My standard e-mailers nearly stopped sending me messages and I found myself spending time reading up on opinions around the country—about our country. I try to avoid political rhetoric. Some of the writers, I agree with, others I don’t but during that time of semi-isolation, I read computer messages one day, for an hour about the rush on the Capitol January 6th. The first message was:
“Those involved are, by and large, older protesters than we have surveyed in the past. I find this aspect of the insurrectionists particularly interesting. As we grow older, we lose so many who are dear to us. Favorite places are shuttered or paved over. Our physical abilities wane. We are treated as has-beens at our jobs and pushed into retirement. What was once familiar is replaced by the new and unfamiliar.”
“The mounting losses can be quite unsteadying, driving one to grasp at straws to find meaning in life again, to make things right somehow. I am not in any way condoning what these people did or implying they are not responsible for their actions, but I do think the losses in life can destabilize one’s emotions and create openings for manipulation by others with an agenda. Anger directed outward, no matter how inappropriate, feels less awful than depression and utter resignation. These people were ripe for fear mongering to wind them up and point them at a target.”
I remember thinking about all the things mentioned in that letter and how, for weeks, some feelings were that “Oh, yeah, nothing will happen;” or “we will see lots of folks like those who felt responsible for following given instructions;” or “What an exciting opportunity to be in Washington with all that’s going on!”
When January 6 came along, the Capitol was stormed and the by-lines were quite different. Before our very eyes, we saw regular people breaking glass, knocking down doors, forcing their way into the Capitol, spraying unknown substances etc., and so much more.
We are still in the pandemic phase but most of us are seeking a far better way of life in the near future. Let’s give it our best.
Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.