A Quick Opinion: Drinking the political Kool-Aid

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Young people may not know where that saying comes from, but most of us remember cult leader Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple. Jones started in Indiana but moved his “church” to Guyana where he orchestrated a mass murder/suicide of almost all of his followers. Jones ordered that his members drink cyanide-laced juice, which people quickly called Kool-Aid.

Nine hundred eighteen people died that day in 1978, some murdered or forced to drink the cyanide while others followed his command to drink. U.S. Representative Leo Ryan was investigating the cult in Guyana and was murdered, along with four others, trying to board their plane.

The term “drink the Kool-Aid” is now used when anyone blindly follows without thinking for themselves. Almost all of us have been guilty at some point in our lives of blindly following but at some point realize that we need to think for ourselves and make better decisions.

Both political parties have fringe members that drink the Kool-Aid. There are those on the left that believe that no one should be allowed to use fossil fuels like gasoline to power your vehicles or natural gas to heat your home. They think the government knows what is best for us. Some on the right fringe think that everyone should be able to own an automatic machine gun or a bazooka. They want no government oversight of anything.

Most of us are in the middle and have been encouraged to choose sides every four years. It usually goes smoothly and a new president is elected and his administration takes over for the next four years. Not this year. We have a president, Donald Trump, who refused to admit that he lost. He lied about the election being stolen and convinced his followers that he really won and that government officials are keeping him from serving another term.

It didn’t matter that there is no factual evidence that county registers of voters, around the country, didn’t count all the ballots. He lost at least 50 court cases where the judges, both Republican and Democrat, asked to see proof that votes weren’t counted or that non-citizens and dead people voted in huge numbers. The Supreme Court refused to get involved.

In Georgia and other close states, there were recounts, some by hand and others by machine, that showed that the original vote tally was correct. None of the recounts changed the outcome in those states. As long as Trump kept saying that the count was fake and that the election was stolen, his followers kept believing him. A lot of them still do.

The United States has a real problem when a large segment of the population doesn’t trust our election process and keeps drinking the Kool-Aid. Trump told them that the only way to stop the election was to storm the Capital, and they did. Surprise, Surprise. Trump has been talking about the election being stolen even before the November election. He also had the Jan. 6 date circled on his calendar.

There will be inquiries and committees formed to try and figure out what went wrong with security at the Capitol, but someone made the decision not to fire on the rioters. They shot and killed one woman, but were ordered not to use lethal force. It didn’t turn out well for murdered Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. I can’t imagine what the other officers are thinking who allowed the “protesters” into the Capitol and through the Senate doors, some posing for selfies.

Police officers did manage to hold the attempted coup members out of the House of Representatives, good for them. Those in charge of security are already resigning and I hope all those that stood by will be disciplined, also. At the end of the siege only 20 people were arrested, the rest allowed to walk out of the building like their tour was over.

No one knows what was on the computers and files that were stolen, or what national secrets are now in the hands of the insurrectionists. There were plenty of cameras at the Capitol and for those that entered the building, they should be looking for an attorney, because they are going to jail.

What will happen to President Trump? In a little over a week, he will be playing golf in Florida, repeating lies about his involvement in this attempted coup. He has never admitted that he was wrong, ever, and will never apologized for his behavior. Not like his followers who cover for him with excuses or silence.

The question I ask: Are we citizens of the United States of America or are we Democrats and Republicans? I choose to be an American Citizen first and always, but maybe I’m just drinking the Kool-Aid.

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