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Congress Budget Toomey (copy)

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

On July 25, retiring Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., appeared on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union” show. The question to Toomey was about why Republicans seem afraid of having an investigation into the events of Jan. 6.

“There should be a bipartisan commission,” Toomey said.

Unfortunately, Toomey, soon to be leaving office, missed the first vote, along with nine other Republican and two Democratic cowards, as noted by John King, where he could have voiced his favor of a bipartisan committee. His job is to vote, but he had a family commitment that day. How about that?

More unfortunately, Toomey continued not answering the question by stating an investigation now would only empower the Democrats for the 2022 midterm elections. Apparently, getting to the truth of the matter for the benefit of the country was less important than the Democrats maybe gaining an edge in 2022. In the interest of fair play, Toomey told the truth, but he clearly put party before country. Who would know better than the Republicans who staged endless Benghazi hearings to impact Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers?

There’s more. Security for the Capitol building falls under the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police Board and Congressional Committees such as the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. Both Republicans and Democrats sit on those committees, but not Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., nor Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

On Tuesday, Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., blamed Pelosi for the January insurrection, no investigation needed. Apparently, as a Republican politician you are free to lie to the American people. As Chauncy Devega has written in Salon, “The Republican Party and the right-wing movement are expert and prodigious liars.”

Even after the emotional testimony of the police officers who stood up to the mob on Jan. 6, Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., was asked about his statement that it seemed like a normal tourist day. He stood by his comments.

I believe the real question is whether the Republicans believe their lying and dissembling will eventually just go away on its own. Perhaps, the Republicans believe that if they regain the House and Senate in 2022 they can stop lying. But wait, can they stop lying if they are victorious in 2022 with 2024 right around the corner? I would say the chances are slim to non-existent that the lying and dissembling will just go away because the Republicans stop talking about it, or for that matter, stop at the borders of the lie. Nationally, the damage may already be done.

Ask the Japanese if they have ever fully recovered from Emperor Hirohito admitting he wasn’t divine. Many who follow Shinto, a religion of patriotism, still believe him to be divine. Several years after Hirohito’s confession, right-wing author, Yukio Mishima, published a short novel skewering the history and culture of pre-World War II Japan in favor of a new world view. The novel, “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea,” stressed that once the Japanese leaders were caught in a big lie, their country turned a corner. Japanese society’s response to their big lie, i.e., that they were all, in one way or another, divinely special was a morale letdown of epic proportion to say the least.

The Greeks and Romans believed the same thing. The Gods favored them. The Ottomans and the Germans believed in their own exceptionalism. What brought down those civilizations was lying, corruption and personal selfishness, in one form or another, at the top.

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Get below the surface and you will find we, as Americans, believe that this country is God’s special place. The most recent data from The Exchange indicates that 53% of Americans believe there is a special relationship between God and our country.

In 1971, Barry Commoner published his work “The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology.” In the book he outlined laws of ecology. Pertinent here are laws that state everything is connected to everything else, everything must go somewhere and there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Everything is connected to everything else. One doesn’t have to see the immediate connections, but we should be smart enough to understand that there are indeed connections and when we finally recognize the ripple effects of these connections we may already be in a downward spiral. If we don’t understand that there will be connections from the lies to other parts of society, we may not be as smart as we think we are.

What can happen in Commoner’s ecological systems with regard to connections can happen in the realm of political and social ecology as well.

Everything must go somewhere indicates you can’t really throw anything away. It means matter is neither created nor destroyed. It is simply transformed into something we may interpret as new. A lie perpetrated and repeated at the national and state levels will show itself again. The question is how?

Current data from Poll Watch tell us that “66% of Republicans in the south support seceding from the United States.” A Connection seems obvious.

Therein lies the rub of the Republicans’ big lie. The lies will, in some form, seep into our other institutions.

No free lunch tells us we will be changed and perhaps not for the best when payment comes due. Ask American scholars if we have ever fully recovered from the lies fed to us about the Vietnam war?

Our concern for the future of our children and grandchildren over the federal deficit is peanuts compared to how the lies will affect our existence as a democracy.

Joe Manzo, of Athens, is a retired Concord University professor.

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