Chaos and anarchy were king

To the Editor:

In just a few days, or perhaps anytime now, for any visitors planning an afternoon tour of historic Albany, I would suggest you check the forecast. And by forecast, I mean the possibility of a predicted storm.

But this storm is anticipated to rise from the ground and not the sky. In all 50 United States capitals, newscasts are telling us of a strong possibility of armed assaults in these major cities within the next week, copycats of the protracted siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

But a drop into the Republican National Committee’s winter gathering last week on Amelia Island, Florida will place you in an alternate universe where the death and destruction of Jan. 6 deserved barely a mention. There, according to reporting from a New York Times article of Jan. 8, it was evident President Donald Trump bore no or very little blame for last Wednesday’s widely advertised insurrection.

Ronna McDaniel, re-elected RNC chair, led the proceedings and committee members displayed a most selective amnesia for what had gone down in D.C.

Michele Fiore of Nevada declared: “I surely embrace Donald Trump,” calling him “absolutely” a positive force in the party. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota bested Nikki R. Haley for most popular speaker of the closed-door sessions, ostensibly because Ms. Noem voiced no criticism of Mr. Trump in her speech, as had Ms. Haley.

Paul Reynolds, a committeeman from Alabama, explained that: “We can’t exist without the people he (Trump) brought to the party — he’s changed the direction of the party … We’re a different party because of the people that came with him, and they make us a better party.”

And it was this fawning sentiment that seemed to set the tone throughout the day as pro-Trump acolytes prevailed and the few dissenting voices were barely heard.

Personally, I do not know how anyone, with any shred of humanity, can dismiss so cavalierly the events of Jan. 6, a day that will surely go down in infamy with the likes of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

Essential questions need to be asked of those select party members assembled there in Florida on Jan. 8 and answers demanded.

Why is it absolutely OK to plan and execute an attack on this nation’s Capitol? Why is it equally OK to plan to execute Mike Pence, the vice president who came into  office in a smooth transition of power with Donald Trump in 2016?

Why is it OK to seek out Nancy Pelosi, House speaker, and imagine and perhaps realize that you will be her judge, jury, and executioner? Why is it, after all, OK to gratuitously plan to kill anyone in public view at your whim? Or to choose to kill anyone, period. After all, I could swear your leader says your party is the party of law and order.

But, there, in public view, still, stood the homemade gallows. And, oddly enough, there were guns that could have made the threat cleaner and quicker for the many legislators hunched and hiding in makeshift fortified rooms. And some guns were fired. And people hurt. And killed. So perhaps the gallows were not really needed … nor a firing squad, come to think of it.

But the domestic terrorists of Wednesday, Jan. 6, seemed not to care about this small detail of risking or taking life.

Quite extraordinary, really, considering this is the party so eagerly ready to step up as the defender of the unborn. But, then, that is just a side detail, isn't it, when to win at any and all costs seems to be the unspoken imperative that undergirds what is really now, it seems, totally the party of Trump.

Masks weren’t worn during the melee, which Trump had promised would be wild, and, true to his promise, his followers exhibited total and wild abandon to absolute insurrection in an attempt to overturn a national election and to seek revenge.

Those who breached the Capitol, so affronted by their sense of the purported wrongful actions and party affiliations of those being hunted down, reigned. Chaos and anarchy were king.

And there in the Sunshine State at week’s end, the leaders of the Republican Party saw fit to praise their esteemed leader who never did walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with the fired-up masses, after making the promise to do just that. He took an alternate route, which deviated to the White House, where he watched the spectacle unfold as the TV images flickered away and the clock tick-tocked and lives hung in time.

Betty Head


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