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What Would Nellis Say?

Have We Lost Our Minds? - February 2023

Have We Lost Our Minds?


Have we as a people, a nation, completely lost our minds, our moral code, and whatever remains of our communal soul? Have we forgotten the foundational values of our society, the lessons we were taught as children about common sense and common decency? Or the cardinal sins of cheating, stealing, lying, or hurting anyone else?


Have we forsaken our ability to grasp simple truths and dispute flagrant lies, stand together against hate and blatant racism, and call out the tiny radical fraction of our population who are hellbent on dismantling our democracy and replacing it with a white-nationalist sham-Christian ruling class?


When did we stop being horrified by the mass murder of children? Or the slaughter of our neighbors while they go about their everyday business…shopping, attending a religious service, going to work, or spending an evening dancing? At this writing, there have been more than forty mass murders in this country and we’ve just finished the third week of January. 


There are more than 340 million guns in the hands of private citizens, that’s more than one gun for every man, woman, and child in our nation. Far too many states have eliminated all restrictions concerning the possession or open-carry of weapons by people who have had no training, passed a test on safety, or had a background check to receive a license. A slim margin of our population requires guns for hunting and others, perhaps, for personal safety but nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights does it give any moron the right to possess an arsenal of automatic weapons or designate them as judge, jury, and executioner.


How is it possible that one bigoted governor can force textbooks and public education curriculum to be rewritten to exclude the truth about our history because it might make a Caucasian child feel guilty about the sins of their ancestors? Governor DeSantis and his administration are forcing teachers to promote the fiction that the Civil War was fought for state’s rights rather than white people owning and enslaving people of color who were kidnapped in Africa and sold at auction in our country, or that the horrors of the Holocaust – the institutional murder of millions of Jews and other minorities - never happened. 


Florida has banned books containing references to anyone who does not conform to the myth of the ‘All-American Christian heterosexual mom, dad, and the kids’ family from classrooms and public libraries. School board meetings have devolved into violent confrontations with people who have no children in these schools, based on complete falsehoods about what objectionable books are on the shelves and what is being taught in the classrooms. Librarians have been threatened and harassed for providing access to knowledge and people who are too ignorant to read the books they are complaining about gleefully cheer public book burnings. 


How did rational people elect, let alone allow, a spineless representative who was so desperate for the power of the gavel that he handed over control of the people’s chamber of Congress to a tiny gang of racist, vote-denying insurrectionists, many of whom supported or participated in the invasion of the Capitol on January 6thand are intent on tearing up the Constitution and shredding the Bill of Rights? 


These ‘officials’ have made a great show of their intention to eliminate the EPA, the Department of Education, the IRS and income taxation (in favor of a national sales tax that would transfer the financial burden of our government to the poorest of our citizens), defund Social Security and Medicare, and hold hearings to extract vengeance on anyone who spoke the truth about Donald Trump’s many crimes…but they have no agenda, no legitimate proposals, and no legislative bills to address the real problems facing this country. Zero. None. This is political theater aimed at an ignorant and gullible audience.


Cruelty and intimidation are the weapons of weak frightened men. Media propaganda has convinced far too many Caucasian males in this country that they are somehow being victimized by an invasion of ‘those people’ (meaning anyone who is not a white heterosexual Christian) who are coming to take their power, their jobs, their homes, and their women. They aren’t ‘real’ men, unless they are willing to resort to violence to stem the threat before the nation is overrun.


The whole country was cleaved into opposing camps in 2016, when nearly half the population was hoodwinked into electing a lying con artist who was financed and promoted by a coalition of super-wealthy extremists whose goal was the elimination of government, repression of free speech and accurate information, and the suppression of minority rights.


Since long before the advent of Trump, the Republican Party has been dominated by radical tyrannical forces who have filled Federal and State offices and the Federal Judiciary with sycophants tasked with dismantling our democracy and replacing it with a racist theocracy.


But…with the revelations that have been flooding into the public consciousness during the past few months, more and more centrist Republicans seem to be accepting the danger these people pose. Which prompts the question of how far this has to go before those voters are finally willing to stand up for the democracy they claim to defend? What calamity do the extremists have to instigate before those who populate the enormous center of our political spectrum are willing to rise up to demand an end to the hate and lies and the destruction of everything we cherish and believe in?


It will be far too late, if We The People postpone this confrontation until the next elections. This is the moment when the voice of the people has to condemn the insurgency and sponsor a return to rationality, empathy, and cooperation. It is time to stand up and speak out if we are brave enough, determined enough to salvage the best of our nation for the next generation.


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#rickstiller #nellisgray #democracy

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