The Treachery of (Words and) Images
Wednesday’s events were horrible, dangerous, infuriating, and predictable. People with weapons easily breached the Capitol, gallows were hung (perhaps performative, perhaps not), and people were attacked and some died. The country was stunned, and both establishment and social media have been deeming this Trump’s “coup” or an “insurrection” from the first. It’s hard to talk about this. Trump is horrid, detestable, and dangerous, and any time you try to reel the rhetoric back, you can be accused of being an apologist for a cruel, racist, inhuman bigot who happens to be president—which all makes sense. But doing awful things doesn’t mean we have fascism, and vandals and thugs breaking into a sacred public building doesn’t mean we’ve had a coup. There’s no saving grace to any of this, but it needs to be viewed clearheaded and coldblooded.