How many times do I have to say, in the year 2021, that Nazis are bad? That the Confederacy was awful? That authoritarianism is dangerous? That a president with a cult of personality is terrifying? That Donald J. Trump was the most unfit man to run for office in US history and the worst president it has ever had, by far?
If you’re scared about how things have panned out, don’t worry, it only means that you’re sane. Any rational person will not try to rationalize what happened on January 6, 2021. Don’t get me wrong; there’s clearly people at fault, and the path to how we got there is very clear, but there is no defending what went down. There’s no possible scenario in which we can even slightly defend those actions or those people. And the saddest part is, I can’t say I’m at all even surprised. The only reason a similar action didn’t occur on November 4th was because the election wasn’t decided until days later, and there was no set date for when it would be. However, the official congressional vote count on January 6th was a firm date people could organize around.
There’s only so much that we can do for some people. The refusal of (or inaccessibility to) higher education, short attention spans, long held beliefs with a coating of stubbornness, and the backfire effect are powerful agents to keep people deeply rooted in their mental trenches.
But I seriously don’t have the time nor the crayons to explain to people that this:
A man waving the Confederate flag in the US Capitol. It’s not a sign of “state’s rights.” Yeah sure, a state’s right to what? Slavery. It’s not about the “economy.” What did the Confederate economy rely on? Slavery. Which is fundamentally one of the darkest and most awful concepts in human history, and in the case of the Confederacy, is built upon the belief that the white race is the supreme one. It’s not a sign of being a “rebel,” it’s the sign of being a world heavyweight dumbass who is either grossly misinformed or an awful human being.
Don’t believe me? Just look at what was said in the Cornerstone Speech given by the Confederacy’s vice president, Alexander Stephens, delivered just before the start of the Civil War, describing what the Confederacy was all about.
“Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
The biggest sin of the United States was slavery, and you’d be shocked (or not, depending on your education) at how embedded the issue was into the history of the nation in laws, compromises, and warfare leading up to (and of course, after) the Civil War. And to see not just Confederates, but other white supremacists, including Neo-Nazis, and fascists like the Proud Boys, and straight up idiots such as those who follow QAnon, successfully waltz into the US Capitol and wreak havoc absolutely embarrassed me as an American and angered me to my core as a human being who cares about others and not just myself, my ethnicity, or money.
Make no mistake: the Trump administration is a death cult. A pandemic ravages the country and an incompetent and indifferent federal government response has led to the deaths of 370,000 Americans and counting, a number we lead the world in. Very soon, I guarantee we will have had more deaths in one year than all of the deaths we suffered in World War II, the world’s deadliest conflict, where people were trying their very best to kill each other, where the United States was involved across the globe in conflict for half a decade. Let’s also not forget that Trump told people to use bleach to kill the virus, which a few unfortunate followers of his did, as disinfectant poisonings rose by a staggering 121% in April, following his comments!
After a woman was killed during a counter protest to Neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us,” the President of the United States said said he “condemned hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides” and said there were “very fine people on both sides.” And to this day, conservatives will still jump through hoops to defend that!
Over 3,000 people perished following the disastrous federal response to Hurricane Maria, where Trump did nothing to help, and then, in January of 2019, cut food aid to Puerto Rico by $600 million and FEMA has been useless for assisting the recently homeless citizens affected.
Our allies in the Middle East, the Kurds were abandoned to fend by themselves, and this action allowed ISIS prisoners to escape and regroup. It was a move the military advised against, and the US troops stationed there were merely holding a line as a buffer to Turkish troops who would not engage in combat with the USA.
The United States is home of the largest immigration detention system anywhere on Earth, and while it has never been an acceptable system under any president, under the Trump administration, everything drastically worsened. An expansion of child detention and the unique irresponsible family separation policy (used as an unsuccessful immigration deterrent) has led to hundreds, if not thousands of children (that we’re aware of) to be permanently separated from their families and in worse cases, led to their deaths. There have been damning reports of hate crimes, medical neglect and hysterectomies, migrants being doused in chemicals, and a thousand other horrendous offenses against humanity.
Ready for a quick bonus round of death? The Trump administration is the first presidency to have more people executed in one year than every single state in the union combined. Hate crimes have been at staggering new highs, and FBI numbers are grossly under counted compared to crimes that rely on local reporting. Fatal police shootings have steadily been rising each year with no end in sight.
And of course, the storming of the Capitol itself. Six (including four of his own supporters and two “Blue Lives”) people are dead because of a riot incited by the President. Homemade explosive devices were found in the Capitol and in a nearby car, and the mob chanted “hang Mike Pence” when they feared the Vice President would certify the election results for Joe Biden. Rioters with guns and zip-ties were present, evidently ready to take hostages. Trump did nothing to quell the crowd other than tell them they were patriots, he loved them, and to go home, but then added on the election was still fraudulent, and re-emphasized his love for the rioters. And worse, Trump actually refused to send the DC National Guard to quell the chaos. And of course, other state capitols around the country have been having similar crowds show up and threaten the occupants. After massive worldwide backlash against what happened, even from many in the GOP, Trump made a half-assed quasi-concession speech, and according to reports, told his aides he regretted doing so and did not want to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Of course, Trump has always shown nothing but disdain or mild indifference for his base on a false platform; they do not matter to him as people, so much as the means to an end, or rather, his end.
On top of all of the aforementioned incidents, and every other awful thing the Trump administration has done, conservatives still shout “BENGHAZI,” where 10 investigations, 6 of which were led by Republicans, found that the Obama administration had not acted improperly after 4 Americans were killed in a coordinated attack by Ansar al-Sharia. So, why am I saying all of this, and why did I bring this all the way back to Benghazi? It’s simple, really.
Conservatives have consolidated power and abused that power because everyone else gave conservatives more consideration than they themselves would ever receive. The mole hill will always become a mountain, and the war will always become a small disagreement. And most depressingly, human rights will become privileges.
Michelle Obama’s quote of “We go high when they go low” is the perfect summary of this centrist failure. Why do we need to hear out people that actively allow and support TV stars to become populist demagogues with the nuclear codes, when they wouldn’t hear out the idea of giving people healthcare so they didn’t die or go bankrupt in saving their own life? Why do we need to play nice with the people that insisted a Black president was born in Kenya, or that a female candidate couldn’t control her temper? Why do we continually have to compromise with people who don’t believe in climate change? Why couldn’t Merrick Garland go on the Supreme Court in March of 2016 because Antonin Scalia had died in an election year, but Amy Coney Barrett could be seated in October 2020, as votes were already being counted?
We had a congresswoman quote Adolf Hitler at the DC riot, stating:
“I believe in a few elections, we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”
There are a billion better people to borrow quotes from on children than The Führer, ranging from Nelson Mandela to Dr. Suess to freakin’ Jesus. You don’t quote Adolf Hitler at a rally with white supremacists unless you want to quote Adolf Hitler.
And this woman is still in office.
Again, it’s not a shock, whatsoever. The United States (remember that, yes, Russia interfered, but ultimately, dumb Americans granted this, by far) elected a guy who was caught on tape openly bragging about sexually assaulting women on air just weeks before the election. And that’s what grinds my gears.
To see these slimeballs call for unity and disavow the monster they created and let loose for the past 5 years since Trump announced his run. It’s not just giving the monkey a gun, it’s giving the monkey and gun and continually giving it bullets.
The world isn’t black and white, there’s greys and every color in the rainbow out there for certain situations. But that doesn’t mean some things aren’t black and white. And it’s about as clear cut as that: We do not need to compromise with people who don’t compromise with us, and worse, who actively harm us and brag about it.
Democrats have been voted into the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. The elections were not a great sign, because GOP turnout was massive, and smaller elections (which would allow for future gerrymandering) were lost. But for the next two years, I don’t want half measures or pathetic excuses from Democrats. No more settling for less. Set the bar high, and if you can’t hold onto it, smack the enemy with it. Can’t get one goal, move on to the other, and you better be shooting for multiple goals at once, not one at a time. I trust the progressives to do this, and thankfully, they have steadily risen in popularity and certainly were the major factor that stopped Republicans from winning the 2020 elections. And they did so by catering to their blue base instead of the independent voters who had to pause to decide whether to vote in democracy or authoritarianism.
It’s the tired and old Centrists and conservative Democrats I’m worried about. I’m not even 100% sure Nancy Pelosi will follow up on impeaching Trump a second time (she should), seeing as how she did nothing following the Mueller Report, or even the multiple breaches of the Foreign Emoluments Clause. Not to mention the pitiful 2 articles of impeachment the Democrats settled on following the Ukraine fiasco. These Democrats are ones who, as Steve Bannon said, have pillow fights while Republicans go for head wounds. There is no “return to normalcy.” The game has changed. There hasn’t been since Trump won. The loopholes that allowed for this abuse of power need to be closed. We have 74+ million people who voted for the most egocentric and non-empathetic person imaginable to such a position of power. There is a lot of damage to clean up before new progress can come in.
It is true that new growth cannot exist without destruction of the old, but Trump enacted destruction of the foundations and critical life supports. Freedom without responsibility is selfish. That’s the difference between wearing a mask and…not. Common sense vs. a refusal to compromise. So why should common sense ever compromise with the other side? When we go high, we get dragged down to their idiotic level regardless, is a more astute quote for the softball Democrats. The Democratic Party is the better party, by far. But they have the weaker tactics, and that is what needs to change, lest we deal with another Donald Trump one day. I’ve said this so many times, but it has to be drilled into people’s heads:
We must fix the issues that allowed for a man like Trump to seem like a good attempt to better people’s lives, or we will have a worse Donald Trump in a few years.
Look. Stupid people, racists, hypocrites, and the works piss me off.
And I don’t like to say this, but Hillary Clinton was right about something.
They were and are deplorable. And what a shock, she backed down from it and apologized after being pressured into doing so by conservatives. But at this point, I can say with not doubt in my mind:
If you still support the Trump Administration, you’re much worse than deplorable.
We’ve been in a cultural civil war for the past few years. There’s no denying it. And when the president okays a coup d’état on live TV and gets banned from his precious Twitter (at long last) for continuing to do so, yeah, it’s OK to be nervous. But in the face of fear, do not ever back down to these kinds of people. The best part is, there’s no need for violence. We can get to work, pass some good laws that make people’s lives better, and tensions can be quelled, albeit with complaints, much like the Israelites complained about manna from Heaven after wandering around without food in the desert. But one way or another, people will be fed, and that’s what counts.
And that doesn’t start with “unity.” We don’t need that crap. We need accountability. Accountability for the people who didn’t just let this happen, but encouraged it.