I Gain a Little More Self-Awareness, Dammit

One of the few musical comedies I like is 1776. I like the songs, the message, and the acting. I saw it soon after it came out and fell in love with its depiction of the terribly difficult decisions the members of the Continental Congress had to make.

One of the characters who stood out most to me symbolized the tension intrinsic to in representing others. The character was Dr. Lyman Hall, who represented the Georgia colony.

I thought of 1776’s characterization of Dr. Lyman Hall as I listened to Mitt Romney’s speech the other day saying he felt he had to follow his conscience and his faith and not vote with “the team.”

The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Yes, he did…The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival.

I will only be one name among many, no more or less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.
(Mitt Romney )

Romney saw his choice as voting his conscience, and taking the consequences, OR voting with his party and taking the consequences of voting against his beliefs and the oath he had taken to uphold the constitution. On Twitter later that day I read, “Think of what Romney has sacrificed.”

I thought, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 seems to have been the foundation of Romney’s internal crisis and external decision. In my opinion Romney didn’t sacrifice much of real value.

In 1776, Dr. Hall’s dilemma was similar but perhaps weightier. He believed the colonies should declare independence from England. His colony — Georgia — did not. He was torn about his duty — was it to bring the desires of his colony to Philadelphia and vote in concert with them or vote his own conscience?

That is THE question.

I’ve learned a lot through this whole nightmare. One of the things I’ve learned is that I am pretty naive and idealistic. I didn’t know that party allegiance is expected over allegiance to right. How in the world can anything good happen when that is the cynical mode of operations in our government? I was shocked that — given the fact that Trump admitted to committing the crime of inviting a foreign power to interfere in our election and using aid already earmarked by the Congress (the people, me) for that power’s defense to bribe them — ANYONE voted to acquit him.

I guess we rely on other people to do their jobs as we undertake to do our jobs. Assuming integrity in others seems a lot more comfortable than assuming they’re all crooks and liars, so I’m going to stick with that. What I’m most concerned about now is the upcoming election — I don’t see anyone in the Democrat’s field of candidates who can beat Trump’s powerful and sinister disinformation machine.