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Tomorrowland

by on December 22, 2020

Tomorrowland

by Marco M. Pardi

Quam minimum credula postera” (Trust as little as possible in tomorrow) Horace Odes. Book 1 (23BCE)

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Although many people are familiar with the phrase, Carpe diem, to the point of it being trite, few have read, in Latin, the full context from which it came. Yet, we in America are now facing the realization that seizing the day is, while momentarily satisfying, simply insufficient to address our uncertainties about tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow, once a term which could speak of a limitless future, has become truncated to the markers which had previously passed with little or no general notice. One State has yet to hold a run-off election which will determine whether we have a functioning federal government or another episode of obfuscatory impasse as one extremist Republican Senator refuses to bring for Senate consideration any and all propositions from a Centrist Democratic President. Another marker is the hitherto pro forma Congressional approval of the Presidential vote count already held and confirmed by the Electoral College. Already there have been Republican officials voicing intentions to object to the approval, delaying the Presidential transition yet further into “tomorrow”, and even imposing Martial Law through the dispersal of armed federal troops throughout the Nation. And, of course, there is the ultimate marker: Inauguration Day in which the duly elected new President is sworn in and takes residence in the White House. The current nominal President has signaled often that he will not leave.

It may be said the delaying tactics are to further enable the extremist Republicans as they are frantically rushing to confirm more lifetime ultra-”conservative” federal judges, disable scientific institutions across the land, repeal every environmental protection, finalize the staggering economic imbalance in the country in their favor, disable or outlaw every possible social support for the less affluent, and sell off federal land to mining and other fossil fuel industries.

Currently our national attention is focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, as it should be. However, in the remaining 20 days or so of the current administration we face additional existential threats from outside and from within. The pandemic will continue and, as we deploy vaccines, will move from an acute condition to a chronic one. But just the opposite is true for the other conditions.

As time passes we easily forget exact numbers when remembering past elections. The recent exception to this, of course, has been the drumbeat from the Trump syndicate claiming false numbers from the 2016 election. But lies are not good grounds for preparing for highly probable realities. The recently past reality in the current case is that some 74 million people voted to continue the chaos, internal hatred and violence to and from practically every demographic in America, attacks on and erosion of the very foundations of American democracy, extreme exacerbation of economic disparities which favor a handful of Americans – notably including the chief of the syndicate and his family, and planet killing rollbacks of every environmental safeguard we have. Those 74 million were outvoted and defeated by a mere 7 million more. We would be well advised to remember that.

We should also realize that these 74 million are not going to “see the error of their ways”, nor are they going to get up and leave. And we should realize that these 74 million are not loony individuals dressed in Army Surplus store sartorial splendor; they are among your neighbors and acquaintances.

The internet is aflame with conspiracy theories, vicious expressions of frustration and rage, appeals to join “patriotic” militias, and exhortations from “religious” leaders to overturn what was a fair and proper presidential election. Feeding and compounding this cacophony are behind the scenes actors such as the Sluzhba Vneshnei Razvedki (SVR), the Russian foreign intelligence service arising from the former KGB. In addition to disseminating inflammatory materials on the internet they have also penetrated the operating software employed by almost all American federal agencies, including infrastructure such as electronic banking, water systems, and power supplies. In short, an EXECUTE order to their implanted software can immediately result in the kinds of social, health, environmental, and psychological panic and disorder which is exactly what the 750 and growing in number militia groups need to justify a violent uprising. This is not some fantasy. This is a sober assessment of a near future outcome. The only question applies to the degree of probability.

A stable characteristic of the American government has been the peaceful, indeed cooperative hand-off of power to the next elected administration. Indeed, it can be helpful to imagine a track & field relay race: A president gets to carry the baton for four laps around the track. If re-elected he gets to go around for another four. But that is the end of his race. As he approaches the incoming runner he makes every effort to place the baton so the next runner can catch up to him and successfully take it forward. Instead, what we now have is a president who has no concept of Team, who cares only for his own glory no matter the cost to every stakeholder in the race, who refuses to yield the baton in the belief that possessing it protects him from the federal and state criminal indictments waiting for him at the finish line.

In refusing to acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election this current administration delayed for weeks the critical daily intelligence briefings the incoming administration seriously needs to understand and address the crises facing the nation. The current president has surrounded himself with sycophants and convicted felons many of whom are suggesting bizarre and illegal tactics to overturn the election in hopes of currying a presidential pardon for their crimes.

Although it is unlikely the current president will be able to continue clutching the baton in his little fist, it is certain that a substantial portion of the population will continue to devise ways to overturn and hijack the race. There will no doubt be many different expressions of these ways and violence is to possibility that should not be ignored as unlikely or impossible.

Speaking of Tomorrowland, it is interesting to note that the Mad Max film series was set in 2021.

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13 Comments
  1. Ray Rivers permalink

    I’m positive about the future of America and that this relatively brief period of madness will pass as people are forces to reconcile the loss of so much of what America stood for once. There will be over 300,000 empty seats for Christmas dinner – loved ones who needn’t have died. A time for reflection. Trump is part of the nightmarish history and in a year nobody will want to admit that they ever voted for him. 74 million denials.

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  2. Thank you, Ray. While I hope you are right, I must insist we never forget what we have lived through these past four years. It will be several years before we can undo what can be undone, and perhaps never for much of it.

    I’ve never been a “forgive and forget” kind of person.

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  3. Dana permalink

    Marco, I have to wonder how many voted for Trump because they always vote Republican and refuse to budge. I know someone who virtually never reads or watches news, and has no idea what he’s been doing at any point. And they voted for him twice.

    As of yesterday they hadn’t heard about the Russian cyberattack, much less known that the current administration hasn’t condemned it whatsoever. Lack of condemnation is a condoning behavior. I never made mention of the latter; that would be an exercise in frustration and futility for me.

    A year ago I found this type of voting disquieting; one year later I actually find it terrifying. This means people will vote anyone in without first researching the candidate or knowing what they’re capable of. The person I know can’t be the only one. I never dreamed my daily life would be divided into election milestones – November 3rd (and the vote counting beyond), December 8 and 14, January 5, 6, and 20. With every date approaching my anxiety increases, then I feel a little better until the next. I nearly always feel like the rug is about to be pulled out from under us all.

    Ignorant, uninformed voting is unconscionable. There are so many of us exist with fear because we care, We care enough to educate and inform ourselves knowing the information will rob us of sleep and inner peace. Information that may even cause us anxiety attacks, or at the very least, depression and generalized anxiety.

    Meanwhile, those who got us here with their blissfully ignorant, stupid voting habits seem able to go about their lives with ease as though nothing is going on, even callously ignoring the thousands of their fellow Americans who are dying every day. It’s unforgivable. They continue to have their extended family holiday gatherings, placing the rest of us at risk and creating the most dangerous and alarming conditions our hospitals have ever seen. These people may not be directly affected by covid19 (yet), but if they or their loved ones are hit by a drunk driver, they may not have an ICU bed depending on their location. How can anyone not think about these things? Sometimes I wish I couldn’t. It’s all I think about, punctuated by unsuccessful attempts to escape momentarily.

    We have a “President” (nominal, as you said) who lives in an alternate reality called the Twitterverse, and who has been on the golf course (last time I checked) at least 6-8 times since November 3rd. He can do no wrong in his MAGA cult member’s minds. They’re seemingly a lost cause. And as you said, 74 million of them voted for him. I wonder if anyone else realizes what an insidious, damaging cult the MAGA movement actually is. And it isn’t magically going to disappear on 1.20.21.

    In other news, an American ICU/covid19 physician was on his 300th day in a row yesterday without a day off to rest.

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    • Thank you, Dana, for the amazingly precise depiction of “identity politics”, a cultish expression of American life. I seriously recommend Dr. Jerrold M. Post’s psychiatric analysis, “Dangerous Charisma”. Dr Post, the developer of the CIA department which analyzes political leaders, examines not only Trump, but also the followers you describe so well. Your description is befitting of the excellence in his work, and you no doubt would have made an excellent analyst in his department.

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      • Dana permalink

        Marco, thanks. I can’t wait to read the book and it’s been on my wish list for some time. Dr. Post was a fascinatingly brilliant individual and I’ve enjoyed knowing more about him recently.

        Like

  4. Mike Stamm permalink

    Now Drumpf is attempting to monkeywrench the second Covid-19 relief bill because “it doesn’t contain enough for stimulus payments.” Please–he’s doing it to pave the way for a re-election run in 2024, trying to look like the White Knight riding to struggling people’s financial rescue and buy his way back into the White House with our money. Not so much as a random scintilla of remorse for his utter indifference and incompetence not only as concerns the Covid crisis but from day1 on the job as “president”–which is how it should always be written from now on–in January 2016. A nasty, ugly Tomorrowland–which has nothing to do with the glorious future dreamed of by Disney and so many others a half-century ago and more–awaits us, and we will have one hell of a job to avoid it and even begin to bring the ship of state back from foundering and onto an even keel. (I know, an entire kitchen-of-the-future’s worth of mixed, hell, Cuisinarted metaphors.) The future can still be still be ours, still be worth living–IF enough of us decide it’s worth the effort. We do indeed live–in the “Chinese curse” sense–in interesting times.

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    • Thank you, Mike, for capturing the essence of the post and developing it in a way that may yet kindle some hope and initiative in those remaining among us who still live by integrity. We will not pass through this era without more bumps and bruises, but keeping your motivational theme in mind we just might make it.

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    • Dana permalink

      Mike, you’ve probably seen that David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are also masquerading as concerned politicians by advocating for $2,000 stimulus checks as well. They clearly don’t care but are saying whatever they can before the runoff on 1.5. It’s grotesque.

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      • Dana, Purdue is now in quarantine due to exposure to Covid. Many Republicans refuse to wear masks and social distance. How many people will then see them as wise leaders?

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  5. The trouble here is, I don’t count on there being any more sanity in our coming tomorrows than there has been in the past four years. Until the electoral college vote is counted and officially recorded, I live in fear that some crazy will pull a “grassy knoll”. 1-20-21 is a numeric palindrome, so I’m childishly hoping it will hold enough magick to give us a new and better start to whatever the future might bring. The sooner this insanity is over, the better.

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  6. Thank you, Rose. CNN reported this morning that certain members of the Secret Service have been replaced by the former Biden guard detail. Perhaps someone knows his Roman history, and the assassination of Caligula (among others) by his Praetorian Guard. Regardless, we are in for a very risky time.

    Like

  7. jkent33 permalink

    As I carefully read your post a critical differences have always been present since 4 years ago. The candidate the one’s complaining about today was in many ways unfit for the office in the first place. He was only allowed to be a president not by the majority of of us but by an outdated flawed clause in our constitution. This combined with the facts he was totally unequipped to be a leader of our great country. A fact known by many of us who voted him out of office a mere few weeks ago. He took the position to run a country that was by most standards already successful. From the first day he blatently uttered a lie that only grew greater each day. With his lack of skillsets to be a leader he subsequently set out to destroy our democracy. With the persistent efforts of a majority of us we voted to send him home. In the chaos that followed since day one he appointed a cabinet of corrupt and dishonest members of society pent on the growth of their personal wealth leaving many to perish and fail. By allowing this cancerous cabal of evil doers to gain control we watched as our democracy be attacked and destroyed. This gave way to the growth of marginal leaders holding high positions to ignore what we once held sacred to now accept ignorance and inferior behavior as the norm all under the name of Republican politics. All the while condemning the opposite party of progressive liberal members of Congress. Now after 25K lies, alternative facts and being told the truth is not the truth we are forced to again fight for honest and fair governance. Our only hope now is to use the truth by exposing these few by acknowledging these renegrades pent on destroying what the majority of us deserve. We can’t go on without showing force and conviction by supplanting these renegrades. The gloves need to be taken off…

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  8. Thank you, Jerry. I have long seen parallels to the rise of Hitler, a man who did not walk out of a Munich beer hall and take over Germany all by himself. The constant drumbeat of the Republicans claiming there is a deep state is a projection of their own cabal onto others, and a distraction from their own reality which has worked and is still working.

    This cabal will not go away simply because the frontman, Trump, has been voted out of office. They have been hiding and building since Roosevelt, intent on developing the United States into a Fascist regime. It’s not that they will be back; it’s that they are always here and their numbers among the uneducated are growing.

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