For the past few weeks, network news shows have been filled with “groundbreaking” stories: the death of Gabby Petito, possibly at the hands of her boyfriend; the trial of singer R. Kelly, who was convicted of sexual abuse and sex trafficking; the desire of singer Britney Spears to disband the conservatorship run by her father; and the return of quarterback Tom Brady to Foxboro stadium, where a seat on the 50-yard line reportedly cost $4,000.

God bless America — or maybe not.

While millions of Americans fixated on trivial and salacious matters, the threat to the very foundations of our democracy remains ever more real.

Donald Trump lost the election by the popular vote and the electoral college vote. Election recounts in numerous states did not change the outcome, much to the chagrin of Trump and his ardent supporters. The most recent recount in Arizona revealed that Trump lost that state by even more votes than originally tallied.

Never one to let the truth derail his bombastic narrative, Trump declared at a rally following the Arizona recount debacle that the results proved that he did, in fact, win that state. Trump’s adoring crowd cheered his mendacious boasting. After all, why diss the conman who brought you to the Big Dance?

Meanwhile, diehard Republicans in other states are now rushing to launch recounts, anxious to please their leader and fire up their base voters. Clearly, the Big Lie (“Trump won”) and endless election “audits” are an excellent fundraising tool.

Something else occurred in the last few weeks that merits the attention of every American from either party who truly cares about the future of our democracy. A memo by right-wing lawyer John Eastman, unearthed by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, outlined a step-by-step plan for Mike Pence, then in his final days as Vice President, to declare the 2020 election invalid and give the presidency to Trump.

One might assume that the major news networks would have considered this treasonous memo a major story. Sadly they did not. In fact, this story appeared on none of the morning or evening editions of ABC, NBC or CBS News for two full days after CNN first reported on it. “Hey, America,” they seemed to be saying, “We know you’re more interested in Gabby Petito’s plight and R. Kelly’s peccadillos than in our democracy.”

Fortunately, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack has kept its focus on getting the facts behind the insurrection. The Committee recently demanded information from — and issued subpoenas to — four of Trump’s closest advisors as well as 11 individuals connected to Trump and the pro-Trump group in organizing rallies leading up to the insurrection.

Mitch McConnell and the overwhelming majority of GOP members of Congress have blithely dismissed the House Select Committee as a partisan witch hunt. Apparently, they wish that the public would just forget about the January 6 insurrection and move on.

Happily, Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Republican members of the Committee, have taken the high road, the right road, thereby putting their political careers in jeopardy. The spineless former Vice President Mike Pence refers to the insurrection as a “difficult” day. Hey, Mike, it might have been even more “difficult” for you if the Trump-inflamed rioters had succeeded in their bloody quest to “Hang Mike Pence!”

I realize that this piece will change no one’s views about Donald Trump, the man, or his presidency. I simply hope that loyal Republicans who consider themselves “patriotic” Americans will do their best to put their party — and our country — back on track.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns. dtreadw575@aol.com. 

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: