Ashli Babbitt, who the day before tweeted, “Nothing will stop us…the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours,” is now dead. Ms. Babbitt, an ardent Trump supporter, served 14 years in the United States Air Force. On Wednesday she died believing she was “protecting” her country, shot by a fellow American protecting the Capitol and the senators trapped within its rooms.
Babbitt once someone’s daughter is now a memory, keystrokes late at night. Babbitt, like millions of Americans, was part of a group, who got it wrong. Yet another case of mistaken political identity, their views no different than the GOP who committed a collective act of wilful blindness. Biden won, Trump lost, we have over 60 judges to attest to this fact. On the part of the Trumpers we have ignorance, on the part of the GOP, partisanship. Nothing to lose, perhaps they had thought. They too had it wrong.
Trump’s particular kind of madness is more contagious than the corona virus that, to date, has killed over 366,000 Americans. A madness that has given rise to anarchy and the unprecedented events of January 6, 2021.
This Trump train could have been stopped anywhere along its journey by a number of people, all of whom are jointly and severally liable. Complicity starting with Sean Spicer, Kellyann Conway, and Lindsay Graham, who, in a recent display of political “save yourselfism” finally broke with Trump. Too late. As for the rash of Trump officials who have recently resigned? Their actions are moot. The damage is done. World War Z on the Capitol has already played out with infected Pro-Trumpers masquerading as patriots. Actual patriots work within the law and abide by The Constitution: the bedrock of American democracy. Real patriots fight for democracy; they do not strive to undermine it.
72 hours later, names are being sought by the authorities with only a relatively few arrests having been made. The rest of the would-be patriots have scattered into the wind, but for a handful of the self-aggrandized who publicly flaunted their selfies and real-time interviews. Perhaps the other insurrectionists will be gathered up and brought to justice. Maybe so, most likely not.
But in the grand scheme of Trump’s machinations, those who attacked the Capitol are just the foot soldiers, drones, cannon fodder grifted into supporting Trump’s agenda. Culpability lays with the Mitch McConnells, the Josh Hawleys, and the like, who super-spread Trump’s misinformation, the madness culminating in America’s darkest winter.
The sad and the cruel truth is that perhaps both the Ashlii Babbitt and the police officer who ended her life, were both on the same side but Ashli Babbitt, like so many Americans, had simply lost her way, and with deadly consequences to both democracy and American lives.
k.g. Sambrano is a Canadian writer known for his works of literary fiction, poetry, photography and is an occasional freelance political writer