One of the things that makes the American experiment strong is the peaceful transference of power.
We may not recognize this in the United States because we are so accustomed to it, but the idea of power being peaceably transferred? Was not just a novelty when it actually happened in the “Revolution of 1800” but a minor miracle. In no other nation on earth did power transfer between one faction to another in such a way.
So remember when back in October it was the Democrats who pushed upon Trump boosters that we all had to accept the outcome of the election? That dissent was treason? Well… it would appear that two months after the outcome, Virginia’s Democrats have decided that dissent is patriotism (again):
Rep. A. Donald McEachin, the new congressman in Virginia’s 4th District, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-11th, issued statements Wednesday saying they would join Rep. Don Beyer, D-8th, in boycotting the Friday inaugural. Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-3rd, of Newport News will attend, according to his office.
McEachin and Connolly said Trump’s verbal attack on Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, the civil rights activist who said Trump would not be a legitimate president, factored into their decisions.
Trump “insults and denigrates a man who is a true hero, who has dedicated his life to civil rights, human rights and equal justice, who has shed blood for these values,” McEachin’s statement said. McEachin said will be in his district with constituents on Friday.
One supposes this is their right to do, if not a betrayal of their civic responsibilities. Let’s not pretend that the fauxrage over Rep. Lewis is anything but a foil — as a member of Congress, one has a duty to preserve the institution of peaceful transference of power between factions above all other concerns.
Consider the alternative. If Hillary had won, could the Republicans have created a scandal (or some offense — manufactured or otherwise) that would have been a useful foil to refuse to attend the inauguration? Certainly they could have. Would anyone in the media or the political left have respected that choice? Of course not… and hopefully not for mere political reasons, but for civil ones.
Though my confidence at this rate? The concern for civic institutions is at an ebb… while political advantage on both sides seems to be the principal concern.
For one, I do intend to be in Washington for the next two days. I am no Trump supporters (as longtime readers know). Yet the institution deserves our respect, and maintaining those institutions is what keeps the American experiment alive and well, not just for today but for tomorrow.
Hopefully Virginia’s Democratic delegation will reconsider.