We’ve all heard the adage, or some variation of it, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” It could not be a truer statement.
History is too often taught as a cardboard-dry subject with emphasis on names and dates. The more useful lessons of history are in the studies of cause and effect, of actions and repercussions—who did what, when, at whose behest and who benefited. Getting into the motivational weeds of history is critically important. With that view you can start to see what contemporary activities portend.
Once you get these pieces in place you can start to predict and see what future history might be and how we did or did not dodge bullets, knives and a society that would make Aldus Huxley’s 1984 look like a garden party of freedom.
We are in the midst of dodging that dark future right now. It is a near thing and we really won’t know the final results for weeks to come. That’s a long time to spend on the razor’s edge.
Today we notched a couple more points toward survival. Mark Finchem, a Qanon nutcase running for Secretary of State in Arizona, lost his bid for the office. This is extremely important because if he had been elected he would have been the ultimate authority for elections in that state. Also from Arizona, Mark Kelly won reelection to the US Senate against an extremely rich Trump-backed challenger who was also backed by even more wealthy patrons. Kelly was also able to shrug off a constant stream of vile propaganda attacks by Trump acolyte Steven Miller and others.
Two more states have yet to post final results for Senate seats—Nevada and Georgia, the latter of which will see a run-off between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker on December 6th. These last two are crucial as to who holds the Senate. The Nevada count appears to be inching its way toward confirming Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto. But it is still too close to call.
Meanwhile about 160 election deniers have been elected to or are returning to Congress in 2023. This tells us something very important: The insurrection against the government of this country is far from over.
Not too long ago when there was a change of regime in Washington, the continuity of our system of government and its operational policies was assured by career professionals who did not ascribe to party loyalties but rather to their job descriptions and, more importantly, to their oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution.
The former guy and his backers rebranded these professionals as the “deep state” and subjected them to what is now nearly seven years of a black propaganda smear campaign. Many professionals were replaced with sycophants whose only qualification was allegiance to Trump, not the Constitution. Thus Trump created his own deep state, some occupants of which are, insanely, still in place—Louis DeJoy being the most odious case in point. Therein lies one of the historical cues—the vast gulf between words and actions. The Trump faction screamed about the “deep state” and then went about creating one.
The full picture is becoming clearer daily: the very existence of the government of the United States is still under threat and our constant vigilance in the calling out of this pernicious movement is necessary and required of us as citizens.
It is not coincidental that this movement to usurp authority is designed to appeal to bigots, white supremacists and religious extremists. The clear intent is being displayed and crowed about—these people want a “white Christian nationalist” country. And like the Nazis with their phrase, “Gott mit Uns” (God is with us), the anti-democracy leaders and followers are claiming some sort of biblical authority and mandate. You don’t even have look at Nazi Germany to understand what this means for society. Just look at Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan to know where it leads right now.
One of the practices of the people driving this movement is altering to worsen and degrade the very descriptions of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. To these people, freedom of religious means the freedom to oppress and discriminate with religion. The right to keep and bear arms has become perverted to mean everybody must have a gun, even if they are so warped and insane that they will enter a workplace, a mall or a school and murder those they find there.
Where is this all going? Personally, I hate politics, which nowadays is too reminiscent of schoolyard bully bluster and bullshit. But I’m old enough so that when I was in school civics was still taught as a subject. I thought it odd one year that civics, which was interesting and applicable was replaced with the more generic “social studies,” which of course sounded more boring and was. So we’re coming to an age now when the basic functions of government are not required learning in school. And like the Madrasas of Pakistan, where the Koran is taught verbally to illiterates and any interpretation can be thrown in at the teacher’s arbitrary decision, so can right wing demagogues “reeducate” our own poorly educated. Is it any wonder that the mindsets of religious extremists in our country and of those in Afghanistan appear to be so similar?
Understanding politics and history and how they are inextricably bound together is vital for our society to survive and avoid another onset of oppression, slaughter and slavery. So, get educated a bit in both. It will help relieve the fears of impending doom that sometimes feels so close.
The more you know about your own power and in our country, authority, the better. We still have a government that rules with our consent. But this requires that we observe, understand and actively oppose those who want to end that rule.
Any bad situation becomes less oppressive when you can do something, anything about it. Our history is still in our hands. Let’s make it a better one.
Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.