American Fail: Why l feel shell-shocked and fearful for my country


American Fail

All great nations rot and weaken and eventually crumble—typically from the inside out, but America’s slide seems like mud slipping into a sinkhole. I’m no historian, but has any nation soared as high and crashed as hard as our 244-year-old American republic?

For the first time in my life, I fear for my country. What happened?

Things really went south in 2016. We elected a polarizing president whose worst fault and best strength was that he was an outsider. Initially, the media and opposing party laughed at him. I laughed at him. Then in the space of a few hours on election night, the laughter ceased and the shock set in as tears flowed on one side.

The clown became Hitler

We’ve seen gridlock and nasty politics, but does anything compare to the vitriol of four years of Russian Collusion, Ukraine impeachment, and finally, COVID weaponization? Are there any limits to the lengths one side has gone to rid the country of the clown king? It’s an American Fail.

And now half of us are still troubled by a troubling election. Somehow, some way, a guy who barely became his party’s nominee secured 12 million more votes than his party’s last superstar. Really? As far I can tell, Joe Biden’s best quality throughout his many years in politics is his gift of gab. If his gift is no longer golden, what’s left to offer voters other than his not being Trump?

This guy raked in a record 81,000,000 votes?

Of course, one could argue that Biden’s votes were simply votes against the other guy. It’s not that he’s a dynamic leader; it’s that he’s not Trump. I tell myself that repeatedly when trying to process the Biden’s purported election victory, but it just doesn’t square for me.

Of course, the triumvirate of one party, their media, and big tech censor nannies assures us that all is well in election land. The 2020 version has been certified 100% clean and pure. Nothing to see here, plebeians—move along. Meanwhile I and half the electorate—some 74 million schlubs— are left scratching our heads suspiciously while becoming more and more cynical about the news we see and hear and, sadly, the country we love. American Fail.

It feels like the six years I spent serving in our military was for nothing. It seems like ages ago that right was right and wrong was wrong—for both political parties and a culture that knew the difference. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill , Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich—what happened to bipartisan leadership? It was DOA by 2018, maybe before.

Perhaps the death of compromise and the ramping up of rancor began when our media chose to chuck their ethics and tar and feather a president.

By hook or crook

My trust in media is dead. They killed it. Their self-inflicted coup de grâce fell swiftly with a fatal triad of Trump-hysteria, the pandemic, and an iffy election. I know of what I speak. I’m a journalism graduate—got a master’s degree in it.

Everything I learned in J-school no longer applies in the real world of journalism. News IS fake. For many reasons, I’m glad I became an advertising copywriter rather than a partisan faker. There’s more truth and honor in selling someone what they want rather than what YOU think they need.

The ubiquitous “What you need to know” spills their beans. The Washington Post tagline, Democracy Dies in Darkness, makes them look silly and sick with irony.

They think we’re fools. Telling us what they think we need to know is baby-steps propaganda. Telling us what we need to know about the election has become a media mantra. “No evidence of widespread voter fraud” is wordplay and full-on gaslighting. It’s also a straw man argument no one’s making.

They use “widespread” like we copywriters use “virtually” when pushing a product claim AND covering our clients’ butts. The Geronimo’s gerbil-driven drivetrain is virtually maintenance-free.

Here’s the catch: No evidence of widespread voter fraud doesn’t mean there’s no evidence of voter fraud. Widespread? No. Strategic swing-state fraud? Likely.

Voter fraud has happened in every single American election. Don’t buy it? Take a gander at this state-by-state list of convictions from The Heritage Foundation. Before you do, here’s a one-word and massive difference between the 2020 election and all the others—pandemic. The moment blue-state governors and their party began talking COVID and the election is the moment I began to fear for its integrity and our American Fail.

Crisis management

What did Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once say?

You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.

Like an opportunity to bypass state legislatures to unconstitutionally change election rules in swing states in order ensure a victory you’ve convinced yourself will save our democracy? A serious crisis that comes along once a century? A serious crisis blue-state governors took full advantage of to do what they think best in the name of flattening curves and public safety?

Let me be clear. It’s not that I know that one party committed strategic voter fraud in swing states and stole an election. It’s that I don’t know that the election was clean and fair. I have my doubts. I suspect cheating from a party that wants abortion up to and after birth, no form of voter ID, to add illegal immigrants to voter rolls willy-nilly—their voter rolls, and free this, free that, pander, pander, pander. American Fail.

How can we be sure when we’re told to accept record turnout, record votes for Joe Biden, a record low ballot rejection rate for a record number of ballots, nutty statistical anomalies that strangely lined up nicely for one candidate, and a clear and dangerous political weaponization of a pandemic?

I still have hope

Ask yourself this question as you watch tonight’s two historic and pivotal senate run-off election race results—if you even care anymore. For a while, I didn’t, but isn’t America worth any and all our efforts to help ensure we’ll care about future elections and preserving our greatest freedom—our vote?

I think so. It’s why I still hope. 2024 will be here before we know it and chances are there will be no virus, no pandemic, and no opportunity to prevent us from going to the polls. If both parties are serious about election integrity, let’s urge our leaders to take steps to ensure it.

We desperately need voter ID requirements, rules and procedures debated and passed in state legislatures, more stringency regarding mail-in and absentee ballots, and as much in-person voting as is possible. I’m all for states’ rights, but the winner of a presidential election becomes president of our United States. It’s a federal—not a state—office.

We owe it to ourselves and to future Americans to reestablish trust in our elections. If we cannot push our leaders to value principle and patriotism over power, we may as well give up our republic. Ben Franklin wondered if we could keep it. It was a fair question then and is even more so now.

We’re at a crossroads. Fail or fight—it’s our country and our choice.

COVID-19: Epically bad bug or doomsday apocalypse?

COVID-19. A septuagenarian friend spelled it “COVIG19” in a mass email message. Makes me think of “go fig,” as in “go figure.” That’s the phrase for the thing because none of us know exactly what we’re facing and what to expect in the days ahead.

One thing’s for sure about the coronavirus—it’s not nothing, and it’s not the end of the world.

It’s interesting how personal things get when a novel virus is doing its worst in one’s own country. At the time and to most Americans, SARS, Zika, and Ebola all seemed small fry because they afflicted other people in other countries far, far away.

I remember watching Women’s World Cup soccer in 2015, and hearing fans mock the American goalie, Hope Solo, for voicing her fear of the virus. Each time she touched the ball, the crowds in Brazil went, “AHHHHH … ZIKKAAAA.”

It was kinda funny. COVID-19 isn’t funny at all.

Pardon the pun, but the coronavirus is nothing to sneeze at. I jest because I must. I daresay we could all use a touch of humor right about now. It’s a welcome diversion when dealing with a shared darkness.

The darkness

Make no mistake—these are dark days.

Consider this litany of fear-inducing conditions: A worse-than-Great-Depression economic shutdown, swelling unemployment, nationwide distancing and quarantines, doomsday pandemic models and predictions, sensationalized media coverage, the largest economic relief package in human history—it’s a zombie apocalypse without the zombies.

The experts are all over the place on this thing. Some say we’re in for a gazillion infected and millions dead. Others put both numbers much lower. Let’s face it—we don’t know what will happen.

An online product marketer and data smart guy watched his Medium article, “COVID-19–Evidence Over Hysteria,” go from tens of thousands of likes and comments to REMOVED for violating Medium standards … of something.

What? Who put the kibosh on his analysis? Was it the WHO? Not the rock band—the World Health Organization, which is affiliated with the United Nations. Conspiracy theory? Maybe. But watching the WHO’s director-general sing the praises of China’s coronavirus response makes one wonder.

Somehow, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus continues to praise the communist China regime as they claim that the virus they unleashed upon the world is contained in their country and has killed only 3,304 of their 1.4 billion people.

Scary numbers

Worse, many in our media are propagating China’s COVID-19 numbers. No healthy skepticism from the press, just bovine trust. Of course, there’s no earthly way to verify China’s numbers, but the math simply doesn’t add up.

Let’s crunch some numbers. Why not? We’re in self-isolation and there’s only so much TV and Internet we can ingest in a day. Here we go:

As I write this, of 331 million Americans, 142,000 have tested positive for the coronarvirus and 2,484 have died. Conversely, of China’s 1.4 billion people, the regime claims 81,000 have been infected, and 3,304 have died.

China has four times our population and had a month or so head start on a deadly virus that originated in their country, yet somehow has 61,000 fewer cases and only 820 more deaths.

This means that per capita, China boasts an astounding (and absurdly unbelievable) .0017 percent infection rate and 4 percent death rate.

Dense population

Keep in mind; we’re talking about a nation that has more than four times our population with the vast majority of its citizens living in dense population centers. China’s population density is 384 people per square mile while the U.S. is 91 people square per mile.

And because of China’s infamous one-child per family policy, their population is older than that of most other countries. More older people means more are at-risk for COVID-19.

What’s more, China’s male/female ratio is tilted strongly male because the regime prefers men over women. So does COVID-19, seemingly. The data shows that male COVID-19 patients fare much worse than female patients.

All of this means that China is likely experiencing much higher infection and death rates than they’re admitting. Some leaks indicate the death toll is in the tens of thousands.

Why would the regime lie? For the same reason the Soviets lied about the Chernobyl disaster—their COVID-19 nightmare threatens their influence in the world, which threatens their hold on power.

Woke West

Why point out the deception of China’s communist regime? Because our media is reporting their lies as facts. We know why China’s lying; the bigger question is this: Why is the American media enabling them?

I’m trying very hard to give our media the benefit of the doubt. Do they truly believe China’s regime or are they afraid to voice skepticism for fear of being accused of xenophobia or harboring anti-communist insensitivity?

As a writer, I earned my journalism degree by learning to verify everything. If you can’t verify it, don’t write it. Or qualify it as an “unverified report.” Isn’t skepticism of the claims of a deceptive communist regime justified?

After all, distrust of government is a central pillar of the “Fourth Estate” in America. Why does communist China get a pass?

The answer is two-fold. American media members hyperventilate when faced with any conclusion that can be linked to supposed racism and/or xenophobia.

Wuhan wordplay

Take the “Wuhan Virus” brouhaha. Throughout history, epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have routinely named viruses based on their points of origin. No one disputes that the coronavirus originated with an outbreak in the Wuhan Province of China.

Yet in today’s woke West, referring to COVID-19 as the Wuhan Virus is verboten. Somehow, doing so connotes a message of inferiority or fear (racism or xenophobia) of an ethnicity or people group. This is nonsense.

So is referring to it as the “Chinese Flu.” COVID-19 does not have an ethnicity, and its point of origin, Wuhan, is a place, not a race.

The other part of the answer is much more cynical. I wrestled with it for days because I’m an optimist at heart and because I hold out hope that our shared Americanism will prevail over politics and partisanship. Here it is:

Leaders of a political party and many media members care more about hurting the president and his administration than they care about adhering to basic journalistic principles and ethics—and reducing fear and anxiety.

Bias & propaganda

They want to believe China and pretend to do so because China’s victory over COVID-19 makes the Trump’s administration’s “failure” in dealing with the pandemic look worse to American voters.

This is why some media members have accused Dr. Deborah Birx of kowtowing to Trump. They imply that because Birx chided them about sensationalizing DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) conversations in hospitals, she must be getting bullied by the president and is lying for him.

Dr. Birx is an accomplished medical professional and former Army doctor, She helped lead the effort to develop game-changing HIV treatments. Yet for daring to tamp down media-driven DNR hype, she’s a coward and liar.

It’s shameful. So is the COVID-19-Trump-failure narrative.

Now more than ever, wouldn’t it be refreshing and helpful to see fair and responsible reporting and bipartisan words and action against a common deadly enemy?

Instead, we see CBS News use video from a crowded hospital room full of COVID-19 patients in Italy in a segment titled, “AMERICA’S EPICENTER NEW YORK NOW ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN HALF OF NEW U.S. CASES.” Sloppy journalism or willful manipulation? You tell me.

Faith in the future

The good news is that the free world is rallying to conquer COVID-19. Nations are working together in ways not seen since World War II. Medical professionals are pushing hard to develop effective treatments and a vaccine. Families are growing closer. Sacrifices are being made.

We’re toughening up and developing character. Many are seeking strength and succor in God.

We’re in this fight together. We are the World is now much more than a song.

We desperately need solidarity in the midst of our fear of the future. I’m tempted to explore the validity of the pandemic models, but what’s the point? We will flatten the curve or it will flatten itself over time. Every viral epidemic and pandemic in history has petered out at some point.

In all likelihood, our COVID-19 pandemic will not be a doomsday apocalypse. And it likely won’t be a mere blip of economic privation and civil sacrifice either. I think it will land somewhere in between and closer to a lesser side of the continuum.

Reasons for hope

U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres / Public domain

As Americans, we’ve always met challenges with resourcefulness, humor, optimism and hard work. I think we’ll rediscover our national identity as we learn the true value of close and cohesive families and communities and cooperation.

And I think we’ll come up with COVID-19 treatments and a vaccination in record time. Come Christmas, I think we’ll be looking back at these dark days with humility, sadness, gratitude and hope.

It’s my prayer that we’ll realize we were made for a better, brighter world.

As many prepare to celebrate Easter in self-isolation for the first time in our nation’s history, let’s reflect on the ultimate sacrifice Jesus—the Great Physician and Almighty God—made for us.

The coronavirus may look like a crown, but it’s not king.