If your eyes are skimming these words, you – like me – are probably unable to divert your attention from the car wreck that just happened, and you’re still half expecting to glimpse a mangled carcass or two that has so far been over-looked.
I have so many thoughts on the events of Wednesday the sixth of January, another “date which will live in infamy”, and I haven’t stopped looking at it from many different angles, including lots of supposes and what if’s.
Some of them are/were:
- - Who didn’t see this happening? Everything was pointing to an overflow of anger and outrage. How was anyone surprised at what descended on the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon?
- - It could have been so much worse, given the lack of preparation, and I’m actually surprised that it wasn’t.
- - Wow! Police and security forces can be so gentle and patient, when they have a mind to be.
- - What a pleasant, surprising, even moving beginning to the end of that night, with Kelly Loeffler giving ground, Mitt Romney sounding so statesmanlike. Even Lindsey Graham, washing his hands of Trump (though, at this late date, that isn’t really possible) and proclaiming the incoming regime. These are all individuals I’ve had to work hard at not outright despising (throw in Mitch McConnell). To think that they each brought me moments of optimism and joy?! Go figure.
- - I never in a million years expected that by the end of the night, the way forward would seem clearer and easier than it had a few hours earlier. I’d probably have been less surprised had a full scale insurrection broken out.
- - Isn’t it amazing that the historic and impactful events of January 5th, in Georgia, were so quickly and neatly relegated to the rear view mirror?
- - What’s in store for 20 January, I wonder?
What I think is true is that no one knows what’s going to happen, how America will survive 2021, just as not a soul on Earth knew what was about to happen a year ago.
I feel a bit lighter and less tense today than I have because I sense that Trump’s power may finally be breaking. A day after he turned on his lap dog of a vice president and accused him of cowardice and treason (and does any loyal lap dog deserve such treatment?), I hear that some of his Q-Anon idolizers are now turning on him and accusing him of treason, for renouncing the feeble uprising that failed. Karma can be so, so beautiful!
Not for a second do I believe that the madness is over. It’s just that there might have to be a casting call for disruptor-in-chief, and it’s possible that the insurrectionists will break into camps. But it’s not over by a long shot. I hope that the 6th served as a wake-up call, and that security will be much more prepared on the 20th.
One of the things I’ve done over the last couple of days is to look a little deeper into Q-anon, and it’s helped me to get a better grasp on what these folks believe and what drives them. They are serious! And they are obsessed! They take it as a point of prophecy that Trump will serve a 2nd term. And there are thousands armed and ready to help bring this about. Understanding their mindset and movement makes some of the things Trump has said, and the way they’ve been received, clearer to me. I gladly refer you to the following link for a primer (https://www.neonrevolt.com/2018/07/11/who-is-qanon-an-introduction-to-the-qanon-phenomenon-qanon-greatawakening//). It's disturbing and frightening. But it has helped me to remember that people are often driven to madness via their warped and manipulated sense of patriotism, or justice, or religious devotion.
I still believe that the only way out for America will be for more of us to become able to understand that our opponents are often genuinely motivated by good intentions, even while others are motivated by greed and hatred and poisonous ideologies. It’s hard to break through the level of delusion, fueled by intense fear, that has so many in its grip. It seems to me that Q-Anon and many other right wing movements, spring from fear of Black folks (the bogeyman of the guilt conscience, a legacy of slavery), and the fear of loss of self, that was tapped into by Obama’s ascendency, and heightened by Hilary Clinton’s threatened ascendency. Just as a Century and a half ago, the KKK arose from the fear stirred up by the ascendency of Black power during Reconstruction.
These fears are wrong and baseless, and they succeed by dehumanizing us. But we mustn’t fight back by merely dehumanizing them. It’s no more true or right to label all of those thousands marching in DC the other day as racist, terrorist, insurrectionist thugs, than it was last summer to label every protester against police murder as an anarchist, terrorist, insurrectionist thug. I brand them gullible fools, for believing that Trump is a good and honest leader who cares about them. But all gullible fools aren’t monsters.
Things are pretty damned grim in the US these days. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sure have a job ahead of them. I wouldn’t swap places with either of them, not for anything. But if Trump’s power is truly ebbing, we may someday look back on 6 January as the bottom from which recovery began. Good things are possible. And hey…they have Stacey Abrams on their side!