After failure of Trumpism, take back our nation from right-wing thugs

Posted 7 January 2021 at 2:35 pm


I am fully prepared to observe the flood of responses in support of the right-wing domestic terrorists who besieged the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Many Americans should not be surprised that the party of “Law & Order” is in support of brutal and militant police suppression only when it targets non-whites. Yet the right to unlawfully ransack our nation’s most sacred institutions is acceptable when their white privilege is under attack.

Today, social media is abound with posts echoing the statement, “This is not America, this is not who we are.” Yet, it is who we are. A long history of otherism, of targeted and intentional violence against one another. The savagery witnessed yesterday is as American as apple pie.

A political cartoon entitled “Arguments of the Chivalry” depicts Preston Brooks’ 1856 caning of abolitionist Charles Sumner on the floor of the U.S. Senate Chamber. Having delivered a fiery anti-slavery speech just two days earlier, Brooks took to physical violence in retaliation. The cartoon is adorned with Henry Ward Beecher’s quote, “The symbol of the North is the pen; the symbol of the South is the bludgeon.”

As Americans, we have witnessed a proverbial time warp to the 1850s where moral arguments are met with physical hostility. The Party of Lincoln has reaffirmed that they have more in common with the antebellum Democratic Party. This historical callback was reflected in an image of a Confederate flag-toting hooligan standing in front of Sumner’s portrait in the Capitol.

If history has taught us anything, it is that the type of aggression experienced yesterday cannot be met with calls to simply “turn the page,” or “move on from these events.” The path towards unrestricted and oft encouraged physical violence against others is more reminiscent of Reconstruction than of a nation that, according to the right, is not struggling with systemic racism. A period of time in which the Ku Klux Klan ran rampant throughout the South and ex-Confederates dictated post-war politics. We can no longer exist as a nation without repercussions.

We watched as law enforcement officials opened the gates to seditionists who scaled walls, broke glass, and climbed through windows. Months earlier, fully militarized police launched tear gas and unleashed batons on protesters around the White House (while the President cowered in his basement bunker).

Last evening, before he was rightfully suspended from Twitter for twelve hours, our “President” told these seditionists and self-proclaimed “Patriots” to “Go home. We love you, you’re very special.” I suppose we should not be surprised by such comments from the man who suggested that there were “very fine people on both sides” at Charlottesville, or who told his proud boy militia to “stand by.”

As Mitt Romney said so eloquently last evening, “No Congressional audit is every going to convince these voters, particularly when the President will continue to say that the election was stolen.”

We have fully witnessed what “Make America Great Again” really means. It was never about the 401k’s and always about the white supremacy. Those present in Washington, D.C. are not patriots, they are thugs covered in the stench of Trumpism.

The Democratic Party needs to prepare to govern with mandate. Georgia delivered the Senate and it is time to take back our nation.

Matthew Ballard

Statesville, NC (formerly of Albion)