Thursday, May 6, 2021

1/6 Four Months On

Only four months ago Donald Trump helped incite a right-wing insurrection that invaded the Capitol with the aim of overturning the results of the 2020 election. Most Americans seems to have a vested interest in flushing it down the memory hole. 

Conservatives of course say it's all Not A Big Deal, for obvious, self-serving reasons. A lot of other people just don't want to reckon with its implications, and the fact that one of the two major parties has effectively become a vehicle for the destruction of democracy. That demolishes the "both sides" bullshit that folks in the center believe. For liberals and progressives who aren't willing to fight, it lays a challenge at their feet that they would rather ignore. 

In the meantime the Republican Party is purging those who criticize Trump and the coup, and is busy limiting voting rights and rigging elections. 1/6 was a watershed moment, a sign that our politics is no longer a matter of two parties vying for power, but of a radical right wing movement seeking to gain power through any means necessary against a standard center-left party.

My great fear is that too many people will deny this reality. I think Trump's ban from social media has made it so conservatives can do their dirty work under the cover of night and fog. Florida making it hard to vote doesn't get the same headlines without Trump making some obnoxious comments online about it. State level Republicans are much more free to manipulate the system with the spotlight elsewhere.

Our whole media apparatus certainly has decided to move on. Elite media is full of stories about anti-racist education at prep schools and swanky restaurants going vegetarian. We argue about this stupid shit online all day long while the very democratic process itself is being undermined. With Trump gone and muzzled too many have been lulled into a false sense of security. They think it's 1945 when it's really 1923. 

The only way we avoid 1933 is by maintaining our memory of 1/6 and the knowledge that it can't be allowed to happen again. Right now we still have a long way to go before we get to that understanding.

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