Sadly, COVID-19 is not the only threat to our way of life

The pandemic that continues to grow and threaten America and the world is matched by the sedition of those who are trying to destroy our democratic form of government and way of life.

When Virginia’s daily increase of COVID-19 dropping to under 4,000 — after two straight days of 5,000+, health experts said the drop was probably a statistical anomaly due to delays in reporting from the New Year holiday.

They were right. Sunday’s report showed 5,010 new cases in the 23-hour period that ran from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday and, even then, that is not all the cases during that period, they warn.

Even worse, even higher outbreaks are expected later this week when reports start arriving from the large crowds of those who ignored the warnings about travel to see family and loved ones for Christmas and the New Year.

I saw the threat that COVID-19 still poses when a woman i was supposed to meet with on the Thursday before New Year’s Day cancelled because the sister she spent Christmas with had tested positive for virus afterward.

“Welcome back our friends to the virus that never ends, stay inside, stay inside.” My apologies, once again, to former rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer for borrowing and amending a verse from their “Karn Evil 9” composition released in 1973.

While many hope and pray that 2021 will be a better year than the last, the threats that existed on Dec. 31, 2020, remain with us.

Floyd County’s number of new COVID-19 cases rose by another 13 in Sunday’s report from the Department of Health. Montgomery County’s infections went up by 70 (including the city of Radford) and 69 in the Roanoke Valley (Roanoke city and county and Salem). At least 5,124 had died in Virginia from this pandemic.

Yet there are still people, including several in Floyd County, who claim the pandemic is “a hoax” and that the numbers of infections and deaths are not as high as reported. Infectious disease experts say the “real” numbers of cases and deaths are actually higher than reported because some had gotten ills and died without being diagnosed properly by the disease.

A columnist I admire at The Washington Post calls those who continue to deny the pandemic guilty of sedition, which the dictionary calls “conduct or speech inciting people to revel against the authority at a state (or government).

Writing about Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who plans to disrupt the certification of Electoral Votes in this year’s presidential election, Rubin writes that his actions “reminds us that the GOP is the sedition party.

She adds:

The Republican Party yet again provides us with reason for its own demise. The Post reports: “Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced Wednesday that he would object next week when Congress convenes to certify the electoral college vote, a move that will force a contentious floor debate that top Senate Republicans had hoped to avoid before President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is cemented.” There is no irregularity or evidence of fraud that justifies this move. It is pandering to a party’s base which has lost touch with reality and fidelity to our Constitution.

Like the 126 Republican House members who signed on to a lawsuit to throw out votes of states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden, Hawley has joined the authoritarian right-wingers who openly seek to overthrow the results of an election he does not like. He is a reminder to voters in Georgia of why allowing Hawley’s party to retain its Senate majority puts our democracy (not to mention our financial security and health) at risk.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro called the lawsuit “seditious abuse.” That’s an apt description for Hawley’s latest move. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) accurately explained that Hawley is “engaged in the attempted overthrow of democracy.” Whatever you call it — sedition, a coup, an anti-democratic putsch — Hawley’s move violates his oath of office. Not that it will do much good, but he should face an ethics charge and a demand for expulsion (which would require a two-thirds vote, pursuant to the Constitution).

Jennifer Rubin: The Washington Post

I spent a questionable period of my life in Washington as an operative for the Republican Party. I walked away from them an alcoholic who could no longer drink enough to make me continue to support what I realized was a treaherous move away from the country to replace patriotism with political agendas.

As a political practitioner, I put love of money and power above love of country. I can never apologize enough for what I became during that dark period.

On Nov. 3 of last year, American voters took the necessary and courageous steps needed to pull back from the hell hole of sedition and dismissal of the democratic republic that was defined by our founders in 1776, yet the disgraced president those voters rejected, along with the “party of sedition” continues to try and overturn a valid and legal election.

Donald Trump and his followers have lost more than 50 court cases and the rulings of many judges, including those appointed by him, in fruitless and democracy-threatening actions that should be condemned by all Americans.

The odds say Wednesday’s treacherous attempts to overthrow the will of the voters will fail but the threat of violent protests by the vocal, and militant, minority could bring blood to the sreets of Washington, DC, as part of the process.

“Democracy is the worst form of government,” Winston Churchill said when he was prime minister of Great Britain, “except for all the others.”

Let’s hope democracy prevails on Wednesday and on Jan. 20 with the inauguration of a new president. Then, hopefully, we can get back to battling threats like COVID-19.

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