The Washington Post is Wrong; Democracy Dies in Broad Daylight

Dr. Dion
Dr. Dion
Jan 12 · 7 min read
Rioters — Jon Minchillo/AP

It took Donald Trump four short years to destroy what it took real Americans 244 years to build. The shame of it all is that he did it with the whole country — nay the whole world — watching him the entire time. To say the modern day Republican party is complicit is a fact no longer in dispute. To assert that Fox News, OANN, Parler, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and a host of right-wing fringe actors are (and have been) a clear and present danger to the republic is incontrovertible.

It is not enough, though, to point fingers indiscriminately without drilling down to the key causes of the ongoing insurrection that boiled over in earnest on January 6. Indeed, there were many opportunities during the past four years for America to pivot, to come to her senses and get back to reality, truth, virtue, and continue on the path toward a more perfect union. Instead of the road less traveled, America chose the wide and broad road. The consequences of our actions were inevitable.

Disinformation

Trump is the master of disinformation. He is also a genius at getting the media (mainstream as well as fringe) to parrot his lies with only perfunctory attempts to educate their consumers on the lack of truthfulness in his claims. Former President Barack Obama talks about this at length in his new book, A Promised Land. As far back as 2011, media outlets across the spectrum gave Trump a broad platform to promote the birther lie that Obama was not born in Hawaii as he claimed. Despite Obama having released his birth certificate and posting it to his website years earlier, and despite him retrieving his “long form” birth certificate once Trump drummed up the lie that the “short form” version was hiding something, the media still allowed Trump to acknowledge Obama’s legitimacy with a wink and a nod and kept bringing him on their air.

According to Obama, former First Lady Michelle offers a chilling rebuke to the media at that time. Mrs. Obama notes that for the media, this is just a game. For her, it’s more than that because, as she predicts with incredible accuracy, there are “1,000 men out there with guns” who will do whatever Donald Trump says.

Beyond the media, elected Republicans must take their part in accepting and repeating Trump’s lies. For the President of the United States of America to have told more than 20,000 lies in four years is remarkable. For so many of those lies to be widely accepted as truth is a stain on every one of Trump’s staffers, supporters, and sympathizers. Trump could not have created a world of “alternative facts” without the complicity of many of the very people he left stranded, scrambling for their very lives as a rabid mob poured through the windows and doors of the US Capitol.

Defund the Police

At the time of this writing, approximately a dozen Capitol police officers are suspended pending an investigation of their role in the deadly insurrection that took place last week. Read that again. Then again.

The early reports indicate that there may have been material support — aid and comfort the constitution calls it — for the insurrection within the ranks of the police, the military, the administration, even the very Congress that was under assault.

Two months ago (or 20 years ago in Trump years), America was waking up to election night losses in the US House and US Senate Leader Mitch McConnell maintaining control of his chamber. This prompted moderate Democrats and the mainstream media to drag out Republican talking points, ranting that the far left with their DTP “foolishness” had cost them seats in 2020. The “proof” they offered was this well-worn classic, “everyone I spoke to told me DTP was their biggest issue.”

AOC — Twitter

Fast forward two months and it turns out that the voters have given Democrats solid control of the House, the Senate, and the White House — a real chance to advance their agenda — and the whole world watched as officers at the US Capitol posed for selfies, stepped away from doors, opened barricades, pointed and waved, and became tour guides for violent seditionists. In response to these images being broadcast around the world, even some of the worst “Joe Biden has to figure out how to reach the F-150 working class and not just the Prius coterie,” talking heads pivoted to, “Black people would not have been treated as well had they had the temerity to break into the seat of democracy and steal the House Speaker’s laptop.

People of color have been begging, long before the death of George Floyd, for America to take notice of the incredible discrepancies of policing in this country. Those advocates are routinely attacked, sadly even by members of their own team. This too is a reaction to Republican disinformation. Rather than confront it head on and call it what it is, Dems in the center train their fire on Dems further to the left, who are only guilty of seeing something — and saying something — before we get to “George Floyd Day” or “Insurrection Day” when the truth of institutional racism coupled with the authority and discretion to use (or in the case of White people, not use) deadly force is laid bare for the whole world.

Dereliction

Let’s just be honest. January 6 should never have happened because Trump should have been removed from office long ago. Long before he tried to strong arm Brad Raffensperger, Mike Pence, B.J. Pak, the Michigan legislators, and others to help him steal the 2020 election, he had already extorted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to try to help him rig the 2020 election. For that he was impeached but not removed. Despite the transcript, testimony of a dozen witnesses, his own admission of the “very perfect call,” no Republicans in the House voted to impeach and the Republican Senate wouldn’t even hear witnesses.

Trump Rally — Evan Vucci/AP

Even now, after Trump sent his mob into the Capitol to “hang Mike Pence” and put a “bullet in Nancy Pelosi,” 147 members of the US Congress voted to violate the American constitution and give Congress powers it does not have to overturn a free and fair election. The truth is, for many of them there will be no penalty whatsoever. No short-term consequence for sedition, for an insurrection against their own country. They will remain in the Congress, collecting $200,000 a year plus for 150 days worth of “work.” Their colleagues won’t make them pay. The voters won’t hold them accountable. The media will allow them to rehab their reputations with talk of new “tones” and “statesmanlike” calls for “unity and healing.”

What good is a constitution if we don’t hold people to it — fairly and equally, without regard to race, status, and power? Why are private businesses doing more to hold privileged, wealthy politicians to account than the constitution and federal or state statutes in place to do so?

Danger

Six people have died as a result of the insurrection, including two police officers who tried valiantly to hold the line that day. There are reports that some of those 147 members of Congress voted with Trump and against America because they were afraid for their safety and their families’ safety. Numerous state and local officials around the country have resigned positions because of fear and threats from Trump supporters. It is likely that when the dust is settled, we will learn that some of the officers at the Capitol gave up the fight, not out of sympathy for the movement but out of genuine fear of the consequences of not doing so.

The Republican party has created a monster. It has stoked lies, racism, hatred, xenophobia, and economic inequality to their logical end. Now the monster is unleashed and it is indiscriminate in who it will destroy. Being among the president’s most loyal foot soldiers for years could not protect Mike Pence from being the monster’s number one target at the Capitol or Senator Lindsey Graham from being harassed by the monster in the airport the next day. Who has been more obsequious to Trump than those two? Who has helped him create the false narrative that BLM and Antifa are the real threat to America more than they have? And yet, neither BLM nor Antifa have ever posed them any harm. It was their own monster who came for them, causing them to run to the safe confines of the Secret Service and other security officials for their protection.

BLM Protestors — Pexels

This movement is a dangerous one, friends. And the law enforcement response can not continue to be like it was on January 6. The monster has to be sussed out. It has to be crushed. The head has to be cut off; the body has to be dismembered.

If we don’t kill it, it will kill our democracy — in broad daylight.

Sign up for more (but not too much) on politics, leadership, and faith or follow me on Twitter.

ILLUMINATION-Curated

ILLUMINATION-Curated hosts outstanding stories of advanced writers covering 100+ topics.

Dr. Dion

Written by

Dr. Dion

Unbothered. Unapologetic. Unashamed. Follow me on Twitter. I’m adorable over there. @drdionclark

ILLUMINATION-Curated

Outstanding stories objectively and diligently selected by 40+ senior editors on ILLUMINATION

Dr. Dion

Written by

Dr. Dion

Unbothered. Unapologetic. Unashamed. Follow me on Twitter. I’m adorable over there. @drdionclark

ILLUMINATION-Curated

Outstanding stories objectively and diligently selected by 40+ senior editors on ILLUMINATION

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store