There’s Not Always a Way, but We Still Need a Will

Scarlet Ibis bird at the zoo

We keep hearing that an indictment of a former president is "unprecedented." I suppose it is. It also strikes me as something that is less common than it should be. Accountability should be the norm rather than the exception. It should apply to our leaders too. Nobody should be above the law in a "nation of laws." Dick Cheney should have been prosecuted for war crimes.

Thinking about criminal indictments also makes me wonder about impeachment. This was once rare and now seems to be so common that most sitting presidents will face efforts to impeach them. This will happen with and without cause. Of course, investigations of sitting presidents and their associates are even more common. These were once rare too. And again, these happen with and without good reasons.

Could criminal indictments of former presidents become more common too? Could they someday become routine strategies to harm the other side? If so, might they eventually apply even to sitting presidents? Is that where we are headed?

There's a great deal of truth to the statement that we are living in interesting times. It feels like we are coming up on many important turning points, some of which seem like points of no return. Will we resolve the climate crisis in time? Will we heal our political divides or succumb to the culture wars? Will we restore some of the empathy we've lost before giving up on one another? Will we somehow manage to hold on to the separation of church and state or let the theocrats take over?

"Where there's a will, there's a way." I've always liked the sound of that even though I am not convinced it is true. But it does highlight one inescapable conclusion: the will matters. Without it, we're likely to keep doing what we're doing no matter where it leads.

Image by Cristhian Adame from Pixabay