Seige Mentality

I’m not glad or happy that Wednesday’s riotous attempt at insurrection took place. People died, including a Capitol Police officer who was utterly failed by those who did not have a proper security plan in place. There was physical damage,  many injuries and people were terrorized. BUT…

In some ways, it needed to happen. Too many had been hiding their heads in the sand hoping Tr*mp would go away (hello Twitter, Facebook); others were aiding and abetting him, dumb enough to somehow believe that violence was not an intentional outcome (Cruz, Hawley, McCarthy, Fox News etc). And Pence and McConnell had waited until the very day of a planned siege to even vaguely turn on the tin pot tyrant they had enabled for 4 long years. All of them needed to see what Tr*mp has been building up to all this time, to recognize that the danger was always this real and always this likely, and to accept culpability where necessary.

Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado, took shelter in the House gallery as the mob tried to break into the chamber.
Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado, took shelter in the House gallery as the mob tried to break into the chamber.Credit…Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

The whole world needed to see how white crowds fighting for fascism are treated by American security forces compared to multi-racial crowds protesting inequality (and security forces violence). People needed to see what pathetic clowns some of these white rioters were, even as others were truly dangerous and came with an intent to hold hostage or even kill, and we all need to address how easily a society connected now by anti-social media can be led down an endless echo chamber of baseless conspiracy theories – for this, truly, is how genocides get started.

So yes, every last ugly aspect of this horrendous regime deserved to be laid bare for everyone to see. The rats now deserting the sinking ship at the White House should be seen as just that, forever stained by their years of association with a malignant narcissist who, putting self first at all times, was always likely of fomenting violent insurrection. Republican Senators like Sasse, Cotton, Murkowski and Collins, all too keen now to disown Tr*mp, had their opportunity to convict the President earlier this year during impeachment; everyone of them passed. Cabinet secretaries and other employees, vacating their offices now, barely two weeks before they were destined to do so anyway, could have walked away and denounced Tr&mp and his fascism at any point.  They all signed Faustian bargains of their own wilfull choosing and they are the ones who will have to live with it.

Trump supporters broke windows to breach the building.
Trump supporters broke windows to breach the building.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

If there is good to come out of this, it’s that Tr*mp is toast. Whether or not he’s impeached again and convicted, whether or not he pardons himself and it stands, whether or not New York State comes after with him with the full weight of his financial crimes once he leaves office, his emotional vapidity and empathetic hollowness, his callous disregard for life, his wanton psychotic narcissism is now his permanent legacy. He will go down in history as the worst US President ever, that is certain. (At least, to date.) I know people have written him off before and he has demonstrated a Phoenix-like ability to talk disaster into triumph, but I believe the threat that he poses will be neutralized finally as he disowns his fascistic followers to save his own skin, and they in turn move on to some other would-be far right dictator, hopefully one without the platform provided to Tr*mp via the mainstream media over the decades. Meantime, we as a society, one that treasures free speech, will hopefully be better prepared to starve such characters of the public oxygen they so crave. And as for the Republican party, it has now lost control of all three branches of government under Trump, who has also been uniformly impotent in achieving any legislation of note other than a tax cut for the rich; it will need to go through serious self-reflection if it hopes to remain a potent force, and they will continue to back Tr*mp at their peril.

There will always be ugliness and brutality, hate and division – unfortunately, humans have demonstrated this throughout history – but occasionally a light is shone on it so brightly, so powerfully, that those caught in its glare scurry for safety while the rest of us operate a clean-up. Let those who committed the crimes on Wednesday face the full force of prosecution and sentencing and those who enabled, aided and abetted this threat for over four years, face the pubic shaming necessary for us to avoid a hasty repeat.


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September 2021