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What Would Nellis Say?

Moral Clarity - October 2022

Moral Clarity – We have this one chance to salvage our imperfect democracy 


I’ve been working on the novels in my Redemption Series for nearly a decade and most of the adult characters are flawed, damaged, or angry at life. Every one of them is reluctant to cast off their self-inflicted shackles so they might begin the search for a glimpse of moral clarity and a first step towards redemption…until they are left with no other choice.


I’m always curious about what triggers that transformation. Those passages always seem to spring from an incident that requires them to look outside the singular world they’ve constructed for themselves from an elevated and enlightened perspective. That moment of awareness usually occurs when someone else’s needs become more important than their own.


So it is with our country. After decades of tribalism built on lies and misinformation rallying bigotry, hate, and rising political violence to entomb the foundations of unity, our common history, and mutual aspirations, we’ve divided the nation into “us” and “them”. 


The rhetoric is shrill and demanding…there is a stark choice between this side and that side and you must choose where to place your allegiance. Once aligned, we identify as victims of “their” oppression spawning a shared commitment to preserving “our” power and privilege, which leaves no room for empathy or compassion or common sense, for that matter. 


Ideological purity negates legislative compromise to fulfill the needs of the nation or react to our country’s challenges. We must suffer a national disaster to bind ourselves together as neighbors and fellow citizens for brief periods, until the tragedy has passed and we can return to confrontation.


Should the extremists who control today’s Republican Party win majorities in the next two elections, the radical right and their fanatics on our Supreme Court have indicated that they intend to rescind every privilege and benefit granted the American people over the last century and a half. Roe vs Wade was just the first and most obvious target, along with limiting the Environmental Protection Agency from defending the earth against industrial pollution and knocking down more state prohibitions against carrying a gun. 


Next up for recension or abolition - birth control, invitro fertilization, federally subsidized health insurance, LGBTQ rights and gay marriage, minority and women’s voting rights, separation of church and state, integrated public schools, and so many others. Ultimately, they plan to defund and eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and turn the clock back to 1860, as evidenced by recent speeches by Kevin McCarthy and Ron Johnson


We should not doubt their intention to disband the January 6th committee and set up their own inquiries into the Congressional investigations of Trump’s many crimes that resulted in two impeachments. They will try to impeach President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland and deny prominent Democrats seats on various committees as retribution for Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Paul Gosar being called out for their menacing and disgusting behavior. 


Congresswoman Liz Cheney said, in the most recent January 6th hearing, “Our institutions only hold when men and women of good faith make them hold, regardless of the political cost. We have no guarantee that these men and women will be in place the next time.” The fanatical faction that reigns over the current Republican Party has done everything in their power to assure the primary defeats of moderate Republicans who might stand up for our Constitution and defend our elections against the “vote-deniers”. Unbridled power is the objective and our democracy is a mere inconvenience to be discarded at the first opportunity.


A recent survey indicates that more than half of the Republican respondents believe there will be a civil war within the next ten years and more than thirty percent indicated that they would participate. Far too many of our elected leaders publicly advocate armed insurrection as a means to hold onto ultimate power, while the rest don’t have the courage to stand up for the basic principles that we were taught as children…don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t beat up or rape your neighbors, and don’t act like a spoiled brat with no manners.


My characters are fiction, the product of my imagination trying to deal with the question of how we allowed the corrupt and determined powers, who produce the hateful propaganda and pour billions into the upheaval of our society, to dig this great chasm that separates us so completely? The personalities on the page have yet to offer a plot twist that might unravel the very real knots of rage and hate.


That obligatory challenge belongs to the rest of us. We the People, who still cherish the best of what we share with each other, have to focus with moral clarity on the difference between truth and lies, right and wrong, what we expect of real leaders and what we will not tolerate from those who plan to demolish our democracy. We have to put our disagreements aside and work together to pull the country back from the brink of catastrophe by preventing the radicals from winning any office at any level of government, from your school board to the nation’s capital.


We have this one chance to salvage our imperfect democracy or allow it to be replaced with an autocracy or, worse, an evangelical theocracy. In this moment of moral clarity, each of us must decide what kind of nation we will become and whether we will leave to our children and grandchildren a constitutional republic that provides the freedoms we all share or a society dominated by a tiny cadre of our wealthiest citizens supported by a fanatical fraction of the population bent on embedding their extreme religious beliefs into every aspect of our lives. 


You, literally, have the future of this country in your hands. What kind of nation do you want it to be?


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#Elections #Propaganda #Fascism #Revisionist History #Abortion

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