We watched some further footage released from The New Yorker of the Capitol Hill insurrection.
I honestly don’t understand how the insurrectionists (mostly men) don’t seem to have any awareness of how ridiculous they look and sound. They possess zero concept of irony. There are QAnon conspiracists, outright white supremacists and militias – amongst others – who have been led and emboldened to believe that they are fulfilling a divine duty by being good ‘patriots’.
These people stormed the Capitol Building believing they were upholding the high ideals of American democracy, whilst simultaneously trying to break democracy.
Much of what they say sounds like regurgitated Trump soundbites. They again strike me as cult members. Maybe the saddest thing is that they believe politicians have lied to them, and that the political system has let them down; Trump is the only one who feels their pain and understands them. That man had four years to make things better, and he has done no such thing. He just told them repeatedly why things were bad and who was to blame (not him) and that he would, at some non-disclosed time, make it better for them. Then Covid happened on his watch and he ignored it, preferring to wish it away and hurl racist abuse at it as the virus instead ripped through the country. (Remember when he called it ‘China virus’ and ‘Wuhan flu’?)
Trump showed no real desire to help affected Americans. No cares. No plans.
So, how will the Trump cultists feel (if they ever awaken from his fake reality), that Trump just says he cares, has always faked it, just whilst he needed them to push his selfish agenda? They were only ever extras in his latest reality show. I can even imagine Trump was envious of the self-styled ‘QAnon Shaman’(aka Jacob Chansley/Jake Angeli) when so much media attention was given to him.
When push comes to shove and Trump faces an investigation into inciting the insurrection, do you think for a single second he will accept responsibility for spurring them on? And not only the hours before the Capitol Hill incident, but for the four previous years and more – the hideous ‘Birther theory’ he violently spewed out about President Obama, which was just racism given a public platform.
Trump will of course cut them loose. He was and still is largely gaslighting them (if they turned up at Mar-a-Lago for a round of golf, how many of them do you think he’d let in?)
This is not to say that the insurrectionists don’t have some legitimate grievances. Indeed, a lot of the political system has abandoned ordinary people in The United States of Amnesia as well as Plague Island. Their focus is on the wrong things though (e.g. in Amnesia it’s the ‘rigged’ election; outsiders ‘taking their country’). They have been left out for a long time, but I’m not sure they realise that this goes way back, at the very least, to the Reagan era: union busting and Reaganomics, the stagnation of wages and worsening working conditions that the Reagan era kick-started.
A predominant figure of the whole insurrection was the aforementioned Jake ‘QAnon Shaman’ Angeli: a ‘revolutionary’ in the time of social media if I ever saw one. Adorned in full regalia; a hybrid of American appropriations. You just can’t quite tell the style or the era of his outfit, suggesting that even he isn’t fully conscious of what an American is. He style was most closely evocative of an American Indian in a John Wayne film from the 1950s, which in itself is hugely problematic. And I was disappointed with his shoes (the black trainers did not pull the outfit together at all. I was at least expecting moccasins).
Anyway, I have digressed into style analysis. It’s just that the way he was dressed was a total contradiction for someone who refers to themselves as a true patriot. This guy had the self-belief and audacity to not only make himself a noticeable figure during the insurrection, but he stood in the Senate chamber – with an American flag on a spear – reciting some pseudo-spiritual, quasi-religious Christian prayer. He said, amid the recital “[…] this is our nation, not theirs, that we will not allow America, the American way of the United States of America, to go down.” I’ll say again, whilst dressed as a pastiche of an indigenous American from a film stereotype from the mid-20th century.
Just another day in The United States of Amnesia. The land of the free and home of the brave.
~ L&A 18.1.21 ~