Having been obsessed with Trump, and the dark forces he represented, I will start the year with some observations of what has taken place since the last Tuesday Club notes.
In a very interesting blog by Sam Harris, he conversed with General Stanley McChrystal about the insurrection on 6 January 2021. The General said that what Trump represented, and the mob violence on 06/01 had taken 60 years in the making. That got me thinking. That’s why the rust belt areas were so in behind him. Their loss of economic might and the dreadful poverty which resulted had driven people to a supposed leader who was speaking to them. That fact that he was a complete imposter seems to have been irrelevant. When mainline Church leaders like the Chair of the Catholic Bishops Conference join forces with extreme fundamental Christian leaders’ things have got out of hand.
Here is a Facebook posting which one of my old flat mates, now a complete Trump disciple, wrote from USA. This guy grew up in Christchurch and attended Catholic schools:
Today was launched the second American Revolution. The Marxists and the Chinese Communist Party have infiltrated every aspect of American life (and New Zealand life) with the paid off media and government.
Today I was proud to be in Washington to listen to President Trumps accomplishments and his grievances of voter fraud. I and 75 million voters agree with him. We marched the mile to the Capitol. It was 5 degrees with cold winds. We had already been on the Mall for five hours.
Then we heard that Mike Pence had sold his President and us down the toilet. The Patriots did their duty and did the necessary. We the Patriots have been ignored. The government ignored us. The courts ignored us; the fake news ignored us. They wanted Donald and us to move along as there is nothing to see here. The fat establishment, the fake news and the deep career bureaucratic state abandoned us for their pay check and retirement check.
America has become deeply corrupt over the past 40 years. Donald Trump exposed them. The fat establishment hates him and have sought to destroy him even before he took office.
Under Trump we were very prosperous until China released the virus knowing it would destroy America’s economy.
Under Biden the world economy shall tank.
This is not over.
America has fought tyrants before. Some of it messy. Today is a continuance of taking back our country.
This is scary stuff.
Here’s some photos taken on the 6th of January 2021: If ever there was a sick symbol this is it in fact a hanging noose is a really scary image. These photos are a stark symbol of just what was happening on 6 January 2021. We ignore this moment at our peril.
In an article in the New York Times the following paragraphs printed in starkly honest wording about lies and twisting what exactly is democracy:
Bigger and more corrosive lies, ones that don’t just fiddle with figures but reshape reality, have found extraordinary traction in Hungary. There, the populist leader Viktor Orban has cast the financier and philanthropist George Soros, a Hungarian-born Jew, as the shadowy mastermind of a sinister plot to undermine the country’s sovereignty, replace native Hungarians with immigrants and destroy traditional values.
The strength of this anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, said Peter Kreko, executive director of Political Capital, a research group in Budapest long critical of Orban, lies in its appeal to a “tribal mindset” that sees all issues as a struggle between “good and evil, black and white”, rooted in the interests of a particular tribe.
“The art of tribal politics is that it shapes reality,” Kreko said. “Lies become truth and explain everything in simple terms.” And political struggles, he added, “become a war between good and evil that demands unconditional support for the leader of the tribe. If you talk against your own camp, you betray it and get expelled from the tribe.”
What makes this so dangerous, Kreko said, is not just that “tribalism is incompatible with pluralism and democratic politics” but that “tribalism is a natural form of politics: Democracy is a deviation”.
The comment that “tribalism is a natural form of politics: democracy is a deviation” is the most honest comment I have ever heard about politics, and again, is a warning for us all.
The article concludes with:
To some extent, each new generation is shocked to learn that leaders lie and that people believe them. “Lying never was more widespread than today. Or more shameless, systematic, and constant,” the Russian-born French philosopher Alexandre Koyré wrote in his 1943 treatise, “Reflections on Lying.”
What most distressed Koyré, however, was that lies don’t even need to be plausible to work. “On the contrary,” he wrote, “the grosser, the bigger, the cruder the lie, the more readily is it believed and followed.”
Trump sure turned the lie into an art-form.
Whilst the sad waves of people who believed that Trump was their saviour were rising up in Washington, across the road at the White House Trump and a team of people were plotting on how they could overthrow the election results. In a remarkable recording of what happened, read the article below. It’s chillingly readable and when you look at the photos of the misguided above and think what was really happening at the centre of power, boy we were lucky they didn’t succeed. Here’s an article which is really worth reading in depth
If you can’t read this article and want a copy of what was written then get in touch with me and I will send it to you.
Eileen Hennessy, a Tuesday Club email recipient, sent this reply to me after I had written to her wishing her the best from her friends in New Zealand. My message to our American brothers and sisters is to say kia kaha, and that we are thinking of you all.
Here’s Eileen’s email:
Kind of you to write. Yes, it’s a challenging time and the images replayed over and over just give power to those who are rioters and destructionists. It was just one day – 200 other successful years of transitions of power. Some others have been very messy. The Congress got the job done.
I don’t read Trump-ite diatribes and I have had to depart a couple of friendships. I do not participate in Facebook. After the christchurch massacres, I decided it was not for me.
Our community has also been reeling from the Nashville Christmas bombing.
I live in a split region – liberal folks and rabidly trump or whatever we call them now…. probably some of my county neighbors were at that rally. I hope they get arrested. And yet – our beautiful young friends are raising great kids, farming and feeding those who cannot provide for themselves. Our activist friends and colleagues are making progress on their goals after the Black Lives Matter rallies of the summer. Georgia voted in two democratic senators. We continue to remind ourselves to be kind.
People are learning about governance and why this country has what is a good system even when it has been torn and frayed. Our healthcare friends and colleagues have been vaccinated. People are beginning to understand the ramifications of electing monsters and not doing the right thing to protect our communities to slow this pandemic. But it is a very confusing time for so many. Leadership is lacking on so many fronts.
We are deeply saddened to see this place we are in – I come from a family dedicated to the process of governance and commitment. (As grandchildren of poor Irish immigrants – our parents taught us this was a cherished duty). We are deeply saddened that so many have died and continue to die from this awful pandemic. Many due to a lack of leadership and the Greed for power for power’s sake from many people.
So – we have had bottles of bubbly in the fridge since November! To open to celebrate Biden and Harris! Wednesday is the day. We think Harris is terrific. So, Joe will be in good hands. Jill Biden is pretty darn cool too.
We are optimistic about this incoming administration. Smart good people.
The days get longer and in six weeks we will see trees start to bud and spring bulbs push up through the ground. I live in the midst of a beautiful woodland. Some oaks and hickories are 150 -200 years old. They could tell some stories.
Our families and loved ones have stayed safe and healthy. We are so thankful. Though it’s not very fun- people continue to be very creative and brave.
We take great joy from photos of our Kiwi friends at the beach and in the mountains, fish caught in the rivers and a good surf day. Politics can wait another day.
Thanks for reaching out—- Enjoy summer!
On the day of the inauguration an amazing young American citizen stood and read a poem. Her name is Amanda Gorman and I recommend you watch her reading it. It was extremely powerful and it moved me to tears. Tears of hope and admiration that somebody aged 22 could write such fantastic words. May her career be a long one. She has been asked to read it again at the Superbowl.
When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.
And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
This effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith, we trust,
for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be:
A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change, our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the west.
We will rise from the wind-swept north-east where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
In every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country,
our people, diverse and beautiful, will emerge, battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.