As one who cries easily, last month’s inauguration festivities were a two box of tissues day for me. Of course, many of my tears were the result of watching the history-making vice president. How could I not be moved by watching a black-Asian woman become vice president of the United States?

But truth be known, mostly my emotions were feelings of relief that our long national nightmare, to copy a phrase from our past, was over. I cried as much for who was out of the government as who was coming in to the government.

After watching the 45th president slink out of town, after issuing yet another slew of pardons for crooks, cronies, embezzlers, conspiracy theorists and serial liars, I knew things would be better. But it didn’t reduce my anger. I sat watching Air Force One take off and literally said out loud, with a voice I’m not used to, “For God’s sake, just go!”

Unfortunately, the other emotion I felt most of the day was one of resignation to what was coming next. For now, I knew, would come the rallying cries for what I like to call “government by amnesia.” Surely, I realized, now we would have to endure endless people who helped fuel the insurrection and the lies for four years, miraculously forget they did so and call on all of us to just “move on for the sake of unifying the country.” This a country they were responsible for renting asunder, day after day, month after month, year after year, for four years.

I knew that Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, along with most of the Republicans in the House of Representatives — including a couple of really whacky QAnon believers — would join with Kevin McCarthy and others in telling us all how awful it would be for Congress to prosecute the man who fomented the attempted takeover of our government… wait … let me say that again … the attempted takeover of our government … in the spirit of just moving on for unity sake. And as part of that, I knew they would also ask us, while we’re at it, to forget that they were the foot soldiers of the insurrection and the four years of lies.

As our new president said the night before the inauguration, “we begin to heal when we remember.” Let us remember that the 45th president of the United States and his co-conspirators told lie after lie to people for four years and actually got them to believe them. There should be no “moving on” without holding those people who almost succeeded in tearing down our experiment in democracy responsible first.Then we can move on.

Kurt Aschermann lives in Leesburg.

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