So let’s get real. Which side is going to fire the first bullet? Which side is going to be on the receiving end?

Photo by Chris McKay / 2016

That is where the extreme right is leading. It becomes more and more clear every day. For many of them, that’s actually what they want. Some of them are even beginning to admit it. They’ve been stockpiling arms. They’ve been lying in wait for a “leader”. And now, right on schedule, here he is.

These people want to get rid of anyone not exactly like them. They want to get rid of anyone that doesn’t subscribe to their delusional pamphlets. First Mexicans were targeted — on the first day. Then Muslims. Then African-Americans. Then Women. Then Democrats. Then veterans! Even Gold Star Families!

Who would’ve believed that possible just a few months ago?

Now, they’re even targeting Republicans.

Please think about that last sentence.

They’re targeting Republicans because they have “something else” entirely in mind.

How long before you’re on their list?

Do you really not see where this leads?

There is historical precedent in all of this. The world has seen the rise of demagogues throughout its history. The ground is scarred with the craters of those battles that have occurred when these demagogues have been given power by those that have been conned into believing the lies. They know how to manipulate with charisma. They know how to exploit prejudices and fears. They use code words that become less and less coded.

This is where we are now.

I had truly believed that access to information and truth would make us smarter than all of those earlier, less connected times.

Instead, too many people now actively choose willful ignorance.

People choose to only hear one thing while filtering out clear and obvious reality. Hell, they don’t even have to listen to the pundits or the mainstream media or the left wing media or right wing media or the apologists or spin doctors paid to clean up political messes.

All you have to do is listen to them for speak. Hear what they say. What they’re defending. What they stand for. Who they are. What they’re against. I mean, what they’re actually against. In real time. All one has to do is listen.

Are they talking about destruction or construction?

Are they talking about division or working together?

Day after day, I’m barraged with people sharing what they know are lies. They don’t back down even when confronted with clear evidence that shows that what they’re sharing is a lie. How has this become acceptable? Even more importantly, how has this become the norm?

I’ve actually had people say to me, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a lie if it makes the bigger point”.

Does it really not matter?

Well, it certainly should matter.

That’s all that should matter.

C’mon, step up. Now is the time. Call out lies.

Back it up with evidence. Do not let this slide!

There is plenty of places to disagree that are based on reality. There is an actual, important discussion that can’t be had because all of the oxygen is spent on pathological fires!

This is not just another election. This is our future. This is not only the future of America, but the future of the world.

Yes, I get it. One side seems “the same”. Of course, “the same” has been a steady improvement since early 2009 by pretty much every indicator, but let’s ignore that obvious truth for now.

So what? You’re tired of the same. But seriously, when you get tired of the color of the walls in your house, shouldn’t you just repaint them instead of blowing up the whole neighborhood? I mean, either way, it won’t be the same, but one way is a hell of a lot less deadly.

Or…how ‘bout this?

We can all agree that eating at a fast food place and shooting yourself in the face are both bad for one’s health, right?

Okay.

Hillary Clinton is the equivalent of eating fried chicken nuggets, fries, and a large soda.

Both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein could also be graded on the fast food scale.

But then there’s Trump.

Trump is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the face and having the bullet ricocheting and taking those you love out with you.

Just know that you will be held responsible for your decisions.

What you’ve posted or said or shared is out there. It will never really completely go away.

If you are on the wrong side of history, people will know.

If you are complicit in the destruction of so much progress because you chose to believe and disseminate lies and be manipulated by this -ism or that -ism, it will be attached to you forever.

People in your community will know. Your children will remember. Your families. Your friends. You will remember.

If you have a conscience left, you will feel it. And it won’t let you go. It’s called conviction of the heart.

The hands of the clock will not go in reverse. You must see yourself moving toward tomorrow and not toward yesterday.

We can’t go back. We won’t go back. It doesn’t even make sense to try.

Who is trying to take us back and who is trying to move us forward?

Do you stand for or against the future?