Storming the U.S. Capitol and preventing Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory is about as clear a definition of an act of insurrection as I know in this modern era, regardless of one’s political views.
What is insurrection? It is a violent uprising against Government. A definition that anyone can understand, red or blue. That’s what happened in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
So, who were these insurgents? They were Trump supporters, Q’Anon Conspiracy Theorists, Proud Boys and other online influencers. Also, there was newly elected West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans. For the first time in quite some time, the Confederate flag and, maybe for the first time, the Gadsden flag was on full display in the Capitol.
Four people died and more than a dozen police officers were injured on that day. None of this would have happened if a peaceful protest had been held instead. The boldness of some of the rioters posting pictures of themselves inside the Capitol was somewhat shocking to me. These crimes make WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange pale in comparison. But, perhaps even more shocking, were poll results released the next day: 45% of Republicans polled actively supported the disruption on Capitol Hill.
In what appears to be an attempt at further violence, multiple IEDs were discovered in the area, including outside the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention.
Many fingers are being pointed at President Trump for this act of unprecedented violence in the U.S. against democracy. Earlier that day, he encouraged his supporters to “Walk down to, and I’ll be there with you, we are going to walk down to the Capitol”. His supporters listened, but where was he?
Trump was silent for quite some time, silent until President Elect Biden called him out. Eventually President Trump called for peace and for insurgents to respect law and order. He balanced his words with claims that “The election was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it”. Telling the mob that “We love you. You’re very special” was perhaps the most shocking comment of all. How can an American President love individuals who impede the functioning of Government by representatives who have been elected by voters, better known as “We the People” in the very first sentence of the United States Constitution?
Both Facebook and Twitter found the President’s Social Media messages so irresponsible that they banned him from their platforms. Mark Zuckerburg said that Facebook and Instagram would be banning Trump “indefinitely and at least for the next two weeks”. He continued in a Twitter post “… President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden … We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect – and likely their intent – would be to provoke further violence ...”.
Canadian E-Comm platform, Shopify, has responded by taking down stores selling merchandise affiliated with Donald Trump saying that Trump has violated their policy against condoning and inciting violence.
Vice-President Pence showed great leadership during Wednesday’s chaos. As he said: “To those who wreaked havoc in our Capital today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the Peoples’ House”. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had even more to say: “President Trump claims the election was stolen … but, over and over, the courts rejected these claims, including all-star judges who the President himself has nominated … The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken; if we overrule them it would damage our Republic forever … If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral … We cannot keep drifting apart into 2 separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all share”.
COVID-19 is running rampant, businesses are closing their doors, people are losing their jobs. Do we need yet another catastrophe to further diminish the perceived strength and stability of the United States? I think not.
Several White House staffers resigned in the hours following the January 6th insurgence. The first being Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady’s Chief of Staff. Her resignation was followed by White House Social Secretary Anna Cristina Niceta. Mitch Mulvaney resigned as Northern Ireland envoy, and rumors of many other imminent resignations are in the making.
There is no doubt that the 2020 election demonstrated that America is deeply divided. Joe Biden, now certified as the winner of the election, will have to find a way to make purple from red and blue. Purple, after all, is a regal color associated with many fine qualities: wisdom, dignity, devotion, peace, pride, power, ambition, independence and magic. I’m all for an America that possesses these qualities. Let the American People cast these troubling times aside and come together in unison, with heads held high and determined confidence that America is the greatest place in the world to live.