By Shawn Boles
The photo which accompanies this piece is a visceral response to Jan. 6, 2021, when our democracy was deeply wounded by carefully orchestrated actions of shock troops who acted at the behest of scoundrels, cowards, knaves and nincompoops. The stark image depicts a stylized U.S. Capitol with a bloodied outline of the country and ominous black winged creatures circling overhead
In the ensuing months, as I worked on the construction depicted in the photograph with my friend, the sculptor Jud Turner, I was struck by the tepid and timid response thoughtful citizens of all political stripes made to this hellish attack. An excerpt from “The Second Coming” by WB Yeats kept echoing in my head: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
We know all too well that appealing to the worst can arouse passionate intensity. The question is: Have the best of Americans, ourselves, lost all conviction? No real outrage, no willingness at all to call out either actors or their puppeteers.
What do I mean by no willingness at all? I mean the lack of millions of bumper stickers that say “Take back the Truth, Trump Lost!!,” (or using Trump zombie vernacular: “Trump lost! Suck it up Snowflake!”). No willingness to establish an organized campaign at any level to hammer home the message.
If we are too cowardly to display a bumper sticker or spend our money on a concerted public effort to take back the truth, the Republic may be doomed.
That said, there are more of us than there are of them, and we have truth on our side. But only if we are willing to speak it together. It is certainly difficult to be the first for a sticker, but that problem is easily remedied with a little organization. We are late out of the gate, and I am not sanguine that such organization is in the offing.
Democracy demands involvement, and if we fail to act, the evil of those who promote sedition will continue unabated. Enough is enough.
Shawn Boles, Ph.D., is an experimental psychologist who retired from the University of Oregon and Oregon Research Institute, and lives in Eugene with his wife, Melva Boles, and their cat Abigail. He served on the Eugene City Council from 1988 to 1996.