made desert night showings of movie entertainment impossible. My dad endured endless bombardments when he was stationed on Sicily. He related once that these nightly bombardments were hated mostly for the sleep deprivation. He confessed that after a few nights of misery, he declined to go to bomb shelter areas, saying, “If I die, I die. But God damn, I’m gonna get some sleep.” He never said that he had to kill another human being, maybe he did. I hope not, and he was mostly behind the lines in a support role as a mechanic and radio repairman. Even if he never had to take a life, one of the worst memories he had to live with was his feeling of helplessness at being unable to relieve the suffering of the endless groups of starving children he saw as U.S. troops moved through Europe, liberating previously German-held areas. The misery of these starving children never left him. These universals have not changed since the days when the first humans picked up a clubs and started bashing each other to death.
My dad “survived” WWII and came home to marry, have kids, work…and suffer for the rest of his life from anxieties, fears he could not even name, nightmares. There is a fancy name for this, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He didn’t know that term, but he knew the thing itself intimately. He found no relief from this. Men of his generation just didn’t talk about it much. So he paid the cost, different from the ultimate cost of those who died on the fields of battle, but no less profound.
These sacrifices, made by so many men and women throughout the history of our nation, have sanctified one of our basic liberties, the right to vote. These sacrifices lay upon us, not a burden, but a duty of our own, to honor their sacrifices not with gratitude (that is too facile) but with taking extremely seriously our right to cast a thoughtful, well informed vote in each and every election, from school board elections right up to Congress and the Presidency.
In my humble opinion, we truly blew it big time in 2016. It makes me angry, almost rageful, to think of all the people who allowed themselves to be manipulated by Russian propaganda, misinformation campaigns by the alt-right, and sheer mental and spiritual laziness. The right to vote is too sacred to be wasted on so-called “protest” votes or ignorant votes. Every election has real consequences, and we are living with those consequences now. If you vote for a person of low character you see what you get. No one should have been as ignorant or willful as to set aside this simple wisdom.
To read in my local newspaper this morning that propaganda generated on social media of Facebook by Russian assets, trolls, bots, hackers might have been seen and absorbed by as many as 126 million, yes million, people is alarming enough. However, what really makes me rage is the fact that sheer mental and spiritual laziness causes so many voters to be taken in by lies and propaganda and has led us to where we are today. Fact checking is becoming a duty, folks.
Thank everything holy that we are still a nation of laws, and the truth will eventually come out despite all the political games and foot dragging by those not wanting their power bases weakened. But the truth is, folks, that if we all did our sacred duty and used our brains, none of this propaganda and manipulation would have worked as well as it did. That makes me truly, deeply angry with anyone who voted for Trump, did not vote at all, or registered some throwaway, “protest” vote. Thank you all so profoundly for forcing me, and those I care for, to suffer through the consequences of your idiocy. Yes, I’m angry.
Next time, use your brains. Open your minds and get off your lazy mental butts and THINK and then go cast that sacred vote. Don’t let this happen again in 2018 and 2020.