Why January 6 Means More to Washington than It Does to America

Image by Colin Lloyd.

“It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.”

-George Orwell

“Togetherness is beating up an empty elevator.”

-JG Ballard

Take it from a penniless middle American pauper when I tell you that, rightly or wrongly, no one gives a flying fuck about January 6 in flyover country. Even in the full throws of their self-stoked hysteria over the five-alarm dumpster fire that is the US House Select Committee to Investigate January 6, the political class seems to be at least somewhat aware of this yocal malaise over the summer’s hottest partisan craze and naturally, they already have the two-thirds of the country that they barely even know exists figured the fuck out.

Once again, they’re all just a bunch of lazy slack-jawed hicks who can’t be coaxed off their tractors to bother with the greatest threat to liberal democracy since Hitler wore lederhosen. Just like those lazy peasants who dare not vote, the rural lumpenproletariat are just genetically pre-dispositioned to be indifferent to what really matters in this world and trust me when I tell you that many of my neighbors are equally mystified and annoyed by these condescending coastal elites who keep trying to sell them tickets to Washington’s biggest monster truck rally since Watergate.

As a genderqueer anarchist who has spent the better part of her life being chased by irate farm folk with rusty pitchforks and the other part trying to convince these same people to turn their rage against Washington instead from the comfort of my flaming windmill, I feel that I am somewhat absurdly equipped to explain both of these crowds of assholes in this stand-off to each other, seeing as I’m pretty much equally despised by both of them.

Your average working-class hick in red state America, and I’m not just talking about Republicans, doesn’t care about the threat Donald Trump poses to American democracy because American democracy doesn’t fucking work for them anymore, if it ever has to begin with. I’m constantly confronted by the fact that once distracted from their impulses to bash me for being a bearded dyke in a dress, your average unwashed auto mechanic or trailer park housewife is actually quite shockingly well aware of how the American political system really operates. Aside from the culture war bullshit, these people really aren’t that far off from Chomsky on what really counts.

They all thoroughly grasp the fact that the system is rigged, both major parties are the minor leagues for corporate prostitutes, Iraq was a fucking lie sold to them by these whores for oil, and your average free trade deal is a glorified mugging to tax the poor out of their livelihoods on behalf of a class of stuck-up New England stick-up artists who’d rather use slaves to build their Hybrids. These people may never get my pronouns straight but when it comes to the basics of class warfare they are downright woke.

Most of these people didn’t vote for Trump. Most of these people didn’t vote for anybody because they didn’t see anybody at the podium who represented them and were they wrong? Donald Trump is an undeniably criminal fascist crook but the only thing that separates him from more respectable “grown up” politicians like Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush is that he lacks the institutional prowess to rig an election without breaking any windows. What makes January 6 any more offensive than the games Liz Cheney’s newly rehabilitated Sith lord father pulled in Ohio back in 2004?

Even the chair of the January 6 Committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson is at least somewhat aware of the hypocrisy at play here. He was one of only 31 mostly Black House Democrats to object to the certification of the election results in the buckeye state for that year’s presidential coup d’état. When confronted with this weapons-grade irony, Bennie’s response was “I didn’t tear up the place because I cast a vote.” My response is why the fuck not? The system it represents hasn’t just systematically mowed over the democratic rights of average Americans on a near weekly basis for centuries, they have outsourced little Trumps to overthrow democracy in every corner of the planet.

Where was the House Select Committee to investigate Lyndon Johnson’s insurrection in Indonesia in 1965 or Dick Nixon’s insurrection in Chile in 1973 or Gerald Ford’s insurrection in East Timor in 1975 or Jimmy Carter’s insurrection in Kwangju in 1980 or Ronald Reagan’s insurrection in Grenada in 1984 or Dubya’s insurrection in Haiti in 2004 or Obama’s insurrection in Honduras in 2009? Where was the breathless media coverage for these fascist plots? All of them hatched from that wretched Capitol with total silence from the same people questioning middle-class America’s lack of commitment to democracy. Well, whose democracy? Yours or theirs? Wall Street’s or Main Street’s or Santiago’s? Because they clearly aren’t the same goddamn thing.

The crooks who run that committee have no more respect for the institution of democracy or even that sick joke called representative democracy than Donald Trump does. Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff, Adam Kinzinger, not to mention House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are all outspoken supporters of the Patriot Act, PRISM, and the around-the-clock domestic surveillance machine that has made this country about as democratic as any nightmare George Orwell or JG Ballard ever penned. So why give a fuck about democracy now? Say what you will about hick country, at least their indifference is consistent. But why do a bunch of barely closeted fascists suddenly give a fuck about the dangers of fascism?

Because Trump’s brand of bush league fascism threatened their brand of legacy fascism, not because it was worse, but because it was embarrassing. This is the real reason why the establishment despises one of their own children, because Donald Trump is nothing but the red-headed stepchild of American fascism. JFK hit up NATO puppets for spare pocket change. Bill Clinton made childish threats to blow up North Korea. His gun moll Hillary leaned on local officials to pervert electoral democracy. But they all had the good common sense to commit these crimes quietly, away from the watchful eye of the international community. They took care to properly maintain the facade carefully erected around our totalitarian government to make us appear respectable enough for the rest of the world to kick up to.

Donald Trump ripped down that facade and exposed America for the fascistic fraud that it’s always been. He humiliated his fellow elites on January 6 by bringing the tactics that the grown-up fascists in that Capitol Building usually reserve for the ghettos of Cleveland and the Third World home. He made America look like a shithole country. The carefully choreographed melodrama playing endlessly on CNN is nothing but a PR campaign designed to rehabilitate the tattered vestige of America’s mask of sanity. and the yocals in flyover country don’t give a flying fuck about this pageantry because they aren’t the target demographic.

The US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is little more than a glorified infomercial marketed towards the people still stupid enough to believe that this country was ever a real fucking democracy. The people ignorant enough to think that joining a military alliance with a nest of craven war junkies will keep them safe from a tinpot revanchist like Vladimir Putin. The kind of people foolish enough to believe that a vote cast for a prison-industrial architect like Joe Biden is a vote that will somehow make Black lives finally matter. People so fucking clueless that they honestly believe that they’re superior to redneck farmers just because they haven’t figured out that this rusty rattrap we call a democracy is already a rigged game.

The biggest problem I have with the local hicks who shrug off January 6 to chase me around with their pitchforks is that they’re too busy lunging at Muslims, Queers, illegals and other assorted groups of poor people to realize that we should all be charging the Capitol together to chase every one of those condescending crooks in that two-party junta including Trump out of town once and for all. A House Select Committee won’t save this country from its long legacy of fascism any more than Trump’s QAnon soccer moms will save it from fucking Chupacabras. Maybe woke poor people should give this insurrection thing a try. After all, it appears to have worked for Sri Lanka and what’s good for one shithole country couldn’t hurt another.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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