On Wednesday, the day of the incident at the United States Capitol Building, I told my daughter, “This is probably your generation’s 9/11.” She agreed.
Stop calling it a protest. This was an attempted coup d’etat. It was sedition. It was treason. And it was all fed by the bullshit fantasies of QAnon and disproven theories of voter fraud. But for too many of these people, truth doesn’t matter. Facts don’t matter. Anything that doesn’t align with their far-right perspective is immediately deemed “fake news” from the “liberal media.” These are people for whom Fox News is too far left.
We live in such a convoluted day and age that people think they can choose their “facts.”
Seriously, think this through.
Which of the following scenarios is more logical and likely:
A) There is a massive conspiracy being perpetrated by the newsmedia, the democrats, and anti-fascists to control the national media and rig elections in favor of democrats.
B) Donald Trump lost the election and the media is reporting it.
These far-right conspiracy theorists are willing to believe anything that jives with their own skewed viewpoints. If it fans their flame, it’s true. If it’s not what they want to hear, it’s false — it’s “fake news.” Things like “proof” and “evidence” don’t matter to them because they don’t exist. QAnon claims that there’s a massive pedophile ring being secretly run by enemies of Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is secretly waging some sort of secret battle against them. And in some instances, QAnon supporters claim that children are being eaten. And as insane as that sounds, people believe it! These people are being duped by inflammatory nonsense.
Think about it this way: A mysterious secret pedophile ring would be a horrid thing — no one disputes this. And child abuse is something that everyone can unitedly say is a terrible thing (as opposed to drugs or prostitution or embezzlement, for example). And they paint this picture so that they can point a finger at anyone who disagrees with them and say, “Well, then you must support pedophiles!” The problem is, there is no secret pedophile ring being run by mysterious secret evil democrats and celebrities, and they’re certainly not eating them. And yet, people actually believe this shit.
How about this:
Prove to me that QAnon’s claims are true.
Prove to me that the presidential election was stolen.
I recently had someone tell me that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was a conspiracy perpetrated by millionaires to solicit donations and funnel money to Democratic politicians. They then said there’s a video, online, that shows how money being donated to the BLM Movement was being given to Democrats running for election and/or re-election. This video, of course, had ominous music, a narrator with a deep scary voice, and exhibited inflammatory imagery that was only tangentially related to the topic.
So I said, “Where else would that money go?”
They had no retort.
“Seriously,” I continued, “Democrats are the political party of social justice. One of the best ways to impact real change is to elect legislators who champion social justice. So why is it a surprise that money is being donated to politicians who support the cause?”
“Why not donate it to feed the black community?” one of them asked.
“Money spent on a long-term solution is better spent,” I replied.
Neither of them had a retort and the conversation immediately fizzled.
This is a problem I often have when discussing this topic. I don’t mind talking politics because I can talk about politics and political ideologies without resorting to anger or personal insults. I have never met someone from the political-right who can do this while discussing the issue with me. And one guy actually said to me, “I’m not gonna debate this with you because you’re way smarter than me.” Where the hell is the logic in that? I love having discussions with people smarter than me; it means I’ll probably learn something!
Obviously, there are extremists on the left as well. The right isn’t the only ideology with extremist nutjobs. But, well, the leftists didn’t try “storm the capitol” on Wednesday. So, ya know, there’s that.
Too many people are so engrained with these false and/or skewed beliefs that they refuse to be swayed, even when faced with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. This is called Cognitive Dissonance.
Never have I seen a clearer example of cognitive dissonance than in the 2020 Presidential Election. The far-right and QAnon extremists are so convinced that the election was somehow rigged that even when faced with evidence to the contrary, as well as a complete lack of evidence to support their belief, they refuse to accept it and insist on believing in these debunked untruths.
These dissonant beliefs came to a violent finale on January 6th when pro-Trump QAnon far-right seditionists stormed the United States Capitol Building. Four seditionists and one Capitol Police officer died in the short-lived battle for the Capitol. Ultimate, the attempted coup d’etat was put down and order was restored. Ironically, the political ideology that has long claimed to be pro-police can now add “cop killers” to their members’ resumé. So much for being the “law & order” party.
One of the seditionist deaths was a woman who was shot inside the Capitol Building during the siege, either by a Capitol Police Officer or a Secret Service Agent.
I have read several articles that defend this woman, an air force veteran named Ashli Babbitt, but they all neglect one common fact: She was trying to break into a secured area of the Capitol.
The doors that she and her fellow seditionists were trying to enter was locked and barricaded with office furniture. Down the hall, members of the Capitol Police and the Secret Service were guarding a door which led to where members and Congress and possibly the Vice President were being protected. These officers/agents did not engage the seditionists as long as they were on the other side of that door. However, that door was the last barrier between them and their protectees. After the glass in the doors had been smashed, Ashil Babbitt was the first person to attempt to get through the door and breach the barrier.
She was shot once in the chest; she died at the hospital.
This shooting was 100% justified.
Look at it from the perspective of the Capitol Police and Secret Service: They were protecting high-level American officials. The Capitol had been overrun. There was a riot in progress. The officers/agents had no way of knowing exactly how many people were on the other side of that barricaded door. And when the glass of the door had been completely smashed, an unknown individual wearing a backpack (contents unknown) breached the final barrier between them and the angry mob. She was shot, center mass, moving target, with one shot; dead.
I’ve seen each video of her shooting, in their entirety, unedited. She was shot the moment she jumped up and tried to scale the barrier and breach the door. That’s why she was shot. Everyone standing on the other end of the barrier was safe; they hadn’t breached, therefore, they didn’t get shot. But when this 14-year veteran of the military attempted to breach a protected area of the United States Capitol building, what the fuck did she think was going to happen?
Now, the QAnon conspiracy theorist and far-right extremists are hailing her as some sort of martyr or hero. This could not be further from the truth. This woman was a traitor to her country, regardless of her previous military service. And, while my heart breaks for her husband and family, I have no pity for her. She participated in an active attempt to seize control of the nation’s government — a nation she had, for 14 years, sworn to defend.
Treason is a capital offense, punishable by death.
I don’t understand how people are outraged by this traitor’s death. When a black man can be shot by police in his own garage holding nothing but a cell phone, why is it a tragedy when a white person is shot and killed by federal agents while breaching one of the most secure buildings in the world?
This day, in my opinion, was a darker day than 9/11. Yes, far more people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, but those attacks were by a foreign enemy. The attack on the Capitol Building on 1/6 was a traitorous attack on the United States by its own citizens. And it was encouraged by the President of the United States. It was encouraged by Rudy Giuliani who said the seditionists should go to the Capitol and give them “trial by combat.” And when it was all over, it literally took two days for Donald Trump to officially condone the violence. Before that, he said on Twitter, “These are things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” That is the President of the United States, justifying and supporting the attack on the United States Capitol using paranoid disproven conspiracy theories. I hope he doesn’t wonder why he was permanently banned from Twitter.
This whole ordeal was never about America, this was about the far-right QAnon pro-Trump fringe trying to overthrow an election. There is absolutely zero evidence that Joe Biden “stole” the election from Donald Trump. But Wednesday, January 6th, there was overwhelming evidence that Trump’s sycophants tried to steal the election from Joe Biden by trying to overthrow the American government, attacking the center of its democracy — the United States Capitol Building.
During the coup attempt, a man was stopped from climbing to the roof of the Capitol Building where the American flag was flying. His intent? He wanted to replace the American flag with a “Trump 2020” flag. That is the perfect microcosm of this entire thing. These people chose Donald Trump over America.
Democracy in America is about electing officials who represent us. And when a person’s preferred candidate doesn’t win, it is that person’s responsibility to accept that defeat and look ahead to the next election.
I am essentially not an American. But I remember the way things used to be in this country. It wasn’t always like this, and it doesn’t have to be.