The events of 1/6/2021 were incredibly horrible. Desecration and destruction of the United States Capitol is unacceptable. Period. The history and tradition embedded in the monuments and buildings make it sacrosanct to all who love this constitutional republic.
But, to all those holier than thou media talking heads, political leaders and pundits espousing the virtues of democracy and lamenting “this is not who we are as a nation,” quit with the false piety. Guess what? It is who we are. Protesters have been desecrating public monuments for months, so why the outrage now? Has defunding the blue made such a rapid impact that even the United States Capitol is vulnerable? And democracy? Twitter suspends DJTs account…CNN proposes the removal of Fox News from cable providers…Parler removed from Apple- This is democracy? Welcome to 1984.
The big question is how did the US, the great beacon of opportunity and freedom, get here? 2020 demonstrated two things: the debt clock is escalating- 27 trillion and climbing- and COVID is the pretext for the greatest leveling of America in its history. And, it was done with virtually no resistance, in the name of public health and produced the conditions for a Big Tech-progressive alliance that has reshaped American life and will continue to fundamentally alter the structure of how federalism operates. No matter the political stripe of Americans, left-right-or center, this is Orwellian. At least admit it. Using democracy as a foil is exhausting.
The months leading up to 1/6/2021 were pretext for the invasion of Congress that in one day derailed the Trump train. A pile of wreckage emblematic of the hopes and aspirations of 74 million Americans is all that remains of Trump’s legacy as POTUS. After a global pandemic fundamentally destroyed the best economy the US had experienced in decades and created the conditions for government to eclipse the right to work, close schools, churches, sports events, restaurants, gyms and social gatherings of arbitrary numbers, the attack on the Capitol was shocking but consider the context. With 369,000 dead from the disease, and California- a state with the harshest state COVID mandates- leading the way in new cases, COVID is the lever in a transformation that appears to have no end. The Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1919 killed 20 to 40 million on the tail end of WWI. So far, COVID has killed 1.9 million.
Yet, COVID is the seedbed of insidious regulation that has destroyed the civil liberties at the heart of America- the right to work and individual responsibility among the most important- under the guise of a pandemic that is awful, but in no way as deadly, as other historic pandemics. The months of government shutdowns have destroyed civil liberty in the name of public health, and the most terrifying thing in the whole process is that citizens have complied, over and over again. Until now.
Now, in the second wave of this pandemic, it seems it is too late to restore life as it existed before the measures- especially now that there is an added 4 trillion dollars to the national debt with a Biden proposed additional 11 trillion on the way. With the GDP to debt ratio a terrifying reminder of American economic instability-approximately 153%- the fact that only specific sectors of the producing class suffered economically during this pandemic and will not recover is staggering. Ironically, the riots, defund the police and progressive wing takeover of the Democratic party did not occur in a moment of economic despair- typically the hinge in American history for radical reactions, especially when tied to political disfranchisement. During the pandemic NO, absolutely NO person on state support- from housing, Medicaid, Medicare, SS, disability to transportation subsidies- or government employees (at the state and federal level)- from teachers to senators- went without a check. They continued to be paid while those who bore the burden of trying to work in this totalitarian moment suffered.
Take healthcare specialists outside the pandemic frontline- surgical specialists, for example. They could not operate due to government arbitrarily determining what was and was not elective surgery, impacting not only the surgeon but the patient. And private sector small business owners- not the Amazons and Big Tech giants- were unable to open because of local and state mandates and had to fend off property destruction in the wake of protests by groups like Chaz, CHOP and AntiFa while maintaining the responsibility of paying employees and taxes. If they did not apply for PPE in time, many suffered, especially when the first payment on the PPE loan came due. Without the right to work guaranteed and COVID restrictions costing businesses millions to retrofit restaurants, bars, offices and schools with protective materials, paying PPE back or simply making a living went unrealized for many Americans. And rent moratoriums? Did you read about the landlord in Harlem- his renters pay no rent, yet he faces eviction. Go figure.
What is most shocking is in the midst of this public health crisis and oppressive government response, race was weaponized despite a booming economy prior to the pandemic that saw the lowest black unemployment in a decade. BLM gained momentum amid police shootings and splintered into a cause far greater than its original intent to end police brutality. And, BLM has received over 10.6 billion dollars over the COVID months, and the fracturing of the movement has elicited questions about exactly where this money went as many black communities have gained nothing from the movement, are stagnated by local COVID regulations and now, especially in urban centers like NYC where the wealthy have fled, are stuck as crime escalates. Where is BLM as fleeing to another city or suburb is not an option for most black, inner-city Americans? As historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. documented in The Two Nations of Black America, money is a dividing line in black America, and COVID has not helped the plight of the black underclass. Moreover, when white women preach about white fragility, this is worthy of concern, especially when the anti-capitalist messenger lines her pockets in the process. Is this exploitation? Where is the outrage?
America has been leveled by a pandemic unprecedented in American history. To think that the breaching of the Capitol resulted from a speech given earlier in the day by the POTUS is to deny the transformative months leading up to that moment. The actions of those who invaded the Capitol incinerated the gains gains made by the Trump administration and the political support of 74 million people. Their actions undermined everything, from Trump’s China policy, cyber security advances and Middle East peace efforts to tax cuts and defense spending. And, despite a pre-pandemic economic boom, from the election debacle of November 4th to the invasion of January 6th, it is finished.
The new normal promises higher taxes, more shutdowns and moral righteousness espoused from every corner of the political class. Americans should be horrified for many reasons, but after what has occurred over the last 10 months, no one should be surprised. When roughly 40% of employed humans pay payroll and income taxes that then subsidize the federal budget of the nation, a pandemic that eclipses the right to work hurts everyone eventually. The producing class was denied work during the pandemic. This veil of democracy when we live in a society that is undemocratic is what we should start with. Don’t preach democracy when state governments limited individuals from leaving their homes and then told them they could only have 6, 8 and eventually 2 people inside to gather. What? No Thanksgiving with grandma. No Christmas eve service at church. Never in our history has the right to work or worship been stopped. Without the right to work, people cannot pay for bailouts like the upcoming $600 stimulus (funny money), and if taxes go up to 50%, why work when roughly half of the nation does not.
Americans are disaffected and polarized. Rather than blaming Trump or labeling his followers a homogenous pile of deplorables who eat at Olive Garden and stay at the Holiday Inn- thanks Anderson Cooper for the condescending assessment- it is more important to see Trump as an outcome of disaffection and alienation in America rather than its source. And, his supporters cross every race, class and gender line. Agitating to destroy him is agitating civil unrest, and what happened on Tuesday does not need to happen again.
This historic moment begs Americans to look to the past because history shows anything can happen. Hindsight is 20/20 but for some reason, foresight is incredibly blurry. While a pandemic has propagated harsh government policies and escalated cultural tensions, everyday Americans trying to make a living continue to struggle as government still receives a paycheck. Why wax nostalgic about the values of American democracy when we live in an undemocratic moment. Take all this moral righteousness, piety and lectures on democratic virtue and shove it.
An ugly lie is much easier to digest than the hideous truth.