An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
I’M TIRED OF BEING TOLD what a great country the United States is despite its current troubles. It’s not great anymore.
This is not your grandfather’s America, the one that has always had warts but almost always came down on the side of what’s right, that saved our butts on many an occasion, that has been our friend through thick and thin, the one I called home for several years.
At the height of yesterday’s riots in Washington, Joe Biden insisted “this is not who we are.”
Sorry, Joe, it’s not your fault but this is exactly who you are. The responsibility for yesterday’s stupendously shameful display of disrespect and violence falls squarely on the shoulders of the disgraced man in the White House, but Donald Trump couldn’t have done it unless so many people bought into his lies.
Optimists like to say his supporters are reasonable, right-thinking people who just happen to have a different point of view. I disagree. They are complicit. Each and every American who voted for Trump — whether or not they have any involvement in these dangerous protests and conspiracy theories — has enabled him, what he stands for, and the sad, tragic results of that.
Each one shares the blame for Trump’s racism, hate, intolerance and narcissism.
Without them, Trump could never have incited protesters to become insurrectionists as they did Wednesday.
As the mouse sleeping beside the elephant, we at home have cause to worry. Aside from the dangers of living alongside such instability, we’re already feeling the effects of U.S.-style intolerance.
Trump will be in office for two more weeks. There’s talk of invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office now, which would leave Mike Pence in charge until Biden is sworn in.
It’s a long shot but it could salvage some hope that the so-called “democratic experiment” in the U.S. can survive Trump, and maybe even become great again.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.