Having a late lunch and addicted to current events, I said to my husband, let's watch the news because Congress should be finalizing electoral college votes; and the Georgia Senate vote should be decided very soon now. The day before, we saw many friendly protesters waving their flags of TRUMP 2020 and Take back America on our way to our local shopping area. I thought it was out of context since we can not vote for Georgia in Florida, but this is a free country, and they have the freedom of expression as long as they are not hurting others.
As we turned on our kitchen TV and watched while warming our soupe du jour, in defiance of the legitimacy of the presidential fair vote, the Senator of Oklahoma was abruptly being stopped in mid-speech as everyone was quickly escorted out the chamber. My husband and I watched bewildered as the cameras promptly moved to the outside, where a sizeable calm crowd gathered. We felt as if we just turned on a conspiracy movie about the White House slowly being taken over by protestors. Quickly, the group had breached the House and Senate Chambers with a full-on assault. It was odd to see so many on the Capitol building steps, like a bunch of tourists, making their way in for a guided tour. To the best of my knowledge, that was not allowed, especially during a pandemic.
We witnessed Senators, Congress members, and staffers with the Vice President being escorted by the Secret Service into an undisclosed location. The Congress members were no doubt in shock as they put gasbags on their heads to protect them from chemical agents. We watched the mob dangerously managing to climb a balcony and hang an oversized Trump Flag. Much time had passed, when finally President-Elect Biden stated on the news, "these are Domestic Terrorists, not protestors!" Former living presidents also noted that this was an act of insurrection. We waited and hoped President Trump would join in condemning this violence and destruction we were witnessing. But instead, another shocking video of a lone guard left to defend the chambers without protection.
Early in the day, President Trump gave a speech. To the best of my knowledge, he said, "We are going to walk down to the Capital, and we are going to cheer on our brave Senators and Congressmen because you can't take back our country with weakness only strength!" Trump's goal has always been to overturn the election results. His supporters soon after headed to the Capital, surrounded the Capital, and climbed the walls chanting, "We, the people, will take our Capital back!" and shouted out, "This is Civil War!"
Transfixed for the remainder of the day and into the early evening, we witnessed mobs attack Our Constitution, desecrating a part of the State Capital, by storming the walls, and crashing through the windows while rifling through the Chamber. We watched violence turn to deaths and injuries.
On January 7, a day later, a Republican leader who supported Impeachment stated, "It is for this reason that I call for the Vice President and members of the Cabinet to ensure the next few weeks are safe for the American people, and that we have a sane Captain of the Ship." Many Democratic leaders are calling on the Vice President to invoke; the 25th Amendment, Impeachment or encourage him to resign immediately.
As a child, I felt secure and did not think of authorities as dangerous, certainly not the United States President, which was President Ronald Reagan, and before him President Jimmy Carter. They made us feel safe as children and proud to say The Pledge of Allegiance every morning before school commenced. I am proud to be an American. I have traveled the world a little, but enough to know how very fortunate we are to have a healthy Democracy that protects the people and our country.
I remain an optimist. Fortunately, I have witnessed much peace and order in my 51 years as a United States Citizen. I have lived long enough to see the U.S. economy rise and fall and rise again; deadly diseases like AIDS take hold and frighten a nation and leave us after a cure, only to witness a pandemic virus return with the same fear. Despite the loss of life and psychological damage, we always rebuild. I have seen good Presidents, both Republican and Democratic, all of whom I have felt did their best to keep our country safe and running well. And I am married to a British Actor, who proudly holds a GreenCard and hopes for citizenship. I reflect on American Independence from England after the war of 1812, and the lesson learned from the fall of the Roman Empire. Yesterday's events are nothing new in history. But it is our reality, and it hurts.
Stand up together, no matter what your beliefs, stay united, and bring our country together again.
2017 Pictured Above: a caged lion left in a failing Zambian zoo, which was taken over by the government of Zambia. Photographed during Kids Share Zambia workshop in the Lower Zambezi.
The Stymied Optimist asks to please comment on poor grammatical errors if you see any? Feedback and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for your kindness!