crystal ball cartoon

In the aftermath of 9/11, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell became known for his own personal mantra in regard to United States foreign policy concerning military responses to the 9/11 attacks. They have become quite famous, and infamous.

“The Middle East is like a crystal ball ... if you shatter it, it’s yours ... you break it, you own it.”

One day after violent insurrectionists invaded the U.S. Capitol building for the first time since 1814, Powell said on national television that it was a “national disgrace to all of us” and called for President Donald Trump to step down. Sunday, Powell announced that he has officially left the Republican Party.

Last week, before the attempted coup, the vice president whom Powell served — Dick Cheney, otherwise known as “Mr. Unitary Executive,” made a statement of his own condemning President Donald Trump’s attempt to threaten and coerce the Georgia Secretary of State to “recalculate” election results and “find” 11,780 votes for him — an unprecedented attack on American democracy all on its own.

Let’s repeat that: Cheney condemned a president for abusing presidential power and taking presidential authority too far. When Cheney says “you can’t do that,” you’ve got problems.

Since the president can no longer express his feelings about this on Twitter, we will do it for him.

Sad!

There is an important nickname for the U.S. Capitol building (it’s also been given to the White House, to an extent) — “The People’s House.

People, referring to “We the People” — the first words of the preamble of America’s Constitution:

We the people.

It’s not “Me the People,” it’s “We the People.”

It’s “establish Justice,” not “obstruct and undermine Justice.” It’s “ensure domestic Tranquility.” Not “incite domestic hostility.” It’s “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” not “secure Criminal Immunity to myself and those with undying loyalty to me.”

Now imagine the United States of America and all the people who live here. American democracy. America’s influence throughout the world; its standing with allies and adversaries. Law, order, justice. The Capitol building —the very symbol of our democracy. Imagine all of that as a crystal ball of its own.

That American crystal ball, much like the Middle East, was broken last week. Not all of us broke it. Not all of us divided it. But now — we all own this broken house, divided against itself. I own it, you own it, Karen down the street owns it, our Fox News-watching uncles own it; all of us, unfortunately. A fixer-upper of the highest order, so much so that HGTV probably wouldn’t even want it.

But there are many, many more people who are responsible for this.

There is no such thing as a leader-less cult. Fires cannot burn without oxygen.

Those who served as the oxygen for this insurrection might be, could be, and should be guilty of, implicated in, and/or deemed complicit in: Insurrection, incitement of insurrection, sedition, treason and conspiracy against the United States — just to name a few. From U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley to Trump and all of the Newsmax and InfoWars in between, that’s them.

He who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal has been deemed unfit to responsibly hold any social media accounts — and while it’s a case-study in “too little, too late” — it’s not like the president really needs his social media accounts anymore.

Those who attempted to overthrow the U.S. government; who stormed the capitol with zip-ties looking to kidnap and publicly execute their leader’s own vice president; those who wore “Camp Auschwitz” hoodies, set up gallows and hung nooses outside the People’s House; those who destroyed journalists’ cameras with American flags and murdered a Capitol Police Officer with a confederate flag on the same floor that once held Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy’s caskets ­­— they’ve all known for a while now that Trump “loves them” and thinks they’re “very special.” They don’t need him to remind them on social media anymore, especially considering plenty of them had already been banned for violating the same rules that he did.

Although, it won’t matter soon enough — because he will not come to visit them in prison. Even if he and his extended crime family end up in neighboring cells — they do not allow much mingling in prison.

Although members of the president’s entourage might have a lesser chance of catching COVID-19 in prison, as opposed to a White House Rose Garden event.

Speaking of COVID-19 — at least none of the insurrectionists can claim the government was violating any of their rights to not wear masks — the whole country has seen their smirking faces. Soon enough, those images will be replaced with mugshots.

But back to the original point — Trump being off social media is, in fact, a good thing. Now that he no longer has to worry about carnival-barking into Siri, and even his own Banana Republican on Fox News have started to go against him — maybe he can put those finishing touches on that 2017 infrastructure plan, or that health care plan that’s “two weeks away.” He has nine days, or less.

After all, it’s difficult enough as it is, to tweet with such bloody hands.

JOHN MURRAY is a News Reporter at The Vidette. He can be contacted at jwmurr1@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @Jmurr_ 


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