Truth, Justice, and the American Way

The insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol believe the big lie told them by Trump, parroted by Republican leaders and right-wing media. Those lies rocked faith in our democracy, fueled dangerous ideas, and ideas are what fuel revolution. Building barriers around the U.S. Capitol won’t fight the big lie and will only make us look and feel like a fascist state.

The only way to fight lies is with plain simple Truth resonating from every hall of justice, every podium, across the airwaves, and in every town square.

Many Republicans are now saying they want unity and reconciliation, but they don’t want Impeachment or the 25th Amendment invoked. What they really mean is they want to placate the angry mobs. They are afraid of their own constituency and, I believe, have been so for several years. Unfortunately, our time for placating, or forgetting, or sweeping under the rug… is over. If America is to get through this and come out stronger on the other side, then we must actually go through it. This means we need to have both Truth and Reconciliation. This starts with Justice which by its very nature requires an examination of the truth.

The House must proceed to Impeach Trump for his incitement to insurrection, regardless of when it can be picked up for trial in the Senate. Impeachment is a formal process, one of many, that shines a light on the truth. It is also a natural and Constitutional consequence to Traitor Trump’s actions. Our founders knew Tyrants like Trump and we need to heed their wisdom and the roadmap they left us in the form of the Constitution. We then need to engage every other formal process plus less formal paths to discover and spread truth. If we do not do that now, whole-heartedly, strategically, and patriotically, we will lose a whole generation of Americans to further and future susceptibility to lies.

We need to remember how to speak truth, stating affirmatively what is, not what isn’t. Trump’s earworms twist our tongues. Everyone had been so busy saying the election wasn’t stolen that they forgot to say “the election was fairly won.” We say there wasn’t “widespread voter fraud,” rather than say “Trump’s own authorities said we had the most secure election in modern history.” We have stopped saying that “Joe Biden won fair and square”, “by a wide margin”, “both by popular vote and the electoral college”, “showing strong support for his policies”, “which are primarily traditional democratic policies”.

If you cannot say and have not said these things out loud, then you are not reconciled with the truth. By the way, if you have said or thought we need to count every “legal vote”, then he got to you. This microaggression crept into our brains and will fuel a decade of voter suppression if we do not wipe it from our unconscious mind.

Also, we have to remember the truths we knew and yet made ourselves forgot. Republicans knew.

The truth can be painful but we are a brave and strong people. Speaking the truth no matter how ugly it is for you and others is characteristically American. I was gladdened the other day to see a clip from a London correspondent who was impressed with how resiliently our democratic habits flexed into play the next day through truthful and transparent media coverage, unlike in more authoritarian regimes.

A democracy cannot survive and thrive if its citizens are grossly misinformed. So go forth and speak the truth as if the truth is that glorious shining beacon on a hill because, indeed, if you shout it loud from the highest hills, the truth will set us free.

President Obama’s Farewell Sparks our Democracy Hello

This evening’s Presidential Farewell Address by President Barack Obama reminds us that democracy requires each of us to participate. For the moment, I think that means paying attention to the confirmation hearings for every single cabinet pick and writing to our Senators and talking to our friends and neighbors about them. I invite you to start by reading and sharing these many (too many) good reasons to oppose the appointment of Jeff Sessions to Attorney General written by one of the 1,400 law professors nationwide who warn of his appointment.

 

 

Why Women’s Rights are Human Rights

Happy New Year! I am feeling better than ever after a fantastic holiday visit with twin baby nephews, sisters, and Vegas performers. Now I am looking forward to the March for Women in Washington, January 21, to which my 13-year old son will accompany me. Are you going or someone you know, take this 30 second headcount survey.

Why do I march? Because marching unites us and is good for democracy. Because even though I have a special love for men (Hi Honey and boys!), I genuinely like women. Because I laughed out loud all four times I saw the Ghostbusters reboot (that’s right…I got the eighties jokes, and I enjoy female banter, and I appreciated the irony of gender role reversal). But most of all I march because standing up for one marginalized group means standing up for all of them, all of us.

How we treat women in any given society is a litmus test for how civilized, fair and advanced that society is. But make no mistake, when I march for women I am also marching for minorities, and men, and the rust belt, because all of us take turns being down and out (some of us just spend longer in the down and out position than others). At the end of the day, sexual harassment/discrimination, racism, nationalism, etc. all stem from the same roots: power, abuse of power, and how to divvy resources to maintain power.  It’s about getting away with it simply because you can, and about dividing people to make it easier to control them, and about limiting resources to some in order to enrich yourself.

When people abuse power, they no longer deserve power. No matter if it is in the locker room, the bus, the classroom, the workplace, or our Nation’s top leadership.

Republicans abused their power then they made their pact in 2008 to oppose Obama every step of the way, even when they agreed with him, even when it was best for the country to agree with him; their sole purpose was to “get back in power”, (seeking absolute power) not to use their power for the good of the country by doing the hard work of compromise. And Trump abuses his power almost daily with lying, irresponsible, reckless, and unethically self-enriching tweets.

So I will don my knitted pussy hat (gift from a dear friend) as we stand indivisible and march for all of us.