Unimaginable

No.

As insurrectionists acted on an incitement from the President of The United States to storm the United States Capitol, terrorize Congress, and delay the certification of the Electoral College vote that would finally confirm Joe Biden’s election, the nation looked on in horror. White nationalists, waving Confederate flags, Trump campaign flags, with phones held aloft to document their crimes, easily and almost without incident overwhelmed and humiliated the Capitol police force, sending lawmakers scrambling for safety. The insurrectionists ransacked the Capitol, entered Congressional offices, and delayed the electoral process. With the Capitol still under occupation, the President of the United States wrote:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever.”

I, like everyone, have been glued to this entire disgusting debacle from the moment it began, and I’ve been watching and listening carefully to the coverage of this historic, literal failure of the security of our institutions. The same words keep coming up; astonishing, unbelievable, unimaginable.

No. 

It is not just completely foreseeable, but it was inevitable, from this traitor’s first rally, physically threatening the press, to his desperate, escalating calls for violence against his political opponents to the weeks of publicly calling for today’s events to take place. 

The failure of America’s collective imagination has been profound, and this day has been incubated by each mollifying word from every single American who has downplayed the fascist, authoritarian movement that is Trumpism. Every bright red line that was crossed without consequence, every norm shattered that was met with a shrug, has brought us here. Every time someone decided it was important to tell us not to worry, that our institutions will hold, that we are overreacting, that it’s not that bad; each dismissal of legitimate concern has brought us here.  

But it has not been an incremental path to this moment; it has all been the same bleak, relentless road. Trumpism is an alliance; as we watched one of the grand symbols of our democracy ransacked by a group of seditionists, just days after one of the men with whom they made common cause exploded a car bomb in downtown Nashville, a straight line can be drawn backward in time, to Charlottesville, and beyond. It’s been said, but it never hurts to say it again, plainly: The Trump White House is an institution of white nationalist terror.

The dozens of Republican cowards who co-signed the President’s insane electoral conspiracy theories– who gave those ideas the amplification required to grow and spread, who decided to use today to object to American democracy and a free and fair election– not only represent the conjointment between Republicans and Trumpism, but are fully complicit in the violence and terror that took place today. 

The psychopath in the White House was been a psychopath long before a minority of American voters gave him an Electoral College victory in 2016 and handed him the keys to our democracy. He will continue to be a psychopath after he is driven from office, which is hopefully immediately. We have endured him, his collaborators, and the insurrectionist white nationalists who defaced our democracy for far too long. We’ve quieted one another, downplayed concern, laughed and shaken our heads, accepted the unacceptable, and moved along as transgression after transgression, crime after crime, has gone unpunished. We have made crime a form of acceptable political action. 

White nationalist domestic terror has long found a harbor in the psychopathy of Trumpism; it is one of its essential aspects. Today, the President of the United States deployed it against Congress, and then told us they had it coming. He must be brought to justice. Immediately. 

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