Days and Daze
Writing about the January 6 Committee Public Hearing
Writing about the January 6 Hearings is a challenge, a challenge for both writer and reader, so please indulge this caveat.
This will not be a reporting nor an assessment nor an opinion nor an appreciation. Perhaps all four. Perhaps something else. We shall see.
That there is no comparison to any event in America’s history is obvious. What’s also obvious is to respect the challenge ahead for America’s citizens, its publics, its officials, its servants. All are on trial. And yet all are excused, avoiding subpoenas to show up, derelict of duty. So, the watchers will discover what the impact for America means when these populations don’t show up.
A friend once cautioned that a democracy doesn’t exist on paper but exists in the aspirations of those who have chosen to be governed in this manner. Majority rule and decision making are precisely that: attending to when your opinion, hope, realizations are not actualized because they fall on the wrong side of what the majority decides.
So too, the peaceful transfer of power. The transfer of power from minority to majority is precisely accepting where your opinion or position meets the majority’s. Peacekeepers therefore adjust course through acceptance of majority rule and move forward with agenda setting, edifying publics, challenging elites, organizing like minds, working towards solidarity with un-like minds.
In a sense the ‘peaceful transfer of power’ is about keeping peace. It doesn’t end with destruction of property and physical harm. In a sense these consequences do not validate the cause of chaos but signify the source of terror.
David Brooks, self-proclaimed non-partisan ‘philosophe,’ wrote recently in the Opinion section of the NYTimes that orchestrating the presentation of facts about the January 6 Assault on the Capitol was not serving democracy. ‘Better to work towards democracy than rehash what we all know.’ (1)
This judgment was not lost on me, perhaps not as Brooks intended. For the public hearing of recorded testimony and video footage, the visual confirmation of the assault is there for the purpose of forging comparisons, not merely reconfirming what we know. The Committee has been very clear.
The fact is we don’t ‘know’ and for me this is the point and value of the Committee Hearings:
We know where the Hearings will “end up.” What we don’t know is where America is heading.
This duality in my opinion is worth a watch.
1-The Jan. 6 Committee Has Already Blown It