Having often “hiked alone instead of staying home,” I have developed a high sense of pareidolia, that daydreaming ability to see faces and fanciful figures in clouds, rock formations, driftwood or even smaller objects. This “talent” determines most of my photo ops.

          On a recent trip through the woods, I declared some boulders as headstones, imagining the scratches, moss and lichens as remnant inscriptions. Two small boulders supporting another stone above the space between them became a dolmen for the fairy folk.

          All in good fun, maybe raw material for creative exploration. But, I did not/do not insist that others agree that this was an abandoned graveyard or that the local brownies demand entrance tolls of milk and honey.

          That would be akin to claiming that Joe Biden did not win the presidential election, that Republican election officials in several states “stole” the election from their own candidate, that said Loser did not sic his storm troopers on the Capitol in an attempted coup and then refusing to take part in the real business of our real and legitimate government.

          Republicans have tried to monkey-wrench our government – and our nation – to a standstill since the days of Newt Gingrich. A defense strong enough to protect their accumulated loot is all they seek. A chaotic, ineffective government has allowed their robber baron backers to plunder the country.

          The last administration gave them the equivalent of privateering licenses – profiteering from both sides of the opioid epidemic and making obscene profits while individuals suffered during a pandemic-fed economic slump that Republican indifference only deepened.

          Republicans have created a false reality where the affluent and privileged – abetted by government stooges – claim to be the disadvantaged and threatened. They have found willing believers in their false narratives, even among some of their most obvious victims – sadly, because the lies give others a license to hate and thus revealing the bigoted cores of their beings.

          I would come closer to transcribing tombstone epitaphs in an Ozark forest than Republicans will to finding legitimate election irregularities. And, we cannot rule out illegitimate ones. They have become trapped in their own fantasies.

          As the stakes get larger, so do the Republican lies and ridiculous conspiracy theories. And, when you hear that one of those bigoted liars has “doubled down” on a outrageous claim, just substitute the words, “lied louder.”

          Speaking of Republican conspiracies, let us remember that at the heart of the QAnon nonsense was the claim that Democrats and other globalists were running an international sex ring involving minors. Turns out they were partially right, except that the ring leader was the former wingman for their would-be führer, who acknowledged knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s predilection for very young girls a long time ago.

          In olden times, the Republicans insisted they were the party of hard-headed realism as opposed to soft-hearted Democrats. Hard-headed fantasists is more like it today.

          Until they start telling the truth about the election, the coup attempt, the pandemic, their view of their supporters as collateral damage to their greed, we won’t be able to believe anything they say while standing upon this foundation of sand.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party. Longer versions of his columns can be found at scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/.)

Fantasies rule Republicans

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