‘Truth never damages a cause that is just’

| 01 Feb 2021 | 03:16

    The following was written in response to commentary by Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton that appeared in the Jan. 22 edition of The Warwick Advertiser:

    It wasn’t “political discord and polarization,” as you write, that reached its apex in January’s deadly domestic terrorist attack at our Capitol. Discord and polarization are features of our democracy.

    What reached an apotheosis in the insurrection of Jan. 6th was something lethal to democracy: racist white rage. Eric Hoffer writes in his book, “The True Believer:” “There is perhaps no surer way of infecting ourselves with virulent hatred toward a person than by doing him a grave injustice.”

    Racism’s grave injustice is a self-inflicting wound which must be called out by you and all political leaders if we have any hope of passing a just, peaceful future to generations of Americans.

    An overwhelmingly white, armed mob, branding itself the “Trump Army,” flying flags of white supremacy, Nazism, Confederacy, Blue Lives, shouting “Kill Pence,” “Get Pelosi” and “Stop The Steal” raged at the results of a free and fair election where record numbers of voters, including BIPOC voters, decisively rejected the bid of an authoritarian president with aspirations to dictatorship. Trump’s route to dominance of his party and control of his cult of true believers is shot through with the dog whistles and brutality of white supremacy, which has toxified our civic institutions, economy and culture from our origins.

    The perpetuation of The Great Lie of a stolen election can only succeed where there’s an abandonment of reason and an absence of respect for law. We’ve witnessed the rejection of reason and truth among GOP’s leaders who surrender their integrity to secure their political futures in a radicalized party.

    Gandhi wrote: “Truth never damages a cause that is just.” We implore you, Supervisor Sweeton, to speak truth about where responsibility lies for this attack and to identify the roots of white grievance at its core.

    The radicalization of the GOP has no analogue in the Democratic Party. Your assertion that “both parties are complicit” is a false equivalency which perpetuates a lie and undercuts efforts toward “betterment” for which you call. You ask for all to “start doing their jobs” and to “...return to the spirit our founders laid the ground work for.” When the insurrectionists stormed Congress, they interrupted our elected leaders in the very process of “doing their jobs,” according to constitutional mandate.

    We can only find unity in shared commitment to facts. Terrorism is a zero-sum game. We can’t build consensus with unrepentant anarchists who have no political goals beyond destruction. Americans will never “reason” with cultists who worship racism, white supremacy, Nazism and totalitarianism, in obedience to a treacherous “dear leader.”

    We cannot move forward by finding a compromise between truth and lies. There is only truth.

    Clement and Joan Ceccarelli