Ignore The Shadow At Your Peril

On January 6, 2021, Georgia moved us closer to democracy than autocracy.

On January 6, 2021, the Confederate flag flew in the United States Capitol. 

On January 6, 2021, there was an attempted coup to subvert the election certification process in advance of Joe Biden taking office on January 20. Eleven Senators, led by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, both presumably vying for the next GOP presidential nomination, said they were going to challenge the process. Three of those Senators thought better of it as the day’s violence unfolded. Trump spoke to the Proud Boys and other fanatical followers gathered at his request saying he’d won by a landslide (demonstrably false). After the rally, the mob stormed the Capitol Bldg. One of these followers, a woman from San Diego was killed as she forced her way in through the glass door they’d broken. The cop on the other side shot her in the chest. She died later at the hospital. Nancy Pelosi called the DoD to ask for Nat’l Guard assistance. They said no. Shots had already been fired and reps and their staffs evacuated, fearing for their lives. The Speaker of the House asked for assistance and was turned down. The National Guard was finally deployed later.

Twitter and Facebook shut Trump down, at least temporarily. He’s dangerous because he’s cornered and has nothing to lose. He knows SDNY awaits. The Cabinet is discussing invoking the 25th amendment to keep him from doing more damage in the next 13 days. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s soon on a plane to Moscow, but maybe Putin, too, has had enough.

When he was elected, I said the only way Trump would leave the White House would be in handcuffs or a body bag – not that he’d be killed, but that the shock of reality finally intruding on his formidable defenses would result in a heart attack or stroke. He’s been shielded from consequences and failure by family, money, and enablers for all of his 74 years. Mary Trump shed light on the family dynamics in her book. He wasn’t going to go quietly or voluntarily, at least not without overwhelming pressure to do so. He is who he has always been. There should be no surprise in any of this.

Many of us saw this coming years ago, especially those of us who had an abusive narcissist for a parent.

Our policies over the years and our refusal to deal with our shadow as a nation – the ugly events and racism we’d rather gloss over – have brought us to this point. I’m preparing a talk for Creative Mornings on the importance of coming to terms with childhood trauma and the shadow with regard to creative work. Nationally, there is far more at stake. In a time when we need to wear physical masks to protect each other during a global pandemic, there has been a great unmasking. Racism is out in the open. All of this because we elected a Black man and full disclosure, I voted for Obama.

As others have observed, this was not the darkest day in American history. There have been too many horrendous days for those enslaved, those oppressed, and those slaughtered for their land. We must rewrite our myths and we must come to terms with our shadow. Continuing to ignore it means continuing the cost in human lives, including Emmett Till, George Floyd, and far too many whose names have been obscured. To continue to ignore our shadow will kill democracy itself.

Here is the link for the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election.

Here is the link for info on the 10 Senators expelled in 1861

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