What are we, a bunch of Asians?
“Totalitarian Ruin” (10/7) appears as a probe into American ills which led to the Jan. 6 insurrection, but instead displays just how confused America is about itself shown by the contradiction between the author’s critique of American reality and his praise for American ideology, namely the “Constitution and its fundamental principles” such as freedom, liberty and equality. Such ideas have existed on paper and in our minds more so than in American reality.
A lift-out quote claims racism is eating at our essence, foundational principles, and heritage. To not acknowledge racism as part of, rather than eating at, our essence, foundational principles and heritage is to drain American history of its factual content until all that is left is a feel-good fiction that misdiagnoses our ills as anomalies in our shining city on a hill.
Then the punchline of the piece: without the Constitution, we would be like Russia or North Korea. Why do far-right Americans, behaving like far-right Americans, prompt the question, “What are we, a bunch of Asians?” Here in the United States of Amnesia we forget that we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, that 10,000 people were arrested protesting racist police brutality just last year, or the role the “Forgotten War” played in creating today’s North Korea.
Good points were made but with the constant swooning over the Constitution and belief in an imaginary America, the insurrectionists likely have more in common with the author than with Russia or North Korea.