Vietnamese American MAGA Supporter Joins US Capitol Insurrection
The tricolor flag that appears in a photo at the top of a Harvard Law School article HLS scholars weigh in on the events in the U.S. Capitol about the 6 January 2021 US Capitol insurrection really jumped off the screen. It’s the flag of the former South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam), the client state of the US that lost the US War in Viet Nam, along with its benefactor. If you look closely at the larger photo, you’ll see that the smiling man holding it appears to be Asian, probably Vietnamese American. The flag he’s waving represents a country, an artificial geopolitical entity, that ceased to exist in 1975 but that lives on in the imaginations of its supporters. (Here’s a January 2020 post about the perennial “flag issue.”)
This is a textbook example of the old expression politics makes for strange bedfellows. Here you have this refugee from one of the USA’s imperial misadventures – the “Vietnam War” in the US and the “US War in Viet Nam” here – standing in a sea of mostly male white Trump supporters who wouldn’t give him the time of day, at best, under normal circumstances. Thanks to this photo, he got his 15-minutes of fame (or is it infamy?).
Why do so many Vietnamese Americans and Vietnamese nationals, for that matter, support #SeditionDon? The answer is one word: China. They are (or would be) single-issue voters. They share the view that the outgoing malignant narcissist-in-chief is “tough on China.” That’s it. There’s another likely reason that is a not so well-kept secret in that insular community: racism.
I find it ironic that a Vietnamese American refugee who was permitted to enter the US because of his or his family’s ties with the US military or government in the former Republic of Vietnam is involved in an effort to overthrow the US government. As in the US American War, he got the short end of the stick. Like Dear Leader, he’s a loser once again. Sedition is a serious felony though I seriously doubt that Viet Nam would take him, if he were to be arrested, tried, convicted, and deported. Twice a loser, twice a traitor. The first time he betrayed the nation of Viet Nam, his home country, and now the United States of America, his adopted country. I can only imagine what this guy is going to do for an encore.
As with all Trumpies, you can’t just choose just one issue that suits your fancy, as odious as that one issue might be. When you support #SeditionDon, you get the whole nine yards, including – in A-Z order – the abuse, adultery, anti-intellectualism, arrogance, authoritarianism, bullying (cyber and offline), cheating, corruption, cruelty, discrimination, division, exploitation, extortion, fascism, greed, ignorance, incompetence, instability, irresponsibility, lies, malevolence, malignant narcissism, misogyny, mockery, nationalism, nativism, racism, (statutory) rape, sedition, sociopathy, theft, traitorism, and xenophobia. (Let me know if I overlooked anything, dear reader.)
There is no discussion with Trumpies, no middle ground, no mutual respect, no unity, no agreeing to disagree, only war, rhetorically speaking, unless self-defense becomes necessary. If you happen to be related to one, the only option is to agree not to “go there,” if you wish to maintain your relationship.
For a review of the history of the US War in Viet Nam, check out this April 2020 article of mine A Letter From Viet Nam on the Occasion of the 45th Anniversary of the End of the War, along with some comments. Here are the Vietnamese version and comments in Vietnamese.
Tiến lên, cùng tiến lên! Forward, together, forward!
Shalom (שלום), MAA