How big is the iceberg? (or, How big is Trump’s army?)

How can a country united in a Super Bowl Sunday be in trouble? Didn’t we all come together , Americans of every stripe, Trump and Biden supporters, election believers and deniers, BLM and white supremacists alike, to celebrate the cleverest commercials and to focus on nothing more divisive than whether the old or the young quarterback will prevail?

Surely all that recent nastiness is behind us.

If only.

Impeachment trial this week. Many millions apparently still believe the election was stolen. Marjorie Taylor Greene, graduate of the QAnon version of reality, is being widely seen as the essence of the new Republican party. And we’re still sorting out the meaning of January 6th.

What actually happened on Jan. 6? Was that genuine coup attempt or insurrection, as it’s been frequently labelled, with serious intentions of taking over the government of the United States? Or, as it looked on TV, a mob of a few hundred marginal types (mostly male, white, some according to reports, drunk) . If a coup attempt, a pretty sorry version of one.

The big question following the storming of the Capitol remains: How much danger are we in from the energies unloosed on Jan. 6 that we all got a good look at on TV?

Was January 6th the tip of the iceberg? And if so, how big is the iceberg? How dangerous, is the disloyal opposition of ongoingTrumpism?]

It’s not even clear how big the tip is. A“few hundred” seems more or less right for those who actually ransacked the Capitol. What about fellow marchers, the crowd outside the building? Of those thousands just how many were law-abiding protesters of what they believed to be a stolen election and how many merely curious onlookers ( a lot, according to a self-described innocent bystander interviewed in the “Martha’s Vineyard Times”)?

As for the size of the iceberg itself, if polls are right something like 50 million citizens, almost all of them Republicans, believe the election was stolen, or did in early January when that poll was taken. That’s an alarming number of aggrieved, angry fellow citizens.

But just how alarmed we should be depends on how many of those 50 million election deniers feel represented by the storming of the Capitol.

This citizen badly wants to believe that most of that 50 million do not feel represented by the horrible “Camp Auschwitz” and 6MWNE (Six million were not enough) t-shirts worn by patriotic anti-semites we saw on TV. Or by the QAnon idea beloved of some of the mob that Democrats are cannibalistic pedophiles. Or by the Sandy Hook deniers among them.

How many of the 50 million enjoyed the invasion vicariously as an expression of their anger but don’t actually identify with the anti-semites and white supremacist goons who carried it out? (That would be like saying that you like swimming except for the wet part.)

Marjorie Taylor Greene is not an extremist if her party won’t clearly repudiate her. If many millions feel represented by them, the Jan. 6 mob, which certainly looked and sounded in TV coverage like extremists–hardly the crew you would like think anybody would seriously propose putting in charge of the country, if the coup had succeeded.–were not extremists.

How many fellow Americans are OK with the Proud Boys and other paramilitaries in on the insurrection?

How many would be inclined to join one of those groups?

Somewhere I read the estimate that of the 70 million who voted for Trump about 20% could be counted on to fight for him. The implication being that he has a potential army of some sort of 15 million people. I wonder if there’s anything in that at all.

There would be plenty of guns to arm them. According to online sources (Googleable), well over one per every citizen, although it would seem that we liberals don’t at the moment possess our share.

Although there have been a few stories of Republicans finally switching allegiance after January 6, the 50 million at this point are a largely silent minority. What about the constituents of Greene’s district who actually installed her in Congress: do her ideas truly represent the majority of people in that part of Georgia?

As for Cape Cod, it’s not very reassuring that our own DA didn’t resoundingly dissociate himself from the Jan. 6th storming, instead blaming “everybody,” the media, BLM protests .

A big question about Jan. 6 remains: how deliberate was the inadequate policing? Makes you wonder: How would our own DA have behaved on Jan 6 if he had been in charge?

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