Like most of you, I am sure, I am still processing the violence and hatred that took center stage at the Capitol this past week. I admit to not being surprised, but I still have a deep sense of shock and horror. I still have a sense of something precious being taken away from us; of our having taken a bridge too far.
We knew this was being carefully planned, but did not carefully plan in turn. In the coming months, we will, no doubt, figure out why our defense was so easily breached. I wonder, though, if some of it was just a collective sense of denial. Surely, surely, sanity will rule the day. Surely people who identify in the strongest terms as patriots wouldn’t wage war against the country they profess to love so much.
My naïveté has been stripped away. This isn’t patriotism, it is hatred and anarchy. It is, at the core of it, evil. Only by recognizing the depth of the anger and resolution facing us can we face it down.
Make no mistake: this is far from over. Even now there are extensive plans for armed insurrectionists to march on D.C. and on other state capitols in the days immediately preceding the inauguration and on Inauguration Day itself. They suggest to us that if we cannot join them, we should probably take a vacation.
I hope and pray that we have the forces in place to counter such marches; to keep our citizens, our legislators and our streets safe and secure. I doubt there is anyone who is willing to underestimate the force of hate standing on the other side of this great national divide. I also hope and pray that we all have the sense to leave this to law enforcement and the National Guard. Any individuals, organized or not, who believe it is up to them to protect our country just hasten our descent into chaos.
What strikes me to the core is that the only message we have heard from these fascist groups is to stop the steal of the election. There is no outline of grievances, there is no extensive platform to debate. There is simply unrelenting anger, and the singular focus that has no rational basis in reality.
Perhaps there will come a time when we can once again rationally discuss our differences and come to a mutual understanding, but that time isn’t now. Law and order must first be established, and those who have broken the law need to pay that price. Rationality cannot exist in entropy.
I pray for President-elect Joe Biden, for Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, for their families. I pray for all those who step up to leadership in the coming administration. I pray for our legislators, that they do the right thing, that they step away from the degradation of our democracy. I pray for the healing of our nation from too many wounds bleeding at once. I pray that we will come again to a time when civil discourse is front and center, and when the only intolerances we hold in our hearts are the intolerances of hatred and lies.