Thursday 7 January 2021

An attempted coup.

The day after two Democratic wins in the Georgia run-off election with gives the Democratic Party control of both houses, this. What happens when a fraction of your society is radicalised and beyond the reach of reality, and armed. 

Tens of thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump gathered in Washington, D.C., where he encouraged them to attend a rally as Congress began to ceremonially certify the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden. After a speech by the president, protesters overran security at the Capitol building, which seemed unprepared for the onslaught. They knocked over barricades, pushed past cordons of officers, and broke windows. Some carried Confederate battle flags as they got much closer to the heart of the U.S. government than any Confederate troops ever did.

The Atlantic: This Is a Coup, January 7, 2021.

Democracy is a set of agreements to make decisions together and respect the outcome whether you like them or not. The kind of violence we saw on Capitol Hill is authoritarian, a way to try to force other people to submit to the will of the perpetrators. This violence comes from the white men who were long the only people with power in this country imagining themselves as marginalized and oppressed outsiders because others might also have power and a voice. We saw these kind of men last summer, when they invaded the Michigan capital while carrying semiautomatic rifles and saw them again when a handful of them were arrested for a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. We saw them in racist shootings from the Texas border to a Pennsylvania synagogue.
This coup attempt was built by the more and more uninhibited ideology of violence we have seen again and again, in the mass shootings that became a norm in 21st-century America, the fetishization of guns and gun rights that made the killing machines and the death they inflict far more common, so that death by gun recently overtook death by car as a leading American way to die.

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