All I can do is shake my head at the road on which we currently find ourselves. Our democracy is literally hanging on by a thread, largely due to the actions of Republican senators who are pledging loyalty to Donald Trump instead of upholding their oath to represent and protect the American people. As nations across the globe witness our descent into an authoritarian nation with fewer and fewer allies, we must ask ourselves if the great American experiment has finally come to a close.
Roughly four years ago, then-candidate Trump announced he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. I fear we are seeing the political equivalent of that deed before our very eyes. There have been ample opportunities for Republican senators to do what is right for the nation. They could agree to call witnesses to ascertain whether or not the president attempted to personally interfere in the 2020 election by using a foreign power to do so.
George Washington wrote in his 1796 farewell address to the nation in a cautionary tone. He feared the rise of partisanship and the interference of foreign entities. He advised that for the nation to survive and its liberty to prosper and grow, one must never bow to foreign powers or allow them to interfere with American democratic principles. Yes, we know this was written during a time where Africans were enslaved on U.S. soil and mass genocides were being conducted against Native peoples. However, we must still heed the words of Washington in that as cruel and unequal as our system has been over the past four hundred years, we must remember that the nation has evolved in ways never thought imaginable. Sadly, this current regime is bent on making sure America returns to her white supremacist and exclusionary roots.
Washington wrote, “In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.” In order to preserve liberty, we must have a certain love (and respect) for this nation, something Republican senators have shown no interest in. They have cloaked themselves in false patriotism and have gotten drunk with power. Unlike the Nixon impeachment era, there are no longer any Republican senators with the backbone, courage, and respect for the Constitution. They have systematically become sycophants of a tyrannical leader who will most likely sell each and every one of them down river when it suits him. The fear they possess and the power they crave is much greater than the oath they took for the good of the nation.
So where do we go from here? I truly do not know, but our ancestors never gave up on a promise land so neither will I.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” the co-host of the new podcast FAQ-NYC.