• 36°

DG Martin: We got another inoculation

By D.G. Martin

We got inoculated last week.

Or, I think we did.

I hope we did.

I am not thinking about the COVID vaccine that some got recently and others, I hope, will be getting soon.

Nor am I thinking about flu shots or measles.

I bet you remember the smallpox vaccine that many of us got when we were kids and how it worked by giving us a mild case of something like smallpox. That mini-infection, without hurting us too much, caused our bodies to respond with antibodies that protected us from future cases of the main disease.

The discomfort from the vaccine protected us from the major, disabling, or fatal disease that we had been inoculated against.

Similarly, last week’s events in Washington may have jolted us into being better prepared for more serious threats to come.

The mini-insurrection, the occupation of the Capitol, and the crudely planned but real attempted coup were disturbing and painful. They caught us off-guard, un-ready, and unprepared.

If the take-over had been better planned and orchestrated, or if it had a little more support from a larger group of insurrectionists, it could have prevailed.

Also, the result could have been different if just a few facts had changed.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz might have been Senate majority leader, for instance, and had the clout to persuade his colleagues to postpone the certification of Joe Biden’s election until a new commission could reexamine the election results and propose a different outcome.

Or, if Missouri Senator Josh Hawley had been vice president instead of Mike Pence, he might have refused to certify the electoral votes.

We escaped disaster because this insurrection disease was not quite strong enough to overcome our defenses—as weak as they were.

Nevertheless, we were embarrassed and humiliated by this close call.

Hawley, the first-term senator from Missouri, who argued against certification of the Electoral College results even after the Capitol Building had been trashed, earned scathing criticism from commentators such as David Brooks, who wrote that Hawley “gave permission to dark forces he is too childish, privileged and self-absorbed to understand. Hawley sold his soul to all that is ugly for the sake of his own personal celebrity.”

Brooks’ fellow columnist, Michelle Goldberg, was stunned by the entire episode.  “If you saw Wednesday’s scenes in any other country–vandals scaling walls and breaking windows, parading around the legislature with enemy flags and making themselves at home in quickly abandoned governmental offices–it would be obvious enough that some sort of putsch was under way.”

As Gabby Giffords, former Democratic representative from Arizona from 2007 to 2012 and wife of the new Senator Mark Kelly, points out, “There’s no magic recovery in store for us as a nation. We have a long way to go. We are living with the consequences of years of inflammatory speech and false accusations. Through hard work, intention and commitment, our country will overcome the rage of those who stormed the Capitol with symbols of hate. We draw strength from the bravery and determination of our first responders and frontline workers. We will move ahead together. When one person flags, another person steps in–to lift up the weak, and give strength to the doubtful. Together, our resolve and determination will be fuel for years to come.”

By understanding the seriousness of the dangers Brooks and Goldberg point outwith the guidance of leaders like Gabby Giffords in building our resolve, and preparing our peacekeeping forces to meet the threats, we can strengthen our country to face and defeat future insurrections and rebellions.

And if we do, the events of last Wednesday will have proved to be a successful inoculation.

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” Sunday 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. on UNC-TV (Soon to be PBS North Carolina). 

Comments

Education

New RSS Superintendent Watlington reflects on first week in office

Education

Education briefs: Hood Theological Seminary holding virtual lecture series 

High School

High school basketball: West boys have best team in years

Local

City will consider moratorium on new local historic landmarks

Local

“She always had a smile on her face:” Active in the community, Jeannie Misenheimer dies from COVID-19

Education

Navigating COVID to provide virtual career connections 

Education

Shoutouts

News

Ex-NC Rep. Hayes pardoned by Trump for role in bribery scandal

News

North Carolina prisons get first wave of COVID vaccine doses

Crime

Police: Granite Quarry, Salisbury robberies may be connected

Education

Knox Middle School closes for one day following teacher’s death

Local

County administers 800 COVID-19 vaccines as those 65 and older become eligible

Nation/World

Biden sworn in as America’s 46th president

Nation/World

Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics

Coronavirus

COVID-19 deaths outside of congregate living facilities represent growing majority in Rowan

Local

93-year-old man beaten, hospitalized after overnight attack

News

Shot in Salisbury, ‘Goodbye, Butterfly’ debuts on digital platforms

Education

KCS students staying all virtual through Feb. 15

Local

County commissioners table animal carcass ordinance until February

Local

Accommodating cyclists among concerns for Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

City approves wish list of 2021 projects, priorities

News

Justice Department won’t charge Sen. Burr over stock sales

Coronavirus

Health Department schedules first vaccination event for those 65 and older

Crime

Texas man robbed at knifepoint during stop in Rowan County