This weekend, the US did a lot of processing about the stunning events of Wednesday, January 6. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes the ransacked rooms in the sacred home of American democracy, the Capitol building. And the press and news programs on Sunday were filled from top to bottom with stories about Trump's supporters facing the reality of the their astoundingly dumb actions.
But one of the most startling things about many of the white people who are wanted or who were arrested for the storming the Capitol building is that they seemed to have regular jobs, regular lives, and, by most estimates, not much to complain about. One such person was even the CEO of a multimillion dollar marketing consultancy company, Cogensia, based in the suburbs of Chicago.
The CEO, Bradley Rukstales, was eventually fired because...
[He] faces two federal charges: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Now, by any measure, you would think this Rukstales had it made. A CEO of a mid-sized company, probably the owner of a house that is rising in value in the suburbs, and without a doubt the eventual beneficiary of a retirement plan that's presently tied to the booming stock market. But no. Quite evidently, this is not how he saw and felt his situation. Rukstales did not want any more to live in the America that gave him a life most blacks can only dream about. Why? Where was a man like him, and so many others who tried to overthrow the US government on Wednesday, hoping to go after the dust settled on the revolution? What exactly has this society denied the Rukstales of the world?
Ainsley Earhardt: “There are 75 million people that voted for President Trump. And they are scared. They are worried about what the future of this country looks like. They are confused and heartbroken that their candidate didn't win and they don't want to be forgotten.” pic.twitter.com/OcqMYGjJtG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 8, 2021
Yes, a little over 74 million Americans voted for Trump, but why is this fact of greater importance than the fact that 81 million Americans voted for Biden? The answer, I think, explains what lead the third-tier Illinois CEO to that "moment of extremely poor judgment."
Trump's white voters need to be understood because there's not much about them that can be understood in the standard class sense. We can understand why a black person voted for Biden, this line of thinking goes. Those people want more welfare, want more money for flipping them burgers, and they drool over every free ride the government has to offer. Obtaining an explanation for the motives of this kind of political animal is a cinch, according to a view implicitly held and expressed by not just Fox News but all major networks and newspapers. All that needs to be seen is the urban habitat, from which their bad, un-American habits resulted. But the white voter who has a secure job, a nest egg, and even the cushion of an inheritance from white parents who benefited enormously from the New Deal's pro-suburban housing policies, their grievances, which are ignored by the press, need to be appreciated.
Meet Elizabeth from Knoxville Tennessee who stormed the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/42RyFj4a4N
— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 7, 2021
What did we not see during the Capitol building insurrection? People whose problems do not require existentialism to be understandable: A cook who has had enough with long-stagnant working-class incomes, a woman who demands that the state impose gender parity laws, a transgender person of color whose parents accumulated no wealth in the classical New Deal sense because they were redlined. This was not that kind of revolution.
Jacob Chansley, AKA Jake Angeli, the Arizona man who helped break into the U.S. Capitol while wearing horns and animal skin is starving in prison, his mother told ABC15 News.
According to the report, Chansley hasn't eaten since he was detained on Friday, because the jail doesn't have organic food.
Instead, the brazen attempt to destroy American democracy had as its meaning-mechanism the meta-demand that America must come to terms with what it existentially feels like to be white. And if you want to know what that is about, then recognize that 74 million people voted for Trump. And if you do not understand why millions of white people see Trump as their savior, then you are a part of the problem because he understands what you refused to understand, namely that whites are neglected in this society.
What is to be drawn from this point of view than lots of raw and biting laughter from those who live in an America that's not been so kind or welcoming to them...
“Elizabeth, don’t subscribe to a life of crime baby. It’s not for you.”
I’m screaming at this. pic.twitter.com/uky2LgCBKK
— Real HouseMark (@RealHouseMark) January 8, 2021