To the Editor:
Abraham Lincoln once asked, “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?”
Trying to change reality is a common trait of predators. They recreate an alternate reality and then convince people that it is the only reality. Domestic violence often involves mind control in which the predator tells the victim that she cannot manage without him; that he, alone, is the answer to her weakness. He makes the victim afraid to leave the home because she will fail, or starve, or not be safe even though the predator is making the home unsafe.
In 1978, Jim Jones told 900 people that if they drank cyanidelaced Kool-Aid, they would go on to heaven. He reframed circumstances into a reality that he had created. People were so hungry for a leader that they accepted his version of reality. Some were forced to drink the Kool-Aid but overall, they did not see that they had other choices.
On January 6, 2021, the previous guy told people they should go to the Capital, take back the country with “strength” and “I will go with you.” But he didn’t go. He went instead to the White House to watch the show that he had unleashed and encouraged. Now, he says they were nice people full of “love” and that the Capital police welcomed them. That was not love on January 6; that was terroristic threatening, violent attacks on Capital police, death, maiming, plans to murder the Vice President and Speaker of the House, Congress and the Senate, defecation in the Capital building, broken windows due to forced entry. Zip-ties. A noose. Racial slurs. Eyes put out. Concussions. Walls scaled. Flag poles used as cudgels. Spit. Blood. And now four suicides of Capital police since.
He goes on and on that the election was “stolen” when over 60 courts have ruled otherwise. But he had started saying this before the election. And Mexico didn’t pay for the wall. And COVID is exponentially worse than the common flu. And the Senators and Representatives who promote his distortions are equally threatening to what is actually true.
We believe what we want to believe, whether it’s the truth or not. We want to believe that an entertainer who comes across as sure of himself is trustworthy. We want a leader. But a true leader respects others, is not boastful, is humble and open to the times when they are wrong. A true leader treats the most vulnerable as if they are the most powerful, and reminds the powerful that they, too, can be vulnerable.
Lincoln answered his own question: “Four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.” Regardless of what anyone says, a dog only has four legs.
On the surface, a predator looks like he cares about others, but does not. Just because the previous guy and those who now surround him insist that a tail is a leg does not change the truth that we all saw on television on January 6, 2021.
ARTIE ANN BATES