The recent decision by Jeff Flake not to run for re-election is important not because of his decision but because of his speech explaining why. What he said was that he could no longer act like President Trump was behaving in a manner that was not morally wrong. It wasn’t just that he thought that it was unusual (which of course it is), but rather that it was truly harmful to our society. He then went on to say that he could no longer be complicit by remaining silent.
This statement echoes what we often read and hear when there is a look back at what happened in the past. Whether it was the Red Scare in America led by Senator Joseph McCarthy or the rise of fascism in European countries in the 30’s, those who failed to stand up and denounce such behavior were in fact complicit. What this means in real life today is that those Republicans who fail to object to the lack of veracity in this President, on things that are important to those that are trivial, are indeed responsible for what is happening. Somehow acting like it is “just politics” when people are attacked because of their ethnicity, beliefs, or failure to adhere to his narrative, by the President of the United States, makes them indeed complicit.
What will it take to make people say they would rather risk the end to their political career than be held responsible for these actions? Evidently, Lindsey Graham, in his continuing desire to be relevant, can overlook personal insults to his friend John McCain just so he can snuggle up to President Trump and be seen as important. He is an example of a former critic turned cheerleader in spite of the latest attacks by the President.
Let there be no mistake about it. The President has become the human stain. No one will escape unmarked if they remain complicit in not objecting to his actions. I think we can expect our elected officials not to turn a blind eye to such behavior. Whenever that happens, the results are bad for everyone. If you need a reference, examine how things worked out for the Vichy government in France after the Germans left. It might make good reading for some of our leaders before it is too late.