Hang on…it’s going to be a long couple of days

A week doesn’t sound like such a long time.
This week feels like it could take forever.
It’ll be less than a week before Joe takes over and puts out the mysterious dumpster fire being left for him by Donald. Who knows what he’ll find under the ashes. The federal government seems to have gone dark all of a sudden with rats fleeing the ship and no one saying anything about anything. The massive cyber breach discovered last month that could endanger the country? Silence. Policing and security failures at the Capitol that could endanger the country? Silence. Vaccines stored in warehouses instead of getting shot in people’s arms so it endangers the country? Silence.

Donald’s only in-person comment of late is that “people” analyzed his speech from last Wednesday and they said it was “totally appropriate.” For a Proud Boy maybe…

Given the explosion that happened a mere week ago on Wednesday at the nation’s Capitol, it should be an interesting week. So while we have to stay aware in the next seven days, Americans can’t let the chaos stop us from doing what is right. We should not simply appease those like Cruz and Hawley and Boebert who tried to take legislative action to overturn a fair and free election. Like a toddler who has ruined a dinner party, it should be made clear to Donald that there are consequences for his actions. Those who continue to support the lies about the election for which no proof can be found other than on whacko YouTube channels, wipe the scales from your eyes.

Those who are on the other end of the political spectrum from me have made it clear they think I am the one who is deluded about reality with scales covering my eyes. Perhaps. But I read something pretty good last week from a guy named Rich O’Connor who threw out some easy guidance.

His theory is to use Nazis to find some clarity. I know it sounds weird but he has a point.

Let me summarize his argument by picking a few nuggets from his theory: “I have found that in times of confusion, particularly when emotions are running high and creating tunnel vision, the presence of Nazis can be an extremely helpful indicator,” he wrote. “If I am attending a local demonstration or event and I see Nazis… neo-Nazis, miscellaneous-Nazis or the latest-whatever-uber-mythology Nazis, I figure out which side they are on. And if they are on my side of the demonstration? I am on the wrong side. It is tough to argue moral equivalence when I am standing next to a Nazi… I can always, always, always, rely on the presence of Nazis as a guiding light through a fog of disinformation.”

He notes that people wearing “Camp Auschwitz” or “6MWE” (6 million wasn’t enough) t-shirts make it clear where they stand and they are Nazis. If the speaker at a demonstration “refers to things Hitler got right” they are Nazis. I might add those sporting KKK tattoos fall into a similar category. To be clear, attending a demonstration certainly doesn’t mean you’re a Nazi but if the people on your side are sporting swastikas or wearing Camp Auschwitz hoodies, then it is pretty clear you’re on the wrong side. And based on O’Connor’s theory, many of the people who stormed the Capitol last week were not patriots – they were Nazis.
Wipe the scales from your eyes.

At the same time, a few people reached out to me and said the paper should make it clear who from the valley took part in last week’s demonstration. I’ve seen photos of some locals in Washington last Wednesday and while I don’t support their beliefs I support their right to go to Washington and protest.

Now if I had seen photos of them in the Senate chamber running around with zip-tie handcuffs or erecting a hangman’s gallows outside the Capitol building? Problem. They should be exposed for what they are. But locals deciding to carry Trump flags and protest what I think is ludicrous? Not a problem.

Which touches on the current kerfuffle down at Western. WCU president Greg Salsbury wrote an email commentary to staff and faculty about the Capitol riots the day after it happened. In his message he waded into events of last summer and basically said that any protest that turns to violence is a bad thing. Fair but I wouldn’t say that was a good apples-to-apples comparison. Some on the faculty however took great offense that he conflated what happened at the Capitol to protests from the summer.

Salsbury really didn’t need to wade into that BLM protest pool to make his point about the danger of violent protest to the republic — the January 6 events were stark enough to clearly demonstrate the danger. However, I do agree with his comment this week: “…I am hopeful that, particularly on a college campus, we can serve as the role models for the free exchange of ideas and disagreement without one party defaulting to the ‘cancellation’ of the other,” he said. “As a university, we are committed to freedom of speech, even for those issues on which people passionately disagree.”
I’ll second that.

It is going to be a long couple of days. Hang on everyone…

—Mark Reaman

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