In a third world developing country dictatorship or coup, you ask?
The United States Congress.
Shocked and awed. Really odd. And sadly, predictable.
Americans eyed a spectacle; we followed – the whole world beheld, a Trump produced real-time reality show. A scripted performance, the lighting of a fuse, then a riot against the seat of government, a rowdy crowd of partisans turned ugly, incited to insurrection by their president and his gang – one human casualty in the fray, a seminal moment and deep wound for a country and its legislators.
Careers will be made and broken by actions and words in a day of typical procedural dry process.
News media erupted with coverage.
Twitter shut Trump down.
Two more weeks of Trump in the limelight, now sadly dimmed so horribly that many of his supporters, inside and outside government, are finally calling him out as vile and wrong. An unfortunate ugly close to four years of daily controversy. Some commentators and partisans call the Trump presidency a seminal one in reverential terms. Others say he has been the worst ever. He got elected, and when that happens, citizens get to live with the result of their choice. Sometimes that’s not pretty, sometimes it seems idyllic, but the truth is it never is either …
It just is. Elected people oversee a government whose job is to collect money and distribute it, to make laws, keep an army and a treasury. Where most governments get into trouble is when they choose to limit rights or limit opportunity. Far worse are those who want to line their pockets in the process or insulate others from consequences of their actions.
I found listening to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, most of them, speaking enormous praise for security and police forces who kept them safe yesterday, and through it all not a mention of the pandemic, of COVID-19 and all the people who died yesterday.
It was a peculiar day to be a TV spectator because I’ve been in those places – as a tourist when they were not in session, but I was allowed to poke my head through the doorway to look around. Fancy rooms, sumptuous carpets, and silence. It’s interesting to visit the places where laws are made. One of my best trips in Canada was my first trip to Ottawa, touring Parliament, similarly poking into the House of Commons, and then across the hall in ‘the other place’ as it is known, the Senate Chamber.
I rail against governments as much as anyone because they so often work so poorly – but the beauty of democracies, as flawed as they are, is that they make citizenship possible and so worthy.
Elections are important, not because we have them or because they aren’t always handled perfectly, but because some countries don’t have any free and fair elections. Who wants to be a citizen of Hong Kong today, or Russia, or North Korea, or Iraq? … and there are many more, but that makes my point.
Americans, and the world, will see two more weeks of Trump in office, and nobody expects normal or dignified; there will be acrimony and fear, but hopefully, we soon won’t be turning on the news every night to find out what outrageous thing Trump said or did, and when gatherings resume we won’t be embroiled in arguments about our views on his last crazy notion or monstrous lie …
Republicans who fear Democrats ruling legislative and executive branches now have two years to fear the worst and lick their wounds while they are re-tooling for midterm elections. As we’ve learned, a lot can happen in two years or four.
And sometimes we are surprised about how much can happen or change in a couple of months or in one day.
Yesterday was one such day.
Countdown, 14 more … tic toc.
Some will say yay.
Some will say, “Lock him up.”
I say, “Gimme a break, please, I’ve had enough …”, as was the will of all the people who voted for the other guy.
2021, like 2020, will be full of surprises – some will leave us shocked, some will leave us awed. Some will just be odd.