Recent history has offered some perspective on how important things are, or should be. The ex-President became “ex,” but refused to concede and his followers sacked the Capitol in a deadly insurrection. For many readers, politics is certainly a lesser thing in life. For this political writer, though, there are degrees of importance within the unimportant. Herewith is mention of some sub-sub-topics, some of which may not register on your Richter Scale.
Cancel Culture (see also Silencing). This is a favorite complaint of a declining minority group unwilling to acknowledge their minority status. The basic idea is that the big(ger), bad majority and other malign actors, e.g., the mainstream news outlets and social media, are waging a coordinated effort to silence the rational voices of the aggrieved minority. This was never raised as long as said baddies operated under their laissez-faire standards that allowed any whack-a-doodle idea to become a thing. Now the minor voice no longer gets the broadcast it once did. Or, when it does raise general interest, it is uniformly in a negative light.
Hairsplitting. It generally means someone is making too fine a distinction of little importance, but RepubliQAnons have developed it into a science. First in the House where 197 of them voted not to accept Electoral College results, the standard process for determining presidential elections since written into the Constitution. That would be since 1789, 231 years and 59 elections ago. Some republicans claimed elections “irregularities,” but not in their own states. (It seems the party of “states’ rights” wanted to meddle in the elections of other states.) Some claimed illegal processes, but none that affected their own victories. Some claimed unconstitutional usurpation of legislative powers by governors. None had objected in 2016 when their chosen candidate lost the popular election by 3 million votes. None were swayed by the argument that such transgressions likely occurred within the normal fluidity of all large elections. They rose to contest the result where their chosen candidate lost by 7 million votes.
Return of the “Party of No.” RepubliQAnons are again being obstructionists. While hammering Obama for adding $9 trillion to the federal debt over eight years (to combat an economic recession), they were complicit with trump adding $8 trillion over half that time. They liked the trump tax cuts ($1.9 trillion, mostly to upper income) and coronavirus relief ($1.8 trillion), but now are deficit hawks for a Democratic president.
“The revolution will not be televised.” In contrast to that 1960s slogan, the current insurrection has been televised and began months ago with trump’s call to his people to “Stop the Steal.” The storming of the Capitol on 1/6 and the resultant second impeachment trial of Mr. trump are just the most current in a public process that will continue until the conspiracists and sycophants run out of breath.
Fear Factor. The RepubliQAnon racial appeal to whites is that Black people are coming to take our jobs and spoil our neighborhoods. Deposed-president trump voiced that in July when he claimed reducing segregation will cause, “your home [to] go down in value and crime rates [to] rapidly rise … [and] totally destroy the beautiful suburbs. Suburbia will be no longer as we know it.” That would seem an irrational fear considering Blacks make up less than 13% of our population (60% white), 12% of the middle class (59% white), and only 8% of American millionaires (76% white). Against those odds, those must be some powerful dudes and dudettes.
Impeachment Trial. Not really. A trial is where the jurors swear to be impartial, discard their preconceptions, and make judgments based on the presented evidence. Maybe, because so many legislators are already attorneys and routinely excused from Jury Duty, they’ve never been asked to do that before. On the bright side, the outcome roughly mirrored America. Fifty-seven percent of Senator jurors voted to convict. Polls giving respondents only the same options as jurors (yay or nay) show 56% (CBS News) supported conviction.