Editorial: Surprisingly Unsurprised
Editorial: Surprisingly Unsurprised
**The House of Representatives has drafted a Resolution of Impeachment against Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection” following the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. President Donald Trump spoke to his supporters at a rally on the National Mall prior to the mob breaching the Capitol. House Democrats are charging Trump with “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States.” “He also willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”
By Trevor K. McNeil
Humans like predictability, to know, within a reasonable margin what will happen next. If, for no other reason, so they can be prepared for it. We make up rules and reality for ourselves, and get very upset when these rules are violated. One of the mythical theories of the American context, is that of American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism is the idea that America is somehow superior to other nations or that it has a unique mission to transform the world.
How Dare They?
Using this theory as its banner and its hammer, America acts as though it can do whatever it wants in terms of foreign policy or damn near anything else. And boy do Americans get upset when there is any kind of push back. As in the case of the psychological meltdown after 9/11. The Bush administration and most American citizenry were unable to fathom that a small group of Saudi terrorists were able to pierce the bubble of American security. A theme going all the way back to the civil war with Confederate surprise attacks. ‘How dare they?’ The populace would ask indignantly, ‘don’t they know who we are?’
Strike First, Then Lie
One of the most hilarious examples of this, is the one that has come up in the wake of the events at the Capitol in recent days. Everything is showing the siege was planned, but it was not well planned. The events quickly descended into a chaotic riotous seizure of the U.S. Capitol. The resulting mayhem familiar in the tradition of South America, such as when American troops helped to install Augusto Pinochet as the president of Chile. The shock of such events, despite the clumsy execution, having otherwise intelligent commentators, on CNN no less, referring to when “The British attacked us in 1812.”
We Started It
Two corrections are in order. First, while the war started in 1812, it did not end until 1814. Second, the United States absolutely started it by thinking they could annex Canada from Britain. A notion of which they were disabused when British troops, with the help of Native strategy, drove the invading, that is invading now, Americans back across the border. The offended Brits burned down the White House and nearly every public building in Washington D. C. in retaliation for the farms the American troops routinely sacked and razed during the course of the war. Still making sure to spare civilian homes. Because the Brits didn’t gain ground in the war, which was never their intention, Americans now mistakenly think that they won the war. The end result being closer to a Vietnam-style stalemate. Neither nation really gained or lost anything but British-Canada maintained its sovereignty.
This Could Be Anywhere
The main cause of dismay in the aftermath of the Trump rioter’s insurrection is that they would dare to attack the Capitol. A sacred temple of holy democracy watched over by God himself. Never mind that there is meant to be a separation church and state. The only problem with this line of thinking is that it is entirely symbolic.
Just A Building
The Capitol is just a building with doors, and can be entered like any other building with doors. There is no force-field around it keeping evil-doers at bay. Nor was there around the capitol building in Serbia when Slobodan Milosevic was dragged out in 2000 by a mass of angry citizens. Capitols are just buildings and governments are made up of people. Right now investigations are underway. The power of social media deserves close examination. Details are emerging by the minute. We may even learn that there were Capitol Police involved in allowing insurrectionists into the Capitol. All we can do is try to learn and see where improvements need to be made.