Letter: Courage, cowardice and hypocrisy

Published 8:30 pm Friday, February 12, 2021

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I watched the bravery of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, poisoned by Putin, out of love for his homeland, return to Russia to be immediately arrested and imprisoned by Putin. I watched tens of thousands of Russians — some braving 40 degree below zero temperatures — being beaten and clubbed and thousands being arrested protesting that act.

On Jan. 6, I watched President Trump tell the worshippers he had called to Washington that he would go with them to the Capitol to convince its members to overturn the vote. Hours after the invasion, in a taped video he told these terrorists that they were “special,” and that he loved them. And now several people are dead, and the lives of many Trump cultists are destroyed — many will lose their livelihoods and familie. This is because, and only because, of the selfishness of one man, who, desperate to maintain the protections he enjoyed as president — protections that he knew would keep him out of prison — created the “big lie” that he, not Joe Biden, won the election. Republicans in Congress are terrified of the people who have now become the Republican base: the ignorant, the violent and the conspiracy theorists like MTG. Most Republicans in Congress are afraid of them and despise them, but they need their votes to stay in office, so they will not denounce them.

I watched the cowardice and hypocrisy of American Congress people as they paid their respects to the Capitol policeman who died protecting them on Jan. 6, nearly 200 of whom know Officer Kisnick is dead because and only because they fostered the “big lie” that President Trump won the election. But even after the Capitol invasion, they voted to not validate the election anyway. Their cowardice makes them complicit in Kisnick’s death and all the misery, not to mention taxpayer expense, brought about by the terrorist attack on the Capitol.

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As Rick Wilson said, there is a reason “Profiles in Courage” is such a slim book. According to former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and many others in the know, if it had been a secret ballot 35 Republican Senators would have voted to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial. They all know he is corrupt and unfit and say so privately. But most are too cowardly to say so publicly. The fact they did not vote to convict then — and most won’t now — is especially outrageous coming from the senators who said we could not allow a man who would lie to remain president and voted to convict Clinton for a lie about an affair, but will not convict trump whose lie count ended at 30,573. Not to mention the fact that he is a mass murderer because of his pathetic response to the COVID pandemic (America is 94th in response out of 98 countries evaluated), and now the fact that he instigated a revolt that endangered their own lives and led to the deaths and injuries and destroyed the lives of so many others.

History will record that there is very little honor and no courage among most of today’s Republicans. As a Facebook friend wrote, “When our Constitution is in danger, when there is a physical attack on our Capitol and there are people killed, I expect those we elect to Congress have the courage of a second-grade teacher at Sandy Hook. Protect what you are entrusted to protect or go home!”

Lonna Gooden Van Horn