I wanted to spend some time sharing my personal thoughts relating to recent events in the US. Even though I no longer reside there I am still concerned as I have in-laws and friends living there whose daily routines have become quite stressful over the past few years.

From The Beginning

There has always been this underbelly of hate groups in the US, for example white supremacists, Nazi’s and those who abuse religion for financial gain. This hate and division came to the forefront due to one man, Donald Trump, a catalyst that has bought out the worst in society. Trump’s interference goes back as far as his racist commentary on President Obama, the birther conspiracy, which might have contributed to Republican’s refusal to deal with a black head of state, it seemed they would have rather of destroyed the country than agree on any law. The past four years, 2016-2020, has seen the deterioration of society norms and the breakdown of civil discussion as Trump would instigate hate across the nation and globe.

Assault on Congress

On Wednesday 6 January Trump supporters led an attack on Congress as instigated by the President himself. Supporters broke into the building causing havoc as legislators and their staff ran for cover in safe spaces. This assault was most likely to stop the proceedings in confirming Biden as the next President so Trump could continue on in office for the next four years. It was an attempted coup. However, the people who infiltrated the building were a rag tag bunch of protesters who quite clearly didn’t have a strategy given the chaotic yet uncoordinated effort into the building. They did cause a lot of damage, four people were killed, but at the end of the day it would not have been successful.

Clearly, the authorities were unprepared for this event and took the police and national guard hours to reach the building and this was after they had to be requested by leaders in the building. There was no excuse for the inadequacies of the authorities, there was plenty of chatter such an event would happen but no security forces were ready for this.

Republican Legislators

Over the past four years the Democrats have been calling out Trump for his vile behaviour however most Republicans refused to do so and it felt they were complicit in the Presidents actions. Some Republicans were co-instigators of the assault on Congress it seems. Obviously, these legislators should resign but they most likely won’t.

There are many Republican lawmakers around the country who have quietly lobbied and welcomed Trump’s support in their election campaigns as though getting his endorsement is the only route to success. So, they have literately got in bed with the devil to get into office, anything for power. An example of one such legislator is Claudia Tenney of NY22 who, a day after the assault on Congress, still hadn’t called out Trump for instigating the violence, she would rather condemn local community journalists than a demagogue. Ms Tenney is not alone as there are many other Republicans who also haven’t called him out although they did condemn the violence.

I can understand and appreciate why people would want to vote for Republicans, but their party has seen a significant deterioration since the days of the “Tea Party” and now Trumpism. Let’s be clear, Trump is a monster, the party has to evolve and can do better than it is now.  The further apart both the Republicans and Democrats are the less likely they are to agree or compromise on anything.

Social Media

For 4+ years netizens have been submitting their case for Trump’s removal from social media platforms, he breaks their rules on a daily basis, where others are locked out or suspended for much lighter reasons. The day of the assault Twitter and Facebook decide the time is up on him and have taken appropriate action. Given that Twitter is Trump’s main conduit of hate it would have been preferable to take down his account before now and as a result the assault may not have happened or at the least not such an impact as we saw. Continued scrutiny of these companies really need to be escalated in the coming months and years. As soon as Trump is no longer a President hopefully all social media will permanently ban him.

Going Forward

The US obviously made the right choice in electing Biden and Harris, this will set a new way forward. However, because Trump failed on so many levels, their portfolio of issues is huge, I don’t envy them. Some of those issues are:

  • COVID19 pandemic
  • Climate Change
  • Health Care
  • Uniting the country
  • Repairing broken diplomatic relations
  • Rejoining organizations like WHO
  • Civil Rights ie equality for Black people, LGBTQ, women, Asian community etc
  • Immigration

Even within the COVID19 project there are many sub-projects such as convincing people to wear masks, ensuring health care facilities have all the resources they need, ensuring a quick vaccine rollout, convincing deniers the vaccine is safe.

The worst of the US has been on display over the past four years, everybody should realize what the issues are, ensure it doesn’t happen again, learn many hard lessons and pave the way for a better future ensuring this disaster never happens again. Oh, ensure Trump and associates are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, this is the only way to stop it from happening again, no one is above the law and actions = consequences.

Last Thought

I would really welcome a day of mourning to show respect to the victims of the pandemic.  Too many have been lost. I am still pleased I left the US, very pleased, even if Biden is President that might be good in the short term however what will happen after that? Another person like Trump? I hope not but I couldn’t take the risk in staying there and going through that again.