We just dodged a bullet, for now, I think. I had thought I was doomed to live out my days under a different kind of government, one where I had no rights as a black woman, yet a citizen since birth. This past January 6, 2021, is perhaps a day that will live in infamy just as December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. This time, flag-waving American citizens who claim to be patriots, stormed the beautiful Capitol building in a Trump-instigated violent insurrection. Men and women who believed the lie that the election was stolen bombed the seat of government leaving five people dead. The insurrectionist refused to believe that their candidate lost the presidential election on November 3, 2020, because he, along with other Republicans in Congress, decided to change the narrative, rewrite the whole election process and the outcome. They kept making an issue of the 70+ million votes their candidate received without regard for the 80+ million votes the Democratic candidate received. Oops, I almost forgot, their 70+ million voters were predominately white people, while Mr. Biden’s 80+million voters were more representative of a multicultural, multiracial America. Therefore, those votes did not count according to Trump, Pompeo, and other Republicans.
Democracy is fragile. I was scared. This past election had me on pins and needles. I feared that America was headed towards autocracy – dictatorship, monarchy, or totalitarianism in the style of Hitler or Stalin in the early months of Trump’s reign. I was perplexed as to why the Republican party would allow such an ignorant (he had no knowledge of history and government), unintelligent, arrogant, self-serving bully to take over their party and set himself up as ruler. They were complicit at his every turn just so they could get their agenda items accomplished and perhaps for some deeper reasons involving race (a subject for another time) which, they may have felt too afraid to tackle. They wanted a strong man, as Trump presented himself to be, to do their bidding.
America suffered under Trump. It lost itself. It lost standing in the world. It was no longer the self-assured, competent, capable, and powerful leader of the world. It was just another country. The rest of the world was at first stunned, puzzled, perplexed, and then amused. The United States of America became a laughingstock.
This beautiful country reminded me of an abused spouse. The abuser verbally abuses to intimidate and instill fear. The abuser highlights faults and weaknesses to make the abused feel disrespected, insecure, inadequate, and even subservient. Mr. Trump did that in his 2016 Inauguration speech and all subsequent speeches. The abuser isolates the abused from all family, friends, neighbors, and associates – “America Frist”. Trump’s America First slogan turned out to be America alone. The abuser is the one the abused looks to for everything. Only the abuser “can fix it”. In time, the abused falls in line and acts as if all is normal. Then comes a time when the abused is fed-up and refuses to take anymore. The abused rose en masse and voted Trump out. The abuser must go. And go he did – January 20, when the newly elected President Joseph R. Biden took the Oath of Office and Vice President Kamala Harris did likewise.
When Trump was president, not only did I feel that I was no longer a United States citizen; I felt that America was no longer that “beacon on a hill” that President Reagan spoke of. I and all the people I know were uncomfortable in Trump’s America. January 20, 2021, ushered in a new era of a “kinder and gentler nation” to quote President George H. W. Bush. Can president Biden inspire us to create that kind of nation? That remains to be seen, but I believe he can, which is evident from his eager and enthusiastic start in trying to level the playing field to allow all Americans to define their destiny. Of course, he cannot do it alone. So far, the radical element of the Republican party is not ready to cooperate.
We can only hope and pray that there will not be another insurrection against the United States of America.
Be inspired for good.