CHRIS CARLSON: Once to every person

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There’s an old song the words of which should resonate with all Americans: “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide in the struggle for truth and justice for the good or evil side…”

It ends with a ringing call to “twist that darkness into light.”

For many years, I have cited Soren Kierkegaard’s brilliant phrase regarding the “fallacy of the either/or.” The thesis is that things are seldom totally black or white, right or wrong, that reality is more nuanced than that mental trap.

There are exceptions, though, such as issues that separate life and death, actions that further progress or encourage regression, matters that respect basic values or undermine them, attitudes that encourage generosity and further humanity or ones that continue to reflect the evil of racism and bigotry.

As we begin the New Year, my wife and I have concluded we’ve seen more than enough. What more does a sane, rational person who truly cares about the national interest need to see? Are not 1,900 documented lies enough? Isn’t his misogyny and disrespect for women and all non-whites repulsive? Haven’t you been embarrassed and even frightened by his childish, immature behavior that has brought us even closer to war?

Haven’t you seen enough, heard enough, listened to enough nonsense to realize he is guilty as hell of obstruction of justice, but the collusion is not just knowing about possible hacking into voting results, rather it is knowingly accepting laundered Russian money into his campaign?

And aren’t you fed up with his failure to disclose his tax returns or his business relations over the years with Russian entities? Aren’t you just plain tired of the chaos inside the beltway?

Silence in the face of such manifestly evil conduct is not acceptable.

In the meantime, real people get hurt and some die prematurely. He plays both sides of the “dreamer” issue and starts a process to expel 200,000 Salvadorians. He’s turned the promise on the Statue of Liberty into an international joke with his Neanderthal thinking and a narcissistic streak the likes we have never seen. And how can anyone rationalize away what is happening to Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program?

I find it fascinating that two of Trump’s most outspoken dead-on-correct critics are Mormons: Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Utah Senator-in-waiting Mitt Romney. I truly admire their courage, which stands in marked contrast to the cowardly go-along-get-along non-response of Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, as well as Congressman Raul Labrador. They clearly have lost any sense of shame.

With them the R behind a person’s name appears to excuse unconscionable conduct. None of those three appear to have a clue regarding moral clarity and standing up for truth and justice.

Idaho Republicans ought to resurrect part of an old bumper sticker for Barry Goldwater and then add the Democrat twist: “In your heart, you know he is right; in your gut, you know he is nuts.”

Too many Republicans are cowardly going along despite the obvious train wreck Trump is driving toward. Bottom line is we need Republicans with the courage of Goldwater to drive down to the White House and tell Trump it is time to resign. Forget about impeachment and cut to the chase: Invoke and use the 25th Amendment.

And what can one person do, you ask? For starters, sign billionaire Tom Streyer’s petition (go to needtoimpeach.com), as we have done, calling for Trump’s impeachment. His ads pull no punches, tell it like it is and provide something one can do rather than just stew and wring their hands. He makes it clear the time is now for every citizen to take a stand for the good or evil side. He is correct. I pray Americans are listening and will take action.

Facts are facts. Those who truly love this country cannot look the other way. They, like all of us, have a moral obligation to stand up and call for impeachment or usage of the 25th Amendment (which allows for the vice president and a majority of the cabinet to remove a clearly unstable president).

Secondly, speak up and speak out each and every time you hear someone make a racist or bigoted statement wrapped around Trumpese. Silence is not an option, either. Help twist that darkness into light.

• • •

Chris Carlson is a longtime Idaho political writer who lives in Medimont.

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