Found this in my Drafts folder. A lot of good it did, but in July 2021, it still needs saying. Too bad none of them listened. None of them. That window done shut, folks.
January 7, 2021 – Yesterday’s uprising in Washington, DC was predictable, as was the inevitable spin and finger pointing in its wake. In fact, even before the insurrection had laid down for the night it had already started: frenetic wood gathering for the next bonfire.
I pray it stops today, though I realize that’s unlikely. Regrettably, we’ve only got a brief window of time to rightly grapple with this, to seize this day in America. It won’t be easy. Everyone, leaders especially, has got to get off the pendulum, the wild and heady partisan ride, to be the action heros who fix us. Who save the Union.
First step: eschew the blame game. Take responsibility that belongs to all of us. Stop saying everything was Clinton’s fault, Bush’s fault, Obama’s fault, Trump’s fault. Socialists’, Evangelicals’. Right wing fanatics’. Radical environmentalists’ and red necks’. They’re all complicit in special and unique ways, but we are too.
We elect leaders to do our partisan bidding, not to lead with integrity and wisdom. The political system swings left, then right. We anoint heros and villains at the drop of a hat. We assassinate the characters of people standing in our way. Our leaders are mirror images of ourselves. And unfortunately, we’ve already seen our reflections in both extremes.
Last night Vice President Pence did the right, the honorable thing.
Senator Mitt Romney said in anger to Senator Ted Cruz and others when the protestors breached the Capitol, “This is what you’ve gotten!” Though it was directed at Senators, the blame falls to a much larger circle. A circle we’re standing in. A circle we helped to create. A circle of shame.
The only way this changes is that we all get off the pendulum and let our leaders off, as well. We start treating each other with respect.
Democratic leaders, now it falls to you. You have the ability to demonstrate your wisdom and courage. You won, but barely. You have a lot of convincing and healing to do. Show us, along with Republican leadership, that possess the will and skills to serve all Americans.
Let’s all step off (and stay off) the pendulum. Let’s not be manipulated by those who seek to swing things their way. Let’s remember the Golden Rule and the things that make America truly great: integrity, courage, compassion, and wisdom.
And Congress and the White House, please work with the new minority party – not in the way they worked with you, but in the way you wished they had. “Things have got to change,” it was said over and over last night.
You know, in order for something to change, someone has to change. And that someone is all of us.