Lessons From January 6th

Joseph M. Bowers

Many Americans believe that our government has been stolen from us. It wasn’t stolen. It was bought and paid for. It’s not that great a leap in logic to think that it has to be taken back by force if necessary. For Trump and many Republican leaders to incite this kind of violence through misinformation, lies and silence was not nearly as difficult as it might have been had both parties not ceased to serve and represent the common citizen some time ago. For Democrats to be all shocked and self righteous is wrong and unjustified. Democrats have as much to learn from this as Republicans.

Not every person who supported Trump was a racist, white supremist, misogynous, Qanon follower, conspiracy theorist, or deplorable of any sort. Many were solid citizens attracted by the fact that Trump wasn’t part of either political establishment, both of which they believed justifiably had deserted them. To them he might be someone who would give them back a voice.

It is time to transform our oligarchy back into a representative democracy. In this country we have often made major changes to our government through elections. May this last election and the violence following it prove to be sparks that return our government to all the citizens. The Republicans guilty of allowing their leaders to mislead Trump supporters have the most to feel guilty about. But leaders of both parties have much to learn from this.

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