Infamy: Political Crimes and Their Consequences
People everywhere respect what is most remote and least liable to have its reputation put to the test. At the least reverse, many would look down on us, and would join our enemies against us.
If we expand our conception of what is possible, we may grasp how we reached this point in our history.
When governments operate in secrecy, trust in government goes down. Rumors circulate about what government is up to.
The U. S. renounced its leadership of NATO seventeen years ago. After Trump’s extraordinary, two-year tirade against the alliance and its members, Macron wonders why we hang around.
Just as all is fair in war, no presumption of innocence exists in politics. To take the recent Supreme Court …
I thought about rights and the law this week, as items in the news lead to those subjects these days.
We all want to be left alone. In the past we valued democracy, because it seemed the best path to a good life. We tolerated politicians, because they did not come around that often. The contract we had with them seemed to work well enough. This round seems different. This time, democratic institutions could continue to wane for several generations.
As individuals who assault women or children eventually must face true accusations, so the state eventually pays for what it does to the people and institutions who trust it to preserve and protect the republic and its constitution. The state cannot escape history’s judgment, or ours. It never does.
If we ask what happened, our minds dream up thought experiments to help us explain phenomena that appear inexplicable. If we dream up thought experiments, we start to read books like those by David Ray Griffin. By that point, you have transformed yourself into a respected conspiracy theorist.
Yet the big lie of 9/11, and the war in Iraq that followed, have a more immediate bearing: one not directly connected to generational conflicts, or left-right conflicts as we currently prosecute them. Big lies propagated to justify futile wars bring alienation – resentments far more unbridgeable, and grievances far more irreconcilable. Ultimately, these public deceptions will bring our republic to the ground.
Someday people who consider Jones and his opinions vile will not be on top. Then their freedom to write and speak and publish what they think will feel threatened, and they will feel marginalized. What will they say then?