Ordinarily, my faith in people is unsurpassed. I truly believe in the inherent goodness of people to do the right thing, as well as the potential of humanity to do astounding things.
I set the bar much higher for our public officials and elected representatives in congress. Above all they should have integrity: a level of honesty that is beyond reproach combined with a strong moral compass. But I confess my expectation that any member of the GOP or the Trump administration will do the right thing has died.
The catalyst was Senator Lindsey Graham when he confessed in this video:
“I want everyone to use my words against me. If there’s a republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term you can say, Lindsey Graham said, ‘let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.’ And you can use my words against me, and you’d be absolutely right.” (No splicing footage here. That’s a direct quote.)
I get that Trump and the GOP are within their power to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. Yes, it’s a political power grab with far-reaching implications, but it’s within their right. But Senator Graham’s confession, combined with the memory of how Mitch McConnell used his power to block President Obama’s nominee, was the last nail in the coffin for me. Their power grab is both hypocritical and diabolical and indicates that integrity is officially dead in the GOP.
It’s not like we all just woke up on Monday and didn’t see this coming. We have been witnessing the slide of our democracy into an autocracy for nearly four years amid an avalanche of incompetence and corruption.
What the members of the GOP should understand is that their reputations are now irrevocably intertwined with Trumpism – both the man and his actions. Which is to say, that you (men and women of the GOP), are now viewed as one who admires and respects Trump’s personality and values, and who fully supports his deeds and policy decisions.
Your silence speaks volumes:
- When he lies and you don’t correct the record for the American people, you amplify his deceptions.
- When he discredits our own intelligence agencies, and sides instead with adversaries, you indicate your cynicism of these intelligence agencies as well.
- When he dishonors our military, and you offer him no blowback, you dishonor me, and every proud American who has worn a uniform.
- When he rails against the free press, you mock any journalist who has suffered or died putting pen to truth, in America as well as any other country.
- When he demonizes fellow Americans that don’t worship him, you share in his disdain for certain Americans, and have failed in your oath to protect and represent ALL the American people.
- When he incites division, which fuels the peaceful protests, riots and the chaos now filling our city streets, you become a major contributor of civil unrest.
- When he invites foreign intervention in our elections, uses any methods at his disposal to cheat, or indicates that he will not accept the outcome of the 2020 elections, you enable the corruption of our election processes, and will share in the responsibility of causing whatever pandemonium arises.
- When he is moved by conspiracy theories to disgrace our institutions of science, you share in the ignorance and damage inflicted by his contempt for truth.
- And now, when we have lost 200,000 friends and loved ones due to his incompetency in handling the coronavirus, and you continue to not challenge his management decisions, then you share in the responsibility in the loss of these American lives.
So, I ask, at what price have you bartered in exchange for your silent complicities? Is it to preserve your position in the corridors of power? Is it to earn $174,000 per annum plus perks? Is it because you lack the foresight to understand that the last historical references in your biography will detail what you did not do to save our democracy? Please explain the reasons why to the American people. Because I can’t fathom why these pitiful incentives are worth the loss of your legacy and our way of life.
We can only hope, those of us living outside the political extravagances in DC, that you haven’t irrevocably slit the throat of democracy the way you so quickly exterminated your integrity.
NOTE: My thanks to Don McLean, the musician who wrote and performed American Pie, for the inspiring title to this post.