There is No Denying the Jan. 6 riot
Republicans to the Contrary
Hundreds stormed the Capitol, while thousands cheered them on, no other words can describe the actions of the mob and their goal one year ago, Jan. 6, 2021. Beyond participating in perverse, pure mayhem, the goal was to defy the constitution, violently force the Congress into rejecting the electoral college tallies and to illegally declare trump the winner. Trump had convinced his blind legion of followers that widespread voter fraud lost him his re-election even though every investigation and every court showed that the election was fair.
So, why then do 30 percent of Americans say there is solid evidence of widespread fraud, even though, overall 68 percent of Americans found no solid evidence of widespread fraud, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.
Overall, the survey found that 68 percent of Americans say there is no solid evidence of widespread fraud. Most Democrats (88 percent) and independents (74 percent) say there’s no evidence of voting irregularities but 62 percent of Republicans say there is such evidence. That is almost identical to the percentage of Republicans who agreed with Trump’s claims of voter fraud a week after that Capitol attack, based on a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
It was an attempted insurrection, nothing more than a failed coup d’etat, no other words can describe the event. And the brawlers were goaded on, no, compelled to storm the capitol by their leader, who was the antipathy of everything Americans believe and there are no other words for it. Trump claimed at a rally near the White House on Jan. 6 that the election had been rigged and urged his followers to “fight like hell” to stop what he said was a stolen outcome.
So why do 72 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of trump voters say the ex-president bears “just some” responsibility or “none at all” for the insurrection. Overall, the numbers show a semblance of sanity as 60 percent of Americans say Trump bears either a “great deal” or a “good amount” of responsibility, according to the Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.
There were trump flags and MAGA hats everywhere, a gallows was constructed on the capitol lawn, with rioters screaming and coursing, out of control both with anger and joy that they were not powerless but that they could actually impact the nation. They stormed the police barricades, attacked police with fire extinguishers and makeshift lances, killing one officer while they smashed through windows and raged through the seat of democratic government, narrowly being turned away from harming members of congress and they were fully out of control, and no other words fit. It was a violent assault on the democratic form of government and any description to the contrary is pure folly.
Rioters assaulted law enforcement officers, vandalized property and occupied the building for several hours. Five rioters died shortly before, during, or following the event, including one shot by Capitol Police, another died of a drug overdose, and three died of natural causes. Many were injured, including 138 police officers four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide within seven months. Pipe bombs were found at each of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee headquarters, and Molotov cocktails were discovered in a vehicle near the Capitol. Those are the irrefutable facts.
So, again, why did 19 percent of Americans polled called the protesters “mostly peaceful” and 27 percent said the assault was equally peaceful and violent. The poll showed that overall 54 percent of Americans called the protesters “mostly violent.” Among Democrats, 78 percent said the protesters were mostly violent while 36 percent of Republicans said the protesters were mostly peaceful.
Dozens of people who were in the capitol on Jan. 6, including some who took part in the riot, were found to be listed in the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database, most as suspected white supremacists. More than 30 members of anti-government groups, including the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and Three Percenters, were charged with conspiracy for allegedly planning their attacks on the Capitol, but most of the people charged with crimes relating to the riot had no known affiliation with far-right groups. Those are facts. Trump tried to minimize the violence and in lying, said “remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd, it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th.”
So why do 40 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats say violence is sometimes justified, In total, 34 percent of Americans did not decry violence in the new poll.
The poll was conducted among 1,101 U.S. adults. They were interviewed through the AmeriSpeak Panel, the probability-based survey panel of nonpartisan research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. Interviews were conducted online and by phone; overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
To understand the findings of the poll, it is clear that facts had nothing to with conclusions by many that the insurrection was not violent, that trump was not responsible and that trump was robbed of reelection. Those who refuse to acknowledge the reality of the facts of that day will never change because they are so blinded and consumed by anger, and so thoroughly brainwashed, that they simply cannot see the facts. If you asked them if the sky was blue, they would say it was green, if you questioned them about the shape of the earth, they would say flat, if you called on them to explain evolution, they would shirk and say it is simply nonsense.
Such is the state of mind of many Americans and it is a frightening, frightening scenario.