What is Beyond Contestation?

The word “constestation” is a bit peculiar to us.  It refers to the process of contesting, something that we take for granted as our right. So we do not fret very much over the process except in certain limited formal ways, for example, in legal matters.

I first heard the word “contestation” in a movie called “A Knight’s Tale“.  In that movie, a handsome young peasant gets his friends out of a jam by pretending to be a noble knight.  With his friends, he decides to continue the fraud and masters the skills needed to win knightly tournaments. Over time, he gains fame in his false identity. But of course, he is found out by his evil rival and punished. His friends try to help him in vain, and then comes the magic moment when the Prince of Wales decides to intervene. Here is the scene

“As it is my word, it is beyond contestation”.  The lie is magically converted to truth, and the story moves forward upon a completely different basis.

Donald Trump and his merry gang of White House pranksters vie to claim this same magic power. They claim that they can say what they want about facts and because they are the ones saying it, their version is beyond contestation.

So did millions of illegal immigrants vote illegally and deny Trump his popular vote win? Was the inauguration crowd enormous?  If Trump says it is so, it is apparently beyond contestation. Except, of course, it is not. It cannot be or the republic is doomed.

Is that a bit strong? Consider that we can only govern ourselves if we know the facts upon which we decide what to do. If we defer decision about what is true and what is false to Mr. Trump or to anyone else, we deny ourselves that opportunity. We enslave ourselves. And this is what Trump and his gang want us to do.

it is an easy choice,right? To retain the right to contest what is true or to hand over that right. That choice is being made right now. That is the story that we are living.

Stay tuned on what the people choose.


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