The ‘End Times’ for America and American Decency

Trump's head superimposed on a background painting entitled, "Death on the Pale Horse" by Benjamin West
Background image: “Death on the Pale Horse”, Benjamin West

I’ll likely never type these words again in my lifetime. At this time, however, I have no other choice. Michele Bachmann was right. She may be crazy and a racist, but she was right. Though her frequent comments about the ‘End Times’ were often made in criticism of President Obama’s policies, we are indeed on a path to our final reckoning.

There are many interpretations of the End Times concept in most major religions. One interpretation from the Gospel of Luke describes it as a complete unraveling of the social fabric that is accompanied by calamity and war. In my opinion, there couldn’t be a more apt description of what we’ve seen in America since the onset of ‘trumpism’.

One need only look to 2020 for the relevant signs; a year that includes 200K dead from the Coronavirus, millions suffering job loss & dire financial difficulties, unprecedented wildfires & hurricanes fueled by climate change, and racial unrest across the country fueled by the continuing murders of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement. And it’s only September.

The added insult to this injurious year has been the loss of many good and decent people. John Lewis, Larry Kramer, John Thompson, Chadwick Boseman, Katherine Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and Jim Lehrer just to name a few. The hard hits continued on Friday with the gut-wrenching death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

EVERY death is hard for someone. But the news of Justice Ginsberg’s death added a whole new level of despair to 2020.

Since 2016, we’ve witnessed our government slide perilously close to becoming an authoritarian state, virtually unchecked. The machinations of our government are being used for personal enrichment by the President, his family, and his friends in some of the most brazen ways imaginable. Even worse, racial strife and class divisions have been actively exploited by the White House to help sustain their illegitimate power.

Justice Ginsberg was part of our country’s last of line of defense against these ongoing abuses by the Oval Office: and now she’s gone.

All that is decent and good in America is slowly being destroyed, or dying. All that is evil seems to be proudly flourishing in our nation’s capitol. This is why I feel like we’re on the road to our End Times.

To help relieve my personal despair, I mentioned the potential impact of her death to a friend. His response caught me off-guard. “So are you bummed that you’re going to be in the 6-3 minority now?”

I don’t think that he was gloating in any way, though I definitely clocked it as a ‘smartass’ remark. But given how awful this year has been while we witness the real-time unraveling of our social fabric and social contracts, it didn’t sit well with me.

Then again, here’s a small sampling of what we’ve endured since 2016 in our slide to the End Times:

  • The equating Mexican immigrants to rapists and murderers,
  • Multiple payments of hush money to prostitutes,
  • Secret meetings with a foreign agents for election assistance,
  • Attempts to kill healthcare for millions,
  • Promotion of white supremacists to the highest levels,
  • Continual denigration and insults of women & People Of Color by the Oval Office,
  • Leveraging election help from foreign governments by withholding aid,
  • Purposeful destruction of government agencies,
  • Undermined credibility of the United States to our allies,
  • Denial of science as climate change ravages our country,
  • Denial of science as the coronavirus kills the citizenry,
  • Accepting support of white supremacist while labeling Black Lives Matter a symbol of hate,
  • The undermining of public faith in our election process,
  • Threats to disregard the peaceful transition of power,
  • Etc, etc, etc…

However, our End Times will not happen because of these actions. It will happen because people who consider themselves to be ‘average Americans’, what most would consider to be decent people, will begin to accept and celebrate the unacceptable.

They will hear the President say, “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything”, then make t-shirts proclaiming he can grab their genitalia. They will hear definitive evidence that the President broke the law by withholding aid to an ally for political favors and then say, “I don’t care if he did” as he begins to do the same to governors from the opposition party.

They will watch a policeman murder a Black man by kneeling on his neck for almost 10 minutes, then take pictures of themselves with their friends as they smile and recreate the scene for social media posts. They will see clear video of a young man using a weapon of war to shoot someone in the head at point-blank range, then set up a GoFundMe page and laud him as a hero.

And let’s not forget the migrant children in cages. But that’s okay. They and their parents deserve it because their parents dared to come here improperly.

This will be where the idea of American decency dies. This will be the beginning of our descent into the End Times. And like it or not, this is exactly where we are – at this moment – in 2020.

So it doesn’t surprise me that on the precipice of what feels like imminent civil war, some dismiss our despair at the loss of Justice Ginsberg as simply being ‘bummed’ because of a 6-3 minority.

I’ll post an update when I see the first story about ‘theme parties’ celebrating her death.

One Comment

  1. Robb

    RBG hit me very hard and I feel a lot of despair right now. I’m not sure the country can structurally fix itself and at this point I’m hoping we’re more like Czechoslovakia than Yugoslavia.

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