No House Speaker? Pehaps chaos is the point | 🥊 #000.2
Punchline: House Republicans float Trump-backed Vladimir Putin as unity candidate. "Let's just get rid of the middle man," Rep. Matt Gaetz told Sometimes Weekly.
This week, House Republicans continued their Three Stooges-inspired quest to elect another Speaker of the House after ousting Kevin McCarthy for... well, honestly, I don’t remember what their reasons were. Doesn’t really matter. Meanwhile, back in our shared reality, President Joe Biden is visiting Israel and Jordan following the horrific attack by Hamas terrorists that left over 1,400 dead in Israel. President Biden's sober and steady leadership through another global conflict cannot be understated, though in American media and culture it often is, as he protects both our government's commitment to Israel and their right to self-defense while simultaneously underscoring our government's continued support for Palestinian’s basic right to self-expression, freedom, liberty, and so on.
Fool Me Once: Mitt Romney urged GOP megadonors to narrow the field to a single challenger who can face off against disgraced ex-president Trump for the Republican nomination. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again.
Haymaker: House Republicans have failed to coalesce around a Speaker, but will give it the ol’ college try again today. Once you realize chaos is the point for the MAGA extremists slash American traitors in the House GOP caucus, their erratic behavior becomes much more predictable—or, rather, you start to appreciate their proclivity for chaotic unpredictability.
Bye-bye: Democratic Senator Bob Menendez was charged with conspiracy for acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Egypt. Finally, another Democrat held accountable!
The Main Event
Chaos is the Point
It has become apparent that the only clear motivation shared by the many forces propelling the global far-right authoritarian movement is chaos. Certainly, this was demonstrated here in the United States during the January 2023 speaker election, and now again in the October 2023 speaker election, or two years ago, during the January 6 lynch mob attack on the U.S. Capitol that broke our nation's commitment to, and historic practice of, a peaceful transfer of power. As a nation, we still don't seem adequately prepared to confront the reality of the problems we face or of the darkness which continues to manifest itself in the mainstream conservative movement. Put another way, it has become increasingly clear to me, dear reader, that fascism is reemerging, and we’re not yet prepared to confront that dark force.
One example which shows the interconnected nature of these global movements: Last week, a 6-year old Palestinian-American child, Wadea Al Fayoume, was fatally stabbed 26-times by a 71-year-old man who regularly listens to conservative talk radio. In the days leading up to the attack, prosecutors say, he was worried about a national day of Jihad and had withdrawn $1,000 in cash out of fear that the United States' power grid would go down.
Just this week while visiting with my Mom, I heard as she scrolled through Facebook and stumbled upon a video of a man warning that the power grid was going to fail. He self-identified as retired member of the U.S. military and was wearing camouflage clothes, his face covered in camouflage makeup. This chaotic rhetoric is being deployed broadly and by many different factions and forces, all of whom seem aligned in their deep and shared hatred for liberal democracy which, as we know, trends toward social progress.
The FBI has warned that white supremacists and neo-Nazis are actively encouraging Rambo-wannabes to attack the U.S. power grid in an attempt to sow civil unrest and spark a race riot. As a direct result of this call by white supremacist groups in America, power stations around the country have seen attacks steadily rise since 2020 and the FBI continues to arrest individuals for plotting these attacks. Just Google "FBI power grid" and you'll get the idea. It’s important for us to know exactly who is perpetrating these types of attacks.
In the United States, terrorist attacks by neo-Nazis and white supremacists remain a far greater threat than Muslim terrorist attacks. This needs to be repeated over, and over, and over again because of how tightly the far-right has placed their hands around the throat of American public discourse.
Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media has still failed to realize that the Trump-like chaos extends well beyond Trump, who I view as a puppet of this movement, rather than its leader. The Republican Party is now a failed state. The longer the media ignores this, the more difficult it will become for them to pivot if and when the situation further deteriorates. Truth and honesty delivered through mainstream media remains essential to spreading awareness about the threats posed by these dark forces.
Before her son was stabbed to death, 32-year-old Hanaan Shahin was abruptly confronted by the 71-year-old suspect, who was her landlord, about the situation in the Middle East. Hanaan responded simply: "Let’s pray for peace." She was stabbed more than a dozen times before locking herself in her bathroom to call 911 as the man murdered her son.
This is our shared reality. And it reflects the very real cost of rhetoric-induced chaos. We cannot let this chaos and confusion spread unchecked any longer. We must confront the chaos and confusion, and that work is best done through engaging with communities that spread hope and understanding rather than fear and isolation.
Until these dark forces are confronted and subdued, let’s continue this important dialogue, and let’s pray for peace.
God Speed & Talk Soon,
October 17, 2023
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.”