Submitted by William Elder.
Silence implies consent. The lawyer shows on tv have softened the axiom: “Qui tacet consentit,” one of the maxims of the law by which we all supposedly live and govern our affairs is tougher in Latin, “Silence gives consent”. Keep your mouth shut and you give your assent to what is being said, much less what is being done in your name. Implied is that you may well be called upon to defend your— or somebody’s— stated position. That’s where many of us are today. Some would say between a rock and a hard place, as back-in-the-day would have it. Or, between bald lies and deep untruth, as some of us might well assert today.
Don’t speak out and be safe. The silence in which we swaddle our opinions, speaks columns, about ourselves and about how we view the way in which our forefathers hoped to view us, as opposed to how we really are. Stay silent and watch our democracy whither. Then you can complain— loudly, and naturally too late.
A third of our electorate is, by their actions and stated opinions opposed to the practice of Democracy. They support leaders— Trump and the rest— that would tear down our institutions that support the practices of Democracy: elections, for example. They tried on 6 Jan 21; they failed only by a thin blue line all but erased by political ideology and incompetent police organization, abetted by mob sympathy.
There was no silence then. There was the bellowing of a lynch mob. It echoes today off the dark domes of our Democracy. No silence now either. The killers have flowed back from their victims at the Capitol that day, to await arrest, conviction, and sentencing, proclaiming their innocence: Donald made me do it. Their foul appeals are redolent with the stench off their hearts, hardened against all who are not exactly like them, in ideology, in belief, in condemnation of anyone who will take time to think before they kill.
Time now to shout out against these silent bastards who sat back and watched chaos happen— people died, laws disregarded, our fellow citizens disrespected, killed, put apart from our regard— with a smug smile masking a fundamental separation of our sympathy from others, whom we refuse to call brothers and sisters. We cannot, in good conscience, and mindful of the decency of the human race, behave this way and hope to survive this trial we inflicted upon ourselves. We, as a species, have survived this far by learning from our mistakes— through blood and trial. I pray we have learned enough, deeply enough. That we have voices enough to say, loudly enough for all to hear, softly enough for our innermost selves to pay attention to. That our resolve will be resilient enough, hold out until some residual goodwill makes us, if not exactly one, then at least, willing to have a beer and laugh at the asses we, thus far, have proven ourselves, once again, to be. That is the same we, by our own modest assessment, we call Homo Sapien Sapiens.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.