From Your Own Correspondent

Wow. It cannot have escaped your notice that last night our time there was a riot/mob invasion/attempted coup, call it what you will, where an angry crowd stormed the Capitol Building and managed to enter and occupy it for several hours. This invasion was directly incited by Trump who earlier in the day had made speeches telling his supporters at a rally to head up to Capitol Hill and make their feelings known. And they duly obliged; hundreds of his cult followers, ready to die (or preferably kill) for their cause and believing implicitly in his false narrative, did exactly as he told them and stormed the building, climbing walls and smashing windows, causing congressmen and -women to hide in their offices with gas masks on and refusing to leave. They were eventually ousted and over 50 arrests were made, though only four people died, a woman who was shot and later died in hospital, and three who are described as having medical problems, as yet unspecified. Biden appeared on TV at around nine o’clock our time having changed his planned speech to one of condemnation and calling on Trump to go on live TV ‘now’ and tell the mob to disperse. He said exactly the right things, though as ever with the same deadpan delivery which leaves you yearning for just a smidgen of passion.

Well, Trump did eventually appear, not on TV which presumably he no longer trusts but on social media, to call on the mob to go home – though in the process he repeated his false claims of fraud and victory and told the mob ‘we love you,’ something it’s hard to imagine him saying to any other crowd of protestors. And eventually Congress regained control and were able, at three in the morning, to certify Joe Biden as the next president of the US.

We picked up on events around 8 pm having had a message on Facebook, and were glued to the news until bedtime. In fact I couldn’t sleep; I kept wanting to turn my phone on and see what had happened, though I knew this was a very bad idea. It was one of those moments when almost anything could happen; a turning-point in history.

Several things stand out from the way this insurrection was dealt with. First, that politician after politician, both in the US and elsewhere, spoke out in condemnation of the mob and practically all of them laid the blame firmly at Trump’s door. They stood up for the constitution and the rule of law and that is a good thing. But what was going on with the police? Anyone could have seen this coming after the rallies in the afternoon, but the police were either negligent and unprepared or else complicit. It’s hard to know which. And it’s glaringly obvious now, if it wasn’t before, that the police deal differently with black and white protesters. If this had been a BLM protest we would now have many more corpses and hundreds more arrests but at times the police seemed to just stand by and let it happen.

I may be wrong but I think Trump has now finally dished himself. After this, no republican will touch him with a barge pole; he has brought his party and his office into disrepute and may yet be removed from office before his time. He will go down as the worst president in US history and should he be so foolish as to come back in 2024 he will get nowhere. Biden’s problem now is to deal with Trump’s sizeable cult following and to try somehow to bring together a nation ravaged by coronavirus, racism and division.

Here’s how the Washington Post covered it, and here’s the Guardian’s response.

Kirk out

6 thoughts on “From Your Own Correspondent

  1. For me, your last paragraph nails it, Sarada. This is the best thing, in addition to the minimal loss of life, of course, to come out of this farrago: whether the idiot has a following in 2024 or not, it seems likely that any heavyweight supporters [i.e.: with sufficient funds] he might have had will desert him if he is so foolish as to seek reëlection; that is not a prediction, I hasten to add! 😉 This was just a bunch of, as you say, brainwashed morons trying to assert their “freedom”, but it could have been a lot worse: a real coup attempt might have happened, but it didn’t, for which 99.999% of the world is grateful. The present incumbent still has to take his leave, but he most likely will, albeit with characteristic bad [or no] grace; a collective sigh of relief will be heard, and “good riddance” uttered, out loud, and in public. The new phase might be less ‘exciting’, but it should be a lot safer. Cheers, Jon.

    1. Indeed. Now Biden is inaugurated we all breathe a heartfelt sigh. Where will Trump go now, I wonder? Scotland doesn’t want him, England doesn’t want him, Canada and Mexico don’t want him. Perhaps he’ll hole up somewhere in the South and plan his next coup – whatever, I can’t see him going to the inauguration. Sore loser or what?

  2. You covered it all very nicely in one blog post. I was speechless that Trump wasn’t arrested for Inciting Sedition. He should have been handcuffed and thrown in jail. Some of the protesters were armed, and acting on his thinly-concealed ‘orders’. The difference in how the police handled this compared to how they deal with black people protesting was so obvious as to leave the only answer that they were indeed ‘complicit’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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