What the Hell is wrong with us?
We’ve become a nation in which more than a third of its citizens refuse to accept facts, wallow in disinformation and damned lies, threaten public officials in the conduct of their jobs – or at their homes- parading around with guns. What the Hell is wrong with us? Or, more especially, them!
It would be simple – and wrong – to blame Donald J. Trump. He didn’t start it. Most of these people were already angry and looking for someone – or several someone(s) – to give them permission to openly express their anger and frustrations with government and society in general. Trump just showed up on the scene with his keen sense of showmanship and audacity. His specific talent was to offer a misguided and an angry population someone to coalesce around – someone to use the national platform of the presidency to give voice to the voice-less. Something he’s likely to continue in private life.
Before him, all they could do was scream at their radios when Limbaugh spewed his lies and said what they were thinking. They could vent their anger at the TV’s when Hannity blasphemed all over their living rooms and pilloried some public figure they also hated.
In my opinion, Trump’s biggest weapon was he hated the same people they do. He hated the same “liberal establishment” they do. He broadcast to everyone the same baseless accusations they’d made for years with only a spouse or a few friends to hear. He was the answer to a large, angry crowd just waiting for an unprincipled, boastful, lying “savior” to give voice to the voiceless. Their amplifier.
We know 74,223,030 Americans signed up to follow the false prophet while 81,282,903 said “NO” and voted to send their leader back among the populace.
Now, we’re seeing their undisciplined anger in meetings of school boards, health districts, county commission and city councils. They’re at the door with guns. Threatening community leaders at work and at their homes. Shouting their lies and disbelief of actual facts. Pointing dangerous laser lights through windows where they live. Threatening innocent families.
Here, in Arizona, the state GOP has issued an email that asks “Are you willing to die for the Republican Party?” “Die?” Yes, “die!’
Examples of the dangers falling out of this opened “Pandora’s Box” are everywhere. Southwest and North Idaho are under their ‘attack.’ Southern Oregon and Eastern Washington have their armed militias. Nazi swastikas being affixed to Idaho’s Anne Frank memorial. Murder plots found naming governors and other public figures. An itinerant divisiveness spreading lies about election fraud and the absolutely baseless claim that COVID-19 does not exist.
That latter lie is brain-numbing coming from the lips of people who are actually dying of the disease. The last words coming from their lips repeating a lie. A damned lie! Absent families not allowed to be with their loved one, nurses listen in disbelief. A public anger – now personal on a Gurney – a death bed – forming a victim’s last thoughts.
Speaking of Republican’s, where the hell are the 54 in the U.S. Senate?
What voices do you hear coming from the “tomb” – formerly the Senate Chamber? All of them – ALL – have sold their souls to Trump and his minions, accepting his lies as fact, unable to condemn in a trial when the evidence was stacked six-feet high, acting like political handmaidens standing by silently as Trump has repeatedly run amok. Given their subservience, why were a third of ‘em re-elected last month? Don’t we – us – care about their indolence?
President-elect Biden – Uncle Joe – is about to walk into a maelstrom. No president has faced a tougher situation since, probably, Andrew Johnson who became president after the assassination of Lincoln, at the end of the Civil War. Our nation, then, was deeply divided, too.
Biden has cast himself as a healer, someone who can bring us together. He talks of cooperation, of a national cohesion, of taking us to a better place. I’m certain he’ll try.
But, in the streets, how does he restore normalcy to a large population armed to the teeth, threatening elected officials in their work – in their homes? How does he disarm militias in nearly every state who believe – crazily – that a new “Civil War” is necessary and that they are the ones properly preparing for the “battle?” How do you bring COVID deniers to mask-wearing and other tools necessary to combat the deadly disease?
Can we expect he’ll be successful in bringing normalcy out of such chaos? Or, are we, as a nation, entering a time when such conditions are harbingers of the new “normal?”
I don’t have the answers. Nor do you. We’re entering a time – absent Trump – when most of us are wanting peace in our lives. We want cohesion. We want to rid the nation of anger, of discord, of armed interruptions in the conduct of our affairs. We desire a return of respect, of calm, living peacefully with our neighbors.
We want a nation healed. One we can be proud of. Uncle Joe needs all the help we can muster to get there. From all of us.