Americans have a right to protest. A right to fairly, freely, and peacefully express their opinion and dismay with their government. If it is willed they can surpass those parameters. With massive tension in our country every protest has the potential to become dangerous and violent.
On January 6th, 2021 a large occupation of protestors in front of the United States Capitol building overcame police officers and managed to get into an insecure Capitol building. One person would be shot when attempting to get into the live chamber room, and one Capitol Officer would succumb to injuries after being assaulted by participants in the crowd. This loss of life and the appalling injuries sustained by many police officers was tragic. This should have never happened and was immediately condemned by politicians across the board, including President Donald Trump.
Following the event, almost all left-wing, and a majority of right-wing, politicians decided to condemn the President for inciting these actions. The President was heavily scapegoated for this event with many pointing to his rhetoric over the last four years, and the speech he gave that day as the cause. This blacklisting by congress and the senate would allow us to witness the hypocrisy of many left-wing politicians and media outlets with their criticisms of this incident and the conversion of many right-wing politicians as their sponsors spoke for them.
However, if we were to look back at the incident and the timeline for that day we would realize that Trump began his speech at 12:00 pm and violent protestors arrived at the Capitol at 12:40 pm. At 1:09 pm efforts were being made to call the National Guard. Trump directly inciting this does not line up because he would conclude his speech at 1:11 pm. At 1:50 pm the Capitol was breached. This fails to account for the 45-minute walking distance between the location of Trump’s speech and the Capitol Building. Rioters who breached the perimeter would have had to leave before Trump’s speech even began (at 12 pm precisely) to make it in time for the events as described by authorities.
Another area of concern is that the FBI knew there was a high potential of violence at the January 6th protest, and warned local law enforcement. Despite this the protection at the Capitol was minimal. The Capitol Police also rejected security assistance from the federal government after communicating with the FBI.
If we were to specifically look at Trump’s rhetoric in his speech we would learn that he said, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your votes heard today."
- [Full Quote] "After this, we’re going to walk down — and I’ll be there with you — we’re going to walk down, we’re going to walk down — anyone you want, but I think right here — we’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength, and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing, and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated — lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your votes heard today."
Many media sites and politicians referred to this as inciting violence. Looking at the transcript we see Trump repeatedly and firmly urged for his supporters to remain peaceful.
Trump’s criticisms of the validity of the election were also blamed as a cause of this incident. Trump as a President has a right to speech as well, and if he believed the election was fraudulent he has a right to voice his concerns, and as Americans we should be keen on investigating the honesty of an election no matter what party is involved. Trump would take many instances of voter fraud to courts across the country. Would someone wishing to incite violence go through all of that legal turmoil? Did we forget the first impeachment when Democrats believed Trump colluded with Russia to win the election? Hillary Clinton to this day and age goes on to criticize the 2016 election.
- “But you don’t win by 3 million votes and have all this other shenanigans and stuff going on and not come away with an idea like, ‘Whoa, something’s not right here.’ That was a deep sense of unease.” -Hillary Clinton, regarding the 2016 election, Yahoo (10/9/2020)
Hillary Clinton wasn’t criticized for her statements against the validity of that election. Under the same lens, one could say her statements are just as dangerous because it could incite violence against a public official, who in this case happened to be the President of the United States. The government would go on to put President Trump through an impeachment, hearing, and investigations only to find nothing, and yet statements criticizing the 2016 election’s honesty are still permitted.
Decide for yourself if you think President Trump incited a crowd to breach the Capitol. To understand his motive better let us compare Trump’s comments after this riot to comments made by Democratic figures after BLM and Antifa riots.
- “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprising all over the country. Maybe there will be.” -Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as political violence grew (6/14/2018)
- “They’re not gonna let up and they should not.” -Kamala Harris, after cities were burned (9/1/2020)
- “There needs to be unrest in the streets.” -Rep. Ayanna Pressley, after businesses, were looted (8/16/2020)
- “I am asking for everyone at the US Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!” -President Donald Trump, after the Capitol was stormed (1/6/2021)
As you can see President Donald Trump did not plan, incite, or wish for the Capitol incident to happen. Looking at Democratic figures’ support for the many BLM riots that have historically cost large amounts of damages and injuries we can directly see the hypocrisy with the condemnation and treatment of the Capitol incident versus BLM and Antifa riots.
A riot is a riot and violence across the board should be condemned no matter what the motivation or belief is. Incitement of violence by a political figure should also be heavily criticized and condemned. How come we ignored it when the current Speaker of the House and Vice President did it? Why did we condemn it when the President didn’t do it? Although a riot is a riot let’s compare the praised left-wing BLM riots to the condemned right-wing Capitol Hill Riot.
All of the above incidents are horrible. Many Americans will agree to that. Why do we heavily condemn one and not the many others? Why is it okay for politicians to incite and support riots when they’re on the left-wing? Why do we condemn and impeach one politician for one riot, even when he did not incite it, and not the many politicians who ignored, supported, and incited the many others? Why can’t we be consistent with our stance on violence? Why can’t we be consistent with what’s right and wrong?
Another common stance against President Trump regarding the Capitol incident was his support of white supremacy. This is a very false accusation that is constantly recycled by the media and was used to connect the Capitol incident and President Trump’s etiquette. Here are a few examples of Trump outwardly condemning white supremacy.
- "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further sources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism - whatever they need" - Donald Trump in 2019 Source: The Atlantic
- "We will reject bigotry and hatred and oppression in all its forms, and seek a new future built on common culture and values as one American people." - Donald Trump in 2016 Source: Washington Examiner
- "I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned" - Donald Trump at Charlottesville in 2017 Source: Washington Post
- "Well, you've got David Duke just joined (The Reform Party) - a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party." - Donald Trump in 2000 Source: NBC
- "I totally disavow the Ku Klux Klan. I totally disavow David Duke." - Donald Trump in 2016 Source: Washington Examiner
- "I don't like any group of hate. Hate groups are not for me. How many times do I have to reject? I've rejected David Duke. I've rejected the KKK, the Ku Klux Klan, from the time I've five-years-old" - Donald Trump in 2016 Source: The Hill
The media spread many narratives about the Capitol incident describing it as an armed insurrection against our government curated by President Trump. It was also described as a coup, an attempt to overthrow our democracy to seize sole power over it. If anything, with the way the media and politicians pinned the damage on President Trump, Republican and Democratic lawmakers voting to impeach him, and Democrats managing to take control over the Presidential Office, House, and Senate, we have to ask ourselves an important question. What was the real coup within our Democracy?