If you are anything like me, sometime in the early afternoon you got wind about something happening in DC and ended up spending the next few hours glued to Youtube, Twitter, or wherever you were getting your livestream feeds. If you are anything like me, even your own family was divided on how we should understand and interpret the chaos that was going on as, for the first time in American history, the capitol building was stormed.
I am willing to bet that easily 90% of those reading this will fall into one of two camps. One camp is saying, “This is little different than the protests that were happening a couple months ago. Except then buildings were being destroyed and people were getting hurt and the government did nothing. Now, a few windows are smashed and one person gets shot and they are calling in the national guard and calling this a disaster.”
The other camp is saying, “This is not the same thing. Those protests were well deserved outrage against murder piled upon centuries of racism and systematic injustice. This is just a bunch of whiners throwing a temper tantrum because their guy didn’t win.”
I get it. No matter what camp you might fall into, I get it. But I don’t agree. Yes, the news seems to be overreacting to this protest while downplaying those that happened before. Yes, there is probably a level of bias that is partly to blame. But can you blame them? Whether justified or not, our previous president pretty much declared war on mainstream media and they were more than happy to oblidge. If someone were to believe that yesterday’s protest was no different than the previous ones then yes, everybody was overreacting.
But they are not the same. Never before had our capital building been stormed like that. Although there has been corruption and fraud in past elections, I feel that the confidence in our democratic process has eroded as bad as it ever has been in my lifetime and for far less justification. Was there some voter fraud? Almost certainly. Was it organized or enough to influence the outcome? Not even close. Using riots and chaos to interrupt even what might be considered a rigged election is not healthy. This is what gave Rome the Gracchi brothers, Marius, and eventually Caesar and the end of the republic. Each of these guys felt like they were working towards the good. They each went about doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. And they each contributed to a downward spiral that was destroying the very thing they were trying to protect.
So it is time for us to take a step back. I don’t like Biden. I didn’t vote for him and I am not hopeful that he will be a good thing for the US. Even more so, I am not a fan of Harris. I will definitely be praying for long life and healthy days for our next president because her stepping in downright scares me.
Even still, at this point Biden is our president in every way except the swearing in. Whether or not the election was rigged, the opportunity to do something about it has long since passed. The kind of chaos that would have angry mobs storming our capital building and interrupting our democratic process have no place in America.
Red or blue, conservative or liberal, we all need to take a step back and begin to step across the aisle. I don’t have to agree with someone’s opinion to respect it and strive to understand why they would think the way they do. I should be able to share a meal with my neighbor even if we vote and view the world differently. It is time we start building bridges rather than burning them.