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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Is our State Capitol now the Bastille? Where’s the Outrage?

By Bill Street

This week, during the special session to help address the state’s pandemic crisis, about a hundred armed demonstrators stormed the state capital and did physical damage to the building, while demanding that Gov. Brown allows the pandemic to spread faster than it is.    That’s not exactly their language, but it is an accurate description of the consequences of their demands.

At some point, the state police declared the riot an unlawful assembly and ordered them to disperse following the release of pepper balls. The crowd dispersed shortly after a rain squall, which raises suspicions that these might have been out-of-state agitators, since any self-respecting Oregonian would be unfazed by such a non-distraction.


According to the Salem Statesman-Journal, “Throughout the day, organizers broke glass doors to the Capitol building, shed tarps from the marble reliefs on the front steps and engaged in a standoff with Oregon State Police and Salem Police Department officers. More than 100 protesters joined in the efforts, including members of Patriot Prayer, a far-right, Washington-based group led by Joey Gibson.” 


So where is the outrage? Why hasn’t the twitter sphere lit up over hoodlums attacking our government? Why haven’t these right-wing groups received the same treatment as those who take part in BLM protests?


Likewise, our own Clackamas County Commissioner-elect,Tootie Smith, called on our county citizens to ignore COVID guidelines and celebrate Thanksgiving as normal. The results of her reckless endangerment are now yielding evil fruit. Immediately prior to Thanksgiving, our County fatality rate was leveling. In fact, the previous week we had no new deaths here. Immediately after Thanksgiving, we see the County’s fatality rate ramp up and it continues to increase.  

 

Clackamas County Coronavirus Cases & Deaths (source: https://usafacts.org/)


Once again: Where is the outrage? Why hasn’t our media reminded us that our future County Commissioner called on our citizens to engage in reckless and ruthless behavior? Much less, how many of Tootie’s own holiday guests are staying healthy?


Finally, Lou Dobbs, a conservative commentator on Fox News with a dubious grasp on reality, confirmed on-air that there was no election fraud. Why? An election-machine manufacturer filed a lawsuit demanding a retraction from the network, since there is no proof of fraud whatsoever.  So where is the outrage that Fox and other networks repeatedly reported what they knew was false news and now they admit there is no accountability?


Have we grown so inured to misleading (and often dangerous) blathering from the outgoing President and other erstwhile authority figures that we just ignore them and press ahead with little honest direction from our leaders? From Trump to Tootie. From world leader to local leader.


Healing our country demands all of us calling for an end to moral and unethical behavior that would divide us for the benefit of a narrow group which actually gets to live the American Dream. That includes grown adults ranting like children at their elected representatives doing their best to make our lives better.


Until we renew our sense of respect for true, moral leadership, for actual facts instead of cooked up hokum, we have no one to blame but ourselves. No more looking the other way. No more tut-tutting the rantings of a psychopath. The time to wake up and smell the coffee is right now.