Screenshot from a YouTube stream of the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Screenshot from a YouTube stream of the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

COLUMN: The American sword of Damocles

Reporter and U.S. citizen Adam Louis reflects on the events of Jan. 6

After a group of Trump-supporting domestic terrorists broke into one of my homeland’s most sacred institutions, the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. was retaken by police in a matter of hours.

President Donald Trump will be out of office one way or another in several days. Congress will be up and running once more in a matter of weeks.

The damage done to democracy in the United States will not be mended for a generation, if it ever heals at all.

To see what once was civil political discourse degrade to such a degree as the ‘protest’ riots of Jan. 6, 2021 is heart-rending, and it should be for anyone who can call themselves American – and Canadian.

There’s a tweet going around that says if the United States saw what the United States is doing in the United States, the United States would invade the United States to liberate the United States from the tyranny of the United States.

I’d think it was funny if I wasn’t closer to crying.

What is it about Donald Trump that caused thousands, if not millions, of a-okay Americans to devolve into a frothing, us-or-them cult of domination? One by one, even the most conservative legitimate news outlets turned on the “leader of the free world,” leaving only the fringe conspiracy theorists, and yet, so many people never reached that stark, uncomfortable touchstone that maybe – just maybe – they were wrong to devote themselves so fully to Donald.

Please understand. It’s fine to be a Democrat or liberal. It’s fine to be moderate. You might have some conservative leanings and I’d still respect you as a fellow human. But if who we saw on Jan. 6 were the dark heart of Republicans or Conservatives, the party needs to dissolve immediately.

It’s more than just disowning the name “Republican.” Those screaming loyalty to Donald and the GOP committed grievous crimes against their own homeland, and I’m horrified to think what they would have done if they weren’t stopped. GOP members, there needs to be fundamental change within the party, roots to stem. You need to take a step back and look at what you stand for and decide whether or not the actions of the mob on Jan. 6 were justified. If you come back from your time of reflection absolving them, you need to resign and leave.

Heed the words of your president. “Go home. We love you. You’re very special.” I hope whatever you got for aiding and abetting insurrection was worth betraying the people you solemnly swore to serve.

You did this. Live with it.

I’m not a particular fan of Joe Biden. I’m quite indifferent to him on a political level. However, I do hope he and politicians on all levels can bring a sense of normalcy, dignity and respect back to the United States.

The big question, with the American sword of Damocles hanging over our heads, is: “Where do we go from here? And what does this mean for Canada?”

I don’t know, but we face a clear message – this could be our only warning. America came dangerously close to being torn asunder from the inside – again – and Trumpmania’s poison crossed the border. Seeing that cult mentality for a foreign, deeply dangerous president leak its way past the Peace Arch into downtown Vancouver like it did Wednesday – in the form of a violent Trump rally – should shake you.

As an American, I can say we thought we were safe from this; we haven’t had a violent uprising of this scale for more than 150 years. But if it can happen in D.C., it can happen in Canada, if good people do nothing to fight it.

Stomp out the sparks of ignorance and vitriol before they grow into a much larger threat and consume us all. Fatal stupidity, blind hatred and fringe conspiracies know no borders.

This is our one warning, and we may not get another chance.

Adam Louis is a multimedia reporter with Black Press working out of Chilliwack and transitioning to Hope. He is a Canadian permanent resident and an American citizen.


 

@ashwadhwani
adam.louis@bpdigital.ca

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