Watching events in Washington last week was like witnessing a revolution in reverse. Right-wing mobs descended on the Capitol in an attempt to stop the transition of power in the world’s most democratic nation. Motives for their actions lie in the belief that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from President Trump, despite not a shred of evidence yielded from state investigations and court suits.
The political and social upheaval is not led by the enlightened, but rather the disenfranchised and uninformed, who echo the baseless charges of Trump. In his fascist style, he has sought to discredit facts, experts, and institutional wisdom. Reason and rational thinking are not weapons of Trump nor his followers’ cognitive arsenal. Seeking to subvert the will of the people, they pursue a revolution that undermines the democratic ideals of liberty, egality, and fraternity, the principles of the French Revolution from which democratic societies evolved. At the heart of this unrest are lies propagated by President Trump, who claims the November 4, 2021 election had been stolen from him through fraud perpetrated by the Democratic Party, accusations that appear delusional in the face of all objective examination. Threats of violence from his Far-Right supporters seek to prevent president-elect Joe Biden from taking office on January 21.
In this revolution of regression, football teams that lose the Super Bowl would refuse to leave the field for the trophy presentation and ask that fans come down and assault the officials that oversaw a “rigged” contest; Fired CEOs would remain in there corner suites requiring board of directors to summon the police to evict them. Students would perpetually question the reasoning of their teachers. Tyrants flourish when trust is government is broken and Trump nearly succeeded in destroying that bond between citizens and government. He did it for no other reason that to position himself as dictator and authoritarian gladly encouraging his followers to violently serve as his accomplices. A revolution in reverse.
Fortunately, America has held and repelled its brush with fascism, for now. Its institutions remain intact, its diversity vibrant, and the moral compass of the majority of its people true. But there are more than a few Trump acolytes lying in wait — Ted Cruz, John Hawley, and Jim Jorden all seek to gain his followers. Hopefully, we are little more hip to their tricks and the American democratic experience will continue forward.
Quote of the week: When asked why the president should impeached, Jamie Raskin, (D) from Maryland, answered with this: “The president gave all kinds of aid, comfort and exhortation to the mob. That is intolerable. It takes us in a profoundly dangerous direction as a society. America is a country built on common sense. And we have to use our common sense now to recognize a lethal danger to our people, our Congress, our leaders and the whole nation. This president is a clear and present danger to our country.”