We’re just a few days removed from the attempt by outgoing President Donald Trump’s supporters to take over the US Capital. Thousands of insurrectionists, some of them heavily armed, interrupted Congress’s formal declaration that Joe Biden had won the election. Just before chaos erupted, Trump himself gave a speech where he used incendiary terms to rile up his base.
Trump spoke about strength and once again gave voice to the unsubstantiated theory that the Dems stole the election from him. He has challenged the democratic process with dozens of lawsuits, but each one found the same thing: there was no widespread electoral fraud evidence.
Now, in the days that followed, we’re learning more about what led to this riot and multiple deaths. Let’s take a look at that right now, and we’ll also discuss the fallout and what we could expect in the days to come.
Identifying the Rioters
In recent days, anyone who has watched the news has seen that most major channels are reluctant to call what took place a failed coup attempt, or a failed insurrection, or sedition by Trump’s supporters. CBS used the rather charming euphemism “Constitutional crisis” when talking about what happened last week.
What seems evident is that the Washington DC police department knew that something might happen, but they didn’t take the warnings seriously enough. The FBI had seen chatter for weeks leading up to this event, and they suggested beefing up the Capital’s defenses. That never happened.
Now, in the wake of multiple deaths during the Capital’s breach, the FBI is working to identify individual rioters. They are using cell phone footage, social media posts, and traffic cam footage, as well as video taken by reporters at the scene.
You have to wonder what Garrett Morgan, the traffic light’s inventor, would have thought had he been alive today. Morgan, an African-American, was the son of two former slaves. Now, traffic cameras mounted atop the lights he developed to keep people safe are identifying armed insurrectionists attempting to overthrow duly elected US government officials.
The FBI Has Caught Many of the Perpetrators
In the past several days, the FBI has located many of the most prominent individuals who breached the Capital. They did not attempt to conceal their faces since nearly all of them neglected to wear masks, even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
While many of these insurrectionists are now in custody, it’s unclear what charges they will face. That will presumably play out in the courts in the days and weeks to come. Some of them posted violent messages on social media, and those will likely come back to haunt them.
The System’s Inequities
What happened at the Capital is disturbing beyond belief for any sane person in this country. This should go without saying, but Democrats, Republicans, or any other political party should never support armed insurrection.
Many people have pointed out over the past few days that some of the Capital’s police force didn’t even bother trying to stop this rabble. Some of them posed for selfies with them. Many have mentioned that the lack of force in stopping these literal terrorists stands in stark contrast to the horrifying police actions captured on video at so many Black Lives Matter gatherings over the past summer.
Some people still refuse to admit that white privilege exists. Now, though, America is seeing cops smiling and taking selfies with white demonstrators who are attempting a literal coup. The contrast ispoliceofficersbludgeoning African American protestors with clubs when those individuals were kneeling nonviolently to protest the police murdering their community members.
For some people, even the abundant evidence won’t matter. It never will. They will keep calling it “fake news,” the term Trump coined when he talks about anything he doesn’t like.
Airlines Blocking Rioters from Going Home
Several videos have also come out in the past few days showing DC rioters getting kicked off flights. Video footage identified these individuals as participating in the coup attempt, and some airlines are stopping them from flying. Many of the rioters are crying in the videos because the airline is calling them terrorists.
The reality disconnect is astonishing. These are people who thought they could fly to DC, try to overthrow the government, and then they could fly home with no repercussions.
What’s to Come?
As terrifying as the past week has been, there’s more on the horizon. Trump has a little more than a week left in office, and Pence seems unwilling to remove him via the 25th Amendment. That means the Dems have little choice but to impeach the current President a second time.
It’s unclear how quickly that impeachment process can move forward, but some Dems feel that Trump represents a clear and present danger the longer he’s in power. This is a man who has the nuclear codes, and he encouraged an insurrection on his behalf.
Twitter has deactivated Trump’s account, and several other social media platforms have as well. It might be too little, too late.
The FBI warns that several other terrorist plots are in the works. Some of them could result in mass demonstrations or possibly riots before Biden officially takes power on January 20th.
You’d hope that state capitals are taking these threats seriously. Regardless of whether those are red or blue states, there still seems to be an enormous network of desperate, deranged individuals hell-bent on stopping Trump’s removal.
It seems clear America is living through history right now, but it’s the most embarrassing kind of history imaginable. It’s far from certain how this will all end up, but one thing is undeniable. America is flirting with fascism, and far too many seem eager to embrace it.
Some people say things like “America: love it or leave it.” For many individuals, expatriating is sounding better and better. How could it not, when armed insurrectionists overran the US Capital with hardly any resistance?