[This post was originally published in Black By God / The West Virginian in June, 2022]
The United States is under attack. We take casualties by the dozens daily, by the hundreds weekly, and all told the attackers have put hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens in the ground. We have lost more of our fellow Americans in the past two years than we lost in combat over 245 years.
Our little children have been massacred at their desks time and time again, but it is understood that nothing will be done to stop that horror. Weapons of disinformation , causing mass death , have been used against us with devastating effect, but we allow it to continue, and even amplify it. Our states are beleaguered, their citizens’ ability to choose their own leadership destroyed , or threatened .
Our capital has been assaulted and ransacked, but we have not avenged it.
The marauders tearing this country to pieces face no counterattack. They are abetted, when they are not honored, on television, in the newspaper, and on the radio. They are greeted as esteemed colleagues in the Congress and even at the White House. They take this as evidence they are going to win this war, and they may be right.
If any foreign power launched a rocket that killed seventeen American fourth-graders in their classroom, the 82nd Airborne would be in that country by nightfall. No expense would be spared to punish the guilty parties and legislation would be passed with veto-proof supermajorities even if it only purported to address the chance of a repeat. But since the victims in Uvalde were killed by an American AR-15 owner, we get melancholy lectures about “evil,” and preposterous proposals about locked doors. We’ve heard it all before.
The most wealthy and technologically advanced country in the world developed numerous vaccines for covid-19. Nonetheless, we lead the world in total deaths and have the eighteenth-highest per-capita rate (Slovenia: a bit worse; Paraguay: much better). Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died excruciating and lonely deaths, because of a concentrated campaign to misinform them about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines their own health care system invented to save them. Inflicting death on a scale not seen since World War II, the purveyors of vaccine denial enjoy large salaries, high ratings, and elite media profiles.
The last Presidency ended with an attempted coup d’etat. For months, the losing candidate lobbied for a reversal of the election by any legal chicanery that could be conjured by his sycophants. Even before the election occurred he made it clear that the point of his lawsuits was not to be correct but to justify violence against the opposition. He made every attempt to instigate that violence, and he succeeded.
The Secret Service detail entrusted with the life of the Vice President learned of threats to his person emanating from the President, not coincidentally on the day it was the Vice-President’s duty to declare the true results of the election. A violent mob captured the U.S. Capitol and searched it for the Vice President and Speaker of the House, preparing to hang them on the grounds. The former President rooted them on from the White House. He attempted to enlist the Justice Department and the Pentagon in the coup attempt.
Senators encouraged the plotters and raiders, delivering gossamer arguments to give cover and play for time. They are the same Senators who can most reliably be counted on to insist we allow child-murderers an unlimited choice of weapons, ammunition, and accessories. They are the same Senators who incited threats against our country’s top infectious disease doctors for political gain.
Encouraged by the utter lack of consequences, the attackers press ahead everywhere. The Republican candidate for governor of the fifth-largest state in America has suggested he will choose himself who should win the 2024 Presidential election in Pennsylvania. It is very clear whom he intends to choose if given the chance. Other candidates for governor, senator and secretary of state do the same.
The former President awaits the mid-term results. The Republican nomination in 2024 is his for the taking. He is confident a Republican Congress will declare the GOP candidate the winner of the next Presidential election regardless of the results. He only waits to know if he will have that Congress. His shambolic attorneys from 2020 will have been replaced by sharks before the next go-around.
But they are not counting on the lawyers or the law. The plan now, as then, is to organize violence and intimidation against the majority. The message is being received. They have calculated that we don’t have the stomach to fight them for our country. They are not the least bit deterred by sadly shaken heads, appeals to honor, or any angels their nature may have. They know what they did last time, and that there were no consequences. They only regret not hitting harder, and losing.
A country can be governed by people who don’t care if young children are killed in their classrooms – the most vicious have ruled more often than any other kind of people. But if a country is attacked, and its children are killed, and it is made to suffer and suffer, and the leaders merely shake their heads sadly and do nothing, then they will not be the leaders for long. The meek may one day inherit the earth, but they will not inherit the gavels in the next Congress.
Our country is under attack. We have done precious little to defend her for two long years. Our losses have been enormous, and our chances weaken every hour. If we don’t start fighting very soon, we are going to lose the United States of America.