America Out of Order

If January 6th left me with PTSD, February 13th pretty much gutted me.

An insurrection didn’t do it. So what would it have taken for those in power to hold a president accountable?

Maybe the president explicitly calling his supporters to capture and burn down the House? Or the death of Senators instead of policemen and rioters? Mike Pence literally being hung at the gallows erected by the domestic terrorists? Probably even that would not have been enough. The president was no longer president, so as Mitch McConnell and his cohorts determined, a conviction was beyond the Senate’s jurisdiction and power.

So they made it clear that patriotism did not mean putting country first. It meant serving those who they think give them the best chance to hold on to power, when election time comes around.

Then they must forfeit the right to drape the flag, utter words such as “god bless America” and should be forbidden from visiting cemeteries where dead soldiers lie, as they would be desecrating all those they often frame as defenders of our nation, constitution and freedom.

It is not that the outcome of this impeachment was not pre-ordained. Like almost everything that goes on in congress votes are bought and sold in advance, so even before all the theatrics and exhibition of oratory powers, one always knows which way the chips are going to fall.

This one though, I thought was different. There was hope that we had entered uncharted territory and therefore spineless politicians would probably exhibit character and show courage. Watching on television the very benches on which they sit being defiled, one would expect them to vote with their conscience. But alas, this was wishful thinking.

What remains indisputable, unless you are delusional and refuse to take off your blinders — an insurrection would not have occurred if it was not called for. The day was chosen by the president with a very deliberate purpose in mind. The speech was spewed with a calculated agenda. The goal was to push buttons to achieve a desired outcome. To stop the ratification of a free and fair election was the mission.

This did not matter in the least bit to a large section of the very people, whose lives were endangered.

The failure to convict Donald Trump is probably the greatest atrocity committed by those elected to safeguard our democracy.

The oldest constitutional democracy showed to the world how emaciated and dysfunctional it actually is. The genius of the founders and framers that we are constantly reminded of, is not all that it is made out to be. This much now is abundantly clear.

Democracy in America is officially on shaky ground. The “big lie” has gotten even bigger and will continue to grow as long as it feeds on the divisions that have been sown.

During the impeachment the lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin quoted the famous French thinker Voltaire twice. The first quote was about free speech, where Voltaire famously said “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” But the second one is what defines the times we live in and sums up this moment.

“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

From Q-Anon, Fox News, Social Media to the president, the range of absurdities and conspiracy theories spoken and spread have successfully warped the minds of millions. A small percentage of them were called upon on January 6th to commit atrocities. An even smaller percentage who claim to represent voters/constituents, committed an even bigger abomination.

This I am afraid is the new normal. Not holding the inciter-in-chief accountable has sent a clear message, that the cancer of absurdities is only going to spread. Blocking Twitter feeds and suspending Facebook accounts is not going to stem this fire.

The singular chance America had to redeem itself in the eyes of the world was lost forever on February 13th. This nation can no longer call out other world leaders when they falter on their promise of democracy and trample over their people.

Henceforth, this nation foregoes its right to sit in judgement of other nations.

America is “Out of order”.



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Anand Kamalakar

Anand Kamalakar


Anand Kamalakar is a Brooklyn based documentary film director, producer and editor. His latest film SALAM can now be seen on Netflix.