Feb 20, 2023
The February 22, 2023 edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to the memory of President George Washington. A slave owner, an officer (Colonel) of a foreign power, an opportunist and a man among boys, General Washington created an army that not only defeated the world’s preeminent superpower, but would some sixty-five years after his death free a people from bondage in the republic he created.
President Washishington also gave birth to the idea that in a republic the peaceful transfer of power from a sitting president to the president-elect must occur as required by the law. And if he were alive today, this Veteran believes his first two actions would be 1) to begin organizing the Second Continental Army and 2) to place a cell phone call to his old friend Anthony Wayne and order him to find the former fake President of the United States and arrest him.
A Dying Nation
Why Are So Many Americans Dying by David Wallace-Wells appeared in the 2 February 2023 digital edition of The New York Times (NYTimes). Mr. Wallace-Wells is an Opinion writer for NYTimes as well as a best-selling author who writes about three of the major issues facing humanity: climate change, technology and how a changing world is changing us. His latest effort to educate us on what is happening in America addresses an issue that is having a profound effect on our nation. The issue can be summed up in a single term: excess mortality. Simply put, excess mortality means the difference between the observed number of deaths during any specific time period and the expected number of deaths during the same period.
According to Mr. Wallace-Wells, the method used to compute excess mortality is to first combine historical and demographic trends to estimate “expected” deaths in a population and then use this figure as a baseline to measure what he refers to as “surprises” such as an unusually deadly flu season or a novel coronavirus that kills millions. The result of this computation is the number of excess deaths.
Mr. Wallace-Wells writes despite the fact that Covid-19 has been responsible for a large percentage of the “excess mortality” since 2020, there are other causes that have contributed to this excess mortality. Mr. Wallace-Wells has coined a term to describe this gap as our “excess, excess” mortality. He argues that although this excess, excess mortality can be attributed in large part to Covid-19, a large percentage of the total can be “chalked up” to other causes. This article is about one of those causes and how it cannot be measured by any scientific analysis.
Mr. Wallace-Wells offers three very cogent arguments for what is driving this “excess, excess” mortality. First, he argues that delayed care due to the pandemic may be the reason for this excess, excess mortality. Second, he argues that the secondary effects of the pandemic such as isolation, depression, alcohol/drug abuse, homicide and suicide might attribute to this excess, excess mortality. Third, he argues that the long term effect of the disease can take its toll on major organs thus leading to an increase in heart attacks, respiratory failure, etc., etc. Yet despite these logical conclusions, Mr. Wallace-Wells concedes that there isn’t medical or scientific consensus about what is driving these surprise “excess, excess” deaths. That is because the explanation does not lie in the scientific method. It lies elsewhere.
One major cause of these excess, excess deaths is the abandonment of hope. The effect on the mind and body when one abandons hope is incalculable and cannot be measured by any medical exam or test. It exacerbates every illness and ailment while magnifying even the mildest forms of depression. It reinforces doubt about oneself while adding to the feeling that we can no longer change our lives and the world for the better. The abandonment of hope is like a malignant tumor; it spreads to every aspect of our being until the desire to live is gone. The great American and soldier of Christ Billy Graham once said “Perhaps the greatest psychological, medical and spiritual need that all people have is hope.” Truer words have never been spoken.
It is only logical that the reader ask how it is that this Veteran knows so much about the abandonment of hope. The answer is simple. This Veteran has suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of childhood trauma and did in fact abandon hope before he could vote. As an officer in the United States Army, he was ordered to do things he would never have done but for service to his country causing him to again relive the trauma of his youth. At the age of 38, he became a self-appointed Soldier of Christ and struck down the enemies of Christ believing this would excise the demons that haunted him since childhood. What he learned was those battles only quenched his thirst for revenge. At 52, he was stabbed in the back by someone he loved, causing wounds from decades past to reopen. However, by the grace of God, he was able to find peace with the help of a good Doctor and a good friend. So these words might only be the observations of one man, but they are words written by someone who knows both what it means to abandon hope and the devastating effect it has on us.
When one looks across this ailing country, it is clear that tens of millions of Americans have abandoned hope. Many have discarded their dreams for the future for the pleasures of the moment. While others seek a way out of the never-ending sadness that comes when hope is lost. Hope has vanished for so many Americans and the despair that follows is killing us just as surely as Covid-19, heart disease, cancer, Fentanyl, homicide, suicide or the bullet fired from the legally purchased firearm of the next psychotic male.
A Little Less Conversation
Euclid’s Axiom 5 states the whole is greater than the part. We know this universal truth to be true because it makes sense. We can understand that the entirety of something is greater than a part of that same thing. We do not need to know who Eueklides was or what the Axioms of Euclidean Plane Geometry are to appreciate this fact of life. There is another axiom of life that needs no further explanation. This universal truth is that talk is cheap and action priceless.
Talk is cheap because talk alone never accomplished anything. Talk may inspire action or change but alone talk does not change the status quo. This was a universal truth that Americans understood for over two centuries. Yet in America 2023, talk is no longer cheap. Talk finds those who profit from dividing us paid millions to deliver hate and lies in the form of disinformation. A weasel from FOX News is perhaps the poster child for this betrayal of those journalists who sacrificed their lives to bring us the truth. MSNBC has one as well.
In America, talk has not only become very profitable but it has become synonymous with action. The career politicians have convinced Americans that words equate to action and as such there is no need to change the channel on your television, log off your computer or silence your cell phone in order to make a difference in the world. Take for example the woke warriors of the sanctimonious left who spew forth ignorance believing that their enlightened tweets equate to marching in the streets of Birmingham, AL in 1965. Even more disgusting is the cowardice of the reprehensible right’s trolls who believe sending hateful and terrifying messages to innocent people is the same as serving in uniform. Cowards one and all.
What makes these lemmings so dangerous is that they and so many others in America believe change can come about with words; words filled with hate, lies and ignorance. They believe that slogans like Make America Great Again and Betting on America are enough to bring about change. Just the other day, the latest career politician to declare a bid to be president could not stop spouting off sheer nonsense in her speech. It was nonsense because no intelligent person believes she can turn those campaign promises into reality. What this Veteran wants to know is if what she was promising was misinformation or disinformation. Does she really believe she can keep those promises or does she know she cannot but wants the American people to think she can.
What is disconcerting if not unexpected is the recent revelation that Fox News executives knew the “Stop the Steal” movement was based upon a lie but continued to assure so many conservatives that the election was in fact stolen. In a real republic, where the rule of law means something, these men and women would stand trial for conspiracy to incite insurrection, not that they had the courage to actually wage one.
The American Revolution was made possible by men and women who knew the time for talking about independence had come to an end. Thomas Paine was one of them. The American Civil War came about because men and women of conscience knew that talking about the end of slavery had come to an end. Harriet Tubman was one of them. The Third American Revolution, where the career politician is expunged from political life and a Second Constitutional Convention convened in order to return the federal government to the people it was created to serve, will not come about through malicious tweets or well-intentioned texts. Words are what keep the status quo alive. Action is what will change it.
With that in mind, it is with the utmost urgency that the message of this article reaches every Veteran and each servicemember. America is a dying nation and the proof is all around us. Therefore, we must unite as a single political force. It will be our mission to recruit others to our cause while never forgetting that General Washington had only about 25% of the population behind him. We shall garner more support than that and with the help of God we shall win the day.
Jan 28, 2023
The January 28, 2023 edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Thomas Paine (1737-1809). Author of Common Sense and a soldier in General Washington’s army, he was an inspiration to many who joined the struggle to create a new nation. He wanted his nation to be an “asylum for mankind” and was ready to sacrifice his life to make it so. Unfortunately, the nation he helped create is no longer a nation of responsible citizens united for a common purpose. It has become a nation of men and women who refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions let alone those of their elected officials and no better proof exists than the election of House of Representatives member George Santos. This pathological liar and borderline simpleton is the new Thomas Paine. How pathetic. How American.
The Spoon Feeding of Americans
On January 6, 2023, Abigail Zwerner, a Virginia teacher, was in the middle of a lesson in her first-grade classroom when a 6 year-old boy pulled out a gun, aimed it at her, and fired. The teacher, 25 years young, was rushed to the hospital but only after she secured the classroom and made sure the children, including the shooter, were safe. Bravo Ms. Zwerner. You epitomize everything that is good in America.
On January 2, 2023, a multi-millionaire about the same age as Ms. Zwerner suffered a heart attack while on the job. He was lucky that the very best medical care imaginable was at his worksite. Medical professionals were able to render life-saving first aid and he was transported to a local hospital where he was again provided the best medical care in the world.
These two events present an excellent example of how the mass media has turned America into a country where the elites and those who serve them determine what Americans think is important. By spoon feeding Americans what they should believe is important, they can divert attention away from what is really important. Health care, failing schools, crushing debt and the widening gap between the rich and the poor are what is important, not the recovery of a multi-millionaire from an on the job injury. The emotional outpouring for the multi-millionaire with the finest medical care in the world was nothing short of ridiculous. Some in the media even hyped this outpouring of sympathy as the beginning of the process to unite Americans. Only the gullible and the ignorant would believe such hyperbole.
To watch the media fall over each other to report on this tragic event, the heart-attack not the shooting, made this Veteran sick. Constant updates as to his condition and the reports of how great a man he was for buying toys for kids was too much. If buying toys for kids is what counts for greatness in America we are all in trouble. Wait. We are all in trouble because 6 year-olds are going to school armed with a weapon they clearly knew how to use and school administrators could not find despite searching him for a weapon.
It is not the intention of this article to cast this athlete in a negative light. He may indeed be a good man who cares about children but kids shooting teachers and America’s failed education system should have been the stories the media ran repeatedly this month. Unfortunately, we know those are stories the media only reports in passing because there are no solutions to those problems in America 2023. Real solutions require compromise and that is something the career politician and those they serve cannot afford to do.
A Dangerous Time
The Chinese government (President Xi) recently reversed the three year-old policy referred to as zero covid. This about face has shocked many around the world and for good reason. The question is why did he change course when according to him, his policy had been such a success. There must be a reason. The article offers one possible reason.
Despite his assertions of success, the economic and social impacts of his zero covid policy have not only brought China civil unrest unlike anything seen since the June Fourth Incident, it has pushed President Xi into a corner economically and politically. As such, this failed zero covid policy may be forcing him to alter his time table for bringing Taiwan into the fold.
We know the Chinese economy is not just critical to the world economy, but absolutely critical to the Chinese government’s military buildup and its plans for Asian domination. It only follows that any economic downturn, like the one predicted for China in 2023 and beyond, will impact President Xi’s plans to continue the rapid build-up of China’s military. According to Zhang Yesui, former Chinese Ambassador to the United States:
“Maintaining a proper and steady increase in defense spending is needed to safeguard our sovereignty and development interests, fulfill China’s international responsibility and obligations, and promote the transformation of the Chinese military with Chinese characteristics”
The above quote from the former Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. provides a glimpse into President Xi’s mind. If President Xi believes that serious economic problems await the Chinese economy following the lifting of his zero covid policy, he may feel the window of opportunity to take control of Taiwan is closing and urgent action is required. Moreover, if President Xi wants the resources that Taiwan offers China while denying it to the West (America), he may believe the time to act is now.
We must assume that President Xi knew in late 2021 that the lifting of the zero covid policy was inevitable and that serious economic consequences would follow. If this was the conclusion he came to in late 2021, it might explain another development in world affairs. The development in question is President Putin’s decision to invade the whole of Ukraine in February 2022.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 was limited to a very finite area of Ukraine. What President Putin did not do until 2022 was move to take the whole of Ukraine. The question is why.
This article asserts that it was only after President Xi assured him of China’s continued support both financially and militarily that President Putin launched his invasion in February 2022. This article also asserts that it was President Xi who approved the invasion because President Xi needed America to commit to Ukraine while he initiated his campaign to bring Taiwan into the Chinese fold.
Assuming that the U.S. continues shouldering the burden of supplying Ukraine with the material it desperately needs to defend its territory, the question then becomes will that commitment diminish America’s ability to respond to a Chinese move against. The answer may lie in what we already know about Presidents Xi and Putin as well as what is happening in America.
First, Presidents Xi and Putin knew that President Biden would divert military resources from America’s stocks to aid Ukraine in early 2022. They knew he would because it was the right thing to do from a national security perspective. Second, Presidents Xi and Putin knew that the Republican Party would use President Biden’s decision to aid Ukraine to sow discontent among Americans because they know that is what career politicians do. Third, Presidents Xi and Putin knew that America has a growing fiscal crisis that will pose serious internal and external problems for the U.S. going forward. Fourth, and most significant of all, Presidents Xi and Putin know how difficult a time the Army is having in recruiting young Americans. Of all the morsels of truth cited above only one keeps this Veteran up at night. It is also a truth that makes this time a dangerous time for us all.
Dec 27, 2022
The Christmas 2022 edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to America’s health care workers. They are being asked for a fourth straight year to sacrifice for the good of the nation. Yet profiteers will exploit their good nature and push them to exhaustion. They will hear how much a grateful nation appreciates their sacrifices but will come to know that counts for nothing. They will also learn they are as disposable as the soldier. How else can one explain the fact that thousands of Americans are today denying health care workers rental applications because property managers know that no one wants an Emergency Room nurse living near them.
Spotlight on America
The recent report by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office once again proves the depth of the cruelty and the degree of culpability of Catholic leaders in the systematic rape of young boys. Despite the Herculean efforts of the Missing Angels Legal Fund Inc.’s volunteers some 20 years ago, the Catholic Church continues to hide pedophiles while the American people continue to look the other way. In fact, the demand to hold accountable priests who raped boys pales in comparison to the demands of the American people that gas prices be lowered by any means necessary.
After a New Report on Clerical Sexual Abuse, Alleged Victims Need Justice appeared in The Washington Post, November 18, 2022 digital edition. As if to remind us that we, as a nation, have abandoned His little ones, the article sums up a history of abuse just in Maryland that should bring shame to the people of Maryland. Also appearing in another daily paper was the Vatican’s announcement of its new policy of ethical investing. Catholic Church Issues Guidelines on Ethical Investing appeared in The New York Times a week later and was spiritually uplifting. To know how serious the Vatican now takes ethical investing must help the lucky Catholics sleep better at night. Not sure if it helps the countless unlucky Catholics who cannot forget the pain of being anally sodomized as a boy.
As cruel as the Catholic Church’s efforts are to shield pedophiles from law enforcement, it is the abject failure of our governments to put Catholic priests in prison that is the real tragedy. Pedophiles and practicing homosexuals within the priesthood will always protect each other. It is the American criminal justice system that is to blame. It is so rotten and corruption so pervasive that if a child rapist has sufficeint funds or support in high and holy places, he can get away with raping two or three boys before he can expect the impotent system of justice to take action. In fact, the catastrophe at Uvalde, TX this year was just a glimpse into the epic failure of the American people to protect His little ones. We all failed in Uvalde, TX. Only His little ones are blameless.
Despite this national shame, there were men and women who did not let the love of money and indifference dictate their actions. In fact, almost two years before reporters from The Boston Globe decided to take seriously a Boston attorney who was using the civil system to expose pedophiles and hold the Cathloic Church accountable, a few Christians in Michgian were listening to a Detroit attorney who was using the civil system and the world wide web to expose and hold accountable Catholic leaders for ensuring that men who raped boys could continue to do so unabated. Only in Detroit, accountability meant something different. Something more.
Cardinals Szoka and Maida, Bishops Kevin Britt and Thomas Gumbleton and many parish priests across Michigan will not soon forget the Missing Angels Legal Fund, Inc.’s volunteers preaching the gospel according to Jesus Christ during their masses. Nor will they soon forget learning of the Status Quo’s existence and then meeting him in the flesh. Yet those memories pale in comparison to the reaction of Michigan Catholics when on Easter Sunday twenty years ago they learned how many pedophiles Cardinal Szoka and Bishop Britt protected to the point of obstructing justice. And if that was not enough, the Status Quo would also tell them of the 30 year sexual relationship they carried on with each other while protecting countless pedophiles and sacrificing His little ones.
What then does this trip down memory lane have to do with life in America on the day Christians celebrate the birth of the Messiah. Like so many other articles posted on Christmas and in His honor, this article is a warning to the American people of what will happen if the status quo remains unchanged. Since it is clear the American people have abandoned their children just as they abandoned their Veterans, their elderly and more recently their health care workers, it is imperative Americans of all political persuasions understand that the abandonment of those who sacrifice for the common good will bring an end to this American experiment faster than any Chinese biological attack.
So as Americans ponder the state of affairs in their country this Christmas, they can do so knowing that the future of their country is bleak. Our national leaders have failed to lead for decades and we turn a blind eye to $31 trillion of debt. Our local governments have failed to protect our children for decades and we turn a blind eye hoping the next school shooting will not be in our child’s school. We can no longer turn a blind eye. We, as citizens of the greatest republic in history, can reject the sickening choices career politicians give us. Force 10 year old rape victims to carry the child to term to show how much Republicans love children or extract the fetus’ brain tissue so a well-funded laboratory can create miracle cures for Democratic elites is the choice they feed us and it must stop. Let this native Detroiter, child abuse survivor, lawyer, former Army Officer and serving soldier of Christ be the guiding light to those tired of turning a blind eye. There is a way forward. Just follow me.
Spotlight on Israel
Mazel Tov to the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although not new to politics or to the job, Prime Minister Netanyahu is perhaps the most accomplished politician living today. Presidents Xi and Putin may be consummate politicians, but they are not operating in a free society. Prime Minister Netanyahu is operating within a free and democratic society at least for the moment.
Despite this Newsletter’s past criticisms of the Prime Minister, especially the sharp words directed at him during the Second Intifada, this article is not about criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decisions or his party’s policies. This article is about convincing Israel’s new leader that if and when he decides to order the airstrikes on Iran’s major uranium enrichment facilities and missile production sites that he will consider adding six (6) additional targets to the mission. In an effort to help the Prime Minister as he again navigates the dangerous neighborhood in which his country resides, this Christian wants him to know that an opportunity exists to send a clear and unambiguous message to Christians that Israel stands with them in their efforts to stop genocide and end the pain and suffering of Iranian girls. This opportunity should not be dismissed out-of-hand as the idea of a delusional American. It is an opportunity for Israel to lead the way in not only condemning genocide but confronting it with force. Kiev’s cries for help this Christmas most assuredly sound like those that emanated from Warsaw on Hanukkah in 1942.
To the author, it is only a matter of time before Israel is left with no choice but to strike Iran’s uranium enrichment installations. When men who murder girls for how they wear their hair are allowed to possess the nuclear capability to strike nations whose leaders have cursed for 50 years, the time to act cannot be passed on to other politicians. The world’s liberal elites have lost the stomach for action. They see these heretics as people that can be trusted. What they do not see is that these men present a clear and present danger to humanity and as such must be stopped now. Later is simply not an option.
Since it is already a matter of national pride that Israel aids Ukraine, it is only logical that Israelis will support doing what needs to be done to stop the flow of missiles and drones to Russia. As such, this Christian and longtime supporter of Israel requests that six (6) locations in and around Tehran be added to this ‘mother of all’ airstrikes to paraphrase another monster silenced by the sword. As for the locations, they house the core of Iran’s hardline religious leaders. The same leaders who preach death to Israel while rewarding those who brutalize His little ones.
With respect to Russia’s crimes in Ukraine, Russia Trafficks in Ukrainian Children by Nicolas Kristoff appeared in the 23 November 2022 digital edition of The New York Times is a searing indictment of the Russian leader, government and many of its people. Unfortunately, many Americans believe what is happening in Ukraine has nothing to do with America. These social media warriors just don’t see the value in supporting Ukraine. These are the same fools who don’t see the value of vaccines, the rule of law and common decency. Therefore, it must be Israel that fires the first shot if only because decisions are being made now that will affect the global economy in ways no central banker can imagine or career politician can understand. There is however one democratic politician who might understand what is at stake. There might be one democratic politician who understands what must be done to stop two evil regimes. This same politician might realize that the stakes are so high that sending a message to those suffering in Iran and Ukraine might just pay dividends when the Middle East is turned upside down and Christians are once again ordered to the MIddle East to fight and die.
Happy Hanukkah Prime Minister. We wish you luck.
Nov 11, 2022
The November 11, 2022 edition of The Status Quo: An Electric Newsletter is dedicated to the misguided and confused Veterans who continue to support the former fake President of the United States in his campaign to destroy the U.S. Constitution. It appears they have forgotten their oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies. It seems they have also forgotten that this promise does not end when one takes off the uniform or chooses to abandon that oath in the name of political expediency. The promise made them a part of something bigger than ourselves and more important than our own lives if called to sacrifice that life. They have not only betrayed their country, but they have also betrayed those with whom they have served.
Thou Shalt Kill
For many years it confounded this Veteran why so many Americans hated other Americans for no discernable reason other than holding different political views. I read and listened to the experts on voter trends, polls, etc. describe the phenomenon. I listened to the talking heads on network and cable news as they reported on the growing anger and violence leveled against Americans by Americans due to party affiliation. It simply defied belief that in a country where politics, politicians and governments have failed the American people so consistently and for so long that so many Americans could hate other Americans solely for holding different political opinions. It was only during the Pandemic that I realized why Americans are turning on themselves.
The career politician has so manipulated the fringe elements of their respective tribes that they are able to turn Americans upon each other in the name of re-election. In short, they have bottled hatred and are selling it to both fringes as the cure-all for what ails America. They convince the gullible and uninformed that the other party is destroying their idea of America and then fan the flames of hatred to create a nation divided by the fringe elements of two corrupt political parties operating in a corrupt political process.
What is ironic is that the fringes of the two parties were once only a small minority in each party. The career politicians, hand-in-hand with the national media, have transformed the “lunatic left” and the “reprehensible right” into the mainstream. In doing so, they have placed us all in danger. As we watch the number of mentally disturbed young males attack schools, churches and supermarkets. we see just how sick many in our society have become. As we watch the former fake President of the United States promote violence by urging his Trumpettes to harm other Americans, we see just how sick our politics have become.
We cannot dispute that our national politics provides the world with a glimpse into our national life. We also cannot dispute that this glimpse paints an ugly picture. Likewise, we cannot dispute that America is producing more and more young men like Adam Lanza and Salvador Ramos everyday. As such, Americans must understand that in the coming years we are going to find more young males willing to kill dozens of innocent Americans because they believe it is the only option left to be heard. They hear the hatred spewing from the mouths of our nation’s leaders and will come to embrace that hatred within themselves. These angry and confused young men, some not even 18, will embrace hatred and violence as if it were a new religion just as they will see a degenerate like the former fake President of the United States as a role model for a new cowardly America.
During the Pandemic the number of young people suffering from anxiety and/or clinical depression skyrocketed. In 2020 for example, an estimated 4.1 % of adolescents aged 12-17 had at least one major depressive episode. This is the fertile ground from which tomorrow’s killers will grow. This combined with the disturbing facts about these males’ lives makes for a wave of mass shootings that even Americans cannot imagine. Today’s shootings will not be like those coming tomorrow just as the men from yesterday are not like the men of today. Young men today are very different from the men of the previous generations. Today’s males work less. They have less sex. They have fewer commitments. They are more likely to find their entertainment alone in their basements. Many shun socializing with their peers. Many of them think that a tersely worded tweet is the same as confronting wrongdoing. They judge others they do not know based solely on information from sources they do not know are telling the truth because we all know that it’s easier to hate than to learn.
The evidence supports the assertion regarding the ticking time bombs walking our streets. However, the reader is encouraged to search for themselves any information on the number of mentally unstable young males currently walking our streets so they understand when the new American male is raised in the ethos of the “social media” warrior and befriend others like him on-line the end result will be the massacre of more and more innocents. And if you think law enforcement is going to stop them, I encourage you to Google massacre in Uvalde. The legacy of Uvalde, TX is not that America is producing sicker and sicker young men. We know this already. The legacy of Uvalde is that law enforcement is impotent to stop them even when the shooter is in the next room killing children!
Jesus of the Disinherited
When this Newsletter was first posted 22 years ago, a Veteran had a dream of convincing Americans to hate the career politician like the Veteran hates the pedophile. It was a dream that neer came to fruition. Maybe it never came to fruition because it was based on a false premise. Maybe Americans really do not hate pedophiles. Sure, Americans claim to hate pedophiles, serial rapists and cold-blooded murders but hating them proves nothing. Everyone hates them. But by hating their fellow citizens for their misguided and dangerous political opinions, they prove to themselves and their social media family and friends how perceptive they are in really understanding what will make America great again. The lazy and ignorant love to hate because it is quite a bit easier than sacrificing and compromising for the common good.
Hating Obama was a sport to many “white” Americans who knew nothing of the man. Likewise, the hate spewed forth by “smarter” Americans at George W. Bush was so disgusting that it appeared as if hating had become the new national pastime. Sorry George baseball is for sissies. Notwithstanding this dose of reality, we need not search long to see what it is these haters have in common. They all have one thing in common. They are as far from Jesus Christ as one can imagine. They are also the Americans responsible for destroying faith in our election process and freedom of speech in our schools. So in an effort to pass this Veterans Day in peace, this Veteran decided to return to the thing that had provided sanctuary for decades. Books were an escape and a journey for this former Army Officer and it seemed right to return to a book that proved too difficult for an angry and confused 19 year old. Howard Thurman’s Jesus of the Disinherited (“Jesus”) is a book beyond the reach of many Americans and that speaks volumes in itself.
An initial attempt to read Mr. Thurman’s seminal work on Jesus Christ was made in the early 1980s when this Veteran was an undergraduate at Wayne State University. Unfortunately, the book proved too much for an unprepared 19 year-old. Many of the words Mr. Thurman used as well as the ideas and concepts he addressed were very difficult to follow, let alone understand. Jesus is not for the breaking news devotte or the snapchat crowd. In fact, it can be asserted with confidence that his work is beyond the intellectual capabilities of the hordes of “social media warriors” who spread hate because it makes them feel good.
What makes Jesus such an incredible book is that it contains the single best description of who Jesus was and what He wanted to teach us. Mr. Thurman puts aside His birth and resurrection and looks at Jesus and the environment into which he grew to manhood. Mr. Thurman takes us through the realities of the life of Jesus in order to not only teach us who Jesus was but also how Jesus must have felt about the major issues of the day. Love and Hate being two of the most prominent issues addressed in Jesus and they are coincidentally the two most important issues facing Americans today. It is not inflation or immigration that threatens the Republic. It is those who seem incapable of living in peace with their neighbors that are tearing at the fabric of our democracy. Hatred is all the rage in America 2022.
Jesus is divided into 5 chapters beginning with Jesus – An Interpretation. Mr. Thurman introduces us to his Jesus. The author describes to the reader a man who lives under Roman rule, comparing Jesus’ life with that of Paul, a Roman. Jesus was a member of a lower-class devoid of the rights and privileges to which Romans enjoyed and that fact was an important in Jesus’ life as one of the disinherited. The author presents questions that require serious contemplation. One might be so inclined to pray for help in honestly confronting these issues and our lives. Mr. Thurman shows us Jesus confronting the issues that confronted HIm everyday; issues that coincidently are as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago.
Yet what really sets Jesus apart from other works on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ is the four chapters that follow. These chapters are titled Fear, Deception, Hate and Love. Fear and Deception perfectly describe how these twin tools of oppression work to keep those who are oppressed in a state of oppression. It is within these two chapters of Jesus that we come to understand how and why Jesus is for the disinherited. Also within these two chapters we also come to understand His message is one for the disinherited. We are also taught that His teachings leave us, the inherited, with only one conclusion. We, the inherited, are the oppressors. We promote ourselves and our interests while caring little or nothing for the disinherited. We have collectively left them to our failing governments just as we have left the safety of our children in the hands of career politicians.
It is said that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Love was his message and He commanded us to love God and one another before all else. We never stand taller or more clearly demonstrate our Christian values than when we help the poor and downtrodden. Whether we serve meals to the hungry, raise money for a women and childrens’ shelter, act as Foster Parents, adopt an abandoned or abused child or spread the gospel of tolerance and empathy as the path to a better world, the end result is a way of life that embraces the message of Jesus Chirst. Mr. Thurman would agree.
As impressionable as the four chapters described above were on this Veteran, it was the chapter on Hate that led to this article. Hate is a growing business in America and the future looks even more favorable for the spread of this disease. Make no mistake. Hate is a disease. It spreads like a virus and Mr. Thurman gives us an example of how it spreads. (See pages 67-68 of the Beacon Press Books paperbak edition, 1976). The story of his ride in the same coach as a white woman and her hatred for him did not surprise me. The eastside of Detroit in the 1970s was not a bastion of racial harmony. This Veteran and former soldier of Christ had witnessed enough acts of racial violence by the age of thirteen to last a lifetime. Exactly how that woman’s hatred could affect others in the train carriage made me realize how Alex Jones became so popular despite being just another hate monger from Texas whose lies, slander and perversions hurt real people. It is time all Americans, especially those who call Texas home, wake-up to the hatred within ourselves and all around us. It is destroying our country one hate filled word at a time.
Every American must understand that It will be hate and not wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornados or superstorms that destroy our Republic. Heat waves will kill countless Americans in the coming years but hate will kill the hope of what America might one day become. Hate will kill the idea that so many Veterans have fought and died to defend. Hate will also kill the “can do” American spirit that has saved this nation in the past and instead replace it with the “don’t have to” spirit of the new American male. Hate will blind us to our true enemies as they work to divide us, enrage us and then push us beyond our limits of tolerance into open warfare. Maybe that is what it will take to force Veterans to understand that we have far more in common with each other than we do with the career politicians and the unhinged fringes of America that are destroying our nation.
May 11, 2022
The May 2022 edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to all mothers no matter their age, race, national origin, creed, color, or economic status. Whether from America or the Ukraine, mothers have suffered at the hands of men since the dawn of our species. Unfortunately, the mothers of the Ukraine get to experience a kind of suffering other mothers are spared. For example, the mothers of Yemen, Ethiopia and Myanmar did not make CNN’s 24-hour “Breaking News” cycle as did Ukrainian mothers despite those mothers having watched their children die before their very eyes. They were afforded the opportunity to suffer without a CNN reporter asking them what it felt like to watch their children die before their very eyes. Only in the land of the free, home of the depraved can filming the suffering of mothers pass as breaking news. Congratulations CNN. In a world full of pain, suffering and men like Vladimir Putin you will never run out of free content.
My Best Friend
May 1 or “May Day” as it is known around the world is celebrated in America as Law Day. Law Day is celebrated in Mass by many Catholics across the country. Religious and civic leaders gather to celebrate their support for the rule of law. In fact, it was a cherished celebration for this Veteran’s mother and for her to have attended one such celebration with her “Officer of the Court” was one of the proudest days of her life.
May Day is a celebration of the adherence to the rule of law that has made America a beacon of hope to countless souls around the world. Our system of laws and regulations coupled to our adherence to them is what enabled America to become the preeminent economic power in the world. Adherence to the rule of law was also what made America different from other nations, but those days are gone. We are no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of men who place themselves above the law.
Anyone who watches the “Breaking News” on CNN knows the rule of law is under attack worldwide. India is the largest democracy in the world, yet we see many within India’s government work to undermine the rule of law in order to promote hatred. In Pakistan, India’s mortal enemy and itself a large nuclear armed democracy, we see the rule of law challenged almost daily by those who wish to control Pakistan’s future. From Kashmir to the District of Columbia, we watch as those who work to manipulate the truth do so to avoid adhering to the rule of law.
What many in America do not understand is that the rule of law is what separates Bannana Republics from democratic nations. In Pakistan and India for example, the rule of law might be the single most important factor in preventing nuclear war between these bitter enemies. What should concern the world is how long can the forces of moderation control the tide of hatred flowing over India? Similarly, we should be concerned with how long the forces defending the rule of law in America can keep the enemies of democracy at bay.
The benefits from adhering to the rule of law do not make CNN’s breaking news cycle so many Americans are ignorant to the value of living in a society where the rule of law matters. Yet, today, many Americans are confronted with the reality that they are living in a nation of men and not laws. January 6, 2021 and its aftermath are just the latest examples of what living in America means today for many white Americans. For many “other” Americans this is not new. Minorities and the vulnerable, be they children, women, the mentally ill or the sick, have been living this reality since our nation was born. Notwithstanding this unfortunate fact, many minorities have benefited from the rule of law. President Johnson, a Texan no less, wanted to ensure the rule of law treated everyone the same no matter your color and he made it so. This was new in his day (1950s-60s) and the backlash he received is very similar to the backlash we see today as the supporters of the former fake President attack law enforcement in order to avoid ever having to adhere to the rule of law. If you doubt this assertion, please stand-by. Someone near you is planning to attack law enforcement because that is what appears to be what the former fake President likes.
History has taught us when attacks on the rule of law are brazen and supported by a nation’s political elite, it is only a matter of time before the rule of law gives way to violence amongst the civilian population. Citizens acting in concert with others equally as misguided can pose a serious threat to peace and civility. Yet some men pose an even greater danger than others. Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, is one such man and the threat he poses to our Republic represents a clear and present danger to the United States Constitution.
The recent revelations over U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife’s communications with the former fake President of the United States’ Chief of Staff before, before, during and after the insurrection of 6 January 2021 are unbelievable. The fact that these communications relate to the “stop the steal” campaign and were no doubt intended to prevent and/or obstruct the certification of the 2020 election is disturbing in the extreme. To make matters worse, it is now understood that there are at least 29 separate text messages from Virginia Thomas to the former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, during this fateful time. These texts reference conversations with her “best friend” and how they are “waiting for an army to stop the steal.” Army? What army? The US Army? Paid mercenaries from Russia? These questions must be answered before it is too late.
These two love birds wanted to stop the peaceful transfer of power that is the hallmark of this Republic. These persons of privilege wanted to end a tradition started by President George Washington. President Washington wanted the world to see how a republic based on the rule of law functions. This tradition has been a shining example of what once made America a true republic. Today America offers the world not a majestic day in January where the levers of power in the most powerful nation on earth are voluntarily relinquished in accordance with the law but a narcissistic degenerate’s ill-conceived plan to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from a sitting President to a newly elected President. It proves just how far America has fallen from grace and for those who doubt this assertion, ask yourselves if you really think Mark Meadows cared what “Ginnie” Thomas wanted. Mark Meadows only wanted to know if a U.S. Supreme Court Justice thought preventing the certification amounted to Sedition.
Like the Rosenbergs before them, it is time that Clarence and Ginnie take their seats in the dock. Those Americans who serve and have served their country demand to know the truth about which army they hoped would stop the certification of the 2020 General Election. To allow Sedition to go unpunished only invites more Sedition and if you doubt this assertion, please stand-by. There is a “patriot” near you planning to commit sedition in your name and how you respond will determine on which side of history you stand.
Open Letter to Ken Burns
This plea for help is written in the hope that a great American storyteller will finish his 1989 story on Congress. As much as Congress was a sentimental history of the Capitol building itself and the events that occurred in and around it, the story did not portray what is really happening in the “People’s House” or what the people’s representatives are doing outside it. America is on the fringe of open civil war with law enforcement the latest target and the truth about our elected officials in Washington D.C. must be told.
What is really happening in the U.S. Congress is our elected officials are playing games that have all but destroyed the institution that is the U.S. Congress. What is really happening in Congress was not covered in your film of the same name yet the events occurring now started even before 1998. In 1998, your film was presented as a nostalgic journey through the colorful characters that once occupied seats in Congress. If that was your intention, you succeeded in telling only half the story. It is the other half of the story that needs to be told and it needs to be told now. The American people need to know the rest of the story because the rest of the story is about how money, dark or otherwise, corrupted the legislative process to such a degree that the Legislative branch no longer functions as the U.S. Constitution intended it to function. In other words, the men and women in Congress have destroyed the ability of our federal government to function while simultaneously tearing at the fabric of our society in the pursuit of money to secure their re-election.
The kooky rascals you portrayed in Congress have given way to hateful bigots on the far-right like Marjorie Taylor-Green who twist the truth to support their lies. Likewise, elitists like former President and Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton sold our government to the highest bidder while the they and the far-left turned a blind eye to the rapid increases in black men and boys being incarcerated for what the Clintonites were doing in their free time. Those silly rascals of your Congress might have been bigoted, but they would never have permitted a President like the former fake President of the United States to get away with his disgraceful conduct while in office.
In an effort to assist, this fan of many years offers a few ideas for Congress II. What about finishing Congress in the same way you finished Vietnam? Give the American people the whole truth about the “pay-to-play” game that has destroyed the Legislative branch just as you told the truth about that tragic and avoidable war. What about finishing Congress just like you finished The Central Park Five. How about continuing your examination of the “bosses” and the influence of men like Thomas Reed and Joseph Cannon by adding to that list men like Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert and self-promoters like John Conyers and Dan Rostenkowski. Please let the American reflect on the actions of those cooky characters along with more popular characters like the senile senior senator from the land of legalized larceny or the self-promoting Goldman Sachs disciple from the lonely star state. She is a disgrace wandering the halls of Congress like an infant and he is a disgrace because the truth means nothing to this spineless opportunist. Tell their stories to the American people and maybe just maybe the real cancer in Washington D.C will be cleansed from our body politic by the people our government was created to serve.
The leak of a draft decision in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court was without precedence in 200 years of American jurisprudence. It serves as yet another reminder of just how fast the rule of law is disappearing in America. The draft decision that was leaked appeared to over-rule the long-held precedent of Roe v Wade. We later would learn it did just that.
What seems lost in the discussion of this “leak” is not who had access to the draft opinion, but who had the most to gain from releasing it. This Officer of the Court asserts that no clerk or staff member of the Court released this document. It was released by one of the nine members of the court.
This Officer of the Court offers what it knows about one suspect. For example, we know the allegations made against this suspect when he was nominated to the court. We know this suspect has his own brand of jurisprudence and is often offended when that brand is challenged. We know that this suspect wants attention drawn away from his actions leading up to and including 6 January 2021. Therefore, is it not reasonable to assume Justice Clarence Thomas is the leading suspect in what appears to be an effort to both show the Chief Justice there is nothing he can do to censor or punish this great man as well as draw attention away from Congress’ investigation into his role in the insurrection of 6 January 2021?
Jun 24, 2021
The June 19, 2021, edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who sacrificed their lives for a country where millions of their fellow citizens treat them as inferior. “Juneteenth” is the name given to the day when slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom. Yet what happened on June 19, 1865, remains unknown to countless Americans. This fact alone speaks volumes about our system of education. What speaks even louder is the fact that so many white Americans work tirelessly to degrade and disenfranchise black Americans despite their contributions to American culture and our nation’s security. Ignorant of history, deaf to the teachings of Christ and clueless to the world around them, these self-absorbed Americans cling to the idea that American dominance will continue unabated provided others are willing to make the sacrifices necessary for their continued prosperity. How pathetic. How un-American.
By Any Means Possible
American history is one of rebellion and civil disobedience. Violence and change are the two constants that run through American history. From the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord to the long overdue Black Lives Matter movement, Americans of all faiths, colors and creeds have come together in times of peril and injustice to silence the voices of those whose hatred and bigotry infringed upon the rights of others. It is time Americans do so again.
Women and minorities have steadfastly resisted the relentless efforts of their oppressor’s desire to return America to a time when women were treated as inferior to men and African Americans deprived of their rightful place at America’s table. Despite these repeated attempts to return America to the “good old” days of widespread disenfranchisement and government sanctioned discrimination, Americans have united to defend the oppressed and in so doing maintained America’s progress to greatness. America might be the last, best hope of mankind, but she is far from great. Evidence proving this assertion can be found in these pages stretching back 21 years. If the reader requires further proof of just how flawed America remains, this Veteran offers Marjorie Taylor Greene, an elected member of the U.S. Congress, as exhibit 1. The former fake President of the United States is exhibit 2.
This article, like many before it, is about a sickness that exists in our society and our body politic. Rather than call it racism or bigotry let us instead give this sickness a face. Let us call this illness the Taylor-Greene influenza. The symptoms are diarrhea of the mouth, deformity of the anterior insular cortex and an acute absence of any historical perspective. If left untreated, the patient deteriorates to a state of imbecility where she or he can no longer control their ignorant utterances.
We see this sickness every day in the actions of those who embrace Nazi ideology and express Confederate sympathies. In fact, this sickness exists in the very armed services who fought to end the tyranny of Nazi Germany and eliminate the scourge of slavery. The Hurtgen Forest in Germany and the rolling hills of southern PA are filled with men who gave their lives so the dream of what America might be would one day be realized. A dream that coincidently required Americans to kill Nazis and lay waste to a society that embraced slavery as a way of life. Yes, the good old days when evil was meet face to face and defeated.
It is indeed tragic to watch as the party of fiscal restraint, limited federal authority and the freedom of men to pursue their dreams without government interference abandons these principles to adopt bigotry, disinformation and obstruction as the GOP’s core beliefs. The question conservatives must ask themselves is how did the party of Eisenhower and Reagan become the party of Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene? The answer is obvious. Conservatism is in retreat because we have allowed the “deplorables” to become legitimate voices in America. Do you have a better adjective to describe the former fake President of the United States, his Neo-Christian Vice President, Rudy Giuliani or the career politicians Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham?
Let there be no mistake, the battle being waged within the GOP is not just one for the soul of America’s conservative movement, but of those principles that can and must return America to the path of greatness. It is indeed depressing to know that the answers to so many of America’s most pressing problems rest within the principles of conservatism and not liberalism’s belief that social experimentation and the necessary expansion of government to conduct these experiments is necessary to achieve their version of a utopian society. Critical Race theory presents many issues for debate, but it no more explains the failures of the Great Society than voter fraud explains the former fake President of the Unites States’ loss in November 2020.
Against All Enemies
It does not take an astute observer of the American political landscape to know this Republic is in grave danger – a danger brought about in large part by the inability of the Legislative branch of our central government to function as it was intended. In fact, it has been the fault of federal legislators, a.k.a. members of Congress, that the Legislative branch has ceased to function. It has been the intent of the career politician to divide Americans into warring camps in order to secure their re-elections. We see proof of this assertion all around us but never more so than on 6 January 2021 – a day that should live in infamy.
It is true that the career politician might not have envisioned the complete breakdown of bipartisanship within the Legislative branch but that does relieve them of liability for the state of our Republic. Despite clear and convincing evidence as to the guilt of the career politician for setting Americans against one another and bankrupting our central government, the national media and many of America’s scholars continue to report that the political divisiveness created by career politicians is not a threat to our Republic. To them, the lack of bipartisanship in Washington D.C. and the division of the American people are just two issues that the major political parties must resolve. In other words, they see this catastrophe as if it were a disagreement over the funding of the next highway bill. What makes it a catastrophe is that the career politician does not care that the Legislative branch has ceased to function. The career politician only cares that the electorate remains divided thus guaranteeing their re-elections.
What has contributed to the making of this catastrophe has been the role American scholars have played or not played in the age of technology. American scholars continue to hide their heads in the sand fearing some social media warrior will expose them for uttering an opinion that offends one of these delicate flowers. Scholars on both the left and the right are to blame for abandoning their posts. Hiding in their tenured closets, these men of words are not sounding the alert that the political divisions promoted by these degenerates, liars and crooks pose a direct threat to the U.S. Constitution. Yet this exactly what the career politicians’ words and practices have done.
For decades, the national media have focused on the Executive branch as the branch whose powers must be checked when in fact it was the Legislative branch whose powers should have been checked. Unfortunately, it is too late to check those powers. The Legislative branch has already done the damage necessary to make it the greatest threat to the U.S. Constitution. The power of the purse, as Congress’ power is often called, has been so abused by Congress that the debt it has created has now brought our Republic to its knees and the last place Americans want to be is on their knees before China, North Korea, Russia or Saudi Arabia.
In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution with the intent of limiting the President’s ability to commit U.S. troops without Congressional authorization. Congress, whose members are experts at avoiding responsibility for their crimes, did in fact “authorize” the invasions of Iraq in 1991 and 2003 despite Iraq posing no threat to the United States. Without declaring war, as it was Congress’ duty to do if Iraq had posed a threat to our nation’s security, Congress made both invasions possible by issuing resolutions “authorizing” the Bush administrations to invade Iraq while leaving the next generation to pay for them. In so doing, Congress was able to avoid public responsibility for these disastrous foreign policy decisions while passing off the cost of the wars to the next generation.
It is imperative the American people understand that the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution were not created by accident. They were created to prevent one of the three branches of government from dominating the other two branches and yet one of those branches has today come to dominate the others to such a degree that it has become an existential threat to the very document so many swore an oath to defend. It is also imperative that every Veteran understands that the U.S. Constitution is not only under attack, but it is on the cusp of irrelevancy. We saw how close the U.S Constitution came to being irrelevant on 6 January 2021. We also saw just how unprepared the defenders of the U.S. Constitution were to defend it.
Going to Ground II
In June 2018, this Newsletter posted the first edition of Going to Ground as a tribute to the efforts of the Status Quo to warn Americans of what lies in store for them if they did not change the status quo. Since this Veteran no longer feels that his efforts will change the status quo, he too is abandoning the role he accepted 21 years ago. On July 4, 2000, this Veteran began a campaign to change the status quo in America unlike any in American history. In so doing, a heavy price was paid for the sacrifices made. Although always confidant that the sacrifices were worth it since the goal was to make America safe for His little ones, this Veteran has finally realized that Americans could not care less about what happens to America’s children. Love of money has taken hold in America like a fast-spreading virus. The only problem with this virus is that there is no vaccine.
Sure, there is a small percentage of Americans who do care for America’s children just as there is a small percentage of Americans who are willing to serve their country, but they are examples of the few whose work is undone by the many. The many being the majority of Americans who are indifferent to the suffering of others and simply do not care to help those in need. The fact is we live in a nation of self-absorbed individuals who care only about their personal well-being and this is a recipe for disaster – the disaster being the collapse of our Republic from within. To be sure, it will not be a foreign power that destroys our Republic. It will be Americans who destroy what so many have sacrificed their lives to protect.
The article below is by one of this Veteran’s favorite conservative voices. Mr. Brooks has long been a favorite of this Newsletter and his examination of the American people below is spot on as the British would say. Too bad it is also what will spell the end of America as the last, best hope of mankind. Therefore, let the words of David Brooks be the last that appear in the Newsletter because they capture what this Veteran has learned over the past 21 years. America’s fall from grace is not only accelerating but it is well deserved.
Our Pathetic Herd Immunity Failure
By David Brooks May 6, 2021 The New York Times
Could today’s version of America have been able to win World War II? It hardly seems possible.
That victory required national cohesion, voluntary sacrifice for the common good and trust in institutions and each other. America’s response to Covid-19 suggests that we no longer have sufficient quantities of any of those things.
In 2020 Americans failed to socially distance and test for the coronavirus and suffered among the highest infection and death rates in the developed world. Millions decided that wearing a mask infringed their individual liberty.
This week my Times colleague Apoorva Mandavilli reported that experts now believe that America will not achieve herd immunity anytime soon. Instead of largely beating this disease it could linger, as a more manageable threat, for generations. A major reason is that about 30 percent of the U.S. population is reluctant to get vaccinated.
We’re not asking you to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima; we’re asking you to walk into a damn CVS.
Americans have always been an individualistic people who don’t like being told what to do. But in times of crisis, they have historically still had the capacity to form what Alexis de Tocqueville called a “social body,” a coherent community capable of collective action. During World War I, for example, millions served at home and abroad to win a faraway war, responding to recruiting posters that read “I Want You” and “Americans All.”
That basic sense of peoplehood, of belonging to a common enterprise with a shared destiny, is exactly what’s lacking today. Researchers and reporters who talk to the vaccine-hesitant find that the levels of distrust, suspicion and alienation that have marred politics are now thwarting the vaccination process. They find people who doubt the competence of the medical establishment or any establishment, who assume as a matter of course that their fellow countrymen are out to con, deceive and harm them.
This “the only person you can trust is yourself” mentality has a tendency to cause people to conceive of themselves as individuals and not as citizens. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic recently contacted more than a dozen people who were refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccine. They often used an argument you’ve probably heard, too: I’m not especially vulnerable. I may have already gotten the virus. If I get it in the future it won’t be that bad. Why should I take a risk on an experimental vaccine?
They are reasoning mostly on a personal basis. They are thinking about what’s right for them as individuals more than what’s right for the nation and the most vulnerable people in it. It’s not that they are rebuking their responsibilities as citizens; it apparently never occurs to them that they might have any. When Thompson asked them to think in broader terms, they seemed surprised and off balance.
The causes of this isolation and distrust are as plentiful as there are stars in the heavens. But there are a few things we can say. Most of the time distrust is earned distrust. Trust levels in any society tend to be reasonably accurate representations of how trustworthy that society has been. Trust is the ratio of the times someone has shown up for you versus the times somebody has betrayed you. Marginalized groups tend to be the most distrustful, for good reasons — they’ve been betrayed.
The other thing to say is that once it is established, distrust tends to accelerate. If you distrust the people around you because you think they have bad values or are out to hurt you, then you are going to be slow to reach out to solve common problems. Your problems will have a tendency to get worse, which seems to justify and then magnify your distrust. You have entered a distrust doom loop.
A lot of Americans have seceded from the cultural, political and social institutions of national life. As a result, the nation finds it hard to perform collective action. Our pathetic Covid response may not be the last or worst consequence of this condition.
How do you rebuild trust? At the local level you recruit diverse people to complete tangible tasks together, like building a park. At the national level you demonstrate to people in concrete ways that they are not forgotten, that someone is coming through for them.
Which brings us to Joe Biden. The Biden agenda would pour trillions of dollars into precisely those populations who have been left out and are most distrustful — the people who used to work in manufacturing and who might now get infrastructure jobs, or the ones who care for the elderly. This money would not only ease their financial stress, but it would also be a material display that someone sees them, that we are in this together. These measures, if passed, would be extraordinary tangible steps to reduce the sense of menace and threat that undergirds this whole psychology.
The New Deal was an act of social solidarity that created the national cohesion we needed to win World War II. I am not in the habit of supporting massive federal spending proposals. But in this specific context — in the midst of a distrust doom loop — this is our best shot of reversing the decline.