Democracy Under Siege

Okay. I wasn’t sure I was going to opine on what happened in DC earlier this week, since I don’t really have any new insights. But hey. How often does a retired senior citizen with access to a computer and the internet have the opportunity to sit on his couch and watch a gaggle of domestic terrorists attempt to overthrown the government of the USA?

Fortunately, not often. In fact, the last time the Capitol was breeched by a group of armed thugs was during the War of 1812. And the British didn’t even have Twitter or Facebook to mobilize the dim-witted masses.

This assault on our democracy — and our elected leaders — is clearly nothing to laugh about.

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I digress.

I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to believe that Trump helped incite this riot via his tweets and other comments that launched a host of conspiracy theories and gave rise to the notion that the election was stolen, even though no credible evidence of voter fraud has surfaced.

Still, Trump supporters — who now constitute the white nationalist wing of what used to be the Republican Party — believe it is better to trash the Constitution rather than abide by it.

Fortunately, those who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

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And then there is this guy who must have either taken a vacation day or called in sick to join the mob.

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Oh well. I heard this morning on MSNBC that his employer terminated this douchebag. And that’s probably a good thing. I expect that he will soon be joining many of his comrades in prison — and I assume that would create a conflict for showing up to work every day.

I also worry about whether Wednesday’s assault on our country was the end of a tragic episode (read that to mean Trump’s presidency) or the beginning of a new chapter in our nation’s history marked by violence and God forbid, political assassinations. If what we witnessed at the Capitol was a preview of how we are going to live as a Banana Republic, then I would prefer not to see the main feature.

So, I guess we need to do at a minimum a couple of things:

One, Congress has to investigate how an armed mob was able to take control of what should be one of the most secure facilities in this country. And we have to make sure that nothing like this can ever happen again. Without putting too fine a point on this, what we witnessed was a catastrophic failure of the police and armed forces.

Two, social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook have to be held accountable for making it easy to spread lies and disinformation. They aren’t just innocent bystanders to this type of train wreck.

Three, we need strong national political parties that represent the views of all Americans. It is time to move on from the Republicans if they have morphed into the American Nazi Party.

Four, Trump needs to go, sooner rather than later. And if that means impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment, then so be it. 

Trump and his enablers provoked this assault on our democracy.

It’s time to close the book on this ugly chapter in American history.

And move on.

 

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Rob Jewell

I’m Rob Jewell and I live and write in Woodland Park, Colorado, the City Above the Clouds. I've been fortunate. I worked for 29 years at BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio. I started editing employee publications and ended as vice president of corporate communications. Then I started a public relations consulting company before becoming a full-time faculty member in the School of Journalism at Kent State University. I taught courses in writing, public relations and mass communication ethics. And I supervised a student-run public relations firm, called Flash Communications. During my tenure at Kent State I was honored to receive the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award. During most of this time I've been a dedicated runner. OK, jogger, if you take speed into consideration. But while my times are not much to write about, I was and am committed. For almost 30 years I ran at least 1,000 miles each year. (Except for one year when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis. So much for tennis.) Being on the road most mornings at 5 a.m. gave me some time to think. It also led to some amazing friendships that now span more than three decades. And my longtime love affair with running helped me shape my first novel, Then We Ran, which is available wherever electronic books are sold. And just so you don't think that all I did was work and run, I have other interests as well, many centering on family. My wife, Mary, was a successful and highly regarded career teacher in the Akron public schools. She now devotes her time and energy to a host of social and athletic activities in Woodland Park. My son, Brian, teaches at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs where he is also the head soccer coach. And my daughter, Jessica, has completed her doctorate at Kent State University where she is also an administrator with the Wick Poetry Center. I've done a lot of writing during my career -- but Jessica is the real writer in the family. I'll try not to make too many errors in this blog. I'm sure she'll be watching.

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