The infighting has begun. There are those claiming that some of the protesters weren’t supporters of the Grand Nagus while some of the protesters are saying that they most certainly are. There are calls for impeachment, for invoking the 25th Amendment, other such things. His supporters are now turning on him. The fallout can be seen everywhere.
It hits far too close to home. It feels too familiar, too close.
In the 1990s, my father took a hard right turn. It seemed to be his version of a midlife crisis; instead of buying a sports car and dyeing his hair, he started talking about join a militia and moving to Alaska where “the government” coldn’t get to him. He started buying guns, before the government was going to start “taking them away”. (I’m still waiting on that.) He started listening to G. Gordon Liddy and Rush Limbaugh and he started quoting them verbatim. He railed against Hillary Clinton. He had a subscription to Media Bypass magazine and treated it as though it was a legitimate news source. He quit his job, then blamed the company, claiming that they fired him.
You’re reading that correctly: according to my father, it was the company’s fault that he “lost his job”. It had nothing to do with him calling in on a humid Monday morning and saying that he quit. It was all on the cable company. 🙄
It was also right around that time that my dad became libertarian. “Mainstream” politicians couldn’t be trusted and both parties were the exact same. His was the only one that could be trusted.
To me, it sounded like he had joined a cult. I saw that same behavior on Wednesday. The fanatical dedication to something that seemed bigger and more important than its followers, that seemed to make up the single most important facet of their lives. Nothing mattered to these people except their movement, their belief. This moment, in their eyes, was bigger than anything else.
I saw something very similar in my father. The conspiracy theories, the talk of militias and armed resistance against some nebulous force that was supposedly from the government, the idea that men in black SUVs would break down our front door to shoot the dogs and take “our” guns, was all-encompassing to him. He was right about this, give it time, the government would turn on us, just wait and see. Then there would be the revolution!
Well, the revolution was televised on Wednesday and the United States promptly became a laughingstock. Five people died. A woman was shot dead as she tried to climb through a broken window in the Capitol Building. Several people tased themselves to death. An officer was beaten. Cultists defecated and smeared their own feces around as though they were untrained animals. The more I think about it, the worse it gets.
But the most sickening thing? Twenty five years ago, my own father might have been among the crowds. If the rallying cry had been against the Clintons or against gun control or in support of the Minutemen or some other militia, my dad might have packed a couple of firearms in his truck and driven to Washington DC, as a show of solidarity. My mother wold have probably left with him. I would have stayed behind, charged with taking care of the dogs. This never happened, thankfully. Because I don’t know how long I might haven been sitting at home, waiting for them to come back.
For all I know, they might not have ever come back. It’s a distinct possibility.