Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol may appear to have been a horrible night, but it may prove to be an historical cleansing event, a deliverance from the past four years of intoxication.
It was of course a desecration of the temple of the democratic process. However, the abscess finally burst, and deliverance has arrived. Instead of waiting for months of reflection to externalize the thousand poisonous lies fed over the past four years by the Trump administration and, in particular, by the President himself, his immediate entourage and some of his closest advisors, we have been presented through a rapid chain of events an instant exposure to the Trumps patterns of manipulative machinations through escalating lies. Within a few hours we witnessed incitement to sedition, prevarication in stemming it and reluctant forced recanting that depicts, like in a theater play, the character of the villain.
The last rally was timed to coincide with the certification of the electoral votes, a symbolical ceremony to officially record the 538 state electoral votes. As a result of a senseless stump, a week before, by Josh Hawley, an overambitious young senator, to invalidate the swing states electoral votes that tipped the results to Joe Biden, what should have taken half an hour in normal times was expected to last at least seven or eight hours. This farcical hindrance to a smooth certification process was either an attempt to position himself for a future presidential campaign or an obedient suicide mission on behalf of “Fuhrer Trump”.
Within a week, another 12 senators and some 140 Congressmen jumped in this runaway train. Whereas this attempt was doomed to fail, it would nevertheless bolster the disingenuous tale that the election had been stolen. The abscess was swelling at an alarming rate. How did it all start?
On Dec. 12, Women for America First, a group of conservative women, at the heart of organizing in Washington, one week before, the “Stop the Steal” rally, filed for another protest permit from the National Park Service. The event was to take place two days before the casting of the electoral college votes.
Conveniently, The Trump “post Campaign” decided to high-jack it and appears to have re-organised it as a “Save America” rally designed to take place a few hours before the two chambers convened to formally certify the electoral votes. As early as the 20th of December Trump, tweeted “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election,” “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
On the evening of December 22nd, Marissa Lang, a local reporter of the Washington Post, published an article where inter alia she wrote that an application had been made by “Women for America First”, a far right-wing organisation, to arrange a demonstration with an estimated attendance of 5000 people. Already it was known that the meeting would be attended by members of armed right-wing groups, conspiracy theorists and white supremacists including “Gab”, “Parler”, and “The Proud Boys”, whose objectives and constituents are easily accessible on the internet. She also wrote that Experts on far-right movements warned that January’s rallies could bring with them more violence, as Trump’s bid to hold on to power took its last gasps.
There are many elements which, when put together, seem to point to the usurpation of an innocent protest rally into a major gathering of all groups of Trump’s unconditional supporters. First of all, while the initial event was to take place at the Freedom Plaza or the Lincoln Memorial that could cope with a 5,000 attendance, the event was moved to the Ellipse, a vast space right below the White House. It does leave much imagination that a permit to obtain on a short-term notice of such a large public place, was only possible by instructions inspired by the “Oval Office”.
It would appear that the women congregation was taken over very early on by the Trump campaign and merged with other participants. Although branded as the “Save America” rally, by the time the banners were erected the title had been altered to the” Save America March”.
Whereas the extent of the gathering must have been well known, the security dispositions at the Capitol were abysmally weak. Was it an under-apprehension of risks given that the protesters were white? Or had there been reassurances from the white mansion on Pennsylvania avenue that everything would be under control? Maryland’s Governor Hogan who had mobilized state police and national guard to relieve the overwhelmed Capitol Police, but he was blocked for 90 minutes from engaging his forces, which leads one to suspect silent blessing from the executive.
The rest is visible on all the released videos which reveal an incessant pumping up of the audience prior to the “hopefully” last public speech of this perverse individual. After the tentative harangue of Eric Trump, backed by his wife Lara, it was the turn from imprecations by Donald Junior with quips: “Elected Republicans, you can be a hero or zero, we are all watching” and to the crowd: “Turn the other cheek no more.”
Giuliani with gusto Italiano(!!) finished the darting of the picadors with: “This is a trial by combat “.
The Matador entered the arena and for hours was playing with the crowd’s feelings: he first praised the good republicans and taunted Mike Pence to do the right thing: “The States got defrauded. They were given false information. They voted on it. Now they want to recertify. They want it back. All Vice-President Pence has to do is send it back to the States to recertify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people”.
He then went on for nearly an hour, reiterating interminably his allegations of illegal votes, his litanies about impending socialism and unbridled immigration culminated by his forecast of a wall destruction. As they were ready for the final blow he went on:
“Well, I have to say we have to be a little bit careful. That’s a nice statement, but we have to be a little careful with that statement. If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country, because it’s illegal when the votes are illegal, when the way they got there is illegal, when the States that vote are given false and fraudulent information”.
“So, we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.
So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America”.
And then he drove back to the White House leaving the crowds in the hands of agitators well rehearsed on their plans. The storming of the Capitol was an infamous event, but the lack of arms tempered its effect. It was just a radicalized but untrained crowd that desecrated a great institution. It was a crowd of misguided pawns that had been manipulated into this irruption by unrealistic beliefs that had been engrained by years of lies and exposure to the so called “alternative truths”. However, the fast timeline of events has broken the abscess and we can see now who were the Trumpist collaborators, who knowingly cajoled him and allowed him to pursue all his erratic actions and contributed to the “fog of lies”, that so distorted American politics. Unlike some of the commentators around the world, Koumoundouros is hopeful that a substantial number of Trump supporters delivered from the distorted reality imposed by the previous administration will see the light at the end of the tunnel, and will enable the rebirth of the Republican party, an irreplaceable player in the US democratic system.
10 January 2021
See also: The Unmaking of a President