I am somewhat of an Americanophile, I have always been enamoured with ‘the bold experiment in democracy’, I have read everything written by the founding fathers and the giants of politics compared to almost all politicians today. I have travelled to the states many times a year for over 20 years now and so I am somewhat emotionally invested in the state of that imperfect union called the USA.
I was dumbfounded watching the storming of the Capitol building. The hatred on faces. I have been thinking for a couple of days now about how emotions drive us to behave in strange ways. Guilt, shame and pride are somewhat self referential feelings. Love, hatred and contempt are very much outward facing.
However, even in those outward facing emotions, you cannot remove the person feeling them, they are still part of the equation. If you pity someone then you believe that person is suffering and deserving of your concern. The more I watched the clips of the Capitol building riot the more I thought about their hate, it was simple to see it was really a mixture of fear, jealousy and anger.
Hate is a self destructive emotion, it says more about the hater than those they hate. It turns fear, jealousy and anger and directs them on to someone else. It is most often just a fear of something they see in themselves, they hate something that is part of themselves and project it on others. This was demonstrated perfectly in rioters wearing Blue lives matter shirts but fighting with polices officers.
I think what I was left with as a result of seeing the horror on January 6th was that ‘Democracy is such a fragile thing’ it needs to be reaffirmed and recommitted to in every generation.