Point of View Columns

A Shame and a Damn Shame

Much has been written, and will be written about what happened on 1.6.21. It is truly a day of infamy in American history that will be remembered in the same category as 12.7.41 (Pearl Harbor), 11.22.63 (the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy), 4.7.68 (the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.) and 9.11.01 (the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon).

Of course, 1.6.21 is that it was a historically unique event – it was the first time since the Civil War that armed Americans attacked the American government with the intent to overthrow the existing government. It was also unique because it was inspired and led by a sitting President of the United States.

That is why the report of the January 6th Committee has revealed the shame of 1.6.21 as well as the damn shame of what has happened since that fateful day. The fact that the Committee referred four charges against Donald Trump to the United States Department of Justice for criminal prosecution is without precedent in American history.

One hundred years from now, if there is a United States, Donald J. Trump will be a name of a president that remembered with shame along with the likes of Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon. He will have a permanent place in the Presidential Rogues Gallery where his memory will always reside.

The fact that he is now reduced to selling NFT cards of himself along with renting out his faded Mar a Lago estate for Iranian weddings is only the beginning of his slipping down the slimy ladder of infamy. Even if he never is indicted or convicted of his many crimes, his name will be synonymous with shame and that is well-deserved.

We can be sure that he will be wailing and moaning about “witch hunts” and “lynch mobs” which will only energize his dwindling base, some of whom will follow him to the bitter end. And while we will probably never see him in an orange jumpsuit, we will see him diminished to the point of being a living synonym for words like “traitor”, “buffoon” and “failure”.

What is a damn shame is something far worse than Trump. What is a damn shame is the thousands upon thousands of Republicans who are following what they believe the successful Trump playbook, employing bombast and insult and total disregard for the Constitution, equal rights and the rule of law. One can make the argument that Trump is a morally diminished individual who cannot help but dive into the deep abyss of hate and immorality. But the likes of Ron DeSantis and Josh Hawley and Mike Pompeo would never drink the authoritarian and undemocratic Kool-Aid that they will gladly serve to the American public in a quest for power.

It is a damn shame that the Republicans in the House of Representatives who cowered in fear in the Capitol while the hordes unleashed by Trump warmed the building still support Trump and his message. They refuse to even censure him much less demand that justice be meted out the armed insurrectionist and quasi-fascist hordes that worship Trump to this very day.

It is a damn shame that the Republican Party will, in the wake of the Trump Tsunami, support Trump wannabe’s like Dr. Oz and Trump sock puppets like Herschel Walker, all in the name of “Making America Great Again” when in reality they really want a return to a mythical America where Christian white male supremacy was the American Way of Life.

And finally, it is a damn shame that this may be the new normal when the opportunity for progress and true equity could be so close to being real.

And that is why the aftermath of 1.6.21 is both a shame and a damn shame.

Standard