Thoughts on the January 6 Insurrection Attempt (CW for US politics)
When I first got an email at work on 1/6 warning employees in Washington, DC to leave home early because of protests, I figured it was just something to help people stuck going to the office during a pandemic avoid getting stuck in traffic. I later found out that I was wrong, and that a mob of right-wingers had stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to take members of the United States Senate hostage and force them to overturn results from the Electoral College that confirmed the victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 Presidential election.
I had expected right-wingers to protest, and would have had no problem with them doing so as long as they did not engage in the sort of violence so many of them accused BLM protesters of engaging in during the summer of 2020 or repeat the events of Charlottesville in 2017. But to storm the US Capitol as thousands of right-wingers did on the 6th? This is unacceptable.
Understand this: I never supported Trump. As a kid growing up in New York I knew him as the sort of opportunist who makes con artists look honest. I certainly didn't watch him on TV. Hell, I didn't think the Republican Party had any business even letting him participate in the 2016 presidential primary (but nobody at the RNC asked my opinion). Instead, as a lifelong Democratic voter I voted for Bernie Sanders in that party's primary, and then held my nose and voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election. I didn't do it because I like the Democratic Party, but because I loathe the Republican Party—which hasn't had a platform I could support since 1956.
My wife and I were certainly shocked and dismayed to learn that we'd be stuck with Donald Trump—a washed up reality TV host—as President, but did we participate in an attempt to take the US Senate hostage and overturn an election by force? Of course not. I had had my vote, and it didn't go the way I had hoped. These things happen, and it wasn't the first time; I didn't vote for George W. Bush in 2000 or 2004, either.
Instead, I mostly got over it. As long as Uncle Sam didn't try to yank my wife's green card and send her back to Australia I didn't care much. Hell, I even opposed the first attempt to impeach him, not because I had changed my mind about Trump, but because I did not want Mike Pence taking over as the Ford to Trump's Nixon. Though if Trump and Pence had both gotten COVID-19 and died, my only objection would have been to the prospect of Nancy Pelosi as President; she's already had too many terms as Speaker of the House and should have been primaried years ago.
I had to be an adult and get over it because my day job is at a corporation that does a lot of business with the government and I like getting paid on the regular, so that's what I did. I might have talked smack about Trump and Pence on social media when some right-wing trash mob decided to try trolling me, but I don't recall ever publicly calling for political violence. That's a line not to be crossed except under the most dire of circumstances, and a sitting President having to accept that he's a one-term wonder is not that dire, especially since even one term as President of the United States is more than most of us will ever get. George H. W. Bush didn't try to have Bill Clinton's electoral victory overturned. Instead, he stepped down and let the next President take over.
I suppose it's unreasonable to expect Trump to have had enough class to emulate Bush Sr.'s example, but I have zero sympathy for his fans and hope everybody responsible for this insurrection is identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, just as I would have been if I had crossed the line. I had to get over Trump's victory in 2016. It's his supporters' turn to get over his loss in 2020.
I can't disagree one bit, but had the stark realization that we may now be in a 'Civil Cold War'. As in the previous Cold War where proxy battles were fought in Afghanistan, Central and South America, that part of it appears to be stirring. We hope none of these turns into a Korea or Vietnam. I'm rather holding my breath until the end of the month, at least.
I've always suspected that the Civil War didn't actually end in 1865, and that we've just been a long cease-fire, because so many conservatives saw no problem with displaying the Confederate flag. There were even wannabe revolutionaries waving that flag in the Capitol.
The rules of engagement might have changed in 1865, with the Civil War becoming a war of words for most white people, but I'm afraid the armistice won't hold and that for far too many people words will no longer be enough.