By Blaney Pridgen
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
When President Trump bid his entourage to march to the Capitol, he may or may not have fully realized that his words would be heard as a march onthe Capitol. He may or may not have realized that his followers were on the verge of violent rampage for his name’s sake. He may or may not finally realize that he fomented patently unpatriotic attitudes and actions with his own attitudes and actions the past four years. Aside from the mays and maynots, President Trump did realize that he loved that rowdy crowd. He clearly said so at the conclusion of the address. For whatever reason, he has loved his followers and they have returned that love in acceptable and unacceptable ways.
Whether we are considering crowds of Black Lives Matter folks or crowds of Trumpsters or crowds of beer-soaked spring-breakers, crowds can always go bad. I remember that Jesus sometimes criticized and sometimes pitied the crowds that followed him, yet he always loved them. And they could go bad too. What we remember on Palm Sunday was a crowd that loved Jesus, but they did not realize that their enthusiasm ultimately did Jesus no good. The religious establishment was watching them. In a roundabout way, the crowds of “Palmsters” laid the groundwork for Good Friday as they laid their garments along the way Jesus traveled.
We have seen on newsreels and contemporary coverage, crowds gathered for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Super Bowl crowds, religious crusade crowds, pop music crowds, and the crowds prone to looting, degradation, desecrations, and vandalizations. But I heard something good in the midst of something awful that was about to happen on January 6th. The President expressed his love for those rowdies. I can’t think of anyone or any group who needs more love than that folk. I am not approving. I am saying that giving and receiving love, when it is real and selfless, is good. Everyone needs to give and receive love. Furthermore, some folk need it the most in both giving and receiving. As you see, I search for the good in everything. Sometimes that search can be desperate and rarely satisfying. One has to look hard.
As I wrote these words and they awaited publication, I realized that many things could happen to date them and make them invalid in the passage of a week. Human and material, stock goes up and stock goes down. It was just that passing moment that caught my attention. Someone, however scurrilous, expressed his affection for a gathering of his followers, however reprehensible, in the face of failure. This was high drama dripping with irony.
On January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany for some of us, I do not believe that everyone charging up the mall (maul?) exactly knew what they were doing. Honestly, does anyone ever? The slack cutter in me wants to say that they were caught up in the moment and knew not what they were really doing. For the wise and the less wise, following stars can carry us away to good and dangerous places.