A Phrase I’m Wearied of Hearing: “It’s a Witch Hunt!”

The current political climate in America is, to say the very least, volatile. The sitting president has broken every rule, thrown etiquette to the four winds and buried all sense of decency somewhere out in the Rose Gardens. Like many Americans, I’m persevering through, still somewhat in shock from the election results and wondering what 2020 will bring, indeed.

One phrase of the president’s I’ve heard and read, over and over, reached a crescendo with me today: “It’s a witch hunt!” This has become (for me) the boy who cried wolf. A child’s tantrum cry of “They made me do it!”, “It wasn’t me, it was them!” and “You can’t prove anything!” If we’re honest, it’s a barely concealed boast: “I’m above the law; I can turn around anything you find with my money. I’m a very rich man. Why are you wasting your time?”

What would Orwell think, if he were alive today? I’m sure the Founding Fathers would be spitting their mead across the tables, wondering if someone misplaced their beloved Declaration of Independence in the National Archives somewhere…

One of my professors lectured about the Salem Witch trials in a Women’s History course. The trials, she argued, largely targeted widowed women who just happened to be inheriting land.* Land ownership equates to an independent woman–a woman with a voice, some wealth and a semblance of power. We can’t have that now, can we? Add in a few shots of hysteria, a corrupt justice system trying the accused, a heavy dose of avarice and we have group think. Of course, the townsfolk didn’t believe the women’s innocence. Hmm…sound familiar?

My frustration and anger at the change in guard is being funneled into my latest novel, M.B.. I’m sure I’m not alone in this among writers, using our work as therapy. Those exercising the freedom of speech have much to protect. Our voices will be heard above the boy crying wolf.

Write on.

Song: “Only Time,” by Enya

*Of course, men and children were also targeted and murdered during the trials. The land ownership theory doesn’t cover everything. Feel free to read up on the period and form your own thoughts.

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