All Our Sons
Republicans of every stripe and stratum are expressly responsible for America’s shameful decline and must be held accountable if there is any hope of redemption.
By David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, January 6, 2021
There is this notion, especially among America’s elite, from progressives to conservatives, businessmen, academics and clergy, that we must find a way to heal the nation. In their world view, we are urged to recognize that there are good people on both sides. That many were deceived and should not be condemned along with the rest of the bad eggs, but given a chance to redeem themselves without penalty or prejudice. That we must forgive and forget.
Let’s go no further without declaring this to be absolute, unadulterated bullshit. It’s not only a lie, it’s a dangerous lie. Their actions were not a mere error in judgment, a few misstatements of fact, a misunderstanding of principles, or an example of inadvertent mendacity. That very suggestion is a falsehood. A willful, deliberate, fucking lie. We should learn to say it out loud. It’s a lie.
Every single Republican, every stripe, stratum, color, and creed, are expressly responsible for America’s shameful decline and must be held accountable if there is any hope of redemption. They didn’t do what they did for liberty, freedom, religion, God, or country. They did it for power. They did it for their own ego. They did it for money. They did it because it felt great to win and make the libs cry. They did it because they thought they could get away with it.
America has fallen from grace in almost exactly the way you could have predicted the minute we elected Donald J. Trump as President. But the idea that you can pin our precipitous decline solely on Trump, or McConnell, McCarthy, Cruz, Gaetz, and the rest of Republican leadership is just plain wrong. This is also a lie. Every so-called Republican (we can stop using the word conservative to describe them), from the blowhards at Fox News to your neighbor still flying his Trump flag are complicit and responsible for the diminishment of American exceptionalism.
If we are going to allow ourselves to be deceived into believing this was a few bad apples and not the whole bunch, we will be doomed to repeat history and it won’t ever be this easy to recover from again. The Trump Presidency almost sank democracy in America, and this is likely as good as it’s ever going to get as far as brushes with authoritarianism are going to get. The next time, they will be clever and slick about it, and they will succeed in upending the whole shebang in ways we will never recover from.
Our biggest danger was Trumpism, the movement, not the man. Donald Trump was just a figurehead, who frankly was too ignorant to do anything himself. The power structure used him and he used them in a symbiotic relationship of greed that has corrupted the halls of power in American government.
Tom McTague, writing for The Atlantic said, “There was nothing good or conflicted or complicated or clever about his mob or its hissy fit. What beamed out to the world was a bunch of angry people in costume, as if a Village People convention had turned ugly. Somehow they managed to push their way past the police, egged on by a rabble-rouser in chief—less a puppet master, more a resentful old man raging at the dying of the light….It is not as if last night was a kind of Wizard of Oz revelation for the world, a discovery that the great and powerful Oz does not exist. America and its president remain very powerful and will continue to be. The U.S. president can still wipe out life on Earth with the push of a button. But the sheen has come off. America no longer feels as special. The austere marble at the heart of imperial democracy is sprayed with graffiti. The institutions don’t look as secure, nor does the stability of the system.”
That’s what your neighbor and his flag have done. It wasn’t just the conniving turtle from Kentucky or that drunken hairdo in Florida. It was Bob from shipping with his stupid red cap and his erroneous understanding of how vaccines and central banks work.
“I know you’re no worse than most men but I thought you were better,” wrote Arthur Miller in his 1946 play, All My Sons. He went on to say, “There are certain men in the world who would rather see everybody hung before they’ll take blame.”
Joe shoots himself in the head at the end of the play. If we were only as fortunate.
This is not to say redemption is impossible. In order to be forgiven, you must first accept defeat before we can even get to an admission of wrongdoing. After which you must be contrite before bothering to ask for forgiveness. That’s just for your neighbor and Bob in shipping, mind you. Those who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution should be summarily expelled, impeached with prejudice, and prohibited from ever holding public office, or anything involving the public trust for the rest of their lives.
Anything short of this and there can be no redemption. They are free to live in their alternate reality and we will prosecute them for any crimes they commit, and shun them for willfully operating in opposition to society’s acceptable norms. It’s not illegal to be a member of the Klu Klux Klan. It just didn’t use to be socially acceptable, which is why they wore sheets over their heads. The bigots are more than free to go back to being secretly racist.
Joe eventually took responsibility for his actions. They were all his sons after all.