Editor's desk stock photo.

The Editor’s Desk: One for the history books

Jan. 6 seems destined to be a day that lives on in infamy in America

Last week was quite the time, wasn’t it? I wrote not long ago about how we’re living in and through history every day, but seldom do we get such a dramatic demonstration of that simple fact as we did on Jan. 6, which — like Dec. 7, 1941 or Sept. 11, 2001 — seems destined to go down in history as an infamous day for the United States, one that will be written about for many years to come and will probably have repercussions for just about as long.

I spent five of the first seven days of 2021 — including Jan. 6 — in Royal Inland Hospital, and thus had a rather interesting experience of the events of that day. Early in the morning I had been taken for a procedure that involved fairly heavy sedation, and when I got back up to my room and was in a position to look at news feeds on my phone my first thoughts were that I was still pretty loopy from whatever they had given me.

After all, surely the president of the United States wasn’t inciting violence and sedition, was he? And those people storming the Capitol: they’d be turned back by massive waves of armed security personnel, right? Well, once they got in the Capitol, they’d be swiftly rounded up and arrested, correct? And the Republicans who had announced plans to object to the formal counting of the votes in the 2020 election, on the baseless grounds that the election had been stolen, would surely abandon those plans in the face of what their rhetoric and lies had helped spawn, wouldn’t they?

“Yes”, “no”, “no”, and “no” are the answers, respectively. Less than a week later, more disturbing details are coming out about the attack: the chants of “Hang Mike Pence”, the gallows set up outside the Capitol, the pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails that were found, the terrorists armed with zip straps designed to act as handcuffs. There is also the fact — innocent enough on the surface, but chilling when you think about it for a moment or two — that some in the crowd were wearing pieces of clothing with the event and the date printed on them.

Just let that sink in. There was enough lead time and pre-planning for the events of Jan. 6 to allow for commemorative clothing to be printed and distributed to participants (unless someone was selling them at the site on the day, as if it was some kind of perverted music festival: “Get your traitor T-shirts here! Homegrown terrorist hoodies! Sedition special, one day only!”). It makes you wonder how no one who had the power to do anything about it seems to have seen it coming.

It seems likely that the inciter-in-chief will be impeached a second time, becoming the only president in American history to have that distinction. After the first impeachment, senator Susan Collins (R) famously said she felt that the president had “learned his lesson”. What will her excuse be this time? “He’s a slow learner”?

And some Republicans are arguing that this second impeachment attempt should be dropped, on the grounds that it will divide the country and prevent unity. Senator James Lankford (R) said “We need to turn the rhetoric down.” Perhaps they should have thought of that before nominating (twice) a racist, misogynistic, and ignorant serial adulterer whose main claim to fame was as a TV game show host and failed businessman, because after the last four years the whole idea of American unity is a ship that has well and truly sailed. On the plus side, the Twitter ban on the president means that the first lady’s campaign against cyber-bullying seems finally to have borne fruit, so — yay?

Speaking of TV game show hosts, here’s a palate cleanser: Alex Trebek. Next week, I’ll pivot from a man who represents America at its shameful worst to a man who, although not born there, represented that country at its very best.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Columnist

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A power outage Thursday night left nearly 3,000 homes in Clinton and the 70 Mile areas in the dark. (Katie McCullough photo).
Updated: Clinton, 70 Mile left in the dark after vehicle crashes into transmission pole

BC Hydro still working to restore power to 330 homes in 70 Mile House

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Community consultation is now open regarding disposal of the former Ashcroft Elementary property, which since 2015 has operated as the Ashcroft HUB. (Photo credit: Vicci Weller)
Feedback now sought regarding disposal of Ashcroft Elementary

Residents of the region can have their say about the future of the former AES property

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read