“May God, working through each of us, save the United States of America.” ~ A. King – 10/19/2021
Without theatrical bombast or oratorical ostentation, but with measured yet moving rhetoric, a King yesterday argued against monarchy and autocracy and for saving American democracy by upholding TRUTH.
At the very bedrock foundation of a just system of government “of the people, by the people, for the people” is Truth. Without a society that pays homage to truth, and without a moral body of truth-tellers there can be no justice. Without justice there can be no democracy. And now without true, honest, full-throated democracy on display for all to trust, the great American experiment in just self governance is on life support.
The King speaking out on behalf of democracy and truth was Senator Angus King, a political independent (non-partisan) from the state of Maine. His address, aimed directly at fellow Senators, was delivered on the day before the Senate is set to determine whether to take up the critical Freedom to Vote Act, the most comprehensive democracy reform law enacted in decades. With Republicans planning to filibuster (scuttle) that procedural vote today, Senator King’s 24 minute ‘save democracy’ speech established him as a key advocate of fair and just voting rights, and as the Senate’s moral conscience.
Addressing the ‘Big Lie’ of the alleged stolen Presidential election of 2020 in his speech, Senator King was not shy to name the ongoing perpetuation of the lie as “stone cold partisan voter suppression.” He voiced his deep concern over the erosion of trust in the vote and lost faith in the democratic system that the ‘Big Lie’ has wrought on Americans as a whole and in particular those citizens who identify as Republican. He reiterated the reality that simply claiming ‘voter fraud’ without any shed of evidence to back it up doesn’t make it so. “Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true,” he reminded his audience.
Recounting a recent trip to Gettysburg battlefield and learning how close the Union troops came to losing the Civil War, the Senator used that experience to indicate how perilously close the nation now is to losing democracy. While elected leaders are not on a battlefield with their lives on the line, he reminded them that their behavior and their decisions are even now determining the fate of democracy. “The fate of the American experiment hangs in the balance,” he stated emphatically. Addressing elected official’s need to hold office at all costs and place short term partisan interests over long term democratic health, he stated, “Nothing is worth destroying what our forebears fought and died for.”
He concluded his remarks with a plea… a prayer… a benediction of sorts appealing to “the better angels of our nature” in the manner of Lincoln. It was an appeal to rise above the self-serving nature of humans left to the cravings of our baser selves and lift up the moral conscience that reflects the Imago Dei, that image of God in which we were created “a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:5).
On a day in which partisans employ an archaic filibuster to refuse to even debate the merits of the Freedom to Vote Act and continue to fuel the fantasy of the ‘Big Lie’ rather than honoring and proclaiming truth, it is a prayer and a mantra that bears repeating every day. And it is a reminder that God works through us to bring just resolution to prayers as profound as the salvation of American democracy.
“May God, working through each of us, save the United States of America.”
[To watch Senator King’s address, click HERE and scrub ahead to the 8 minute mark.]