Posts Tagged ‘insurrection’

Decades ago, the Republican Party had two enemies: high taxes and government regulations. But two enemies were not enough. Today, the Republican Party has more enemies than anyone in the history of enemies. This is an incomplete list:

  1. Socialists.
  2. Communists.
  3. Liberals.
  4. Democrats.
  5. Satan-worshiping child molesters.
  6. 1 through 5 are all the same.
  7. The Chinese, but not those nice Russians.
  8. Science.
  9. Common sense.
  10. Community.
  11. Public health.
  12. Obamacare.
  13. But not the coronavirus, since that doesn’t exist.
  14. George Soros, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Anthony Fauci, and Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013. Or did he?
  15. Sportsmanship. This is the first thing I teach my chess kids, even the 5-year-olds.
  16. Elections.
  17. Democracy.
  18. The will of the people.
  19. Anything that’s not white.
  20. Except coal.
  21. Other Republicans.

But on Tuesday, January 6, just as the Republicans in the House and Senate were extending their war on elections, democracy, and the will of the people, thousands of Republicans who had been driven insane by the cost of their Trump-branded formal wear went to war against the United States.

How I wish my mother were alive to see this.

I know what you’re thinking: bullshit. How can this be the greatest day in the history of the Republican Party? What about freeing the slaves?

The day that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation was a pretty good day. But in the end, it took five years and hundreds of thousands of lives to free the slaves. The Republican war on the United States was compressed into one day, plus they proudly carried the Confederate battle flag into the halls of Congress. Before January 6, the closest the Confederate battle flag had ever come to the halls of Congress was the Shenandoah Valley in the summer of 1864. In your face, Confederate General Jubal Early! Loser.

This is the high-water mark of Donald Trump’s achievements: Resurrecting the corpse of the Confederacy.

Mom would’ve been glued to the television.

My mother loved to follow current events. Judaism was her religion, but politics was a close second. (The Red Sox were third.) Even in the early stages of her dementia, she could still explain the ins and outs of Massachusetts politics to me. Any upheaval in the political world riveted her. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Mom was at home caring for three children, one of them a baby, but she had the TV in the living room and the radio in the kitchen tuned to the major networks, what few networks there were then, all day long. (All TV stations and some radio stations went off the air around midnight.)

Kennedy was killed on a Thursday. At one point on Saturday morning, Mom, who finally had to devote some time to the household, plunked me down in front of the TV. “Tell me if anything happens,” she said. She ran to the kitchen to wash the dishes. I was 8. I was bored because my Saturday-morning cartoons and Westerns were off the air. I was sitting there in my dungarees and Red Ball Jets when Jack Ruby bolted out of the lower-right frame of the screen, arm outstretched, gun in hand, and shot Lee Harvey Oswald. The men swarming on TV, a photographer’s light swinging above them, needed help. Where was the Lone Ranger? Where was the Rifleman? “Mom!” I yelled.

Mom was there for almost every minute of the Watergate hearings in 1974. Because she had gone back to work by the time the Iran-Contra hearings were gaveled to order in 1987, she tag-teamed with her mother, Bella, to follow along. “I’ve been watching the liars,” Bella told me. And of course Mom was there in 1998-99 when Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about a sex act my father wouldn’t tell her the name of. “Well, what does he have a wife for?” Mom asked.

What launched Mom’s career as a political junkie? I wish I had asked her that. Was it listening to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fireside chats during the Depression and World War II? The Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954? The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962?

Political talk radio was just part of every evening at our house after dinner. Unless the Red Sox were playing.

Mom’s political upbringing was a bit muddled. Her father, my Granda Sol, was a self-described socialist who voted against FDR four times. Bella and Sol voted for Nixon in 1968 and 1972. I don’t remember how they reacted when Nixon’s Oval Office tapes were made public and they found out what Nixon really thought of the Jews, but by 1976 Bella was a Democrat. In that year, after hearing that I might vote for a socialist in my first presidential election, she told me, “Stevie, you don’t understand! Communists have been killing Jews for thousands of years!”

I don’t know what the Republicans are planning for their next move in their war on the USA, though every costume-maker in America is hoping it will involve more Viking horns. Sadly, Mom won’t be around to bear witness. I lost my Dad to begin 2020 and I lost my Mom to end 2020. In-between we had a pandemic, an economic meltdown, street fights for racial justice, an avalanche of conspiracy theories, and enough politics to satisfy any addict.

January 20 and the inauguration of Joe Biden are almost here. Please, everyone, in honor of Mom, stay safe.