A Trumper makes the incredible assertion in discussing the January 6 riot: “What about claiming that the election was stolen? That’s an opinion. Americans have a right to express their opinions.” You wonder what that means in the context of the riot. No one doubts you can express your wacky belief that the election was stolen. Trump claimed that even before the first vote was cast as he did in 2016. But you cannot claim it by invading the Capitol.
The Trumper also writes: “Did those hundreds upon hundreds of Trump supporters carrying American flags attempted to “overthrow” the Government? Of course not.” He said they were there only to delay the certification of the vote but that is nonsense as we have seen. Then one is left with the question what was there purpose? All that is left is they wanted Trump to remain as president which is tantamount to overthrowing the government.
But the Trumper’s total defense of what happened boils down to this: “On Jan 6, the hundreds of thousands at the Mall were peaceful. Of the thousands who marched to the Capitol, a few hundred were violent/destructive.”
But isn’t that how many things begin, a mob forms and a few in the mob act out violently doing the will of the mob with the support from the mob. Suggesting only a few did the vandalism is like saying only a few did the extrajudicial lynching of Black Americans in the South in the early part of the twentieth century while the rest who cheered them on had nothing to do with it. It’s like suggesting that only the guy and gals who went to fight in Vietnam were violent and destructive and the rest of us Americans were peaceful.
The January 6 mob outside the Capitol building was there because Trump called them to come there and have a “wild” time and the told them to, “walk down to the Capitol” because “we are going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country. Because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution.”
That was the purpose in going down to the Capitol. These folk were bent on having Mike Pence do what he did not want to do nor had the power to do. How was that going to be upholding the Constitution? It wasn’t just the 800 or more Trump supporters who invaded the Capitol that wanted Pence to usurp the vote. It was all of those who walked down there giving them support.
All this was done under the auspices of the only president the United States ever had who refused to concede he had lost but not only did not lose but won by a landslide. Under the auspices of the only president we have had that urged a mob to go to Congress to interfere with its business. Despite all the presidents we have had from every political philosophy, from very liberal to very conservative, no other president felt above our democratic traditions until Trump came along. He truly was the president who wanted to be king.
One final item as to weapons. A judge said yesterday: It is “the strongest evidence that the government has presented that there was a quick reaction force outside the District of Columbia, the location of the quick reaction force and that members of this conspiracy provided weapons to this quick reaction force, clearly is prepared to have weapons at the ready for violent conduct.”