OPINION: Both Republicans and Democrats need to be honest about The Capitol Hill Riot
Wednesday was an absolute mess for America. At 1:00pm numerous people (many of whom were Trump supporters) stormed Capitol Hill in protest of the certification of Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump.
5 people have now died because of the riot, and there is a general unrest across the US because of this rampage in the nation’s capital.
There’s been a lot of misinformation surrounding this riot; a lot of accusations, a lot of assumptions, and way too much hate-filled social media warfare.
First things first: how did this riot begin in the first place?
The media would like you to believe that Trump sent out a video to all his supporters, commanding them to form an army on his behalf.
That’s not the case. The reason so many people were upset this Wednesday was because an election was being certified that still had a lot of unanswered questions.
There have been so many reports of voter-fraud, so many videos of ballots being torn or removed, and quite honestly a lot of talk from Trump himself about fraud that has had many Americans scratching their heads.
How much of this is true? I doubt anyone is entirely sure. Trump certainly hasn’t reported the facts. The likely truth is that even if there was fraud, there’s no way it was widespread enough to cause a difference of 7 million votes, and 74 electoral college votes.
But although Biden has been declared the winner, and the media has tried to move on (faster than what they should have), Trump and his supporters have not. They have wanted a recount, and the Trump team has challenged numerous states in court.
Because of the general unrest this election stirred up, there was a message on the minds of many Americans on Wednesday morning: this election has been rigged. Some of those Americans made the decision to head to Capitol Hill and try to fight the results.
Before proceeding, it’s important to identify that yes, there is cause for concern. Although I believe Biden is the winner of this election, the amount of uncertainty about the voting machines, the accuracy of the counting, and the potential votes from deceased citizens does stir up some feelings of distrust.
People don’t trust the electoral process right now. Plain and simple. Democrats didn’t trust it when Trump won, Republicans didn’t trust it when Obama won and they certainly don’t trust it now.
The process needs to be refined; there has to be less room for error in the most important decision a country can make.
Due to all the questions in the air, Trump and his supporters felt as if Biden had cheated his way into power. And this led to Trump saying Wednesday morning, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and cheer on our brave congressmen and women...and we probably won’t be cheering so much for some of them”.
So yes, Trump did tell supporters to go to the Capitol, not to start a riot, but to try to protest illegal ballots. Was this the best decision? Probably not.
I’m not going to defend Trump here. He thinks he won, he’s refused to concede, he’s made his supporters angry with the left, and now he’s told them to head to Capitol Hill to protest.
The way that protests have trended within the past year, the term “peaceful” has not been applicable. This riot was no different. Enraged Republicans (and presumably many troublemakers who saw a crowd form) stormed Capitol Hill.
People literally begin to scale the walls and broke into the building to stop the ballot counting
A woman was shot by Capitol Police within the building, another officer died during the action, and 3 others were fatally injured.
This violence was absolutely senseless. The entire riot was senseless. There was nothing that was going to be accomplished by raiding the building, and Republicans need to face that truth.
Antifa’s involvement has not been proven, there’s no evidence that meddling Democrats joined the mob to make Republicans look bad.
Republicans need to condemn the violence that occurred Wednesday. It doesn’t matter how much distrust there was in the results, lives should not have been taken because of them.
Many Republicans were against the BLM riots that occurred this summer, where dozens died across the USA. There’s no need for a double standard here, the riots that took place this week and in May/June are equally destructive to the unity of the nation.
Do the deaths caused in the summer represent the agenda of all Democrats? Absolutely not. Similarly, the deaths caused this week are not representative of the greater Republican party.
Extremists should never be identified as the ‘norm’. What has happened in America is that each party has identified the other as completely evil, when instead there are many closer to the middle ground.
Political commentator Matt Walsh put it wonderfully on his Twitter, “If you defended the BLM riots but are condemning the riot today, you're a ridiculous hypocrite. If you condemned the BLM riots but are defending the riot today, you're a ridiculous hypocrite. It is better not to be a ridiculous hypocrite”.
Speaking of Twitter, another item that must be addressed is the deactivation of Trump’s social media accounts.
As already established, Trump did not tell his supporters to break into a building and start attacking people.
However, Facebook and Twitter both suspended Trump’s accounts for 24 hours and threatened to permanently deactivate them.
Trump explicitly said on his social media accounts that he does not condone the violence, and he told supporters to go home. He also said, “we love you all”.
The media interpreted this to mean that Trump loves the protestors and is therefore encouraging violence. Trump was merely saying that he loves his supporters, and made it very clear in a series of Tweets in videos that he does not condone any violence.
It’s a dangerous world we live in when voices can be silenced with the click of a button. While Trump should not have spread so much fear, he is also not solely to blame for the large amounts of rhetoric that was spewed from many others.
He told those supporting him to back down, he condemned the violence, and yet the left has interpreted this to be a complete embrace of the riots.
Just as the right needs to be honest about the reality of what happened yesterday, the left similarly needs to understand that this chaos is not an exclusively Republican issue. This is the culmination of months of hate from both parties.
America needs to unify during these trying times, or this will be the end of the United States.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand”- Abraham Lincoln.