January 6th and The Big Lie

Joe Biden won the election in 2020.

That should not be a political statement, should it? We had an election. Votes were counted. Some votes were disputed and taken to courts. Audits were completed. An insignificant amount of voter fraud was found, mostly for Trump, and it was not enough to change the results of the election.

Trump appointed judges, Republican-led auditors, and independent sources verified the results.

These are statements of fact. They are not political opinions. It is observable reality.

In 2016, when Trump won, I found it difficult to believe, too. I had to take a lot of deep breathes. I squinted my eyes at some districts, and I definitely believe that the Russia-empowered social media bots and ads played a part in influencing American voters, but I don’t think I ever believed that Trump stole the election. I believed Clinton lost it. And, believe it or not, I spent a couple of weeks thinking that maybe Trump would surprise us all in a good way and maybe be good for the country.

He was not. He surprised us, sure, but it wasn’t good. He was worse than I could possibly imagine.

Those are my opinions, which are political. My opinions were formed after observing with my own senses the words and actions of The Former Guy. They’re still my opinions, which are different from the fact that Biden won the election in 2020.

It’s important to restate this, making clear the difference between opinion and fact. Some folks get these two things mixed up. A whole lot of those people are currently wearing or have worn red hats.

On January 6th, 2021, Trump told his followers to march to the Capitol. He fired them up. And they showed up, with zip ties and Trump flags, and the material to erect a gallows. They beat police officers and broke down doors. They spread capitol defenders with pepper spray and bear repellent. They climbed the walls, broke windows, rifled through desks and cabinets, spread feces on the walls, and some of them were looking for the Vice President with the intention of stringing him up to the gallows they erected. They did this in order to overturn the election, which I cannot stress enough, was legally won by Joseph Robinette Biden.

In the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, some portion of our country lost their goddamn minds and tried to overturn democracy. It’s kind of a big deal.

And, there are still people promoting The Big Lie, that the election was stolen. The people that were part of the insurrection a year ago believed The Big Lie then. Too many people a year later believe it now. Elected officials are promoting it. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Greene are idiots and dirt bags, but they’re still elected officials. They’re conduct should be held to a higher standard, but who is going to censure them?

Gaetz is under investigation for sex trafficking. Greene ran unopposed in her district, doesn’t have an office in her district, has been removed from all of her board appointments in congress, and has been banned from Twitter and Facebook. In the fullness of time, I think Gaetz and Greene will reap what they’re sowing today. But for the short term, they’re promoting The Big Lie and effectively keeping the insurrection from a year ago going.

This is why my faith in humanity is so shaken. Idiots that prove their idiocy with their words and actions aren’t ignored and shunned, but instead trend on social media platforms and take up space in our conversations, and they get media coverage and followers.

The “Grab Them By The Pussy” Guy should not have won the vote of conservative Christians. The “Jewish Space Laser” Lady should never have been taken seriously again after uttering those words, and she shouldn’t be given a microphone and screen time. And the sex trafficker should be in jail. None of them should be taking up 3 out of 5 headlines when I look at the news.

I pinch the bridge of my nose and I sigh and I think about how we’ve come to this place, and it always goes back to money. We gawk at train wrecks and car crashes, and the gawking equates to clicks and view time when it comes to media. For news agencies, that turns into profit, as people clicking their articles and watching their programs means that advertisers will give them their money.

The problem always traces back to money.

This isn’t even what I wanted to talk about. I thought it would be interesting to compare how we reacted to September 11th to our reaction to January 6th. With the former, we came together for a brief time. With the latter, we became more divided than ever. We’re still taking off our shoes before we get on an airplane. How have we changed after January 6th?