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The Insurrection at the Capitol Leaves Me Mourning for America

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Editor's Note

This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

I am writing this on Thursday, January 7 of the now most outlandish year of our lives thus far, 2021. It feels as though we are living in a fever dream, with hatred and lies pulsing around us with every thumping heartbeat while watching an actual, viral pandemic sweep over the land, and I am not just talking about the novel coronavirus.

These last five plus years have steadily spiraled out of control with divisiveness, lies and deceit. These last five plus years have steadily swelled with the bubbling of repressed anger, resentment and disenfranchisement of epic proportions. The American people have had enough, but frankly we are drowning in so much misinformation that we are unsure what we have had enough of. So here we are flailing like wildly savage broods, screaming in each other’s faces, trampling our Capitol building and teeming with disgust and hatred for the people who may think differently than us.

I mourn. I mourn for the first true time as an adult for my country. To be honest, I was not sure the feelings I felt as I arose this morning after spending most of the night absorbed by the election confirmation, but as I have contemplated my thoughts and emotions throughout the day I have come to realize it is true and deep sorrow. Like awakening from a terrible night of drinking and bad decisions, I feel sorrow while reflecting on yesterday’s events as I feel most of my fellow countrymen do. Like watching a loved one plunge deeper into the pit of despair, I feel helpless and hopeless after witnessing the actions of last night.

We have failed each other. An armed mob of our own citizens stormed into our Capitol building under misguided pretenses and in one fail swoop have torn a gash into the flesh of our Democratic Republic overnight. We have tacitly approved the slow and deliberate unraveling of our trust in one another by allowing one man to perpetuate, promulgate and accelerate the division between each other based solely on political affiliation. We have allowed the surge of identity politics to further divide us as countrymen and diminish our opposition’s rights as fellow citizens of this country. We have authorized the behavior typical of corrupt, tyrannical nations to become common place and to be held by the most powerful people of our government without consequence or repercussion. We have all done this. Enough is enough.

Senator McConnell was right in saying that we cannot keep drifting into separate tribes that only share our mutual hatred for each other. We cannot flippantly point the finger to the other side, and we cannot keep dismissing each other. There is only one reality and one truth, and we must try harder than scrolling through our social media feeds to determine what that truth is. We must dig deeper and stop the incessant regurgitation of falsehoods and shams. We must hold ourselves accountable for the truth. Wild, unsubstantiated claims based on emotional or speculative opinion must be halted in their tracks and we must stop fanning the flames of fury with more fury.

We are Americans. We are all on the same side. All of us want what is best for this country despite what we may have been told in ill faith and deception. Sure, we disagree on a lot of things, but that has always rung true and our ability to collaborate to resolve our biggest issues has proven that we can move past our differences for the greater good of the country. The same is true for now, even in this incredibly wearisome time.

Yesterday will be remembered to some as a day of insurrection. For others it will be remembered as a day of insurgence. For myself, it will be remembered as a Day of Great Sorrow. And like the festering wound of clashes in the past we will always be reminded of what happened here. We will add these events to the scars on our nation’s history as a reminder of how fragile our Democracy is when we allow self-seeking and disingenuous people to hold office on our behalf. We the people must stand together to ensure the livelihood of our nation and hold our leaders accountable for their actions and lack thereof in a lawful and just manor.

I am extending my hand across the divide to you, fellow countryman. Regardless of your political affiliation, regardless of your personal beliefs, and regardless of the lies you may believe and/or perpetuate.

I am extending my hand to you because you are my compatriot, and together we can move forward. Together we can forge a path that honors facts and expels deceit. We cannot allow this behavior to continue on; we will be too divided then. For if we do not stand together now, how will we ever stand together again?


Your fellow countryman,

L. Rhodes

Getty image Elisank79

Originally published: January 12, 2021
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