Tim Scott doesn’t want to know what Donald Trump did

·3 min read
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Tim Scott, who some have fashioned as the conscience of the Republican Party, said he hasn’t been watching the Jan. 6th hearings. Probably because the ugly revelations are too overwhelming for his sensibilities. It’s easier to feign plausible deniability if you choose to close your eyes to truth.

Scott, South Carolina’s junior U.S. senator and supposedly a man of faith who loves country more than party, doesn’t care that Donald Trump, the man he helped make president, was this close to tearing our democracy down.

Or that even though Trump knew that insurrectionists storming our Capitol Building were armed with weapons – guns and knives and spears – and wanted them to be able to freely roam.

Or that Trump tried to personally get involved in the insurrection but was thwarted by Secret Service agents with whom Trump had an intense encounter in a fit of rage.

Or that some in Trump’s camp try to intimidate witnesses for the Jan. 6th committee.

“He wants me to let you know he’s thinking about you,” they’ve told potential witnesses, according to Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6th committee. “He knows you’re loyal.”

Gotta wonder if Trump has been sending Scott similarly-veiled threats or if Scott decided all by himself that saving democracy should be secondary to shoring up his political fortunes by staying in the good graces of the voters he and Trump rely upon most.

That’s why Scott probably doesn’t know that the most-damning revelations about Trump’s ungodly and anti-democratic acts are coming from fellow Republicans, including Trump administration officials, a top aide to his chief of staff and even Trump family members.

Even former S.C. Congressman and former Trump chief of staff Mike Mulvaney understood the ramifications of the latest hearing.

“I think I just figured out why we are having an unannounced hearing: if the President knew the protesters had weapons, and still encouraged them to go to the Capitol, that is a serious problem,” Mulvaney tweeted after hearing testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide in the Trump White House.

Scott doesn’t want to know. To know would mean he’d have to grow a spine and condemn Trump and all those who went along with Trump knowing the kind of man we’ve long known Trump to be. Scott didn’t care that Trump took to national TV during the 2016 presidential campaign to seek help from a foreign adversary. Scott didn’t care that Trump used invaluable taxpayer-funded resources slated for Ukraine to bribe that country’s president. Scott didn’t care that we have Trump on audio trying to get Georgia officials to “find” enough votes to declare him victor of a state he lost in 2020.

No matter. Scott, the man who loves to talk up his personal story as a great illustration of the promise of this great nation, still pledges his loyalty to Trump.

“I think if Trump is the nominee, of course we support him,” Scott told Fox News earlier in June.

Maybe on this Independence Day, Scott and others like him will decide that this country is worth the fight, that the sacrifice of so many people over centuries shouldn’t go to waste just because men like Scott have neither the moral fiber nor fortitude to do what’s right when duty calls. And make no mistake, duty is calling for Scott, one of the few Black people to get elected to a U.S. Senate seat from a Deep South state since Reconstruction.

And it’s calling for the rest of us. It’s not enough to fly an American flag and speak platitudes this Fourth of July about the greatness of this country. What we do going forward – together – will determine if we’ll have a country to celebrate for much longer.

Issac Bailey is a McClatchy Opinion writer based in Myrtle Beach.

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