It’s so easy to get distracted. There’s just so much going on and it’s hard to keep track of it all.
What’s worse, the more we think about all that’s in the news, the more we want to shut it all out.
We’re in the middle of a deadly pandemic that millions of people refuse to take seriously, and the far-right has stacked the courts to make it “unconstitutional” to regulate lethal behaviors like not wearing a mask to slow the virus down.
We’re looking at a dictator in Russia who’s trying to expand his influence by conquering another sovereign country.
Our own federal government is dysfunctional, thanks to two Democrats who have been bought and paid for by Big Money — fossil fuel interests, banking interests, pharmaceutical and insurance interests — and the courts are not going to do a damn thing to stop them.
We’re a year into life after a violent attempted coup and not one of its leaders is in jail. Not one.
The leader of that coup, the former occupant of the White House, has been banned from social media, but he has yet to be arrested and he still has millions of followers who have been propagandized into believing he’s sent by Jesus.
Voting rights are being attacked in half the states, with gerrymandering and purging, reducing the number of voting machines available in heavily Democratic precincts, the former occupant of the White House is trying to install his own lackeys to count the votes, and we can’t seem to do a damn thing about it — like arresting the former guy for trying to rig the last election before he gets another chance.
We have a president who’s actually done a remarkable job at cleaning up the mess that was left to him. No, he hasn’t fixed everything, but he’s working on it. Is he doing enough? I don’t think so, but he’s doing something, at least. Still, the corporate-owned media is criticizing him as though he were as damaging as the former guy.
That leads us to another big issue that few people seem to be aware of: Big Money owns the media, and they’re not doing the job of an unregulated free press. Instead of being a government watchdog, they’ve become the lapdog of the most corrupting influences. They exist to distract people from the truth. That we even allow Fox to call itself a news company is disgusting, since they peddle an incredible amount of misinformation and outright lies.
Even the legitimate news sources are filled with the distractions of celebrity and lifestyle news and sports instead of focusing on what’s truly important.
So, what — other than posting our outrage on social media — can we do?
Well, we can vote. That’s just the most basic responsibility of a citizen in a Democracy. We all need to read up on the candidates in every election and vote for the person who lines up most closely with our views.
With our primary elections as they are set up, it’s highly unlikely we can get a true progressive into office, but we can vote for people who aren’t blatantly trying to overthrow the government.
The impotant thing to remember is that no matter how hard we work, this can’t be fixed overnight. The oligarchs spent 60 years getting to this point. Read the books, “One Nation Under God,” by Kevin M. Kruse, and “The Family,” by Jeff Sharlet. They chronicle the whole process by with the oligarchy harnessed the energy of Evangelical “Christianity” to capture election after election, starting with local school boards and town councils, and working their way up. Defeating them will take a Herculean effort and it will take time.
Meanwhile, we need to be loud — really loud — in our opposition. We need to collaborate with each other, form alliances and partnerships.
We can’t stop and we can’t be distracted.
The prize is a system that offers a better life for everyone — voting rights, living wages, access to health care, improved public infrastructure, a truly just justice system — instead of a handful of the most privileged and corrupt.
Let’s focus on that, one voter registration, one election, one public office, one court decision at a time, all while remembering our goal.