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No, This Wasn’t More Of The Same

January 6, 2021

This blog isn’t about politics, even of though I am passionate and opinionated about politics. Mostly, I view politics as a spectator sport. Like the World Cup, the presidential election is a four year competition.

And like sporting events, I’ve viewed the results of elections and politics as being largely disassociated with my day-to-day life and personal experience. While I have my favorite teams, I’m pretty ambivalent about the team colors once the contest is over.

But, today was different. Today wasn’t about political politics, or calculus. It wasn’t about one side getting a strategic or presumed advantage over the other side. It’s not a “political payback” move. No “whataboutism.”

Today was technically insurrection. An attempted insurgency.

“If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof. . .”
– US Code 18, section 2384

I have two major problems with what happened today.

First is with the false equivalencies I’ve seen people post. Today was not like when Antifa rioted in Portland. It’s not like when Anarchists in Seattle declared an Autonomous Zone. It’s not like Occupy Wall Street. It’s also not like the armed protest in Michigan’s state house last year. It’s not like any protest or even riot we’ve seen in the past.

The difference is that today was an attack on our government. Literally, an attack on the most iconic symbol of our government. Rioters literally chased legislators from their desks. They stormed the very seat of power and then occupied it. And their purpose? Their purpose was nothing less than disrupting the peaceful transfer of power that has been a bedrock of our republic for centuries.

The last time the US Capital building was breached was when the British burned it in 1814. This is obviously the first time it’s been breached by our own citizens.

So, no. Nothing in our political history or landscape compares to this. This was literally an attack on our democracy. If you side with the rioters, just realize you are condoning open insurrection.

Second, and much more serious, was the behavior of our president. I didn’t vote for President Trump. But, as a conservative Republican I found his election convenient. I supported his Supreme Court nominees. they are good people. I appreciate his efforts to reduce much of the government regulations. I think getting out of the Paris Climate treaty was a good thing. I think fostering normal relations between Israel and Muslim countries is a good thing. I think moving the US embassy to Jerusalem was a good thing.

So, I could accept Trump as president and take what advantages I could from his position. He wasn’t great, but in my view he was better than the alternative.

Some will tell you that by not utterly condemning Trump I’m supporting all of his worst traits. That’s not true, of course. I can love the city of Seattle, but disagree with the city’s decision to allow the Autonomous Zone. I can support the American military (which I do) while denouncing incidents like the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison during the war.

Today, President Trump held a rally. He then encouraged his supporters to march on the capital. Not surprisingly, his supporters then marched on the capital. And we saw what they did.

President elect Biden gave a speech today wherein he invoked the best in us. He called on our better natures and utterly condemned the violence. He also called on Donald Trump, the president of the United States. The man who’s rally, for good or bad, sparked the rioting, to give a speech and call for the siege of the capital to end.

Eventually, president Trump did give a speech. He started off saying how he won the election by a landslide and that it was being stolen from him. He then praised the rioters. He said they were special and that he loved them.

Think about that. The president of the United States looked at rioters occupying the United States capital building and told them he loved them. Regardless of his role in getting them started, telling insurgents you love them and that they are special, is only going to empower them.

Granted he did tell them to go home. But, that wasn’t the point of his message. He praised them. He actually seemed happy for the situation.

Trump failed his duty as president today. I don’t know if he should be removed via the 25th amendment, or impeached, or simply ignored for the next two weeks.

But, today, Vice President Pence was acting presidential. President-elect Biden was acting presidential. Unfortunately the person not acting presidential was the man who should have been most presidential of all.

Today will be remembered for generations. It might seem so now, but January 6th, 2021 will take its place alongside 9/11/2001, 12/7/1941, 7/4/1776.

It’s not a day anyone should be excited to have lived to see.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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