Milan Vodicka: The big lie
For posterity, I need to note that I write this on Jan. 10, 2021. The aftermath of the assault on the U.S. Capitol, on Jan. 6, is still happening. We do not exactly know what the immediate and distant future will bring. Yet some conclusions can be drawn.
When working with management, I was exposed to the methodology called “fishbone.” It goes like this: “Why did X happen?” “It was because of Y.” “Then, why did Y happened?” “It was because of Z.” Investigating the chain of causality, you might say. This discovers root causes and enables one to deal with the original problem.
Last week’s event on Jan. 6, in my view, is beyond a single description. Many are trying to come up with adequate descriptive terms. Was it an insurrection? Revolution? Act of those “who are not us?” Tragedy? A wake-up call? Sedition?
I kept — and I still keep — asking, “Why did the events of Jan. 6 happen?” Fishbone process. From the many possible direct or contributing root causes, the significant one emerged. This root is the big lie. And many people are believing it and transforming it into action.
What is the big lie? The manifestations are actually numerous. The specific flash point lie, a subset of the big lie, is the lie that “the election was stolen” and our candidate “won.” As a result of this lie the U.S. Capitol was laid to siege and desecration. Note that the election lie was and is promoted by elected representatives who should know better.
Which leads me to actors and promoters of the big lie. And to supporters of the big lie. And to the faulty logic they employ. The propaganda, devoid of logic, of “we need to prove to the people that the elections were not rigged or stolen, that they can trust the process.”
In the court of law, it is up to the prosecutors to prove the guilt. If that fails, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. It is impossible to prove the negative.
The actual facts nowadays are being contrasted to the “alternative facts” of the big lie, as if the alternative non-facts were the actual facts. The cult of personality supporters act on that. What is the root cause, the last fishbone here?
Categorizing the supporters of the cult leader, there are three discernible divisions: The true believers. The ones who internally do not believe but associate themselves with support for other reasons (wealth, power, sex?). And the ones who end up there for the ride, tradition, entertainment, or whatever.
Here is another aspect of the big lie — law and order. Our elected official, our California District 1 U.S. House of Congress representative, Mr. La Malfa, aligned himself with the big lie by voting for “objections” to the conclusion of the election process. Oh yes, “there was nothing illegal in objecting.” Only forgetting honor, decency, civility, and the truth. And the Constitution.
The big lie cultists of the “Dear Leader” promote that they are the “true patriots.” They are the “real Americans,” aspiring to “make it great.” Let me remind you, Mr. LaMalfa (which also goes to Mr. Cruz, Mr. Hawley, and any and all proponents of the big lie) that you swore “to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic …” Your actions stand firmly in the chain of causality of what transpired.
There is much more I could say. Running into the limitations of the 750 words, let me conclude.
Historically, the storming of the U.S. Capitol lines up with the Russian Great Revolution event in 1917, when the revolutionaries overtook the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. It lines up with Hitler’s unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in 1923; the Reichstag fire in 1933; Kristalnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) in 1938. It lines up with the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948.
Any action or inaction has consequences. The U.S. Capitol event was precipitated by a big lie of alternate reality, of the perversion of principles of our democracy. It was precipitated by the support and actions/inactions of the proponents of the big lie. It was the fruit of the past four years of the presidency.
The way to deal with the big lie is to make the actors and supporters, at all levels, accountable. Re-establish the truth. Are we, as a society, citizens of the United States, capable of doing that?
Milan Vodicka has been a Nevada County resident since 1978.
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