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Insurrection. Treason. Terrorists. I heard these words before Congress could make it past certifying the votes of the "A" states. The Temper Tantrum Thrower in Chief willfully and knowingly incited his protestors to violence today. There is no time left for pulling punches. It ended the moment that armed terrorists stormed the capitol building in his name.
Today rioters committed crimes that are arguably far worse than smashing the windows of a private business. This was federal trespassing, treason, and illegally bringing armed weapons into a federal building. The press has reported that a woman has been shot. When does this end? Are there people out there who want to start a civil war?
According to Michael Burlingame of the University of Illinois Springfield, Lincoln once delivered a speech "denouncing mob violence, provoking the public to demand law and order, which would be provided by an ambitious leader who would rule tyrannically." We have been living with that tyrannical ruler for years. You can be angry that your candidate lost. We can disagree on policy and budgetary issues. That does not give anyone the right to sedition and insurrection.
Lincoln left us with these words, "At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."
Today, a group of people felt like they were doing a patriotic deed because they have been lied to for months. The president added fuel to their fire by fanning the flames of their fear and anger. I understand why they are angry because they believe the lies they are being fed. I do not understand how they claim to love America while actively attacking the heart of our democracy.
I am heartbroken and ashamed after hours of watching footage of people breaking windows, putting their dirty boots on the House Speaker's desk, and daring to sit in the Senate President's chair. One man yelled at a reporter that they were not rioters. He is right; they are not rioters; they are terrorists and seditionists.
When you smash windows and trespass into a federal building to violently stop the civil servants from doing the work of our democracy, rioter is too soft of a word. I do not know where our democracy goes from here. Still, I hope that this is not the beginning of more actions like this to come as President-Elect Biden rebuked, "To storm the capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the United States Senate, rummaging through desks, threatening the safety of duly elected officials. It's not protest. It's insurrection."
Samuel Holiday, the Director of Scholarship and Operations with the US Capitol Historical Society, told CNN, "This is the first time the US Capitol has been breached since the British attacked and burned the building in August of 1814 during The War of 1812." How did this even happen? Why has it taken so long for law enforcement to get them out?
The behavior of these people is shameful. However, the fact that the President of The United States and his cronies pushed for this is deplorable. As Americans, we honor our founding fathers by following The Constitution. This document is the backbone of our country, and the officers of our government take an oath to protect it. Not casually watch it and pick it apart for the pieces they like, but to protect and defend it.
The Constitution is also clear that the certification of the votes needs to take place today. There does not seem to be a contingency in place for not completing it by midnight tonight. Will they be able to get it done in time? Not with all the objections that legislatures had planned, most likely. This means that the legal opportunity to make whatever point they were trying to make has no run out of time. I wonder if any Republican senators, who once thought of challenging results that they know are not fraudulent, had a come to Jesus moment while they hid under their desks. Will they be able to continue to pursue these baseless objections in good faith? Do they have any good faith left?
The president can still not seem to help himself when it comes to making things worse. He called the rioters "special people" and told them he loved them. The president loves the domestic terrorists who put innocent people's lives in danger. Where are we living right now, is a question I have asked myself multiple times today.
To quote Hamilton, "History has its eyes on you." So does America, and so does the rest of the world. What did this show of idiocy cost us in the eyes of the world? We have democracies that look to us for an example of how to lead. However, today we were compared to third world countries and Iraq multiple times. That terrifies me and makes me wonder if this is the beginning of the fall of our country. Let's let Congress get back to work today and try and salvage what is left of our dignity.
The president could take another page from the musical Hamilton:
If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on. It outlives me when I'm gone. Like the scripture says: "Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid." They'll be safe in the nation we've made.
If he can manage to do this, there is a small chance that we might, in fact, be safe; at this moment, I am not convinced. The longer he takes to say goodbye and continue to claim that the election was stolen, the more pressure we place on our unstable democracy. Today, I watched my beloved country come under attack, but I hope that tonight when Congress reconvenes, legislatures will begin the work of building it back better than ever.