If Abraham Lincoln could wake up from the dead and read today’s headlines, he would think that America had been taken over by a force from outer space. To see the state of Wyoming turn their backs on someone like Liz Cheney who against all odds is fighting to protect the democratic foundation that America was founded on is stunning, to say the least. To see such a person as Donald Trump who has violated all of the principles of decency and fair play along with a history of questionable ethical or even criminal actions, hold such power over such a large sector of American society defies logical intelligence. His support for Liz Cheney’s opponent Harriet Hageman, virtually guaranteed that she would win. When I watched what appeared to be solid Wyoming Republican citizens interviewed about this election, all I could see were willfully blind followers of a cult leader. It did not matter how much they liked Cheney and respected her, she could not be forgiven for standing up and challenging Trump. They were willing to ‘shake hands with the devil’ because he was their perceived Republican leader and they would follow him like sheep follow the shepherd, no matter what. It is a classic demonstration of the basic fault of partisan party politics. ‘To hell with the good of the country, it is my party, good or bad, that I am loyal to.’
It is obvious that the mid-term elections in the United States will be a determining factor in which direction America proceeds in the coming years. It will also affect all of us in Canada as well, not only regarding trade relations and our long-standing friendship status with the US, but also the political climate affecting our everyday lives which includes the values that our government professes. The challenges to democratic rule that we see surfacing throughout the world and especially in America, should be a warning to everyone that complacency is a dangerous game to play.
By Roy Merkley