With the Capitol Insurrection still front-page news and more political violence possible, the nation is fixed in a dangerous moment. Without evidence, ex-President Trump continues to clamor that the 2020 election was stolen by Joe Biden and the Democrats, by means he won’t—or can’t—explain. His Big Lie has polluted our national politics, and it’s muddling the nation’s recovery from his disastrous four years in the White House.
As Rep. Liz Cheney put it recently, “We face a threat America has never seen before—a former president who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him.”
Republicans’ dogged refusal to accept that Trump lost fair and square isn’t easy to counter. This extreme situation calls for a radical solution, so here’s a Modest Proposal: All Republicans who refuse to challenge Trump’s Big Lie are to be sent to re-education camps!
Die-hard GOPs will attend a one-month course in a secure, military-style facility (barracks, mess hall, library, PX, rec room, etc.), with this curriculum:
- Lectures on the ABCs of the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. government from such experts as Ms. Cheney, Jamie Raskin, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Barack Obama;
- Classes on the Bill of Rights (with emphasis on 1st and 5th amendments);
- Classes on the history of the civil rights movement in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the women’s, LGBTQ, and Latino movements, and the Black Lives Matter movement;
- Reading assignments that include the NY Times’ “1619 Project,” Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste,” Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” Jill Lepore’s “These Truths,” etc.;
- Film screenings of the D.C. Insurrection last January 6: The incendiary “Stop-the-Steal” rally on the Mall—including Trump’s seditious speech—and the attempted coup in the Capitol start to finish (repeat daily);
- Film clips of Trump’s 15 biggest, boldest, baddest lies with fact-based refutations from respected journalists and scholars (also repeat daily);
- Film clips of GOP leaders engaging in obvious flip-flops (Graham, McCarthy, McConnell);
- Field trips to poor and middle-class American communities to listen as local leaders describe and discuss their problems;
- Expect spartan accommodations with healthy meals and a schedule of up at 6:00 a.m.; lights out at 10:00 p.m.; one hour of emails; daily PT; Covid-19 vaxxed as needed; and no access to social media.
Comes to mind the final line in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”: “A sadder and a wiser man he rose the morrow morn.” The GOPs who complete this course will likely feel the same way, and wisely stop parroting Trump‘s nonsense. Trump, of course, isn’t invited and will remain in isolation.