WHY ARE YOU SURPRISED?

“But contrary to some expectations, most of those charged in the riot come from areas of the country that are not dominated by Trump supporters. According to an analysis from the Chicago Project on Security & Threats, a majority of the alleged rioters came from counties that President Joe Biden won in the 2020 election.” (https://www.npr.org/2021/02/09/965472049/the-capitol-siege-the-arrested-and-their-stories)

The reporter on the radio was describing the domestic terrorist connection of people arrested in the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building in D.C. when he quoted this finding. His voice echoed surprise at the conclusions. I sat straight up in bed, morning coffee in hand, and thought—surprise? No, not a surprise. The people who feel most threatened by increasing minority and liberal voters are therefore more likely to be motivated by the inference of make America great again, i.e., white and Christian.

They feel viscerally a loss of power and control. They see their status as the majority reversed. They believe that they are paying the price for diversity and affirmative action—and they have seen and felt this intensify for decades. So, I’m not surprised. I think this is the underpinning of Trump’s power base—those white folks in general, middle class folks and rich folks who see their status threatened—who don’t want to share, who view the world as a zero sum game.

Their prejudice runs deep and primordial—its etiology in our genetic history stretching back to pre-historic times. I’m not surprised and not optimistic, unless our national leaders can stop pretending they know who the enemy is and address the real problem—us.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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