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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Jayne: America, we have a problem

By Greg Jayne, Columbian Opinion Page Editor
Published: January 10, 2021, 6:02am

‘I think we have a problem,” Biff said, setting the bait.

“I know,” Bubba replied, like a salmon with a gaping maw. “Democrats now have control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.”

“And what is wrong with that?” Biff queried.

“Well, they are socialists, aren’t they? They’re going to want a higher minimum wage and want to raise taxes to pay for things and want to make health care accessible for everyone. It’s frightening.”

“Yeah, but Donald Trump supporters tried to overthrow the government.”

“And the Democrats are going to pay attention to racial justice and human rights instead of insisting that there are very fine people on both sides. I mean, if you can’t carry torches and invoke Nazi imagery without support from the president, what kind of America is this?”

“Yeah, but Trump supporters tried to overthrow the government,” Biff repeated.

“And can you believe that Democrats want higher taxes for rich people? Those rich people are the job creators. Why should Elon Musk pay higher taxes just because he has a net worth of $185 billion? I shudder to think about it.”

“Yeah, but Trump supporters tried to overthrow the government.”

“And Joe Biden will probably pay attention to the coronavirus pandemic. Doesn’t he know that it will magically disappear and he should go play golf? And he’ll probably work to slow climate change. How can we trust liberals?”

“Yeah, but Trump supporters tried to overthrow the government.”

“And the Democrats will probably remove the names of Confederate generals from military bases,” Bubba continued. “What is becoming of America when you can’t honor people who fought to defend slavery, killed Americans and lost a war? Those Democrats are terrible people, I tell you.”

“Yeah, but Trump supporters tried to overthrow the government.”

“Would you stop saying that? What does that have to do with anything?”

“Well,” Biff continued, “it seems that we have bigger problems than trying to fabricate fear of ‘socialism.’ ”

“But isn’t socialism scary?”

“Sure, that’s why Democrats are opposed to it. Nobody is advocating for the government to take over the means of production and distribution. That’s what socialism is, despite the fear-mongering from the right.”

“But Democrats want to change things, just when we’re making America great again.”

“I don’t know. It seems that we have the worst coronavirus response in the world, we have violence in the streets, we have undermined environmental protections, we have become an international pariah, and we have an economy in tatters. Doesn’t seem so great. And Trump supporters tried to overthrow the government and halt the process of democracy.”

“Yeah, that was pretty despicable. Defiling the U.S. Capitol like that embarrassed us in front of the whole world.”

“It’s not the first time Trump has done that.”

“But what about antifa and Black Lives Matter and anarchists? Aren’t they the real threat?”

“They haven’t tried to overthrow the government. You can make a reasonable case that Trump and his enablers in Congress should be charged with sedition, and the people who broke into congressional chambers and offices should be charged with treason.”

“But they were only trying to stop the steal.”

“The election? The votes have been counted and recounted and certified by the states and upheld by the courts. I think those people are simply believing an endless stream of lies from a compulsive liar trying to raise money off their naivete. Why would they look at a president who has told 25,000 documented lies and believe he now is telling the truth?”

“Good question. But they aren’t going away. Most Trump supporters are reasonable people, but a lot of them vow to continue trying to overturn the election — even though people in Trump’s own Cabinet said it was fair and secure.”

“Like I said,” Biff added, “we have a problem.”