The Context of January 6 | National Review

The Context of January 6 | National Review

An explosion caused by a police munition occurs while supporters of President Trump gather in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021.
(Leah Millis/Reuters)

There’s a surfeit of January 6 content here and elsewhere. I’ve said my bit on the matter going back to the hours before the riot, the day after it, and more recently.

Lots of people try to drown out the event by flooding it with context. And yes, there is loads of it. We can point to the riots from the previous summer. We can point to all sorts of political malfeasance — the whole long litany from hanging chads to Stacey Abrams’s pretending to be the true governor of Georgia, and in fact we can go all the way back to the Garden of Eden. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Or they try to build up enough context the other way. Trump represented X, Y, or Z. Lots of good people voted for Trump. Lots of people sincerely believed something was fishy. Sure, sure. All that can be true.

Yet none of it justifies the actions of Donald Trump or the people that violently broke into the Capitol that day.

Instead of trying to put so much context into the picture that the main drama is obscured, the proper thing to do is to focus.

The peculiar focus should be on the fact that Trump and his allies spent weeks lying about the election, and in the week leading up to January 6, people around Trump began purposely whipping up the QAnon folks across social media, in an attempt to put pressure on Mike Pence and other elected Republicans to commit political crimes that day. Among them, a refusal to carry out the constitutional duty of recognizing the electoral counts legally submitted by the 50 states.

When the action was happening, Trump stubbornly and deliberately refused to call off the goon squad, and instead issued more tweets informing them that Mike Pence had connived in destroying the American form of government. It took hours for people close to him to talk enough sense to him.

Q has disappeared and the conspiracist community built around this source is now being fought over by any number of charlatans.

But that’s what happened that day.

You don’t have to give up a single political conviction about globalization, the phony Russiagate stuff, the right to life, or the American Constitution to recognize reality. You don’t have to consent to any attempt at centralizing the voting process, or violation of your rights. You don’t have to consent to the idea that by having voted for Donald Trump in 2016 or 2020, you are morally implicated in what he did on that day. And don’t believe anyone pro-Trump or anti-Trump who says that you do.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.