“Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide” goes an old favorite hymn of mine. Of course, the choice is between truth and falsehood. It is one that challenges us almost daily.
Not only is that the principle component of our entire system of justice, but it is also at the core of democracy itself.
Today that very basic tenet is under relentless attack from none other than the person who is assigned the task of serving as the ultimate protector of democracy: Donald Trump, the President of the United States.
It is not necessary to review all of his bizarre and reckless attacks during the campaign ranging from the CIA and the Pope to virtually every minority group. That falls into the right of free speech that we accord to our candidates. However, when elected they assume the more elevated and responsible role of guarding the truth and protecting the nations’ democratic institutions. That is their mission.
Our founding Fathers understood that the threat to democracy comes not only from afar but also from within. Today, we are living that threat.
We, the public, accept the truth that the Russians interfered with our 2016 election just as they have routinely involved themselves in other democratic elections. They are at war with democracies the world over and that is our war.
However, that has not been Donald Trump’s war. No matter how high the pile of evidence, he declares it “fake news.”
What is not fake is that when given the choice between making money and protecting his wealth which has been largely funded by Putin and the Russians and protecting the United States of America, Donald Trump has clearly and consistently chosen personal wealth. His war is against the revelation of the truth and, toward that end, he is out to destroy the very agencies that are charged with revealing the truth. Even when directed by Congress to impose sanctions on the Russians, he refuses.
No, his mission is to attack all people and institutions that pose a threat to his personal betrayal. His actions are clear. Very clear.
Now, the challenge is with us. What side do we come down on?
We do know this, our three Republican representatives in Congress who bill themselves as leaders have offered us only silence. Our nation is under attack and they have come forward with nothing more than “let the process continue.” Well, I have news for them: the President is doing everything possible to destroy that process and our representatives know that and yet only offer a turned head. The personal fear of being challenged in a GOP primary has clearly overtaken their commitment to protect our democracy.
Their silence and inaction encourages their House colleagues to continue dismantling the credibility of the FBI and the Department of Justice. This makes them enablers and partners with Trump and his new brand of lawlessness.
And way too many of our Democrats have been willing to remain in the shadows while others carry the burden of leadership. I applaud Congresswoman Betty McCollum for her outspokenness. Now, it is time all candidates and public officials provide some real leadership. Come forth and show yourself. Our country’s future is in jeopardy.
From our founding as a democratic nation, we have been served by men and women who have put their personal lives aside and sacrificed for the wellbeing of our country. It was not just the heroism of the George Washington’s or Audie Murphy’s (World War II’s most decorated soldier) but also the courage of millions of regular Americans who donned the uniform of our nation’s military so you and I may live in a democratic society.
Our mission must be to make certain that patriots who put nation first also serve us in public office. We need more protest, more outrage, more public meetings, more challenging editorials, more commitment. Why? Our nation is under siege and this challenge requires our involvement and unyielding determination.
The moment to decide is upon us…