A Reflection on the Final January 6th Select Committee Congressional Hearing

by Fernando Perfas

Cassidy Hutchinson, during June 28, 2022, Select Committee Hearing via Wikimedia Commons

I have been following the January 6th hearing since it started. I watched the recent final hearing with interest and sadness. I care about it because it affects me in important ways. Firstly, as an immigrant who believes in the core values of this country which has been my home for the last forty years. Secondly, I was disappointed to see how divided this country has been and, more importantly, to realize how regressive its politics has become in the last decade.

The events leading to the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol, including that infamous day, are perhaps viewed differently according to one’s history with this country. As someone who comes from a country with a chequered political history, I admire the American political system and what used to be the integrity of many of its politicians.

That view has been eroded, particularly in the last six years, when U.S. politics has descended into the level of a Banana Republic. Many hold a public office whose credentials are suspect, and their personal agendas contradict the country’s interests and people. There is no more shame in throwing political temper tantrums in public for not getting what you want by advocating violence against perceived enemies or twisting facts to serve a political purpose, and most vile is putting down another person’s public policy, regardless of merits, simply because they belong to the other political party.

Bully politics is in. Wear down your enemies through intimidation and lies. Hitler, Stalin, and many despots employed the same Machiavellian tactics. Political conduct we used to see and criticize in less developed democracies has arrived in the USA. What happened to this country? Pent up grudges against the government? A culture of self-entitlement? Who knows?

“Still, these are not enough in government conduct and the peaceful co-existence among citizens. A social contract underlies our daily lives and the conduct of our personal businesses. It is to buy in and follow the laws of the land.”

Even in the most progressive democratic, open societies, the government system is never perfect. There is no perfect human organization, including the Vatican. Human flaws are reflected in what we organize. When people gather together, all their strengths are pooled, and so are their collective weaknesses. To regulate this fact of life, we have rules and regulations, laws, constitutions, the Ten Commandments, the Noble Eight Fold Path, and Four Noble Truths.

Still, these are not enough in government conduct and the peaceful co-existence among citizens. A social contract underlies our daily lives and the conduct of our personal businesses. It is to buy in and follow the laws of the land. It starts with small things such as driving our cars in the correct lane or stopping at the red light. There are physical and legal consequences for failing to obey.

The problem begins when we put ourselves above the law or don’t follow laws we disagree with, even if such defiance endangers the interests and lives of others and the stability of society. Many historical grudges or sense of entitlement by some sectors of American society fall within these false beliefs. “I’m white why should I have a colored person as supervisor” or “I’m black and my ancestors were oppressed as slaves so why should I respect the same authority that enslaved them?” These are unconscious arguments borne of the historical past of this country that sometimes prompt one to disregard the established order.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR   Dr. Fernando B. Perfas is an addiction specialist who has written several books and articles on the subject. He currently provides training and consulting services to various government and non-government drug treatment agencies regarding drug treatment and prevention approaches. He can be reached at fbperfas@gmail.com.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

X