Q. Dear Mr. Spocko, should we call the losing Republicans and conservatives to account for their actions and hateful words during the last eight years? What should we do?
Also, is it okay to gloat or at least mock them
A. Just drop it.The game is over.
They lost, we won.
Focusing on the people who supported them won't get us anywhere. We should really focus only on the future. Isn't one of our biggest groups called MoveOn?
If you are looking for a model that makes sense for how to act now we should really be acting like the surviving Jews after World War II.
The guy who lost during WW II was punished (my grasp on human history is tenuous but I think he killed himself because he felt so bad about what he did). The Americans and Jews had a big event
where then forgave the people who supported him, especially those who were just following orders. I'm a bit fuzzy on this but I think they concluded that the people who created the programs weren't really responsible nor were the people who were just following orders.
There was really only one person responsible and he was now out of power. He had an accountability moment. What more is there to do? Clearly his ideas and his policies were repudiated after he left office in a bunker.
The Jews decided that it was more important to move on with their lives than to try and bring to justice the people who made life miserable for others. What good can come from remembering the bad stuff? I think "Always Forget
" was even their motto after the war. Let their acts and world view slink away.
I believe the famous saying applies here: "Those who cannot remember the past will never repeat it". I expect that some people will want to make some strong case for "justice", but we all know that it's waste of time. They have really, really smart lawyers who will happily tie you up with their legal reasoning. I mean John Yoo teaches law
! Besides, the cable TV and radio hosts will encourage us to all come together like they did under Bush. They are very exacting in their separating of actions from words. Their word people are better than Clinton's. Here is one I'm sure we will be seeing more of in the future.
Bush, Cheney and his team were NEVER directly responsible for anyone being tortured or killed. How can we say this? Because Bush never had a gun in his hand and pulled the trigger. No water was poured from Cheney's hand into the mouth of a prisoner strapped to a board down. Rumsfeld never held the club in his hand that beat to death an enemy detainee. Condi Rice never placed a glow stick up the rectum of an prisoner.
All they did was move words around. Words on paper. Words on computer screens. Words from their mouths in meetings. They never did any actual physical acts, and as we have seen only the actual physical acts count.
If there was one thing that they were good about it was following the law. If the law wasn't what they wanted, they created the law that was needed so no laws were broken. If laws were broken they would be in jail, right? They held themselves to that standard, which is really what America has always been about. People who are not in jail are innocent.
Remember, nobody is a villain when they are doing what they feel is right for the country. This isn't like the movies where a short bald "Dr. Evil" laughs and holds the world ransom for 700 billion dollars.
To attack them now, after we have won, isn't helpful. Why?
Because people learn from their mistakes when they are forgiven and then they stop making them. They don't think that being lenient is a bad thing, especially when it comes to their own "crime" (which many don't even see as a crime). We only need to look at Scooter Libby to see how communing his sentence made him a better citizen who surely won't do something questionable again. His life is over in the public sphere. I don't ever expect him to be out making money by being on TV, writing a book or bragging about his "crime" in speeches to supporters. He knows that would be wrong.
History has shown that when you don't punish people for making a mistake or breaking the law they never make that mistake again. They may know technically that they "got away with it", but morally they realize that they were wrong and understand that the compassion shown comes with the suggestion, "Go and sin no more."
Learn From Ford. Pardon people, it's Good for the Country
Remember after Nixon? We chose to not go after a few people who broke the law. That was the right thing to do because we found out that when you forgive people for their law breaking they leave the public eye, they learn their lesson and never act like that again. I think that Rummy and Cheney are the best example of people who learned from the Nixon Administration the most. They are a prime example of why we shouldn't follow up on people who have done bad things (especially when people did those things thinking they were doing what was right for the country.) Nixon was pardoned and that sent a clear message to Rummy and Cheney not to do what Nixon did. And they didn't! Cheney and Rummy never taped themselves and they never ordered the break in of the Democratic headquarters. The pardon worked.
Follow the Lead of the Christian Right. They Forgive and Love their Neighbors
Since 80 some percent of the people call themselves Christian, we should all be more like the Christian Right who follow the words of Jesus and love their neighbors as they love themselves. The Christian Right has seen that it is better to forgive others their sins. I think that they are following the lead of Jesus when he says, "he who is without sin to cast the first stone".
Right Wing Christians are known for turning the other cheek about the violence committed toward them. I think it is important to emulate the Right Wing Fundamental Christians who, during the lead up to this election, made it a point to never bear false witness about Obama. That is what I will most remember about their stance toward Obama. They never bought into untruths that were spread by that Catholic Sean Hannity. The Methodist Rush Limbaugh was especially good about never using the Lord's name in vain, unlike that Catholic Sean Hannity who kept calling Obama the Messiah.
What I especially liked about the Right Wing Christians is how they wanted to embrace Jesus' message of the good Samaritan with their support of gays (who many realized were the Samaritans of their day. Samaritans were despised by some at the time. Yet they took care of the man who was beaten up when others wouldn't).
The way they responded to people who wanted to take away the rights of gays, was truly Christ like. I really don't think that I could be as Christ like as the Right Wing Christians when they went all out to protect the homosexual's rights in the sight of the community. They, liked Jesus with Mary Magdalene, really responded to the perceptions of some people that gays were bad. They did like Jesus did when he hung out with the prostitute Mary and made her a part of his team. They accepted gays just like Jesus accepted Mary.As so many Right Wing Christians tell me, "NOWHERE in the bible is the phrase, 'Love the sinner, hate the sin
'". And if there is one thing that the Right Wing Christians know it is their bible. They know that Jesus never said that and I'm so grateful for their understanding of both the words and spirit of Jesus. Picking up phrases not from the Gospel (or anywhere in the bible) and pretending Jesus said them is something that they just won't do. Phrases that can be used as a club are clearly out of bounds. I'm always heartened when I hear one Christian call others on this mistake.
I think the other thing that I really like about the way that the Christians acted was the way that they embraced the Tax collectors just like Jesus did. You never heard from right wing Christians that taxes were a bad thing.
Understanding that collecting taxes was part of the whole "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's" shows that they know that their reward is the love of God and their personal lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I read in bible history:
Jesus never taught that there was anything inherently wrong with paying tribute to the Roman Government or collecting the tax. He was opposed to extortioners, but would fling open the door of repentance and salvation to them. He rejected none, not even the worst.
He set a new precedent among the Jews by accepting and associating with the tax collectors. He ate with them (Mark 2:16), He offered salvation to them (Luke 19:9), and He even chose a tax collector (Matthew) as one of His twelve disciples (Matt 9:9).
I think that the people will understand where I come from by looking at the actions of the people I've listed here. I can't really expect to be better than them. I'm only half human.
P.S. No gloating either. You know if the shoe was on the other foot they would be gracious in victory and wouldn't gloat or bait us.