Bridging the Divided

January 6, 2021…..

I’m still trying to process the events that took place at the Capitol Building in Washington, D. C. on January 6, 2021. Politics are not my thing. I am one vote, one voice among hundreds of millions. The wheels of democracy turn whether or not I agree. The eyes of the world watched as the Capitol Building was overrun by protestors, dubbed rioters, by the media. I  will agree, the line between protesting and rioting was crossed; death and destruction followed. All the while chest-thumping speeches were delivered by the media, Senators, and congressional representatives. “This is not who we are” was a phrase uttered so often that it became the battle cry of the day. I disagree. I think the events of January 6, 2021, was an accurate depiction of who we are.

Who are we? We have become a society of degenerates. Civility has taken a backseat to raucous and violent behavior when we feel threatened. Over the past year, we have witnessed protesting and rioting over mask mandates, lockdowns, police brutality, the presidential election outcome, and voter fraud. Per the Constitution, we have a right to protest, to let our voices and opposition be heard. We do not have the right to take the lives of others when we are protesting, we do not have the right to destroy the property of others when we are protesting, we do not have the right to stage a coup or insurrection when we don’t get our way. What the world witnessed on January 6, 2021, was a formerly civil nation at its worst. 

How is it possible the Capitol Building was so easily and quickly overtaken? From pictures and videos, we see what looks like the Capitol police letting the mob of rioters in the doors and hallowed hallways of a government building. We heard speculation from media sources who said the Capitol police were not equipped to deal with the throng of evildoers. Really? Anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention over the weeks following the election heard or read conspiracy theories about events being planned for January 6. I don’t know anything about the so-called dark web, other than it exists, but those who monitor communication in our country surely knew plans were afoot. Our every move, communication, and transaction are carefully monitored. Big Brother is alive and well and has been for quite some time in our country. Did Big Brother turn a deaf ear?

What the events of January 6, 2021, should be showing us is that we need to take a hard look at democracy in our country. I don’t care whether we call ourselves a republic or a democracy, the point is we are not a government of the people. We are a country where only the wealthy are elected, not the citizens whose hard-earned tax dollars line the pockets of the powerful. When was the last time a farmer or local business person was elected to serve the people in the U.S. Congress? And, we need to seriously consider term limits. The current president-elect brags about his forty-eight years in government. How can anyone who has spent nearly his entire working life in the Senate know about life in middle America? 

Let’s face it, our elected leaders have no clue what is going on outside the walls of their carefully constructed delusions. No one in power has any idea how any of us lives in our work-a-day world trying to pay our bills, keep a roof over our heads, and feed our families. The past year was an unprecedented year in our history no one wants to repeat. People are still facing evictions, loss of their livelihoods, hunger, and the like. If the leaders on Capitol Hill cared about their constituents they wouldn’t be working so hard to push their agendas through on stimulus bills they say are meant to help our country’s citizens in need. Billions of U.S. dollars to other foreign countries and a fraction of that to U.S. citizens? I don’t understand that line of thinking.

A pet peeve of mine is people who present problems but not solutions. I admit I don’t have a good solution. Maybe we just need to scrap it all and start over. We like to think we have a better form of government than the rest of the world. The world is watching and what we are showing them isn’t better…..

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