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CONNECTIONS: When did we become so treasonous, irrational, and biased?

The wellbeing of the state as presently constituted ensures the wellbeing of the people. To threaten one is to threaten us.

Wait, did I miss a meeting? When was it decided that it was okay to be treasonous, irrational, and biased? When was freedom of speech stretched to include defamation?

Treason

Treason means “disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government. Treason is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance [including] the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one’s government.”

First and foremost, loyalty to one’s country means peacefully embracing the result of an election and accepting the winner who is due the respect of the office. It means never interfering with an election because “majority rules” is the cornerstone of our government.

It means never stating that Russia, or any country, is allowed to do whatever it likes to our allies in NATO. These are the words of a scoundrel and a direct refutation of the NATO agreement in which we are a signatory.

It means accepting the verdict in a trial and not attacking the rule of law or our justice system simply because we don’t like the outcome.

The wellbeing of the state as presently constituted ensures the wellbeing of the people. To threaten one is to threaten us.

When did we become spectators of democracy? Listening to reports of treason and not using the levers of our government to punish the traitors? Democracy is participatory or it shrivels.

The irrational

In what way does a demonstration in front of a New England coffee shop speak to grievances about Israel’s behavior 5,600 miles away? How is the gesture made more rational if some of the participants are Jewish? How is it more persuasive if signs identify all Jews as murderers? If you refuse to buy coffee at Fuel, will the war stop?

How is booing, hissing, and interrupting a New England Town Meeting rational? The New England tradition is simple. Everyone gets to say his or her piece. The others listen in silence, and then the vote decides the issue. Remember democracy before this cartoon version? The will of the majority freely given determines the outcome.

I think we should picket ourselves: We have become the people our forefathers warned us against. We are using the words but have lost the sense.

Bias

What helps the readers as they digest local news stories is transparency. We live in a small place. We are related to one another, we know each other, and don’t like everyone. Who a reporter supports, especially to the extent of giving campaign contributions, can affect the stories they choose to report, the slant, and the politicians they ask to comment. The reader has a right to know, and it used to be an ethical imperative.

Sometimes the easiest way to understand one thing is by comparing it to something else. In our history, we have two J6s. So, let’s compare June 6, 1944, and January 6, 2021. Who were we, what were we trying to accomplish, how did we go about it, and how’d we do?

D-Day, June 6, 1944: More than 150,000 Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy, France. D-Day put the Allies on a decisive path toward victory. Beginning with the Normandy beaches, they advanced and pushed the Axis forces back until Germany was forced to surrender less than a year later. Their achievements included heavy losses; there were over 6,000 American casualties in Normandy.

The country was behind the troop movement. The country prayed for the troops and celebrated their win together. The attempt and the victory made America optimistic. Many died that day, but the American century was also born, a time when America was dominant, secure, confident, and a leader among nations.

January 6, 2024, a few thousand people invaded the United States Capitol. They were without a plan or a place to which to advance. The country was divided and unsettled. No one celebrated. We fought each other, and the only thing we did together was hold our breath not knowing what the future would bring.

The goal in 1944 was to liberate Paris, to eject an army that invaded our ally, and march to a singular victory for the free world.

The goal on January 6, 2021 was to… what?

Deny the results of an election? Seize power for an unworthy?

One was a collection of heroes willing to risk everything for an ideal. The other was, just maybe, a group thinking they were doing the same thing. A group duped by a calculated lie who tarted the day as fools and ended it as criminals.

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