By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist
There must be a universe in which America hasn’t descended into anti-science denialism; in which all members of America’s majority religion actually followed its teachings, rather than promoting hate and fear of otherness, and elevating its amoral political “leader” to a status higher than their religious one.
Somewhere in the multiverse, America never elected a lifelong liar and flouter of the law, a narcissistic destroyer of the once-touted “guardrails” of democracy; a wrong-doer never held to account, unable to accept recant or renounce transgressions of decency and the law. Surely there’s a universe in which the party that elected him took responsibility and corrected its mistake. By producing superior candidates capable of correcting the error, refusing to reinstall the one, fealty to and fear of whom facilitated the downfall of party and country.
These Friday columns are sent in by Wednesday evening, allowing this page’s editor to lay out the opinion section on Thursday morning, for publication the next day. So, at this writing, we don’t know if the inevitable indictment of Donald Trump by special counsel Jack Smith has yet dropped. But we know the reaction. From Republican leaders and their admitted-liar media, the meas won’t be culpa. We’ll hear of witch hunts, crazed Trump-haters, liberals seeking vengeance for something or other, rather than supporting punishment for obvious crimes, as should be the case, in a nation of laws, for all people, even former “presidents.”
We’ll hear praise of the Jan. 6 desecrators, pretense that stealing classified documents, lying about it, and getting others to lie, too, is no big deal; and claims that, in a supernatural act, the documents became declassified the minute they were stolen. There’ll be calls for impeachment, imprisonment, or worse, of investigators, prosecutors, and Democratic leaders, top to bottom. Trump’s poll numbers will rise. “Truthless Social” will run out of capital letters. Despite his undeniable criminality, he may still become his party’s nominee. Too late to admit their mistake. For those with time and inclination, here’s documentation of Trump’s crimes, created by former prosecutors, which they propose would be similar to Jack Smith’s “prosecution memo”: (Just Security: tinyurl.com/longmemo4u)
But what alternative candidates are there? Ron DeSantis, whose campaign is based entirely on constantly repeating his too-clever-by-three-quarters phrase — “woke mind virus” — the definition of which boils down to acceptance of differences among fellow humans and resistance to banning books and words. (Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, not yet and hopefully never a presidential candidate, just signed a law requiring imprisonment of librarians who allow children to see books she’s banned. Other red state governors are in line.)
Nikki Haley, the “reasonable one,” just blamed the fact that a third of girls have contemplated suicide on fear of sharing a bathroom with a trans girl; something that happens rarely and so what? Girls’ bathrooms have stalls, not urinals. And she doesn’t like red flag laws because she doesn’t “trust the government to enforce them.” As opposed to whom? The NRA?
Chris Christie, whose weight is being mocked by classy, 237-pound (according to lying Ronny Jackson, M.D., R-Texas) fourth-grader Trump, once in trouble for hugging President Obama for his help with Hurricane Sandy, began his rehabilitation campaign by asserting that Obama deliberately divided the country.
Mike Pence, whose chances lag Hell’s snowball, kicked off his campaign with a professionally produced video, in which he says “President Biden and the radical left have weakened America at home and abroad”; a statement believed, no doubt, by the Foxified but refuted on every level by simple observation. The part of the video that insists “timeless American values are under assault” shows images of rainbow flags and trans kids. No dog whistle for Mike. A soulless bullhorn.
Most of these pretenders push the lie that children can be “groomed” to become gay or to change their gender. They push it because it works; because it’s a proven path to power when they have nothing to offer for average Americans. Granted, children can be groomed to accept sexual molestation; we hear of it, too often, being done by various youth pastors and anti-LGBT, pro-life politicians, as well as “patriotic” militia members. And, for sure, taught to be racist. But not to become gay. Or to switch gender. It doesn’t happen. The lie that sexual identity is chosen, or “groomed,” as opposed to inborn, is second only — or maybe, in terms of harm to vulnerable people, first — to Trump’s election lies. The science — yes, science! — is compelling, and deepening steadily (National Institutes of Health: tinyurl.com/2science4u). Pushing the lies, attacking our most vulnerable for political gain is cynical, un-Christian cruelty at its worst.
Having run out of space, we finish by quoting noted social scientist, Wanda Sykes: “Until a drag queen walks into a school and beats eight kids to death with a copy of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ I think you’re focusing on the wrong stuff].”
Email Sid Schwab at email@example.com.