Forward to DoAL

Forward to DoAL

Below is the December 29 2023 forward to Diary of an Adamant Lover. In this online version, we will provide links to the more pressing facts of the matter.

Is Donald Trump evil? Are those who actively plotted with him to overthrow the 2020 election results evil? Are election-deniers in congress evil? Are US citizens who would vote for Trump after he tried to steal the 2020 election and has otherwise shown his hand as an authoritarian in waiting evil?

Is Vladimir Putin evil? Are those who helped him kill any remnants of democracy in Russia evil? Or are only those who poison or blow up Putin’s rivals evil? Or are they just regular folk following orders? Are Russians who supported Putin on his way to consolidating power evil? Or did they used to be evil, but now some are not?

What have we seen with our own eyes? We have seen that evil gets away with what it can get away with.

In 2020 in the US, there were no murders, no imprisonment of Trump’s rivals. There was a repeated and sustained attempt to overthrow the election results, including trying to convince Georgia’s Secretary of State to find the votes Trump needed to win, and even, in the aftermath, an attempt to get an innocent election worker to admit she had cheated for Biden — including an attempt, made by MAGA conspirators pretending to be looking out for her best interest, to get her to plead guilty of that charge so as to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

In 2024, what will we see? Is it not up to us? But we seem to be pouting and eating and drinking and spilling our way to whatever happens happens. Does it?

How am I to talk with my fellow US Americans, after it turns out that they were evil all along, and were just waiting for a chance to destroy the democracy they’d teared up over at the parade, when they thought the US and God and Democracy were all of one piece? Now, it turns out, they really most of all just like alternating between yelling about being picked on and tearing up about how deep and courageous their love of America is, are mostly into being proud of themselves, while also still mostly watching TV and eating chips, which they sometimes spill upon their shirts, jeans, slacks, sweatpants, dresses, couches, easy chairs.

What would you have us do, God?

I am thinking of France after WWII and of Spain after Franco. I am thinking of how they didn’t purge the government of all those who’d collaborated with Vichy, or of all those who’d worked for Franco. To hold things together and avoid further strife, the victors let many collaborators stay on in positions of power, wealth, prestige. It was enough that the collaborators were willing to say that was all bad and they weren’t really doing that anyway, at least in any knowing way.

But there are so many Republican officeholders who are still spreading lies about the last election, who are frantically (and so far unsuccessfully) searching for any impropriety in Biden’s life, while quietly tossing out the existing investigation into Trump’s brazen profiteering during his time in office; and publicly acting like Trump, his election denials, his attempts to use federal aid money to bribe Ukraine’s president into digging up dirt on Biden, his many obvious clear antidemocratic statements and actions: acting like all this is on the up and up.

What am I to think? What am I to feel? How could I help? I see them behaving evilly out in the open, proudly; going home to their safe lives, taking their children to school and sports event, cuddling with their spouses in their safe beds. I see them sure of their goodness while pursuing an evil that could easily destroy US American democracy, which means destroy your and my and their ability to speak openly against leaders, destroy our ability to meaningfully work together to evolve our shared conversation and shared nation, destroy our ability to keep the most powerful weapon the world has ever known (a nation state is many things, including a giant weapon) out of the hands of a thuggery that serves not We the People but only their own narrow dreams of power prestige wealth of being gods in the old-fashioned, mood- and favortism-driven tyranny-for-tyrannys-sake fashion.

What am I to think? What am I to feel? I think I am floating in outer space without a line to tether me to the mothership. I think this isn’t what I thought the USA was when I was a kid. But it wasn’t this when I was a kid. It has become this because of many mistakes big and small over many years, but most of all it has become this because Trump dared to break with democracy and found many many many so very many eager accomplices.

No one is perfect. We all have our weaknesses. But your attempts to overturn the 2020 election were evil. And your continued efforts to further the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump are evil. And if Trump wins and he does what it seems he mostly will do, which is to set up an authoritarian government and replace well-meaning competence with thuggery (which is neither well-meaning nor competent), then you will be responsible for one of the greatest political evils in human history.

You’ll give excuses. Everyone has their reasons why they cheated on the test, stole from the church, murdered their rival, slept with their friend’s wife — whatever it is, there’s always a reason you can give, a justification you can come up with. But in the end, you did what you did. And here and now I’m like: What the fuck! It’s not that hard! I’m not asking you to be a Saint or a great political genius. I’m just asking you to support politicians who don’t try to overturn democratic elections. I’m just asking you to get your heads out of conspiracy theories long enough to admit that there is a real danger here, and it is the one who would use any lie, any means, any trick to get and keep power.

What is going on? I can’t process this. I am constantly confused. How do you not see that he is playing you all for fools? Even his allies. There’s only room for one KING, and everyone else is dispensable. How do you not see that?

Is my mistake not asking you to be simultaneously a Saint, a political genius, a war hero, and a true friend? Preserving democracy is boring, but worshiping and following and thereby in some sense being a Saint/genius/hero/friend is engaging, is fulfilling, is a real trip.

Is that the story here? It can’t be the whole story. It doesn’t mention getting off on pouting, on feeling injured, on feeling picked on, on having just cause to do whatever it takes to shove your fellow citizens into the mud, the cold calm mud of DC in January.

No. In my wounded panic I lose the thread. You’re people. The Russians who supported Putin are people. Everyone is people, and people are just not at all what they think they are. They appreciate themselves for the apparent-good they do while blaming the people and systems around them from the apparent-bad they do. People are lost and found. The same exact basic stuff does both the great, wholesome, kind, selfless work and the heinous crimes.

People don’t understand either how much the surrounding people and systems create their lives or how much they are free to find their own way. This is because people think human freedom involves humans doing what they think they want to do. It doesn’t. That is not a freedom that exists. It is an illusory freedom. Only one freedom exists: the freedom to follow your own true nature. Only God is completely in possession of that freedom. Humans are free to the degree they follow God, because most fundamentally humans are vessels for the God, for Love, for the holy and profound.

So then what does it matter if the United States remains a republic or not? Freedom was never choosing what to watch, read, say, and do. It was always just living in, through, and for Pure Love.

It matters that the United States remains a republic because that’s the best way for us to work together for a system where we don’t have to choose between being good and keeping our families safe. Gently we push the discourse, rules, and norms towards aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving kind, joyfully sharing. Gently we work together for a place where both our animal parts and our spiritual aspects can live fully and well. Gently we work together for a way that encourages us to all be our best selves and live our best lives.

Human freedom — by which we mean the freedom to live in, through, and for spiritual Love — is a spiritual good. We should work for systems that encourage human freedom. The systems that encourage human freedom are those that seek win-wins: wins for both the mundane and the spiritual. With democratic rules and norms we can have our cake and eat it too: we can do all the neat fun interesting creative cool things we dream of doing while also living in and through and for Love. We can best develop spiritual freedom within a safe, stable political freedom because we are both mundane and spiritual creatures and need to look after both aspects of ourselves if we are to live fully here and now.

It is not too late to relax and regain our composure.

What is this like? It is like being betrayed by someone you had trusted, and now you and your family and friends and place in life and everything you cared about is at risk, and you don’t understand how this could happen, and you don’t know what to do, and you are angry and hurt and scared and confused very very confused.

Bartleby Willard
Brooklyn, NY, USA
December 29, 2023

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