The Insurrection in Washington Is Almost Incomprehensible
I’m not writing this post because I have anything profound to say about what has happened in Washington. I’m writing simply to chronicle the event and to try to collate responsible news reports that have covered the riot. An NBC News report has Mike Pence speaking on what happened, praising law enforcement, condemning the violence and stating that democracy will always win. Pence is visibly shaken something that is most noticeable in his heavy breathing and, I think, in the gravitas with which he delivers his words. It seems to me that he is almost in a state of disbelief, as if he cannot process that he has to deliver such a speech to the American people.
Having watched the speech by Pence, it seems to me that there is a very big difference between how Americans are reacting too the insurrection and how people in other countries are viewing events. We’re looking in at something that seems inconceivable but Americans, at the least the sane ones, seem to be shattered to the core because Trump has instigated a treasonous event that has rocked the very foundations of what America stands for and what it means to be American.
There has, of course, been plenty of analysis concerning Trump’s role in instigating this riot. You can watch a report from CNN that covers not only the part that Trump played in this unprecedented event but also how is presidency has been littered with speeches that promote violence and extremism. Granted, the report engages in heavy editing of Trump’s words but, nonetheless, it is a fact that Trump fuelled the fire of violence and hatred.
I have written many times that I believe that Trump is certifiably insane and that America has a madman in control of a nuclear arsenal. No doubt many people thought I was being alarmist. However, as reported by CNN, Nancy Pelosi has recently advised House Democrats that she has spoken with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to discuss President Donald Trump and the nuclear codes. It is worth quoting Pelosi in full, “This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike“. The only thing that surprises me here is that this did not happen a whole lot sooner. I’ve been waking up every morning since Trump lost the election expecting to hear that Trump has launched a nuclear strike, perhaps against Iran. My reasoning was that Trump is insane. However, a psychoanalyst has labelled him as a delusional psychopath which I am sure is a much more exact term.
Another question around this insurrection has to do with what will happen to the rioters thousands of whom made absolutely no attempt to hide their identity. Indeed, many videoed themselves and posted to their social media accounts. As reported by ABC News, the process of making arrests has begun with some key individuals already behind bars. However, I wonder if they truly understand the gravity of the situation. As I reported yesterday, some commentators are calling this riot treasonous and according to American Federal Law, treason can be punishable by death. If not death then a lengthy jail sentence and a significant fine. These people can also be prosecuted under state laws as is the case with a number of individuals. Oddly, the charges seem insignificant. I will quote in full, “Jacob Anthony Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, of Arizona, was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds“. Seriously, that’s it?
Finally, there is the question of where Trump goes once his term as president is finally over. There’s an interesting story from Yahoo News that provides a variety of scenarios based on what has happened to other ex-presidents. First, a number have succumbed to health problems and passed away. Secondly, there is a group who have been active in different ways. For example, by maintaining some role in political parties or by starting global organizations and visiting world leaders around some kind of cause. Then there are those who stayed in politics. Trump falls into this category. The questions is what he can really do when he is widely perceived to have instigated a riot in the capital. Well, Yahoo conjectures that he will enter into some kind of money making scheme and focus significantly on his media profile. That could be tough now that he has been permanently banned from Twitter and FaceBook. There is also the possibility that he may try to run again in 2024. I know this seems preposterous for a president who has incited a riot but, honestly, American politics seems to me to be not much more than a surreal reality TV show.
First Published 10th January, 2021