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  • Writer's pictureJo Page

Virus, Violence, Virulence

Dear Capitol Insurrectionists:

It isn't lost on me that "virus," "victory" and "violence" all start with "vi."

So it occurred to me to wonder what else "vi" might indicate. Turns out, a lot.

It can mean "ventilation index" which indicates the severity of respiratory illness in critically ill patients--possibly frequently determined with covid patients.

"Vi" can also stand for "vision impairment," "volcanic island," "vulnerability index," "village idiot," "vested interest" and "violent ideation."

When your mostly white, largely male crowd, dressed in red ball caps, dowdy duds and Hallowe'en costumes stormed the people's house on Wednesday, a whole host of those "vi" phrases applied so fittingly:

"Vision impairment" can describe not seeing what's right in front of your face which is that your guy lost and you are also terrorizing the law and order guys you claim to champion. Logic?

"Volcanic island" is another descriptor, as in, that's you, boys. Emphasis on explosiveness. Further emphasis on "island."

"Vulnerability index" might measure the damage you do to the most vulnerable among us--racial, sexual and gender minorities, women and children. And also, that you probably don't care about that crowd. Since they are not in your crowd.

"Village idiot" was not actually a term of derision in its original usage; nevertheless, language and meaning do change. It suits you. Though, of course, it would be "village idiots" since you believe yourselves to be manifold.

"Vested interest" really only applies to the president. Your lot isn't going to gain anything by what happened Wednesday. But it might bolster the outgoing president's base and that's why he said he would promenade down Pennsylvania Avenue with you. (He didn't, remember?)

"Violent ideation" is shrink-speak for when clients have thoughts and fantasies about inflicting harm on another person. Like maybe Mike Pence, for whom the gallows was built. Like maybe people of color or women or leaders who want to weave a social fabric that includes healthcare, education and economic opportunity--you know, those people you find so threatening because--oh, golly, I've lost why you find them so threatening. I think it has something to do with Confederate flags and guns. Or is it your right to wear furry costumes and defecate in the Capitol? Sorry, it's been a long week.

I guess I'm just tired. I'm tired of you.

I'm tired of hearing that you hadn't felt heard and that was why Trump was your guy. But that after four years of him, you still don't feel heard--and trust me, you havebeen heard--and so want to elevate him to the status of savior even as you somehow (which is lost on me and I've been an ordained pastor for over twenty years) consider that Jesus is also your savior--as long as you don't have to linger too long on what he is recorded as having said.

Because that is where you really and truly lose me.

That is where I finally conclude--after having tried to listen and see your reality and engage your points of view--that you are truly thugs and opportunists and insurrectionists and prideful fools intent on mayhem.

I will never curse as loud as you do. Or beat Capitol police with the flag pole of our nation's standard. I won't be smashing windows, defacing elected officials' offices nor causing them to escape along underground tunnels during the second time the Capitol has been breached since 1814.

And I won't be doing that not because I don't want to be like you--which, by the way, I don't. Instead, I will simply be very interested in how to make this troubled world a better one. So, just stand down now. Do it.

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