On this day honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his words, as always, are guideposts: “Violence brings only temporary victories; violence, by creating many more social problems than it solves, never brings permanent peace.” 

‘Field of Flags’ at National Mall Represents Americans Unable to Attend Inauguration—NBC News Washington

The Trump administration bailed out prominent anti-vaccine groups during a pandemic—WaPo

Biden to block Trump’s plan to lift COVID-19 European travel restrictions—Reuters

January 18, 2021

Thoughts on January 6
by Allan Ament, Whidbey Island, Washington

Along with millions of people across the globe, I watched the January 6 events at our Nation’s Capitol unfold with “shock and awe.” As President-elect Biden said, words, especially those spoken by the President, have consequences. To paraphrase the childhood schoolyard taunt, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can start a riot!”

This was a sad day, a dark stain on America and its image in the world, especially considering the unnecessary loss of life that occurred. Sometimes, the pendulum has to swing to the extreme before it is able to return to the center. Hopefully, it will be a wake-up call to those who are not quite True Trumpism Believers but who, by their silence and complacency, were and are enablers in this illegal and unAmerican conduct.

I am anything but a “Pollyanna” seeking to find the good and positive in everything. Nor have I ever considered myself a flag-waving, “USA! USA!” patriot. At the same time, I believe that January 6—a day as historically important as 9-11—may well serve as a beacon lighting the way toward a more rational, sane, and functioning America. After all the CYA speeches and resignations, perhaps some of our leaders, present and future, will recognize the dangers of putting personal ambition and self-preservation ahead of the interests of the commonweal.

Yes, it will take time. Blame calling, finger pointing, calls for punishment, increased divisiveness will undoubtedly come first, as will attempts at justification and diverting attention from those inciting the violence and insurrection.

At the same time, we must not lose sight of the ultimate outcome that day. The November election results were certified as accurate. A peaceful transition of power in both the White House and the Senate (thanks, Georgia) will occur on January 20, 2021. Such a peaceful and voluntary relinquishment of power to a political opponent was unheard of and incomprehensible before 1801 when America first showed the world it was possible.

Wednesday night (early Thursday morning) that lesson was underscored ­­­­when members of Congress, refusing to succumb to the threat of violent insurrection, left their shelter-in-place locations, reconvened, and did their sworn Constitutional duty, albeit after some unnecessary political grandstanding. American democracy worked on that day.

The system bent a bit, but it did not break.  Whatever didn’t kill us may actually make us stronger. We can only hope.    

May it be so.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 18: The U.S Capitol Building is prepared for the inaugural ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden as American flags are placed in the ground on the National Mall on January 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. The approximately 191,500 U.S. flags will cover part of the National Mall and will represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, DC for the inauguration. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

2 Comments

  1. Thank you. I too hope that Jan. 6, 2021 will be as significant as Sept.11.2001. May it truly be a day of turning – turning back to a better America and a recommitment to the ideals and practices of a true democracy. That is my hope.

    Liked by 2 people

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