Our language sometimes scrunches word meaning down into what is commonly heard. Symbolism is one of those words, as in “It’s only symbolic.” That takes on the meaning of non-essential, unimportant. Not true. Great example coming up.
On January 20th, if Trump is not present at Biden’s inauguration, it sends a signal to his followers that Biden either is not legitimate or needs to be displaced. IOW, pretty much what happens in unstable regimes: shoot or get shot and now we have a president. We don’t do that.
BUT, big caveat here, that whole constitutional system of ours depends on everyone going along with it. Due to factors discussed at length on this blog, a good portion of the population either never bought into that notion, never heard of it, or decided against it. Now they want an authoritarian system that will take care of them. And this is entirely normal. Throughout the world. people settle for corrupt, unjust, predatory systems that they understand and think they can maneuver in. BECAUSE IT IS EASIER THAN A DEMOCRACY. As we have found out the last four years, a good many people can reject one of the most qualified persons ever to run for president in favor of a flashy con-man would-be Mafia don. They liked the lies, like bed-time prayers.
MacArthur was astute enough to realize that pressing democracy down on the Japanese at the end of the war was not working and so he put the big boys, the Daibatsu. back in place and allowed them to run the country. The Japanese do not have a tradition of democracy. They seem OK with a patina of democracy. That’s not us…….. for the most part. But that other part won in 2016.