All sides need a moral compass


Betsy Meads

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A writer recently questioned someone’s characterization of our 2020 presidential election as a game. To that I say, if prostitution is the oldest occupation, then politics is the oldest game. It is where adults use money and leverage to gain powerful positions while promising the moon and delivering benefits to them or their friends. It is an adult competition in respect to gamesmanship.

Consider the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton was decidedly off her game. Strategy sessions, ad purchases, polling, racing through states shaking hands, and passing go for more donations — it is “Monopoly” on steroids.

Sometimes in the game, politics will make strange bedfellows. Consider the crucifixion of Christ. Pilate, who persecuted Jews, bowed to the request by the Sanhedrin — the Jewish council of rabbis — that Christ be crucified for blasphemy. Christ was a threat to the Sanhedrin and they used Pilate to protect their power. Game on.

While I have more than once had issues with President Donald Trump’s tweets, I have been appalled with the hate directed at our president: Calls for his assassination, pictures of his severed head, prayers for a recession, and all of this from elected officials, celebrities and media representatives.

Recently, Elie Mystal on MSNBC’S “AM Joy,” said to “Destroy Trump supporters at the ballot box,” prompting the host to verify he meant to beat him in the election. Mystal also called for “pitchforks and torches” outside the Long Island home of a man holding a fundraiser for Trump.

The most egregious example is members of our intelligence services trying to usurp the will of the people for the benefit of another candidate by creating a false narrative against a duly elected president. Yes, we must regain our moral compass, but that applies to all of us, not just one side.

I have just recently read area native William Dunstan’s book, “Nell Cropsey and Jim Wilcox, The Chill of Destiny.” This covers the period from the Civil War through Wilcox’s trial, pardon and death. The book utilizes newspaper excerpts between the two rival newspapers at the time, one Democrat and one Republican.

Political overtones were present in the accusation and conviction of Wilcox. Originally given a death sentence, which was reduced to 30 years at hard labor, Dunston describes the politics and press of the era that convicted Wilcox and Dunston’s grandfather’s knowledge that could have prevented the trial.

Political games are serious business and can turn deadly.

Betsy Meads

Elizabeth City