Mark Strickland

Definitions of the abyss:

• A very deep hole that seems to have no bottom

• Anything unfathomable or infinite

• In the book of Genesis, the primeval Chaos out of which earth and sky were formed 

It seems, as a society, we are headed to a deep hole that is filled with primeval chaos — an abyss. We are probably not just headed but we may already be deep into the abyss. Let me explain. 

The president is teaching our children that lying is OK. Donald Trump's presidential re-election committee is also running blatant lies as advertising on Facebook and other sites. Russia has and continues to interfere with our elections and many Republicans seem to deny this fact.

On the border with Mexico, we are committing genocide by how we are treating families and their children. The Justice Department just announced they are returning to capital punishment and have ordered a number of people to be executed.

And now, if you do a little research, you will find that social media companies are outsourcing to poor countries the review of potential gruesome photos of people who have died and in some cases disfigured so these photos can be removed from various social media sites.

This is just a sample and does not include the behavior of some major corporations. 

As a society we are headed to places like these and more that are deep in the abyss. 

Would we be happy if our children lied as much as the president? Hopefully you would be appalled if over the course of about 2½ years your child told you 10,000 lies. If you support the president how can you tell your child they should not lie? Should he not be a role model? You might have to ground your child for the rest of their life for that many lies. 

The Trump re-election campaign is running blatantly untrue ads on Facebook without impunity. When Facebook was contacted about some specific ads, its representatives declined to comment and the ads continue to run. We should not be surprised based on other Facebook behavior and privacy. 

Many security experts have conclusive proof that the Russian government has interfered with elections in the past and will likely continue to interfere with current and future elections. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell continues to block a vote on an election security bill that could help improve the security and accuracy of our elections. Quite a curious strategy. Or maybe he likes the Russian “help” that will improve the Republican’s chances. 

As I have written here before, we are, as a country, committing genocide based on the United Nations legal definition by separating children from their families and locking them in cages. That one alone, in my opinion, is already at the bottom of the abyss. 

You can decide on your own if capital punishment is a moral act that you think makes sense and you can endorse its use. As you ponder this issue please remember that people of color have accounted for 43% of the executions since 1976. In 1975 people of color accounted for about 15% of the population and currently comprise about 39% of the population. Also keep in mind that some states still use electrocution as their method of execution. 

Any one of these, at least partially, throws our society into the abyss. Combined we sink collectively to the lowest depths of the deepest abyss. 

How did we arrive at a place as a society where we seemingly can overlook these and other atrocities? This is not a recent problem. It is also not just a problem caused by one group. Some groups were trying to drive these issues, but they were not a majority. 

What is shocking, depressing and terrifying is many of us complacently let these types of horrifying events happen while we carry on a seemingly normal life. We seem to be able to ignore the lying, we are not openly concerned about Russian election interference, and we continue to post on social media without any accountability for these companies.

Individually maybe we were not worried about any one issue, but now we seem to just be able to ignore the fact we are in free fall into this abyss. 

What is scary, as a society, we don’t really understand what can happen as we continue our free fall. It is not everybody in our society, but some just simply don’t think any of these behaviors are due to elected representative corruption or corruption worthy of condemnation.

This group is more accepting of the actions of some of our elected representatives and feel these representatives must be attempting to return our country to the mythological greatness of the past — a past they desperately want to reclaim even if it did not really exist. Much of the rest of society is frozen in a state of inaction even though they know these actions are corrupt. 

So where are we now? What if things continue to get worse? Do you think it is possible newspapers, like this one, could be blocked from publishing content similar to this guest column? If so, what might happen next? 

As I heard somebody once say, it is not the fall that kills you but the sudden stop at the bottom. I am not sure we know exactly how far it is to the bottom and if we even notice we are falling. Buckle up. 

Mark is a software developer and amateur photographer. He has called Frankfort home for over 10 years. He can be reached at

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