Seriously Disturbed by Assault on Capitol Building

by on January 12, 2021 · 0 comments

in Election, San Diego

Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley


By K-B Gressitt

Boom! Boom!! Boom!!! Voices raucous and demanding roiled up the hill. Smoke invaded the air.

“They’re rioting on Main Street!” I yelled, leaping from my desk, out the door, and into a combat crouch, armed and ready to defend my town from Trump’s insurrectionists, returned from D.C.

The young man raking live oak leaves from my patio looked at me and said, “It’s just the church.”

I stood, my unloaded Daisy Red Ryder BB gun dangling across my forearm, like Barbara Stanwick’s rifle in The Big Valley, and I realized just how disturbed I was by last Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol Building.

Seriously disturbed.

Sure, like anyone with even one tiptoe in the social media tulips, I pretty much knew Trump was fomenting a violent disruption of the electoral vote count. Yet I too watched in shock and rage as Trump’s deadly troops breached the building’s impotent perimeters, assaulted its protectors and smeared its walls with the well-digested lies the president and his henchfolk fed them.

The last time I had to deal with misplaced human feces was when I worked in an L.A. snake pit housing mentally ill adults abandoned to urban centers by then-Governor Reagan’s budget cuts.

The comparison makes me pause.

Although Trump’s actions over the last four years suggest an evolving psychosis, I’ve resisted framing them that way: I don’t want to give Trump the excuse; he’s too calculating. Besides, I’ve met plenty of mentally ill people who are kind and generous and honest, unlike our narcissistic, deceitful president. Beneath any diagnosis lies Trump’s base character.

But his supporters, well, I wonder.

Could their descent into Trumpland be considered a symptom of his constant, coercive lies? Lies, perpetuated by the likes of Senators Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.) and John Kennedy (La.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) and Roger Marshall (Kan.), Rick Scott (Fla.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) — along with 139 House members, including San Diego County’s Darrell Issa?

Could the president and his elected rebels— and their rightwing, conspiracy-whoring media — have brainwashed tens of millions of vulnerable people into Trump’s worldview and the purses of these wily Republicans?

While I prefer that the seditious militants, racists, and poo-painters go to hell, I don’t believe in hell, so prison will have to suffice, but I think the relatively law-abiding Trump devotees might respond well to a gentle hand.

Perhaps the way to unite the nation is to exorcise the Trumpian false narrative from their psyches. We could launch a national exit counseling hotline. Yep, I think a 12-step program led by Trumpites in recovery might be an effective treatment for the rabble who didn’t rouse.

We’ll see. In the meantime, there’s one other thing I’ve been thinking about. Of the eight senators who promulgated Trump’s election lies, five are from former slave states that seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy and launch the U.S. Civil War. And the sixth senator is from Missouri, another slave state that never formally seceded, but was accepted by the Confederacy as a member.

This makes me curious: Were these senators simply pursuing their ambitions via Trump’s tushy or were they dead set on keeping another Black person from walking the halls of the White House as anything other than a butler or housekeeper? Their constituents might want to give that some thought.

As for me, I’m back at my desk, eyeing my Daisy Red Ryder BB gun in the corner. Maybe I should actually load it — just in case. But then I might shoot my eye out.

Kit-Bacon Gressitt is the publisher and a founding editor of Writers She lectures in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Cal State University San Marcos, and shares more of her writing at



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