Speaking about the incredible failure by law enforcement in D. C. to prepare for and contain the mob rampage through the Capitol on January 6th, R. P. Eddy, a former American counterterrorism official and diplomat said, “There was a failure among law enforcement to imagine that people who ‘look like me’ would do this.”
Not only was there a failure of imagination by law enforcement that hordes of white men would smash, break and splinter windows and doors to get into the Capitol because they too were white, but there was a failure of will among citizens of this nation to hold Donald Trump accountable for all of his past cheating, falsehoods, grift, misogyny and racism. We have watched him for 5 years get away with crime after crime, destroying our democracy and we’ve thought well, it can’t get that bad.
Well, it has gotten that bad.
Hundreds of young and middle-aged white men came with guns, smoke bombs, zip ties and Confederate banners after having been whipped up into a frenzy by a President and his associates who said “it will be wild.” Yes, it was wild and 5 people are now dead. And there would have been many more dead if the marauders had been black or brown. For what? The plan they had was to overthrow a lawfully won Presidential election but they defamed the sacred chamber of our democracy. And we looked on in shock and awe.
Why do these white men feel they can do this with impunity, without accountability? There has been a culture of Anglo-Saxon machismo fostered by the NRA, product advertising (pick-up trucks, beer, sports) that has supported adolescent fantasies of power and white male supremacy so they take no responsibility for the consequences of their violence. They thought the invasion of the Capitol, defiling the building, taking vanity selfies, desecrating Nancy Pelosi’s office, and chanting “Hang Mike Pence” was a lark.
The chant, “Hang Mike Pence,” is a direct descendant of “Lock Her Up” started by Trump before he took office. Anyone with a different point of view becomes the enemy. This unrestrained toxic masculinity is incapable of rationality, decency and democracy.
We must put an end to it now.