So, like a lot of people, I spent part of the week watching the Democratic National Convention. I’ve been really quite impressed by it—particularly by the Republicans who are lining up to endorse Joe Biden. They seem to be saying that, yes, they may not agree with him, or even like Democrats in general, but the alternative—a second term for Trump—is too horrible to consider.
But this makes me wonder about the Republicans who remain in Trump’s camp, and, in particular, GOP members of Congress. They must be in an impossible situation. Except for a few fanatics, they must clearly see that Trump is a disaster. Yet, they cannot admit that in public. If they do, they will bring upon themselves the massed fury of his followers, not to mention the toxic tweets of the man himself.
But, if they do not do so, then they run another risk, maybe a worse one. Even if Trump is (God forbid) re-elected, eventually he will leave the White House, one way or another. And when that happens, there may well come a reckoning. Trump’s former colleagues and enablers could be…almost certainly will be…defined as the men and women who betrayed American Democracy. At the very, very best, it would mean the end of their careers.
So, they have a choice. Jump from the sinking ship now, and face immediate retribution, or wait, and deal with with something potentially much worse in future.
If someone were to ask me (and no one has), then I’d suggest that they take the former course. It would be hard on them in the near term, naturally. But, in the long, they would have the patina of heroism—a modern Captain Louis, marching off with Rick to some American Brazzaville.
If, however, they delay, then they will have another role derived from French history. Specifically, they will be like those supporters of Vichy who waited too long to leave, and found themselves trapped by their Nazi “friends” at a German castle, useless and helpless, with only one question to occupy their mind. To wit, whose rough justice would they eventually receive? The Allies? The Russians? Or…least forgiving of all…
Their fellow French?
Oh, an aside. The business of the Vichy supporters being “in a castle?” It really happened. As the war came to an end, and the Allies overran France, the Germans evacuated the Vichy government and an assortment of French fascists to Sigmaringen Castle in southern Baden-Württemberg. While officially, the Vichyites were running a government-in-exile, they were in fact prisoners, and could do little but wait for what promised to be a distasteful end.
If you’re interested, there is a Wikipedia entry on “the Sigmaringen enclave” here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmaringen_enclave
Or, if you’re feeling particularly literary, the gifted but sinister French author, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, did a novel based on his time there, Castle to Castle. It’s quite an impressive book, but …like its author…somewhat unsettling.
Until next time…
Onward and upward.
Castle To Castle
Text: Copyright©2020 Michael Jay Tucker