All hell broke loose at the US Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. At a campaign-style rally, President Trump urged supporters to go to the Capitol building where officials were counting Electoral College votes. It’s presumed the votes will certify the election of Joe Biden as President. Soon after, the US Capitol building was breached and taken over by rioters, clearly voicing their support of President Trump.
Trump supporters invade the US Capitol Building.
If this can happen at the US Capitol, what’s next?
Was Antifa involved?
Rioting does not equal patriotism.
On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, thousands of Trump supporters began gathering at the National Mall where election results were planned to be protested. All they needed was to hear President Trump say “go,” and they were on their way.
The building was then broken into by hundreds of people who began filtering through Statuary Hall. Many of the rioters forced their way into the Senate Chamber andengaged in a faceoff with police. It didn’t take long for the President to take to Twitter where he asked protesters to “stay peaceful.” A video was also taped advocating for law and order and for those at the US Capitol to go home. Amongst all the chaos, he made sure to remind his supporters that the election was both “fraudulent” and “stolen from us.”
In order to support local law enforcement, the Washington D.C. National Guard was mobilized. As the afternoon came to an end, a total of 13 people, all of who were from outside of Washington D.C., were arrested. A curfew was put into effect at 6:00 p.m. that would last until 6:00 Thursday morning. Capitol Hill was surrounded by police officers in full riot gear. Both percussion grenades and tear gas were used to break up the rioters and then keep protesters at a distance.
Since the Presidential election in November, President Trump has been unsuccessful at trying to overturn the results of the election in six battleground states. This has been done through many lawsuits that have failed which falsely claimed the election was stolen through widespread fraud. These lawsuits have been filed despite enough evidence to back the claim.
Say whatever you want. As of January 6, 2021, every single lawsuit has lacked sufficient evidence to overturn the election. While several Republican legislators have indicated they will object to the certification of Biden’s electoral votes, the campaign is lacking the needed votes for the results to be overturned.
If This Can Happen at the US Capitol, What’s Next?
I’ll be honest. I was stunned when the ThinkCivic’s managing editor called me Wednesday afternoon and told me what was going on. Along with the US Capitol being overrun, explosives were also found at the headquarters of the RNC and rendered safe by local and federal authorities. A woman inside the US Capitol was shot and later died at the hospital.
When I received the call, I was picking up my five-year-old daughter from school. I had to sit in my truck for a few minutes and think about what was going on. What if we lived in the D.C. area and had to deal with this? If my wife or I worked at the Capitol, what would I’ve done? What if my little girl grows up and finds herself working there someday and something like this happens?
What’s next? I want to be very clear about something right now. I voted for Trump. Twice. I have never voted for a Democrat at the local, state, or federal level. While I don’t consider myself a “Trumper,” I refuse to vote for anyone who supports abortion. I consider myself more of a devout Catholic than I do a Republican.
If things could go this far following a rally, what could happen tomorrow? Again, I would love for evidence of voter fraud to come up and all this gets overturned. Sadly, I also realize if it was going to happen, it probably already would’ve. How far are these people willing to go if they don’t get their way? Many Republicans are becoming the perfect example of everything wrong with the participation trophy. They didn’t get what they wanted, so someone obviously cheated.
Was Antifa Involved?
Since I started talking about writing this today, several people have sent me pictures of a man at the Capitol with a very specific tattoo. Far-right groups are saying this was obviously a bunch of actors pretending to be Trump supporters. Here’s the thing. Prove it. I have a five-year-old daughter to protect. No offense, but I don’t care about what you think happened or what you believe the truth is. Prove it with facts.
There are people who’re just as far-right as there are far-left. Both can be very dangerous. I have a large friends list on Facebook. Some of the men I respect the most didn’t vote the way I did. I’ve had to unfriend plenty of people since the end of November because, in my opinion, they were taking things just a little too far. I wouldn’t be ok with having to explain some of their posts to my daughter. So, I didn’t want to read the junk either.
I’m not saying this couldn’t have been a group of actors trying to make some noise. Let’s look at the facts for a few minutes though. On Tuesday night, Eric Trump goes on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show and makes outrageous threats he could never back up. He then supported the threats on Twitter following the show. All of this as Trump supporters are preparing for Wednesday’s rally. Wednesday afternoon, President Trump tells those same supporters to go to the US Capitol Building, and they head off.
All of that being said, and you want me to believe what happened Wednesday afternoon was accomplished by a far-left movement? Come on now. Again, I’d love for someone to please prove this is how everything panned out.
Rioting Does Not Equal Patriotism
Still, after watching everything unfold today, reading other articles, watching a few news sources I personally trust, and then writing my own piece on the matter, I’m not sure how to feel about today’s events. Like I mentioned earlier, I voted for Trump in November.
There is one thing I do know. What happened today was about as far from patriotism as you can get. Violent people stormed a government building where the majority of occupants were unarmed. The building was filled with citizens of the United States. The US Capitol Building was met with evil Wednesday afternoon. Regardless of who was responsible for what happened, the Founding Fathers of our nation would not have been ok with it.
You want to be a patriot, do something for your country that actually puts you in danger like serve in the military. Not a building full of men and women lacking the ability to defend themselves. Whoever the people were responsible for what happened are the last people I want my daughter to look at as what it means to be an American.
Jeffrey‘s a senior writer with ThinkCivics and a freelance journalist with The Jerusalem Post. He’s a published author, earned an associate’s degree in theology, and is pursuing a master’s degree in communications with a focus on journalism.