Friday, April 30, 2021

‘Worst attack on democracy’ continues still

    President Joe Biden spoke for over an hour Wednesday in his first address to a joint session of Congress, raising urgent issues from the need to get Americans vaccinated to the jobs that will be created fighting climate change to the key role immigration has always played in the American story.
     But 10 words the president said early in his speech were particularly accurate and alarming, when he referred to the Jan. 6 insurrection as ”the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”
     It had to be said plainly because the bulk of the Republican Party, deformed and unrecognizable after five years of rolling like puppies at the feet of Donald Trump, still does not accept reality. Polls show 70% of Republicans believe the Big Lie that the election was stolen, despite a complete lack of evidence. Half believe the Jan. 6 insurrection against our democracy was committed not by Trump supporters whipped into a frenzy, but by Democrats — Black Lives Matter activists in whiteface, perhaps — ”trying to make Trump look bad.” As if he needs help.
     ”The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” It must be repeated because of the shocking resilience of right-wing extremism. Indeed, Trump apologists zeroed in on these specific words for their typical hoots of incomprehension and ridicule. Yet it is literally a matter of life or death, our nation’s and theirs. Trump’s toxic distortion of masculinity that allowed him to grope women and pretend he is always right and always wins also made him reject wearing masks and vaccines — he got his in secret. Millions of Americans listened to him, causing hundreds of thousands to die. Millions still listen, meaning hundreds of thousands more will die. Following him into their graves, literally.
     No one can be glad of that. It’s tragic and horrible. But I’m not writing to try and jar them from their error. That’s futile. Those who do not form their positions through reason cannot be argued out of them by reason.

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  1. Another column hit out of the ballpark.

  2. Neil - I don't recall you addressing the same topic two days in a row before. Bravo for doing so. It can't be said often enough, Trump is a mortal threat to our nation. His followers meet every definition of a cult, and, given their response to the pandemic, could reasonably be called a death cult. Keep hammering away.

    1. Remember David Koresh and Waco...We Ain't Coming Out? Multiply his fate, and that of his death cult disciples, by a factor of several thousand. That may be the fate that awaits America in the near future.

      Even if Trump dies soon (a surer bet than any prison time), his delusional follwers will find a surrogate, and the lemmings will blindly plunge off the cliff and tumble into the abyss. The Trump clone will be younger, less abrasive, and more charismatic. And not as orange. But it'll be SSDD...same shit, different demagogue.

      Joe's victory gave me hope, but it's probably a false hope. The Grand Army of the Repugnants will not go away quietly. Re-education attempts would prove to be futile, like whizzing into the wind. Unity? Reconcilation? Negotiation? You don't negotiate with terrorists, either foreign or domestic. You ventilate them, and neutralize the threat.

      Unfortunately, I see no alternative. But I'll gladly listen to other options and possibilities, and other solutions to the Crisis of the Twenties. Are there any, short of Civil War 2.0, or dissolving into the Untied Snakes? Ceding them Texas and the desert Southwest? Plenty of room for the teeming tens of millions of Trumpeters to attempt another Israel, but not enough water. What the hell do we do?

      Enlighten me.

  3. I was just thinking yesterday how noble and heroic Neil's persistence with daily offering up humor and foreboding, careful reasoning and delightful prose, serious journalism and whimsical fancies, all for the delectation of a self-selected few and with little or no benefit to his career, his bottom line or even perhaps his self-esteem, with the blog only very rarely an out-of-town trial of ideas to be more fully exploited in his newspaper column. And of course, what do I see today but exactly that: a reworking of yesterday's blog into a full blown column, expressing more or less the same tropes, although I did miss the reference to Republican "whataboutisms." A short but weighty blog turned into a thoughtful reflection on today's political calculus. Nicely done, beneficial in every aspect.


  4. Yes, the January 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol building, often alluded to as an "insurrection," was an embarrassing day for our country. But to suggest that it was "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War" is disingenuous at best. At worst, it's a malicious attempt to whitewash the history of attacks carried out both by and on the government that have had much more catastrophic results.

    1. Don't get caught up on semantics, Sanford. To reply to that by waving around the Patriot Act and the FBI harassing Dr. King is to fail to see the scope of a president trying to overturn an election. It is not in any way persuasive, and rather shows the arguer has missed the point of the column, which is, as plainly as I can state it: we are still in enormous peril, in a way we weren't at any previous time. Argue if you like.


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