Looking Forward Doesn’t Mean Forgetting The Past

The attacks on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th of this year are destined to become a notable part of the ongoing history of this nation.  We rely on the media to help us find answers to the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions, but instead the press, whose independence we cherish and protect, is turning a blind eye, has moved on without delving too deeply for answers.  The GOP prefers to simply ‘move on’ and the press is giving in to them, it seems.  Robert Reich’s piece in The Guardian yesterday speaks to this issue …

Republicans tried to overturn the election. We can’t just forget that

Robert Reich

Americans like to look forward but the effects of Trump’s lies about Covid and the 6 January insurrection are still with us

America prefers to look forward rather than back. We’re a land of second acts. We move on.

This can be a strength. We don’t get bogged down in outmoded traditions, old grudges, obsolete ways of thinking. We constantly reinvent. We love innovation and disruption.

The downside is a tendency toward collective amnesia about what we’ve been through, and a corresponding reluctance to do anything about it or hold anyone accountable.

Now, with Covid receding and the economy starting to rebound – and the 2020 election and the attack on the Capitol behind us – the future looks bright.

But at the risk of being the skunk at the picnic, let me remind you: we have lost more than 580,000 people to Covid-19. One big reason that number is so high is our former president lied about the virus and ordered his administration to minimize its danger.

Donald Trump also lied about the results of the last election. And then – you remember, don’t you? – he tried to overturn the results.

Trump twisted the arms of state election officials. He held a rally to stop Congress from certifying the election, followed by the violent attack on the Capitol. Five people died. Senators and representatives could have been slaughtered.

Several Republican members of Congress encouraged the attempted coup by joining him in the big lie and refusing to certify the election.

This was just over four months ago, yet we seem to be doing everything we can to blot it out of our memory.

Last Tuesday, the Washington Post hosted a live video chat with the Missouri Republican senator Josh Hawley, a ringleader in the attempt to overturn the results of the election. Hawley had even made a fist-pump gesture toward the mob at the Capitol before the attack.

But the Post billed the interview as being about Hawley’s new book on the “tyranny of big tech”. It even posted a biography of Hawley that made no mention of Hawley’s sedition, referring instead to his supposed reputation “for taking on the big and the powerful to protect Missouri workers” and as “a fierce defender of the constitution”.

Last week, CBS This Morning interviewed the Florida Republican Rick Scott, another of the senators who tried to overturn the election by not certifying the results. But there was no mention of his sedition. The CBS interviewer confined his questions to Biden’s spending plans, which Scott unsurprisingly opposed.

Senators Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson and the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, also repeatedly appear on major news programs without being questioned about their attempts to undo the results of the election.

What possible excuse is there for booking them if they have not publicly retracted their election lies? If they must appear, they should be asked if they continue to deny the election results and precisely why.

Pretending nothing happened promotes America’s amnesia, which invites more attempts to distort the truth.

On Monday, Trump issued a “proclamation” seeking to co-opt the language of those criticizing his falsehoods. “The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as the BIG LIE!” he wrote, repeating his claims that the 2020 election was stolen and that President Biden is illegitimate. Most Republican voters believe him.

Trump’s big lie is being used by Republican state legislatures to justify new laws that restrict voting. On Thursday, hours after Florida installed new voting restrictions, Texas’s Republican-led legislature pushed ahead with its own bill that would make it one of the hardest states in which to cast a ballot.

The Republican-controlled Arizona senate is mounting a private recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa county – farming out 2.1m ballots to GOP partisans, including at least one who participated in the 6 January raid on the Capitol.

The Republican party is about to purge one of its leaders, the Wyoming representative Liz Cheney, for telling the truth.

It is natural to want to put all this unpleasantness behind us. We are finally turning the corner on the pandemic and the economy. Why look back to the trauma of the 2020 election?

But we cannot put it behind us. Trump’s big lie and all that it has provoked are still with us. If we forget what has occurred, the trauma will return, perhaps in even more terrifying form.

20 thoughts on “Looking Forward Doesn’t Mean Forgetting The Past

  1. Thank you for sharing!!… the press will be covering the “breaking news”, the headlines, in order to gather readers and followers… the Republicans will try to bury history because their image is important to them and they “can’t handle the truth:… while the press and the Republicans are trying to walk away from history, thanks to technology, there are many who have and will not and they do not need the press or the Republicans… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dutch! It seems to me that at the moment, this nation is in such a state of chaos that I cannot see an end to it all. Thanks for the uplifting Irish Saying!


      • “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”… (Marilyn Monroe).. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, my friend. If we fail to learn the lessons of history, if we forget the past, then we are doomed. Today, the divisiveness in this nation is higher than at any point since the Civil War. Can it be repaired? I have serious doubts. Thanks so much for the re-blog, Ned!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wait on, Jill! In France similar seems to happen soon. If politicians don’t slowly get back to work without just thinking about themselves, we will end up in total chaos. ;-( I’m sorry to write that, but for Germany the elections at the end of September this year could represent the end of the feel-good society. It doesn’t look as if the majority of Germans will not vote radically. ;-( Michael

        Liked by 1 person

        • I saw something today that Merkel will be out later this year? Sigh … France, Germany, the UK, U.S., Brazil … so many countries are heading down a path that is likely to lead to autocratic regimes sooner rather than later.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like America turning the corner on Covid might be wrong too. I think Florida turned the wrong corner and has started a collection of new variants of the virus. Given how seriously the Floridians take the virus it could be all over the states again before anyone suggests a new lockdown let alone a mask and some distancing. I think visitors would be best distancing themselves from Florida for now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that people are so damn defensive over their own personal “rights” that they don’t give a flying fig about the public’s safety, about the rights of the rest of us to be safe. Stay tuned for my a.m. post to see my views on Florida and Guv DeSantis. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Over half the people in this country have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but it won’t matter, because those who “conscientiously object” to receiving the vaccine will kill us all! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. And Governor DeSantis is plotting a run for president in 2024 … I hope not to live to see it! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d rather it was DeSantis who didn’t live to see it. The Government here released figures to show that over 2 thirds of the country have received at least one dose of vaccine with a third having received two doses. The take-up here has been good and now they’ve moved onto lower age group which I think is 35 plus. But we also have some anti-vaxers who would refuse he vaccine and encourage the spread of the variants. I don’t know how this distrust has spread.

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        • Trouble is that it’s not just DeSantis … it’s damn near every Republican in a position of power … sigh. Here, over half the populace has received at least one dose, and we’re well on our way, but now I am told that states are requesting no more doses, or fewer doses be sent, as so many are refusing the vaccine. They say it “infringes on their rights”, but … what about OUR rights? Sigh. Beam me up, Scotty.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Take your vaccine to protect yourself and others, mask up and let those antivaxers of the Republican side wipe themselves out. Send all the spare vaccine to countries that don’t have any and who won’t waste it. Once those countries are protected the fear of new variants will be lessened and global travel can start up again.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, this message needs to continually said. I called a few more of the courageous house members that are getting vilified. Republican Rep. Gonzalez is now being pressured to leave for telling the truth. Can’t have that per the folks in charge. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Kinzinger, Romney, Gonzales, Cheney … the entire 17 who spoke their conscience, should be immortalized, not punished, for they are the exception to the rule in today’s GOP, they still have a conscience, still have integrity. Honesty? What’s that, says Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, among others. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

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