We could all see it coming. There was a visceral disappointment among supporters of President Donald Trump when they realized that the results of the 2020 Presidential Election would not, could not, be overturned. Despite months of being told that the evidence of election fraud was so glaring and so deleterious that Joe Biden had not in fact won, it became apparent last week that, no matter how serious the concerns or how significant that evidence, there was nothing that could be done to arrest the certainty of a Biden inauguration on January 20th.
Trump supporters had been the butt of jokes since failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton saw fit to call them “a basket of deplorables.”
And so, the letdown was palatable as Trump supporters attended a rally on Capitol Hill that offered nothing except highly embarrassing and profane moments from Donald Trump, Jr., and some ambiguous encouragement from the President himself. A riot ensued, one that was not directly incited by President Trump, and certainly not one endorsed by the vast majority of those MAGA enthusiasts present or those Trump supporters across America.
The roots of that riot go back long before the results of November 2020 came under scrutiny, and the stories began to circulate of voter fraud. Trump supporters had been the butt of jokes since failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton saw fit to call them “a basket of deplorables.” During the last four years, they have watched as their President was called illegitimate, dismissed as demented, and endlessly hounded by Democratic lawmakers intent upon impeaching him. They have watched the mainstream media and cable networks wax conspiratorial about President Trump colluding with the Russians and allegedly enlisting the investigative energies of Ukraine to despoil the “good names” of Joe and Hunter Biden.
Social media has jumped on board, too, with Twitter, Facebook, and Google censoring conservative speech, erasing news stories critical of Biden or Democrats, and finally, just telling them that they and their opinions are no longer welcome. On Saturday, Apple announced that it would no longer use its app store to promote Parler—the alternative to Twitter that has proven popular with conservatives since Big Tech began tightening the screws on right-leaning thought. On the same day, Twitter banned Trump from its platform permanently.
By Monday, Parler had lost its Amazon hosting and was being forced to rebuild. Big tech had acted with the self-interested ruthlessness of the late 19th century monopolies who viciously but efficiently eliminated their competition.
Clearly, the Big Tech was flexing its muscles in concert with its allies in the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. But if the left attempts to use the Capitol riot to further advance its political agenda—lockdowns and gun confiscations—it will only intensify the alienation of millions of Americans from predatory government, Big Tech, and a biased media.
DEMOCRATS DECLARE IT A COUP, AND, IN DOING SO, RALLY THE “RESISTANCE”
The media’s reaction to January 6 “insurrection”—actually called that in one CNBC headline—has been another source of frustration. No credible conservative voice has attempted to justify the violent assault on a Capitol Hill building—just as they didn’t attempt to mitigate the guilt of the rioters who dominated the streets of news of America throughout much of 2020. (Recall it was the mainstream media and Democrats who glossed over the rioting, the looting, and the violence perpetrated in the name of “racial justice”—the same people who now appear shocked that such things occur in any context.)
The riot was almost immediately defined as an attempted coup, and President Trump was identified as the ringleader…
How many times did we have to hear that “a riot is the language of the unheard,” a phrase taken from civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., every time Macy’s was looted or a Wendy’s was set ablaze. Yet, there was nothing said by the national media about the Capitol riot being a restive cry for help. Instead, the anger toward the rioters was unparalleled, even though the property damage they inflicted was minimal (especially when compared to uncalculated millions of dollars in financial ruin incurred by the Black Lives Matter and Antifa-led riots—$4 million in Portland, alone.)
This, however, was an act of war. The riot was almost immediately defined as an attempted coup, and President Trump was identified as the ringleader who had left his legacy “in shreds,” as freshman Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC) described it.
In the words of assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), “we have a president who incited a seditious mob to storm the Capitol… the harm to our democracy is really unfathomable.” Clark also suggested Trump is “a president who has turned on us. He is a traitor. He has incited violence and perpetuated a lie that he won this election.”
It was a veritable tsunami of anti-Trumpism, with both Democrats and Republicans not only insisting Trump was to blame for the riots, but that he should now be removed from office—even with two weeks to go before he does anyway.
There was also talk of the Vice President and a majority of the federal cabinet invoking the much-ballyhooed 25th Amendment that allows them to remove a president from office if he or she is assessed to be unable to perform his or her duties. Impeachment raised its infernal head again, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to impeach Trump once more, warning that Trump’s days were numbered—something she can’t be wrong about no matter what happens.
It was like the “resistance”—that coalition of Democratic politicians, mainstream media talking heads, social media dictators, and corporate authoritarians that had never recognized Trump as president at all—had found a flashpoint moment that proved Trump was the dictator-in-waiting (something they had always insisted he was), and he would finally get what was coming to him. There was a perfect convergence of Trump’s enemies, at once poetic and frightening. Former First Lady Michelle Obama (easily the most political occupant of that position in history) issued what sounded very much like an order to the Big Tech: remove Trump from all your platforms.
Quickly, the resistance enlarged their target to include not just the embattled President and his political allies, but all of his supporters—all of them!
They then came after the political leaders who supported Trump in these last few weeks. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was the first senator to announce that he would oppose the Electoral College certification of President-Elect Joe Biden. Big mistake. Hawley was quickly declared party to the “sedition and treason” that dared to question the integrity of the 2020 Election. Publisher Simon & Schuster announced last week that it would no longer be publishing Hawley’s book entitled more presciently that the good senator could have known: The Tyranny of Big Tech.
Of course, Joe Biden had to chime in on the proceedings. Biden suggested that Hawley—again!—and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) were proponents of the “big lie” in politics, a reference to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. (Turns out it wasn’t the first time that Biden has invoked Goebbels’ memory—he also compared Trump to Goebbels during the recent election campaign.)
“The American public has a real good clear look at who they are,” Biden said. “They’re part of the big lie, the big lie.”
The “big lie” they were accused of peddling, of course, was their supposed denial that Biden had won the election when, in fact, both had merely wanted to investigate charges of election fraud before any certification of that victory occurred.
Quickly, the resistance enlarged their target to include not just the embattled President and his political allies, but all of his supporters—all of them! Merely being part of Trump’s election was suddenly cause for disenfranchisement and the denial of civil liberties and basic rights.
WITH ALL THIS POWER AND MOMENTUM, THERE’S NO TELLING HOW FAR THE DEMOCRATS WILL ESCALATE THIS
An editorial from ABC News—a solid member of the resistance—suggested it was not enough to say adieu to Trump, but that the very movement that supported his supporters should be “cleansed.” “Even aside from impeachment and 25th Amendment talk, Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days,” ABC’s Rick Klein and Mary Alice Parks wrote on January 7th. “The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.” Make no mistake; it is already happening.
The backlash has been rapidly escalating.
Alright, so the Democrats, the mainstream media, and Big Tech clearly hate Trump, along with anyone with the courage to still admit voting for him. But no one is being incarcerated in concentration camps, and it is doubtful that anyone ever will be. But there’s no denying that those who work in the dirty world of politics know an opportunity when they see it, and the Capitol riot was an opportunity with a capital “O.” In less than a week, Democrats have successfully branded Trump supporters as rioters and insurrectionists and Trump himself as a deranged leader who must be removed by his own cabinet.
On Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) summed up the plan during an interview with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” as he said, “The left has decided this is an opportunity to destroy the right.”
The backlash has been rapidly escalating. By declaring both Trump and his supporters as unfit for the public forum, Big Tech has swiftly moved to cancel their social media presence. Jobs came next, as one Los Angeles musician found out when his label dropped him for attending last week’s rally. (Note that before the riot, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had already started the “Trump Accountability Project,” another name for a blacklist of people who worked for the President, and should therefore not allowed future positions in government.)
If we’re not careful, after all that, they might come for our guns. The tragic events of last week have provided the left with perhaps the best argument it may have for stiffening gun laws and confiscating firearms: because we don’t want this seditious mob of Trump supporters to be armed as well as dangerous, do we?
The Democrats have already promised to “buy back” your firearms, and Joe Biden wants to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (legislation that protects firearms manufacturers from wrongful death lawsuits.) Biden had a gun control laundry list long before the riot. He’s not alone; during the Democratic presidential primary, the candidates outdid themselves in their commitment to eviscerating the Second Amendment. Do you remember former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) saying, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47”?
As they say in any homicide investigation, you judge a suspect based on motive, means, and opportunity, and the Democrats will soon have all three lined up nicely.
Democrats rarely speak of gun confiscation, opting instead to say they support “buybacks” because that sounds like you’re merely returning damaged merchandise and having your money refunded. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is the queen of buybacks, saying during an October 2nd, 2019 policy forum debate sponsored by MSNBC, “We have to have a buyback program, and I support a mandatory gun buyback program,” she said. “It’s got to be smart, we got to do it the right way. But there are 5 million [assault weapons] at least, some estimate as many as 10 million, and we’re going to have to have smart public policy that’s about taking those off the streets, but doing it the right way.” (Does disarming Trump supporters provide Harris with “the right way?”)
Then, there was this memorable exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, where the President-Elect succinctly endorsed O’Rourke’s position. “So, to gun owners out there who say well a Biden administration means they are going to come for my guns …” Cooper asked. “Bingo!” Biden replied. “You’re right if you have an assault weapon.”
As they say in any homicide investigation, you judge a suspect based on motive, means, and opportunity, and the Democrats will soon have all three lined up nicely. They want to destroy the Second Amendment, they are about to control the executive and legislative branches of government, giving them the means to do so, and now, they have Trump supporters to use as a scapegoat to move forward.
True, the Democrats have yet to outright say that the Capitol riot must lead to more gun control, but they’ve strongly committed themselves to gun control more broadly, and with perceived insurrectionists under every other Republican bed, can we truly expect any less?
THE ESCALATION MUST STOP
If Democrats, and the “resistance” writ large, attempt to use the riot as an excuse for gun confiscation, social media censorship, and the disenfranchisement of Trump supporters, it will not only exacerbate a highly volatile and toxic political environment, they will be making a terrible mistake.
[T]hose same people might not feel the same way about confronting the political process in a legal, rational, and productive manner.
The loss of the recent presidential election was compounded with Republicans losing control of the Senate this month. What was supposed to be a victory rally on the Hill on January 6th was both a public relations disaster and a day of shame. But the hooligans breaking windows and reclining at Nancy Pelosi’s office in no way represent either the vast majority of those who attended the rally, nor the people who voted for Trump. Those people have real jobs, and have neither the time nor inclination to riot and loot. They understand that destroying public property is just as wrong as trashing the corner store—they’ve been decrying that violence all summer.
But take away their guns, remove their ability to criticize their political opponents, vilify them as treasonous goons, dismiss them as “deplorables,” crush their political rights, diminish their economic opportunities—do all this, and those same people might not feel the same way about confronting the political process in a legal, rational, and productive manner. They won’t because they will have lost their stake in that process and will feel powerless.
That is what hopelessness does.
America needs to restore civility and some level of normalcy to a political debate that is spiraling out of control. The Democrats need to stop talking about impeaching President Trump in the eleventh hour of his presidency, and stop demonizing his supporters as a collection of seditious nut jobs.
The alternative will undoubtedly be the continued escalation of chaos and violence in a country that is increasingly looking like two Americas intent upon destroying each other.