Whatever happened on Capitol Hill last week cannot be described as a ‘coup’, and the charge of ‘attempted coup’ cannot be placed at the feet of Donald Trump. That would, in any previous society, seem obvious, but in the current halls of mirrors of social media, the obvious is not so obvious anymore.
A coup is an attempted governmental take-over, with the illegal replacement of a sitting, legitimate government. Yes, there was violence, on both sides, the provenance of which is still being sifted. But that troupe of misfits wandering through the halls of America’s legislature, taking selfies, committing some vandalism, riffling papers, looking like bemused tourists, could in no way ‘take over’ much of anything; even a flash mob sing-along would seem beyond their powers of organization. Were they Trump supporters, set-up stooges, a mix of both? The guy in the Viking get-up is, apparently, a professional actor. Fitting, for in some ways, it seems a tragic, Monty Python-esque sketch, that got out of control.
The connection of all this with the sitting President is also controversial and opaque. I have my reservations about Donald Trump, but then I have my reservations about most people, including myself. His use of rhetorical, even at times unfortunate, language – as is the wont of almost all politicians – was not, however, an enticement to sedition. None of this would stand up in any normal court of law. Whether his actions were ‘unbecoming a President’ is debatable – all of his words could be understood in a metaphorical sense – fighting for the country, showing strength and resilience and so on. America is a military nation, with a violent past, and such language would, in other circumstances, be construed as ‘normal’.
But what is ‘normal’ now? And speaking of ‘unbecoming’, Biden – whose own behaviour, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired – in a confused meandering speech, has now likened Ted Cruz – or is it Senator Hawley? – to Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, for his – their? – insistence that the election was rigged. One could not make this stuff up. Monsieurs Trump, Cruz and Hawley, along with millions of Americans, have the right to think so, given all the anomalies.
And propaganda? Have not the Democrats spent the last four years undermining the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, with unsubstantiated claims of ‘Russian collusion’ and mythical micturating meretrices, culminating in the embarrassing failed attempt at impeachment? They hate Trump, and everyone even remotely connected to his person. This means, of course, anyone who is in any way against the ‘Democratic’ agenda – I need not list what evils they are ‘for’, and what goods they are ‘against’, at least, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. The very foundations of law are unraveling before our eyes, and the sins of the nation are crying out to heaven for vengeance, which is the real calamity.
We are in a quasi-demonic fun house of lies, half truths, obfuscations, and outright brazen hypocrisy. A half-century of murdering its own children does strange and terrible things to a nation, as well as to those who support such evil. Hence, the bizarre behaviour of those on the ‘Left’, their consciences sheared, is sort of expected. What is more mystifying, and disheartening – at least, for those of us outside the madness, trying to go about the duties of the day – is that otherwise insightful, sober and discerning souls are swallowing this hook, line and sinker, joining in the drumbeat.
Ah, yes, great is the power of steady misrepresentation, not least via the warm and comforting glow of what comes through the screen, now almost unilaterally controlled by an oligarchy of billionaires tied up with the Democrats, showing us only what it wants to show, and saying only what it wants us to believe, soothingly and reassuringly, but then more menacingly as we resist, and as other competing sources are shut down, or, as the saying now goes, ‘de-platformed’. As Pope Benedict warned in another context in his 2006 Regensburg address, if words and honest debate and freedom of expression, and now freedom of assembly, if any recourse to changing the regime and its laws, are more and more verboten, or perceived as such, what recourse do the people have, except violence, even of a metaphorical variety – shouting back and forth, coercive laws dictated with little in the way of rhyme and reason, divisions within communities – instead of rational discourse, sober thought, middle ground and democratic debate.
We may hope not, and that some semblance of order ensues. For now, to regain some sense of interior peace, try shutting off media; breathe some fresh air; go for a long walk; live locally and immerse yourself in a good book or two, pray to the God of truth, and reality will reassert itself.
Stay on the side of that truth, dear reader, which will win out in the end, regardless of what Big Brother is whispering, or even shouting, in your ear.