A Baseline?

One common definition of a baseline average is this:

A baseline is a fixed point of reference that is used for comparison purposes. A baseline signifies a normal, expected value and makes changes from the norm obvious and calculable. Baselines can be used for anything from health concerns such as heart rate, cholesterol or weight, to financial matters such as income and expenses. Essentially, a baseline calculates as an average taken when conditions are normal and not influenced by unusual events.

That is not what America has had since January 20th, 2017. To repeat President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech to Congress Dec. 8, 1941, it is now “January 6th, 2021, a date that will live in infamy…” for the rest of America’s history and darkest hours. A reality baseline became so elusive to half the nation for 3-years. It ramped up more starting in March 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic, then the November-December Presidential election with non-stop propaganda lies from inside the White House, finally culminating to the January 6th, 2021 scenes of what a cult leader and his cult are capable of doing. All reputable, licensed psychotherapists would describe this escalation from Trump as clinical Narcissistic personality disorder with delusional disorder.

This has become the image of the U.S.’s Constitutional baseline for the last four years

After the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, January 6, 2021, that lead to five pointless deaths and the vandalism of the two chambers of Congress, any semblance of an American baseline has disappeared. Weapons were brought by the Trump-incited mob, including pipe-bombs and Molotov cocktails, as well as many USA chanting terrorists armed with their own riot shields, battering rams and baseball bats, and replaced what was remaining of American normalcy. Many of the Trump-incited mob were in full military combat gear. This is the image of violent anarchy, the antithesis of peaceful, law-based democracy:

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

It goes without saying, many Americans have completely lost sight of our Constitutional democracy’s baseline, the designed function of its supporting institutions, e.g. the Electoral College certification process, and its due legal, civil processes built into our three-branched government.

Our arrival to this unprecedented, disgraceful, globally embarrassing, beyond indecent, hate-driven insurrection and desecration of the citadel of democracy by our sitting President is so outside the parameters and spirit of a Republic and its Constitution’s guidelines of governing. Governing not by one narcissistic megalomaniac, but by a law-based, trias politica or equally impowered three-branched democracy. Nowhere in these two-centuries old basic principals is there mentioned or implied that one man or one office dictates his or its personal desires or seize total control of a nation ruled by laws, not ruled by men or one man. Why is that so often forgotten by American political (militant) extremists and armed protesters?

I have drafted this blog-post a number of times, but the insanity is now occurring so frequently and so fast that I have decided to give up and just publish this. Just an hour or two ago the news broke that Twitter banned President Trump permanently, finally! Finally a social-media platform/company is getting a clue about the serious legal ramifications of what is called criminal accessory. History has repeated and repeated multiple times how egocentric dictators gain control of their 88-million viewing cult members, i.e. gain control of the dissemination (platform) of information—as Joseph Goebbels did in 1939–1945 Nazi Germany—and/or in this case, starting a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol for a MAGA “show of strength.”

And then there are all the enablers of this insanely dangerous man FINALLY seeing what their cult leader is truly capable of and in which they supported blindly in denial. Either impeachment or January 20, 2021 cannot get here fast enough!

Antoinette Tuff

antoinette tuff

Hero Antoinette Tuff

This will be a news story told the next several days a thousand times, praised a hundred different ways, and likely gone viral on social media.  This last Tuesday in Decatur, Georgia a simple office clerk at an elementary school, full of students, treated a psychologically unstable gunman as a human being and averted a potentially bloody all too familiar school massacre.  The risks that Antoinette Tuff had put herself can only be described as temporarily super-human — the right person, with the right background, in the right place at the right time — possibly saving many more young innocent lives.

If you haven’t yet listened or watched the news footage on all major networks, then do it.  It is well worth the time.  Here’s the CNN link:  click here.

This story and lady hits a very personal nerve and flashback with me.  I have been in (and in some ways am still in today) practically the exact same situation Ms. Tuff found herself.  My personal story with a mentally unstable gunman can be read here:  What Was I Thinking?

I am also an elementary-middle school teacher.  I am a brother to a psychiatric sister who often either gets off her psych-meds or is forced off her psych-meds due to clinical restrictions, bureaucratic tape or “economic policy.”  Our local state hospital and nearby meds-clinic just recently had a woman refused her psych prescriptions (reasons unknown to me) then left the clinic emotionally distraught in her car and crashed it 3-blocks away, killing herself and injuring others at the four-way red-light intersection.  I am also a former 3 1/2 year employee of a Psych-A&D hospital’s Intake Office or Crisis Center/Office.  I do indeed have personal experience with many situations like Ms. Tuff experienced, including her own divorce — for me two divorces — and thoughts of suicide by her self and her gunman; although in my personal experience the suicide was accomplished.

So watching and listening to Ms. Tuff’s situation and 911 call, choked me up and touched a sensitive emotional nerve with me…to put it mildly.

I have three points or questions I want to present to my readers and followers:

  1. Did Ms. Tuff’s demeanor and treatment of the gunman de-escalate his emotional and mental instability, or did the gunman eventually recognize his own insane behavior?
  2. How far should individuals or society allow mental psych patients (on or off their meds) to throw tantrums of highly inappropriate behavior, even violence, to get what they want?
  3. Given that the majority of mental psych patients (and often their families) cannot function perfectly in society or jobs/careers, WHO should foot their treatment bills?  Who suffers most when people like this gunman snap?

With these questions I hope to draw attention to America’s increasingly social dysfunctional problem-solving systems and education, as well as how best to address them.  Do we keep locking them up?  They’ve done that hundreds of times with my sister with little improvement other than temporary band-aids.

Please let me hear your comments, thoughts and feelings.  Because one day you may find yourself face-to-face with the same type of gunman.  What would you do in Ms. Tuff’s situation?

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