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EDITORIAL – Blame goes much further than the man in the White House

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 mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8419 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

8 Comments on EDITORIAL – Blame goes much further than the man in the White House

  1. David Johnson // January 7, 2021 at 4:08 PM // Reply

    Agreed completely.

    Where we can easily say that complicity is shared with every single person that voted for him, there is a problem attached to that. Almost 70 million people did so. 70 million. That’s near double the population of Canada, of all ages, period. This, on its own, is a serious problem.

    In 2016 it was almost reasonably excusable; The Hillary issue, the general distaste for Washington and his ‘drain the swamp’ rhetoric, and other issues. It isnt a surprise that this revolt happened. But for that many people to have actively ignored 4 full years of his behaviour and blatant corruption … yet enabled him with this many votes in 2020 anyway, suggests something far darker is at work here.

    Even though it is an obvious stretch, its not unreasonable to draw parallels between his relationship with his supporters and what was experienced inside Nazi Germany. The people as a group dynamic inside Germany were literally brainwashed by Hitler and more importantly each other, to continue the course at all costs.

    Thats what we saw happen in Washington this week.
    Brainwashed peons exploding in open revolt.

    Whether the goal is aryan supremacy or pseudo-democratic, freedom loving, capitalism … the journey from a mass group dynamic perspective is the same … a deep need to control the will of others. That is the elephant that Canada’s mouse is presently perched on.

    The very best we can hope is that after a couple years of Biden and a Democratic House and Senate majority, the bond between the ideal and the group … cracks, and by the next election these 70 million lackadaisically return to either mainstream ‘best of the worst’ voting or back to not voting at all.

    Anything less than that means somewhere between a mildly rocky road for the rest of us,
    or an outright heavily armed revolution, right in our back yard.

  2. Correct, Mel. A 19th century French philosopher observed that democracy gives a people the government they deserve. Trump reflects accurately the worst, dominant traits of the ultimate commercial deal, the film flam artist, the dealer, the cheat, the liar. American economic success has relied too heavily on that ethic, and it has come home to roost. P.Graham

  3. Richard Delmar Lodmell // January 7, 2021 at 9:40 AM // Reply

    Italy has proven foreign interference in the US election and Trump will invoke the Insurrection Act. Trump will be the President for four more years. Pence and many others will be arrested for treason.

  4. I’m not a Trump supporter, but I think the vast majority of people who voted for him are actually good people. However, they are also grossly misinformed. I think we’ve seen through history how large populations can be manipulated. In my opinion, the people who are really to blame are the one’s who enabled him, political opportunists, career opportunists, media moguls like Rupert Murdock. It’s funny to see some of these people turn on dime (like Pence and Lindsay Graham) when the winds suddenly shift. Absolute hypocrisy.

  5. R Marcus Lowe // January 7, 2021 at 8:51 AM // Reply

    Great Comments, only one flaw; conspiracy fact, not theory. I add that communication between the FBI and RCMP warned many years ago that criminals were determined to infiltrate the National Police services, and now this has been proven the by The Fifth Estate journalists:
    …RCMP secrets scandal…

    • The Fifth Estate investigation points to another badge of dis-honor on the RCMP, more than anything else. That’s tragic in its own right.

  6. Trevor Jackson // January 7, 2021 at 8:15 AM // Reply

    My sentiments exactly!
    Why do we not hear thus from more prominent people?

  7. As you may be aware, very many in Kamloops, including some seemingly relatively high profile right-wing influencers are worshiping at the altar of Trump.

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