“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ―Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Why are we here? What is our purpose? What propels us to wake up in the morning with optimism and hope? How can we unite the country?
These are not easy questions to answer, but they are essential ones to ponder because they help us understand why our nation and the rest of the world are witnessing the disintegration of democracy in real time.
Sidney Powell — remember her? — spoke this past weekend at a QAnon conference. She showed up in a biker vest adorned with MAGA patches and told the audience that Trump could be reinstated this year. According to Business Insider, “The three-day conference, called “For God & Country: Patriot Roundup,” featured other prominent Trumpworld figures including Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor; Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas; and Allen West, the chairman of the Texas Republican Party.”
Why is this important? As we shake our heads and wonder why Powell is back in the news, we should be thinking and talking about the fact that QAnon is building a global movement and building an army of supporters. Facts don’t matter; of course, they don’t, but what groups like QAnon and Trumpworld do provide is purpose.
What’s most distressing, however, is that adherents of this cult go far beyond the shores of the USA. QAnon now boasts that it has penetrated Africa, Asia, and many other areas around the world. Followers believe that there is a higher power telling them what to do. In their world, they are fighting back against the tyranny of liberalism and a global pedophile ring.
While the left is dismayed at how anyone could be so ignorant as to fall into such a crazy group of people, we ignore the more critical and dangerous idea that humans seek purpose and will find it and hang on to it for dear life no matter what.
If we want to be honest with ourselves, we cannot overlook that we have done a poor job building a movement that provides the same sense of purpose and belonging. QAnon, FOX, OAN all put out the same message: Join us and be part of a group that wants to restore Judeo-Christian values. It’s easy to join, everyone is accepted, and no one questions your intentions. If tomorrow I were to decide to join their warped world, they would welcome me with open arms.
Would we do the same for someone who decides to leave the cult of Trump? I am not so sure. Should we? Absolutely. If we don’t, we stand to lose, bigly.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this. The future looks bleak with regards to good governance. All you have to do is read international news regularly to see what is happening in many other countries worldwide. El Salvador, Peru, Honduras, Belarus, Russia, China, the list goes on. These are all examples of countries where civil society hangs in the balance. Do not think for a moment that this can’t happen to us. It’s already happening. The question is: is it too late?
We cannot keep covering our eyes and hoping for the best. We can’t expect that just because Biden is president, everything is going to be okay. We don’t have the time or luxury to sit back and pretend that Trump and his ilk are gone. They are simply reloading their guns and getting ready to fire more rounds at the American people.
So, what do we do? First of all, start thinking about 2022 and 2024 now. We can’t wait to mobilize voters three months before the election. Find a candidate to support and think about how to help voters who are being affected by draconian voter suppression laws. Pay attention to what is happening on the right. We can no longer do otherwise.
Time is slipping away, but if we can all join forces to protect democracy and look past our differences, we can save this country.
Just do something.