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What’s worse than Trump? His enablers. | READER COMMENTARY

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington. Doug Jensen, an Iowa man at center, was jailed early Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 on federal charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct counts, for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington. Doug Jensen, an Iowa man at center, was jailed early Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 on federal charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct counts, for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

The moral injury inflicted on this country over the last four years by Donald Trump, culminating in the orchestrated, violent occupation of our nation’s Capitol is eclipsed only by that of his enablers who authorized, sanctioned and amplified his belligerent behavior throughout his presidency (”It’s a fallacy that Trump supporters haven’t been heard,” Jan. 11). Here, moral injury means the conduct of a person of authority which betrays a high-stakes obligation to do what is morally right. It has been used to describe injustices military service members face when their leadership places them in a situation felt to be immoral. The harm derives from a loss of trust in leadership resulting not only in outrage, but grief and despair.

The enablers, demagogues-in-training, including other members of government and some in the Congress, intent on calculated political gain, maintaining privileged access and pleasing moneyed donors, took their permissive behavior to a new high on Jan. 6, contesting fully vetted, recounted, litigated and certified election results on the day they were to be officially ratified as the will of the people. The feigned worthiness of these new demagogues’ actions, their puffery and pretend lofty intent in the Capitol chamber, even after it had been breached and broken by an incited and misled mob only hours before, made transparent to any observer the naked self-promotion occurring in full view.

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Surely, many watching had to avert their eyes, as I did, incredulous at the shameless transaction ensuing, even as the rest of the nation was still shaken by the violent acts perpetrated against our democracy a few hours earlier.

Lest any of us of different political persuasions believe we are better than the disappointing public servants described above, all need to remember that we are not necessarily more virtuous than they are, only untested. Mindful of that, we must vow to move forward with eyes wide open, not averted, and voices ready to call out the lie when hear it to save our democracy and each other.

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Melissa McDiarmid, Baltimore

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