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Monday, December 6, 2021

Pitts: We Fight Like Middle Schoolers While America Suffers

It’s like something from high school.

Rep. Paul Gosard posts a video from a silly anime in which he depicts the violent murder of Alexandria MP Ocasio-Cortez. Faced with condemnation in the House of Representatives, he is defended by Rep. Lauren Bobert, who in the process calls Republican Ilhan Omar a member of what she calls a “jihad squad.” Omar fires back, hitting Bobert for sleeping “with the pervert.”

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz, who just described Big Bird as a “government propaganda” tool for the COVID-19 vaccination, is following spokeswoman Liz Cheney, claiming she has “Trump frenzy syndrome” due to her disdain for 45. to the president. Cheney, playing on Cruz’s canine loyalty to someone who insulted his wife’s appearance, retorts that a “real man” will protect his wife.

High school again. One depicts 13-year-olds arguing in a canteen while the sauce on their mysterious meat freezes. Unfortunately, these recent exchanges of juvenile vitriol are coming from members of Congress. You are forgiven if you find it difficult to tell the difference.

There is a strong temptation to pass the ball to Cheney and Omar, who, in the end, responded in kind, having endured a constant stream of abuses below the belt, the first of which dared to be a Republican with conscience and courage. prosecute Donald Trump, the latter for daring to become a Muslim. But the truth is, it doesn’t work for anyone. An old adage about mud wrestling with pigs comes to mind. Gosar, Cruz and Bobert have dragged Cheney and Omar to their level, which is enough to give Aquaman the opportunity to give up.

By and large, they pull the rest of us as well. The point is not only that they coarse the culture, although this is already bad. Even worse, they divert attention from more important things. Take Gosar’s rumor, for example. How much time and effort do you think legislators had to spend on his childish post? Be that as it may, time has not been spent addressing an unprecedented array of problems, including inflation, disrupted supply chains, racial strife, disinformation crisis, rebellion and the deteriorating health of our only planet.

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There’s a big deal at stake, far more than whether Paul Gosara hits the wrist. However, we – the media, voters and legislators – do not seem to fully understand this. We are fixated on the questions: will the fall in Biden’s rating prevent his re-election? Vice President Harris feeling offended? Can Liz Cheney stay where she is? – who seem normal, like 1987 or 2005, and thus don’t feel disconnected from the urgency of this strange and critical moment in our history. We must stop treating this as normal. Normal is the last thing.

It is good and good to ask whether someone will lose the election or the appointment to the committee, but now the bigger question is whether we will lose the whole country. We chuckle and “ooh” at the insults and applause from our leaders as laws are passed prohibiting disadvantaged voters from voting and Trump supporters occupy key positions on state electoral commissions. This increases the likelihood that he – or someone else who does not respect the norms and subtleties of democracy – will then be installed in the White House with an obedient Republican Congress at his disposal. What will become of America then?

This is a question that should be in the spotlight now, but it is not. Instead, some of us fight like high school students while others watch from the outside.

Aren’t we entertained? Well, yes.

In the meantime, the school is on fire.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. © 2021 Miami Herald. Distributed by the Tribune content agency.

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