This will be short, and not filled with data and factoids. It reflects my deep concern for the future of the United States.
The events of January 6, 2021 will go down in history for all time as one of the darkest days in history of the United States. A mob of ten thousand or more angry supporters of President Trump gathered in Washington, DC, and marched on the Capitol to protest the election of Joe Biden.
This was an organized mob, dressed in various ways including aggressive combat and protective gear as well as other assorted crazy paraphernalia. They responded to a well-planned and orchestrated effort to disrupt the congressional session scheduled, per the Constitution, that day to accept the votes of the Electoral College. After some sixty or so legal challenges and lawsuits, none of the claims of illegality have been supported by judges, many if not most of them appointed by Republican presidents.
The “protest” had been planned on various web sites and the invitation was coordinated with a speech that morning by President Trump in which he encouraged the group to correct the wrongs, in his words, that “stole the election” from him. He stated that he had won, “by a lot,” and that “everyone knows it.” Other than an echo chamber that repeats and reflects vapid claims of wrong, there is no information by anyone that supports any illegalities of any meaningful size. Mr. Biden won by seven million votes, a percentage win of 51.3% to 46.9% (there were votes of 1.8% for other candidates) and “flipped” the following states from Trump wins in 2016 to Biden wins: MN, WI, MI, PA, GA, AZ, VA, CO, and NH. Georgia was the closest with only 0.2% separating the two candidates. Th Georgia vote, in particular has been recounted several times and numerous legal challenges have confirmed the results. The vote and the recounts all have been conducted under the auspices of Republican leadership of the state, elected Republicans who have been besmirched numerous times by President Trump, in his own words, because they did not “go ahead and give me the votes I needed.”
The mob marched on the Capitol after hearing the President ask them to “make things right” and “get angry” and swarmed over, around, and through security lines. They turned violent as they entered the Capitol building. They broke windows and forced the small security forces back. They entered the Senate Chambers and at least one ruffian sat in the Vice President’s chair with his feet on the desk. They entered the private offices of Nancy Pelosi and others and some carried off pieces of furniture. They strewed papers and trash around. This was the first occupation and malicious damage to the Senate and House buildings since British troops in 1812 occupied and burned the capitol! This will be a day that joins Pearl Harbor as one that goes down in infamy. And it all was conjured up by far-right conspiracy theorists who have no connection to the facts and reality and who are egged on by a delusional and increasingly mentally unstable President. The President at least condoned the actions, if not tacitly assisting in the planning and organization. This is an act of Sedition. No doubt!
As the dust settles (literally) and as we can assess what happened, it is much more dangerous than first reported. Yes, it was an attack on our democracy, of the first order. But it could have been much, much worse. The attacking mob included people with explosives. It included people who had “zip-tie handcuffs.” Some could have held U.S. representatives and/or Senators as hostages. Can you imagine the dilemma of “Make Donald Trump President or we execute Nancy Pelosi as an enemy of the state?” This country might have come much closer to that than we ever want to imagine.
Trump’s legacy, which has actions and decisions both positive and negative, popular and unpopular, now will be remembered as the President who led a futile and brazen attack on the U.S. Capitol. The people in this mob were, and still are, dangerous; they are not going away. They have convinced themselves that some illusory and invisible, omnipotent movement, led by … this varies ... Jewish wealthy people … “deep state,” or whatever - forces they mention at times, now are layered into an existential threat. Now a 20% group of Americans refuse to recognize logic. Nothing can convince them. Their members include totally insane elements like Q-Anon which posit Hillary Clinton led a child pornography ring centered in a pizza parlor’s back room on a main street in Washington, DC. One of these members now is an elected Republican member of Congress from Georgia! Elements of this group previously had planned to kidnap and perhaps execute the governor of Michigan because she, in their opinion, has not followed their vision of government. It is hard to write this material without laughing, or crying, but the dark side of this insanity persists. The web now allows conspiracy theorists of all sorts to amplify and distort anything they want to support lunacy. The danger is inside us now.
Hopefully, security will be increased to prevent future actions along these crazy-thinking lines. The Inauguration must be held w/out organized mob threats. It will be both necessary to hold those accountable, and also deal with the underlying insanity that apparently is embedded within a sizable element to the population, mostly Republicans. Will the Republican Party survive as a responsible force? Will the Democratic Party be able to handle their own elements who want drastic changes, and now? At the time, the major threat to the future stability of this country is from within.
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J.K. (Jim) George
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