In 410 A.D., Rome was sacked by the Visigoth leader Alaric. For the first time in 800 years, the city most closely associated with the rise of The Roman Empire was ruined, stripped of wealth, left in disrepair. It was the moment that signaled the end of Roman Imperialism and the reign of the Roman people over a large swath of the globe. It was a stunning moment of clarity, after centuries of slow, inexorable decay, as the Imperial bloodlines moldered and withered, and the Empire fractured after the rise of Christianity. Most of the 800,000 inhabitants of the city did not see it coming.
History is filled with moments where the citizenry of a place and time go about their business, struggle to survive every day, act as if what they know will always be so, then turn to look over their shoulder to see flames rising upon the horizon. Humanity settles into patterns and "normalcy," because that is the survival tactic that served us best in the tens of thousands of years leading up to the advent of "modern" humanity. When people found a means to survive, and do so regularly, in a fixed manner, that became "normal," and anything that deviated from that was considered with a skeptical eye. Long periods of sameness lead to complacency, when it is adaptation that is the greatest strength of any evolving species.
Physical evolution is easy, by comparison to social evolution. Changes in physical DNA occur constantly; changes in our social "DNA" occur with glacial place.
At this moment, in the United States, we are at a social inflection point. Right now, our social forces are balance precariously between progress and retreat. The seesawing back-and-forth of our society is straining the social fabric of the nation, and the first tears are beginning to show. A tug-of-war has begun, and right now both sides have a firm grip, but it will not stay that way much longer.
Mind you, it should not be this precarious. At the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s, social change was alive and alight in America. Piggybacking on the success of going to the Moon, was the identification that Earth was a form without lines and borders, a place we were all going to have to get along on if we, as a species expected to survive. But the conflict between Progressive social forces and the Conservative backbone of the country led to the beginning of the tears we see now in our societal fabric. Conservative thinking determined that Progress meant the loss of freedom and liberty for a select portion of the country, the "ruling" portion, which was mainly White, male, Conservative, and prone to fear of change. This idea that the ideals of the Founding Fathers were meant to apply to all people, equally was anathema to Conservative thought. They saw the White, male Founders as exemplars of just how the nation was "supposed to be," and to deviate from their vision was to admit a hatred of the country.
In 1968, the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy heralded the reestablishment of Conservative values. The election of Richard M. Nixon put a rubber stamp of the idea that Conservatism had to ensure that Progressive thought and action were stamped out at every turn, to prevent the continued "dissolution" of White Christian male power in the United States. Watergate was the most obvious attempt by Republicans and their Conservative backers to ensure that the power Liberals had managed to forge into the new Democratic Party was snuffed out at every turn. Richard Nixon wanted the Democratic Party smashed, so that it could not pose a serious threat to Republicans. That seed, planted in 1972, has borne a bitter harvest in 2022. Fifty years later, post-Trump, the Republican Party has made a shambles of Federal government, filled the Judicial Branch with partisan witchcraft, and worked to ensure that Progressive voters do not actually have their votes count.
Right now, we are at the tipping point. It cannot be made any clearer. The only way to avoid the plunging of the United States into a White Christian Fascist abyss is to damage the Republican Party so thoroughly, that they cannot recover their strength. To do that, given current political circumstances and the need for expediency, requires the support of Democratic candidates. No, not necessarily the Democratic Party, but definitely their candidates, because these are the only people with sufficient power and backing to run up against and defeat the juggernaut that is the Republicans Party.
This is certainly not what many want to do. The rhetoric surrounding the "inability" of the Democratic Party to get anything done is less a product of supposed Democratic ineptitude and more a product of fifty years of Republican machinations, painting the Democratic Party in unflattering terms while pandering to a base that is seeded with the hate and fear required to drive them continuously to the polls. Democrats cannot defeat Republicans without help.
It is often said that the choices during elections are "the lesser of two evils," but whatever you may think of the Democratic Party, and there is plenty to admonish, it still attempts to do the work of governance, whereas the Republican Party has abandoned all pretense as to governing the country. Republicans simply want to tear down anything build by a century of Democratic Party progress and install an unquestioned White Christian Fascist autocracy. Even if you want to consider the Democratic Party "evil," it is not even anywhere near on par with the complete and total subjugation to evil that the Republican Party represents in the 21st Century. How can you not vote for the lesser of two evils, when one of them is completely and thoroughly evil?
There is nothing I can say, no magic words that I can utter, that will suddenly dissuade you from wasting your vote on anyone other than a Democrat who has decided to put themselves out there to try and arrest the social decay of our country. If you cannot see the forest for the trees, I cannot clear your vision. I can only encourage you to take a look, see for yourself, examine the paths that Republicans and Democrats have taken to get to this point, and ask you to think critically about what you see. If you cannot see the pure evil of the Republican Party for what it is, there's nothing to be done. But if you can, and you want it to be stopped, there is one simple way. It is not too late to bar the Gates of Rome.