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The return of sanity and decency

Though it happened only yesterday, volumes already have been written about the violent desecration of the U.S. Capitol. All sane and decent Americans understand what it means, so there is hardly anything that I can add. But I am reminding myself that, in spite of the obscenity of what we witnessed yesterday, and in spite of the rage that we still feel, we have won. Congress went back into session and certified the election. In Georgia, two Democrats were elected to the U.S. Senate. The fascist Republican Party, come Jan. 20, will be out of power.

If any doubt remained about what the Republican Party has become, or what Donald Trump is, yesterday’s events erased that doubt. It will be years before we really understand what has happened. Investigations can now begin, including congressional investigations and criminal investigations. Republicans now have little power to obstruct or corrupt those investigations, or to conduct sham investigations of their own. Many books will be written, both by those who will add to the truth and those who will try to rewrite history with their lies. History will get it right, even if a frighteningly large percentage of the American population, from their self-made hell on the trash heap of history, invent and believe an alternative history in which the very worst of us are great.

One of the immediate difficulties for many of us is figuring out how to deal with the people around us who voted for Trump, those who are unable to recognize what the Republican Party has become, and those who continue to believe in a future in which a repugnant minority of people who have lost all claim to decency can return to dominating, bullying, insulting, and baiting the rest of us as they work to destroy the American democracy and kick down the people they hate. They were unable to complete that work. The institutions of American democracy withstood the attack. The Southern state of Georgia just sent a Jew and a black man to the U.S. Senate. Given four more years, the dismantling of our institutions and the rule of law would have been completed. Some of them won’t give up. Already there is a competition, as Trump goes down, to lead the fascist movement in America. That competition, of all places, is largely in the U.S. Senate.

For now, though, I’m going to try to stop gritting my teeth, savor the fact that a free and fair election has removed the fascists from power, and wait to see what happens as sanity and decency return to American government. What happened yesterday was not really a threat. It was instead a kind of theater, a ghastly public display of infantile bitterness at the fact of their defeat. The world saw what they are in pornographic scenes that will blacken American history forever, scenes that shock the civilized world and that children do not understand. We all knew that Trump would smash furniture on the way out, though we didn’t foresee just how literal that would be.

Those who supported this deserve our ongoing contempt. They deserve to be shunned. They deserve much worse, actually. And yet the everyday activities of life must go on. What next? Your thoughts and comments are welcome.


  1. JamesM wrote:

    It will be interesting to observe the Religious Right reorganize following this. One of them posted in a blog, untroubled, that they never expected Trump to be their pastor but instead their bodyguard. Talk about hypocrisy.

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 5:09 am | Permalink
  2. Jo wrote:

    So sad to see death and destruction unfold when a leader miserably fails, does not recognize that failure and incites followers. Just a sad day for us.

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
  3. Dan wrote:

    I wonder what inauguration day has in store. Hopefully, if there are any protests, Capitol police and armed forces can keep them at bay. I would hate it if the opening day of Biden’s presidency is a massacre of brainwashed, duped, pathetic Americans pining for a Trump dictatorship.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

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