The fairy tale of America

This has been a discouraging year. And yes, I mean 2021.

There was a short spell toward the end of 2020 where I kept thinking how wonderful it was that, despite the president’s years of open incitement, there was no violence during the election.

Trump’s true believers were still with us, but there hadn’t been election day riots, and it did seem like there would be a peaceful transfer of power. We’d just have to deal with a lot of crazy and dishonest people on a societal level; but at least the political system was intact. It felt like the country had passed an important test. The constitution had held.

Then came Wednesday. It felt something like the early hours of 9/11, when I stood in the kitchen prepping dinner, slowly realizing that what I was hearing on the radio was not normal political chatter, and that the news was not normal news, but that something new and dreadful was in progress. A violent mob was swarming the capitol building. Shots were fired. Congress cowered in fear.

The president’s fans tore down the American flag and hoisted a Trump flag in its place. There was blood on the floor of the senate. And when his arm was twisted to try to bring peace, the president recorded a message telling the men and women waving a flag of sedition, “You are very special. We love you.”

Four people are dead.

The president is still in office.

Can you understand the horror, the dread, the boundless disgust of this day? I don’t know if citizens of other countries feel about their governmental system the way many Americans feel about theirs.

But when I slowly realized that a MAGA mob was in the capitol building, smashing windows, scaling walls, clowning, capering, screaming, peeing on the carpets, rifling through private papers, and secreting pipe bombs while our representatives scurried into lockdown, it was — well, it was like going to bed feeling grateful that your beloved mother was doing so well staying sober, and then waking up to find that she discovered cocaine and is currently standing in your children’s bedroom with a pistol and a flamethrower, screaming that no one loves the family as much as she does.

And I thought, That’s it. It’s over. The foundation did not hold. They broke the constitution.

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly

 

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9 thoughts on “The fairy tale of America”

  1. The faux outrage and broken-heartedness might be redirected anger from the hideous violence of BLM over the past several years that no one is permitted to really criticize or question, supported by Obama and many political figures and the mainstream media and the tech monopolies, who now have the vapors over a few broken windows and some “clowning and capering” by “terrorists” who were caught on video….filing politely through the capital respecting the velvet ropes.

    I don’t recall any articles about broken-heartedness (except possibly about how terrible white men are) as a bunch of shrieking imbeciles burned down restaurants and nursing homes, rioting and looting across the country and everyone was talking about how “riots are the language of the unheard.” The events in DC were again objectively minor, very little damage was done, and it was done to a public building, no people were harmed except for a lady who was accidentally shot and some other people who had heart attacks, probably fewer than at an average NFL game, as opposed to the billions that BLM caused and is causing. Remember when BLM rioters were let out of jail and barely anyone was prosecuted and now everyone is tripping all over themselves to bring down the hammer on people for basically walking through a federal building and “capering.”

    There’s no answer to this except increasing and I for one look forward to it since it’s apparently the only way to effectively communicate anymore. Voting certainly doesn’t work.

  2. “There’s not going to be some permanent happily ever after for America.”

    I wanted to add that this isn’t true, there is a happily ever after. America is a people and having US citizenship doesn’t make someone an American. But the American nation has a bright future.

  3. “The reality we live in right now is that vast swaths of the population believe in ludicrous, self-contradictory things that can’t possibly be true. They think it’s acceptable to lie and cheat and smash and hurt to achieve their happy ending. They have an unshakeable belief that they are in every way and always the good guys, and that everyone who even questions them is an irredeemable villain.”

    This is 100% true of Black Lives Matter. Actually truer of BLM than of MAGA. So you’ve been living in this reality for quite some time.

    “smashing windows, scaling walls, clowning, capering, screaming, peeing on the carpets, rifling through private papers, and secreting pipe bombs”

    Again not even close to as bad as BLM, even counting the pipebombs. You’re really desperate to make this sound as bad as possible. Course as you know its not even remotely as close to as bad as it would have been if Trump had won again. Thats because MAGA isn’t very violent and BLM is and they would have burned everything down in DC. Not broken two windows. Anyway, I just think Catholics should tell the truth. Thanks.

    1. Why is it necessary to compare? That’s not the point of Simcha’s piece. Isn’t it enough to say, however worse things could have been, that rioters assaulting the Capitol was horrific? That this was an unprecedented attack on our Constitution and rule of law? Don’t try to divert the conversation; we need to focus on this specific incidence, incited by the president.

      I started reading the first article you linked to, Simcha, about the specific timeline of violent incidents incited by the president dating back to 2015 when he was campaigning, and I couldn’t finish it. I was sickened by it. I am shocked that he was elected in the first place and even more so by how many Catholics voted for him again and were proud of it. Please God, let this not be who we are as a country. I just keep praying the Divine Mercy chaplet — have mercy on us, and on the whole world.

    2. Wow, just wow….I think Catholics should try harder to not be so willfulling ignorant.

      We have a President who as a leader of our nation actively encouraged violence in our capital. Who has been telling lie after lie after lie, whipping up his base. He is our President! Not just some average citizen. Every word he says matters. They should thoughtful, meaured and true. He has blood on his hands. Five people died and many more will have their lives ruined when the rule of law comes knocking on their door with no pardon in sight for them as they have fulfilled their duty as useful idiots. This kindergarten reaction to Simcha piece of “I know you are but what am I” is again, just wow.

  4. Thank you, Simcha. I hope we can face the necessary and harsh truths that need to be faced. It’s not going to be pretty or fun but it’s the only way forward for not only our nation but our church as well.

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