I’m not naming you; I don’t know who you are. But I’m pretty sure you’re out there.
As I watch your political party shatter into hundreds of pieces, I assume you, right in the middle of it, must be going through hell.
Personally, I don’t really care what happens to the GOP. It has ignored my ideas and ideals about government for decades. And although a lot of people say we need two political parties, at least, to keep things balanced, I don’t know enough about political history to support that notion. I’m fairly sure we can and will get along with one rational party running things for a while, especially when the other party is demonstrating flamboyant and violent craziness.
So I’m not asking you to save a two-party political system.
But I do ask those of you who are educated, experienced and appreciative of governance get together with each other, talk about it and decide to step forward — not far, not miles, just a couple of feet actually — to save us.
Not to Save Our Democracy; unlike many people, I have no fear there. We’ll go on even if your party determines not to come with us.
But please save us from having to watch members of your party and of the not-news media drive the paranoia, the monstrous death cult. It kills some of us and sickens the rest of us. I believe it must sicken you. And must scare you, too, given that you’re existing and working in the middle of a ugly, rapacious mob culture.
I know you’ve long been dominated by one or two autocrats whose ideology is power. I don’t believe you ran for office and served in office only to speak when you were told, and speak what you were told, and vote as you were told. You had ideals once, even arguments; being reduced to single-minded apparatchiks must, absolutely must rip into your sense of self.
But lucky you! We do not live in Russia, where resistance to the dictator requires the dangerous courage of Alexei Navalny. Unlike him, you don’t need to engender mass protests, or risk being poisoned and thrown into prison for not voting as your iron bloc tells you to vote.
You don’t have to give passionate speeches, offer public abjurations, call press conferences to announce your rupture. Not every public servant can summon up high-profile charisma. I’m not looking at you for charisma, or for sacrificial bravery, or for bravura performances.
Your own sense of integrity, of common sense will be more than fine. You’ll be honorable, no matter how little noise you make. And you’ll be honoring your own commitment to your constituents — a commitment which should not be to follow them over a cliff but to lead them to a better real life.
If you’d prefer to think that by acting sensibly you’ll be saving democracy, sure. I’ll go with you there. But I’ll go with you even if all you do is take a small step forward, out of the bedlam you’ve been trapped in, the bedlam the rest of us have had to watch like a horror film.
You alone can save us and yourselves from that.
Please do it, please.