Members of the U.S. Congress and millions of American citizens in general are finding it very hard to think in terms of compassion when it comes to participants in the Trumpsurrection of January 6, 2021, at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA. Here are five painful reasons why:
1) The country was already reeling from the crippling blow dealt by COVID-19, which during the week of the Trumpsurrection reportedly was averaging 2,700 deaths daily. On the day of the event, which itself may now be described as a super-spreader, the country hit a then record high of 3,964 deaths. The next day the number shot up to more than 4,000. With the virus itself having long been described as “the invisible enemy,” Trumpsurrectionists have become easily viewed as allies of the same.
2) According to repeated alerts issued by the FBI, the January 6 Trumpsurrection was only the first of a series of planned attacks veiled as protest demonstrations. More “armed protests” are scheduled to take place nationwide from January 16-20. Just as the initial domestic terrorist assault successfully replaced the victorious historical Senate elections of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in media headlines, the planned mayhem has already begun to disrupt news of annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. Likewise, they are becoming a dominant point of focus over the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the Unites States, and Kamala Harris as the first woman, and person of African and Indian descent, as the vice president.
3) The relative ease with which Trumpsurrectionists were able to breach Capitol defenses with seeming minimal opposition from “overwhelmed” law enforcement officials has magnified the issue of disparity when it comes to how predominantly White groups have been treated at protest events in DC under the current administration in sharp contrast to the way Black Lives Matter advocates have (not to mention the pile-up of bodies of Black bodies shot down by police throughout 2020). Whereas Blacks have been routinely met and halted in their tracks by a heavily-armed uniformed presence organized far in advance of announced BLM protests, Trumpsurrectionists were literally invited by POTUS to come to Capitol Hill and show their strength. One the shock of what had occurred began to lessen, officials did move to announce charges and make arrests.
4) For the first time in their collective memory, members of the U.S. Congress found their collective physical presence directly involved in the kind life-and-death situation which members of America’s armed forces have dealt with all the years of war in Afghanistan and elsewhere. People armed with assault guns, pipe bombs, restraint ties, and incredible disregard for the processes of democracy have a way of convincing lawmaker to rethink their sense of power and authority versus a suddenly-consuming awareness of individual mortality.
5) What once may have been considered the current POTUS’s bold charismatic style of leadership incorporating pragmatism and the manipulation of manufactured chaos (with disinformation and misinformation often-favored tools) is no longer viewed as such. It has been branded a high-level fascist threat to America’s security, the health of its citizens, and the future of its economy. An unprecedented second impeachment of a U.S. president in whom millions obviously believe very deeply is not something on which most leaders would prefer to spend time, energy, or resources while a pandemic continues to rage like a global wildfire. However, given the state of vulnerability and explosive violence into which said president has plunged America, the political disciplinarians who would see the country remain intact have to take at least one last cue from the POTUS and “be strong.” That has meant, in lieu of the attempt to convince Vice President Vice President to invoke the 25th amendment, moving ahead with that historic second impeachment.
The events we tag as history have a way of derailing planned intentions, good or otherwise, and revising stories already in progress. That clearly became the case for every American with the domestic terrorist attack, referred to herein as the Trumpsurrection, on January 6, 2021. It was the same for millions of non-American with various business, political, or family ties to the country, who experienced excruciating disruptions of their lives altered.
Different individual leanings and cultural or political persuasions are always going to stir disagreements regarding issues as minor as what to watch on TV, or as major who should receive COVID-19 vaccinations first. Does that mean they can only be resolved, after all these centuries of evolving and supposedly learning better, through violent conflict? If ours was still an era in which we still used clubs or spears as major instruments of survival and we had not developed to a point where we can communicate proficiently through multiple mediums, the preceding question might not be considered rhetorical. What baffles so many at this bizarre moment in history, following a year in which the coronavirus forced communities worldwide to realize how truly inextricably interwoven our lives are, is why such a question has to be posed with any intention whatsoever.
Contemporary award-winning author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.