• 41°

One on One: 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 Senator 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,” Sundays at 3:30 p.m. and Tuesdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV (Soon to be “PBS North Carolina.”) The program also airs on the North Carolina Channel Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and other times.

FOR MORE COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, CHECK OUT OUR OPINION SECTION HERE.

Lifestyles

Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics

News

NC Senate approves bill allowing concealed handguns at more churches

Crime

Cooper announces reward for information on Wilson County murders

News

More federal coronavirus relief funds debated by NC House

News

Public meeting addresses Avon beach nourishment

Lifestyles

Outer Banks Community Foundation honors 2020 champions, elects 2021 board

Lifestyles

Manteo Rotary Club presents fellowship to horticulturist

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for robbing bank

Crime

Federal jury convicts North Carolina man of narcotics and firearms offenses

Crime

Governor announces reward for information on murder on Halifax County

News

Bobcat on the refuge

News

Future of Soundside Event Site discussed

News

NPS issues interim rules for filming in park areas

News

Manteo commissioners approve permit for new athletic field house at Manteo High School

News

Weekly North Carolina gas price update

Crime

North Carolina man receives 13 years in federal prison for drug distribution

Crime

Cooper announces reward for information about Wilson County murder

News

North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander announces retirement

Crime

Cooper announces reward for information on Hoke County murder

Hyde

New video conference capabilities for students at the Hyde County Davis Center

Lifestyles

Dare County employee receives 25-year service pin

Crime

North Carolina sentenced to federal prison for dealing heroin

Business

Food Bank of the Albemarle announces Employees of the Year

Business

Kill Devil Hills pizzeria shows appreciation for essential workers