The Other Virus

Trump has a virus.

I do not refer to the coronavirus. This other virus is far more deadly. 

The notion that the erratic course of the Trump presidency was the result of a localized infection centered mostly in the White House, aided and abetted by compliant media outlets and servile politicians, was further dispelled by the anarchistic minions who stormed the U.S. Capitol bearing Trump flags and assorted MAGA accessories.

Talk about a pandemic!

The virus that infected and elected Trump has spread to every nook and cranny of the Republic.  It is a pandemic of willful ignorance, spread by those who believe their certainty inoculates them against rational examination.

Yet even the impermeable Trumplings of America are but a subset of a global pandemic of authoritarianism whose existence depends on the strangling of truth and the obedience of ignorance.

In how many countries has democracy been overtaken by authoritarianism? Too many. Who can stop and reverse this advance of totalitarianism? The United States of America comes to mind. Despite the best efforts of Trump, his minions and his compliant political apologists, our recent elections do indeed seem like a turning point, a turn away from the abyss of another Trump administration and a restoration of sanity.

But let us never forget the names of those who defended the evil untruths of the Trump administration that have torn our citizenry apart.

Sanity, leadership, character and conscience: These virtues are not Republican or Democrat virtues. They are human virtues that must guide the course of our nation. May we defend them against the evil, soulless intentions of those who would subvert our Democracy.

May we call out the defenders of ignorance. May we demand educated, knowledgeable leaders in all walks of life to speak out against tyrannies both small and large. And may the freedom-loving people of the world once again look to the United States of America as an example, not of chaos, but of enlightened governance.

The great work lies ahead. The great work calls us. We must answer.

    What happens in America happens to the rest of the world.
     ~ Maria Ressa, Filipino journalist, author and dissident

Ideology And Pragmatism


I don’t think people carry around with them a fixed ideology. I think a majority of people, they’re going about their business, going about their lives – they just want to make sure we’re making progress.”

“We’re not going to rule out ideas because they’re Democrat or Republican. We want to just see what works.”

~ President Barak Obama at White House press conference ~  November 3, 2010

Yes, civilization represents the evolution of ideas about freedom, compassion and justice.

Yes, there are ideologies that enshrine these ideals, that are worth defending.

Yes, there are ideologies that seek to destroy our democratic way of life.

Our greatest freedoms come from the evolution of ideologies, the flexibility of ideologies, the tolerance of ideologies, the willingness  of ideologies to accept new realities, to discard the mistaken notions of the past and embrace change.

In our political system, it is the realization that we are all human and subject to error and mistaken judgment that moves us forward.

In choosing between ideological  certainty and the real world of human experience, America has thrived because we as a people have been willing to accept the truth, even when it challenges long-held beliefs.

No one can predict the future. No one  knows where all the decisions we make will lead us as a nation. But with a pragmatic eye open to reality, even when it comes into conflict with a sacred ideology, we can learn from the real world of actual events and embrace change.

Because none of us can predict the future,  because none of us knows everything, because none of us is perfect, we must set absolute certainty aside. We must come together and compromise. We must extend our vision beyond a nation of winners and losers who are constantly at war and continue our journey together toward a more perfect union.