“Common Ground”

 Of all the images from the failed coup the other day, there’s one that I can’t stop thinking about. I especially think about this image as I consider all the people who keep telling me that we need to “come together” and we need to find “common ground” and that both sides need to figure each other out if we’re to prosper as a nation.

That image is this one:

It’s just one of the rioters, right? Scampering through the House chamber. We’ve seen lots of images like this, and a whole lot of folks have tried passing all of this off as the adult version of the fantasy we all has as kids of getting free and unsupervised access to the school.

But…look closer.

That guy is holding a bunch of cable-tie handcuffs.

This is what law enforcement uses as hand restraints nowadays.

This guy showed up for the riot prepared to take prisoners.

And he wasn’t alone. Among the other images from that day that stick in my mind? One, which I’m not sharing here, is of a gallows that these people set up near the Capitol.

It doesn’t take the creative mind of a writer of space operas to imagine what might have transpired if these people had managed to corner a member of Congress someplace. It doesn’t take a major feat of imagination to think of what might have happened if they’d managed to get hold of, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Or Ilhan Omar. Or Nancy Pelosi, or Bernie Sanders, or Adam Schiff. Or, believe it or not, Vice President Pence, whom many of those rioters now view as a traitor for his failure to wave whatever magic wand they think he has to stop Congress from recognizing the Electoral College’s election of Joe Biden as President.

These people stormed the United States Capitol and at least some of them were thinking in terms of violence: capturing lawmakers, and maybe killing them.

There is no common ground to be found here. There is no basis on which they and I can unify so we can work together to build a better nation. These people don’t want a better nation. All they want is their nation, and they literally do not care how much of a shithole their nation is, so long as it’s theirs. Well, they are not welcome in my nation…or in the nation belonging to many, many millions of us.

To hell with “common ground”, and to hell with anyone who showed up in Washington to riot, and to anyone who stayed home to sympathize with them.

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