The Great Divide

Biden and several ex-presidents condemn U.S. Capitol riots - CGTN

I guess the worst thing about a day full of worse case scenarios is that I saw it coming.

Yesterday was supposed to be the first Heroes episode of the new year. But for an early January day that became further proof that the ides of 2020 aren’t going to be that easy to shake. More to the truth, it’s the echoes of 2016 that promise to transcend a calendar year. And as much as we would like to think that Wednesday was an isolated incident, we know better because we’ve already seen some of the worst.

So it goes with the Make America Great Again Brigade, whose purpose is to transport us back to a simpler time. Back when the -isms were an integral part of society’s fabric. They want us to believe it’s not like that but their actions say otherwise. And yeah, you can start with all those confederate flags that were being waved and draped all over our nation’s Capitol building the other day. Unless you believe it was just a matter of imbedded marketing for the History Channel.

This great divide in our country didn’t happen overnight. It’s been festering for decades on end, but it was in need of a highly reactive charge to light the fire. They got their wish when Trump began speaking the language of a time and place that resonated with people who felt disenfranchised. And their feckless leader was only too happy to feed that beast.

It began with “Build the Wall”; ripped from the pages of a cold war logic whose tenets were built on quicksand and atrophy. This misbegotten campaign promise foretold the tyrannical game plan of a man who made it his business to retrofit patriotism into hateful propaganda. If nothing else, Trump has proved expert in the branding of -isms, and he used the office to do his bidding.

This President was never intent on being granted last rites, not while he still had a pulpit to bully from. And so he affixed his decisive loss to Joe Biden in November with yet another cartoonish conspiracy: Stop the Steal. It was classic Trump, boorish and divisive and entirely without merit. His Nixonian tactics might have been comical, if not for the tens of millions of apologists who behaved like moths to his flame.

Now we’ll get a flood of apologies from his former comrades who are experiencing buyer’s remorse a little too late. Their words ring hollow, more a matter of political survival than genuine concern for the safety and well being of its citizenry. And therein lies the meticulously insidious rub to our fledgling union. On the one side we have cretins like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, whose mission, it seems, is to bastardize the Constitution. And on the other hand we’ll have a bloodthirsty media positioning themselves for Trump’s Waterloo with pulpy narratives, many of which will read more like fetish than fact.

The residue of the last four years did not conclude on Wednesday, it only made its reckoning tangible. We are facing a divide whose meanest days are ahead of us. But don’t take my word for it. Look at the lack of police presence as a mob of white people stormed a federal building and you can draw your own conclusions. It’s simply further proof that Trump fans travel well; from the Great Smoky Mountains to the halls of Congress to the world of finance, the military and law enforcement. The asymmetrical value of this mad circus must not be taken lightly.

Trump gained traction by convincing the haves they were the have nots. He took certain truths about the media and the liberal left and he transformed them into caricatures who posed a national security threat. But in the end, he was always the biggest threat.

On Wednesday, he proved it.


72 thoughts on “The Great Divide

  1. You have stated this far more eloquently than I have over the past few days. There has been a smoldering flame throughout our history. Occasionally somebody comes along and blows toxic breath on to that flame and reignites it. Trump and his enablers did exactly that over the last four years. I worry, as do you, that the fire may burn far hotter before it returns to its smoldering state.

    I have one quibble however. They are not the Make America Great Again Brigade. They are The Tinfoil Brigade.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had a conversation the other day with someone, who wondered aloud why the media was blaming Trump. I’m serious.
      THAT is what we’re up against, and I don’t foresee it changing any time soon, sadly.

      These Trumpers do not see the irony in their actions. I betcha these are the same people who rail on about participation trophies and sucking it up when you lose. And yet . . .

      Yeah, the Tinfoil Brigade. That’s perfect, actually.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Well said, Pilgrim. I want all those who allowed this to happen to be brought to justice. Among them – The Police Chief of the DC, who turned down all offers of aid. (in advance). The officers who moved barricades for those insurrectionists. The smart asses who entered the capital building. The members of Congress who took part. Ted Cruz. I want Trump charged only if there is enough evidence to get a conviction. Having said all that, I want Biden to heal this mess, and you know what? Schumer and Pelosi won’t let him. So at the least, I want the entire 82nd and 101st Airbourne divisions lining Pennslyvania Avenue to make sure this #$%%@& inauguration takes place. We need to let the world know we can transfer power. Is that too much to ask?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Goddamn that is a post, right there Boss. And you’re right on about it, every part of it. Because these ten cent terrorists were aided and abetted, absolutely.

      I fear for what Pelosi and Schumer will and won’t do in the face of this very real threat. We need the opposition party to LEAD, because if they can’t, this shit is only going to get worse.

      As for Biden, I’m dubious as to what he can accomplish but I have to hope he can gain some inroads.

      A peaceful transfer of power. Remember when we took that for granted?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. B,

    Methinks you are not the only one who saw this coming.

    Everyone keeps going on and on about “thank God 2020 is over”. Like we can rub the 2021 lamp and Covid is gone, Trump is gone, The crazies that make up the, to use Mark’s excellent name, Tinfoil Brigade disappear. Unfortunately the Genie decided it was much safer to resist the rub and stay cooped up inside his lamp. Coz even he said fuck this, ain’t nothing I can do by myself.

    You have written an excellent essay on the, I won’t say fall of the United States, but let’s call it a serious crippling. Hopefully one that is not going to leave a permanent limp.

    The great divide has been further pried apart thanks to the retractor that is Trump who has left the heart (he will leave eventually, right?) of your beautiful country vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. Biden and Harris, and their team have a helluva job ahead of them. I can only hope they will be the start of the healing that is needed.

    I feel I can’t adequately respond, being an outsider looking in and worrying. But know this, this Canadian truly wants to see you succeed at eradicating all the hate and loathing that has been building for so long.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Sad, isn’t it? To say that and to know it’s true?

      You’re right. None of these things is going to magically disappear. COVID will have come and gone long before we make any real headway with these fundamentalist terrorists. They claim to be on the side of democracy but their actions say differently.

      I feel like this nation has overcome much worse than this and will do so again. But not without a lot of dark days ahead.

      I hope someone, anyone, can make up the lost ground that Trump and his people have forged. They want to go back in time because they’re too arrogant, ignorant (fill in the blank) to move forward.

      I know it. As one Trumper boasted that they have 74 million people. I responded with, fine, but we have the rest.


      Liked by 2 people

      • It really is.

        No, none of them will disappear anytime soon and they are far from democratic, these terrorist heathens.

        Your nation has overcome a helluva lot in the 243 years it has been around. It will overcome this. But you’re right. The light feels rather far.

        Yes. Or a group of someones! There has been a regression rather than a progression that needs to be reversed.

        Right! You do have the rest. And that is a fabulous thing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s mind boggling how the Trumpers see the world.

          They spew on about the Constitution while their leader continually threatens it. They hate crybabies, but they’re behaving just like crybabies. They don’t believe in participation trophies but they want one for their leader’s loss in November. What gives? LOL.

          But I feel the darkest days will be on THEIR side of the fence. Because the terrorists who stormed the Capitol are already paying the price. There have been arrests. Certain of them have been fired from their jobs. Now, I’m not usually one to wish ill on someone, but they deserve this. And there is more where that came from. To paraphrase their leader, the Trumpers are going to get so used to losing, they won’t know what to do with themselves.


          Indeed we do.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Their view of the world is truly beyond my comprehension.

            He who doth protest too much is usually guilty of which he protests. (And those who need to claim how patriotic they are, are usually completely clueless of which they are so patriotic. Do NOT get me started on participation trophies. You and I are of like mind on that one.

            Oh good! May their side be darkened into silence (a girl can dream) but good. I’m glad their paying for their crimes. Wishing ill is not what you are doing (I don’t either… don’t need the guilt) however doesn’t mean you can’t say that you approve of karma doing it’s thing. Perfect! Let them keep losing. And go back into the holes from which they crawled.


            Indeed you do!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • They don’t want progress, because that means work.

            And another thing. Putting Trump on a flag is denigrating the American flag. What fools these people are.

            They will keep losing. And they’re going to take the Republican party down with it. Well, Trump did that. And the GOP deserves it, since they let him.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh hell no. They definitely don’t want progress!

            That is wrong in every which way imaginable.

            Yes, they will. And maybe it’s time for some other party to come in…

            Uh huh!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Gawd almighty… we can’t go back to 1956 at this point.


            It is and why not? We have a third party that had so much potential with Jack Layton. The guy was so charismatic. We were thrilled and felt there was finally going to be a change from our red and blue (ironically the opposite of yours – red being liberal, blue being conservative… NDP is orange 🙂 ) So again, why not a third party?


            Liked by 1 person

          • Some of the shirts being worn and sentiment being spewed . . . it was way worse than that. Horrible stuff.

            I think it’s going to be something that has to be forged by the people. A consensus, yes . . that word that seemed extinct over the last four years. But if the common sense middle wants a chance . . a third party makes sense.


            Liked by 1 person

          • I was reading some of the stories of those arrested. They had it in the New York Times, and the names and the crimes committed. NOT fake.

            I think so. And who will be the first Presidential nominee?


            Liked by 1 person

  4. I pray that the damage he has done to your country will heal. At least start to. The world is on the side of the people of the US. There’s a great deal of healing to do but I hope it will start.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Spot on.

    All of this madness is why I’m going to leave Idaho. The sort of behavior seen in the capital is applauded by most here, and I know it will only get worse in the near term in Idaho, becoming a haven for deplorables of all stripes, as it was in the 1990s. Trump and the pandemic have put a spotlight on the massive ignorance, stupidity, selfishness and meanness that surrounds us. I preferred them hiding under their rocks.

    I’m just sickened and out of patience. It breaks my heart to leave a place I’ve come to love for its natural beauty. But kindness and understanding don’t work with this lot; they simply exploit it as weakness.

    As my father once said in a different circumstance, “I’m too old for this shit.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • RW,

      It’s everywhere. I had a conversation with someone the other day in which they actually wondered why the media was making Trump out to be the bad guy in all this! Unbelievable. These people are brainwashed.

      Yeah, remember when people were making light of that term “deplorables”? Well, I think it fits. Perfectly.

      Don’t let them beat you though. They’re full of shit, they’re ignorant and arrogant and they don’t give a damn for progress. They want this country to remain locked in another time. Fuck them. Excuse my French.

      True that.


    • My family is from Moscow and my best friend recently moved to Sandpoint (neither place perfect) but there are some pockets of sanity there. I hope you won’t give in and leave but help it make a turn-around. I live in a blue bubble in a red congressional district (used to be purple) – our new rep is a crazy Trumpist (I never thought that could happen). I will never leave, but keep working towards better representation and a more peaceful, sane place. Actually, it’s pretty quiet here. And people wear their masks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a mixed bag here. Lots of Trump peeps but Lancaster City is predominantly blue. My circle is both red and blue with one Trumper- a retired cop- in the bunch. He’s not a dick about it but still. And after this episode, I would hope he’s not going to be an apologist for the SOB.

        There is NO giving in to this crap. I was so angry last week. Livid. To see these cretins tearing apart a federal building like that. They don’t care about democracy. At all.

        But I do. So the hell with them. If they want a fight. They got it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Simply well stated. I heard on interview is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the event. He sounded very shaken. So much so, I was surprised … so the next day I discovered how he voted. Let’s just say his words and his actions didn’t match.

    About 3 years ago I made a statement (on aFa) that I thought we were heading toward a civil war. Today, I see that thought as being closer than then. On these very pages, and not all that long ago, I wrote about what I would do if I could. Wednesday’s actions reaffirmed that desire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cincy,

      Yeah, this is happening a lot. Chris Christie came out against Trump recently and it was so transparently political in nature. The guy is pathetic.

      I think it’s a matter of time, sadly.


  7. Powerful and eloquent, marc. What struck me was the different response. BLM protestors get teargas and batons, Trump supporters get to take selfies. Over here Brexit just kicked in, new lockdown too. 2021 is saying, you think last year was bad? Check this out. Yours, in despair, Peter

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t help but feel sorry for many of those in Washington last week. To be so angry and lonely that they feel the need to belong to a “cult”, express their loneliness in violence and a frenzied display of worship for the evil of Trumpism and the new conservative morals and values of hate. They are planning more insurrections on the 17th and 20th in Washington. I doubt many will show, but if so, they should be treated as people of color with the full violent extremism that law enforcement played out in the past summer’s peaceful protests in D.C.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CJ,

      I can’t feel sorry for them. These are haves who want to pretend they’re have nots. They’re not marginalized, they simply want the world to be what it once was, rather than work towards a better future.

      I am still registered as a Republican even though I haven’t voted that way in a general election since 2012. And with the way the party has conducted itself over the last four years, it’s going to be a very long time, if ever, before I go back.


  9. I hope I’m around to read the history books in 40 years. But given that the Confederacy hasn’t died, Naziism hasn’t died, I feel fairly certain Trumpism is here for good. I just hope we can get it back under its rock where it belongs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The actions of this week show the genie is, in fact, out of the bottle. I pray we can control/eliminate it with some dignity and hope the self reflection necessary will result in positive progress. It’s bad enough a sitting president ignited this maelstrom of madness but to have such assistance by a significant number of members from his party is shocking, depressing and alarming. While I had no illusions the turning over the year on a calendar would be a panacea, I had hoped we’d start taking forward steps rather than retreat to dark areas. Sadly there is much work to be done and with only 10 days until inauguration, I fear there isn’t enough time for accountability especially with a Senate steadfast on running out the clock. But some accountability is necessary in order to keep this from happening again and to reestablish norms we’ve come to take for granted in an age where most push the envelope on just about everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monika,

      My initial reaction was “They have to arrest this fucker”. And it hasn’t stopped being my reaction since then.

      Arrests have been made and some jobs have been lost and I say good. You want to be a terrorist, you get to pay the price now. And that’s what these people are, terrorists. And they have a guy who is only too happy to create this anarchy.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Umm. Difference being when he is driving somewhere in a nice car, he gets there without being stopped. If he’s gong for a run in a neighborhood where he doesn’t live, he isn’t getting harassed. If he goes in a Gucci store, he ain’t followed.

          I could go on. And on . . .

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I knew you’d come here with all feels that most of us were having … I mean that picture itself looks like something from a Michael Mann movie … only it wasn’t. You are absolutely right he convinced the haves that they were have-nots and emboldened their unreasonable rage and hate as being justifiable and encouraged to act on it. He’d been doing it since he stepped into office up to Charlottesville up to Wednesday and these empty calls for “unity” from people who consistently looked the other way because they got conservative judges and tax breaks is so disgustingly pathetic. It’s as if someone beat the crap out of you and then as you wake up from your coma knowing you may not be able to walk again they say … hey can we just get along no need to involve the police, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali,

      It does, doesn’t it? So surreal.

      It has been this way for a very long time, you’re right. This is what happens when you allow that kind of hate speech to continue unabated. And to the cowards who stood behind Trump in the GOP? They best run.

      Trump isn’t strong. When you start with talk of building a wall, it shows how weak he truly was. A strong leader doesn’t need to build walls. Simple as that.

      Liked by 1 person

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