Jay Ambrose: The progressive disunity project

29January 2021

Donald Trump’s narcissistic, scatterbrained, sometimes cataclysmic moral ineptitude hurt America in two different ways, first by his own attacks on what is so precious to our way of life and next by inspiring his political enemies to join the party.

They had at him unsparingly while he was in office, and, now that he is more or less gone, they are going after his supporters as the worst trash ever seen, people due next to no rights and whose lives should be ruined. The incendiaries simultaneously attack free speech and other high principles. The new president, Joe Biden, recommended unity through civility, humility and tolerance in his inaugural speech, and, well, were they listening?

Sorry, but listening isn’t a proclivity of people looking down on those not as pure or wise as they are, such as the Harvard officials who kicked Harvard graduate Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., off the Institute of Politics senior advisory committee for not voting the right way in the second Trump impeachment. That televised performance, from my perspective, was less a due-process proceeding than immediate, convenient assumptions wrapped in outrage.

Perhaps Stefanik should have known that we live in an era in which any nod Trump’s way is treated as suspected Communism was in the McCarthy era, and we’re not through with Harvard. Alumni and students have been putting together petitions to actually revoke the Harvard degrees of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a wounded Navy SEAL whose master’s degree at Harvard was in public administration. Cruz graduated near the top of his class at Harvard Law School, hardly a collection of dunces, but, then, his conservative views are stupid, aren’t they?

No, but let’s agree he was wrong in saying the presidential election was fixed and then agree, though not as an excuse, that Democrats have been guilty of equally reprehensible misdeeds the past four years. Question: Does arbitrary vengeance serve the future? Yes, say some 500 writers asking publishers not to publish books by anyone who served in the Trump administration. The argument of these holy ones, some of whom prosper in fiction, is that their moral underlings should not get rich for their crime enhancement. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has already been kicked out of a deal with one publisher for his pro-Trump misconceptions.

“When this nightmare is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” it has been said by Robert Reich, a progressive who served in three previous administrations. “It would erase Trump’s lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.”

What he is talking about is making these sinful lapdogs face their evil and those they sinned against, something like a blacklist of the kind Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has also advocated, and there are those who want it to include voters and cost people jobs. To be sure, those who stormed the Capitol should answer for their crimes, but this is abomination advocacy.

Another way to address the issue, says Ocasio-Cortez, is to have a congressionally appointed commission study how to stop the “misinformation” and “disinformation” distributed by media. She has a special contempt for Fox News that goes easy with error no more than various other cable outlets or Ocasio-Cortez herself. Remember her now forsaken claim that climate change would end the world in 12 years? She was being satirical, she says, but I am not when I say the attack on conservative speech, here, there and everywhere, could end the best of what we are.

Those to be contained in all of this aren’t just a few, but the 74 million “idiots” and “white supremacists” who supposedly missed or applauded Trump’s disastrous defects profoundly exhibited in his presidential end days. What they may have noticed is the other side and Trump’s actual accomplishments despite himself.

Is it time for Biden to try another unity speech?

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at speaktojay@aol.com.

 

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