Only an archaeological eye could reflect and sum up what exactly happened in Washington on the 6th of January, termed the Insurrection, and then precisely two weeks later, the Presidential Inauguration ceremony, which could be dubbed as more of a Gala Ball. President Trump had been telling one and all, how January 6th would be a day of reckoning, a wild day, the wilder the better. And so as predicted, preordained or planned (take your pick!) violent mobs stormed into Capitol Hill, smashing windows, breaking doors, entering the offices of Congressmen to rummage through drawers, flinging out official files, with snow-boots pounding desks while savagely swiveling the accompanying chairs, making their way to the Vice President’s seat to pray to Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Father; at this point taking off their hats or headgear for being, “Allowed into the building, to allow us to exercise our rights, to send a message to all the Tyrants, the Communists and the Globalists that this is Our Nation and not Theirs…Thank You for filling this chamber with Your ‘White Light’… ‘White’ light harmony’’. One could be stone-deaf, and yet still catch the word, ‘White’. White Supremacists—some dressed up in the American star-spangled flag or making a cape of it, a la Superman or bullyingly waving the flag as if it was a weapon to shove down the gullet, if anyone dare ask, the reason for this ‘exercise’. America belonged solely to the White Man and Trump was their man, he spoke the language they understood, his idea of food was McDonalds burgers and fries, washed down with gallons of Coke, and burping after such an All-American meal, a sign of satiate contentment. Yes, Trump was their President, the Democrats had rigged the elections and these true-blue Americans would do, `whatever it takes’ to ensure Donald’s haloed Presidential Chair remained his and only his! This righteous goal, inoculating them against having the book thrown their way—they were only exercising the constitutional right of freedom, reclaiming their liberty, while in between this bedlam going into an electrifying mode by taking bear-hugging Selfies with former Presidents (their statues and portraits but, of course!). Instagramming their ‘wholesome’ act of patriotism so their families and friends back in Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin or Wherever, were with them in every impassioned inch of the way. Then there is William Calhoun, an attorney, from Georgia, who supposedly gloated, in a pat-yourself on your back voice that he was the one who had been a forerunner in kicking down the door, leading to the Office of House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. At his home, stacked away in one of his closets, were found a handgun, 8 rifles and over a thousand rounds of ammunition. Were not mobs of such sorts, behaving like ferocious attack dogs that are infernally impossible to shake off?! I see, as always, this space is closing in on me, and yet have a long way to go.
So the only way to organise some of the clippage is to make a mad dash, presenting matters on hand in a run off one’s feet, pressed-for-time Polaroid Collage. Questions: How is it that the mob stormed into Capitol Hill as if they were not vandalising it, but cozying up to the house next door?! Was the out-of-bounds security system intentionally left to stand at ease, by the one man on earth, who at the press of a button, can cause a nuclear explosion, annihilating the world at large?! And over the years, even if one happens to be blind as a bat, Trump characteristically in his nod and wink manner, manages to convey to his enraptured followers that, ‘he knows it all’ and was with them through thick and thin—‘these’ American Lives Matter unlike `those others’. How else could he have, post the anarchy, unleashed on Capitol Grounds, delivered a speech to Pro-Trumpers that the, “Election was stolen from Us’’, “We love you, you are very special’’ but alas, “You have to go home now. We have to have peace’’. Could any well thought through speech scripted by a cerebral Wordsmith, be more hard-hitting than these hold-in-your-arm’s snappy sentences?! His devotees dutifully returned home, pacified with the assurance, rather reassurance that the game was not over! Now to drive by the Presidential Inauguration, January 20th, two weeks after the desecration of, what I would say, Washington D.C., the capital of America. Matters were still on the boil, implosions of any kind could take place despite the cocksureness that things, as guaranteed, would go ‘their’ way, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President with the First Woman, Vice-President, Kamala Harris, her black lineage ear-splittingly tooted, likewise her Indian origin.
In her Mom’s village in Tamil Nadu, there were, I hear, high-decibel victory revelry that outdid any Diwali festivity, naturally so! But at this Inaugural colourful ceremony, all stops were taken out—Amanda Gorman, a petite 22-year old African American came on stage, speaking of her descent from slaves, her desire to one day be President, but for now it would do to recite in rap style a poem penned for this glorious occasion! Jennifer Lopez—the actress of Puerto Rican descent—escorted to the podium just as the poetess, to sing: ‘This Land is our Land, this Land is Your Land…’ and for a flavour of Popular Culture, there was Lady Gaga to belt out the National Anthem. Things, me thought, were over-the-top, right-in-your-face. Was this not more of an Advertisement than a Swearing-in-Ceremony?! Was this the hour to display America’s Salad Bowl Culture?! At the cost of unleashing another rampage that stood fixedly rooted on volatile grounds?! What exactly was this Installing Convention trying to prove?! Should it not have been a subdued, preferably underplayed event, with the traditional trappings, highlighting all the former Presidents’ presence—except Trump who had long back declared he’d be giving it a skip—training the cameras on President Bush, Clinton, Obama?!
On a lighter note, before I bid adieu, Biden I hear, soon after taking over, called in a technician to do away with the `Coke Button’ on the Oval Desk, which Trump would thump to order a Diet Coke Can, served on a silver tray by a butler appearing in a jiffy. He’d make his guests think that this button was a nuclear detonator. Need to ASAP de-Americanise the air. Thank Heavens for the remote!
Dr Renée Ranchan writes on socio-psychological issues, quasi-political matters and concerns that touch us all.