“We all look like idiots.”
“Maybe we’ve been had.”
Correct on both counts, I think.
Finally. They. Caught. On.
The two comments, as reported in a Montreal Gazette article, came from disillusioned Quebec QAnon followers in a social media forum after Trump-armageddon failed to materialize on inauguration day this past week.
Reports Matthew Lapierre: The person who runs the platform “had assured Q followers that Jan. 20 would be the day when Q’s promised “storm” would take place. The military, it was foretold, would depose Biden and arrest “deep state” actors, and Donald Trump would retain power.”
I’m thinking that a lot of Trump supporters are reconsidering their positions now — and perhaps are somewhat rueful about their previous support for him as well as all the conspiracy theories that accompanied his presidency. No doubt, they feel a little like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who devoted their lives to handing out Watch Tower literature door to door with the promise of Armageddon and eternal paradise on Earth unfolding by 1975.
And just as the JWs managed to explain away yet another failed Armageddon date prediction and retain some pre-1975 followers, some QAnon/Trump followers will continue to believe the dream isn’t over. At least, that seems to be the consensus among political analysts.
But how many will continue to carry the banners of Trumpism?
The assault on the Capitol Building was the initial wakeup call for many Trump followers. Supporters of Republicans and Democrats alike were shocked and disgusted. This was not the America either side had envisioned. There was a sense of shame across the nation, from what I could see and feel from news reports.
Shame may ultimately be the salve that saves America. The wounds and divisions are exposed for all to see. And to address. And to heal.
That’s the point of this post, and I took a while to get to it on this Saturday afternoon.
I think Americans are going to reconcile with each other and move on together, more or less. When Trump stood outside and encouraged the mob to march on the Capitol, he may have unwittingly set the nation on course for reconciliation.
Because he looked like such an idiot . . .
Pretty sure Trump supporters are doubling down, just like any other doomsday cult after their long-promised apocalypse came and went.
I am a close observer of such things. I even knew people in various militias from my younger days. Here’s my take on it which you can accept or reject.
The invasion of the capitol was a dark day and a day of national shame. A whole lot of people need to meet the long arm of the law. It meets the legal definition of insurrection, so I have no problem using the word. And there’s Federal assault, trespass, terrorism, weapons violations and even murder charges to be had.
The whole thing started with a Trump rally. Trump gave a speech that in retrospect sounds inciteful. (Not insightful.) But while it is irresponsible for a president to speak like that, I have heard language from black activists and union organizers, and high school cheerleaders that sounded no different. Figurative call to arms. “Fight” doesn’t have to literally mean bloodshed and destruction. But the crowd was emotionally overheated and Trump was far too much of a narcissist to damp things down. He was enjoying the adulation too much.
I do not believe he actually intended that they should tear the Capitol up and kill people.
So they go to march on Congress. I am confident that 90% of the people there had no intention of doing anything illegal. But there are always a small number of troublemakers. The crowd gets to the Capitol building. The hand full of domestic terrorists see that there is less security there than at a soccer game. A hand dull of cops, hardly any firearms, not even much tear gas. Now, I don’t know if they conspired together in advance or this was just an opportunity they couldn’t resist. but they surged, the cops fell back and it was on.
The police were ordered to stand down. No support was called in. That is on Congress. The Congressional leadership did not want the “optics” of a strong police presence. or corpses piled up in the doorway.
Where the leaders went, the followers followed. The crowd is caught up in the frenzy and some of them charge. No thought is taking place at all at this point. I think a lot of the crowd was just acting out and being naughty. “Hey! Look at me! I’m in the Capitol tearing the place up. Isn’t that cool?”
Just because you get caught up in the madness of the moment does not excuse seditious behavior. But it is important to understand that ten thousand people did not go to intending to storm the Bastile. Perhaps hundreds were thinking that and perhaps dozens were looking for the chance and perhaps a fraction of that actually started thinking about lynching. There wasn’t much coverage of it but most of the protesters never entered the capitol grounds.
I saw one clip where a black officer took off his police hat and put on a red MAGA hat – still in uniform – and recruited protesters to escort trapped unarmed police out of the building. He was afraid they’d be beaten or even lynched otherwise.
After, the country was in shock that such a thing could happen. It accomplished nothing and could not have accomplished anything. Q-Anon shot themselves in the foot with their childish temper tantrum. The participants are reevaluating the wisdom of acting like a braindead dittohead and learning about the fear of capture and consequences. And that is the end of that. The fever is abating.
However, the ideological bubbles remain and there is always a chance for some charismatic figure to stir the hornet’s nest. No doubt people on the left will seize the opportunity created by this crisis to try to censor and harass the people on the right, just as those on the right once did the same thing to those on the left. I just hope Biden lives up to his promise of being President of all the people and not just the ones who voted for him.
Compare it to just happened to the supporters of Navalny in Russia. Imagine Trump ordering the death of Biden. Or better yet what happened to the protesters in Tienamin square in China. It is why liberal democracy is to be preferred over any kind of political repression.
Good analysis, Fred. I agree: most of those who went to the Capitol had no prior plan to do anything illegal.
I know a Qanon person who believes it happened. Supposedly the army took over and left Biden in as a figurehead. It will all be made public in the next few weeks.
This is a cult. The Trump presidency will be taught in sociology classes for the next 50 years. Along with Jim Jones and David Koresh.