A quilt has a pattern. But it possesses no independent movement. It serves two purposes: warmth and display. On January 6th the quilt was on full display. We watched as the quilt was shaken by the words of our POTUS. And then the movement of the quilt was facilitated with the involvement of our alphabet agencies. They represent, what is the hidden pattern of the nation.
Pattern does not equal movement. And movement does not qualify as insurrection. But in the aftermath of the Capitol melee those tasked with security forsook an important value. Devotion to the nation is an empty concept if devotion for the citizens does not receive equal, or perhaps greater, consideration.
A year later, American citizens caught up in the events of the day reside within a legal limbo. Treated as enemy combatants, they are denied bail and due process. Gitmo-on-the-Potomac. Unseemly. Unusual in scope of practice.
If, in a moment of patriotic fervor we err – can the error be weighed against the sum of a life and not a moment in time? And if the error received orchestration which led the innocent down the road to perdition, do we give a damn? And have those who approved the operational fuck up traveled deeply into the cavern of their own soul to address issues of conscience?
After the dust settled I was asked in blunt manner, “Tammy, are you an oath keeper?” To the sinew and to the bone. I had never heard of the “OathKeepers”. But my pattern in the quilt was called into question. A quilt with guilt! A quilt with a stain!
Remember: Pattern does not mean movement. And movement (the actionable part of thought) does not necessarily mean coordinated affiliation nor vast conspiracy. Systems of belief (conviction) can remain throughout a lifetime as internal, cherished and joyfully shared with those we trust. They do not present as threat.
“We the People” are part of the history of that quilt which climbed the steps of the Capitol and entered the building. For many, it surely felt like a grand display of what it meant to live in a Democracy. The many became the one with E Pluribus Unum emblazoned on their sleeves. They took pictures, roamed the common areas and corridors and waved their flags along the balcony and balustrade.
The few – exceeded boundaries of common courtesy and decency with initial breach of the perimeter, placing their feet on desks (Didn’t your mother raise you better?”) and absconding with trophies and souvenirs. But the majority, were just part of the quilt. That quilt, was soon to be torn asunder in vicious manner.
Contemplate again: Devotion to the conceptual arch of “Republic” without equal devotion to the Americans residing under the shadow of the arch presents as a double-headed axe.
Cruel legal excesses can be meted out by a strong central government, and this is exactly what happened after January 6. Our nation was not in imminent danger. The State of the Union was strong. But the quilt was on full display. The response has been both swift and a bit Byzantine.
The “OathKeepers” identified in the prior blog? I take no issue with their legal dilemma. They had patterns within patterns which showed prior movement. But for others who made up the pattern of the quilt, the ones who started out the afternoon clinging to the warmth of the quilt? That quilt, has been ripped in too ragged a manner. A coldness, has entered the heart of the Republic.