Alan Zendell, June 9, 2022
Americans have a lot on their minds today. The nation is still reeling from the murders of nineteen more school children and their teachers. Those who swore to govern us and uphold the Constitution seem to not recognize gun violence and unrestricted access to high capacity killing machines as antithetical to that document’s opening sentence, which charges them to, “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, … promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty.” Dead children and teachers are neither tranquil nor free.
Americans are still recovering from the loss of more than a million lives and countless businesses to COVID, and thousands more are infected every week because political opportunism continues to hold sway over common sense public health measures. We still face shortages of critical items due to our dependence on overseas manufacturing and shipping, and prices of food and anything that must be shipped by land, rail or sea continue to rise because of the aftereffects of the pandemic and the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.
We’re facing the possibility of global war as we continue to escalate our efforts to help Ukraine fend off Russian aggression in a conflict that remains open-ended, driven by a paranoid dictator who will only cease when stopped by a more powerful force. Two major weapons in the fight are Russia’s oil and natural gas. The prices of gasoline and diesel fuels have nearly doubled, and it is becoming prohibitively expensive for many Americans to heat and air-condition their homes. Worse, these undeniable realities have also become domestic political weapons.
With so much already on our plates, it’s natural to want to put past problems out of our minds. Political leaders who continue to support former President Trump’s attempted coup will continue to capitalize on the chaos and confusion which are the hallmark of everything Trump touches. As the war on facts and truth remains his primary means of maintaining wealth and power, it’s understandable that so many of us have had enough. We don’t want to see and hear proof that things are even worse than we thought, and that is exactly what the people clinging to Trump’s coattails for their political lives are counting on.
Yet, if we value our future as a free nation, we must. Despite efforts by right-wing media to paint the January 6th House Committee as politically motivated and invalid, despite how weary we are of dealing with crisis after crisis, despite many Repuclicans suggesting that we ignore the upcoming hearings of the January 6th Committee, we cannot let political infighting distract us from the very real and dangerous crimes that were committed when armed mobs incited by Trump and his supporters attacked our Capitol. Everything associated with that insurrection was a result of lies and a months-long orchestrated effort to overturn a secure, free election and undermine the most critical part of our Constitution. Like, but more serious than the crimes committed by the Nixon White House fifty years ago, nothing less than the existence of the American republic as a free society is at stake.
If that matters to you, it’s essential to disentangle from the politics. If we cannot trust our elected leaders who intend to display their findings to the entire world with complete transparency; if we cannot have confidence in the rulings of more than sixty courts in which Trump’s false claims of election fraud were thrown out as completely baseless; if we cannot put aside rhetoric based on personal greed and ambition of people who do not have the interests of the nation at heart, we will have proved that we’ve fallen prey to the same decadence that destroyed every civilization that preceded ours.
We must all watch with open minds. The January 6th Committee has worked for fourteen months, interviewing thousands of witnesses including Trump’s family and supporters. Our entire system of justice depends on factual evidence, and the Committee has worked tirelessly to assemble a mountain of it. Let’s suspend our personal grievances and political ideologies and just pay attention. Let’s think for ourselves when the evidence is presented and ignore malicious individuals and robots who flood our social media. Watch, listen, and evaluate.
We have a solemn duty to maintain the integrity of our electoral process and to require the same from those we elected to govern us. If we do not, we will lose not only our liberty, but our standing in the world, because everyone else will recognize that our self-righteous preaching about freedom and democracy is completely disingenuous.
Donald Trump attempted to overthrow our rightfully elected government. At a minimum, that’s sedition. For anyone else it would mean twenty years in prison. If we let that go unaddressed, we might as well tear up the Constitution.