The opening words of The American Crisis written by Thomas Paine in 1776 could easily have been written today:
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
In the second Senate Impeachment Trial of the former president, the Articles of Impeachment charged that Donald Trump incited his followers to violence against America on January 6, 2021.
The House managers laid out in searing detail the events that led up to and transpired on that day, putting into context the months of propaganda-like rhetoric coming from the former President, his allies in Congress and right-wing media claiming that a legitimate election was fraudulent and action was necessary to “take back your country.”
Astonishingly, after voting to acquit Donald Trump, the former Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had this to say: “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their resident.”
This impeachment trial offered the Republicans a graceful way to extricate themselves from the damning legacy that Donald Trump has wrought upon them and the rest of America. Unfortunately, not enough Republicans could muster the courage to put America above their party or political aspirations. In essence, giving a pass to anyone who would attempt to do this in the future.
The question now becomes: What do we do? How do we repair the damage and restore American values such as truth, rule of law and accountability?
I believe it starts by calling out mis-information and lies no matter the source. It is the duty of our elected officials to renounce the false claims about the 2020 election in no uncertain terms, going on the record to condemn what the former president and his accomplices tried to do.
If this dangerous assault on Democracy is swept under the rug, we will all pay the price. We must reckon with the violent insurrection on our Capitol and it’s causes.
History warns us that unbridled deception continues to be used by tyrants seeking to retain their power by indoctrinating the populace.
Now we know it can happen here.
As Americans, we have an obligation to bear allegiance to the truth and demand it from our leaders.