It’s been just over a year since a protest over the lack of transparency of voting in the 2020 election turned violent on Jan 6 in our nation’s Capitol. Of the tens of thousands of those who were there to protest, the number of those who actually crossed the line of peaceful protest into criminal trespass, vandalism, or assault of a police officer was a tiny fraction in the hundreds. But to hear Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris or the mainstream media describe it, it was the darkest day in American history, equaling or surpassing 9-11, Pearl Harbor or the Civil War. Super-charged and hyperbolic rhetoric is normal in politics, but things said about Jan 6 of 2021 have ventured into the Twilight Zone and deep into Crazy-Town.
First, what happened that day was most certainly NOT an “insurrection” if one means there was an attempted takeover of the government. Webster does define “insurrection” as “an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.” It was an instance of revolt, but most certainly not an attempt to overthrow the government. If it were, it was an even dumber effort than I first stated when I called it the actions of some over-heated chuckleheads who behaved in bone-headed, hurtful and destructive behavior. And it did in fact sometimes cross the line into criminal actions. But are you aware that despite the pearl-clutching hysteria of Nancy Pelosi, there were no firearms confiscated from protestors that day? Did the people who breached the security lines that day really believe they could take down a nation that possessed a standing army of about 1.5 million personnel armed with highly sophisticated weaponry, tanks, bombers, ships and nuclear weapons and do it with some flagpoles and fire extinguishers they grabbed off the wall?
And you’ve probably heard the repeated lie that several Capitol police officers were murdered that day by the rioters. That’s a lie. Officer Brian Sicknick was pepper sprayed but returned to his office that day and reported that he was fine. He died the next day, but the coroner ruled that his death was unrelated to the riot. There were two people who were killed by violence that day. Both were protesters. One was Ashli Babbit, an unarmed Air Force veteran who was shot at close range by a Capitol police officer. He refused to participate in an internal affairs investigation and his name was kept private for months, but he was cleared of wrong doing anyway despite the many questions that linger as to why he gunned down an unarmed woman. The other was Rosanne Boyland a protester from Georgia who was crushed and trampled when the crowd was pushed back by police officers who continued to advance against the protesters despite repeated cries for help to be given to her.
I haven’t and I won’t defend those who breeched security at the Capitol or who broke doors or windows, or who occupied Congressional offices. But neither will I be silent when the real insurrectionists who use their government-funded offices to shred the Constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of religion or protection against illegal search and seizure against citizens, some held for months in untenable jail conditions without proper medical attention or access to their attorneys for misdemeanor charges.
I forcefully spoke out against those who broke the law on Jan 6 of last year who assaulted police officers, destroyed public property, or broke into Congressional offices or threatened elected officials. But don’t insult the intelligence of the American people by pretending that the actions of a few that day were worse than Pearl Harbor while ignoring the fact that if was an insurrection, not one person has been charged with that crime or even the crime of terrorism. And some who espouse such nonsense defended the riots that happened throughout the summer of 2020, including Kamala Harris, who actually raised money to pay bail for rioters who burned police cars, assaulted cops, and looted private businesses.
Law and order ought to be the same for everyone no matter their political views. And it also ought to be the same for elected officials. Maybe especially for elected officials.