Updated January 21, 2021 What was that all about on January 6? There will be many words written, but it was mostly about white supremacy because the symbolism of their flags and the words they shouted exposed what they were about. There was a reason this insurgency was done under the banner of the battle flag of the Confederacy and a noose was strung on crossbars on the Capitol grounds. They are the symbols of their racist movement. What counts: The future of democracy still lies in the ballot box and, so long as we still have a democracy, we the people, not some despots, still have the ability to shape our destinies and vote out those who do not support our power to do it.
Those who invaded and looted the Capitol are not the only ones who should be held accountable. Those who turn their heads the other way and open the gates and doors to the Capitol also count in any reckoning. The GOP''s mammoth lie counts, that there was widespread fraud and the election was stolen. What counts. too, is the Trump loyal media who spread that great lie. Both still promoted their lies even after 50 lawsuits and 80 judges and the president's own attorney general found no widespread fraud. The proponents of " the steal" had every opportunity to provide the evidence in court to back their rhetoric, and they could not. The GOP reaped what it sowed, and its lies were the ultimate rationale and slogan of the terrorist thugs who claimed it was patriotic to invade the Capitol with incendiary devices, weapons to kill, gear to take hostages, and nooses prepared to hang those not loyal enough to their hateful cause. What counts is this was a coup attempt by Trump's terrorist supporters with their announced and insinuated purpose of keeping Trump in power, overturning the election and the electoral college, and setting him up as a dictator who would carry out their hateful agenda.
What should happen to those who led and participated in the mob violence and terror attack? They need to pay for their actions It starts at the head, Donald Trump himself. Imagine if he had indeed won the election on Nov. 3? Four more years of this is unimaginable. We narrowly dodged his bullets. He will be gone from the White House no matter what happens. But just losing an election is not enough punishment for sedition or for his years of incitement. He cannot get off scot-free. We must deter any wannabe dictator in the future. A slap on the hand or condemning words would not hurt enough to stop anyone.
Perhaps, though not for sure, enough Americans who once supported Trump's lies and attempted coups will come to their senses and vote out the elected officials who supported him and lied to them. The Mark of T will be on the public and official records of those trumpist enablers for years because their words and deeds have been recorded in social media and with their votes in Congress.
These are Trump's bullets we just dodged, the end of democracy, and a tumultuous future. Once democracy is gone, it will be too late to get it back easily. Peaceful transitions of power are a rarity. History is instructive of how this can play out in violent revolution and counter-revolution. It is not a pretty outcome. Mr. Guillotine in the French Revolution, the inventor of the more "humane" mechanics of beheading, himself was executed by the guillotine in the Reign of Terror that followed. What goes around can come around. What stands as a barrier to the cycle of bloody violence is adherence to our Constitution and the rule of law which was established by our country's founders a few years before the French Revolution. However, as we witnessed on January 6, the country saw how fragile democracy is. Its survival will still depend on the power of the people to continue it peacefully. It is not too late.
Parts of our democracy remained firm. In that I find some optimism. The military joint chiefs and the judiciary, a number of governors from both parties, the FBI did not wobble from their allegiance to the Constitution. On the backs of them we can rebuild and continue with democracy. It just takes our will to do it.