“Any attempt to impeach President Trump would not only be unsuccessful in the Senate but would be a dangerous precedent for the future of the presidency. It will take both parties to heal the nation. I’m convinced impeachment, under these circumstances, will further divide the country.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 1/8/21

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Hwæt! Gather near, good folk. It is I, Unferth, the bravest chieftain of our Great Hall. Our warriors are on edge ever since that towering monster Grendel rampaged through our seat of government, desecrated our shining citadel, and crushed the bones, and devoured the heads of our kin. The noble warrior Beowulf says we must now slay Grendel, which would stop the attacks, vindicate the dead, and restore the Great Hall’s honor. But have you considered, as an alternative, just letting it slide? And have you seen how sharp Grendel’s claws are?

I could vanquish him myself if I wanted to, but now is the time for unity. As the ancient wisdom says, a crime ignored is a community healed. Yes, Grendel will certainly strike again, but there is something worse than ghastly slaughter in the temple of our civilization. And that something is being mad at each other. We cannot afford to pit the clans who want justice and tribal security against the clans who wish to shield our enemies from accountability.

Beowulf’s plan is so ridiculous that it makes my fingers tremble — with moral outrage, I mean. He wants me and all other warriors to sleep in the Hall tonight. When Grendel breaks in at midnight, prowling for blood again (and I admit his criminal pattern is predictable), Beowulf will spring up and bludgeon the beast to death with his own hands. I have many objections.

First, is it necessary for me to be present? Let a squire attend in my stead. Woe that I should have to choose between loyalty to my folk and my unbending need to appease this absolute unit of a man-eater. He is said to be indestructible, inhuman, and his only joy in life is to dominate and humiliate the weak.

Second, he can’t be beaten. He has ended the careers of so many in our clan; his power needs no proof. Some conclude based on his hide, which is the color of no man’s flesh who walks the Earth, that Grendel is undead. He can’t be stopped, but he will see clearly who among us have turned against him!

Third, until last night when Grendel breezed past our guards and devoured our warriors, I admired his accomplishments. He dwells in a swampy lair alone, where he feeds on nutriment most unusual to society while wailing at the welkin. He has bitten the heads off all manner of swamp creatures and promises to drain the habitat. Of course, this legacy is tarnished now by his recent divisive conduct, but on balance, Grendel’s contributions have earned him unqualified immunity from consequences.

Fourth, wouldn’t I be more useful on horseback twenty miles away? I could warn our neighboring clans and teach them to identify Grendel by his resemblance to an Ur-Gorilla with hair that hardens into shapes and flows in directions most confusing to our kind.

And finally, killing Grendel will only provoke more violence from his supporters. Grendel’s mother is a ferocious brute in her own right who will surely retaliate. If the code of bravery teaches anything, it teaches that we can protect our folk and conduct our society, but only at the sufferance of those who would terrorize us.

The desecration of our citadel is not something I shall soon forget. But I will forgive, and I have already forgiven, and I’m actually ready to forget it. What I’d really like to do is start my healing and unity plan on a Viking ship, several weeks’ voyage from this place. Perhaps I’ll seek the shore of some land where I may prove useful in suppressing the protest of commoners asking for equality.

Stay safe, my fellow warriors, and may the gods protect our folk!