Beating the count of 10

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - January 20, 2021 - 12:00am

There will be no shots fired in anger anywhere in the world later today except perhaps only in the United States. All the opposing forces in all the conflict areas of the world will briefly lay down their arms and watch television. They will join the rest of humanity watch anxiously what happens as America transfers power from one leader to another in circumstances that no one ever saw coming.

There will be no fanfare, no cheering crowds at the United States Capitol, just fully-armed American soldiers determined to protect Joe Biden from his own people and get things over and done with as quickly as possible without incident. Donald Trump will not be attending. No Gloria Arroyo-Noynoy Aquino turnover charade for the sake of appearance. The cuts are too deep to cut cleanly.

This will be one business of America that will be everybody's business. Since the American Constitution provides for Joe Biden to be sworn in as the next US president at noon of January 20, it will be an ungodly hour in many parts of the world, especially in Asia where America's latest mortal enemy, China, will be keenly observing. Xi Jinping is not going to sleep and just wait for morning to be told.

Just two weeks earlier, supporters of Trump, as how they have been described to the world, stormed and briefly took over the very same Capitol building from whose steps Biden will now be taking his oath, about the only normal act expected to transpire under the extraordinary circumstances. The rest is something the whole world will have to see unfold raw, live, and unscripted.

But that the attackers were egged on by Trump himself to do criminal acts is about the only accurate characterization in the current narrative. And that is because the prevailing sentiment in America is that it is better to point the finger at Trump than point it at themselves. The dead giveaway in this fallacy, though, is that the attackers were not Arabs or Asians or Central Americans or whoever the US considers the usual troublemakers.

The attackers were real Americans even if most of them come from the other side of the tracks, counting among them the neglected, disparaged, disadvantaged, and disillusioned citizens who merely found convenience under Trump to make themselves heard. Trump created no one among them. They created Trump. The inexplicable presidency of Trump was an articulation of their overlooked existence. They explain Trump 2016.

And yet, even as the Capitol takeover happened, hypocrite America, the real creators of the attackers, still could not get itself to look at the mirror and see those Americans in the reflection. And so hypocrite America calls the attackers terrorists and insurgents, labels they used to slap on other countries whose sovereign internal affairs America loves to dictate upon, meddle in, and intervene with.

So what happens today at the steps of the US Capitol is a reprise of so many power transitions made under circumstances America designed for its own interests although this time with one terrible difference. It is America itself witnessing its own power transition under the barrel of a gun. It is an embarrassing moment. It may have beaten the count. But there is no changing the narrative. For once the great USA got floored silly, by its own hand.

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