American values demand Justice from the Conspiracy Theory Crowd
Alex Jones got his today
In past posts, I have talked about the threat of extremism that emanates from those who peddle conspiracy theories and those who follow them. Today, we saw a little justice from one such extremist, Alex Jones.
Today’s judgement, ordering him to pay 965 million dollars to those aggrieved by one of his countless conspiracy theories should come as a warning to others trafficking in such, like our former POTUS and his minions. Real, live, breathing and feeling human being suffer irreparable damage from this pervasive affliction that the Trump era has imposed on our nation. It’s time for justice for America too.
In July, I took a road trip from San Antonio to the Kansas City area for a family reunion. During long hours in my truck, I listened to AM talk radio, dominated by right-wing extremists, Jones included. Considering that one of my specialties regarding national security is defending the nation from foreign and domestic influence, of an adversarial nature, this kind of research is not uncommon. On the way home, one of the shows I listened to was InfoWars, Jones’ show. He spent nearly his entire show either teasing or outright whipping up support for a civil war based on his and Trump’s conspiracy theories. This is common for him and the other, “shock jocks” of the far right.
On January 6th, 2021, our nation, its capital and our system of governance underwent a nearly fatal, armed insurrection from fake patriots, trafficking in the same type of conspiracies that were on trial today for Alex Jones. In fact, Jones was also a leading provocateur, complicit in the armed insurrection attempting to overthrow the US government too. The chief provocateur and architect of the “big lie” was our former president, Donald Trump. What should be his punishment? Yes, this is a rhetorical question as that the US Code identities the punishment for Sedition, Conspiracy and rebellion. The only real question is, will a nation of laws, support the arrest, judgement and penalties defined for such behavior?
Jones, Trump, Republican party leadership etc., all participated in and still mostly support the “big lie.” It’s part of the Texas Republican Party platform for the Mid-terms and sixty percent of American voters, nationwide will have an election denier on the ballot.
Conspiracy theories are a form of destructive narratives. Once they are digested and adopted, they have a unique propensity to inflict pain and suffering with an irreversible consequence on their victims. The Jones trial proved this. Jones’ followers, or better said… lemmings follow his words religiously, just like Trump and his followers. They, like Trump heaped extraordinary injury onto the US, our law-abiding citizens and our global reputation as a nation for good. How do we put a dollar figure on these injuries? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that it must be done.
The United States, is far more than a nation, based on extraordinary values. It is, or was prior to Trump, a beacon to the world, the proverbial, “shining city on a hill,” for those of similar values to become their own shining examples. Trump and his cultists inflicted pain and suffering on the world. How do we find justice for their assault against all that is moral about our nation?
Some of the answers to my questions lie in, “who we are as a nation.” Despite our occasional warts, the USA is a tolerant, forgiving and compassionate nation. Our citizens have for decades, answered the call globally when the innocent are traumatized by natural or manmade tragedies. Germany and Japan both have become global powerhouses again after being defeated, post WW II. We provided all required to ensure that enemies became friends and partners for a better world.
So then, what do we do with our own citizens who have betrayed America and her values, inflicting trauma on the rest of our nation? I would suggest that it starts with the acknowledgement that Trump’s followers were covertly influenced by Russia, corporate donors who benefited from a Trump administration and dishonest and immoral politicians like Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and nearly every other elected Republican who voted in lockstep with Trump’s corrupt and dangerous agenda.
The step after confession by these Republican leaders must, be followed by atonement for their sins of injuring their fellow Americans. I would accept atonement as an admission by leadership that they intentionally lied to their constituents for their own greedy, power-hungry ambitions of power. They also must do it now, prior to the midterm elections, where Republican candidates are running on the big lie and a myriad of other Trumpian conspiracy theories.
The reason I say, “prior to the midterms” is because our nation cannot keep fighting off one of only two major parties running exclusively on fantasy. America’s problems cannot be solved with fake facts. Only honest debate between two factual and principled parties will result in fact-based solutions to our long list of challenges. Having seen combat on multiple continents by insurgents, I know first-hand that ideology destroys a country, not saves it. Ideology is rigid and leads directly to the extremism we see today in nationwide legislation that limits learning, restricts voting rights, imposes Jim Crow 2.0 on our nations’ minorities, rewards the ultra-rich while the rest of the nation suffers under the burden of price-gouging corporations that write big checks to immoral representatives and refuses to condemn Putin because Trump loves him.
Like the Jones trial, it’s time for the Trump era to end and more importantly, end with justice for true American values, not the redefining attempted by the far right, which currently dominates the Republican Party. Its leadership, too cowardly and greedy to reject this fake patriotism, cultivated it instead, as a tool to win elections. In the interim, our nation became an immoral brand, defined by corruption, greed, love of enemies rather than allies and allowed the elite, including party leadership freedom from the law. This my friends defines a banana republic, not the nation we believe that we are.
The only way to “Make America Great Again” is to make everyone, “equal before the law” and to call out the liars, charlatans, conspiracy theorists and traitors. When we live up to our true values, dispensing justice to the above mentioned, America will be great again. People, organizations and nations are what they do, not what they say. Today, the law said that Alex Jones must pay for the injuries his lies inflicted on real people. I look forward to the day that a court will impose justice on those who’ve undermined those values since that now infamous escalator ride.
Alex Jones received justice, not revenge. Trump and cronies deserve the same. That, my fellow citizens, is the American way.
My best for your “hump day”