At this moment in history, our government is in the clutches of zealots.
Extremists believe they have all the answers. There’s no doubt, gray, or ambiguity and anything which supports these convictions is just and true. Only they know what’s best—for everyone.
But, the object of adoration varies by individual.
For many the guiding light is money. Enriching oneself on the peoples’ time has become an achievement deserving of great pride. This is why Richard Burr could trumpet the party line that Covid19 was a liberal construct while dumping millions in pandemic-vulnerable stocks.
Don Jr, Eric, Ivanka, and Jared make billions from proximity to power. Skids are greased, access is dangled, and government business is steered to fill family coffers. In the past, the enriching oneself in this way was guarded against with multiple layers of oversight. Today it’s considered smart husbanding of one’s resources.
Many in Washington worship power and perks. They will contort themselves, their convictions, and reality itself to win the next election.
That is why GOP members of Congress appear on television, and with straight faces insist that the president, who tells an average of twenty whoppers a day, is an honest man who’s never lied to the American electorate. It’s why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declares that his witness-free impeachment hearings were legitimate.
For some, the religion is a fundamental Christian doctrine with a large dash of prosperity theology. It drives men like Vice President Mike Pence to grant bigots the freedom to deny goods, services, and even life-saving care if their beliefs tell them to. It’s why Senator Marsha Blackburn makes false medical statements on the floor of Congress to strip away women’s reproductive rights.
And then we have the orange man in the White House, Donald Trump. A self-styled strong man who admires ruthless dictators but who also turns off the lights and hides in the basement when things get scary.
At which altar does the president worship?
As he makes clear daily, he is the founder and pontiff of the cult of himself.
Trump advises owners about football players who protest racism and police brutality by taking a knee. “Get that son of a b—- off the field” because “OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high”. He demonstrates his own reverence by nauseatingly fondling the flag like a middle schooler at a boy/girl party spending their first seven minutes in heaven.
Calling protesters “thugs” and threatening “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” he sees no irony in then standing in the Rose Garden and stating “I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.” punctuating his words are the sounds of explosions to clear those peaceful protesters away from the White House so he can walk to a church and scowl while awkwardly clutching a bible and shushing the press.
Unleashing the military on law-abiding American citizens on American soil was orchestrated by Attorney General William Barr, an acolyte who’s turned the Justice Department into the president’s personal hit squad. Barr perverts justice and subverts truth all to satisfy the whims of a small, ill-informed man whose yardstick for those who serve him comes down to one essential feature; personal loyalty—constitution and qualifications be damned.
If there was ever any doubt concerning the president’s loyalty fetish, he made it abundantly clear in his recent tweet when Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski publicly revealed her doubts about supporting his second term: “Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing — If you have a pulse, I’m with you,”.
As long as you’re with him—and not one second longer.
Thanks for your time.
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