"We wait for the new year to appear to us like the hopeful sun bringing aspiring light to an eager world." M. Khan
Where to begin? So much has happened since my last post.
A controversial election. A capitol insurrection. Big tech injection.
First things first, I guess.
Why all the fuss about the election? Three words, one hyphen. Mail-In Ballots.
Some Democratic Governors used the Covid-19 virus to sidestep traditional in-person voting requirements. Depending on your politics, this was either a genius strategy or an easy way for potential election fraud to occur.
Further adding to the controversy, each State, hell some individual counties, changed their election rules, including mail-in ballot deadlines.
Some of us will remember the good-ole days when you voted on election day with a winner named that same night. But I digress.
Here's where I struggle with this situation.
I happened to be visiting family in New Jersey when their ballots arrived in the mail. Mind you, we made trips to the grocery store, ate at restaurants, even stopped at a local hardware store.
And we weren't alone. Several Garden State residents missed the Gubner Murphy Memo that it was too "risky" to social distance, single file, with a mask, in a building.
So people can stand in-line at the grocery store, Walmart, and even Home Depot, but not to vote?
Let's talk about candidates. One candidate campaigned from his basement for 6-months before the election and chose a running mate who managed only 2% of the democratic votes in her failed attempt at the nomination. Yet, this 47-year politician who has attempted to be president multiple times since 1986 received more votes than any presidential candidate, ever?
The other candidate received more votes than any sitting president in history, including the most African-American and Latino ballots ever received by a Republican. The party also picked up ten seats in the House. Perhaps, it isn't unreasonable that an estimated 60 million people question the election results.
Most courts, including the Supreme Court, chose to dismiss or not get involved with this situation. I can't say I blame them. People should decide elections and not the courts. Besides, the real change needs to occur in each State's legislature to ensure this does not happen in the future.
Still, many people wanted their voices heard, which is why hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington, DC, to protest on January 6th. Sadly, the peaceful protest turned into a riot when some so-called "Trump supporters" decided to break into the Capitol.
"A riot is the language of the unheard," said Dr. Martin L. King.
We heard this phrase often during the violent Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots over the summer that saw 40 people die and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Is anyone listening?
Now our unbiased media, among others, are calling the events of January 6th an "insurrection." Great play on words.
I'm not sure unarmed people taking selfies at Nancy's desk was an attempt to overthrow the government. Especially if you didn't call the United States Courthouse destruction in Portland, Oregon, by Antifa in July an "insurrection."
Let me make this clear; violence is never the answer. The people who broke into the Capitol were wrong, should be punished, and did tremendous harm to the people who just wanted their elected Congress to hear their voices.
And now Big Tech has gotten involved. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Apple, among others, have decided to flex their monopoly muscle as the keepers of the first amendment. Twitter alone has shut down more than 70,000 accounts, most notably Donald Trumps, as I write this blog.
Amazon (50%), Microsoft (16%), and Google (4%), who collectively control seventy percent of internet access, have removed and blocked "Parlor," which was an alternative social media forum for free speech.
Control the messenger, and you control the message.
For those applauding this fact, I implore you to keep in mind if they can do it to one, they can do it to all. So if you are celebrating the alligator hasn't eaten you yet, remember it's still going to eat you eventually.
My hope is Congress will repeal Big Tech's protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law broadly allows internet companies to avoid liability for content posted by users on their platform. Perhaps this will help put an end to social media's selective censors and algorithms.
Despite all the controversy and divisiveness, I still believe we live in the greatest country in the world. Our nation continues to be a work in progress, flawed, and fallible. But, we are, for the most part, free.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, we should recognize the election is over. The Democratic Party holds the majority in all three chambers, and I hope they will do some good for us.
In the meantime, I will keep in mind the words of my father.
"The wheel turns, son. Sometimes you're on top, and sometimes you are on the bottom. But, the wheel turns."