You might think I am a loser when I say this, but I cry on election day. As someone who has devoted his life to history and educating people in history, I have always looked at our nation as a nation that every four years honorably and peacefully chooses the course of action of our nation. While many nations use propaganda, intimidation, and fear to decide how to run a nation, America uses the ballot box. That is why I know we are a great nation. That is why I know our nation is exceptional.
It is now 8 o’clock in the evening on January 6, 2021. I have watched in horror, disbelief, and total shame the events of today unfold. While I am sure over the coming days I will put together something much more eloquent, the things below are the things that I know to be true about today. Some will argue they are opinions or political views, but the historical record will eventual agree with me. So, without further ado, here is the truth about today.
The events of today was a terrorist attack & the antithesis of American Ideals and Exceptionalism.
This was not a protest. This was not peaceful. This was not even a riot. This was domestic terrorism- plain and simple. The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims is how the dictionary defines terrorism. That is what we saw today. Calling it anything but domestic terrorism is wrong and continues to do a disservice to actual people who practice their constitutional right to protest.
The blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of the President of the United States.
No other person is responsible for this. No other person has continued to tweet out lies, factually untrue information, veiled threats, etc. over and over and over again. So when republican congressmen and congresswomen go on television and feigning ignorance as to how this could possibly happen is complete and utter malarkey and is an abdication of their elected duty. Quite frankly, it should disqualify them from being able to hold elected office again. It is high time we call a spade, a spade. For the past four years, we have watched as politicians from the party of Lincoln lie, explain away, and pretend not to have heard the President’s incendiary statements. That did nothing but turn them into sycophants and given rise to a cult of personality situation we have not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union.
What we saw today was the epitome of racism & white privilege.
It is mind boggling to me that an angry, ARMED, masked, and armored mob openly carrying assault rifles was allowed to break into the building that is the the symbol of American democracy. Especially when you consider that time and time again over the past 4 years, peaceful protests that were part of the Black Lives Matter movement have been tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, beaten, and arrested. Had the terrorists from today’s events been black they never would have gotten into the building, they never would have gotten to the capital lawn, and they never would have been allowed to quietly walk out when they were done destructing property. This should serve as a wake up call to everyone (including the media- who treated this differently than the BLM protests). It is high time we have a discussion about white privilege, and how it is keeping us from true racial reconciliation.
Mike Pence & Mitch McConnell did the right thing today. But they are still complicit in trump’s crimes.
Mitch McConnell did the right thing. Today. Mike Pence did the right thing. Today. Make no mistake, though: they are JUST as guilty as Trump of fanning the flames of this insurrection for the past for years. One helped Trump steal a Supreme Court seat. The other has acted as Donald Trump’s yes man as he has tried to take ownership over women’s bodies and kidnapped children from their parents. One has allowed the current President to fundamentally change this great nation and the other has obstructed a decent democratic President so he could ram harmful legislation down our throats for the past four years. So yes, Pence and McConnell surprisingly did the right thing today, but you will have to excuse me if I don’t offer them an “attaboy.”
President-Elect Biden offered Trump an out. Trump was too cowardly to take it.
President-Elect Biden offered the President a way out today. He had the opportunity to point a finger at Trump one last time, but he graciously condemned the violence, called for peace, and gave the President an invitation to address the nation and put an end to what was happening. The President has abandoned any sense of honor and duty and cowardly released a video statement. Did he condemn the violence? Somewhat. Right after that however, he continued to lie and spread information that was not true about this election. This President will go down in history as the only President to be too afraid to disappoint his cult of followers to do the right thing. It is disgustingly shameful, but not surprising!
Continuing to hold debate was not only the right thing to do it was absolutely necessary.
I applaud Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell, and McCarthy for all coming together and agreeing to continue the constitutional obligation of certifying the electoral college results. I applaud all of those leaders of speaking, denouncing the buffoonery, and emphatically saying that the tactics of Russia, North Korea, and Turkey will NOT keep our elected officials from enacting the will of the people. It sends a message that the ideals and beliefs and tenets of American Democracy will never bend, never waver, and never back down to any militia, any mob, or any thugs. Because THAT is the will of the people; and the will of the people, will always win out in America.
Republicans need to know that there will be a reckoning. That is not a threat- it is a wake-up call.
In the video above from Cold Mountain, Nicole Kidman plays a woman from the south who is trying to survive the Civil War. Towards the end of the war and the end of the movie she looks at one of the villains of the movie and says:
There will be a reckoning. There will be a reckoning when this war is over. There will be a reckoning.Nicole Kidman as Ada Monroe in the film Cold Mountain
I love that scene and the way Kidman says it. There is anger and contempt in her words, but more importantly, there is conviction and firm, unwavering belief in the words that she says are true. She knows she may not live to see it, but she knows she is right. With that said, there is reckoning coming and the republican party needs to get ready. I am not saying that as a threat. I am saying that with the knowledge that the only way for this nation to heal is to acknowledge the pain and destruction the last four years has caused. That starts by giving a firm and unwavering repudiation of today’s events. I firmly believe this system only works when you consider multiple perspectives and ways of doing something. One party does not have all the right answers. But neither party can be allowed to peddle intimidation, fear, and conspiracy theories. Finally, my Republican friends, you cannot cave into intimidation from the mob to maintain your seat, and then put out statements today denouncing the violence. Especially when you helped to cause it.
The party of Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Reagan is better than the last four years. It is time that Republicans stand up and say that. If they don’t, its time they have a seat away from politics for good.
The rest of the world needs to know that Lady Liberty and the ideals she stands for will carry this day, and every day after because America will never stop striving to be exceptional.
Many of you know me. I am a fairly pessimistic person. I like to think of it as realistic or pragmatic, but you could call it pessimistic. I am a very emotional person. If I think about, pray on, or wish for something to happen and it does not happen, then I am emotional devastated. So if I am pessimistic I am hurt less or pleasantly surprised, I feel like it works out better for my emotional well-being.
With that said, I have ALWAYS been optimistic when it comes to America. I love this nation and I love what she represents to the world. I love that for the past two and a half centuries we have been the beacon that shines on the hill for millions of people. I love that America has the oldest constitution still in use. I love that every 4 years we get to look the most powerful leader in the free world in the face and say if you screw this up we will fire you. Most importantly, though, I love the fact that this nation firmly believes we can always be better.
God knows we have made many mistakes. We have kidnapped and enslaved an entire continent of people. We have kept African-Americans and Women from their constitutional rights. We have denied LGBTQIA people their legal rights. We have tried to bully and intimidate other nations into doing our will and when they refuse we destroy their government and install a puppet state. Sometimes we try to pretend these things did not happen. Thankfully, everyday and average American finally come to the realization that things can and MUST change and they take it upon themselves to change it.
That is why I know the world will eventually see what I see. All we have to do is remind them. With confidence in the American People and their determination to be exceptional we will gain the inevitable triumph. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this stain on our democracy, the true American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. Why? I will tell you why:
Because. This. Is. America.
And that is what we do.
And God Bless Us For That.