“That Would Never Happen Here…” “Oh Wait – It Did!”

For those of us who have been around for a while, the spectacle that unfolded this past weekend in Brazil, where thousands of the fascist followers of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed that nation’s capitol buildings in a violent attempt to overthrow the government of the recently-elected President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was the sort of news that we regularly watched with indifference.

“Well, that’s just one of those countries,” we would think to ourselves self-assuredly, secure in the belief that something like that NEVER could happen in the United States. To be sure, we had Watergate, but that never never approximated the realm of a military junta or some other group forcibly seizing power from a democratically-elected government — though we should note, the U.S. government often was behind that sort of thing.

But as all of us know all too well, the violence that took place in Brazil was virtually a replay of exactly what happened at our Capitol two years ago on January 6, 2021, when a few thousand of our fellow Americans, urged on by an American president who similarly had just lost an election, stormed our Capitol building in an effort to thwart the counting of the Electoral College and the peaceful transfer of the Office of President.

The political pundits continue to debate whether what happened on 1/6 was an anomaly or whether it will be the new normal. We can only hope that the democratic principles upon which our nation was founded will make it through what promises to be more turbulent days ahead.

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