With Trump on the throne as keynote speaker, CPAC highlighted the troubling direction of the conservative movement

an empty throne
an empty throne
Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

It’s no secret that Trump’s followers have elevated him to a divine status. Still, when the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off their annual event this year with a biblical twist, it showed just how far the Republican party has strayed. They worship Trump with an unhealthy reverence. Trumpians want to remake the Republican party in his image, a gilded idol for generations to deify.

Trump, scheduled to speak at conference close, had been relatively quiet since Twitter cast him out of social media heaven. What were his poor followers to do without their dear leader? They craved the…

Trump has left a trail of devastation in the wake of his presidency, from a fragile democracy to broken families

war torn city rubble
war torn city rubble
Photo by Mukund Nair on Unsplash

Christmas 2016 started like all the ones before, offering no indication that the season of giving could take so much away. Each family brought their signature dish, bags of gifts, and an appetizer or bottle of wine to share. We greeted each other with bear hugs and warm smiles, swapped stories about our kids, marveled at how much each child had grown, and ignored the subtle signs of age that altered the landscape of our faces.

Families see past wrinkles and grey hair because the connections were never superficial in the first place. Familial bonds run much deeper. They’re forged…

Millions of Texans go without electricity for days, shining a light on Texas’ power problem — in more ways than one

winter landscape
winter landscape
Photo by Craig Tidball on Unsplash

After “Snowmageddon 2021” resulted in widespread power outages in Texas, some Texans condemned the “new government” for the power failure. Considering that Texas retained a Republican state government trifecta in the last election, it was apparent they weren’t blaming Republican officials in the state. Instead, they placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Democrats in Washington, but where did uninformed Texans get this notion?

Republican Politicians Blame Green Energy for Power Outages

Texas Republican politicians like Representative Dan Crenshaw, Senator John Cornyn, Governor Greg Abbott, and others blamed green energy promoted by Democrats for the power failure.

This is what happens when you force the grid to…

43 Senate Republicans picked up the excrement that desecrated the U.S. Capitol on January 6th and smeared it all over the memory of Abraham Lincoln

Photo by Harold Mendoza on Unsplash

It looks like I’m going to have to burn my glass-half-full t-shirt. The optimism that enough Senate Republicans might vote to convict Trump, or allow a conviction by their absence, dissolved into my drink like an antacid tablet. After hearing the verdict, I tossed it back with a shot of tequila to maintain my equanimity.

What the hell just happened?

How can anyone vote not guilty after hearing the arguments presented by the impeachment managers? It seems they turned a blind eye and did exactly that. …

Some Republicans turn a blind eye to the evil incited on January 6th, while some skip the trial altogether. Even so, an acquittal is not a foregone conclusion.

Three monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
Three monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
Image credit: Wikipedia

As former President Trump’s impeachment trial progressed in the Senate, many observers noted that some Republicans were adopting a “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” approach to the proceedings. They turned a blind eye to evidence presented by the impeachment managers while others weren’t even present.

These Republicans, along with Senate Democrats, are the jurors in this case, who swore a solemn oath to exercise “impartial justice” during the impeachment proceedings. It seems some have forgotten what that means.

Many Republicans were not paying attention to the proceedings. Instead, they were doodling, studying non-related maps and other…

What congressional votes reveal about the character of the Republican Party and its constituents

Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

In his book Profiles in Courage, President John F. Kennedy explored what he considered the “most admirable of human virtues — courage.” He lamented that the most virtuous among us are often forgotten in history; the assault to their reputations for opposing the majority never vindicated with the passage of time or a return to reason. This knowledge, plus a reverence for those who stand alone in defense of what is right, inspired him to document for posterity the stories of eight United States Senators who acted according to their principles regardless of political or personal consequence. He hoped to…

We are a divided country facing a crucible for the ages. What will our legacy be?

The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty
Photo by Brandon Mowinkel on Unsplash

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of critical thinking, it was the age of spreading outlandish conspiracy theories, it was the epoch of belief in free and fair elections, it was the epoch of incredulity that “dear leader” could have lost, it was the season to “be the light,” it was the season of too much blackness, it was dodging the threat of fascism, it was fearing too much socialism, it was a return to decency, it was normalizing “oddities,” it was censoring hate speech, it was blocking “free speech,”…

History seems to be repeating itself with the proliferation of another Big Lie, and here’s why we must amplify the truth.

picture of a microphone
picture of a microphone
Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash

“How could we have lost? Victory was stolen from us!”

Sound familiar? While these words have echoed across social media for months regarding the 2020 presidential election results, that outrage was expressed over a century ago when the Weimar Republic signed an armistice in November 1918 to end World War I.

Germany’s Big Lie

Until that point, the German people had consumed a steady diet of propaganda predicting Germany’s imminent victory, and patriotism registered at an all-time high. The unexpected news of defeat devastated the German people, and conspiracy theories sprouted amid the confusion of a prideful society unwilling to accept the truth.

Let’s toss another log on the massive bonfire of lies that fuels the extremism in Trump supporters

A protest holding a placard that reads: Stupid people are dangerous.
A protest holding a placard that reads: Stupid people are dangerous.
Photo by Kyle Cleveland on Unsplash

As I was writing a piece on the Dirty Dozen — the senators planning to object to the electoral vote count — I came across information that one of them, Tommy Tuberville, believed World War II was fought “to free Europe of socialism.” I stared at this information incredulously. As unbelievable as it seems, this man is now a member of Congress. He also happens to be among the 147 Republicans who objected to the Electoral College vote count after the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill.

Tuberville’s comment caused me to recall past conversations with an ardent Trump supporter who…

Silenced by the social media giants, Trump is becoming increasingly unhinged in his final days in office.

A crowd with their hands raised in worship.
A crowd with their hands raised in worship.
Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

It finally happened. After years of slinging insults, lobbing lies, amplifying fake news, dog-whistling hate groups, and spreading conspiracy theories, the social media gods, Twitter and Facebook, banned Trump from their platforms.

Twitter had been a virtual paradise for Trump. He exercised divine-like powers to create his ideal universe, an alternate reality composed of “alternate facts” where he could manipulate his blind believers’ emotions and destroy the lives of his enemies with a single tweet. The platform largely contributed to his inexplicable rise to power and exaltation by millions of followers.

Like that storied fall from grace passed down through…

Melissa Janda

Former Corporate Finance Executive, Writer

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