Like the Lusitania, we had some warnings, but almost no one took them seriously. Suddenly, a torpedo appeared, loaded with lies, hate, disinformation, greed, the lust for power — you name it — and exploded at our most vulnerable point: our self-righteous complacency.
We should have realized, ever since Reconstruction, that our weakest point was the lack of equality between Black and White, especially when it came to voting rights. Then came the Gilded Age, when inequality of race was joined by inequality of class and the unbridled growth of huge personal fortunes.
The class inequality was reduced during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency, helping us get through the Great Depression and World War II, but I believe it was not long before the rich got tired of sharing and, with the help of the Republican Party, began planning a return to the good old days.
So here we are. Jan. 6 was a wake-up call. On that date, the Trump wing of the Republican Party told the nation that it was tired of trying to win the old-fashioned way. Sadly, unless our highly vaunted rule of law starts cracking down on the Jan. 6 plotters, we should be on our guard for another coup attempt.
Our ship of state is in deep trouble.