Spoiler alert: You're still in denial
Today I read “My Party Is in Denial About Donald Drumpf,” and it shows how far gone many Republicans are, including the article's author. He starts out like this:
With hindsight, it is clear that we all but ensured the rise of Donald Drumpf.
See, that sounds like a nice admission, but to anyone paying attention, starting an article like that proves you have no potential for self-reflection.
I personally didn't know much of anything about politics before Drumpf was elected. These past several months have been a crash course in history and politics for me as I've read more and more to try and comprehend what's going on. But many people who have been studying or living politics for years saw this coming. They knew the conditions were right for an authoritarian figure to rise up, and they knew that any group of people getting deals out of the situation would be along for the ride until the bitter end.
Michael Gerson, a conservative columnist and former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, wrote, four months into the new presidency, “The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased,” and conservative institutions “with the blessings of a president ... have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion.”
Yes, and abandoned the normal constraints of ethics, public duty, patriotism, moral decency, and common courtesy.
But then the period of collapse and dysfunction set in, amplified by the internet and our growing sense of alienation from each other, and we lost our way and began to rationalize away our principles in the process.
Hint: you're still shifting blame.
At the end, of course, this senator proposes some “solutions” while taking no verifiable steps to practice what he preaches. People like Mr. Flake are just the first few to look around and have a minor realization of what they've done. Now they're taking to publishing books and bewildered op-eds as they scramble to find any remnants of their principles laying around somewhere. The optimist in me hopes they'll eventually remember that defining moment when they abandoned any sense of decency or duty — and maybe use their egregious mistakes to turn a new leaf in their lives; maybe turn to a new god that isn't money and power.