Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus
Question #93461 posted on 02/09/2021 5:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Thoughts/rants/comments about the insurrection at the Capitol this week? Predictions about how it will impact the future of the USA?

-Angry, tired, and scared

A:

Dear you,

Well, that was certainly crazy. I guess that's what we get when we have elected officials crying election fraud even before the election happened. I mean it's one thing to spread doubt about the integrity of our elections after you lose, but it's an entirely different thing to do that before the election has even happened. But should we have been surprised something like this happened? Not after we elected Donald Trump as President of the United States. 

I should clarify: I wasn't surprised protests were happening, but I was surprised those protesters stormed the Capitol building. Who, in their right mind, thinks that physically going after members of Congress is a good idea? I guess people in their far-right or alt-right mind do.

It was embarrassing and is a reminder that we are not "the greatest country in the world." I remember one of my professors bemoaning how millenials don't think the United States of America is exceptional. But how can we laud ourselves when we are falling behind in healthcare, education, happiness, etc.? Now something like this happens? We need real change if we want to have a chance at restoring our credibility.

Short-term prediction: Conservatives (mostly extreme conservatives) will continue to believe that everyone is against them. This leads to more people abandoning mainstream media and social media companies. Even middle-of-the-road moderates will be seen as Liberals because of Conservatives moving more to the right. This leads to further gridlock in Congress and makes it almost impossible for moderate conservatives to win the Republican nomination for President.

Long-term prediction: Necessary changes to our political system are made very slowly. By 2050, ranked choice voting becomes the norm and the two party system fails shortly after.

Here's to hoping for a saner world.

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear same,

I'm really not sure why the majority of Republicans seem insistent on driving the conservative movement into the ground with the former president at the wheel--not that political damage is more important than loss of life or federal crime in and of itself--but movements like this are tantamount to political suicide. I don't relish the thought of being associated with the loons who broke into the Capitol from now to forevermore, but so it shall be if the Republicans don't pull their heads out of the sand and break out of the siren song of Trumpism. This cult of personality has been unsettling to watch.

Trump has continued to astound me with how consistently he struck out in an election that I thought was his to lose--the fact that it took a riot breaching the capitol for him to concede an election that had been over for two months is both sad and embarrassing.

With that said, I'm fervently grateful the riots were (relatively) contained as it could have been a lot worse than it was.

For all the condemnation the riot deserves, and Trump in particular for his intemperate and irresponsible rhetoric in contributing to it, I think the comparisons drawn to Pearl Harbor by one Sen. Schumer, and the general hysteria from the left about an "armed insurrection" and invocation of the 25th Amendment was, frankly, more than a little overwrought. Not that Trump isn't responsible or this isn't an awful thing--far from it--but I think there's an element of embellishment at play mistaking the former president's ignorance and self-serving ego for malice. Of course, that's not much of a defense--I think impeachment was a proper response even given how little time remained in his term--but it's not really meant to be. I do think it's a bit of a mischaracterization to suggest that Trump willfully fomented armed insurrection and/or domestic terrorism against the United States, mostly because I frankly don't think he (or the rioters at large) were competent & organized enough to have really thought that far ahead. The most revealing part of this whole sad affair was how obviously it demonstrated that Trump cares about no one except himself and his own family, and how doggedly he refuses to own up to his own failures. A win against Biden shouldn't have been terribly difficult, but with incompetent mismanagement of a global pandemic, sulking from the White House about election results when he could have been taking a victory lap over vaccine rollouts, mocking proper mask-wearing procedure for no discernable reason, and more besides, it's not surprising to me that Biden eked out the win.

I'm not enthusiastic about the Biden presidency, and even less eager to see a possible (some might say probable) Harris presidency. I'm also not optimistic about the health of the Republican party. I hope, for all our sakes, they'll be able to get their act together in a post-Trump world. But we'll see.

Glumly,

9S