Another lap around the big flaming gas bag at the centre of our universe

We’re in the final hours of 2022, and to many, glad to be done with it. The new year awaits, but how are we going to be any different than 2020-22? Excusing the fact that a global pandemic interrupted our world, what have we learned?

Some might argue that the pandemic brought out the worst in society; I would argue that it merely ripped the bandage off and exposed society’s rot which has always been there.

The divisions and distrust in society didn’t happen because of covid19, or which party controls congress, or the house of commons. These divisions, barriers and the like have happened because society looks at each other and finds blame in others for what is going wrong out there and not looking inward and asking – how can I make a difference.

The great thing about the human species is that we are infinitely capable of learning though. We’ve spent years pointing fingers and avoiding the mirror. We can change this, in fact if you want 2023 to be different than ’22 and earlier – this self reflection and evaluation is necessary.

This doesn’t excuse bad people, doing bad things from the accountability due their lot. This also doesn’t mean that others, not necessarily doing bad things, standing on their self granted soap box and pointing a finger in moral judgement.

We’re at a place in history now where many large problems have been exposed because of our collective failure to deal with them as small problems.

What we need is a consensus in society to deal with these matters because they’re no longer avoidable. Solutions won’t necessarily be easy or comfortable, but the sooner we get to it – the better.

This message won’t land well who profit from peddling fear and hate. I don’t care. Those folks offer no solutions, they offer blame, and as influencers – they can make a lot of useless noise.

Sift out the noise of hatred, fear, division, distraction. Listen to each other.

Turn the page.

All together. Now.

My2bits

The coming reckoning of social media

Starting with MySpace 20+ years ago, now facebook and twitter, social media is facing a reckoning.

The legal framework for social media to exist and thrive has been based on the limited immunity that each organization has through actions of various governments. This means that users can post whatever they want, but social media operators are required to maintain a version of a community standards policy that forbids the most vile content (overt racism, violent content, sexually exploitative content, etc).

Big corporate (and little corporate) advertisers generate most of the revenue flow to social media orgs – which maintain the free basis that average users enjoy. Advertisers in turn may target their advertising dollars to get their product or message in front of you based on your browsing habits and demographic information you’ve volunteered as part of your application to join.

This was the deal. It was a cost free way to join a large club for users; reach out to your community and family and for others to make money. So long as bad actors didn’t exploit the system for their own gain.

The limited immunity granted by government against social media orgs gave folks a place where free speech thrived. But like anything, there are extremes…and freedom of speech doesn’t equal freedom from consequences.

We have learned that the new measure of power is influence itself. The more people you can influence, the more powerful you are. If your social media circles amount to around 100 people – that is your reach. But if you’re a powerful ideologue with 250 million followers, your words carry powerful influence.

That’s a lot of power given to one person; to reach millions with a message. What if the message is lies? Who gets to vet what is truth and a lie? Is lying contrary to social media community standards? Maybe; but who gets to determine this?

Lies that told to millions of followers where election integrity is undermined; dog-whistle racism promoted; basically any narrative that might get you fired from a job or potentially charged with mischief – is that free speech?

For the same reason that you cannot yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre and claim free speech, other words can have dire consequences too. Inciting violence (re: January 6, 2021) isn’t free speech. Yet, free speech puritans argue that it is; that literally anything is fair game…all of it. One problem.

Advertisers do not want their brands anywhere near racist, xenophobic, sexist rhetoric. They don’t want their brands anywhere misinformation on election integrity, antivaxxer garbage – and there is not a law in the land which will force advertisers to do so.

With a loss of substantial sums of money (used to prop up social media orgs), they’ll have little choice but to charge membership fees for what used to be free. In itself, this is a partial solution; but won’t replace the lost cash flow of big advertisers.

What Elon Musk, proud new owner of Twitter has elected to do is double the premium service fee – and add the vaunted blue check ‘validation’ marking to any subscriber who pays $8 per month US.

Anyone.

The blue check was a symbol, and it was granted to important account holders; political leaders, influential business leaders, some corporate accounts, big named media personalities, religious leaders, etc. Now anyone could buy their own blue check – making it meaningless across the system.

What Twitter could have done, is bolster their real-person authentication system. Only bonafide people or legitimate businesses with verifiable account users to wipe out the menace of trolls and bots that are largely responsible for the spread of misinformation. No – instead, those fake accounts can easily get the blue check and portray themselves as trustworthy.

As an advertiser, why would you want your brand to be mired in this ever worsening cesspool of misinformation and hate?

They’re fleeing…if not outright, they’re setting up shop on alternative social media places such as Mastodon. At best, for twitter’s sake, they’ve paused their ad spending, and Elon Musk is pretty upset about it…as if his corporation is entitled to money from another business.

What lays ahead I believe is a reckoning of the social media industry. What began as an experiment in online community building and commerce has become the testing ground for anti-democratic zealots bent on undermining freedoms around the world.

Nobody is interested in undermining free expression, but we are all interested in letting such freedoms thrive as we promote democracy and choice – not attempting to pull the rug out from underneath it.

You can bet you last assets that there are folks uninterested in democracy and freedom and wish to install themselves in positions of absolute power; corporate, religious, and extremists of the hard right and left would ban elections if they could. Social media has given their agents just enough room to spread misinformation and doubt on voting, elections, personal freedoms – to the extent that some ask – why even bother with these troublesome things.

That is what they want.

I don’t pretend to have the answers either, but I know that we cannot keep going the way we are going.

Life and freedom wasn’t bad before social media; but the anonymity of such platforms has given rise to very bad actors where they couldn’t have their soapbox before – out of the shameful embarrassment of their ideas.

The hidden keyboard warriors gather their troops; led by ‘generals’ who gain more and more authority as a result of the increasing absurdity of the level of hateful and false rhetoric that they post. They brag about being outside the mainstream as something to be proud of and gather a following of others who get to be part of this incoherent cabal of others who won’t follow the masses.

Clearly they must know something and big media/corporations, MSM and the political elite must be lying – withholding the truth, I guess.

Admittedly, its empowering to be part of a cause larger than the self; to put efforts into making society better for all. But to what extent do election integrity doubters help society? Covid deniers, antivaxxers, etc. They don’t help. They are menacing to society.

Previously, these circus side show freaks got little attention; now thanks to algorithms of the social media empires – they get promoted. Its the modern equivalent of bombarding people with lies – and demonizing efforts to fact check dangerous mistruths.

We have seen this before.

This is ultimately what their goal is.

My two bits.

Calling all good men. Wanna help? Sit down please.

As you know by now, the Supreme Court in the USA has revoked ‘Roe V Wade’, the constitutionally significant court ruling from the 1970’s which paved the way for legal access to abortion services in America.

Everyone and their pet rock wants to chime in; not all of it is helpful. Those on the right-wing are hailing this as a victory from their long campaign against abortion. Those left of that position are blown away at the human rights roll back that women in America have known for almost 50 years – gone.

Every ounce of my activist heart wants to beat the drum in opposition to this ‘ruling’ and raise the warning flags that conservatives in Canada wish the very same…because they do; they freely admit that.

Make no mistake: my position is that whatever health decision a woman is contemplating is nobody else’s business but hers to make, and she should do so without government interference but sound, scientifically grounded medical advice from her doctor. Period.

But, I too, need to take a breather here. This is been an attack against women; an attack that is threatening to spread to various other protected groups too. But in standing in solidarity with women as they face this grotesque attack, we, men, need not crowd out women from a platform that is rightly theirs.

You will hear stories from women and how this war against them is so incredibly personal. Some stories will break your heart, others will drive you to rage. But these are their stories to tell.

Women of this nation and America are perfectly capable of telling these stories and capable of conveying the anger/sadness which so many feel. They most certainly do not need us to speak for them.

We should be standing with them.

Lifting them up.

That is what an ally does.

My2bits

Go Left. To save us. All of us.

In uncertain times, folks can reach for more bold solutions when the same-old no longer works.

These are some of those times. The Neoliberal economic philosophy hasn’t worked for large swathes of society, and those for whom it works are already the wealthiest and most powerful among us.

Through no fault of our own, the economic pillars have been knocked out from the ‘if you work hard and save your money, you can get ahead’. Unless you are part of a 1% elite out there, you’re not going to get ahead. Staying afloat is hard enough.

The powerful and elite know this and will do their best to retain the system that keeps them powerful and rich. There is a war by the 1% against everyone else. Both left and right however, present potential solutions to get us out from under that control paradigm.

But they are not the same.

The left demands wealth taxes, programs to supplement the poorest among us, assistance to those living with disabilities, tax fairness among working peoples and housing for the masses seemingly out-priced for even the very basics of shelter needs.

The right points to groups that require blame and that if only they were outlawed or restricted, the great prosperity would return. The right campaigns for harsher controls over immigration, crackdowns on unions, and engage in social culture wars to divide people among religious and ethnic lines as a source to gain power.

The problem is, the powerful elite tolerate one of these idealisms more than the other. Neoliberal elite do not necessarily care about religious conflicts or divisions, nor do they participate in culture war debates, their interest is in maintaining social status, wealth and power. The rules for you and I do not apply to those at the very top.

The elite however, will bitterly oppose wealth taxes; they’ll oppose low cost housing for folks barely hanging on, and they most certainly oppose any measures to share decision making power. You know this to be true.

While the far right pretend to have a populist message that is to get us out of the rut, in the end, they share philosophical common ground with the neoliberals who sit at the helm of power and wealth.

They are natural allies.


The answers, as they always have been, are on the left.

My2bits

American Right Wing desperate to cast Ukraine as satanic or occult-ish to bolster Trump.

It actually makes sense…not the talking point, but the effort to cast Ukraine in terms of America’s culture war. That makes it especially nuts given that Ukraine is probably as socially conservative as many right wingers thanks to the deep Orthodox Church influence in Ukraine society. But, Republicans need to find room to the opposite of Biden – so why not cast Ukraine as a hotbed of ‘occult’ or satanic cult worship to make it easy to hate them and rally to Putin’s side. Totally unhinged, but this is today’s Trump/Republican party.

Fox Nation Host Unloads ‘Bonkers’ Pro-Kremlin Rant Claiming Ukrainian Forces Have ‘Occult’ Ties

The epic failure of the #TruckersForFreedom will be a sight to behold

Oh, they’re loud, and they’ll muster a gathering of supporters at the nations’ capitol as promised, but not likely in the numbers they’ve been promoting. Numbers – like half a million people, 50,000 trucks from across the country. Now I could be wrong with the numbers too, but it doesn’t invalidate the next point I’m about to make.

They’re about to step into the stupid-trap…and we’ve been warning them all this time that its going to suck.

They’re protesting a federal Transport Canada vaccine mandate rule for truck drivers entering Canada from the USA that they must prove their vaccine status or face up to 14 days quarantine.

Read it again.

The federal mandate speaks to drivers entering Canada. It does not regulate the vaccine status of a truck driver heading to the United States. They have their own mandate.

If the Transport Canada (“Justin Trudeau”) mandate disappears tomorrow, unvaccinated truckers from Canada will still be denied entry to the USA because of their right to set border rules.

So every truck with banners saying all sorts of profanity towards the federal liberals and Trudeau are again missing the mark.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the political people in high places too. There is a reason why the federal liberals are slow walking any sort of pushback – the clowns who have organized and fundraised off this effort are making themselves look like total idiots at a scale unseen in Canada before.

It will be worse than antivaxxers spitting at nurses, throwing rocks at the Prime Minister. Imagine driving your rig 3000km to Ottawa to protest the actions of the wrong government.

Of course, this all links back to the garbage arguments made by a tiny handful of folks that the vaccine(s) aren’t safe, or that covid is fake. Well shut the fuck up about that. Unless you’re sporting the qualifications of a medical doctor or virologist, this ain’t your ballpark to render ‘professional’ opinions on the matter.

The fact that its brought out the kooks on the far right is political gravy for Justin. As a result of this convoy-of-stupid, Justin will score a majority government if we had an election any time soon.

Well done. Idiots.

my2bits

The things I wanted to say.

What I could have said – and was surely going to, were not helpful.

I am upset as the year rolls around to its end, that we’re still battling with covid19…but we’re also contending with a significant mindset who have rejected modern medicine and coherent medical advice in favour of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

Words have power. Words spoken by people of influence have power. The more outrageous things you say it seems, draw more and more people. It doesn’t have to be true (and clearly, in many cases it is not at all true). But spoken with passion and conviction, some will be convinced of the words and ideas over medical advice.

This is beyond frustrating…but predictable.

The rhetorical power of a demagogue was learned well in America in the lead up to 2016 and beyond, and we’re not immune here in Canada to the sway either.

The things I wanted to say to these folks who have seemingly drank this potion was equally as venomous as what their side spews outwards.

I have since decided that I am not spending any more energy on this. While I am still upset at antivaxxers (whom I consider a menace to society), its to those on the fence that I want to reach.

I see you and I hear you. Your apprehension and anxiety are real and shared by a lot of people…myself included.

The world’s best and brightest minds in science and virology have been working on covid19 since the start; the vaccines are safe – even if they’re not perfect. This is true of every single medicine created in science.

The best way out of this pandemic is widespread vaccine coverage to all corners of our globe so that covid19 has no where left to bloom; and its effects can be mitigated into oblivion.

To those seeking room to be critical of governments’ perceived shortcomings (in the eyes of the beholder, of course); save your energy too – encourage those reachable to obtain their vaccines and maintain social distancing/mask wearing where needed. If you’re going to take a swipe at policy makers for what you feel is inadequate regarding the govt responses so far, I sure hope you have the professional qualifications to back it up.

There will be plenty of time to consider shortcomings of the various governments and adjust policies so that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel again.

We’re on the right side of this. The science backs up vaccines without a doubt; the measures (masking, etc) have proven to lower risks of transmission; nearly every policy and/or mandate is legal and constitutional – and should not be controversial.

The last hurdle is hesitation. This is a personal choice I know, but its one with profound consequences.

Choosing to turn your back on science and medicine will prolong the pandemic (with newer, deadlier variants).

Choosing to join the overwhelming majority of us who play by the rules (which are temporary), obtaining vaccines when available are the steps needed to return to the normal life we all say we want.

So that we can be us again.

my2bits

The coming vaccination mandates are a good thing. Finally.

To be clear, that in the free nations of the world, no government can force you to take a medication against your will. But they can inversely make life hard if you ‘choose’ not to.

This might sound heavy handed or unfair, but a government – who derives its authority to govern by the people who elect it – are required to keep safe those under its care and protection to the best of its ability.

This means that although they cannot force a pill down your gullet or a needle in your arm, they can require that in order to travel or participate in certain optional, economic based activities – you need to choose to be vaccinated. This isn’t to punish those unvaccinated, its to protect those who are – and those who cannot be vaccinated by means of medical exemption.

I understand how we got here. Governments of the world have been playing the nice guy trying to encourage folks to get their vaccines when they’re available; and to a large extent they have been successful. But we’re not yet at a high enough vaccine coverage to see a large scale herd immunity as the hesitancy and rejection of modern science is enough to poke holes in this effort. Through these holes, this disease caused by Covid19 is allowed to thrive and mutate into more sinister versions of itself.

These are as a result of some selfish thinking and I am personally tired of playing nice about it.

I recognize that vaccines aren’t perfect, some in fact have suffered from ‘vaccine injuries’ from the available covid19 vaccines and regrettably some have died – whether the vaccines themselves are to blame is unproven as yet. But the numbers of people who have endured some adverse reactions to covid19 vaccines pale in comparison to those who suffer and die at the hands of covid19 who were never vaccinated.

But a related argument against seat belts can be made here. A seat belt, worn correctly, may cause its own injury in a car accident – even contribute to a fatality. Though the scientific research and engineering that went into seat belts proved that their usage safe infinitely more lives than without. And, as you could have guessed, there was an equivalent blowback in the early 1980’s when seat belt laws made them mandatory – by the same sorts who would now argue that government shouldn’t require vaccines for the same reason.

There are those who hide behind a flawed interpretation of laws and constitutional rights to assert that government is over-reaching badly here. If government is doing anything poorly here, its communicating their intent.

Government has every right to ban smoking in public buildings for example. Smoking rights’ advocates will argue that this infringes on a persons medical condition – addiction. No. One can ingest nicotine without lighting up a smoke – and besides, its the right of the non-smoker who is subject to second hand smoke against their choice (workplace, public area, etc) that government is responding to.

So it must be with vaccines and vaccine mandates. They’re not to punish those who willingly choose to flout globally accepted science – its to protect those who are doing their part to keep safe. Its not about you, its about all of us – and we constitute a majority.

I take particular offense at those who invoke ‘faith’ as a reason to reject medical advice and science. Do you realize how hypocritical this is? If you accept in your faith that humanity was created in the image of our creator, then all knowledge and science has flowed from this creation was made possible by His hands.

God (or whatever your faith deems The Creator to be) gave us the tools and ability to look beyond primal needs. This is how humanity got itself to the moon, built high tech phones, high speed rails, ships, cars, planes, etc. All of it was enabled by that spark of life ‘in the beginning’.

But, you do you. Hide behind your selective interpretation of your faith. So be consistent about it at least. Go home and empty out your medicine cabinet – including your shelves of vitamins and supplements. No pain medications for you; no heart medicine, no insulin or whatever. If you believe that we’re protected by the Blood of our Savior and the natural immunity we’re born with, then throw everything else away.

While you’re at it, no cell phones, no TV, no technology beyond the tools and tech you can personally build with your hands – since all of it came from the various scientific discoveries that you have rejected.

For those arguing that the potential for vaccine mandates is equivalent to the onset of fascism and Nazi-style gas chambers (etc), that is the most absurd spin I have ever seen. Worse, it trivializes into a stupid talking point the real suffering by ethnic and religious groups who have been targeted in the past for state sponsored harassment and murder.

Look, I know there many who are apprehensive and downright scared about covid19 – and the vaccines designed to provide protection against it. You are not alone – and your fears are well heard.

All I can say to you is that the fastest way back to a normal life is to adhere to social distancing and masking rules as they’re needed and to obtain your vaccine when its available to you.

Hesitancy and rejection of vaccines will keep a large pool of unprotected people out there which serve as a fertile ground for covid19 to remain among us – and mutate into more sinister versions of itself…not to mention that we’ll continue to remain in a disruptive cycle of lock-downs and restrictions the longer this drawn out.

The sooner you join us and get your vaccine, the sooner you can help protect yourself, your family and your community – and the sooner you give covid19 no room left to grow.

My2bits

Just when you thought the BC Liberals couldn’t sink any lower..

President Joe Biden just signed a bill that allows foreign flagged cruise ships to bypass a foreign port on their way to another US port. In english, this means that a cruise ship is no longer going to stop in Vancouver or Victoria on their way from Seattle to Alaska.

This is meant as a temporary measure thanks to the Canadian federal cruise ship ban at our ports here in response to the pandemic.

This is truly a setback. Our Premier didn’t think it would come to this and had misjudged the resolve of Alaska based legislators who really wanted their cruise ship industry back.

So be it. Temporary, we’re told.

On cue it seems, the provincial opposition party launches a salvo at the NDP effectively blaming the provincial government here for losing 20k jobs.

What.

I get the partisan sniping, etc. But what the BC Liberals have done is a willful misread on what happened to fire a grossly partisan political cheap shot. They were cheering on this bad news as a win. Who does this?

They do.

I mean, what’s the position here for the BC Liberals? That the NDP should have pressured Ottawa into a premature port re-opening for cruise ship despite them being known incubators when an outbreak happens; now with covid19? In a rush to score a political cheap shot, they’ve revealed themselves to be horrible people.

In the last term of office, the minority government of the NDP/Green CASA deal, the BC Liberals behaved themselves relatively well once the pandemic set in. They knew how dangerous and politically stupid it would be to try and politicize pandemic related events. Free from the constraints of a minority parliament, idiotology pours on in from the BC Liberal caucus.

The Federal government put in place a cruise ship ban in 2020 as the pandemic set it. It was renewed in February of 2021 to last another year.

We’re not out of this pandemic and neither are the west coastal US States (including Alaska). By pushing for this legislation, they’re taking their own risks; cruising was halted for a reason. But I don’t answer for them nor will I defend them.

But the BC Liberals have to answer here. They tried to push a regional reopening last year just as the initial wave subsided; a proposal that if accepted would have seen astronomical infection rates as we weren’t ready for that. No vaccine, and the full strength of the virus was just beginning to build.

Imagine if we had taken that bad advice then? Or been pressured into pressuring Ottawa into a premature re-opening of our ports now? West coast ports aren’t the only ones suffering; this is a huge blow to the east coast tourist trade too. Halifax gains billions of dollars in tourist spending cash that sustain the city’s businesses and jobs. They’re hurting too.

The BC Liberals would blame John Horgan for that.

I want this pandemic gone like anyone else, but I still take it seriously. Its not as if by reopening every business and restoring concerts and every venue that covid19 goes away – it does not. If we’re not better prepared, such a premature re-opening would turn to a catastrophic shut down; and unnecessary loss of life.

Todd Stone and his BC Liberal opposition front bench are as useless in offering constructive criticism of government policy as they were when he was in government.

Taking some ghoulish victory lap as they seem to be doing on this cruise ship bypass law from America because it politically hurts the NDP is about as bad as it gets. Todd Stone needs to resign from politics and never return.

What a shameful, juvenile display he and his party have put on. May they never govern this province again.

My2bits.

The appreciation for Donald Trump

No, its not what you think.

So let me get one thing clear right now. Donald Trump is a fascist who tried to steal power by subverting what’s supposed to be a mundane transfer of power from one President to another.

But he’s worse than that.

His entire ‘governing’ legacy is tragic story of the absurd.

Far from being the voice of the little guy, the candidate to ‘drain the swamp’; Donald Trump was solely the voice of himself and his cabal of insiders – most of all his family. Donald Trump is the swamp he campaigned against in 2016.

His campaign was right out of Mein Kampf, playing group against group in 2016. His skillful use of racist dog-whistle politics gathered a coalition of hate around him that in the strategic concentrations where they voted – flipped electoral math on its head.

Donald Trump brought together a disgruntled and poor voting block (who have real economic grievances) along side those whose cultural hatreds towards hispanic peoples and blacks were in large enough numbers that when pooled with traditional conservative voters of the Republican Party were enough to win the election.

That’s the simple version of how he got into office in the first place.

How he governed as the 45th President will be a fascinating tale told in court rooms as he is held to account for his crimes against America; and there are many.

But what I appreciate about Trump – in the most sincere way – is that he and his movement are defined by the hooligans, thugs and terrorists that tried to violently overthrow the US government to stop President-Elect Biden from being certified as the winner of a landslide election that he won fairly. It wasn’t close.

Trump and his ilk took issue with math itself; failed to understand the laws and the constitution, and violated the law and order narrative told by his party for the last 60 years.

Trump and his terrorists launched an attack on the capitol that can only be rivalled by actions taken by the old Confederacy in the US Civil War – a secessionist regime which split from America in its quest to defend its ‘states right’ to maintain slavery. That is quite the company to keep.

And there has to be a reckoning. There was the Nuremburg Trials after the last world war that held former Nazi regime officials, party officials, SS officials for their actions and crimes against humanity. So there must be a great accountability for the Trump regime and those who profited from his ‘leadership’.

Will the Republicans learn? Hard to say. Every time they lose an election, they resolve to take their party further right because they feel it didn’t act or campaign conservative enough.

After Jimmy Carter won the Whitehouse in 1976, Republicans went far right and teamed up with Christian Conservatives to gain the votes needed to win in 1980 under Reagan. When that coalition fell apart in 1992, they regrouped and went further right in 2000 with neo-conservatives under George W. Bush. When Barack Obama won the Whitehouse in 2008, the Republicans went yet further into the right wing fringe with the Tea Party movement.

And then Donald Trump launched his campaign in 2016 with his famous racist speech attacking Mexicans. Finally, the Republicans tapped into the last vestige of crazy right wing voters.

How much further right will the Republican party go before they fall off the edge. Will this be a test for the American right. Its happened before when a major party found itself in an existential crisis; the old “Whig Party” who served up several Presidents prior to 1860 blew apart in favour of the Democratic/Republican tilt. Internally, the Democratic Party who used to be the racist, rural party that gave safe haven to KKK leaning folks found its spine and under President Johnson signed the voter rights act.

The Republican Party as drifted so far to the right that it would have rejected candidates like Reagan or Eisenhower or Bush. Its fallen off the cliff of what is reasonably expected of parties that exist within a democratic, liberty loving country.

They embraced fascism.

Worse, the darkest elements of Christian Nationalism (who are the core of the white-supremacist movement) rose to high positions in the ‘MAGA’ world. To them, Donald Trump was Jesus…and a whole lot of evangelic leaders followed along with that misguided idea. That the most corrupt, conflicted, greedy and self absorbed political figurehead (Trump) was the symbol of the onset of the final days and the Biblically foretold tribulation.

No. Trump is a fraud there too.

Substantially, Joe Biden is far more pious and religiously aligned than Trump. BY A LONG SHOT. It was a permission structure that opened the potential of a small segment of Trump-hostile Republicans to vote Biden – who might have stayed home otherwise. Why certain evangelicals stuck with Trump is beyond reason – even in any biblical sense.

So much for ‘render unto Caesar what is his’, etc (Mark 12:17).

Evangelical Christianity has now defined itself as a political movement that is intolerant, undemocratic and hyper-judgmental. Ask any one of them and they’ll tell you that only their brand of Christianity is the truth and the light – any only their interpretation of the Bible is valid; they installed themselves as the gatekeeper of heaven.

That’s not faith or religion. That’s a cult.

That’s not the Jesus I’ve known. But then again. These folks have made Donald Trump into the messiah. The fact that he wasn’t supported by a majority of voters and lost an election to Biden is the square peg that didn’t fit into their round hole. They weren’t prepared to accept this as a possibility; so they – with Trump, called the election a fraud and took sides with the terrorists’ that tried to overthrow the US government on January 6.

Now that every legal avenue to dispute the election result is exhausted – and a total lack of evidence to the contrary, no electoral fraud – it was a free and fair election, some still align with Trump and the mythology of the stolen election.

The damage of Trump and his ‘evangelical’ base to American democracy will heal in time; but not before a full accounting and appropriate justice is rendered. What happens next is that the Republican Party might fold and a new conservative, coherent party may rise in its wake.

But what I appreciate about Trump is that he ripped the scab off and exposed parts of American society that are infected with the poison of hatred and that is the first step towards healing.

Trump is a terrible person who is rotten to the core. But further judgement on his character and/or legal misdeeds will be up to the justice system. For the rest of us, we’ll interpret the Trump legacy for what it is; a blight on humanity for all that it represents and hopefully the turning point to return to better days ahead.

My2bits