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Impeachment hearings overshadow their third day in the United States with more intrigue to come in the coming days, weeks, months. Democrats hope that the televised hearings will bring some Independents and those “Undecided” into the impeachment fold. Republicans and “The Base” are expected to hold firm to the threat of the Trumpian principle. The reality, though, unlike reality television, demands another angle of encounter.
One of the reasons people chose the current administration seems because “a business-person” could run the government in an efficient, business-like manner—with purpose and profit. A large part of the citizenry has seen deceit, treachery, self-serving satisfaction from both sides of the American two-party system. Understandable. But the discontent of the electorate can invite manipulation for absolute control, especially when read by those whose interests lie in an absolute power grab. The problem then becomes that no matter how you flip the coin, on whichever side it lands, its value never changes.
So, on Tuesday, November 19th, when Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman testified in the impeachment hearings, in full, meritorious military regalia, he wanted to display the presence of honor—to country, to duty, to valor. During one point in his testimony, his staccato words rang true: Here Right Matters. And with those words, the answer for each of us had been starkly revealed for all.
When both parties deal in corruption, attempt to destroy political rivals, seek to control the narrative and media with falsehoods and cover-ups, advance the interests of corporations as persons with their executives as beneficiaries in profits-before-people, appropriate more tax money for these interests rather than for programs to benefit the citizenry…and with an incredible $718 billion dollars in 2020 for the Department of Defense (much of which can be considered “offense”), then the real issue may indicate a lack of principle and moral compass in the place we occupy in civil society.
In 1923, Albert Schweitzer wrote: “We become workers for that universal spiritual and material progress which we call civilization only in so far as we affirm that the world and life possess some sort of meaning. It is impossible to convince men of the truth of world and life affirmation, and of the real value of ethics by mere declamation. These beliefs must originate in man himself as the result of an inner ethical relationship to the world.” (Schweitzer, 1923)
Just maybe we ought to be considering what matters–a return to the path of progress on which we travel forward, taking care of each other as interconnected parts of one earthly family. Or we will truly have nothing left to lose.
Schweitzer, Albert. The Decay and the Restoration of Civilization; The Philosophy of Civilization, Part I , Black, 1923.
Making connections through experience has been the foundation of j.jill’s personal philosophy: in education, service, writing, spirituality and the arts. She teaches Italian part-time within the State University of NY system, follows topics in peace & justice advocacy, and enjoys spending time with friends & family including two very affectionate rescue puppies.