Monday, December 13, 2021

The scary truth according to Brian Williams

StellaRay at the Daily Kos shares thoughts about Williams.

The “darkness of the edge of town has spread to the main roads and highways and neighborhoods,” Williams lamented. “It’s now at the local bar, and the bowling alley, at the school board and the grocery store. And it must be acknowledged and answered for.”

“Grown men and women who sw ore an oath to our Constitution, elected by their constituents possessing the kinds of college degrees I could only dream of, have decided to join the mob and become something they are not while hoping we somehow forget who they were,” he continued.

“They’ve decided to burn it all down ― with us inside,” added Williams. “That should scare you to no end as much as it scares an aging volunteer fireman.”

I have written other diaries about Williams, whose show I greatly enjoyed and I will miss. I know there are those who will not ever forgive him his trespasses, but I see him as a man who redeemed himself, and did so in a way that benefited many, including me. I found his show the perfect end to an evening of big news. There was a smart calmness about it. He asked good questions and no one can ever accuse him of not listening to the answers.

I think it is interesting that he also said on his sign off that he is not a “liberal or a conservative, but rather an institutionalist.” I get this, assuming the institutions are of our choosing and sturdy if not perfect—which clearly Williams is no longer sure of, nor am I.

I thought his words were well chosen and scary as hell. For as much as there are certainly others saying the same thing, there was something about Williams terse brevity, his choice to make these his last words on his show, that really rattled me. Not that I need to be more rattled than I am these days by what’s going on.

But I was struck by the idea that when we talk about “messaging” I think this is what it’s about. We need more people WITH A PLATFORM to step up and say, “hey folks, we’re on the ledge of loosing our imperfect republic, our highly flawed but great democratic experiment. Open your eyes. We are hanging on by our freaking fingertips.

There will be those who say this is hyperbolic—but I now think those are the same sort who didn’t see Hitler coming, even after the Brown shirts had arrived. And make no mistake about it, the Brown shirts have arrived in the United States of America. They just go by a different names these days. All sorts of names, but most disturbing of all is this name: the Republican Party. There is no “both sides do it” in this ultimate game, despite my opinion on the many imperfections of the Democratic Party.

I think there is no doubt this is who Williams was talking about. Yes, we are on the edge of destroying ourselves the way every great nation/culture from the beginning of time does: from the inside out. And maybe, while one side is worse than the other here—as in not both siderism— it is also true that the other side fails us when they don’t find the strength to fight, tooth and freaking nail.

What we desperately need is more people with big voice to step up and do what Williams did—scare us out of our complacency. Because even in the midst of a culture grinding epidemic, so many in this country don’t get it—going about their ways as if nothing can touch us, not even a killer pandemic, because we’re just that special, and maybe just that spoiled.

Whatever you think of Brian Williams—and I expect to hear from his detractors here too, as I have every time I’ve written about him—he spoke the dark truth boldly.

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