[Editor’s note: Audie Wood writes a Wednesday column each and every week, and this week, we have branded his weekly coverage. Look for his commentary every Wednesday morning].
It has been depressing watching the impeachment coverage. No matter what channel I turn on the coverage is sensationalized and partisan. There are few opportunities to just get the facts of th case. And when I am provided with the facts, they highlight the corruption and ineptness of Donald J. Trump. If that isn’t depressing enough, I am then faced with the fact that none of that matters. The Republicans went into the Senate trial with their minds made up. Yes, there were a few Senators that appeared to show some sense of interested in investigating and deliberating the claims made like Romney, Collins, and Alexander; but the reality is even they had no real interest in impeaching and removing the President.
This whole situation of knowing that our President would stay in office despite an overwhelming amount of evidence that he used conspiracy theories and the purse of the United States to strong-arm an ally into doing his bidding initially upset me. Then something even more horrifying occurred.
On January 20, 2020 thousands of armed men marched on the Capitol in Virginia to protest gun control laws proposed by the new Democratic legislature. Then last Friday, masked men dressed in military and militia garb marched on the Capitol of my home state Kentucky protesting the Democratic encroachments on their “God given” constitutional rights. These were billed as “peaceful” protest where the protestors were simply standing up for themselves. Despite the lack of physical violence present in the protest in their current form, these protestors indicated that there could be violence in the future.
The military garb, the fact that guns were present on their person, indicate that these men are willing to go to war with their local and federal government over guns. Gun-rights enthusiasts, or nuts, depending on your perspective, Facebook and Twitter feeds are often filled with fantasies of overtaking the government and protecting their friends and families from the Democratic Socialist enemies of freedom. Furthermore, the ‘hero worship’ of Donald J. Trump, and the perception that he and therefore the common Christian white man, is under unfair attack from those who hate Jesus and Freedom is creating an atmosphere of fear that sets up a scenario in which people will feel compelled to violence.
Now in subsequent conversations with friends and colleagues I have been told that these men who march on the Capitol are cowards pretending to be strong men. They march on the Capitol in order to feel comfortable and they use the imagery of them in military garb and holding weapons to feed off the fear of those who have not grown up around guns. Too those people I say, you make a compelling point. For the most part, these are men who are just using your fear to build themselves up and overcompensate for their own insecurities and at the end of the day they will not “fight back.”
However, let me remind you all that it took one MAN in Las Vegas to kill 58 people and injure 413 others. It took one MAN in Orlando to kill 49 people and injure 53 others. It took one MAN in South Carolina to kill 9 people at a Church meeting. In just three of the many examples that I could have used three MEN were able to kill 116 individuals and injure 466 people. All of these men killed because they felt fear of the other and as if they, and their culture, were under attack.
Most MEN at these rallies are not serious threats. Some may even genuinely just want to protect their right to play with the toys they love and go hunting. But still, even if that is the case and only one percent of one percent of the protestors in Kentucky and Virginia are prone to making their violent fantasies a reality, that is something we should take seriously. It only takes a handful of insecure men trying to play Rambo with high capacity weapons for large amounts of people to die in this country.
It is that reason that as the “show-trial” comes to an end that I am quite relieved that Trump will not be forcibly removed from office. If a Democratic majority had removed this president, had removed from power a man that conservative white Christians worship, that would have been an act of aggression from an ever-encroaching federal government. That would have been a call to arms. While only a few would have answered that call it does not take more than two or three people to end a lot of lives in a country where guns are as accessible as candy in a gumball machine.
It is a sad state of affairs that I find myself relieved that a corrupt and extremely stupid human isn’t drug kicking and screaming from the oval office, but as an outspoken socialist and Donald Trump critic I find myself happy about something that doesn’t make me happy because it keeps me safe and alive and away from a bullet.