Patriots and Faux-Patriots
Whether I agree with them or not regarding who won the 2020 Presidential election, the vast majority of Americans who traveled to Washington DC and made their voices heard in support of President Trump are patriots. They love our country and were exercising their First Amendment rights in hopes of righting a wrong.
Some people were not there for patriotism; they were there to exploit the situation for their own violent goals. Maybe Antifa was there. Certainly, law enforcement had undercover agents. But there is no denying that faux-patriot extremist groups (Proud Boys, etc.) were there to cause trouble. Regrettably, a lot of regular citizens got caught up in the fervor. They are paying for their poor judgment.
It is important to note, many of the Americans who participated in the rally, never went to the Capitol. Most of those who did were not violent and did not enter the building.
What is an Insurrection?
The day after the Capitol was breached, some in the press were calling it an attempted coup. I found that oddly amusing. Perhaps these “journalists” never covered a real coup. You don’t overthrow the government with no weapons, led by a guy wearing a Viking hat.
Not long after, the label switch to insurrection. This was part of the Democrats rush to impeach President Trump without caring about the facts.
Case law: Insurrection is a violent uprising by a group or movement acting for the specific purpose of overthrowing the constituted government and seizing its powers.
There is no denying the rally became a riot. What is the difference between a riot and an insurrection? A riot is largely spontaneous and fades after it has run its course (or is put down). An insurrection is an event that is planned with the intent of removing or taking over the government. Whether you go by the dictionary for legal definition, the January 6 riot was not an insurrection. It’s no coincidence no one has been charged with the crime of insurrection.
What About Trump?
Of course, the Democrats in Congress quickly crafted an article of impeachment for “incitement of insurrection.” That misguided effort failed as did the January 6 Select Committee, which was viewed as a partisan show by most Americans.
But let’s, for arguments sake, say the events at the Capitol were an insurrection. Were President Trump and the other speakers responsible for revving up the crowd? Yes. Here’s the problem with the claim of incitement:
- Politicians often speak in “fighting language.” It is not incitement unless you directly tell the crowd to get violent and directly disrupt Congress. Trump did not do that.
- President Trump has a great defense in that he clearly told people to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” He wanted to swing the Electoral College vote, not overthrow the government.
- The real incitement to violence came from the bad actors who were already at the Capitol. Unless President Trump had coordinated in advance with these extremists, he had no part in the crime.
Does that mean President Trump acted honorably? No. Regardless of what you think of his argument that the election was stolen, he had a sacred responsibility to protect Congress while they were performing their Constitutional responsibilities. His tweets to “be peaceful” and “go home” were too little, too late. The damage had already been done. When the Capitol was breached and Republican lawmakers and media allies asked/begged the president to act, Donald Trump was derelict in his duty.
Does that mean in 2024 Donald Trump should be denied the opportunity to be President again? That is a question for the voters, not partisan Secretaries of State or random judges who place their judgment above the words of our Constitution. Donald Trump belongs on the primary ballots. When we Republicans nominate him for President then he must be on the ballot in November.
Let the people decide. For some reason, those Democrats who claim they are fighting to save democracy don’t actually trust We the People.