On January 6, 2021, all of America’s uncured and apparently incurable pandemics combined to ignite a perfect storm furthermore dismantling democratic culture and civil society. The facts are televised, videoed, tweeted, emailed, Facebooked, 4channed and personally experienced. What, How and Why are becoming clearer; best steps to Resolve and getting to Initial Closure – unfolding.
Post conflict, caring and decent, loyal, and honorable Americans throughout the country regardless of political affiliation recoil in common patriotic shock. Disunited states and their citizens unite in feeling victimized, traumatized, vandalized, and scandalized by what occurred in and to the U.S. Capitol, the nation’s legislative altar enshrining a co-equal federal government branch then in session to discharge its constitutional obligations ideally without fear or favor. Witnessed: barbarian hordes replacing even an imperfectly civilizing democracy with totalitarian armed mob rule intent on inflicting pain. Learned: how it feels when a caudillo and his MAGA jackals attempt to seize power they did not earn, and then bald face lie to cover their tracks.
National trauma like after 09/11, but worse, even with a much lower death toll that easily could have been higher because the terrorists this time are domestic and not foreign, pseudo-Christian and not pseudo-Muslim. Videos show outnumbered black, brown, and white law enforcement officers selectively confronting, some meeting and greeting, then futilely resisting an all-white attacking force clearly externally empowered, militarily skilled and fifth column self-privileged to wreak havoc and loot America’s symbols, defiling, defacing, and desecrating its history so far with impunity. Defender screams of pain, orc-grunts of the attacking beast.
On January 6, 2021, forever-day of historical infamy, conspiracy and constitutional betrayal; America and the world witnessed an armed mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, incited by some eight Republican senators and 139 Republican representatives, members of that party’s Sedition Caucus, directed by the outgoing President of the United States together with his two adult sons, Rudy Giuliani (“Let’s have trial by combat”) and other coup enablers. Blood was spilled, lives threatened, and democracy held hostage to domestic terrorists. Republican Representative Roger Williams (Texas – 25th district) insisted he was “not ashamed and neither are my colleagues. We’re actually proud of what we’re doing over here”.
Concurrent insurrection threatened America’s Republic in fourteen state capitals but without the devastation wrought in the District of Columbia: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington. After order was restored, the honorable Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, presiding over a reconvened joint session of Congress affirmed from the Senate dais, “Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house”. Twenty-one hours later from start to finish, Congress fulfilled its constitutional duty to ratify the electoral college votes already certified by each of the country’s fifty state governments on December 14, 2020.
Last June in Lafayette Square, another, initially more peaceful rainbow demonstration protesting white on black police racism was whipped, tear gassed, bombed, and fired upon by overwhelming, militarized aerial and ground troops force to allow a preening President, like Roman emperor Commodus in Ripley Scott’s cinematic epic – “The Gladiator”, to honor himself in front of staged cameras, his privatized U.S. Attorney General calling the shots. On Wednesday, January 6th, that same Commander in Chief ignored desperation calls for hours from trapped bipartisan legislative leadership and his Vice President to activate the chain of command and approve local National Guard deployment. Axios and the Baltimore Sun report Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan (R) “said federal defense officials repeatedly turned down the state’s initial offers to send Maryland National Guard… until he got a call from U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy”.
This time the protestors were home team white storm troopers proudly carrying their movement flag standards of Nazism, Confederacy Racism and Trumpism to honor and defend their leader and chief agitator. His two unprincipled Senatorial mini-me “enfants terribles”, Hawley and Cruz, manipulatively and sanctimoniously joined their psycho master in collectively betraying oaths of office, learning at the feet of their rabble-rouser “Confather”, shock-jocking their way to unregulated, dark force political fortunes by urinating greed, ambition, and vanity in the public trough to bask in his favor and inherit his social media followers.
Collusion by American quislings in the outgoing Administration and Congress served as “artists of the deal” first during Putin’s 2016 electoral hacking (whitewashed by fellow congressional travelers such as Devin Nunes), to quid-pro-quo Ukraine interference in domestic U.S. elections in exchange for military aid, and now last week’s bloody White House insurrection against Congress. Traitor Senator Hawley fist-pumped in support when the mob first entered the U.S. Capitol Senate chamber. His thumb at a raised angle signified solidarity with the QAnon conspiracy movement that claims a demagogic President is the Messiah.
Government Executive magazine reports that Traitor Senator “Cruz sent a fundraising text boasting about his attempt to overturn the election in the midst of the melee.” Evidence suggests Cruz, Hawley and other elected Benedict Arnolds knew in advance that the MAGA mob was coming which is partly how those storming the U.S. Capitol got in so easily – entry was rigged from the inside in part because those breaking down the gates and barricades were white.
The New York Times described how, “Derrick Evans, a newly elected Republican state lawmaker from West Virginia, was part of the crowd that rushed into the Capitol.” Washington Post conservative columnist, George Will, warned “Trump, Hawley and Cruz will each wear the scarlet “S” of a seditionist”. Let us affix the scarlet “S” patch in national self-defense.
First, betrayal. Flagrantly asymmetrical rule of law proved incapable of protecting a superpower constitutional Republic (already “cyber-looted by Russia”) against an armed thuggery of domestic terrorists purposely gathered to take it down. An American commander-in-chief (“My people are peaceful. My people aren’t thugs”, he said), ensconced in a White House tailgating “watch party” outside tent (replete with big screens, refreshments and music, consorting with his adult children and staff), delayed deploying nearby, desperately requested National Guards troops for hours so as to weaken the citadel of his country’s co-equal Legislative Branch of government against a mob “out for blood” to attack and punish that he, himself, had unleashed.
Second, coronavirus pandemic. The January 6, 2021, insurrection, already a super-spreader event, highlights a fatally failed, nationwide COVID-19 federal government, Russian roulette response crescendoing into an inescapable, ubiquitous contagion conflagration with no way out except body bags. Decades of partisan political ideology spawning deliberately uneven and insufficient healthcare protection count coup and debilitate all infected starting first and foremost in minority communities marked by zip code desperation. Freedom redefined as the right to sicken others: “At least a dozen of the 400 or so lawmakers and staff members who sheltered in one committee room refused to wear masks, or wore them below their chins, said one representative.” Published statistics trending outdated even before posting. “The worst pandemic in a century is becoming more severe, with a contagious new coronavirus variant spreading and thousands of Americans dying every day. The mass vaccination program is behind schedule”, homesteading disease to America’s everlasting moral shame but also generating unemployment economic catastrophe. “The day of the riot was already the country’s worst in the pandemic, with at least 3,964 new coronavirus deaths”.
Third, an inequality pandemic. No higher truths for “animal spirits” speculators except transactional financial convictions. No reason to anchor markets in principles, common values, or civic altruism. Every crisis an opportunity to slice and dice mean street earth into smaller pieces with fewer owners at the bottom. No compelling reason or mandate to face the moral consequences of locked and loaded shareholder primacy and its non-stop exploitative, extractive, and eviscerating violations, even in the face of exploding, x-radiating imagery diagnosing unfair and obscene gargantuan wealth and class privilege divides materializing into a hostile takeover of democracy. Grossly aberrant but purposefully embedded racial, environmental and social justice crimes against humanity combine with all other pandemics to produce a net result where “almost 10 million fewer Americans have jobs than did a year ago”, especially in Red State South and West (Axios report). Eating cake before the revolution, stock market indices surge to unbounded financial helium heights ignoring any mandate of innate conscience weighing down a Republic in peril and out of moral balance.
Fourth, monopoly social media platform algorithmic transgressions against decency and truth expertly served to organize the President’s lynching and looting vigilantes and informed their actions. Fifth, “ride-or-die” religious right evangelical Christian leaders continuing to defend an Oval Office, QAnon-anointed “King of Kings” not grasping the trojan horse implications of a conspiracy theory’s godless existential threat to their tithing congregations.
Getting to Initial Closure:
Politics as Pandemics. For Democrats, 2020 was a presidential win without fluttering coattails with Georgia as main exception. For Republicans the opposite, plenty of party downstream coattails across the land. Herd immunity electoral repudiation solely targeted the top of ticket emperor self-shorn of justifiable performative clothes by a cult-culling pandemic – still better at domestic terror even after last week’s failed coup – than he.
Further Separating Church & State. Religious celebration of domestic terror on January 6, 2021, highlighted “Whataboutism” biblical prophecy made flesh. Proverbs (11:29) warns, “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind”, and Hosea (8:7) defines the endgame, “they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind”. “Building Back Better” must include a secular, horizontally inclusive “Fairer” to begin moral revision, renewal, and repurposing of American civic culture unchained from a Talibanizing Outdated Testament spawning an overtly militant-conservative, anti-democracy, political fascism hiding behind and disfiguring the loving face of God.
Adjudicating Treason. Each elected political frat-child puckered up on bended knee before an aggrieved, impeached, one-term caudillo clansman masterminding America’s second coup d’état (since the 19th century’s 1861-65 Civil War) is guilty of crimes against the country. To help restore justice throughout America, the Senate Brutus-claque starting with prime instigators Hawley and Cruz should be censored by that body, expelled, impeached, and removed permanently from holding federal office. 139 House traitors should self-exile from the Republican Party of Lincoln they betrayed to another one standing for the violence they voted for twice. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to call on Vice President Pence to invoke the twenty-fifth amendment. Failing that, both the current, ongoing Speaker of the House and incoming Senate Majority Leader have stated Congress will vote on an article of impeachment, “incitement of insurrection,” disrupting the peaceful transfer of power.
Unmasking Dark Deeds of Dark Money. Willingly subverting the Constitution and its Republic to serve personal political ambition by earning a return high-five from tithing MAGA groupies proves it is “all about the Benjamins Baby”. Political paramours transact partisan amour-propre by selling their constitutional oath of office to feed the evil inner power-hungry, fundraising beast stalking the land. Responding to the January 6th armed coup rampage ramped-up by dialing-for-dollars politicians, America’s business community should be first in line to lead a comprehensive “divestment campaign of all resource support for elected officials found guilty or implicated in aiding, encouraging or inciting attacks undermining our democracy”.
Rebooting Truth & Cultural Patrimony. Regulation is warranted of social media intent, capacity and consequence, unelected gatekeepers harming the public good through profit-seeking media echo chambers (e.g., Fox, Facebook, Twitter, Parler, Breitbart, Newsmax, the Wall Street Journal opinion page, OANN, 4Chan), standing their bottom-line ground to dirty dance with conspiracy theory stars because it’s good for their businesses. “Storming the capitol was an act of political violence meant to express ownership of the country, regardless of the outcome of any election,” Adam Serwer, a writer at The Atlantic, tweeted.” These platforms acting out on January 6, 2021, to “own the Libs” now drenched in treason and body counts, should lose those ownership rights.
Delegitimize Markets Serving the Sabaoth & not Humanity. Similar to conventional wisdom herd immunity econometric trade-off models commoditizing human beings for political profit, Axios quotes Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, revealing that a “coup d’état is only worth -0.6% on the #SP500, & we’re only 0.2% from the all-time high close”. This standardized banalization of human life at risk, economic precarity, public life-threatening chaos and violence against a nation’s enduring ticker symbols turns traders into abetting traitors and represents an ultimate loss of ethical soul, mind and body failing to center an immorality infected culture. Let the ESG/SDG markets lead the way in allowing comprehensive, inclusive, organic high-road cultural healing to begin. Metrics already show this to be an infinite upside & profitable course for all.
Practice Much Fairer Capitalism. America’s unbalancing ratio of white against black and rich against poor has metastasized into new strains of social injustice cancer lowering life expectancy and aspiration in a neo-Calvinist country predestining “race to the bottom” for all races. Crony, rent-seeking, corporatist capitalism has already ingested a surfeit of socioeconomic inequality, oligarchy, and monopoly into the body politic. Arbitraging “creative destructors” rent out human labor at will deploying legalized gig economy employee misclassification during a pandemic to retain obscene shareholder primacy profits. High time to replace “trickle-down” Shareholder Primacy with a “bubble-up” Caring Stakeholder Economy. During recent economic calamities in 2008 and 2020, instead of solidarity – privatized gains and socialized losses rule with few exceptions. Politicians voted hundreds of times to disallow any guaranty of decent healthcare for the pandemic victimized and to suppress their votes. Privileged geographical aspiration prevails time and again against actuarial table redlined zip code desperation. Any vital part of America’s reinvention must include an economy-culture of caring to offset those who could care less about what happens to anyone but themselves.
There is hope for a restructuring world convening towards peace through positive, hybrid shared ownership business models practicing workplace democracy and transparency such as cooperatives, including worker, unionized and shared services versions. The primary thesis is that as community-based organizations that are democratically controlled, cooperatives and other solidarity/social economy enterprise constructs are purpose-driven and values-aligned and therefore can play a role in creating a positive, collaborative atmosphere that encourages economic and social equity. This is particularly useful in conflict prevention and post-conflict healing.
America faces a confluence of crises, some new and some despairingly old, that stunt the country’s capacity to recover, reimagine, and pay it forward. Facing down all concurrent pandemics – biomedical, systemic racism, gratuitous violence mixing cruelty and selfishness, extreme economic disparity, and now economic collapse foreshadowing that disparity, failing civic culture super-spreading contagious sedition and insurrection diseases – requires a concerted flattening of all vicious cycle curves without exceptions and at all spectrum inflection points. This will be the ultimate test for market forces, commerce envisioning and business structures intending to equalize and empower local stakeholders as equal shareholders so that global beacons of democracy and hope can shine once again, their light uplifting all in unison.