The ‘House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th 2021 Attack on the United States Capitol’ plans to open its hearings to the public sometime in May. Then, we are sure to learn a lot more about then President Trump’s role in the lead-up to the insurrection. Until then, given that he didn’t seem to relish performing the job itself and wasn’t very good at it, we are left to ponder just what it was that made him and his cadre so desperate to hold on to the office.
Only desperation accounts for the brash and extreme criminal actions taken by Trump and his coterie of extremists, quack lawyers, washed-up politicians, pseudo-intellectuals, and brownnosers during the period from just before the November 2020 election until January 6th, 2021? No one likes to lose, but openly trying to overturn an election??? Why was a second term so important to this lot? Were there other unknown crimes and misdemeanors committed by Trump and his administration that they hoped to cover up? Were willing to commit criminal acts in order to do so? Were the actions taken in order to facilitate large-scale criminal avarice in a second term? Was it all part of a scheme to install Trump as an autocrat for life? And, what quids pro quo were being proffered? Those who assaulted the Capitol on 6 January were but puppets (no quids for them) being manipulated by Trump and CO. It is possible that Trump himself is but a puppet. If so, whose, and why? The Committee had taken on a gigantic task. One essential to preserving our democracy. Trump and CO had come too close.
The January 6th insurrection was the effect. Whatever Trump and CO did in the lead up to January 6th was the cause. Before the November 2020 election, their slogan was still ‘Make America Great Again, MAGA. After the election, it become ‘Take Back America’. On January 6th, ‘Take Back America, was replaced by ‘Save America’. Each of these three slogans begged a call to action. All three were crafted to appeal to a specific audience; to be manipulatory. The first two, ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘Take Back America’, were borrowed favorites of the far-right Tea Party of the Republican Party that sprung up in opposition to President Obama in 2009. The third, ‘Save America’, seemingly came directly out of the bowels of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
‘Make America Great Again’ implied that America needed be restored to an earlier self without ever saying exactly when that was; something Trump followers seemed to know. What was it about the past that they found so attractive? About the present and probable future, that they didn’t like? The second slogan, ‘Take Back America’ may provide some clues. It implies that those to whom it appealed felt that America was once theirs; had of late been taken from them. That the America they once had was better because it was theirs, and would be better again if it was returned to them, its rightful owners. ‘Take America Back’ from whom? In America, we have a provision for deciding this sort of thing; something called the ballot. Likewise, in re ‘Save America’, circa 9 November 2020; save America from whom, for whom? From all others, for Trump & CO, of course. All these slogans were strings for manipulating the manipulable.
For Trump followers, the prospect of a President Biden meant that America would not be theirs again anytime soon, would not be ‘saved’, would not be made ‘great again’ (as they understood great to mean) soon. With the exception of the far-right, libertarian, anti-government, extremist militia groups, most of Trump’s supporters were a mishmash of manipulables who had little use for the truth, the facts, or reality. For them, Biden’s election meant that they were not getting their way. But then, not one of them knew how to drive a car anyway. They were unlikely to become desperate on their own. But, they could easily be manipulated into being so. By their own admission, that manipulation came down from Trump and his coterie. In early January 2021, a good many of them rushed to Washington D.C. to ‘Take Back’ and ‘Save’ America. Rushed with a good deal of assistance from dark money and groups like the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and The Proud Boys.
We know that Trump and his cadre were never ever the slightest bit concerned about what was best for America, the world. They were only concerned about their agenda; an agenda that we know was concentrated on a further seizing of the reins of government. Until May, there is still a lot that we don’t know. We do know that there are things that they have done that they do not want either the committee, the Justice Department, or the public to know.
The Committee’s focus has not on been the puppets who marched on the Capitol, but rightly on the puppeteers. Not on the followers, but the leaders. We will soon learn more about what all the Committee has found out about the role of Trump and his cadre, about who amongst them did what; especially, what role Trump himself played.