The Three Monkeys of the GOP
There are disagreements about the origin of the proverb “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” famously and traditionally symbolized by the three “wise” monkeys, Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru.
There are also somewhat different interpretations of this maxim, ranging from not dwelling on improper thoughts about others to refusing to acknowledge or confront impropriety or “evil” in others, in effect looking the other way.
Sadly, it is the latter attitude that our nation has witnessed in the majority of what is supposedly the greatest deliberative body in the world during the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump.
Thus far, Republican Senators have shamelessly decided to see no evidence, hear no testimony and, on Wednesday February 5, to speak no conscience, no principles, no truth.
In a New York Times opinion piece, the Editorial Board calls this deliberative body that so far has not deliberated a syllable during one of our lifetime’s gravest and most consequential issues, “A Dishonorable Senate” where “Republican legislators abdicated their duty by refusing to seek the truth.” In other words, deciding to see no evidence, to hear no testimony, to speak no truth.
Or, as put more bluntly by the Washington Monthly, “It’s not because [Republicans in the Senate] don’t want to hear the truth, it’s because they already know the truth. They know the president is guilty, and they simply don’t care.”
The sham Senate trial is a move that “can only embolden the president to cheat in the 2020 election.”
And it will…
If the president’s lawyer claims that a president Trump can engage in a quid pro quo for personal political benefit as long as he believes his reelection is in the public interest, what additional and even worse corruption can we expect from this man?
If the GOP-controlled Senate cannot hold a fair trial, what makes anyone think that it will promote a fair election?
Several theories have been advanced as to why Republicans are so unmoved by Trump’s corruption, why they rationalize his corrupt behavior.
The Editorial Board at The Washington Post believes that “the cringing abdication of Senate Republicans” can be blamed on their calculation “that the wrath of a vindictive president is more dangerous than the sensible judgment of the American people…”
Or, as David Atkins writes at The Washington Monthly, that Republicans are hoping that the American people “will simply stop caring.” Fortunately, Atkins adds, “That’s a dangerous bet. The country isn’t quite that apathetic about abuses of power, nor as desperate as Republican Senators to overlook the worst behavior in the raw pursuit of power.”
This author’s opinion, naïve and unsophisticated as it may be, is simply that Republican Senators (and Representatives) are merely reflecting, representing, the values of the majority of Trump supporters who believe that the bennies they get from a Trump presidency (a good economy, a strong stock market, Conservative judges, outlandish corporate profits, environmental and other deregulation, etc.) outweigh the cost of having a president, a commander in chief, practically devoid of decency, honesty, integrity, morality, empathy, values.
A president who has swaggered that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and…wouldn’t lose voters.” A president who has already claimed that the Constitution says “[He] can do whatever [he wants] as President.” A president who, after Wednesday, February 5, will feel free to put that dream into practice — without boundaries, without the guardrails of the Constitution, and, certainly, without the oversight of the three monkeys of the GOP.
Not a very reassuring vision for our Democratic Experiment.
My good friend, the poet, has some advice on how to perhaps save our Democratic Experiment:
Now, the only defense against this travesty
The only way to stop further crimes from “His Majesty”
When you go into the voting booth
Remember his and the Republican lies: vote for the truth!