Young Goodman Brown had a dream in which his “goodly” neighbors literally were trafficking with Satan — and wondered ever after if they really were what they seemed.
Some of our “goodly” neighbors have been behaving badly, too, over the past few years.
This episode, as all things must, will someday end. It may even do so without the erection of a full-blown autocracy on the grave of the American republic. Trumpism may be rejected in a fair national vote, and Trump may in fact leave office. A semblance of rule of law may be preserved.
What then? Like young Goodman Brown, can Americans unsee the lawless bacchanal of the past three years? Can they pretend it did not happen, and that the fellow citizens who so readily discarded law and honesty never did so?
Trump has, one way or another, changed our national life irrevocably. When one side of a political struggle has shown itself willing to commit crimes, collaborate with foreign powers, destroy institutions, and lie brazenly about facts readily ascertainable to anyone, should the other side — can the other side — then pretend these things did not happen?
Garrett Epps, America’s Goodly Veneer Was a Lie.
Flawed, a little too one-sided, but powerful.
* * * * *
The Lord is King, be the peoples never so impatient; He that sitteth upon the Cherubim, be the earth never so unquiet.
(Psalm 98:1, Adapted from the Miles Coverdale Translation, from A Psalter for Prayer)