Some of you lost your innocence yesterday during or after the insurrection about the sanctity of the democratic process and the safety of those in the capitol building carrying out the work.
I first lost my innocence in 1954 when Puerto Rican nationalists fired 30 rounds from semiautomatic weapons in the House Chamber. Five representatives were wounded. Those who say yesterday’s violence was the first in the building since the British invasion in 1814 don’t know their recent history.
Plus, comparing yesterday’s insurrection to the British invasion is not only dramatic but carries the subtext that the mob invading the capitol building to protest what they believed was a stolen election is somehow of the same magnitude as the invasion. It was not a coup attempt in spite of what many politicians and media commentators said.
Many of us lost our innocence again and again during the Vietnam War when the federal government not only faked the Gulf of Tonkin resolutions that “legalized” our participation but seldom told us the truth about the conduct and progress of the war. As a supporter of Eugene McCarthy and a volunteer in the McGovern campaign, I note just how much the Democrats have changed.
Continued racism, violence in the cities, senseless foreign wars, the hoax of the Russian conspiracy investigation based on political angst, lies and faked documents, and the lack of a unified, countrywide COVID response have eaten away at our patriotic soul.
Nonetheless, giving up on our country is not an option. I still believe that.
QAnon is the umbrella term for a sprawling spiderweb of right-wing internet conspiracy theories with antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ elements that falsely claim the world is run by a secret cabal of pedophiles who worship Satan and are plotting against President Trump. Though some influential individuals are active in the movement, it is not an organized group with defined leadership.
Americans–or perhaps certain elements of the media–have been running amok looking for conspiracies beneath every rock and under the woodwork of everything building. This reminds me of the McCarthyism of the 1950s when the House Unamerican Activities Committee “saw” communists everywhere.
At the time, when the committee said so and so is a communist, my response was “so what?” But in those days, communists were presumed to be working for the Soviet Union and were often blacklisted (most famously by Hollywood) by their employers.
The blacklisting is happening again. The daily news brings us reports that various people have been fired for expressing their personal opinions on Facebook as though they’re part of a conspiracy, in college lectures, in speeches, in books, and when this happens we’re all reminded that the First Amendment doesn’t protect us where we work–or on Twitter and Facebook as it turns out.
These days, if somebody “screams I’m offended,” my response is “so what?” But corporations, including colleges, are often influenced by those who are offended more than by who’s right.
This article tells us what’s behind all the shouting.