No photos this week, no Writing or Editing advice, not even a plug for one of my books . . .
And no, "Turbulent Times" does not refer to Covid-19, although the surge of the Pandemic surely reduces us to tears (both sadness and frustration).
I am talking about the shocking assault on Democracy that occurred on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
About 2:00 in the afternoon I turned on my TV to check the vote going on in a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, a vote that should have been a rubber stamp of the Electoral College vote, but which some of our elected officials had threatened to delay. And, to my astonishment, I found a scene of insurrection unfolding on my screen. I sat there, glued to CNN, for the remainder of the afternoon. Horrified and disbelieving.
Was this mob led astray by the bombast and lies of our President? Yes.
Did our President incite these people to violence? Without a doubt.
And as the investigation develops . . .
Why weren't the capital police prepared for this assault? (Social media had been full of threats of violence for days.) Were some complicit? Were they ordered to hold back? Certainly, most did their jobs—one died and many were injured—but it will likely be months before the entire truth is known.
Did our President refuse to send aid when the breach occurred? Yes.
Should our President be ousted from office even though his term will be over in a matter of days? Let's face it, any reprimand can only be symbolic at this point—there isn't time for anything more—but hopefully, whatever happens will be enough to force him to abandon politics forever.
Are most Americans appalled by our President's actions? The majority, yes, but far too many still have their heads stuck in lala land.
Where do we go from here? I do not envy Joe Biden, now faced by not only by the problems of the Pandemic and rectifying Trump's decimation of our government, but by the shocking threat to our basic Democracy which Trump's lies and dictatorial bombast have implanted in all too many people's minds.
I am willing to believe that the vast majority of the crowd that marched on the Capitol on Wednesday were victims of the Cult of Trump, believing his lies about a fraudulent election and genuinely considering themselves patriots, the "Minutemen" of our time. Like the followers of Jim Jones who swallowed poisoned Kool-aid back in 1978, these protestors swallowed Trump's swill "hook, line, and sinker," and are fortunate they did not end up dead like the 900 followers of Jim Jones. Most of those in Wednesday's crowd are not bad people. Just deluded. Yet after four years of brain-washing, how long will it take for them to see the light?
Unfortunately, very few of the "gullible" described above were among the armed insurrectionists at the front of the crowd storming of the capitol. This action was led by a hardcore group, who fully intended violence. (They had, in fact, boasted about it for days on social media. And for some mysterious reason no one took them seriously.) They came prepared for violence, complete with guns and zip ties for immobilizing potential hostages. I cannot help but wonder how many were "true believers," how many were anarchists using Trump as an excuse, how many thugs being paid to riot, how many just plain crazy. I doubt we'll ever know.
A handful are now in jail, many more being actively sought. (I can only shake my head that someone would think they could prop their boots on Nancy Pelosi's desk and NOT go to jail. Sigh.)
Apologies for that somewhat light-hearted aside. Five people died, two by violence; three from medical emergency. Help was far too long in coming.
The simple truth: we need to work hard to make this the end of the Culture of Untruth; to let Blatant Lies, Incivility, and the attitude of To-Hell-with-Anyone-but-Me disappear along with the most disgraceful, embarrassing, and shameful President in the history of the United States of America. Be gone, good riddance, good-bye! And don't even think of coming back.
Surely, our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves.
Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft)