In the morning hours of January 6, 2021, I submitted my column to the Atlantic Highlands Herald, in which I discussed why our nation faced such division. I talked about big cable-based news media corporations and how they serve up the news specifically tailored to their audience’s comfort levels, rather than straight up news. It is difficult to form opinions and grow when we only hear and see what we want to see. I spoke about tolerance and how we should all work to create dialogs with those that have different ideals and opinions than ours.
Hours after I submitted my column, I received a phone call from a friend (Navy Veteran) who began the conversation by saying “Are you seeing this ______???” I explained that I had been working and was instructed to turn on the news. Then I watched as armed individuals stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden as President of the United States.
I watched in horror. I saw the man with the pistol, mace and flex cuffs hunting people in the well of the Senate. I was stunned by images of vandalism and violence perpetrated in a frat party-like atmosphere. Within a few hours, I was again stunned to hear various news organizations saying it was actually liberals and ANTIFA that attacked the Capitol and not Trump supporters. Then came the comparisons between the riots across the nation this past summer, and what was attempted an insurrection on Wednesday. Customized News media strikes again.
None of us knows what will happen in the next 10 days. We have left the Post-9/11 era wherein we needed to be vigilant solely of foreign based terrorists attacking our nation. As of January 6, 2021, we need to be vigilant of domestic terrorists attempting to tear down our government and our way of life, as well as foreign operators. The only way that we can survive as a nation is to pull together regardless of our differences.
Government on all levels, and we citizens, must make it clear that regardless of party, ideologies, etc., it is not OK to commit acts of terrorism and insurrection against our own country. The people that organized and attacked our Capitol, our seat of government, must face severe consequences. We must protect the United States against all threats.
So, put away politics, and shut off the customized cable news shows in favor of local news shows and Reuters news feeds, and realize that we are all Americans faced with the unthinkable. The only way to stop this insurrection madness from spreading is to band together and demonstrate that this Union will and must hold, and those that wish to destroy us will be held accountable.