Redemption anyone?

Kids Definition of redemption
1: the act of making up for


If ever there was a need for redemption in our country, now is the time. There's no question we're in deep shit.

How did we get here? In my mind, today's political turmoil is a result of the GOP's "win at any cost" cult, which began when Art Pope figured out to buy influence in local elections. Over nearly 15 years, he not only fine-tuned the combination of money, media and messaging needed to dominate state legislative races, he's also been an advocate for extreme gerrymandering. The result? We have a usurper General Assembly, a state under minority rule.

If that weren't bad enough, the Pope strategy doesn't include honesty as a core value. Rig the game, normalize lies and lunacy, plow the ground with misinformation so that sociopaths like Madison Cawthorn, Donald John Trump, and Mark Robinson can spread like toxic sludge. Thanks, Mr. Pope.

Who knows what he thinks about his role in digging today's political hell-hole? Is he proud of what he's accomplished? Probably. Does he admire Trump's Big Lie strategy? I haven't heard him denounce it. It's all part of the libertarian mindset. Do what you can get away with.

Art Pope is a big deal, a man who has reshaped politics in North Carolina. But his actions and agenda lead directly to the political shitstorm surrounding us now. He's funded deception, exaggeration, and half-truths over almost two decades, anything needed to score political points, truth be damned. It's an unscrupulous operating model that paved the way for jerks like Trump and Cawthorn to spawn.

I believe Pope owes us an apology, but we'll never hear it. I doubt he can even entertain the idea that his over-bearing influence is part of what's wrong. He's busy behind the scenes, doing what Republicans do best. Twisting truth, twisting arms, pulling strings.

Beyond redemption.

PS For things I've done over the years to contribute to this sorry state of affairs, I apologize. I know I've sometimes been rude, as well as flat-out wrong When I've screwed up, I've done my best to correct things and ask forgiveness. I promise to do better. I promise not to lie.



One measure of decline

Step one: Recognize you have a problem

I stole that from AA, but it really does fit in this situation. Art should have realized shortly after he tried to get a black fellow student expelled for complaining about the Grand Poo-Bah of the KKK being invited to UNC that he was (horribly) in the wrong, but he didn't. Write that one off to youthful stupidity.

What he has done since then, decades later, leads me to believe he simply can't face his wrongness, look at it objectively, and grow. Do better. Be better. There is still time...