The one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol brings to light the slow-motion cultural wave of crazy now happening in the United States.
It reminds me of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 that killed over 200-thousand people.
I remember news footage of that immense wall of black water hitting Japan, exploding its way into fields and city, ports and roads, homes and rivers — a liquid wood chipper of broken debris pulverizing people and places along its dreadful way, invading every nook and cranny of human construction. It was an apocalyptic horror.
When it finally exhausted itself, that monster grinder left behind a Kafkaesque landscape: ships on top of buildings, and multi-story-high piles of tangled fury everywhere: mute desolation caked like cement.
The wave of cultural crazy is breaking on a debilitated United States. The country is still a super power very rich but also very sick. It’s acting out like the world’s palooka, swinging haymakers right and left in its imperial stupor of blind might.
I’m shocked by the fall of American civility, and by the quickening loss of the partial democracy we’ve had since the Founding. Partial democracy is all we’ve ever had but even that has been far better than anarchy and totalitarianism, tyrannies and kleptocracies.
Time was when America had a strong mixed economy and did wonders with it. From about 1945 to 1970, the country had a functioning government actually interested in governing and also in maximizing the effectiveness of private enterprise. The collaboration of shared public and private interests is unthinkable today. Back then we governed ourselves better than we do now.
So long as American power and wealth remain fixated on short-term private profits, and on immediate political gain our society will regresses day by day to the dark end of incivility and brutishness. Too few people are thinking seriously about the future. They remain a statistically-insignificant minority.
History shows that power eventually stops being the means to do the good and becomes an end in itself. And when that happens it turns into the dark thing that has brought down every empire: that’s when lies, stupidity and violence crowd out the light of reason and the light of day.
Damaged as we are now, can we still overcome the toxic culture wave tearing us apart? Realistically, if it has taken us fifty years to lose what we once achieved in our strongest times, it will also take us at least some years to recover. These will be dangerous times.
In the Congress the wave of crazy is generating trolls like Congressman Paul Gosar who did a video cartoon assassinating Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; and Congress Woman Marjorie Taylor Greene who said having to wear a mask at Walmart reminded her of the Jews in the Holocaust having to wear a star; and gun-obsessed Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s islamophobic rant against Representative Ilhan Omar, calling her a terrorist with a black heart and suggesting her backpack could be a suicide bomb. Jihad, yeah!
This is the swill that passes for political discourse in American politics today, and the chilling part is that it’s working extremely well for tens of millions of Americans who celebrate it. Let’s face it: Law enforcement is absolutely not capable of dealing with millions of armed Americans should they rise against our system of government.
In these feverish times of the wave of crazy, Attorney General Merrick Garland and his Department of Justice are proving too scared to bring Trump and his fifth-column treasonous minions to justice. For an entire year now the DOJ has been busy catching the mice of the January 6 insurrection while studiously staying away from the wild boars who planned it and continue to run free demolishing the future of our democracy.
The fact that after a year not even one insurrectionist mouse has been charged with insurrection is a really bad sign going forward to face the wild boars.
It gets worse: Democrats are betting big that the whole country will stop short on its tracks to watch some hearings “in prime time” about January 6 later this year. That’s like betting people will stop everything they’re doing to sit and watch C-SPAN. Seriously?
If that’s their big project, Dems will lose the House and Senate in November this year.