Opinion: The January 6th Committee Has Uncovered the Terrifying Truth About the Insurrection

Walter Rhein

Image by Walter Rhein

I get sick to my stomach every time I watch the videos of the violent acts that took place at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. On that day a lawless mob, falsely calling itself “patriots” engaged in a destructive attack against our country.

Unfortunately, many Americans still want to deny the truth about this day. Some claim that the committee is not truly bipartisan. However, that claim is inaccurate because the committee does contain two Republicans.

Seven Democrats and two Republicans are on the bipartisan committee—Chelsey Cox and Sarah Elbeshbishi

It’s important to separate fact from opinion when discussing the January 6th insurrection.

Many Americans don’t want to believe that the event was an insurrection. They try to claim that it was a peaceful gathering with a few people who got out of control.

It is always difficult for people to recognize when their belief does not line up with reality. Sometimes being responsible and examining the facts means that you have to admit you are wrong.

People who try to claim that the January 6th committee is not bipartisan are making a factually inaccurate statement. Out of respect for our country, we should all make an effort to speak truthfully when discussing the insurrection.

The committee contains two Republicans. That makes it bipartisan. Those Republicans are Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

Voters of both parties have the unfortunate habit of dismissing members of their party when they don’t support the party platform. With the Democrats, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are often accused of not being “real” Democrats.

However, the fact is that Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are Democrats. It is also a fact that Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are Republicans.

It is not a valid argument to insist that these people are not part of their accepted political party only because you don’t agree with their opinions. You can’t change a fact by wishing it was not true.

The presence of Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney on the January 6th committee makes it a bipartisan committee. Therefore, any individual who claims otherwise is spreading false information.

To advance as a civilized and unified country, all citizens have to hold themselves to speaking only factual statements. It is not an unreasonable request to insist all people speak truthfully at all times.

Every day, there’s more evidence that those who participated in the Capitol attack had concerning objectives.

In the week leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol assault, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio received a nine-page memo titled "1776 Returns" that laid out detailed plans to occupy congressional office buildings to protest the counting of the Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election—Robert Legare

It should be of concern to all Americans, both Republicans, and Democrats, that individuals would seek to lawlessly gain control of government buildings.

The part about this that’s heartbreaking is that many of the individuals who participated in the insurrection came to the Capitol because of false concerns of election fraud.

All Americans need to insist on a fair and lawful election. However, engaging in physical violence and the destruction of property is never the way to proceed. We have a court system in the United States. That court system requires the presentation of factual evidence.

Failure to provide factual evidence for a claim is not a justification for violence.

Many Americans claim that our legal system did not take the accusations of election fraud seriously. That is a false statement. Our legal system takes accusations of election fraud very seriously. The claims were investigated and they were found to be inaccurate.

Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election—Michael Balsamo

Consider, too, that part of Donald Trump’s job as president was to ensure we had a fair election. Any false insistence that the election was fraudulent amounts to an admission that he didn’t fulfill his duties.

Part of reaching maturity as an adult requires learning how to accept things that you don’t like. The simple fact is that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. The simple fact is that Joe Biden won the election.

These are facts.

If the United States is going to persist as a nation, we have to learn how to find a common ground. We don’t have to agree on everything. However, we do have an obligation to recognize verifiable facts.

It doesn’t help our nation when people make unsubstantiated claims about election fraud. It doesn’t help our nation when people insist a bipartisan committee is not bipartisan.

We must strive for accuracy in our words and actions. We can’t conflate feelings with facts. Everybody is disappointed when their candidate loses an election. Everybody has a right to challenge irregularities in court provided they make a fact-based legal argument.

However, lawful citizens do not have a right to engage in violence and destruction because they can’t produce any facts to support what they believe. Rational people know that if the facts don’t support your beliefs, you have to change your beliefs. Facts don’t change.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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