2021 off to a great start, eh? Julian Assange not being extradited, but not for the precedent setting reasons, and denied bail. Now the US is yet again in turmoil, probably the closest to a genuine threat to their government and “democracy” since the Civil War, with a rather incompetent and short-lived coup attempt. Both events occurred at times inconvenient for an Australian political addict. Here are some very quick thoughts on the events in America today, in no real order:
This was not unexpected
There are a scary number of people who were shocked by the events that took place today. I am sorry, but if you were surprised by this, then you have clearly not been paying attention since 2015 when Donald Trump began his campaign. Even then, he was using rhetoric to suggest that he would be President for two terms, and steadily throughout he has increasingly indicated that he would not concede should he lose the election.
This was proven beyond doubt when Joe Biden surprisingly won said election and Trump, the Republican Party, his lawyers, etc. challenged results and claimed widespread fraud. Despite all of these challenges being contested and lost, the President and his loyal base, including massive media outlets like Fox, OAN, Newsmax, and online commentators (Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, Andy Ngo, Tim Pool, the list goes on with audiences of millions) who support him, have decried it as a “stolen election”.
The fact that there was a march on the Capitol is not surprising, because it is literally what they have been leading up to for years.
The Republicans are complicit
Right now, you have a number of Republicans basically attempting to save face by voting with the Democrats or turning on Trump at the last possible second. Do not for a second believe that is because they don’t support him or don’t want to keep Trump in the White House. These are desperate rats escaping a sinking ship and trying to distance themselves from the potential violence and fallout. It’s done, Biden has won, the Senate, barely, is in the Democrats’ hands, and none of Trump’s mob boss tactics will win him back the top spot.
But the rhetoric from Joe Biden and other Democrats is absolutely pathetic. They go up to the podium and beg about unity and healing. At this stage, there is no healing this divide. The GOP is splitting in half, hopefully leading to their political irrelevance for at least a little while, and half the population over there are firmly behind Trump’s fascist turn. The Republicans, and media commentators, who have facilitated his reign – and even the Democrats, who put up nothing but hollow symbolic opposition most of the time – are complicit.
They cannot be allowed to turn their backs and whistle away as if they had no part in this farce.
Learn what anarchist actually means
The mainstream media and other sources have once more dragged out the term “anarchists” to describe those storming the Capitol. Please, please realise this is utter nonsense, and I am certain they know it too. Anarchism, in very simple terms, is the abolition of hierarchy, which does include the State. The events of today were not spurred by some working-class solidarity, they were instigated by a wannabe despot in an attempt to maintain a dictatorship.
Stop using terminology you either don’t understand or that you are intentionally using out of context – in both cases, you’re an idiot.
“Blue lives” never mattered
Numerous videos went viral online showing violent and aggressive clashes between police forces and the people occupying the Capitol building. In Salem, Oregon, there was a video of people stepping over the police flag (I don’t know the actual name, the black and blue variant of the US flag) as a lady says the police have “fallen” because they are now on the side of antifa and Black Lives Matter. In DC itself, chants of “fuck the police”, “ACAF” (the homophobic version of ACAB, replacing bastards with faggots), and various other “anti-blue” slogans came alongside the anti-antifa rhetoric.
While many of the Republican and Trump loyalists in government and the media tried, embarrassingly, to pull the “party of law and order” line, their base very clearly don’t have any real convictions regarding police. When it was murdering black people and viciously suppressing peaceful BLM protests, the police were heroes. Now, they are also the enemy because they… let white supremacists and fascists storm their nation’s capital with minimal opposition.
It’s all convenient optics, whatever helps support their cause in the moment. I wonder what they thought of Trump’s vague disapproval of the violence?
If this was a Black Live Matter protest, and antifa rally, anything other than a gathering or white people coping with an election loss, there would have been a fucking massacre. They would not have gotten near the steps of the building, let alone inside to ransack the place, occupy offices, shoot into the Senate chambers, smash windows, etc. They would have been shot and beaten by a massive security force.
Let’s be perfectly clear – these people were allowed to enter, they were allowed to fight against the police, and many were allowed to just leave once the curfew struck. One guy from a conservative media outlet snapped photos of monitors, which I’ve heard is essentially espionage – apparently he just ran away. There was a video of a policeman running up stairwells away from a small group of rioters, not even attempting to prevent them making ground.
Only four people (to my knowledge at time of writing) have died, but you can bet that number would be astronomically higher if it were BLM or antifa doing the same thing.
The victim complex and disconnect is insane
Not only are a number of the politicians and media commentators that are responsible for building up to these events now tut tutting the violence, some are going as far as accusing it of being an antifa psy-op. I am not joking – there are people who now believe that this is an antifa project specifically to make Trump and the Republican Party look bad, that it is more leftist violence.
This is mad for multiple reasons, not least, as one (leftist) commentator pointed out, no one associated with antifa has that much Trump or nationalist clothing or paraphernalia. Also, there is a massive disconnect within this loyalist camp. Half of them are there screaming about how it is antifa causing violence, while the other half are posting photos and videos about how they’re so excited to be storming the building, including some dude known as “Q Shaman” who wore face paint and a bull costume as he took to the Senate stage.
So not only are these snowflakes terrified of “leftist” violence, but now they can’t even keep their shaky narrative intact because they are the ones (as has always been the case) causing the actual violence.
Don’t play nice with the rhetoric
These weren’t “protests”. They were not protestors attempting to have their voices heard. They are domestic terrorists who occupied and locked down the seat of government in their country. Terrorists were allowed to wander in, cause strife, and wander back out. Again, if this really was some kind of antifa or BLM rally, the word terrorist would be flying around everywhere, as would be blood.
The media seems to have no issues referring to any unrest as “anarchist” without a care in the world, but seem extremely hesitant to use the word terrorist when it comes to domestic, mostly white, movements that have literally attempted a coup.
Fascism is imperialism at home
An astute observation I saw on Twitter today was that “fascism is imperialism turned inwards”. These kind of violent coups, attempted or successful, are usually carried out by the US against other countries. The fact that they attempted to do it to themselves and failed is kind of ironic, but again, this should not be surprising. The Democrats and most Americans are either on board with or indifferent to the suffering of those beyond their borders, those that their “great nation” is exporting democracy to.
The fact that this activity has sparked up within their borders is unfathomable to them, and yet there it is.
Scott Morrison’s response was trash
On an Australian note, our Prime Minister was lacklustre as always. He called the events “distressing”, a word he often uses with no emotion whatsoever during forays with the press, and condemned the violence – but no mention of the people involved or the role Trump played in stirring it up. Later, when asked about it, he said he had nothing more to add.
He said he didn’t wish to comment out of respect, doubled down on how great an ally and friend the US is (seriously?) and that he believed the US to be a strong democracy (double seriously?). When asked about the role of people within his own party, like George Christensen or Matt Canavan, who shared conspiracy theories about voter fraud, Morrison smugly fell back on the right to free speech argument.
So yeah, our Prime Minister seems perfectly ok with a fascist coup attempt and doesn’t care if prominent members of his own party are complicit in spreading falsehoods.
Good luck, America. The world watches with anticipation.