Dark Night of the Republican Soul

Don’t be fooled. Don’t let them fool you. Don’t think they are fooling themselves. Many Republicans, especially Senators, sleep badly and fitfully in a dark night.

The restless nights began for some when they saw Trump likely to win the nomination, as he ultimately did. They were comforted by the uneasy thought that, rooting against their own candidate, he had slim chance of being elected.

By the time of the inauguration, the difficult nights set in. At first, and for years to come, rationalizations, some very practical, such as holding on to their seats, helped. Delusions, drink and drugs might provide a little rest and respite.

But at some quiet moments, awake and alone in the dark with their thoughts, reality grips them. For the more religious, they realize that they can relentlessly lie to America, lie to themselves, but God is too smart for that. Others who have some sense of history imagine the history books they will spend the rest of their lives trying, against the current, to criticize and correct. History books that will paint them at best as selfish dupes, at worst as enablers and accomplices.

Many people have dark nights, brought on by the unavoidable tragedies of capricious life. Those nights are not wished on anyone. Sometimes it is the anguish of bad choices made. Sometimes the sleepless nights never ever end.