[Below was my final post on Facebook prior to deleting my account on January 14, 2021.]
Yesterday, the President was impeached for a second time. It's unlikely he'll be convicted, as McConnell has stated the timeline is too short. But we shall see.
Less than a week from now, Joe Biden will swear in as the next President of the United States. For some of you, this is a dreadful outcome. For others, including myself, this is an incredible relief.
These last 4.5 years have been an exhausting journey. I joined Facebook in 2005 but didn't really start participating until October 2016 after Trump's Access Hollywood tape got released. I watched as many of my Christian friends and family—mainly Evangelicals—threw their support behind Trump. In that October 2016 post, I implored many of you to withhold your support from a man so bereft of integrity, virtue or character.
After that, I shared my journey from growing up in a conservative Christian home holding conservative political views, to dabbling in libertarianism for a while, then finally landing firmly in my current liberal/progressive/leftist (insert favorite descriptor) views. I've shared my defense of some of those views, especially regarding universal healthcare. I've been a...passionate voice of dissent against almost every single policy Trump has pushed for. In addition to that, I believe he has acted completely in his own self interest. It is a quality so unfitting of any leader, but it's a quality that so strongly defines Trump.
Anyone who knows me or has engaged in discussion with me knows I like facts. I'm not one to share clips of pundits or op-eds. I share court opinions, reports from government agencies, economic metrics and the like. I'd rather look at spreadsheet than watch a talking head. Additionally, most of you know I'm a skeptic. I question everything. I push back.
And it's annoying. I know. For that, I'm sorry. From early on since my FB return, Laura has told me, "You're doing facebook wrong." I was stubborn and pushed back against that notion as well. "I'm not doing facebook wrong, I'm fighting disinformation! People are spreading falsehoods and I can't let that stand!" Arrogant? Yeah. Not a great quality of mine. I've always tried to be respectful when engaging with others. I've never tolerated people being uncivil to anyone in my own comments. But even then, I've interjected in people's posts or have come across as abrasive too many times. Again, I sincerely apologize to anyone I've done this to.
Perhaps I'm not completely wrong for thinking that way, but does it matter? Sure, maybe I've changed a mind here or there and some people have learned from my posts, but in the end what has the result been? I've certainly spent more time and energy in my responses than can ever justify any meaningful fruit. I've always told myself that if I even persuade one person to genuinely question their own stance, then my posts are worth it. But that's a lie. It takes a toll. It's time taken away from family and friends. From other responsibilities. Other moments of leisure. Countless things that could be more enjoyable or beneficial than...this.
And man, what a toll it has taken in other ways.
I've seen church members and friends dismiss or whatabout things like bragging about sexual assault, explicitly separating children from their families, racist comments, misogynistic behavior, police brutality, etc.
I've seen high school acquaintances make straight-up racist comments and defend a "heritage" that fought to own black people as property.
I've seen people—viewed as some of the wisest in our community—spread completely false and easily debunked propaganda.
I've seen people argue that the first Black president was responsible for racial tensions in our country while arguing Trump has done more for communities of color than any other president. These same people will deny white supremacy still runs deep and wide in our country, that systemic racism and white privilege are myths. All the while completely misunderstanding what those terms even mean.
I've seen people misunderstand basic concepts such as first amendment rights (no, a private company can't violate 1A speech) and socialism (no, a government program you simply dislike is not it).
I've seen people claim that the Rona is no worse than flu, despite there being over 10x more deaths than the average flu season with much more expansive mitigation efforts.
I've seen people become so obsessed with an abhorrent leader to the point of making him their Golden-Orange Calf. No, he was not the best president we've had. These last couple of months have cemented his position as the worst president in history. No, he did not have the best economy ever. He is leaving office with 3 MILLION fewer jobs than when he entered. With a GDP growth that doesn't even match his predecessor. With annualized S&P 500 returns that barely best his predecessor. He is leaving office with over FOUR THOUSAND people dying a day from a pandemic he lied about, downplayed, and mismanaged because all he cared about was how it'd affect his political career.
And more recently, so many of you still think the election was stolen. That there was some huge, widespread fraud despite the fact that there has not been one legitimate piece of evidence in any jurisdiction to corroborate these allegations. You've shared conspiracy theories and have moved from one lie to another as each of the previous ones have been shot down.
And like a doomsday cult, when one date or deadline passed, it was on to the next one. Until it came to a head on January 6.
We had months of Trump and his team bombarding us with false allegations of fraud and election stealing and you and so many others bought it. Emotions ran high, spurred on by Trump and his team, and this led to insurrectionists storming the Capitol during a Joint Session of Congress carrying out their Constitutional duty as part of the electoral process.
In the following weeks and months, we'll come to find out what the full extent of this attack entailed. The mob was literally a hallway away from the evacuating members of Congress. Rioters died. Police officers were injured and one killed. Attackers had weapons including firearms, knives, bats, pipes and even Molotov cocktails with a napalm-like mixture. IEDs were found.
Trump bears responsibility. In the context of months (and years) talking about Democrats being evil and promoting election fraud, and the media being the enemy of the people, He, his family, and his team riled up supporters with charged language. The morning of the Capitol attack, they made cries of "if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore", "we can't let this happen", "You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, you have to be strong", "are you gonna be a hero or zero?", "stop the steal", "we will have a trial by combat", etc. Someone built gallows. The mob chanted "Hang Mike Pence."
As Hamilton says in Federalist 65 regarding impeachment: "The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused."
What abuses or violates public trust more than falsely claiming a free and fair election was stolen and egging on your supporters to the point of overunning the Capitol to disrupt a Constitutional electoral process?
Trump deserved to be impeached a second time. With less than a week left in his presidency, he deserves to be convicted.
To those saying that these actions will lead to more unrest and disunity, stop. This argument sounds like one a domestic abuser would say to their victim when they call law enforcement or leave: "You're tearing this family apart!" It's gaslighting. It's abusive. It's a threat. It's an excuse when one does not want to face RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. It's a denial of accountability.
Our nation cannot heal until we excise this cancer. Trump needs to learn that even when you're the president, you can't just grab democracy by the *****. We shouldn't let him. But McConnell and the Senate GOP will let him.
Having said all of that, I am exhausted. This will be my final post on facebook. Not for some principled protest, though I definitely agree facebook as a platform has enabled the harm to our national discourse. But rather, for my own health. I spend too much time and energy on this platform. It has caused too much anxiety. Too much mental and emotional strain. Too much harm on how I view others. It's not facebook's fault, but rather a bad mix of my shortcomings and proclivities.
I hope we can heal as a nation. As neighbors. As Church members. As family. As friends. I hope people emerge from this epistemological crisis we're in, dispense of our obsession with propaganda and confirmation bias, and learn how to sift through BS. Stop with the lazy argument of "Who really can know the truth anymore?". It's an inane excuse to bash legitimate media outlets that don't align with your worldview. Stop basing your opinions on what pundits say. Turn off Tucker, Hannity, [insert liberal pundits here—I don't have cable or watch opinion shows, so I can't think of any], whoever. Turn off OAN and Newsmax. For the love of God, please stop basing your opinions on random Youtube videos or articles from naturalnews.com or modernmedicinelies.net (I made that last one up, but seriously, if you post "medical" articles from a rando site, you're doing everything wrong). Fix your BS detectors people, because so many of you have broken ones.
As for me, I'm simply tired of being inundated with it. Brandolini's law has proven so true and it's far too overwhelming.
I've downloaded all of my FB data. It's time. I'm gonna let this brew a bit, then permanently delete (not deactivate) my facebook account this afternoon.
So with that, I bid you adieu.