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Put Up or Shut Up!!!


I do not think I am alone in wanting to hear honest, truthful discussion about so many of our issues, ranging from COVID facts to the realities of January 6th. While things are at times unpleasant to hear, it is always preferable to weigh factual evidence and then move forward -- through debate and, yes, compromise -- on a path that leads us all to a better day.


Democrat v Republican. Liberal v. Conservative. These party/position arguments serve an essential function in this country: to create that path, based on the truth. Both sides are needed, both presenting credible evidence.


Unfortunately, what has happened since 2016 (and even earlier) is a mishmash of facts and false, unverified statements. When one side merely demonizes the other without presenting substantiation, then the process merely decays into rancor. How much, for instance, could we have benefited if the Republicans had produced a healthcare plan, one that could be placed alongside the Affordable Care Act for a real comparison that would result in the development of a program that would benefit all fairly and equally. Instead, the Republican plan, which was always coming in a couple of weeks, NEVER materialized, leaving only attacks on what we have and threats to millions dependent on their existing coverage. There is evidence that healthcare WORKS however imperfectly as it is and if there are improvements to be made, let us make them. But Republicans have only attacked.


When the defeated former President declared a stolen election, EVERYONE would have paid attention to ANY evidence presented, as none of us wants a tainted process. While there had been questions about the 2016 election, certain authorities STOPPED all recounts and investigations that would have provided proof of that election's legitimacy. Yet it was decided for the benefit of the country that we would proceed with the apparent win, as the peaceful transfer of power is one of our greatest legacies as a democracy. Yet in 2020, after one of the most scrutinized and reviewed elections in our history, with the greatest voter turnout thanks to increased voting accessibility and astringent examination from both parties in all states, the same victor of the previous election whose ascension escaped careful examination declared that the election had been stolen. Again, had any evidence of ANY misbehavior been reported, this would have been worthy of all our attentions. Many millions of dollars were spent on examining ballots and bogus lawsuits, but no evidence of any sort was presented -- yet the lie of a stolen election was shamelessly promoted. Just as they politicized mask mandates and sent mixed messages about COVID, (including quack cures involving bleach and untested pharmaceuticals that the Presidential family and friends owned stock in), the election's validity was placed in deliberate doubt with absolutely no evidence produced. (Why not? This is how the disgraced candidate had so many times tried to dodge business malpractice suits and often won.) Even simple mask mandates, supported by scientific data, were dismissed in favor of egotistical macho posturing--and in the states where these mandates were struck down and vaccinations discouraged, hospitalizations and infections are the highest, overwhelming the medical system.


And now we are being told by these same people that nothing of serious or punishable import happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021. We have seen the videos with our own eyes, heard from the attacked police officers wounded in the line of duty, heard from those trapped inside the building, heard the chants of "Hang Pence!" and 'Kill Pelosi!" We saw the flag wavers carrying Confederate and political banners--and seen the official flag of us all used as a weapon, injuring those protecting our very seat of democracy. Not one shred of evidence defining peaceful protest has appeared--and the action and inaction from the oval office has now been clearly documented. This was an act of domestic terror, planned and executed in full riot gear. Anything that would legitimately explain why the protestors were prepared and armed to the teeth would be welcome, but nothing has been presented by those who would deny the import or even the existence of an insurrection. On the Congress floor, McCarthy and Graham and many others denounced what happened that day, only to then fly down to Mar-a-lago to kiss the deposed leader's ring. Ted Cruz one day admits before Congress of a planned terrorist attack, only to recant it a mere 24 hours later. (Pointed attacks on his own wife and father seem to have been forgotten in loyalty to the power players, while his kids are blamed for his abandoning constituents during trying environmental events--all the marks of a man who shows what he genuinely cares about.)


I do not think I am alone in wanting to hear honest, truthful discussion about so many of our issues, ranging from COVID facts to the truth about January 6th. While things are at times unpleasant to hear, it is always preferable to weigh factual evidence and through debate -- and, yes, compromise -- finding a path that leads us all to a better day. Any factual evidence is welcome. But put up or shut up.

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One should always believe in what one espouses. Of course. Unlike certain recent leaders (and Presidents), to espouse any belief (however heinous) and not believe just to provoke attention and false