My Turn: Beware of darkness

Mik Muller, Greenfield Recorder. Published November 2, 2020

The election is days away, and not only is “truthiness” still rampant, but outright, premeditated misinformation is being spread by domestic and foreign actors, including skilled, military-grade hackers from Russia; organized, super-spreaders of misinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories by QAnon and their followers; religiously-based “intentional community” (cult?) members being nominated to the Supreme Court; all while we continue to stew in the chaos caused by our president.

You may have read about the recent indictment of six Russian ex-military officers who were engaged in cyber-attacks. Our FBI, CIA, etc., have been on this for several years. In March there was DEER.IO. In August there was Kriuchkov. And now there’s the GRU, who is related to all that election hacking in 2016. Since then the GRU also hacked the French election, the Olympics, and were trying to hack into Westinghouse. Our intelligence community is dealing with more attacks on our voting infrastructure from Russia, China and Iran. Our president ignores this.

QAnon, if you haven’t heard of it yet, is a pseudo-cult that says President Donald Trump is a secret warrior fighting against a child-trafficking ring run by celebrities and Democrats. They are waiting for two major events: the Storm; and the Great Awakening. The Storm is the mass arrest of people in high-power positions, and the Great Awakening involves a single event in which everyone will have the epiphany that QAnon was right the whole time. This realization will allow society to enter an age of utopia.

Remember “Pizzagate”? A man armed with an assault-style rifle fired shots inside Comet Ping Pong, a Washington, DC, pizzeria, and was later arrested. Before the shooting, Trump supporters and white supremacists on social media spread a false conspiracy theory asserting that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring in the basement of the pizzeria. Comet Ping Pong had no basement. That was early QAnon. Other lies they have peddled include “no one has died from coronavirus.”

Several Republicans running for Congress this year are QAnon-friendly. Over the July Fourth weekend, Michael Flynn recorded a video of himself taking the QAnon loyalty pledge. Many others in the administration, including the president’s son, Eric, have either reposted QAnon, or posted supporting photos. So far our president, Donald Trump, has re-tweeted QAnon posts over one hundred times. Insanity.

Senate Republicans rammed through a last-minute nominee on the Supreme Court to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, despite not allowing Obama to do the same thing, nine months before the election. “Use my words against me.” Cheating liars, lacking morals, all of them.

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is a conservative, of course, but Mrs. Barrett is also a very religious person. So religious she joined a group called People of Praise, which holds that men are divinely ordained as the head of both the family and faith, and it is the duty of wives to submit to them. In this group, she served the role of “Handmaid.” How her presence will impact any rulings on appeals against cases that have seemed to be “super precedent” is unknown. If they get overturned, this could set our country back to the 1950s in terms of tolerance and civil and rights.

And speaking of, many election polling locations have been shut down in poor neighborhoods and mail sorting machines dismantled and thrown out in the rain, while Iran is sending fake threatening emails from the Proud Boys to intimidate voters. Even though there’s been a huge amount of voting done by mail, many will still come out on Nov. 3, which could mean long lines due to COVID-19.

And, of course, there’s COVID-19, a pandemic Trump has called a hoax and which he has pretty much ignored, and insulted and fired most of the people who disagreed with his take. How many people have died as a result? By election day, close to a quarter of a million Americans.

But the true darkness is coming out of the White House itself. Our president continues to suggest he will not vacate the White House if he loses the election, and winks at the gun-hording “patriot” crowd to stand by. What happens if (when!) he loses? We could be in the soup for months. And if he wins? Years.

Watch out now. Take care. Beware.

Mik Muller, of Greenfield (, is a big fan of George Harrison’s song, “Beware of Darkness,” and not a fan of greedy leaders who take us where we should not go.