Dispatch from Gettysburg– January, 2021

from the mobile desk of Paul-Newel Reaves,
owner, co-editor, Defenestrationism.net


The history books are a better judge than I am. He will receive his comeuppance. I don’t care to make statements on Defenestrationism.net for idle reasons– this, no impotent condemnation, no populist statement of alliance. This: comeuppance– and lest you consider such comeuppance beyond my power as publisher, you read very different history books than I do. So, I will cede for a moment to some statesmen and a stateswoman, past and present:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us.”– Lincoln

Now, check these statements by Representative Cori Bush from Missouri, and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. They most eloquently express much of what I would, had they not so very well.

224 years of peaceful transitions of power had made the United States unique in the history of nations. Three, perhaps four U.S. presidents have been assassinated, yet power had remained with that president’s designated successor. Even at the break of Civil War, Lincoln had been peacefully instated after Buchanan. Only then did the Confederate states secede.

I resisted considering Trump the worst president in American History, resisted for quite some time. I dismissed him as a fool, a gangster-puppet– perhaps with late-stage syphilis– thinking him truly not important enough. “Well,” I thought, “at least he hasn’t actively committed genocide, as our Seventh and Thirty-third Presidents did.” That thought lasted for three years and a few months.

Now, here I am in Gettysburg, PA, but less than 90 miles from Washington– the District of Columbia, where I was born, where I still reside. I noticed a heightened awareness, this last Wednesday, an in distress— which I would describe as a scent– across my neighborhood by North Capitol street, 20-odd blocks from the center of it all, though, however, on the direct route north to Maryland, Massachusetts and New England– decidedly a different experience than the direct route south, south to Virginia, North Carolina, and Mississippi.

Gettysburg: I checked where Lincoln gave his noblest speech, wandered through the graves in a listless and morose manner– pondering the nature of violence and hatred against our fellow human beings, contemplating governments and insurrections, hypocrisy and corruption– and how to constructively approach the inevitability of all them– along with other suitably sullen subjects. Here are some:

With the events of last Wednesday, the 6th, we are seeing the demise of the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower. This division will then split the conservative vote as effectively as the political left has been split for a quarter-century– perhaps resulting in a democracy without the limiting, binary, two-party system.

Black Lives Matter protests have been met with more violence and security force than white supremacists storming the Capitol– and police dogs, in a revealing display, there were none of those against the whites. However, a valuable lesson is to be learned by this disparity at the onslaught of the Capitol: systemic racism does not bother with attempts to recreate its own means of production. As we design our dismantling of this systemic bigotry– dismantle provisionally at best– it will aid us to keep this, shall we call it a lack of calculation, in mind.

Without military backing, a coup d’état goes nowhere. Throughout modern world history, coups are most often led by colonels, men who– there are but a handful of women who have led military coups in modern history, to date– led by men who are high enough in rank to have influence, but not so comfy in their positions that they are satisfied without more power. Congratulations, U.S. military-industrial-complex, you are comfortable enough.

There may well be another attempt at secession. Such will fail within democratic processes, and on the large scale, peacefully.

In order to be a worse U.S. president than Trump, one would have to launch a nuclear strike AND THEN forcefully resist the transfer of power.

History will judge him far more harshly than anyone alive is capable of. He’s headed for a cozy, federal, white-collar prison– undeniably with his self-righteousness still in tact. History books, I tell you– there he will reap his eternal reward. There, his comeuppance will be brutal. As his allies suffer retribution, they will denounce him– as thoroughly as they sold themselves and their voters to his banner, they will denounce him. The systemic racism and bigotry so fully exposed during his regime will forever be tied to his name. For centuries to come, politicians and military leaders across the globe will study his mistakes. And schoolchildren of all races, ethnicities, perhaps even of different species, will learn of him and make crude jokes about his face. He will be disgraced for as long as anyone will remember his name.



That last comeuppance, about schoolchildren laughing at his face, that makes me feel slightly better about such cringe-rending harm as he has wrought on my city, our people, this nation-state and democracy worldwide.


Alright, peace–
excuse me while I go home to sob
— PNR,
owner, co-editor, Defenestrationism.net


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