Can You Hear Me Now?

By Donna Griffin, candidate Indiana House District 88

I didn’t want to bring national politics and issues into my campaign. But then the Jan. 6 hearings happened. I remembered the anger I felt as I watched people damage and disrespect my Capitol.

I was sure our Constitution would work and just like 50 years ago the country would see justice. Nope. Two impeachment attempts. Jan. 6. Indiana Senators blindly following the lying, cheating, sociopath of a president. A SuperMajority intent on fighting a duly-elected governor of their own party when the state faced a global pandemic.

The former president (notice the lower cap) saw a worldwide pandemic as an issue he had to spin to win reelection. It was with relief as much as joy when the Biden-Harris ticket took office in 2021.

Now we can move forward and change - right? But we can’t. And here’s why: an insidious group of people - at all levels of government - in the Republican Party are on a power trip.

Make no mistake it is a coordinated effort and the only explanation as to why they continue to dance to Trump’s tune. Racist. Sexist. Appealing to the worst instincts of human nature.

Here’s when I got scared - when Woodward and Bernstein were speechless. Recently Stephen Colbert asked them if they thought the truth coming out in the Jan. 6 hearings would make a difference. There was a significant pause and they said tentatively, “I hope so.”

They had just outlined how the Nixon Watergate and Trump Jan. 6 hearings were similar. Here are the significant differences:

  1. Nixon admitted his involvement in the manipulation of the 1972 campaign only after the infamous secret tapes were released. Trump’s involvement in the four-year campaign to destroy public trust in the election process and the resulting insurrection was on full display - in recorded speeches, live interviews, and social media corroborated by primary sources from both sides of the aisle.

  2. Congressional Republicans came to Nixon and told him he did not have the support of the party, and told him he needed to resign. They put country above party even if their motivations may not have all been the same. Today’s Congressional Republicans are too busy fighting for their own political lives to even consider the fact that people don’t have jobs that give them enough money to provide for their families, they face encroaching development, skyrocketing medical costs, and dwindling retirement accounts.

Here in Indiana our legislature mirrors what’s going on in Congress. The Republican Super Majority is slowly stripping away the bipartisan legacy of former Republican and Democratic state leaders - Gov. Doc Bowen, Gov. Edgar Whitcomb, Gov. Frank O’Bannon, Sen. Richard Lugar, Sen. Birch Bayh, Gov. Evan Bayh, and Senator Joe Donnelly. I wonder how many people even know which are Republican and which are Democrat?

As a homegrown Hoosier, I can tell you back then it didn’t matter. People came together and this state moved forward - albeit too slowly when it came to inclusion of BIPOC and LGBTQ citizens. But we found common ground.

Now we’re stuck and instead of putting their state above party, the Indiana GOP wants to go backward and whitewash what’s been happening on the backs of its citizens. They want to bring back Mitch Daniels as Governor. Mike Pence, No. 1 Trump enabler and the architect of all that is wrong with education in Indiana, has already begun his presidential run.

Now Gov. Holcomb has called a special session - he says to give taxpayers $225, but we all know he’s just trying to mend a fractured party that’s begun to turn on him. He’s doing it during the height of summer with people on vacation, making it even harder for citizens to speak out. This just goes to show GOP candidates are afraid. They know they just may lose their stranglehold on Indiana voters come November.

People everywhere need to rise up and use their First Amendment rights. Petition the government, don't wait for them to act; don't ask them to act. Demand that they act. If they don't act, then vote them out. We know what to do, but unless we band together (assemble) and work together, we'll keep on this same treadmill. The Super Majority is supposed to represent us - not think for us - or tell us what is right or wrong. They're supposed to listen and then work together to provide for the common good - we all know what that is - it is tough and involves compromise as well as give and take. Right now we have way too much taking and too little giving.

I’m running for State Representative in House District 88 to create a campaign that builds a lasting movement; focusing on what we have in common, how we can connect people of diverse perspectives, and build consensus to make constructive change.

Join us - let’s move forward together in cooperation, optimism, and hope.