Escondido, CA

Trumpism . . . and the three metaphors of mayhem

It is entirely disingenuous to suggest the “Stop The Steal” march on the Capitol was in any way different than the Civil Rights March in Selma Alabama, and Watts Rebellion in 1965, the Los Angeles Riots in 1992, or the George Floyd riots in Minneapolis last Summer. In fact, all of them have much in common: They were instigated, not by political speeches or YouTube videos, but by what citizens believed to be “institutional injustices.” They were all expressions of mass frustration, anger and helplessness. None of them were designed to destroy the union! They were all inspired by a desire to fix the union!

Americans have a patent on civil disobedience and violent protests. Why? Because we can! Because our system of limited government and the rights of its citizens to gather, express, and defy our rulers is the very essence of Americanism. Nowhere else on this planet is the sovereignty of its citizens exalted like it is in our country. How is objecting to election corruption any less moral than protesting racial injustice? For 245 years Americans have taken to the streets to protest injustice. Until now, we never called them traitors.

The protest in Washington was a culmination of four years of political abuse. Washington insiders fought Trump using every tool in their war chest to undermine his agenda. They attacked his family, his friends, his business and his character. They ignored or dismissed his amazing successes, and publicly announced they would “do anything” to remove him from office. They were in effect doing everything in their power to disenfranchise millions of American voters.

When Trump supporters asked for an election investigation, they were marginalized and characterized as “right wing crazies” or sore losers. No matter what evidence was presented, it was dismissed as “baseless.” Imagine telling Black people that their perception of racism was “baseless.” Do you think that might stoke some violence?

So the marchers went to Washington to demand an investigation before the electoral college vote was certified. They wanted it delayed for ten days. We can argue till the cows come home about the “truth” behind their motivations, but nobody has a monopoly on the truth. 

When folks take to the streets to protest racial injustice, few challenge the assumption that injustice exists. But raise the issue of election injustice and suddenly you are a traitor. The most recent Rasmussen poll shows that 47% of voters polled think there was election fraud and nearly 30% of Democrats agree! That is not an insignificant number!

Everyone knew going into this election that much of our conventional voting process was being changed. Democrats have been pushing for unimpeded voting, anytime, anywhere, without ID and even after the polls close. They have effectively legalized ballot harvesting and made after election audits nearly impossible. Democrat campaign officials didn’t help when they tweeted Biden supporters, “Don’t be concerned early on election night. It will look like Trump is winning. Just be patient.”

And we all know how serious cyber warfare has become. You would have to be naive to think major corporations like Facebook, Yahoo, Sony and First American Financial can be hacked, but voting machines connected to the worldwide web cannot? Come on, man!

If election fraud does exist, wouldn’t it be more egregious than systemic racism and police brutality? As unfair as an involuntary draft for an unjust war? As repugnant as the trafficking of women and children? Wouldn’t it be equivalent to poisoning our water supply or destroying our electrical grid?

Listening to some of the Democrats conducting the impeachment carnival in Congress, you would think the assailants on Capitol Hill were carrying AK-47s instead of American flags. Case Managers made it sound like the Capitol Police were defending Hamburger Hill, and that Trump was leading the charge. They doctored evidence and violated the principle of presumed innocence. They tried to weaponize our judicial system. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not justifying violence, but I am trying to illustrate how emotions can get out of hand. Using violence may make a protester a criminal, but it doesn’t  make them traitors.

I don’t know what was more disgusting: Watching some of my fellow American patriots riot or watching Congress conduct a Kangaroo Court. They’re both mocking Americanism.

Rick Elkin is an artist, author and public speaker. He is a 40-year resident of Escondido. You can follow him at

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

One response to “Trumpism . . . and the three metaphors of mayhem”

  1. Rick Elkin says:

    Where did this title (Trumpism…and the three metaphors of mayhem) come from? It has absolutely nothing to do with my column, which elicited a fairly robust response from readers. It is very confusing and pejorative.

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