Friday, January 6, 2023

Repairing the Pillar

Though it’s January 7th in Sydney, it’s January 6th back in the good ole U.S.A. and that now carries a double meaning. The old story of Epiphany and Three Kings Day, a baby born in a humble manger offering a new promise to humanity and blessed by three kings, side by side with the new story of American traitors supported by an outgoing President threatening lives, defacing property and intending to bring down Democracy. And the sad, horrific line connecting these two stories is that just about all of those traitors would call themselves, “Christians.”


During the dark times of 2016-2020, the slender thread of hope that kept me going was that the three pillars of Democracy that set it apart from the absolute tyranny of Nazi Germany, North Korea, China, Turkey (for starters) were still holding up the edifice:


1) Free speech: Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Michael Moore and hundreds of others could critique the government and be viewed by millions without getting arrested or killed. 


2) Term limits: No matter how horrible a President or Senator, there was always the hope of the next election and a maximum of 8 years to wait out the disaster. (Supreme Court excepted, to our dismay).


3) A judicial system that held lawbreakers accountable: This pillar the most cracked and tenuous of the three, but still occasionally worked, as many of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists sentenced to jail are now discovering to their dismay. Without that possibility of accountability to the law, (an accountability shut down in the above-named countries), there would be no hope of progress.


Yet as Michael Moore has pointed out, Congressional Representatives sworn to uphold the Constitution broke their oath (specifically the 14th Amendment) by refusing  to ratify the 2020 election and supporting the insurrection in which their very lives were threatened. And though delayed by the crashing of the Kevin McCarthy clown car, 118 out of the 147 Republicans who should be forced to resign were re-elected and about to be sworn in again to uphold the Constitution they refused to uphold. And the ringmaster of that whole circus is still not in jail! 


We hardly need more evidence of a broken judicial system in a country where police murderers of black people face no consequence, black people can be thrown in jail for decades for a minor marijuana infraction while Wall Street robbers go free and celebrity rapists are freed from prison. But this cognitive dissonance is simply at the outer bounds of belief. Take a moment to write your (Democratic) congressperson and demand that these representatives be appropriately charged and removed.  And then you can work on forgiving and loving them as they sit in jail.


I believe the baby in the manger would approve. 

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