There can be no excuses or validation for what happened a week ago at the U.S. Capitol. But there can be explanations for how this country got to its present condition. With the explanations should come understanding, and a way to prevent this from ever happening again.
It's worth noting that a number of people who voted for Barack Obama switched their allegiance to Donald Trump in 2016. At first glance, that seems to be a polar shift, because no two people could be more different than those men. A second glance may be more telling. It stands to reason that those who voted for a Black man would not be hard-core racists, so why switch to a man white supremacists hold in high regard?
Consider the case of Ashli Babbitt, who was killed by Capitol Police during the insurrection. She had been an Obama voter, but suddenly went for Trump. Did Obama do something to personally offend her, and make her begin to hate Black people?
Some who voted for Obama because he promised "hope and change" cast their ballots for Trump in 2016 for the same reason. Obama promised a new way of governing that would focus on regular Americans. Though he tried to do that, he was stymied by a Congress that either obstructed him because he was a Democrat - as Mitch McConnell bluntly put it - or because they thought some of Obama's proposals were too radical, falling under the "socialist" label.
Then along comes Trump, who again promises regular folks he will be there for them. Unfortunately, in their desperation to get something done, many well-meaning Americans took him at his word. But all those who have done business with Trump over the years will affirm he is a liar and a grifter, though possibly the greatest self-promoter and marketer this country has ever seen.
In other words, it might be argued that disappointment in Obama's inability to achieve what a large swath of the country wanted him to do helped create the cult of Trump.
Congress, as a body replete with enablers and obstructionists and a large number of narcissists whose only interest is in securing their own power, is largely to blame. Many of these "public servants" pushed the narrative that Obama was an extreme leftist, although even a cursory glimpse at his policies prove he is moderate. Certain elements of the national media, which tend to focus airtime on extremists from both sides of the spectrum, also failed the public.
If Congress doesn't get its own house in order, cults like those surrounding Trump are going to arise in many parts of the country, just as they did in Nazi Germany - and some of them will be more violent than those we now see. They will be looking to blame anybody for their disfranchisement - real or perceived - that was brought upon them by Congress' inability to do what's right for the country.
We stand at a crossroads. Most people don't care for the idea of a single political party holding both houses of Congress along with the presidency. But naysayers can be assured of one thing: It will offer an answer to the question of motivation, and whether the promised progress is possible.
The Democrats have control, and they had better use it wisely to help the countless number of Americans from every walk of life who feel misused, ignored and abandoned. If they don't act quickly and get at least a few Republicans on board with their agenda, they can't hope to hang onto control in 2022.