A Day of Humiliation
To the Editor:
In reading a Jan. 6 entry (1953) from “A Walk Through the Year” by naturalist Edwin Way Teale, he says “You can prove almost anything with the evidence of a small enough segment of time. How often, in any search for the truth, the answer of the minute is positive, the answer of the hour qualified, the answers of the year contradictory!”. Little would he know how relevant that would be 69 years later in regard to major events of 2021.
In science, the answer of the minute is pure anecdote, proving almost nothing, and the real “truth” can take years of rigorous evidence-collecting before the closest “truth” can be known (a fact which anti-vaxers like to exploit).
In politics 2021, the truth of Jan.6, 2021, now known infamously as the “insurrection”, unrolled before all of humanity’s eyes in real time. After Trump inspired them to act, we saw U.S. Veterans, Proud Boys, business-owners, Oath Keepers, Three-percenters, lawyers, Q-Anons, doctors and lots of others along for the ride, all members of the Trump-Republican party, climbing the “ramparts” of the U.S. Capital building, shattering windows, ram-rodding doors and bludgeoning anything they could get their hands on. (The repair bill paid by us taxpayers was $13 million). Republican elected officials hid under furniture and prayed for their lives, along with Democrats, while the vigilantes stalked them while gleefully shouting intentions of murder. As it turned out, the vigilante mob was pretty inept when faced with the artifacts of governing, flipping through legislation on the floor of the House and not recognizing (or caring) what governing requires. Their intention was to prevent certification of election results, but they failed this time.
The answer of the minute, behind Fox News closed doors, was shock, as their top reporters tweeted/texted the White House to get Trump under control and shut down the riot.The answer of the hour, in predictable contradiction, was to suggest/report on air that Antifa and BLM had infiltrated the riot (none identified to this day) in order to shift the blame and responsibility to them. And the answer of the year is complete denial, even of what millions have seen with their own eyes. Trump’s minions, who still reside in government, now refer to it as a “tourist visit” who were “ushered into the capital”. It is breathtaking how stupid they want and believe us all to be.
Let us not forget that that this was a real, violent, deadly riot (riots by definition include violence) in which the participants defecated and urinated in the halls of Congress and then demanded to be called “patriots”. Some argue that this should rightfully be called a coup attempt, because riots are spontaneous and Jan. 6 was planned.
The whole world was watching on Jan. 6 and they will not forget. Putin and Xi Jinping were popping champagne corks as we handed over our status as the “exceptional” democracy, and the deep divisions in our country were enacted through condoned violence. In the years to come, we can try and regain that status, but the events of the Jan. 6 insurrection are fixed permanently in U.S. history and the memory of humanity (unless Big Brother removes it someday). Calls come from both sides (mostly Republican) to “move on”- but it is imperative that we tell this story every year to remind ourselves how close we are to losing a real democracy. And we should remember what Trump said early in his term, “Don’t believe what you see and don’t believe what you hear just believe me.” When the leader of your country says that, it should give you pause, no matter what party you’re in.
I used to think of Jan. 6 mainly as the Feast of the Epiphany, or Little Christmas. Now it’s a day of humiliation for the United States, full of hate, denial, and breach of Democracy. If we let ourselves be convinced that it was a normal protest, in the months and years to come, then we deserve the consequences. I like to still think that almost everyone in this country, whatever party, has the best intentions for the survival of our democracy. Remembering the events of Jan.6,2021 helps us stay focused on avoiding a future we do not want for our country.
St. Johnsbury, Vt.