Reflections on the anniversary of January 6.
A united society in a nation prosper and governs with Democratic values. The midterm elections will give an idea of the direction the US will lead. Campaigning now for everyone to vote is crucial.
Excellent. I remarked in a brief discussion last week how January 6 differed from 9/11 because it was an attack from within.
Dan-Thankyou for your raw yet inspiring encapsulation and views of January 6. As usual, this is another example of expert and excellent journalism.
Although events in world war 2 would be considered more personally endangering, our nation pulled together during that bleak time to defeat evil enemies.
On January 6, citizens of our own country, so-called "patriots" (traitors and tyanists are more accurate names) decided to take the law (or ignorance of the law) into their own hands. This dark day was not something that was planned (cooked up) in the few months before; hardly.
Before Donald Trump entered the political arena, we had infighting between political factions. There was mudslinging and name calling but there was a limit to this. Decency and respect seemed to be a common trait among most Americans.
As soon as Trump started running for president, extreme divisiveness was the law of the land, at least for him. He gave a voice to the supposed "disenfranchised" by telling them that they deserve to be listened to, they deserve a voice and speaking to them as though the "other side" was out to get them. Or country had and had never been more divided, even during the Civil War. During that time the opposing factions (at least the antagonistic side) were a select "small" part of the total population. Today, there are 2 opposing sides, 1 practically as large as the other (although DT has overblown every statistic of supporter numbers). Never in history had there been such a massive divide in our fellow citizenry.
To sum up, DT had a plan from the very beginning to divide and conquer. He had a plan to lie so often that it seemed like the truth. He had a plan to satisfy only what HE wanted. If his supporters/"right hand men" followed that, they were praised. If they didn't, they were insulted, vilified and fired. A certain world leader of Germany many years back had the same M. O.. He is the worst kind of evil: narcissistic, psychotic, without compassion or feelings. He must be confronted and (politically) stopped for the good of our nation and the world.
What I find most worrisome is the new normal this marks on our society. This is a symptom of how life in the United States has been for decades. Business as usual in the corporate world has now been imported to the political world. The horror I felt that day was, in many ways, the experience handed to me in small town government. As much as we need to get back to pre trump days, I fear this will not happen. I've been told that you cant fix stupid. Well maybe we cant fix greedy and power hungry either.
You have put into words what many millions of us believe and think. Thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to so thoughtfully talk about 1/6. We need to continue to talk about it, remind our leaders that we want those responsible to be brought to justice, and talk to the people around us about the seriousness of that day; its implications and how it came about. And we need to work on ways to heal the wounds created by all of the misinformation, fear, and whatever else is driving this country to insanity.
Personally, it was horrifying to watch it unfold live on TV. I was recovering from surgery, a captive audience, unable to look away, and struggling to comprehend what was happening in real-time.
It was excruciating to see people who look like my neighbors and friends attacking people who look like my neighbors and friends.
It was unimaginable that anyone thought it was ok to attempt stopping our government from operating in such a violent way. And to see thousands of people violently attempting an overthrow was shocking and surreal.
It's been stressful to deal with the climate that led up to 1/6 and the aftermath. Seeing neighbors, friends, and families turn on each other has been rough. Personally witnessing an unruly unmasked passenger on a plane throw a long long, loud, protracted fit on a plane over cold food was eye-opening. Watching people at the grocery store and gas station be less and less courteous to each other, descending into cold indifference, and sometimes outright aggression has been disheartening.
And I'm tired of the rolling pickup truck political billboards and cars plastered with stickers and other in-your-face paraphernalia meant to shove their will down anyone's throat who is within reaching distance. I imagine what I experience when I see all that is what a black person or an immigrant must feel when confronted with so many micro aggressions on a daily basis. It really sucks.
Which brings me to my growing concern over what's going on in America with the People. The People seem to be forgetting that we are all American, we all have hopes, dreams, and wishes. We all are human. And yes, we are diverse, which is a beautiful thing when appreciated and respected.
I am deeply concerned about the growing divide in this country, the deepening chasm that is not going away or getting better.
I live in small town North Carolina, a little town on the lake that's a good place to raise your kids. We have a thriving community of people who have always engaged with each other, and we know our local police officers and firemen. When the schools shut down, the town started a socially distanced and masked day camp for school aged children whose parents needed to work, and no one got sick. The town introduces the people who work here and keep us running, tells their stories on Twitter, Facebook, and in a digital newsletter. I see them sometimes when I'm driving down the road, or in a store, love that I know who they are, and say hello when appropriate.
But what's going on in the wider world is starting to creep into this little town, and I am worried that we are not making progress in healing the wounds that have been ripped open over the last few years. I'm worried that those wounds will continue to fester and get worse.
In sixteen years of living in this town I've never had an altercation or unpleasant experience with anyone here. Literally. Until last week. Twice I was yelled at and people attempted to provoke me. The first was in the car on the road where I live. Clearly I unknowingly offended another driver to the extent that she passed me on a congested two lane road only to cut me off, yell into her rear view mirror at me through a whole light, then proceed to speed up and slam on the brakes in an attempt to get me to hit her. I just turned on the first street that came up where I knew I wouldn't be trapped, problem solved. But I still don't know what made her mad. Usually when someone gets that mad, both parties know why.
Then the next day I was turning left with a green arrow and a lady was crossing the street against the pedestrian signal. As soon as I saw her I stopped, waved for her to go, and she proceeded to step in front of my car and yell at me about how she was crossing the street and how dare I drive in front of her like that. All the while traffic was stopped so that she could unload on me. She moved on when I refused to engage, but I honestly wondered for a moment if the lady from the day before was stalking me.
It's crazy, people fighting, nasty looks to those not wearing masks, or to those wearing them. All day reminders and opinions in the form of rolling billboards. And people who would have stopped to help or chat in days gone by choosing to walk on by.
Any relationship can be salvaged if both parties commit to fixing it and actively work on the problem. These days most people are more concerned with being right than hearing those who disagree and looking for common ground. The media and our leaders seem to be entrenched in living the "I'm right, they're wrong" philosophy. When did our world become so polarized? Why are so many choosing to be contrary rather than accommodating? And how can we fix this?
With Fox "news?" spreading 24/7 lies, distortions and falsehoods it will be very hard to get a large group of people back into reality. We need the fairness doctrine back asap. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine#:~:text=The%20fairness%20doctrine%20of%20the,that%20fairly%20reflected%20differing%20viewpoints.
I am very late in commenting on the hopeful and heartfelt Steady reflections on Jan. 6, 2021. Our individual memory about this incident is clear. However, as a country, I doubt our collective memory will withstand time and the onslaught of Fox News, Qanon and the radio outlets mentioned by another reader. The only way that we can hope to turn ourselves around as a country is to remember January 6 and to VOTE in November. What frightens me almost more than the horror we witnessed is the hopelessness that can keep us away from the polls. In America, the only power we have as individuals is our vote. Otherwise we most assuredly will suffer the tragedies of other autocracies. If we could brave the pandemic at its peak and vote in droves in November of 2020, we must do so again, and not be cowed by the threats of the people who pretend to be patriotic Americans.
Thank you for this gifted account. I look forward to being a part of this journey. Peace
Hi Dan and Elliot:
Your in-depth summary of the significance of September 6, needs to be read several times. Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us. Very few Americans are aware of the danger to our DEMOCRACY that occurred on that day. Thank you for your insights and for your vision in keeping your readers informed of the essence of our Constitution. We are a fortunate Nation to be able to live under the umbrella of this incredible document. Amen.
Wonderfully, thoughtfully, written, as always. Thanks Dan
We need to take coordinated action, with a clear strategy from a strong leader who's only focus right now is to take down the power of the Republican Party. Who is up for the job, or is there a leader already doing this? Who do you think is the leader? (Biden, Harris, Pelosi, Schumer are all busy doing their jobs). Can we enlist a leader? - Barak Obama comes to mind. Who do you think is the best potential leader? First let's name the leader, make it known, and then develop the strategy.
I need to know from that strategic leader what I can I do, as an individual, to protect, strengthen and sacrifice for our democracy. My first real action was to subscribe to STEADY to derive ideas as to what I can do. I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and all my representatives are democrats that powerfully support democracy.
When I was in 7th grade, we had to memorize a speech and stand before the class and recite it. My speech to learn was Roosevelt’s December 8, 1941 speech. At the age of 12, I didn’t comprehend the gravity of those words. Childishly I remember thinking, who would be crazy enough to attack the USA, the greatest country on earth?
Sadly now, the attacks are from within. Members of our own government seek to bring down our democracy and shape it to support their distorted ideals. Watching any video of January 6, 2021 makes me extremely anxious and stressed, for I fear that the complacency of the American people will be our downfall. We MUST see accountability for this terrorist attack, otherwise the US as we know it will cease to exist.
Prosecuting Trump would be dangerous, but not nearly so dangerous as failing to prosecute him will be
Fox News, Trump and the GOP: The New Axis of Evil
Thank you, Dan and Elliot, for sharing your thoughts in a way that helps me to put in perspective the events of January 6, 2021, and the responses they elicited. In any other time period, with the exception of the Civil War and its aftermath, "This ... armed assault, with the intent of overturning the will of the American people in a presidential election," would have been judged and charged as treason. Although I am too old to enter politics, I can pester those elected to represent me and I will vote. There are elected Republicans who need to be judged, charged, and punished for their treasonous crimes as well as ordinary citizens who committed crimes during their participation in the storming the Capitol to prevent the results of the fair election of Joe Biden as President.