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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

"O Say, Does That Star Spangled Banner Yet Wave..." ?

I have a "USA Today" app on my iPhone and get notifications when some new important news has just happened. I was horrified yesterday when I got one saying that protesters had breached the nation's Capitol. I don't watch much television anyway, and almost never all day long, but I did yesterday. What I saw yesterday I can only describe as a travesty of everything I believe this country stands for. There were lots of flags. Some were "Old Glory;" some were Confederate battle flags; one that I saw had the sign of the fish with the word JESUS; but most were various flags in support of a single individual. One version of those was especially troubling as it depicted this individual as a viral, muscular soldier carrying an AK-47 machine gun. Had I not seen for myself some members of Congress cowering on the floor of the House gallery, some wearing gas masks, I would have thought I was watching a fictional movie or television show. But this was Real! I wasn't surprised there were protests yesterday. The supporters of the President had been ramping up for this for two months. But I was shocked and saddened by the degree. Since last week-end especially these followers had been blatantly encouraged by fiery rhetoric from members of the President's family, his personal lawyer, Rudy Guliani, who at the rally before the protesters stormed the Capital, urged a "trial by combat," and finally, the President himself, at the same rally saying, among other things, "You will never take back our country with weakness." I believe in the right to protest peacefully. I believe in the right to question an election outcome. But what happened yesterday should never have been encouraged, wittingly or not, by a leader of this country. I am angry that the country that I love has been brought so low by a single individual and his supporters. What has happened in the last four years can only be described as the development of a dangerous cult of personality. Things have gone too far. Our rule of law has been attacked and shredded. Our standing as a leader of the free world is questionable at best. Will there be accountability? There has to be or it will surely happen again with possibly a worse outcome.

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