Thomas Paine’s Choice

Trump is a racist, a white supremacist, a moral catastrophe. He is unfit to govern and unfit to lead this nation.  If you can deny or excuse this I think there will come another time for you.  Who will you say you were when you supported his vile claims upon America?

Let Thomas Paine make the point for us: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”

The true test of character, of the heart, and moral value is here. And how do you want to be remembered?

IF we survive this—and that means if Trump is soundly defeated, the House remains Democratic, and maybe, just maybe the Senate turns too—then there’s going to be a reckoning. It may take time. But William Barr is wrong about his Homeric destiny: his complicity in evil will not die when he does. Songs _will_ be sung. Infamy will follow all of them into death. History will know. Judge not, you opine? That’s not what justice demands when we must answer to our humanity.

Who were you, where were you, and what did you do? You will be remembered because there are occasions when the stakes really are that high and there is a right side and a wrong side. It’s not an opinion. It’s about human decency. Did you “make a mistake” in 2016? There’s still time to make amends and not a moment to waste.

I’ve lived long enough now to see how this goes. In 1965 you were with Dr. King’s movement or you were not. In 1974, you were with Nixon or you were not. These were choices that revealed the human core. These were matters that cannot be dismissed as “mistakes that anyone could make.” We’ve arrived there once again.

This is a moment in history now that can’t just have confused you. There is no idle response. There is no neutral. You weren’t just duped or taken along for the ride. The question is before you: where are you now that it’s all plain as day? “These are the times that try men’s souls,” and Paine’s anachronistic language notwithstanding the point remains.

You are with Trump or you are not. If you are with him, history will not be kind to your choices, your judgment, or your character. You will have chosen not only the wrong side of history but will have demonstrated a personal failure of character— because this is an honest test of right and wrong.

If I am wrong then surely this experiment in democracy will be rightly over. We can leave America to the current brand of sunshine patriots. But if America decides for another, brighter and more honest future then we can lay claim to the word “hope” once more and begin to take stock of all the damage done.

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