What We Need Right Now

I’ve mentioned John Robson here before. He’s a clever, witty, educated, conservative, Christian, Canadian political columnist with a PhD in American history. He’s a passionate believer in the principles of the Magna Carta.

None of that makes him necessarily right on any given issue. Or wrong. But in my opinion he is always an informed and thoughtful voice with a generous perspective as well as a clear-eyed view of our human frailties.

Amid all the rhetoric this week, I offer his piece, which calls for generosity on both sides. Here are some excerpts.

So I guess we won’t be defunding the police after all. When a mob surged disgracefully into the U.S. Capitol, armed agents of the state rightly repelled the attack. There’s a lesson here.

Actually there are several. The most important being the need to find some constructive way forward. And if you think it starts with me repudiating my past support for Donald Trump, I can’t do it. Not from pride, stubbornness or something darker. Because I never supported him.

From the time his candidacy became serious in 2016 I insisted that he was unfit for office. And lately he has been doing all he can to prove it beyond any shadow of doubt.


In the face of allegations of [election] irregularity, [the Democrats] should have declared their determination to get to the bottom of any plausible claims. Instead they went all smash-mouth. So what if, months from now, some intrepid reporter and editor reveal undeniable cheating, perhaps enough to flip one very close state? Can you imagine the sour vindication many MAGA types will feel?

If not, allow me to explain. It will mirror the sour vindication many anti-Trumpers felt when that mob attacked the capitol. And what we need right now is not sour vindication but some form of generosity.

Enough with the virtue-signalling already. Also, for all my distaste for Trump, I am not blind to his very real accomplishments, for instance in the Middle East. And in giving a voice to many who had been voiceless too long. But I need his backers to concede that he gave them the wrong voice.

I need them to say American elections are not decided by violent mobs rushing Congress. And for the left, seeing the police defending democracy, to say proper policing is a necessary and admirable part of governing.

It doesn’t matter who goes first. But it matters that we go soon.

And for another thoughtful and (slightly) hopeful take on this, I offer an interview with Matt Taibbi, whom I would describe as on the left in his politics but who has also called out small-l liberals and progressives in the USA. This piece is on the hate that the media fosters for profit.

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2 Responses to What We Need Right Now

  1. Ken from Kenora says:

    I am also a John Robson fan and agree with him, especially on the Middle East deals that this administration has struck. Ham handed way or not, I also agree with insisting that NATO countries fulfil their commitments.

    As far as defunding the police goes I offer you this. Rudyard Kipling wrote in his poem “Tommy”, about how society treats soldiers. “Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep”. Some say George Orwell was thinking of Kipling’s poem when he wrote that “Those who abjure violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.” And it is said Winston Churchill had the same poem in mind when he is reported to have uttered, “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm”.

    Either way, respect the flag and the people in the armed services and law enforcement

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Ken – It seems to be in no one’s interest (but the country’s) for people to recognize the good in their political opponents and the bad in themselves.

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