Darrell Berkheimer: Many in GOP learning consequences of lies
Lies and inflammatory speech DO have consequences. And we’re finally seeing that lesson played out again in our nation’s capital.
President Donald J. Trump, plus the Republican members of Congress who echoed his lies, are facing various penalties, including loss of financial supporters and calls for their resignations.
Even some vocal Trump supporters outside of Washington, D.C., are losing their jobs and being bounced off advisory boards.
But the consequences also included unnecessary deaths — deaths forecast by others and myself back in August 2018, when my commentary appeared under the headline “Will violence, or a funeral, end incendiary talk?”
As Republican Congress members face their consequences, they must realize they are at fault for creating the situation. It’s apparent that what worried them the most was losing a primary election to a Trump-backed challenger.
Let’s concentrate on that thought!
It’s obvious they supported Trump’s lies because they were more concerned about their personal benefit than honoring their oath to the Constitution. And they have been willing to sacrifice more than two centuries of our democratic traditions.
We also must condemn Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. He is supposed to be their leader. They look to him for what they should, or should not, do. He acquiesced to their support of Trump’s lies.
Our current situation is aptly represented in a powerful and most moving speech by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Immediately after I heard it, I called attention to it in emails to dozens of friends and contacts because it brought me to tears as I listened to it. It is a speech that everyone should hear.
Schwarzenegger reveals what it was like for him as a child growing up in Austria after World War II — how the men there were broken by the emotional pain they suffered as a result of accepting the lies and intolerance initiated by Hitler.
He explains what patriotism really is, and how we need to elect people with a “servant’s heart.”
He ends with an optimistic view, as he points out what the ideals of America mean to the rest of the world. It’s a speech of less than eight minutes that will become a part of our history, and it will be cited often in the future.
Here is a link to it: Arnold Schwarzenegger compares Capitol riot to Kristallnacht – YouTube
I received numerous thank you messages for the heads up from contacts who subsequently listened to the speech.
DEFENDING THE UNION
As a former editor at newspapers in Utah, Georgia, Texas and New Mexico, I feel a need to add my explanation to why editors give more prominent display to local news over national and international news.
I do so because I think a few readers were unusually harsh in their criticism of The Union giving top treatment to local news on the Jan. 7 front page.
Local news is the only “new” news that newspapers have to offer because the important national, international and state news already have been reported for hours by various round-the-clock broadcast media. Local newspapers need to give top billing to local events, submissions and local writers that are not available from any other source.
Readers already are well aware of newspapers in various cities that have folded, or cut the number of days they publish because of either their inability or failure to provide enough news that has not been reported repeatedly by other sources.
I wonder if anyone had not already heard from broadcast media the national news published below the fold on Jan. 7. But that news was so big and important that it needed to go on the front page anyway — when the front page often is dedicated entirely to local and state news while day-old national news is moved to inside pages.
Readers here are very lucky to have a newspaper that continues to publish five days weekly when larger cities, such as Auburn, have cut back their print publications to only two and three days weekly. Several of my former newspaper employers already have suffered severe cuts to their products.
Meanwhile, Don Rogers, Alan Riquelmy and The Union staff will continue to report reader criticisms even when some of us, like myself, feel certain comments are unjustified as The Union strives to do the best it can in serving all its readers.
Darrell Berkheimer, who lives in Grass Valley, is a frequent contributor to The Union. He has eight books available through Amazon. His sixth, Essays from The Golden Throne, includes 60 columns published by The Union, plus a dozen western travel and photo essays. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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