Future historians will look back on 2020 as a year of great human tragedy, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the horrendous losses of life that it has entailed.
But they may also look back on 2020 as one of the greatest years in the history of this very old democratic republic, the year in which Americans turned back the onslaught of fascism.
And let us be very clear. That fascism had a name: Republican fascism.
2020 was the year in which the Republican Party, almost to a man and to a woman, at the Congressional level, supported Republican President Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow the Rule of Law and the Constitution.
These efforts have culminated since the November 3, 2020 elections in a Trump-led attempted coup d’état. The attempted coup may well have begun before November 3, but since that date it has proceeded in undisguised fashion and with unabashed zeal.
If there was ever any doubt before about the fascist nature of the Republican Party, there could be no such doubt after November 3, 2020. The Republican Party, and nearly all its elected leaders in Congress, consistently have supported Donald Trump in his efforts to carry out a fascist coup d’état, joining in a vast national conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the election results and the Constitution.
These efforts persist, with Trump pressuring Republican legislators to reject the electoral college results, without any justification in law, on January 6, 2021. They are not likely to end before Donald Trump leaves office and Joe Biden becomes President at noon on January 20, 2021.
Things cannot go back to the way they were before.
Crimes, including crimes of sedition, have been committed. They must be prosecuted.
And the Republican Party, in its current fascist encarnation, must be annihilated.
But that is work yet to be done, in 2021 and later.
Let these future challenges, however, not distract us from celebrating the great triumph of democracy in America in 2020.
To be sure, the year is not completely over. Uniquely this year, 2020 will not end until noon on January 20, 2021. Vigilance and the fierce defense of democracy will be urgently required until that date and time.
American democrats, including some courageous Republicans, have defeated a fascist threat of enormous power and potential.
That should be reason enough for all of us to celebrate the year of 2020, and the hope it has spawned, with great joy.
In 2020, American democracy and the Republic were preserved. The significance of these events will be noted by historians for generations to come.
Americans were sorely tested by the fascist challenge in 2020, and they met the test.
The Trenchant Observer