Heroes and Shysters

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I couldn’t hold my tears back as I watched the testimony of four police officers in front of the House select committee on the January 6 insurrection. Strong, burly men turned into an emotional mess as they described what they went through that day in order to protect the men and women serving in the congress. I couldn’t help but feel their anguish, as the testimony was that moving and that charged. You have to be an individual of very low class if you hear about their pain and suffering and make light of it, make jokes about it, or try to diminish it in any way. Sadly, there were quite a few individuals on social and other media doing just that. As if these men, who have spent their entire adult life trying to protect the country from our enemies, are somehow themselves the enemy.

After living on three continents for an extended period of time, I can tell you that one of the best things about being in the United States is the safety and security that such men and women provide to us, especially to ordinary citizens like me. Whenever we feel threatened or are in need of any help, we dial 9-1-1 and these soldiers drop everything and rush to our help. I can drive late at night through any city, go for a walk at any hour, or step into any place to shop or just to browse around, at any hour of the day, and feel protected because these real-life “superheroes” are only a shout away. Most of the countries in this world don’t have such luxury. We are that fortunate!

What made me tear up was the realization that January 6th was their 9-1-1 moment. They were the ones who needed help and there was none available to them. They were fighting a mob that was bent on doing extreme harm to our representatives, at the behest of those that were supposed to safeguard our nation and our institutions. Instead, our so-called leaders were inciting the misguided sheep to turn into hyenas and do their worst, just to benefit the scam artists posing as messiahs. Our President and some of his cronies—let’s not mince words—were inciting that mob to do something that goes against every fiber of our being as a nation, against every ideal that we stand for, and against the very fabric that holds us together as the superpower with moral high ground.

Officer Fanone spoke about duty, honor, and service. All of our law enforcement officers, and military personnel, live by such credo and take the oath to put their lives on the line—as these officers did on January 6th—to live by or to die for those values. That is not a small thing in itself. Most of us cannot and do not aspire to such high ideals. But, at the very least, we can respect those who do, and honor their valor. But, instead of honoring their sacrifices and cherishing their bravery in the face of such huge odds, some of the very people they protected are turning against them. Instead of recognizing their dedication, some of the people in this country, especially those who have the huge megaphone via different forms of media, are belittling them and downplaying what they achieved that day. Not only did they save countless tragedies from transpiring, as were planned by some people in power, but they themselves suffered tragedies of their own during their fight—literally—for their lives.

My tears were also for this nation that has forgotten what the word “honor” truly means. Once we taught our kids, that honor is everything and a man (or woman) is nothing without honor. Now, we have a huge swath of people, who openly, proudly, and without shame, do things that are dishonorable. Just think for a moment, we go crazy when a sportsman kneels when our national anthem is being played, because he is disrespecting our flag, but we can’t bring ourselves to condemn those that used our flags to beat these officers, just because our President did not want to concede the election. We have always followed the sportsmanship of accepting our loss, even if a referee makes the wrong call. But here we are, months and months later, still refusing to accept the loss, even after one thousand and one replays that showed that there was no wrong call.

Along with losing our honor, we have also lost our intelligence. I can’t believe that we have no ability these days to recognize a shyster when we see one. There are politicians who are using key phrases, and repeat them often, just to fleece us and enrich themselves. We have no reasoning abilities left to separate swindlers from genuine, caring people. We have no shame in elevating a con man to the level of an infallible holy man, for no reason, other than that he keeps repeating his lies that smart people like us should be able to easily see through. In other words, we have lost our minds.

America needs to wake up and see what truly is going on around us. There once was a time when we used to consider it disrespectful and unacceptable to even utter foul words in “polite company.” Now, we have absolutely no reaction when the very person we wish for him to be our leader—i.e. Donald Trump—uses the P-word to refer to these brave, selfless heroes. A man with no character is throwing stones at these men whose character is beyond reproach. There are politicians on both sides of the aisle, using fear-mongering and scare tactics, to openly deceive us and to take us for every penny that we have, to get us to do their dishonest, dishonorable, and disgusting bidding; to make fools out of us in ways that is beyond the pale. When, in God’s name, are we going to come to our senses and stop acting like pawns in their hands and hold these charlatans and fraudsters accountable for their sins against our nation. We can’t let them destroy us from within. Open your eyes America and see right through them. They are the real enemies who have weakened our nation so much.

Muhammad Naeem | Contributed

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