Yesterday we watched the predictable outcome of a Republican coups that has been building since Ronald Reagan taxed Social Security. He, and subsequent Republican administrations have activated paranoia and racism in their base and continued to build on it. The Presidency of Barak Obama was a pretext for racists to come out of the closet and declare themselves. None of what happened January 6th, 2020 should surprise anyone. I’m seventy-seven years old and have been observing American politics a long time. For millennials and other younger people the Trump nightmare may seem to have been born fully formed from the head of Zeus. It was not. The people who marched in the Women’s march of 2017 knew this. They carried signs that testified to this knowledge and they raised their voices. Republican politicians sneered at them.
What is perhaps most disingenuous on the part of Republicans is their sudden turnaround after having spent their lives creating the moment that happened yesterday. Mitch McConnell has used the riot as an opportunity to recast himself as the savior of democracy by saying that “thugs will not keep us from this chamber.” Thugs? Really? After he solidified and nurtured the nightmare? He can spin anything, and his faux dignity last night does not absolve him of his complicity in the worst administration in American history. Here is Dan Rather this morning on Twitter:
"Now that the hatred, chaos, and incompetence of Trump has spewed out so pathetically, now that he's weak and an irredeemable loser, many who abetted and excused him will pantomime self-serving "concern." They must not get away with it. Shame lies on their heads just as equally."
We have a lot of work to do. Ossoff and Warnock have given the Democrats more power in the Senate than they’ve had in decades. But both these men are up for reelection sooner than we’d like and we have to fight to keep them. Similarly, Democrats have to restore their lost connection to working class Americans. So does the “Left,” such as it is, have to go beyond its current condition as the cultural left and get their hands dirty with this work. They need to get over their purism and accept that human beings are imperfect and various. We cannot exclude farmers, truck drivers, mechanics and other essential workers from a new vision of democracy, equality and economic stability. Our system of higher education is in shambles and is not doing its job. The people who think socialism is evil don’t know what it is, or that there are several kinds, or that some of the most successful moving parts in our system of governance were created by its impulse to fairness, e.g.; our social safety net. Wresting power from the super-rich and the corporations will not be easy; whatever they profess to support now, they were willing to accept the fascism of Trump/GOP as long as they got their tax breaks. They’ve been buying elections for a long time. Money needs to come out of politics and the Electoral College must be disbanded so that gerrymandering no longer works. These goals may not be achieved in my lifetime but I pledge my hand in the work.