The Right Stuff - By Donald Holman
This past week has been filled with dramatic moments, some of them to our credit, others not so much. Across the United States, we are seeing states slowly and carefully opening. While we should all understand the need to be careful and for the elderly and immune- compromised to exercise greater care, maybe even continuing to quarantine, the rest of the people need to get back to work.
Being out and about and accomplishing our tasks at work gives us that feeling of accomplishment that only comes from accomplishing something. Our self-worth is enhanced as we go through our daily tasks at work, and we feel better about ourselves, realizing we are an important part of an ongoing enterprise. Also, many of us have friendships from our workday world that help us through our daily lives, and we have been deprived of that help. Finally, we need the financial resources that come from getting paid every week. While I hope we all enjoy our jobs, we work to pay the bills. And they have been piling up lately, adding to our stress. For all these reasons and many more, we will have a more healthy and vibrant community by getting back to work.
President Trump has called the third quarter of this year the “transition to greatness.” What he means by this is that as we all get back to work and back to doing our part to create a vibrant healthy economy, our little bit, added to the whole, is what makes America great. It is very easy to get lost in the vastness of the plant, or the chain store, or feel unimportant even at the local store we are be employed by. But it is all of us, going about our daily lives, doing our best at living those lives, that makes American great. Whether we are working in a relatively obscure job, or heroically restoring power by chain-sawing the trees off the power lines, or we are the policeman maintaining the thin blue line between civilization and anarchy, we all serve the whole. And in so doing, we will make the transition to greatness President Trump is calling us to accomplish.
At long last, this week the charges were dropped against General Michael Flynn! To call his prosecution a miscarriage of justice is to minimize the damage done. Ever since his forced guilty plea, we have witnessed one public official after another be revealed as the liars they are, yet they are never charged for the perjuries we see them commit. Remember when we saw former national intelligence director James Clapper testify by way of lying when he was asked, under oath in testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, if America collected intelligence on the American public? He answered, “Not willingly.” That was March 12, 2013. Subsequent to that testimony, we all learned of the practice of recording everything done by every American in the United States. What is hard to understand is that Clapper was given these questions ahead of time. He could have said he would only answer in the closed to the public session. He chose deliberately to lie to the Senate Intelligence Committee and to the American people. Yet his perjury, committed in broad daylight in front of the entire nation, was never charged. He retired with his pension and reputation intact, even while General Flynn's was destroyed.
General Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI agents that dishonestly questioned him about a phone call they had a transcript of. If they had the transcript, why were they questioning him? It is called a perjury trap. He forgot some minor detail of the conversation, and the trap was sprung. And only after they had bankrupted General Flynn and threatened to do the same to his son, he pled guilty. These are things we have known for some time. But now they are in the public record -well, they are if you go read it for yourself and don’t wait for CNN or MSNBC etc. to tell you about it. Yet former President Obama said the dismissal of Flynn’s charges represented politicizing the justice department? No, Mr. President. The original charges represented politicizing the justice department!
With the unraveling of general Flynn’s charges comes the unraveling of the entire Russia hoax. There was never any Russian plot to interfere with the election of 2016 any more than the Russians and many others always do. If you care about all of this, go read the source documents yourself. Some 6,000 have been declassified with more to come. And you might ask yourself one more question. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, had access to all of this information. He KNEW there was no Russia collusion. Yet, he went a long way toward helping the plot to impeach Trump by his silence. So did many other Republican senators and congressmen. In the first two years of Trump’s administration, Republicans had both houses, yet they kept their silence. They could have stopped all this three years ago. A thinking person might ask themselves why. Could it be that they, too, were part of the “swamp?”
With all we have gone through, it makes me almost sick to my stomach to hear the account of the shooting of Ahmaud Aubrey, an unarmed, 25-year-old black man jogging through a subdivision in Georgia. In the midst of all the virus-induced tragedy, must we witness another tragedy of ignorance and hatred? I once lived in Georgia and witnessed more prejudice there than I had ever witnessed previously anywhere. But I hoped that with the changing times, attitudes had changed there as well. We, as white people, must re-dedicate ourselves to vehemently rejecting the ignorant racism this act represents.
Finally, a note of personal privilege. Lenell Randolph died this week. He was the song leader for 48 years at the church my father founded. I had talked with Lenell just a few months ago. I was flattered that he said he read this column. Lenell will be missed. Faithful devotion over 48 years is an uncommon thing these days. I am glad to have known him, his wife Carolyn, Jeffrey, his brother-in-law, Donnie, and all the family. Rest in peace, Lenell. You worked awful hard while you were here.