A time to mourn
As we mark the first anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, those who are in touch with reality – those who believe what they saw with their own eyes – recognize that we came close to losing our democracy and much more on that day as a band of incensed, enraged Donald Trump supporters egged on by their man savaged and desecrated our Capitol, engaged in violence against hapless and understaffed law enforcement officers, sought to murder members of Congress and their own party’s vice president, and brought about the deaths of many people, including one of their own and four police officers who died by suicide in the days following the attack.
We also recognize that for more than three hours, and despite pleas from his allies in Congress, his son, and his daughter, Trump refrained from calling off the dogs, instead watching the attack on television, no doubt with twisted pride. When he did make a statement, long after the damage had been inflicted, he told the attackers of his love for them and again voiced the big lie, that he was the rightful winner of the November 2020 election. Oh, and he also called for them to go home.
We did not know on that day of infamy that it would get even worse. Despite initial outrage and placing the blame where it belonged – on Trump – the Republicans quickly lost their spine upon recognizing that Trump controls the party he has hijacked and remains popular with his people, many of whom, tragically, want him to run again to finish the job of wrecking our country, to stamp out its values and ideals, and to transform a democratic system into an autocracy. Consequently, Republican members of Congress, prominently featuring man-turned-mouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, backed away from ascribing responsibility. Although they ran for their lives on that day along with their Democratic colleagues, the Republicans now conclude that there is nothing to see here, no need to investigate and call those responsible for the riot to account, nor to take any action to ensure that such a thing cannot ever happen again.
Some GOP members have gone so far as to claim that the nation’s and the world’s distress over what occurred is overblown, some alleging that it was in fact violent leftists that perpetrated the event in order to make Trump supporters look bad, as if leftists would have rioted in order to propel Trump back into the role of president.
One year ago, we witnessed the only instance of American history in which a president declared war on his government. It is a day to remember, to mourn, and a time to be ever-vigilant because it could easily happen again in a country in which democracy is endangered.