Many are called leaders. Few deserve the title.
Why is that? Because it is a difficult thing to be a leader. To go forward, to pave the way, to do the right thing when others are moving in the opposite direction, ignoring the consequences. To put the common good before the wishes of your followers.
Mitch McConnell is an excellent example of my point. The title of his new post is: U.S. Senate Minority Leader. He should be a leader; but he is not.
He is an intelligent man, a political fox – which made him the longest-serving party leader in the Senate.
But Mitch, as he is generally known, played the dancing bear every time Trump beat the drum. He bowed his head and did what he was told.
He knew the reality very well. And the truth. But he was afraid of the Trumpists. He was afraid of losing his seat as Kentucky’s Senator. So he was silent.
He lived through the events of January 6th. He was present. He was in the Senate Chamber where the election results were being certified. He knew perfectly well what had happened on that day.
Only after the invasion did he break free from the hold Trump had on him, launching a fierce attack on the then-President. He accused him of being directly responsible for organizing and directing the attack on the Capitol.
But then he made a U-turn. He blocked, when he was still the Majority Leader, the impeachment trial of Trump from being held until after the president’s departure from the White House.
He had been so fiercely against Trump that he was expected to vote in favor of his conviction. Seven Republican senators did vote to convict – but not Mitch.
He voted for Trump. "Not guilty,” he said when the roll was called.
However, a short time later, he stood in the Senate and launched a masterful attack on Trump – as if he were a member of the group of the Democrat Impeachment Managers who presented the case to convict Trump.
And after literally annihilating the former president’s actions and inactions, he explained why he voted to acquit him: “We have no power to convict a former office holder who is now a private citizen.”
Of course, as I noted above, the fact that Trump was a private citizen at the time of the trial is due to McConnell himself. He delayed the trial until after Trump left office.
But he can’t have it both ways.
McConnell cannot have a clear conscience when he both condemned and acquitted the person he considers responsible for the mob's invasion of the U.S. Capitol.
Politicians as a rule – with few exceptions – do not lead. They follow.
The result is that they leave their citizens exposed and their countries at risk.
It is no coincidence that Trump has been tried in the Senate twice, more than any other president in history.
And this is due to the indisputable facts. Watch, if you can stand it, that shocking video the Democrats presented to the Senate and you will be convinced.
Although they did not need to present evidence, since in a rare circumstance, the senators who were the jury were themselves the witnesses.
They ran to save themselves from the wrath of the mob. With their own ears they heard them shout "hang Pence!"
Nevertheless, only seven dared to vote to convict him. Seven leaders.
The others, the frightened ones, hope to benefit – personally and politically. Maybe they will – although I doubt it very much. On what ethical basis? That vote will follow them forever.
Trump suffered a devastating defeat in the Senate. 57 senators, including seven Republicans, voted against him. More than ever in the history of the Senate.
Of course, Trump will speak of exoneration. Of acquittal. Of victory.
It’s not true. It will be just another big lie.
Trump, for me, is now on the road to growing isolation. He will have a small percentage of supporters left. He will become irrelevant.
The country, exhausted by the seesaw, the turbulent passions, will look to its future.
America has to deal with real problems. The coronavirus, the economy, the need to strengthen institutions in order to avoid a new attempt to block the peaceful transfer of power.
This is in the interest of the country. That's what America deserves – and Trump will eventually get his day of reckoning.