The storming of the Capitol left me with so much to say, I found myself speechless.
Incredulous. Appalled. Embarrassed. Dismayed.
This was the kind of scene I expected from some Second or Third World country, perhaps in Latin America or in a former Soviet Union state. But in the United States of America? It was inconceivable.
My ancestors rolled in their graves:
- My father and uncle who were in WWII.
- My grandfather who fled the Kaiser’s Germany before WWI.
- My umpteen-great grandfather who probably listened to John Patrick Henry give his famous speech — that’s right, the one that goes, “Give me Liberty or give me Death.”
- And all the people in-between who shed their tears, sweat, and blood, and ultimately left their bones to make America the place the whole world dreamed of.
The GOP is reaping the fruits of their actions and tacit approval for the sitting President’s disregard for our country, her Constitution, and her people. Our government was designed with three sections for good reason, to provide the checks and balances needed to prevent just this kind of power grab. Yet many have shown that the lure of Trump supporters for their own political futures is more important than our Democracy.
The left is not without blame, with many academics and others ignoring the hurting and disenfranchised of those who used to be middle class but are now finding themselves squeezed out of jobs, and homes and hope. Feeling they are alienated by being lumped in with the “powerful” because of their skin tone, they turned to the cultists who seemed to listen — conspiracy theorists, QAnon, Trump. It doesn’t matter that they lie. These people are telling them what they want to hear when no one else will even listen. There is good reason the Democratic Party has been called elitist; it has forgotten its worker roots.
As for the rest of us? That depends on you and me. We are the ones who voted for our elected officials. We are the ones with the power to vote them out in the next election, or even demand a recall. Moreover, we are ultimately responsible for our own behavior in the process.
How did you feel about the BLM protests? How do you feel about yesterday, when the protesters were a different color? Did your feelings change when violence broke out in either case? Is so, how?
The Preamble to the constitution begins, “We the People.” That’s us, folks. It’s our country because of the way it was designed. George Washington gave up his powers, despite those who wanted him to essentially be a king. He wanted this country to be more than any one man. That’s why we have such an ungainly election process, including appeals to the Judiciary, so no one can game the system. And because well-meaning people can do stupid things.
When was the last time you read the whole Preamble? I’ve included the text from the Library of Congress for your convenience:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.
(Does anyone else get caught on the line, “insure domestic tranquility”?)
I have to conclude that those who stormed the Capitol Building have forgotten this bedrock of our democratic republic.
Passion is great, but one can be passionately wrong. It’s human nature. So let’s examine ourselves and our actions or inactions, but think quickly. This isn’t over yet, with so many pieces still in the air. Consequences have already begun that will be far reaching in time and place. You need to know where you will stand from this point forward. And it’s OK to change your mind. But don’t let anyone tell you what to think.
Grace, Peace, and Love.