While looking through some old photos a few days ago I came across the picture below. It was taken in 2015 at the Shortridge High School All Class Reunion in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the reunion, high school friends and I ran into former Indiana senator Richard Lugar (1932 – 2019). Lugar graduated from Shortridge abut 20 years before me.
The photo sparks nostalgia for the time when liberals and conservatives in America could actually get along. Lugar was a republican and navy vet. He served two terms as mayor of Indianapolis and then six terms as a United States senator (1977 – 2013) representing the Hoosier State. Looking at the photo I’m reminded of the time when liberals and conservatives could actually get along and a time when (for me at least) the character and values of politicians was as important as positions on legislative issues. As a democrat, I disagreed with Lugar on some issues but voted for him because of his honesty, integrity, courage and desire to make government work for everybody.
Today January 6 is the first anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history. A president who lost reelection by more than seven million votes publicly directed his vice president to invalidate the votes of more than 81 million Americans, overturn the results of the election, and declare him the winner. The former president claimed that he lost only because of widespread voter fraud. The claims were made up by a psychologically twisted individual whose self image depends on convincing people that it is impossible for him to lose. Scores of courts have examined the fraud claims and rejected them unanimously because they are unsupported by any credible evidence. Many of the judges who rejected the claims were appointed by the president making the claims.
Many politicians continue to support the lie about election fraud even though they know it is false. They also know that supporting this lie damages the country at home and abroad and shakes the very foundation upon which the country is built. They support the claim because they are afraid of the former president. He might encourage a challenge in their next primary election.
These politicians ask our youth to serve in the armed forces and lay down their lives or be wounded or captured to protect the Constitution and our democratic form of government. Yet these self-serving cowards cannot find the courage to stop misleading their constituents and just tell the truth about the biggest threat to presidential elections and the peaceful transfer of power the country has ever faced. They feel no shame. They have no honor.
There is the Franklin quote: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Politicians just care about themselves, and many Americans, it seems, care more about a dishonorable, defeated political candidate than they do about the principles that America has lived and prospered by since its founding. That many would invalidate the votes of 81 million Americans shouldn’t be surprising however because many Americans have throughout our history been willing to overlook the denial of basic rights for their fellow citizens.