In 2016 people elected Trump because "he says what's on his mind." True, that's what little boys do.
Were it not for the seeming irrelevance of time during this pandemic, I might say it's hard to believe that a month has passed since the assault on the Capitol. But Christmas seems like yesterday, and there were probably leaves on the trees the day before that. Time has telescoped and expanded and pretty much lost its relevancy. Even so, a month has actually elapsed, and still, there has been no apology from the impeached ex-president for the big lie, the statement which, made in anger in the wee hours of Nov. 4, set in motion the events that culminated one month ago.
It was shortly before 2:30 a.m. on that November night after Election Day, when former President Trump declared the election “a fraud on the American public...an embarrassment to our country,” adding “We were getting ready to win this election. As far as I’m concerned, we already have won this.”
(Note: As far as I’m concerned, the Bears will win the Super Bowl on Sunday: Trump’s concerns are equally meaningless.)
So on November 4, 2020, while a pandemic raged through the country and people suffered from hunger and poverty, the big lie was born—born and nurtured despite meticulous polling place monitoring, despite exacting recounts, despite bipartisan inspections of machines and ballots, and despite nearly 75 court rulings dismissing Trump’s contentions as lies and wishful thinking. Over the next two months, the lie festered, fed by the rotting hulk of Trump’s dismal and fetid presidency.
Then, finally, for every human being imbued with rational thought, the lie collapsed on January 6, 2021, when Congress certified the Biden victory. Then came the others, for whom rational thought was more or less noncompulsory: the lunatics and criminals who arrived to embarrass themselves, their families, and their country. But even that wasn’t enough: armed and manic they talked of murder and set about to effect it on their mindless rampage through the Capitol. Before these terrorists were brought under control, many members of Congress expected to die—in their workplace, in America.
This intervening month has illustrated, almost daily, how close we came to suffering a mass-casualty event. Hundreds could have been killed, and casualties could have risen far higher than that—all because a spoiled little boy lost an election and his spoiled little supporters took up arms to coddle him. And whether these supporters hold elected positions or wield automatic weapons on the streets of the nation’s capital, it’s all the same.
You would think that even someone as divorced from reality as Donald Trump would withdraw the lie, would end it before more people died, or suffered injuries, or rotted in federal prisons. A man would do that, but just as he watched from a safe distance on January 6, Trump will be golfing in Mar-a-Lago while his minions plan their next attack. He’ll be playing: it’s what little boys do.