Thursday, January 07, 2021

My Weekend Crushed Coup

Fuck, I’m mad. After four year (really five since all this utter bullshit started June 16, 2015 with the golden elevator descent into infamy) of norm shattering, rule breaking, crony profiteering, copious hatemongering, endless scapegoating, and flat-out lying from Trump, it has come to this. The President of the United States instigated a coup to overturn the election. While I was not surprised at the storming of the Capitol by Trump’s deplorables (the MAGA cultists, the Proud idiots, the clearly overcompensating militiamen, the QAnon nutjobs, the other conspiracy wackadoodles, the millionaire cronies and so many white supremacists – though I feel like that last one’s just an overarching theme), I was surprised by how easily this confederacy of dunces was able to lay siege to the heart of American democracy.

We all watched live on television as they smashed through doors, broke windows, looted and pillaged lawmakers offices, stole from Nancy Pelosi’s desk, broke into the Senate and House chambers and generally wilded out in the hallowed halls of the United States government with the greatest of ease.

There’s so much to unpack about what happened. Trump’s despicable incitement of his deluded mob. Trump telling these violent rioters, “We love you. You’re very special.” The 8 Republican senators and 139 GOP representatives (which is more than double the number of GOP reps who voted NO, by the way) who proved Republicans are more than happy to throw out lawfully decided election results to install their own god-king. And then of course the Capitol Police’s utter failure.

So let’s start with that. How could police let this happen? How could they be so unprepared? How could they treat this mob with such relative kid gloves? The answer, as with so much wrong with America, is white privilege. Law enforcement looked at the group and, let’s be honest, saw themselves. I mean heavily armed white men who all voted for Trump? It’s like ultimate example of the Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man meme.

Think I’m kidding? In 2016, a poll found that 84% of active police officers planned to vote for Trump. Then in 2020, Trump earned police union support across the country including the endorsement of the nation’s largest, the Fraternal Order of Police. Heck, cops actually love Trump more than their fellow white men – comparably, 64% of white men voted for Trump last election. (And no, not all cops, but the system itself is clearly broken.) So, yeah, Spider-Man memes all around.

Compare and contrast with what we saw all summer with the Black Lives Matter protests. Riot gear. Tear gas. Rubber bullets. Flash bombs. Military rifles. Fucking tanks. We watched officers bash in heads, shoot out eyes, douse pepper spray, throw people to the ground, snatch them up in unmarked vans and even run them over. Is this your law and order?

But when a group of angry white men show up? Whoa whoa whoa, hold on. They’re just airing their grievances. They’re just exercising their right to protest, and ransack our halls of government. We’ll even help! Let me hold your hand on these steps. Let me give you directions to Senator Schumer’s office. Wait, let me take a selfie.

There’s no doubt if the people who stormed the Capitol had been Black or any other POCs, dead bodies would be strewn across the rotunda. You know that’s true. You know it in your damn bones. And that, that’s the ugly truth about America. We’ve never stopped being a racist country, with bigotry baked into so many of our essential institutions.

It’s also proof positive that, when police want to, they can exercise extraordinary restraint. I mean, just some 50 arrests on a day when thousands rioted in the Capitol? Give me a fucking break, I’ve seen the Capitol Police drag peaceful protestors out of their wheelchairs. More than 200 peaceful protestors who did not try to overthrow the government were arrested during the Kavanaugh hearing alone. But sell some loose cigarettes or carry a toy gun with the wrong skin color and it’s judge, jury and executioner in a matter of seconds. Like, if you still don’t understand why Black Lives Matter matters after what we saw happen at the Capitol, I don’t know what to say.

In the end, perhaps the Trump era will put to bed the old canard that, “This is not who we are.” This is who we are. This is America, and has been America and if we don’t fight like hell to change it will continue to be America. I mean, 74 million people just voted for four more years of exactly this. I don’t know how to fix that. All these calls for reconciliation and finding middle ground with the other side? How can you reconcile with someone who doesn’t believe the ground even exists? The problems in America go beyond mere party preference or policy differences.

The problem is we live in entirely separate universes. One group of us believes in reality, and the other group does not or is willing to exploit those who do not for their own craven purposes (like I didn’t think you could find more punchable faces than Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, but Josh Hawley is certainly giving it the old “Did I mention I went to Stanford and Yale”-try.)

I know Democrats aren’t perfect. We do dumb shit and make bad calls and can be frustrating beyond belief sometimes. But we don’t think the press is the enemy of the people, we generally believe in science, and we for the most part try to traffic in the real world.

But the MAGA cult? They refuse truth. So how do you fix that? How do you make people turn of Fox and OANN and Newsmax , leave their social media silos and stop listening to all these bad-faith actors? How do you bring us all back to one set of facts? How do you make people believe in reality when they are bound and determined not to?

I don’t know, but I’ve never felt more hopeless about half of America. And after Wednesday’s disgraceful, disgusting display, I’ve never been angrier. There must be consequences. Trump can’t have 12 more days in office. Trump can’t have one more day in office. He is a grave danger to this country and the world.

This is man who was deemed too crazy to operate his own Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts, yet somehow still has complete access to the nuclear codes. This is a man who lives for vengeance. A man who is corrupt to his core. A man who cares only about himself. And unless we do something he has 12 days to do whatever he wants including but obviously not limited to pardoning his damn self.

If there are no consequences for Trump and his vile enablers this will happen again. This will happen again, and the next wannabe fascist will be smarter. The next wannabe fascist will actually succeed. Democracy isn’t self perpetuating. Democracy is hard work.

I’m sick of inaction and complacency. I’m mad as hell, and we’re not gonna take this anymore. Impeach that motherfucker again. Do it now. End this national nightmare. And, while we’re at it, make Biden’s inauguration a damn Zoom (there’s still a fucking pandemic, people) and then let’s get to work. There’s so much to do.

The one bit of greatly overshadowed good news of this week is that we won back the Senate. Senator Warnock and Senator Ossof mean Joe and Kamala might actually be able to get some shit done. Now we all have to make sure they do. Let’s make this country better. Now is our chance. Happy weekend, all.


Unknown said...

Despicable demented and detestable.

Carmen San Diego said...

It’s tough. How do you reconcile that half of the country thinks the other half is stupid and the first half thinks the other half is immoral?

Anonymous said...