Sadder but wiser
Screengrab taken from video (linked below)
In response to the horrific events of last Wednesday in my country of origin, I refer you to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s excellent video about the subject of the US Capitol being invaded by people who seemed to think a free and fair election means nothing unless your candidate wins. The video is at the bottom of this blog.
That’s not the way democracy works, but as the good former governor of California says, swords are made stronger through tempering, and the US system is sadder, but stronger this week. The fabric was tested and it held against a mob. Sadly, people lost their lives, including a Capitol police officer. It did not have to be this way.
The US has never had to go through this before, because it has never had such a person so completely ill-suited for the job, and so unwilling to see beyond lining his own pockets or his family’s. As the US trade representative for dairy said in a conference back after the election in 2017, elections have consequences. November 2016 certainly did.
I also think the US politicians who backed conspiracy theories and the occupant of the White House’s claims that the election was rigged, should be censored, or worse. If you don’t believe in the system that you were elected by, then perhaps you shouldn’t be in the system at all. Certainly not collecting wages, voting for laws, earning pensions and having a cheap haircut.
We are not immune to these baser instincts here in Europe. See Nigel Farage and his Brexit shenanigans, for which we are all now paying the price here in the UK. Northern Ireland is now a de facto part of the EU, and there is a border in the Irish Sea.
And where is old Farage now? Campaigning against a British lockdown, while thousands of people are rolled into hospitals here in the UK. Considering he has never even held an elected office in the UK, it is awe-inspiring how people like him just mine their pits of disinformation and stir the pot. They make money and people die because they keep dishing out their divisive ideas.
It also goes to show that social media wears many hats, and the riling up of the electorate can be one of those. Perhaps it’s time for politicians (who appear to be short-term thinkers) to look a little more long-term and treat these avenues of communication as public sector services, like electricity and water.
I have faith that the US will recover from this, and with the inauguration of President Joseph Biden, we will have sanity restored in America. It may be that the Republicans will have to have a good hard look at themselves and who they decide to put up for an election. Perhaps it’s time for a party that has sold itself to a frankly insane and greedy demogogue, to rethink its whole operation. It may be that we will see a US President impeached twice, which is another first for the US.
Like the one US Representative who was pictured on the floor of Congress, helping to clean up the mess, there will be a lot of tidying up to do. Best get a mop out.
To finish, I refer you again to Arnie, who is very much a cheerleader for America, like many immigrants. There is nobody who will back a country like someone who has chosen it to live, work and raise a family in. But backing it doesn’t mean you’re silent when it’s under attack, and for that I thank him.
- Suzanne Christiansen, editor, Dairy Industries International.
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