I have a conscience. It generally keeps me honest, striving to do and be good, and when I behave like an ass (which happens), it serves as an internal alarm bell to self-correct and change course. It also has this annoying way of gnawing at me when I see wrong and inappropriate things happening right in front of me.
I like my conscience. I suspect you have a conscience too. While they seem to be in short supply in Washington D.C., it turns out that Bob Corker, John McCain, and Jeff Flake have one as well.
For those who did not see Senator Flake’s remarks on the Senate floor yesterday, it is worth the time to read the transcript or find a clip. Flake’s comments are too long to recount here, but surprise – he will not be seeking re-election and apparently finds the current POTUS to be unpresidential – among other truthful and disparaging thoughts. It was quite the rebuke of a sitting President by a member of his own party. Of course, just a few hours before, Senator Corker – also a Republican – was once again lamenting the behavior of the person who currently occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He talked about his propensity to lie, his moral failings, and inability to govern. Ouch.
It is refreshing to hear a few Republicans not mince words about Trump. After all, the possession of a conscience is not tied to one’s partisan beliefs, right? Sadly, all three of the men I have mentioned are retiring (Flake, Corker) or will most likely not finish their term (McCain). It would be nice if we could get some courage from someone planning to remain in office. Oh well, small steps.
One’s conscience is a powerful thing. I know we live in hyper partisan times, but I cannot fathom, cannot fathom, how anyone cannot see or understand that Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy and the world. The values he tramples upon, the boorish behavior he displays, is not a “Republican” or a “Democrat” thing. How do we get more people, despite party affiliation, to wake up and realize that? How do we have more people finally have a Jeff Flake moment?
The likelihood that I agree with any of the policy pronouncements espoused by Corker, Flake, or McCain are slim. They are self described conservatives with checkmarks beside all the little boxes one needs to mark in order to belong to that group. And you know what, that’s ok. However, I don’t question their overall morality, sanity, or their ability to understand the most basic tenets of our government and disagree with their policy views.
I have a conscience. I would like to believe that more leaders in Congress have one, or hell, can afford to purchase one if they came assembled without one. The time for everyone to find their conscience whether on Main Street, or on Capitol Hill, is now. It is unthinkable that there are people out there either so blindly partisan or gleefully ignorant to think that the ride on the Trump train is normal and will come without consequences. The ability for people to lead prosperous, healthy, and dignified lives is at stake. The reputation of our country is at stake. The safety of our country, and the world, is at stake.