America can begin to move past ‘shameful’ day

There are no words which can adequately capture the unbelievably terrifying and shameful nature of the events of Jan. 6.

Sadly, this was the predictable culmination of four years of hateful and inflammatory rhetoric, relentless and manipulative propaganda and disinformation, and the progressive cultivation of a cult of personality and its shared delusional/paranoid belief system — fueled by wild conspiracy theories and propagated by many Republicans and their supportive media outlets — by Donald Trump. This was the foreseeable outcome of putting a malignantly narcissistic sociopath into a position of such extraordinary power.

Along with many others, mental health professionals and those who have studied the rise of dictatorships around the world have been sounding the alarm about how this would likely go for the past four years. And here we are.

Raging over t

he reality of his loss in the recent election and displaying progressively escalating emotional and mental instability,

Trump openly incited a violent insurrection and a violent attack on our nation’s capital by his most rabid followers in some deranged effort to overthrow the results of this election by force and install Trump as its dictator.

These brazen rioters, some with weapons, nooses and zip-ties, and some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” (with a gallows erected outside), were clearly looking for elected officials to take as hostages and then implement their dark version of “justice,” while otherwise doing as much looting, vandalism and damage as possible as they rampaged throughout the capital.

These are the kinds of events characterizing what we used to mockingly refer to as “banana republics” elsewhere in the world, and which dictators throughout the world surely watched unfolding with huge smiles on their faces.

This was without doubt one of the darkest days in American history, and it could have been much worse except for the courageous efforts of many of the overwhelmed law enforcement personnel defending our nation’s capital as well as the elected officials there to do their constitutional duty to finalize the actual results of this election.

\Let’s call it what it was — an attempt to overthrow our democracy and seize power by violent force. And its leader was the President of the United States, who took an oath to defend our nation against such threats. Let that sink in.

Fortunately, despite being under attack from within by Mr. Trump and his enablers over the past four years, somehow — thankfully — our democracy weathered this attack and held firm. And now we must all come to terms with what happened here, do what we can to repair the damage, and learn the lessons now staring us all in the face — that our democracy is indeed fragile, and that the many vulnerabilities exposed by Trump’s efforts to exploit them to serve his insatiable need for power must be fixed before another such person undertakes what could be a more successful effort to overthrow our democracy and replace it with an authoritarian regime with him/her as its “Dear Leader.”

America is better than this. We must be. This cannot happen again.

Dale Buonocore is a Warren resident.


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