It’s hard to look at what happened yesterday, January 6, 2021, with anything less than horror and shock.
And yet there is no surprise. Trump and his supporters have been quite successful in convincing a great number of people, just like you and me, that this election was fraudulent and that “the enemies” were trying to destroy democracy.
So people reacted in what they thought, what they had been told, was a reasonable and necessary act; to take back the government that was being stolen.
We did this. You and I. Because that’s all there is. There’s no “they”.
There’s only us. And we have to figure this out.
If we, as a people, as a nation, can not reach out and find some way to work together, then we are truly lost in every conceivable way.
In the last year or so, I took a solace in thinking that as bad as the divisions among us were, at least we weren’t engaged in a full blown civil shooting war.
Only today have I realized that this country has been at war with itself for many, many years.
The differences are that there are more than two sides and there’s been no formal declaration.
Instead of bullets, cannons, and the like we used something much more insidious and destructive.
We used words.
We used the very things that should help us come together to find some kind of compromise that gives us all something.
Somewhere along the line (and this is true of any political party or movement) the idea of working with the opposition (or whomever we perceive as such) was lost.
We bought into the idea that politics, our prevailing national ideology, is something that could be “won”.
There’s no winning here, unless you’re a politician looking for a few more years of a cushy life for little to no real work.
Yet even the politicians are working within the reality that we’ve all allowed.
We are the problem. All of us. And only by putting aside our differences will we have any hope in making things better.
There are no winners in this game.