Yes It Is Us

Linda Valentine
4 min readJan 16, 2021
Sarah Sicard/Military Times January 6, 2021

It would be stunningly simple-minded of us to think with the installation of a new President, on January 20, 2021, there will be a shift back to something resembling normal. The problem with this thinking is twofold;

  1. A significant number of our fellow Americans voted to keep President Trump in office and believe his fairy tales regarding the election and its legitimacy.

2. As a nation, we face both a recession and a pandemic, neither of which will be cured overnight.

Finally, beyond the obvious, Trump, unlike past Presidents, will not retire quietly. He has no plans to transition power. He will continue to grab as much of the spotlight and power as possible within what is left of the GOP. He will continue to be part of the focus, as the Senate’s Impeachment Trial is undertaken. He and his supporters in Congress will continue to spread vitriol and lies on every media platform available to them. He will continue to be a disruptive force of malevolence. For the foreseeable future, there will continue to be those who encourage and embrace him.

For approximately eighty-eight (88) more hours, we have to worry about just how much more damage Donald J. Trump, his cadre of sycophants, enablers, and true believers can do to the nation. It is obvious there are few in what was once the Republican Party who are willing to stand up and be counted as outside of DJT’s toxic national destruction league. After the violent insurrection of January 6, most of the world is left to wonder who we are and what we will become. The Insurrection Coalition of Congress uniformly voted not to Impeach Donald J. Trump, with only ten (10) holdouts who all are now worried their lives may be in danger.

Me? For the first time in my entire life, I watched and thought to myself, I despise a whole group of public officials for their craven and self-serving acts. I listened to them, for the better part of four (4) years, as they casually tore down all that was worthwhile, that made America work no matter how imperfectly. I watched them on January 6 as they attempted to disenfranchise millions of votes, not just any votes but the votes of mostly Black and Brown people from cities across the nation; they did this without blinking an eye. I listened as elected officials and supposed Christian leaders told their constituents and congregants that Donald J. Trump walked on water and served their best interest, even as he pillaged the Treasury and weakened the nation before the world.

I watched it all, and I hung my head in shame, this is us this is America.

This is America; we cannot deny our complicity in this opening of the overcoat. The America that allows White Nationalism to thrive within our borders. That enables a casual disregard of science within the highest seats of our government. An America that allows hundreds of thousands to die in a pandemic for the sake of ‘freedom’ to not take precautions because body autonomy and the right to choose far outweigh the greater public good. An America that sent hundreds of thousands into poverty for the ego of one in the Senate who refused to bring a Bill to the Senate floor for debate. This is America, where one side watched as children were mowed down in their schools and worshippers in their churches by lunatics with too much access to guns but did nothing. This is America where Black bodies can be casually murdered in the streets and in their beds by the police, and there are zero accountability and zero acknowledgment by anyone in power.

I watched, I listened. I heard over and over, the gnashing of teeth and the wailing, this is not us. When the insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, I watched in horror. When the gallows were raised outside the Capitol, I listened as the insurrectionists called for Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. When they beat the police inside and outside the Capitol, I wept. When the Capitol police opened the doors, took selfies with the terrorists and then politely escorted them out, I also watched and listened. I thought to myself, it is all coming out now, and we see all of you. When the American flag was lowered and tossed to the ground, and the Trump 2020 flag was raised in its place, I watched and I wondered, will this finally be enough? Hours later, I had my answer; it was not.

All of my life, I have been a centrist. Pragmatic about politics and politicians. There are some issues where I am left of center and others where I am admittedly right though not by much. These past four (4) years have taught me a crucial lesson. It is impossible to remain in the center, impossible to stay pragmatic. It is impossible to say I am not something; today, you must take a stand and be against it. This goes beyond politics; it goes to the heart of who we are, as a nation and as a people. It is indeed time to pick your side.

This is not us, yes I am sorry to say it is.

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