A Metaphysician Connects the Dots In Plain Sight at The Capitol
Insurrection. Sedition. Treason. Assault. Attack. Domestic terrorism. Rioters. Coup-plotters. Demagogy. Authoritarianism. White grievance. Intimidation. Protest. Counterprotest. Violent intruders. A bridge too far. Beyond the pale. A political cliff. Once-unthinkable political violence. A warning. A disgrace. A counterexample of democracy. Desecration. Shedding of innocent blood. A quagmire of dysfunction. A threat to liberty. Failed-state chaos. Anarchy. Coup. Forceful overthrow. Chilling drama. Our darkest fears. Worst-case scenario. Uprising. A convulsion. Unimaginable. A siege. Wrong. Illegal. Extremists. An utter disgrace. A horror story.
I finally stopped cataloguing the words used in today’s New York Times to categorize what happened in the Capitol yesterday. There aren’t enough superlatives, or we’ve run out of them due to our own overuse of that word account in the past four years.
The headline on Peter Baker’s article in yesterday evening’s New York Times read: “Washington in Final Convulsions of Trump Era.”
The same article closed with “Even Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of his strongest allies, essentially declared the Trump era done as he opposed the attempt to override the election results. ‘Enough’s enough,’ he said on the floor. ‘It is over.’”
I am so sorry to have to contradict you Mr. Baker and Senator Graham, but I am certain that you are one hundred percent in wishful thinking and not at all correct. It is, indeed, a horror story. It was convulsive. And it’s far from over.
But, Beloved, these events are also something else, and it’s time we noticed it.
The Nazarene Rabbi is noted for having reminded his dissenters There is nothing hidden which shall not be revealed. Or, in the positive of today’s English: Everything that is hidden shall be revealed. Everything.
This is what happened in Washington yesterday. Metaphysically speaking. A revelation.
That word has a shimmer of wonder about it, doesn’t it? Revelation is the final book in the Christian Scripture. It promises a new world, a new way of being, a new path to get there — if we’ll follow its instructions.
Not all revelation, Beloved, is the same. Yesterday’s events literally unmasked the dismay, the distrust, and the dystopian fear that has attached itself to a portion of our citizenry. Their masks came off, and with that, we who witnessed have the opportunity to see their despair, acknowledge their disenfranchisement, and do something about it — if we will. Some revelation, as many of the Hebrew Bible prophets can tell us, is woe, not wonder.
Ezra Klein is an Opinion Columnist. He writes, “For years, there has been a mantra that Republicans have recited to comfort themselves about President Trump — both about the things he says and the support they offer him. Trump, they’d say, should be taken seriously, not literally. The coinage comes from a 2016 article in The Atlantic by Salena Zito, in which she complained that the press took Trump ‘literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.’”
This revelation means that we must needs take, not him, but what he has fomented, fostered, and fermented both seriously and literally.
Mr. Klein again, “In a line that will come to define this sordid era (and sordid party), a senior Republican told The Washington Post, ‘What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change.’ What happened on Wednesday in Washington is the downside. Millions of Americans will take you literally. They will not know you are ‘humoring’ the most powerful man in the world. They will feel betrayed and desperate. Some of them will be armed.”
Exactly. Which is why I say we have experienced a revelation if we’ll allow ourselves to heed it. What has been hidden, barely, is revealed in all its dreadful, technicolor high relief. A significant portion of our citizenry is in pain, and unless we do something about it, their pain will not only continue, but it will grow, and so will the unrest it causes.
Facebook and Twitter, at long last, did the right thing yesterday. Admittedly, a little late, but better than never. They locked the accounts of the Seditionist-in-Chief. It’s a small step for social media.
Dan Barry and Sheera Frenkel write in “Trump Has Always Been a Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing,” “Renée DiResta, a researcher who studies online movements at the Stanford Internet Observatory, said that the violent disruption at the Capitol on Wednesday was the result of online movements operating in closed social media networks where claims of voter fraud and a stolen election found oxygen. ‘This is a demonstration of the very real-world impact of echo chambers.’”
These echo chambers must be opened up to fresh air. We must learn to listen to what is within listening distance. Kara Swisher’s podcast this week maintains, “If you were on this app, you saw it coming.” The app is called Parler, and the plans for the mob in Washington were spelled out there — pictures of assault weapons included — in full color. By no mistake, the word parler is French; it means to speak.
Seyward Darby is the editor in chief of The Atavist Magazine and the author of Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism. In her essay this morning, “The Far-Right Told Us What It Had Planned. We Didn’t Listen,” she says, “Wednesday wasn’t Trumpism’s ‘last gasp.’ It was the manifestation of a long-held fantasy. And most perpetrators walked away, uncuffed, to fight another day.”
They did. What I’m curious about is why, if Washington law enforcement including the F.B.I., the Pentagon, and the National Guard were forewarned about the violence, why wasn’t there a plan in place to stop it? Ms. Darby has an answer, an unpalatable one, but one that rings with the liberty bell of truth.
“Why, then, was America so unprepared? Experts on extremism know the answer to that question, too. Establishment institutions have long treated the threat of right-wing violence as a fringe matter. The government has done it, all but defining terrorism as a crime that could only be perpetrated by people who weren’t white. Law enforcement has done it, nourishing extremism in its own ranks. The press has been complicit, too, perpetuating narratives about ‘lone wolves’ and ‘isolated incidents’ rather than doing the urgent work of connecting the dots.”
It’s the same treatment the exponentially-increasing partner violence has received in our country. It’s also the same treatment that systemic racism has received. It’s also the same treatment that the epidemic of drug addiction has received. It’s also the same treatment that anything collectively deemed unattractive or unproductive or unmonetizable receives at the hands of those in our country who could — if we would — do something to change it.
The New York Times Editorial Board wrote this morning, “The president needs to be held accountable — through impeachment proceedings or criminal prosecution — and the same goes for his supporters who carried out the violence.” He does.
And so do we, Beloved. We must hold ourselves accountable for how we have, wittingly or unwittingly, participated in the creation of the despair strangling a significant portion of our citizenry. I am aware that this stance will not make me the most popular girl in school, but as a metaphysician, I am committed to revealing the significance behind what I see.
Here’s the Editorial Board again, “The modern Republican Party, in its systematic efforts to suppress voting, and its refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of elections that it loses, is similarly seeking to maintain its political power on the basis of disenfranchisement. Wednesday’s insurrection is evidence of an alarming willingness to pursue that goal with violence.”
It is a commonplace, Beloved, that hurt people hurt people. There are people in our Republic who are hurt, and so they are reaching out to hurt others.
On January 1st, on Twitter, “a supporter misspelled the word ‘cavalry’ in tweeting that “The calvary is coming, Mr. President!’ Mr. Trump responded: ‘A great honor!’ Known in linguistic circles as a Freudian slip, this tweet reveals a hidden truth.
Calvary is the hill outside of Rome where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. There is a crucifixion coming for Mr. Trump — far beyond the loss of an election. Will it be impeachment whilst he’s still in office? Will it be the invocation and enactment of the 25th Amendment? Will it be legal conviction for his many crimes against the nation? It doesn’t matter because it could be all of them.
Beloved, he is indeed a paper tiger, a faux messiah, and worse, a false idol, now toppled from his pedestal by his own followers. What was hidden, sort of, is now on full display and revealed.
The Editorial Board lamented then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s too little, too late response to the proposed obstructionism to the validation of the Electoral Vote saying, “They who sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.” Yes, they do.
But, we must never forget that it was out of the whirlwind that the long-suffering Job heard the still, small voice. That still, small voice is the voice of revelation, Beloved. That voice is alive, well, and speaking to us all through these events of our time.
Surely, some number of us can hear it and are beginning to connect the dots. Are we willing to stand together, and act upon what we hear to honor, heal, and grow through the pain of our compatriots? After what we witnessed yesterday, how could we possibly not be?
Dr. Susan Corso is a spiritual teacher, the founder of iAmpersand, and the author of The Mex Mysteries, the Boots & Boas Books, and spiritual nonfiction. Her essays address the intersection between spirituality and culture. Find out more at www.susancorso.com