Commentaries

The Sixth.
Da Nang, Vietnam, May 8th, 2024.
Salaroche

In watching “The Sixth”, a documentary recently released that shows footage and commentaries illustrating and narrating the insurgency that took place at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, I was impressed by the astounding level of irrationality guiding the thousands of misguided Americans who stormed that building that day.

Can you picture thousands of Americans shouting "USA, USA" while violently assaulting the Capitol Police and vandalizing the Capitol Building itself? It is something virtually unbelievable to watch. But, most of all, I was appalled to witness in a chronological order how then-President Donald Trump stood-by and, for 187 minutes, did nothing to stop the insurgency he himself had instigated.

Dereliction of duty is NOT what that ex-President is guilty of for his criminal inaction on January 6th. What he is guilty of is treason. In not doing anything to stop the political violence that day, he not only betrayed his oath of office, he betrayed one of the foundational tenets of American Democracy: The peaceful transfer of power.

And in so doing, Donald Trump turned the United States into a Banana-Republic, meaning, one of those countries where coup d’├ętats and other illegal, unlawful, and/or violent means to overthrow governments were and still are common political means to achieve power.

Since the end of the Civil War, the United States had elevated itself above such treacherous political maneuvering and had cast itself as an eminent defender of Democratic principles (barring a couple of Electoral College anti-Democratic interventions). Those pro-Democracy days are dead and gone. Today, a powerful, numerous and influential sector of the American population no longer believes that Democracy is the best system of government for the United States.

To wholeheartedly accept that a Democratic System, as imperfect as it may be, is the best possible way to choose the country’s leaders requires clear thinking. It requires a mature level of rationality that allows people to understand that all other possible systems, be it a monarchy, a dictatorship, anarchy, or any other system of that sort, are highly flawed and not conducive to the wellbeing and the progress of nations.

But when half the population regresses and reverts to religiosity and sheer devotion and adoration for one single demagogue individual, thereby eschewing the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution of the United States, the future of the country becomes very uncertain at best and highly ominous at worst. And that is precisely the situation in which we find ourselves today.

Have you seriously thought about the high, very realistic possibility that the United States may soon cease to be a Democracy? Even if Donald Trump loses in November, which I think he will, what if he succeeds in inciting the hordes of his adepts to arm themselves to their teeth and take the White House by storm? And even if he doesn’t succeed in staging another coup, what will happen when a better-looking Marjorie Taylor-Greene or a more charismatic Matt Getz runs for President in 2028 on a Trumpian platform and with Trump’s total blessings?

In case you haven’t noticed, Donald Trump is no longer the problem. Donald Trump has now become a sacred symbol for the masses of anti-Democracy, pro-White Supremacy, pro-Fascism Americans, which means that the real danger now resides at the heart of those millions of irrational, misguided Americans who cherish him and follow him.

Well at the bottom, this is not, nor has it ever been, a purely partisan issue. This is a matter that pertains to all Americans, regardless of political or religious persuasion. Sadly, however, the documentary “The Sixth” may turn out being not only an explicit recounting of violent events past, but also a clear presage of violent events to come.

Salaroche

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