1/7/21 Power Five

It’s hard to describe what we saw yesterday. Amidst the chaos and insurrection, lawlessness and unbelief, there were two bright spots: Georgia’s election results and Senator Mitt Romney.

McKay Coppins from the Atlantic wrote about the GOP, post-Trump, and days like yesterday remind us that we have no idea what we’re in for. The BS we’ve become accustomed to the last four years does not magically go away on January 20th. It’s up to all of us to root out extremism, hold our elected officials accountable, look out for one another, and rebuild this country from the ashes of a failed state.

1. The Bitter Reality of the Post-Trump GOP – “Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a staunch Trump supporter, told me that he opposes the Electoral College challenge on constitutional grounds, and thinks most of his colleagues understand that Congress can’t actually reverse a presidential election. But he’s also clear-eyed about the political realities. “Trump has a 94 percent approval rating among my Republican electorate—I’ve actually polled it twice,” Massie said. “Those are people that vote in the primaries in Kentucky’s Fourth District … I’m going to have a lot of explaining to do.”

2. Foreign Leaders Are Lining Up to Condemn American Violence – You know its bad when Turkey and Venezuela condemn what happens in your country.

3. Why Freedom Became Free-Dumb in America“Americans — in the vast, vast majority — think of freedom in a way that by now the rest of the rich world and much of the poor one regards as dangerously backwards. Freedom is the right not to ever have to cooperate, to invest, to act for the common wealth or common good. Why is America the only rich society in the world that doesn’t have effectively any public goods? No functioning healthcare, retirement, higher education, and so forth? Because of free-dumb. “I won’t pay for their healthcare, education, retirement!!” Why not? “They’re weak! They’re liabilities and burdens!! They cost me money!!” But wait, don’t you understand that means you won’t have those very same things yourself — because such social institutions are for everyone? “I don’t care! I won’t reward weakness and laziness! Such people need to be punished! And I should be free not to have support the weak!” So goes the logic of the average American. The idea of free-dumb is something like this. Freedom means a gun, a beer, a Bible, and no rights for women and minorities. But textbooks and medicine and good food and water — those take away your freedom.”