Prep for 2024: Existential

Post 1,024


  • existential: [ eg-zi-sten-shuhl, ek-si- ]
  • adjective

    1. of or relating to existence:

    Does climate change pose an existential threat to humanity?

    2. of, relating to, or characteristic of philosophical existentialism; concerned with the nature of human existence as determined by the individual’s freely made choices.


So, it’s about existence. Being-ness. It’s a lot like life – your life. And it’s the same for our democracy.

Either you have it or you don’t.

And the existence of our democracy, of our republic, hangs in a critical balance and will tip to either continuing its existence or to death this November 5.

Steve Schmidt’s post on December 25 recalled the early days of our revolution and compared the existential threat of that moment to what we and our nation face today. About the many current day traitors to the core of the meaning of America, Schmidt wrote:

There are no great speeches from the racists, Confederates, Klansmen, know nothings, lynch mobs, Bund or any of a dozen other lesser totalitarian movements that have sprung to life in America during our history. They have left behind rivers of blood, pain, suffering and oppression, but no great ideas or monuments to achievement.

The words that gave life to the Confederacy, Jim Crow and January 6 were poisonous and unworthy ones. They came from the lips and pens of America’s villains.

Think about that term: villains. You know what it means. You know one when you see one. And you see one every time you see anyone connected to MAGA, however intentional or duped-to-mindlessness they may be.

Thomas Paine

Schmidt called upon the words of Thomas Paine,* who challenged his countrymen as the Continental Army was struggling, writing,

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered;”

We are challenged today in much the same way as were our revolutionary patriots. We’re threatened by a powerful force using all of its cunning, all of its hatred and all of its might to crush what we hold dear. That force promises tyranny. That’s what villains always do.

The question for us in our time is the same as it was in that frigid winter of 1777: Will we be summer soldiers, sunshine patriots, or will we stand by our country and insist upon – fight for – the values we declare are ours?

Think of a value you hold dear. The MAGA mob is already trying to take it from you. Will you fight for it?

The choice is before us. If we succumb to the comfort of self-imposed immobility, wearing blinders to the in-plain-sight daggers at the throat of our freedoms, if we let the villains dominate us, we will be without freedom not only for our lifetimes, but for those of our children, our grandchildren and beyond.

More from Schmidt:

All Americans who love freedom should feel the deepest contempt for the hustlers, charlatans, cynics and opportunists who have attacked [our country] in recent years under the MAGA banner. All American patriots should have a special contempt for the weakness and cynicism of the politicians who so easily, effortlessly and willingly got on their knees to service Trump.

Schmidt calls for contempt, but a deep and potent contempt for these swindlers is not enough. Action is demanded of us right now to defeat the hustlers, the charlatans, the cynics and the opportunists who would steal our freedom from us by the cheap tricks of vitriolic lies and manipulation of our system of government.

We all know right from wrong and we know wrong when we see it. We cannot walk past this one, this existential battle calling our names, imagining someone else will stand and fight.

Here’s an example of standing and fighting for what’s right. Look at what Kirk Bangstad is doing in the battleground state of Wisconsin:

In case you can’t read this, these are the opening words of a filing with the circuit court of Wisconsin seeking a declaratory judgement to take Trump off Wisconsin election ballots and to disqualify him from serving as President. Trump earned that by inciting and supporting insurrection, a rebellion against our Constitution and an obvious violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.**

Bangstad is just a guy, a private citizen, a small businessman with a little local brewery. He’s taken up arms (metaphorically speaking) against a cruel and powerful enemy.

You can fight the good fight, too, and you don’t have to file a lawsuit to do it. There are plenty of things you can do, including,

Link to Sheila Markin’s post and you’ll find a terrific action list.

Join The Union (a Lincoln Project project) and they’ll connect you to organizations doing work that tickles your sense of democracy and makes a difference.

You can contribute to Kirk Bangstad’s efforts to make America America.

At root, making America America is what this is all about. It’s about stopping the thieves, the traitors, the turncoats who are using our bedrock values and sacred symbols and our heartfelt love of America to corupt all that we cherish. They have turned against our own country, perverting what generations of our countrymen and women have fought and died to protect and defend.

This is existential. This is our time to stand and be counted. This is our call to battle stations for our country and to have one another’s back.

The time to take action is now.

“Every generation has a moment where they have to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours.” [emphasis original]

President Joe Biden

I believe that, too.

So do you..

Join the battle!


* Heather Cox Richardson wrote further of Paine’s Common Sense on December 29.

But how long it took to establish that new nation would depend on how much effort people put into success. “I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state: up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake,” Paine wrote. “Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it.”

** Here is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Do you find any part of that to be unclear? Neither do I.

Today is a good day to be the light


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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