I remember in the culture I grew up in that there were both explicit and implicit “lines” that, once you crossed, you could never go back.
These lines were in the form of rules, dictums, and adhering to social norms. Some of these rules were challenged at times. And when they were, you would hear the “establishment” come out and tell you something to the effect that you were “skating on thin ice”.
More than once, I would hear that line from my father, which would be the signal that I needed to either back-off, change tactics, or just shut the heck up.
Those lines became less defined, especially in the last 25 or so years as so much of the social, political, and business cultures and norms changed. What was once taboo mere years ago is now mainstream. What would have been shocking and denounced in the past, now we shrug our shoulders and say “meh, okay.”
And for a long while, our society in America has been running along with not a care of what lines they were crossing, with the reaction being everything from not caring to cheerlead the breaking of yet another cultural norm or societal rule.
While this was happening, another more nefarious action started to emerge in which when the rules were broken, the people that were breaking them would receive little rebuke with no one holding them accountable. It was the equivalent of a person walking into Waterford Crystal, taking the most expensive piece there and throwing it on the ground, shattering it into a million pieces. And then simply walking out of the store with no one even saying “hey, come back”.
Because of all this, we have a good subset of our population, today, who does not even understand what accountability is. And when accountability is demanded by a group (for instance, the #metoo movement), it is not seen as a call out of bad behavior but seen as a campaign to “cancel” out people and destroy peoples reputations based solely on a non-adjudicated accusation.
Some members of that subset of the population were on hand in Washington DC on January 6 when the President of the United States and his supporters riled up a crowd to march on the Capitol Building and ransack it.
I am sure that many of them, taking selfies, causing destruction, and stealing property, were all of the mindset that “nothing is going to happen to me”. While some may not have cared what happened to them (the “nothing to lose” sect), by and large, the actions of many denoted their attitude.
Funny thing though when one decides to cause mayhem in the Capitol Building in Washington, resulting in the deaths of 5 people including a Capitol police officer…. the long arm of accountability suddenly rises and starts picking off those involved, throwing them into jail, and starting the process of interrogating them.
This rise of holding people accountable for what happened in Washington DC on that day is not a “cancel culture” move, and anyone adhering to that thinking should look in the mirror and check themselves before continuing to say that.
Accountability culture has awakened, because the President and his supporters, using social media as the information delivery device, told his people to cross a line which the American people still keep as a bright, red line. That line being “don’t mess with the peoples’ house”.
This culture, to hold accountable those that crossed that line, looks like it’s going to be absolute and wide ranging. I would caution friends reading this piece that those who are celebrating the raiding of the Capitol and those who are adhering to the ideas that “Q-Anon” and the Alt-Right is promoting to be careful. Already you see a narrative that is being created that places all of these into the “we disagree” bin, and with agreement by a majority, will allow the unleashing of the long arm of the law on them.
And for those who are in these camps, they who are still thinking that your still innocent by just putting your thoughts online…decrying the suspension of the President’s accounts for instance…please also be careful. Because while you may think you are simply putting out a thought, those thoughts are going to be read by others that may change the trajectory of your life.
Frankly, having anyone who is affected by this who are, by and large, more spectators than participants in it, would just increase the circle of woe that the actions of 1-6-2021 has and will cause to our nation and its people.