Benjamin Franklin was once asked, ” What do we have a republic or a monarchy?” He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
A year ago today, millions if not billions all over the world watched as people stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to stop the tabulations of the ballots for President. Some have called it a riot. Others have called it an insurrection. And people call it a coup attempt. Yes, to all three.
This is what happens when we raise people to believe that violence is the answer to anything and everything. Even though Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman (an appropriate surname if there was ever one), was able to draw people away from the Chamber door. At any time, someone could’ve swayed from the herd of rioters to go banging on the door, before they were able to secure it from inside. One man stood by himself. And being a black man, he was probably terrified by those who saw.
We need to admit that the majority of people supported Trump since 2015 because of his racism. He’s a bigot. He hates non-white people, especially those who don’t confirm to the stereotypes he and others place on them. During the 1863 Draft Riots in New York City, black people were abducted, beaten, stabbed, shot, hung and burned even alive. You didn’t hear much about it before Gangs of New York released almost 20 years ago and it’s still not something that is taught.
But it did happen. And Goodman and others were probably wondering if the same thing would happen again. I’m ashamed to say I saw people I know on social media of people proudly saying they were on their way to Washington, D.C. Now, a riot can start so fast. All it takes is for a handful of people to throw something through a building’s window or start jumping on cars and all hell breaks loose.
I would give some of the people there the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone went to the Capitol with the intention of starting a fight. Many kept their distance for good measure and I think they knew something wasn’t right. But others, like Texas realtor Jenna Ryan should’ve known better. But she was so cocky and arrogant, she thought she’d get away with it. She filmed herself and posted it online. She thought she would be hoisted up by everyone for what she did. This is what happens when people live in their own world.
What’s ironic is many of them could’ve been charged with murder the moment Ashli Babbitt was shot dead for what she did. While criticism has been that many of them are getting slaps on the risk for misdemeanor trespassing, it, unfortunately, is the right call. I don’t think a lot of people went into the Capitol building with the intention of doing bad things, but “going with the flow” got the best of them. They had heard Donald Trump’s speech and got fired up. But they thought it was just another “No mask” rant through the local Target.
While other people like Guy Reffitt, also from Texas, and part of the Three Percenters, who is heading toward trial is a full-blown terrorist. He knew what he was doing when he went there. He was looking for blood. Many other people like Reffitt were also looking for blood. There had zip tie handcuffs. They were dressed in tactical gear. They erected a hanging gallows outside. And lastly, they were heavily armed.
You can argue the Second Amendment to your heart’s content but when you dress a certain way with certain items on your person and disrupt an event, you’re not a tourist. You’re a terrorist. This was and will always be an insurrection. A lot of people didn’t like the way an election went, so they decided to go after those they felt had done wrong. Some people don’t see themselves as the bad guy but some people see the bad things they’ve done will be a means to an end for the better good.
This is the problem with our country in more ways than one. They’ve been raised on violence. Their parents threatened them with spankings and whippings. Teachers threatened them with paddling. They see violence and the threat of violence as a way to get what they want. That’s why they argue people “should’ve complied” when law enforcement beat the shit out of someone who wanted to know why they were pulled over. We’ve gotten to the point that they’re okay with a police state mentality because they see it as a way they’ll get the country they want. People even said they voted for Trump so he could “hurt” certain people.
They were staging a coup, but ironically, if they were successful, it would’ve been a short victory of celebration. You see, a lot of these people don’t know who is who. The image of Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin, who represents the district where I live, taking immediate shelter feet away from where armed authorities are aiming guns at a door should be ingrained on everyone. People breaking down doors with the intent to kidnap elected officials and even kill them don’t really know who to attack.
One story I’ve often told people that happened when I was covering a Republican forum in 2002 in southwestern Georgia spotlights the ignorance. At the time George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue was running for governor of Georgia. His workers were at a forum at the City Council Chambers setting up campaign signs before he arrived. A young man, who couldn’t have been older than 30, was wearing a “Sonny Perdue” shirt. The chair of the Sumter County Republican Party, who was an older man, walked up to him and said, “Sonny, welcome to Americus!”
The campaign worker just replied, “I’m not Sonny,” and went back to setting up campaign signs.
I told this story to some people who laughed. Others tried to gaslight me by saying, “Oh, he just meant ‘sonny’ because that’s what people call younger men.”
No. He fucked up and didn’t know who he was supporting. It was just a name. People do it all the time. They see a name on the ballot and they don’t know anything about what they represent. It’s just a question of what political party in which they’re affiliated.
Those who were trying to breach the Chamber would’ve gone after anyone they saw and beaten and quite possibly killed them. They even targeted former Vice-President Mike Pence as they did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This would’ve been no way they’d been able to restore order to get the ballots cast. What were they going to do? Put a gun to Pence’s head to do their bidding? There’s a procedure that’s in place.
The longer they dragged it out, the more dangerous it became for them, because it allowed others to mobilize. The D. C. Metro Police could’ve surrounded the Capitol. And once Pence notified the National Guard, it was over.
Even if the ballots had been changed to go in favor of Trump, do they think the rest of the civilized world would’ve allowed it? There are people out there who do have a lot of guns that don’t want Trump back in office. They’re not liberals but they’re not Republicans. Also, there are several foreign embassies in America and including D.C. What do you think these countries would’ve done if they felt their diplomats were in immediate threat?
It would’ve been the Second Civil War and World War III both at the same time. And all those people who went to D.C. from small-town America would’ve been on the wrong side. They should be thanking their lucky stars they’re only getting slaps on the rest and serving a few months, instead of a few decades in prison.
And this is the problem with the current Republican Party and Trumpism. They’re willing to let others do their dirty work, even if that means literally being killed in the line of fire. And they’re ready to do it again and many more times if necessary. People who think Trump and his people care about anyone else need to open their eyes.
More important, they need to learn to educate themselves more. Even as Joe Biden was being sworn in as President, people actually thought Trump would order for the arrest of Biden and Kamala Harris. To be honest, I think they’re all like that chair of that GOP party back in Georgia. They don’t enough but want to have a higher seat at the head table. It wasn’t until Barack Obama became President, when a lot of people began to speak out and spread falsehoods. Remember that one in which they tried to convince people former Presidents don’t get an annual salary after a certain age? So that’s why they need to elected John McCain.
A popular meme making the rounds was that our public education has regulated the teaching of civics to P.E. coaches. Sadly, that was the case at my school where the football coach taught civics, which was for students who didn’t test as highly. The rest of us were taught Government/Economics by the Head of the Social Studies Department. In many ways, you can blame the failures of No Child Left Behind spearheaded by President George W. Bush, but all he was doing was adding more logs to the fire.
We have failed people for decades, if not centuries, in teaching people what they need to know. We’ve discouraged the importance of certain things in favor of other things, i.e. geometry. (Let’s face it, when have you used geometric proofs ever in the real world?)
Currently, the Republican Party is trying its damnedest to prevent people from voting and probably are organizing another insurrection/coup to go down more smoother next time. I know, I keep harping on this, but if you were to look at many of the people who are in support of Trumpism and only approving election votes when the candidates you support win, are people of an older generation. They’re Boomers and some Gen Xers.
Boomers don’t want to cede power. They were getting supervisory positions in their late 20s and 30s, but they’re still expecting people in their 40s and even 50s to serve under someone who is older. We need to get passed this notion that just because someone is older, they get to make the rules for everyone. Too often in this country, that has been the case. In 10 years, many Boomers will be either very old or very dead.
The door always swings both ways. While Republicans are busy looking for the elections later this year and in 2024, they don’t understand it can come back and bite them because other parties can use similar tactics. With Republicans trying to keep gerrymandering and power even though they are the party of the minority, they are not even a republic. They’re a fascist organization.
And the only ones who want to keep fascism are those who always want to be right, while everyone else is wrong.
What do you think? Please comment.