A Turn to the Light

Here in the northern hemisphere we look forward to the day our beautiful blue planet tips toward the sun again, bringing not only light to our long nights, but hope for the future. It’s been noted and celebrated in a vast number of ways since humans walked the Earth. And this year, despite the challenges, we have reason to believe the return of “the light” means more than longer and brighter days.

Make no mistake, there are some very dark corners left over from the disastrous administration of the “former guy” who seemed to attract corruption, grift, and criminals like a magnet attracts iron filings. But now, like peeling back the layers of an onion, the extent of the rot left behind is being exposed to the light — and once exposed, it can be and is being expunged.

There’s simply no doubt now that the attempted coup of January 6 wasn’t simply some gathering of “tourists” in the nation’s capital. No, as more and more evidence comes forth from thousands of documents, emails, texts and witnesses, the truth will not be whitewashed by certain politicians and media figures.

The latest and very significant high-level politician to turn to the light is none other than Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader and once-strong Trump supporter. In an interview late last week McConnell, like so many others, has realized the true portent of the event as evidence from the House investigative committee continues to be revealed.

As reported by the Washington Post, McConnell put it bluntly: “It was a horrendous event, and I think what they’re seeking to find out is something the public needs to know.” He continued in open rebuke to Trump, adding: “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”

Let’s not beat around the bush here — this is a huge reversal of the continuous obeisance to the former president by one of the top leaders of the Republican Party. As Trump’s hateful death grip on the GOP begins to fade, there’s a feeling of hope that perhaps, just perhaps, those Republicans who still adhere to the rule of law and seek truth will be vindicated.

Indeed, one thing McConnell did not do was denigrate Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who sits on the House investigative committee, voted to impeach Trump for his attempted coup, and has not been intimidated by the threats of violence directed her way. Nor has she decided to step aside from her re-election campaign and is garnering significant contributions from Republicans who now realize the future of their party does not live at Mar-a-Lago.

Like the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere, the turn to the light in our nation’s capital and across its broad expanse won’t happen instantly. But it builds with every passing day and eventually the insanity and divisiveness so recklessly sown by Trump and his cadre of corrupt plotters will continue to be exposed and fade away.

What better Christmas present could there be for our nation than to decide the light of truth serves us far better than the darkness of lies and deceit? Of course we have a long ways to go to heal the enormous damage done — but for now the glimmer of light on the horizon is well worth celebrating in this season of hope.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Daily Montanan, where this essay originally appeared.