It takes a village - Shawn Loughlin editorial
It takes a village to raise a child, so the saying goes, but really, it takes a village to do just about anything. No one can change the world alone, nor can one tear it down.
In Spotlight, the Academy Award-winning film depicting The Boston Globe’s reporting into systematic sexual abuse in the Catholic Church I likely reference far too much, lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, played by Stanley Tucci, puts it like this, “... if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.”
His point being that if one bad actor was shut down by an organization, a community, law enforcement, etc., that behaviour wouldn’t continue. Using the example of the Catholic Church, if one priest abusing a child wasn’t protected by the archdiocese, bailed out legally and shifted to another parish where he was free to start all over again, this wouldn’t have become the epidemic it’s become.
The easiest way to define this is enabling. The world is filled with enablers, ranging from innocent enough up to downright dangerous.
If people in power said “enough is enough” and set things right, instead of looking after their friends and their own interests, it’s amazing to think where we could go.
What is happening south of the border is the disgusting enabling of someone who is far past his best-before date. Donald Trump has lost the presidency and he is working to undermine what was once a shining example of democracy. He’s calling legal voting practices into question, dismissing votes cast by Americans and dragging the credibility of anybody and everybody through the mud just so he can prop himself up for a second term (or perhaps a potential family dictatorship).
Like Garabedian said, if Trump, even as the President of the United States, tried to do this and win the presidency in the courts instead of an election, he could be shut down right now. That’s why the country’s democracy is constructed the way it is. There are many checks and balances to ensure the country won’t descend into a dictatorship. But what the world is seeing from Trump supporters, the Republican Party and Trump’s partners around the world is a willingness to subvert its established system for choosing its leader. They are choosing baseless and, in many cases, debunked conspiracy theories in place of the will of the people and stage a coup. This should terrify not only Americans, but the rest of the world as well.
We can all dismiss Trump as infantile and averse to reality and truth (honestly, anyone who didn’t see this election descending into a court case full of untruths and underhanded tactics should have their head examined), but those enabling him should shoulder just as much of the blame as him, if not more.
Elected officials like Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and others, all the way down to General Services Administrator Emily Murphy, who is refusing to sign over power to Joe Biden, not acknowledging his win as legitimate, are allowing this circus to continue and history will not treat them kindly.
It just shows the power those with similar values and bargain-basement ethics wield in society. We were told we couldn’t paint the entire Republican Party with the same brush during Trump’s chaotic time as president, but what’s happening now is showing us that we can and probably should have been all along.
And as far as Trump goes, (hopefully) he has finally hit a wall his lawyers, his influence or his money (or lack thereof) cannot scale. Like The Wire’s great Marlo Stanfield said, “You want it to be one way, but it’s the other way.”