Well, it’s about friggin’ time. Somebody besides an amateur loudmouth like me has come out and said what needs to be said, namely, that all this talk about how January 6th was an ‘insurrection’ and about how American democracy is on the verge of collapse is nothing but nonsense and shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone with half a brain.
The individual who made those prescient remarks was Jonathan Turley, who knows a little but about what does and doesn’t constitute a threat against democracy because he happens to be Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University Law School, and he happens to have a book coming out about how the ‘right’ to free speech is being challenged by what he calls the ‘age of rage’ on both sides.
We’ll see what Professor Turley has to say about why everyone seems to be all pissed off these days, but if there’s one thing that has changed over the last ten years or so, it’s the degree to which everyone now has the ability to tell everyone else why they’ve been screwed, or how much everything costs, or some other reason why they haven’t gotten what they deserved to get.
When I was in the 8th grade, a third of my classmates like me were going on to the academic high school and maybe then onto college and then some kind of career. Another third of the kids would go to the vocational high school tom learn a ‘trade.’ That’s what plumbing was called in the 1950’s – a trade.
Then the last third of my classmates, the real dummies, the kids who couldn’t read or write (dyslexia hadn’t been invented yet) would disappear into the power plant to shovel coal or to the P&G factory to make Ivory Soap, or to the corner deli to put on a white apron, take out the garbage and sweep the floor.
I’m talking about the boys, by the way. A few of the girls took the typing course at the vocational high school and got secretary jobs. They weren’t administrative assistants – they were secretaries. And the girls who didn’t or couldn’t type got knocked up by the time they were 15 or 16 and stayed home for the rest of their lives.
If you were one of my classmates who went to the academic high school, you never heard from any of the boys in the other two groups again. Maybe you’d read how one of those kids got killed in Nam later on – this happened to two pf my eighth-grade classmates, by the way.
That was then, this is now. And now all those kids who went nowhere after the 8th grade have spent their lives being pissed off because they never got paid what they deserved to get paid, or they bought a cheap car which turned out to be a piece of shit, or their kids grew up and still can’t find a decent-paying job.
Guess what? All those heretofore unseen and unknown people can talk to the whole fucking world just by buying a handheld phone. And if they can’t spell the words correctly, the AI software will do it for them.
Remember Nixon’s ‘silent majority?’ They’re not silent anymore and they have a champion whose name happens to be Donald Trump.
Imagine how much fun it must have been to drive all the way to D.C., march from the Ellipse to the Capitol, run up the stairs, smash through the barriers and – get this! – the folks back home get to see what you’re doing while you’re doing it because you’re sending them a video in real-time.
And when the riot ends and they all go home, we get experts like Robert Reich telling us on YouTube that we are on the cusp of a Fascist regime. Reich is a labor guy. What does he know about Fascism? I’ll bet that neither Reich or any of the other experts on the Fascist ‘threat’ have ever read William Shirer’s The Nightmare Years, which was his daily observations of Berlin during the Nazi takeover in 1933.
Granted, 2023 isn’t 1933. The world changes and to predict what will happen now based on what happened 75 years ago isn’t, shall we say, much of an exercise in expertise.
But if you want to read what a real expert about the democratic system believes is what Trump represents, take a look at Jonathan Turley’s column in USA-Today.