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We need to talk. It won’t be pleasant.

Photo by tom coe on Unsplash

Step fully into reality for a moment. Only a moment, because longer proves too overwhelming. We have open, unapologetic Nazi rhetoric from Laura Ingraham on Fox News; Rand Paul unabashedly ferried messages between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin; “missing votes” discovered in the Ohio special election; a Republican congressman indicted on insider trading charges; and children remain in cages after being separated from their parents without due process despite reunification court orders.

And that’s just a tiny fraction of what’s happening. All of it real. That’s the important point. This is real. This happening.

And it’s insane.

We are so far beyond the not normal, we frequently joke about it being some kind of poorly-plotted and tortured TV show. I did that myself with “All My Traitors” recaps, but I’ll tell you this, the funny dropped out a long, long time ago.

We cannot afford to smooth the edges of what’s happening, tempting as it may be. We cannot afford to minimize, to pretend. Our nation is in a kind of trouble it hasn’t experienced in its entire history. We are subject to the whims of a hostile foreign power who appears to call the shots on everything, including the reintroduction of asbestos into American manufacturing, with one Russian brand even bearing Trump’s face.

And here is the point, the takeaway no one can erase and history will only magnify. Republicans could stop any of this at any time. They could end it. They could restore normalcy.

Yet the GOP firmly invests in perpetuating all of it. Devin Nunes was recorded talking about a Republican duty to protect Trump. It’s patently against the House ethics rules to use an official position for political gain, and yet Nunes freely discussed retaining House seats for that sole purpose.

We’re unmoored from the rule of law, and it’s fast becoming the memory of a speck on the horizon.

While people focus on elections — and we should — the failure to address what happened in 2016 means probable manipulated outcomes. The point of those questionable results? The end of the Mueller probe, the end of any accountability, the true and inevitable end of this country as an independent nation. Sham elections, exactly like Russia. Only a matter of time until Putin declares himself American prime minister or something equally as ridiculous.

Think that’s hyperbole?

Put yourself squarely into reality, and think about it again.

I don’t have the answers, these are issues too broad, too deep, too institutionally unexpected for one person. It will take many, many minds to see our way out of this quicksand. But there is one singular starting point.

We must face reality fully, blurring none of it. Pretty lies will bury us all.

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