Finding Political Common Ground Through Shared Integrity
by Marcia Singer, MSW
June 21. Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) was testifying to the Select Committee, Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) questioning, his composure professional. I want to blurt, “Serves ya right for backing Trump!” But as Bowers continues, I become more sympathetic –all those scary pressures to “do the right thing,” mob-style boss-speak for helping President DJT overturn a free election. Bowers shares his devout religious belief that the U.S. Constitution is a divinely-inspired document. Instead of cringing at the display, I’m strangely moved by it, by Speaker Bowers’ integrity in upholding his oath of office against his President, and his Party.
It was a memorable moment for me. I’m watching every hearing as a Democrat concerned about the shape-shifting GOP under Trumpism, but also from a sense of civic duty; to actually bear witness to the testimony, analysis and reporting offered to us, The so-called American People. But I didn’t expect to be so moved by, sympathetic towards politicians “across the aisle” who stumped for Trump. As we know, most of those testifying thus far are Republicans, while the Select Committee is (necessarily?) comprised mostly of Democrats. But my hopes for our country at large, are being deeply stoked because this chamber is alive with persons of varied stripes, all acting in good faith, with honor, on behalf of our democracy. These are true patriots: Democrats, Republicans, government officials finding common ground in truth-telling, regardless of persecution by Herr Trump, tarred for refusing his offers of perks –or threats of retaliation for not doing his bidding. If any of these brave, principled public servants had caved…
I shudder at the thought as I listen to the courageous Georgia poll workers, Shay Moss and her mother, Ruby. Here are two vulnerable Black women, testifying before millions, though fearing for their lives since being fingered by The Don, and stalked by his duped MAGA-filliates. But beyond the stellar and sensational testimony, lingering, is my gratitude for every one of them, standing so tall that I got to see beyond my own political biases, my us-and-theming. No small thing.
[Published in the “Open Mic” feature of The North County Bohemian, Santa Rosa CA, June 29, 2022]