The Promise Inside the Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

And so it went, 241 years ago today, when the founding fathers of the United States of America made their declaration of independence. In the course of human events, they felt it necessary to dissolve political bonds with a despot. They set a course to free themselves from tyranny.

It was a good move, and the document they wrote was one for the ages. Contained within were powerful, flowery words encouraging a government by the consent of the governed. It declared unalienable rights like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It was a watershed moment, the beginning of the modern liberal democracy. There was a promise of equality, and opportunity for all mankind. They lit the spark of egalitarianism. Others used the document in the decades to come to stoke the fires of freedom again. Slavery would be abolished, in time. The right to vote would eventually come to all.

In the ensuing years the entire world would embrace liberal democracy. “By the people and for the people” was repeated in nation after nation. Freedom became a trend.

It is a great story, and a great beginning, but we have only just begun to live up to the promise of that original document. The revolution that rocked the world less than 250 years ago has only just begun.

America, the nation, is a work of fiction. Harari says that what has separated our species most from other species on the planet is our ability to create such fictions. No other animal draws a line on a map. No other animal believes in God. Only we, the sapiens, can draw ourselves together in shared beliefs and rally around that belief to create a day of celebration, a monument to greatness, or a war.

Only we can create or overthrow a tyranny.

Our mythology is a strong one. We have made great heroes of these founding fathers. We have an enduring belief that we are the greatest nation on the planet. That fervor, that patriotism, has enabled us to become the strongest nation in the world, in the history of the world. There has never been a military might like this one. And if military might is the measure of greatness, then we surely are the greatest nation on Earth.

But that was not the promise of our fathers. The promise of our fathers was liberty and equality. They despised the bully. They rallied and railed against the king. The founders spoke out against injustice and inequality. They were children of the Enlightenment dreaming of an egalitarian world.

We have not realized that dream yet. In modern America, we have come to worship capital instead of liberty. Greed instead of happiness. War instead of life. We are divided, partisan, and bitter. We risk, once again, tyranny.

I still believe in the promise of America. I still believe, in my heart, in the mythology created by the founding fathers. The world does not have to belong to kings; it can belong to all.

I re-read the Declaration of Independence today. I am emboldened by its promise. We have suffered this “long train of abuses” by our political and capitalistic leaders. Greed denies us our destiny.

But that is not the end of the story. Recent events have derailed an otherwise long-term upward trend. 240 years is a blip on the radar of history and the next era in America can define or destroy us. We can, if we choose, have health care for all. Or, we can conquer the world and take their oil. We can, if we choose, focus on universal education and equality. Or, if we choose, we can protect the gains of only the few.

We can have great kings or we can have a great people.

History will remember the kings. They create mythologies around the might of rulers; the plight of the people is forgotten. But history, they say, is written by the winners.

In an equal society, the people are the winners. In an unequal society, it is the kings.

As we move forward into year 242 in the story of America, let us remember what the foundation of this country was, as listed in the original document we celebrate today. Read it. And then, amidst the sparklers and libations, the grilling and the laughter, think for a moment about what you’d like tomorrow for America.

And then let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. For the people.

Crime and the Illusion of Crime

My new favorite local reporter put out the article I was trying to find time to write in my blog, and I’m glad he did. He did it better than I would have. He went out and did some “shoe leather” reporting, as one commenter put it in reply to his story, and that’s not something I likely would have done, either. I just would have pontificated distantly over a cup of hot java, as I’m probably about to do now, anyway.

But I had become concerned of late, and had told some of my church-morning compatriots, and fellow workmates, that this reactionary social media crime-buster business isn’t productive. I had already seen cases of folks posting what they perceived as a crime in those chat rooms, seen outraged response after outraged response, and then seen it end up just being folks going about their ordinary business. An uptick in crime is one thing. An imagined epidemic quite another. How long before people start using this exaggerated “crime wave” to cover their own mistakes?

Not long, as a matter of fact.

So I’m glad Scheide wrote this article. It helps to bring back into perspective that even though, yes, we have a crime problem, that doesn’t mean that everything that happens is a crime. Sometimes people cause their own misery. And, when they don’t want to own up to it, they will often blame the local “villains” and our local “villains” right now are the transient and homeless. In that cowboy-vigilante mentality it’s easy to form a posse and grab a rope and want to enact justice but, as both local and distant history will teach us, often we’ve got the story wrong. And enacting justice when you’ve got the story wrong is the most tragic crime of all. The wheels of justice move sagaciously slow, and require a lot of shoe leather investigating. That’s going to be a problem in the draw-and-fire CCW age.

And I’m not trying to understate the problem. Laws enforced at the federal and state levels have released people from prison back onto the streets. Literally. At least partially because of that, we have an uptick in crime, all over the state. The laws put into place to jail them were ill-conceived and we ended up with the highest prison population in the world. We had to, and still have to, fix that. At the same time we are living in the era of the greatest gap between rich and poor this country has ever known. Add to that the fact that we are still in the aftermath of a great economic collapse and there are frankly not enough opportunities for those on the bottom rung of the ladder, and we’ve added thousands to that number.

We can continue to argue the merits of those original laws that put too many people in prison, or the merits of the prison downsizing, and we probably will, but we have a reality to face here. Last year, we voted down a tax increase that would have added to our police force and increased our jail capacities. In 2014, we did the same. If more money for more jails and more cops is not the answer, what is?

It isn’t vigilante justice.

Another story hit the wire just as I was contemplating this write-up last night. A story about vigilantism. It ended with vehicular assault on a homeless man. There are many details about the story I don’t have; it’s hard to tell who the aggressor was. I haven’t looked to see what the social media crime sites have to say about it yet, but I will. I hope we don’t jump to conclusions. Maybe the man ought to have moved. Maybe the citizen force shouldn’t have been out there brandishing guns. Or maybe it was just a case of miscommunication and bad timing.

All I know is something like this doesn’t make things better. It makes things worse.

The Old West has been romanticized in novels and old Reagan movies, but there is a reason we went from lawless frontiers to lawful communities. Too many people die unnecessarily in cowboy shoot-outs. The reality is far more horrible than the fantasy.

That is not where we want to end up. In a society there are necessary trade-offs. One of the trade-offs of increasing incarcerations is that more people who do not deserve to be put away get put away. One of the trade-offs of decreasing incarcerations is that more people who deserve to be put away are not. There is no way to get it right every time. There is no way to eliminate all possibility of crime.

We have to find answers to the recent uptick of crime in the community of Redding. Sensible answers. Creating a criminal act of your own is not an answer to crime. It is simply another crime.

Creating a false criminal act out of the blue to cover a mistake is also a crime. Or, at least, it oughta be.

I’m willing to help look for answers. This is my town, too. But the solutions need to be better than the problems or, in reality … we are all just a part of the problem.

The Book I’d Like to Write and Give to Everyone

Now that I’ve gotten this daily writing thing down, I’m thinking of starting a book.

I’m still open to ideas on this book. I think I’d like to make it a little bit quirky and self-indulgent. Maybe it could be something about the journey and oddness of life, from the perspective of somebody who sees things a little bit different. I see things a little bit different.

Politically, I don’t align myself with any certain cause, but instead seek out answers. What works? Last night I was talking to a new person, we’ll call him Rupert, and Rupert was telling me he’s traveled all over the world and social democracy doesn’t work, anywhere. I asked him how so? He told me that it drags the rich down, and the opportunity to become filthy rich just isn’t there in societies like that. He said, “don’t you want the opportunity to be filthy rich if you come up with a great idea?”

I told him no.

I told him most people who come up with great ideas don’t become filthy rich, anyway. There just aren’t that many filthy rich people, but there sure are a lot of filthy poor people. He agreed. I furthermore told him that what I’d rather see is a pulling down of the top and a lifting up of the bottom. He agreed with that as well. I told him that’s how a social democracy works. We cheered.

Religiously, people just don’t get me. I guess because people have spent their whole lives thinking only one way of believing is possible, so I can’t possibly not believe what they believe. I’ve been an atheist for more than 30 years, following a 3-year stint where I tried daily religiosity. Before that, I just believed what I was told, without practicing anything. So I’ve been a sheep, when I was very young, a devout in my teens, and a freethinker my entire adult life. But some folks think all it’ll take to push me back into their worldview is a nudge. I don’t mind; I know nudging is a part of their religion. It is not a part of mine. Mine says live and let live. And pull down the top to raise up the bottom. That’d be a good first commandment.

Honestly, if there were a god I’d want to do the same thing to him. Nobody deserves to have everything. Besides, creating the universe was a long time ago, and creating mankind was a dubious accomplishment at best. We should rethink how we think about that.

So maybe some sort of book with a self-indulgent title like “Freethinkin’ in Modern America” or maybe “Your God, My God, Red Fish, Blue.”

Yeah, I don’t know what that means, either.

Or maybe, to really sell something today you need to do it with numbers. “The Twelve Things Every Freethinker Must Know,” or “How To Piss Off Every Religion and Political Party In Three Quick Steps!”

Nah, it wouldn’t matter. I don’t want to sell it. I’d pass my book out like candy, and hope folks read and enjoy it. I hope it’d make them smile a little bit and think a lot. Or vice versa, I don’t care.

I think it’d be fun.

The only drawback would be, with my attention span, the book would wind up being about 18 different things in 13 different chapters.

Maybe there’s my title.

Carry on with your day from here, folks, and don’t get too pissed off about anything. It’s not worth it. We can’t really change people, but we can change the world.

My book will tell you how. 😉

What’s On Your Mind, Social Media Star?

If you’re on social media you’ve probably come to the recent conclusion that it’s hot outside. If you’ve gone outside you’ve probably come to the same conclusion.

I’m not disparaging the use of social media to project a sense of environment; that’s partially what social media is for. It is an avenue that allows each of us to present what we see in front of us, or in our heads, to the world. In a world where there is only one you, you are the star.

Scrolling down my Facebook feed this morning I see a happy Dodgers fan. I see someone asking for prayers and positive thoughts on their glaucoma. Somebody is celebrating their new work schedule. A couple of people are lamenting the coming day’s heat. One lady is appreciating two bachelors from a prominent TV show. Another is celebrating the start of her vacation. I see a cinnamon roll, a couple of plates of sushi, some flan, several beautiful families, a couple of beautiful boats, a blow-up alien watching a dog, a sad report on Otto Warmbier, and Mark Garcia giving away Train tickets.

One person is even asking people to post no pictures of the weather today. 😉

But that’s what we like. I like the comments and pictures about the weather. The photos of food. I value the laments and celebrations; I want to see what you’re up to. What you’re enjoying, or not. I like your show.

My own wall has me talking about having a beer. There’s Moxie from 3 years ago, freshly groomed and sitting on the deck at Old Casa. There’s Moxie and Ludo on the deck at New Casa for the first time, one year ago. I see a link to yesterday’s blog. I see a picture of me finally meeting a young lady named Trinity. And there’s my daddy, in uniform, from forever ago.

People tell me all the time that my show is all about beer and dogs. Or the Rams. Or all about my feet, or the food my wife is making me, or the food I am grilling for her. Some say I’m all about parties, or tacos, or politics. I’ve even been told that all I ever talk about is superheroes, or rompers, or my new car. I’m all about a bunch of one things.

You seem to be, too.

In the final analysis, what does it matter? It’s your show, talk about what you want. Regale me with weather updates, inundate me with love for your god, talk about baseball, show me pictures of cattle blocking the road, tell me about your new beginnings and your happy and sorrowful endings. I wanna know.

Don’t hold back. Tell me all about your day.

Or, as Facebook would put it:

“What’s on your mind, [friend]?”

On Crime

I woke up late today so I have to rush. As I said yesterday, I found 4 typos in the last 25 entries; I intend to make more today. No editing. I’m going to put down some random thoughts in 400 words and see what the raw post looks like. It could suck. But it will be brief.

As I opened the news page today on Google, there were two stories about brutality against Muslims that jumped out to me immediately. Sad times. The hate we see in the world is worsening. Hate is the easiest thing to stoke.

At “church” yesterday, my friends and I spent some time talking about crime in the local community. There are varying statistics as to the current crime rates in Redding, and some controversy over whether it is worse now than 5, 10, or 20 years ago. Information about it is certainly more accessible with instantaneous electronic news and social media reports. We know more about the crimes that happen, and we know about them quicker. Regardless (I won’t use irregardless again, Dylan!), the fact remains that Redding needs more police officers than they have. According to one report, Redding has 1.4 police officers per 1000 citizens. The California average is 3.6 per 1000, the national average is 3.4. For a town wrestling with crime, as we seem to be, that is not enough.

The city tried to pass a quarter-cent sales tax increase back in November to address the situation. Ostensibly. It failed to get the 50% vote it needed, apparently because the funds weren’t specifically earmarked for law enforcement.  But a couple of years earlier a similar bill, earmarked specifically for law enforcement, failed to get the 66% of the vote an earmarked bill requires. Redding is a tax-averse community so a vote requiring a super-majority to raise taxes is difficult to pass.

So we’re at a stalemate. We have rampant crime and few solutions. My friends and I joked about the city needing Batman. I’m not in favor of vigilante justice, but I do like cool costumes and gravelly voices. Plus, the bat-signal thing would look great in Redding skies.

I don’t think that’s the solution. More cops on the street, an expanded jail, and a chance for serious repercussions for criminal activity would all help stave the onslaught.

If we come together on anything out there, we need to come together on that.

Have a great Monday, now. Spread some cheer, but watch your backs.

And wear a cape. Capes are cool. 😎

Warriors

Congratulation to the Golden State Warriors! By all accounts, it’s been a season for the ages, and the fans have good reason to be proud. The organization is dedicated to winning, and it’s a fun team to watch. Can’t imagine this is the end of the run.

I didn’t watch. I caught about a quarter of game 4, and less than 10 minutes of game 5. If my memory serves me correctly, that’s all the basketball I watched this season.

I used to be a bigger fan. In my history as a basketball guy, I’ve always paid attention when the Lakers were doing well, and never any other time. I don’t remember what they call that kind of fan. Front-runner? I imagine there are a lot of Warriors fans out there that haven’t watched much basketball in years. I’m okay with that. Jump on while your team is good. I probably will again someday, too.

Or maybe not.

I’m notorious for saying I haven’t paid attention to baseball since 1988, the last year the Dodgers did anything of note. But that’s not entirely true; I didn’t watch much baseball then, either. I listened to a lot of baseball in the early 90s, while out mowing them lawns, but that’s about the only era I ever paid attention. The big strike that cancelled the World Series gave me an excuse not to care anymore. Haven’t much cared since.

I’ve tried. For the sake of conversation with other baseball and basketball fans I’ve tried to care as much about the other two big American sports as I care about football. The fact is, I just don’t. Football is on my list of top 5 passions in life. No other sport makes the top 100.

I suppose it has as much to do with time as it does with passion. There are only so many hours in a day. I love to read, love to write, love politics and superheroes and gaming and grilling and chilling with a beer on a quiet deck. Or chilling at a bar with a cadre of n’er-do-wells. I don’t watch much TV at all. Honestly, I like listening to music while doing chores more than I like listening to sports. There are just too many distractions. There are just too many other passions.

So congratulations to the Golden State Warriors and their fans. I’ve been paying attention to your historic run, in social media updates and small news bites. It’s been fun. You should be proud. I’m not on the bandwagon and the next time I watch basketball will probably be June of next year. Don’t worry about that. Love it for all the reasons that you do. I’ll be over here getting caught up on my love of words and stories, and waiting for the gridiron warriors to take the field again.

86 more days.

The Future is Unwritten

I think about the future, a lot. How can I not? Never before was so much as stake. Sure, there were plagues, but plagues are easier to control now than ever. Yeah, there were volcanoes, but they were localized and took out, at most, a city or two. Sure, there were meteors but … wait, no but about that; they wiped out entire populations. Okay, once before was so much at stake, and it wiped out the dominant life on Earth. Small consolation.

Although it’s fun to try, it’s hard to predict the future. I mean, some futures are easy to see. It was easy to see the presidency of Donald Trump was going to be a disaster, and it is. It’s easy to predict the Warriors in 4. It is simple to predict that Ludo will, in some capacity, amuse and infuriate me today. Some futures are, indeed, written.

Much harder to predict is how the world is going to change in the decades to come, with the rush of new technology. It is such a hopeful and frightening time to be alive. We are experiencing rapid change today that was the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago. It seems as though anything is possible.

My vision of the future tends to come with a degree of optimism that many find amusing. Some have called me naive. But I always hope for the best. Why not? With so much unwritten, and every possibility in play, hope rewards us so much greater than despair. There are studies to show us the physical and emotional benefits of hope.

I’m aware of everything that can go wrong. I know of man’s long history of avarice and pride. I know that egalitarianism is a dream, and that most prognostications degrade humanity into dystopia.

Yuval Noah Harari introduced me to a darker future last week. His dystopian vision prepares us for the possibility that inequality will get worse. Much, much worse. And, if the past is any indicator of the present, he is right.

The history of mankind is a history of brutality. The powerful have always exploited the powerless. Used them up. Hate, in history, has proven far more powerful than love. And perhaps the only force that has proven more powerful than hate is greed.

In Harari’s vision, the rich and powerful do not just control all the resources, they horde them entirely. In an age when the common man is not needed to work in plants or fight in wars, the elite have no use for them at all. They simply let the “useless class” die.

But this does not have to be our fate. Although humanity has shown an overwhelming willingness to accept their plight, to muddle along through their days in masses and trust in rotten leaders to guide them, it does not have to be that way. We can change the future.

To avoid the dystopia of Harari’s vision we must evolve. Technology is automating so many of the things we exploited humans for, in the past – for work and for war. We have to stop thinking in terms of exploitation now. We need to make certain that the benefits of advancing technologies reward everyone. Not just the few. Not just the greedy. Everyone.

We are on the verge of the biggest transition in human history. We are on the verge of becoming all but obsolete. Advances in science are threatening to do to humanity what an asteroid did to T-Rex. But humans, I think, are more than tools or warriors; they are not born only to work or fight.

I resist Harari’s vision. I see a future of egalitarianism and enlightenment. A future where we break through the tangled web of (mis)information and peer through the guises of our leaders, finding a future for mankind that is hopeful and, dare I say, utopian. I see democracy, unity, and association. I see reason for optimism.

Anything else would be unthinkable.

Impetus

I woke up a little earlier than usual today. My mind was racing with concern for my hospitalized friend and concerns about my own agenda for the rest of the week. I’m behind on a few important duties around the house (e.g. balancing our financial budget) and on a few personal ones. One of those is keeping up with the news; another is keeping up with my journal.

I spent some time running down the national news in the 4 o’clock hour, getting primed for the purported “Super Bowl of Politics” tomorrow. It should be interesting. If it lives up to the hype, it could be among the most watched spectacles of the year. A lot is at stake. A failing presidential agenda might get the tipping point it needs, one way or the other. Still a long way to go there. The special counsel is still assembling his staff for the next round of investigations. The most scandalous candidate and early president we’ve seen is undoubtedly going to have to deal with this sort of blowback for his entire term, however long it lasts.

I also spent some time on local politics. I admittedly don’t know enough about my own backyard. Some friends of mine got involved with a community movement last night and its piqued my interest. If all politics is local, as they say, then I lack foundation. I suspect that particular adage is dubious, if not outdated, because of the effect that a national and state agenda has on smaller communities. I suspect you’ll find it hard to solve homelessness in the local community, for example, without first addressing the larger picture of national inequality, expensive health care, and poor mental health support. The best you can hope to do is push the downtrodden from your community into someone else’s. It doesn’t solve the problem; it only hides it from you. Irregardless, greater attention in my own community is a worthy notion to address. I thank my friends for the impetus.

To be clear, if you didn’t press the link, my homeless example was just that, an example. My friends aren’t involved with that. They have concerns about crime and business.

But you should always, always, always click those links. Often, when you go there, folks come here. See how that works. 🙂

It’s 5:47 in the morning now, so I have another good hour before the rest of the house wakes up. I still have that budget to balance and that journal entry to write. I want get a walk in and move some stuff out of the yard before the rains start later. I’d like to catch up on social media.

But at least some of my responsibilities are out of the way for the morning. This one, at least. It’s June 7th, and I have 23 more of these to do daily this month. For today, though, no free beer for the fellas. 😉

Imperfect Information

I am by no means perfect. If your first thought of me is that I think that I am, you’ve mistaken my intent or, at the very least, my style. I think I’m probably wrong most of the time. I think you probably are, too. Why do I think this is so? Imperfect information.

In today’s world, we all have a constant stream of information coming at us from every direction. The information age is a terrifying and wonderful time to be alive. But in this powerful era of mass media and instant connectivity, information has, so far, become more commodity than instruction. Every piece of data we receive today seems to be selling us something.

Politicians try to sell a world view upon us, in exchange for support and power. Television tries to sell entertainment to keep us transfixed. Bloggers try to impress us with individual perspective and sagacious wit, in exchange for clicks and subscriptions. Social media “stars” vie for our attention and friendship. And I haven’t even mentioned commercials yet, whose sole purpose is to save our lives with drugs that will kill us or to save our lifestyles with goods that will thrill us.

But this information is incomplete. It uses selective facts to persuade us, to dissuade us, to beguile us, to distract us. And it works, or they wouldn’t try so hard.

On the other side of information is the endless data at our fingertips, for personal exploration. By recent accounts, we have entered the zettabyte era of the internet. What’s a zettabyte? Back in simple computing we learned that a bit is a binary digit and a byte is 8-bits. That’s equivalent to one character on a page. A gigabyte, a familiar term to most of us, is a billion such bytes. An exabyte is a billion of those gigabytes. In other words, a billion billion bytes. A zettabyte is a thousand exabytes. One thousand billion billion bytes. That is the equivalent, according to Live Science, to 360 centuries of high definition video. And, of course, the internet is growing exponentially. You’ll never finish it all, no matter how much you lounge this week.

But we do have access to all of it now, or at least most of it. Some of the information is kept on the Deep Net, beyond our sight. That’s probably for the best, because the stuff we don’t know is likely far more alarming than the stuff that we do know.

The stuff we do know, however, is preposterously imperfect. Even if we could sit around all day and just surf and dig and learn we’d never know, well, everything there is to know about, well, anything.

Imperfect sources of data fill our imperfect brains and form our imperfect world views.

It’s mind-boggling that any of us ever think we’re right.

But we do. I do. I have very strong convictions about a good many things. I’m one of those folks that loves to share ideas with others, even very strong ones. I love to argue debate talk about stuff. I even really feel I’m right about a good many of the things that I say. But I also know I could be wrong.

In religious terms, this means that there could very well be a God, or a bunch of them, though I don’t believe it. In fact, the universe would be a much safer place with one, great loving creator, and a richly more interesting place with a bunch of competing ones. That’s a universe I’d like to live in. I don’t think that I do, but anything is possible.

In political terms, this means that the trickle-down theory of economics may very well work one of these days, though it never has before. In fact, it likely never will because of the inherent self-interest of human nature and the inevitable corruption of power and capital. But I could be wrong. I have imperfect information.

And so do you.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have opinions. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t hold them dearly to our hearts, and have strong convictions about them. It does not mean we shouldn’t debate them fiercely. What it does mean is that we should bear in mind that we don’t have all the answers. Anyone who says they do have all the answers is sadly misinformed, dangerously demagogic, or is trying to sell you something. For some current world leaders, all three of those are true.

There’s a thousand times a billion billion bytes of information out there and none of us have read it all. And a thousand times a billion billion bytes of information can’t cover everything we could know. Not even close. So without perfect information we are stuck sitting here, in our little towns on a little planet in a little solar system in a vast universe guessing every single day.

I’m willing to bet we’re mostly guessing wrong.

But what do I know?

Predictably Corrupt

This is not unforeseen.

The chaos gripping the Oval Office today was predicted, even expected. It was apparent to anyone paying attention that the presidency of Donald Trump would be a circus show. Impropriety was assured. Everything about the man told us that. The history of Donald Trump as a businessman and a human being was accessible to all. Scandal follows the scandalous. There was no way to avoid a scandalous presidency.

Remarkably, he prepared us for this moment. During the campaign, he steadfastly refused to focus on anything, for any length of time, except for the greatness of Donald Trump. America could be great again, he said continuously, but only under one man. These are the words of a narcissist, of an egotist, of a demagogue. These are the words of authoritarian dictators. We see them in other countries throughout history and we say to ourselves, “how did the people let that happen?”

We know now how “the people let that happen.”

People are remarkably easy to fool. In times of great tumult, as in the years following the Great Recession, empty promises come easy. Easy to say and easy to swallow. Building the brand of “savior” is effortless. All it requires is a complete commitment to ego, a sociopathic mentality, and – of course – willing dupes.

Donald Trump had all of these things in his campaign run.

That is how we knew. That is how we knew that his presidency would be filled with scandal. The president Donald Trump is no different than the businessman Donald Trump, the candidate Donald Trump, the man Donald Trump. Power doesn’t turn an ignoble man noble. Power does the opposite thing. It corrupts. Absolutely. So, when you take a man who is already corrupt and give him the reins of power what you get is something exponentially worse.

Of course he colluded. Of course he ignored protocol. He believes, wholeheartedly, that he is a man above reproach, above the law. He always has. Now he’s the president of the United States of America, and he would be king if he were not treated so “unfair.”

There will still be those who follow him, those who forgive him, even worship him. There will still be those who say, “it doesn’t matter what he does, he’s making America great again.” They are the ones who ignore the history of America, the history of mankind, and the history of Donald Trump. They are the ones that enable misconduct in the name of party. Over country. Over humanity.

The hope now is that we strike this mistake from our nation in short order. Business as usual was not going so well for the United States but, sadly, business-as-usual is the redemptive norm we pray for now.

I don’t expect Donald Trump to go down in history as an evil man. A selfish man, yes. An egotist, yes. A president in over his head, with delusions of empire in his brain, yes. A mistake. Yes.

We all make mistakes, but he can be remembered as a mistake we quickly corrected.

That can make all the difference in the world.