The End of Accountability
Movie producer Julia Phillips coined the phrase, “you’ll never eat lunch in this town again,” which was the title of her autobiography describing Hollywood in the 1970s and 80s. The famous expression used to also apply in Washington, D.C., where politicians guilty of brazen corruption would either resign in disgrace or be permanently voted out of office. Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew come to mind as obvious examples, but there have been countless other Washington insiders driven from politics for good. At least, there used to be.
Donald Trump and today’s GOP have made the concept of accountability extinct. The party of “family values” is beyond unethical. It’s almost as if anything goes.
Just in the past few years, Republicans have been accused of rape, sex trafficking, tax corruption and insider trading. Now, they are trying to block the creation of a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6th domestic terror attack on the U.S. Capitol.
All of this malfeasance seems to roll off the back of the GOP, which no longer feels as if it has to live by the laws of the country it pretends to govern.
There is no mystery why they do it. They want absolute power. They want to destroy American democracy. They want to rule by minority, as if they were royalty. They live in shared psychopathy and haven’t even hidden it that well.
The mystery is why were 74 million people willing to go along with this?
We can debate the psychological makeup of individuals and what makes them prone to follow cult leaders or false prophets. We can talk about how organized religion may be to blame, as it involves a willingness to believe in what can’t be proven. The same can be said about conspiracy theories. Yes, it can be any number of things. It isn’t.
It is what it has always been about in this country -- race.
A large percentage of people no longer care what crimes are committed in the name of maintaining white privilege.
They will defend the indefensible for the promise of a white utopia.
They are reluctant to give up the fantasy. It’s unattainable, yet they believe every lie and every empty promise.
The answer to defeating this danger seems simple enough, but it is more complicated than ever. It’s called telling the truth and suffering consequences. This will never be a white-only country. It never was. There must be penalties for those who make such claims in government and lie, cheat and steal to appease this racist base.
That is the only way to turn around from the path of destruction.
“For America to survive as a democratic republic, we must restore the legal guardrails that keep psychopaths from entering, controlling or buying our political process. And we must hold the obvious psychopaths and their enablers — the Former Guy and those in Congress who encouraged and continue to baldly lie about the January 6th insurrection attempt — to account,” says Thom Hartmann of the Hartmann Report.
This battle won’t be won in one or two election cycles. It will take many years to merely make small adjustments toward progress.
For decades, the Republican Party and movement conservatives have branded themselves as defenders of "freedom." But in practice they have supported Christian theocrats and others who want to take away women's reproductive rights, end secular democracy and limit the civil and human rights of other groups they deem to be "less than" or not "real Americans," such as nonwhite people, says Chauncey Devaga of Salon. This includes suppressing votes and other disingenuous tactics.
It will take years of hard work to undo this harm. However, If we don’t take these crucial steps to defend our democracy, we will lose it.
Never take for granted that the America you know will be here when you wake up. Without accountability for all and truth, it won’t. Not the way you remember it.