America: Macbeth Act 5
America feels like the beginning of Act 5 of Macbeth. The king is confident that no one can remove him from the throne, the kingdom is at war with itself, and, in a daze, Lady Macbeth tries to wash phantom blood from her hands.
“Out, damned spot! out, I say!”
There are too many waking up in this country today with blood on their hands. They will try to wash it off with calls for peace, entreaties to get back to the work of the people, claims that this is not what America is, but it is too late. Their hands are stained as red as their hats.
“What, will these hands ne’er be clean?”
No, they will not. Those who stood next to Trump, supported this vainglorious farce of standing up against the will of the people by protesting the recorded votes of the Electoral College, this insurrection is on your hands. But not just yours.
There are spots of red on the hands of every Republican who rushed past reporters claiming, “I haven’t had time to read his tweets.” Red marks the palms of every person who tried to walk the middle line, claiming they didn’t like how Trump said something but couldn’t speak up against it. The ones who loved the excitement he brought to the base, so they looked the other way and pretended not to see the racism, sexism, and xenophobia.
“Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!”
You will not be able to get the stench off of you. It’s the smell of cowardice, the sulfuric smell of the yellow blood that runs in your veins. Scrub and scrub and scrub, it will never abate because you can not remove the source of the stench of your own putrid record of kowtowing to a bully, a liar, and a cheat, smiling while you knew that Trump was stirring a warlocks brew of hate, violence, and delusion.
This will follow you for the rest of your career, which for the sake of this country should be short. Very, very short.
“To bed, to bed! there’s knocking at the gate: come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.–To bed, to bed, to bed!”
Tomorrow there will be ringing of hands all over the country as those who stood steadfastly by playing their part strut and fret for hours upon the news feigning shock and rewriting their role, they will be tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
What’s done cannot be undone.
As the good doctor says as he watches Lady Macbeth confess her crimes as she sleepwalks, “Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles.”
You thought that you were safe. You thought that you were smarter than the maddening crowd. You thought you could control it. You thought you could look into the seeds of time and say which grain would grow and which would not. You were wrong.
There cannot be a tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow for any elected official or party leader who played a role in letting this happen. No. Who played a role in making this happen. This was not some passive thing that just spontaneously erupted. Like the Lady who tries to wash her hands of her crimes in Act 5, in Act 1 they laid out the blades for others to pick up and strike a blow to democracy.
Every Republican who signed on to the plan to protest the certification of the Electoral College should resign. There is blood on your hands! The only purifier available to you is your resignation. You were complicit in a seditious act and provided aid and comfort to domestic terrorists who attempted a coup by overturning the legal and fair election results.
Only then can honor be restored.
“The patient must minister to himself.”