At this point, silence is complicity

5 mins read

By Mike McCombs

I’ll admit, since last Wednesday, when I knew I would write something, I’ve struggled to decide exactly what would I write in this space. But the one thing I’ve known for sure … I would write SOMETHING.

Because at this point, to borrow from Martin Luther King, Jr., silence is betrayal. Silence is complicity.

Last Wednesday, much too late to make the pages of this weekly newspaper, the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, tried to overthrow the government of this country. 

He encouraged, … incited a mob of his followers to march to the U.S. Capitol building where both houses of Congress were in session to certify the legitimate election of Joe Biden as the 46th President.

For all intents and purposes, he put out a hit on not only the members of Congress and their staffs and aides, but Vice President Mike Pence, as well. 

Pence had refused to overturn the results of the election, something he doesn’t even have the Constitutional power to do. His refusal simply made him expendable to Trump since he wouldn’t break the law and throw out the will of the people at his request.

The coup attempt failed, thanks to some quick wits, the bravery of some members of the Capitol Police and, quite frankly, a lot of luck. But not before at least six people died and the lives of what will likely be thousands of people were forever altered by the events of the day. And not before the foundations of this nation were shaken to the core.

Now there seems to be a dilemma in the aftermath. There seems to be a debate between trying to unify the nation and punishing the president.

This is not an issue of politics. This is not an issue whose fault lies with both sides. There is no debate. 

Though he has a mere handful of days left in his term, everything possible must be done to remove Trump from power by every legal means. If not by Pence enacting the 25th Amendment, Congress must (it has already started the process) choose impeachment. 

A man who wanted to overthrow the American system of government and trample the ideals which it was based on cannot be allowed to retain his seat of power. The fox can no longer look over the hens.

If impeachment was not made for Trump’s seditious and traitorous crimes, it was never meant to be used at all.

And if we allow these high crimes to go unchecked, we simply invite them to be committed again.

Many have said since Day 1 that this is where Trump’s lies and his cult-like following would end up. In bloodshed. In reality, it doesn’t matter, at least for now, how we got here. We’re on the brink of the end of the American story as we know it. The success of American democracy and the will of the people hangs in the balance.

Where we’re at in this country clearly isn’t perfect. There are issues that confront us and challenges that lie before us. And most of them aren’t easy questions or quick fixes.

But as Edmund Burke said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Words are not the answer to all of our problems. But they are the very least we can do, and they must at least be the start. 

Too many of our elected officials and our everyday citizens are content to sit by, even now that its costing people their lives, and be silent about this president and his faults.

What Trump did can’t stand. And if we allow it to, we don’t deserve to enjoy the freedoms and benefits of our American way of life. 

And quite frankly, if we allow it to, we probably won’t enjoy them for very much longer anyway. 

Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.

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