Stability through civility

Who bears responsibility for riot at Capitol Hill?

Jimmy Teeling
Mercury Staff

The Democratic Party, not just former President Donald Trump, bears much of the responsibility for the Capitol riot. Many politicians and the mainstream media may tell you otherwise, but that is not the case.

It would be foolish to walk away from one of the most impactful events in recent history without pausing to consider what lessons we should learn from it. What led to thousands of Trump supporters protesting in D.C. and a small fraction of those supporters breaching the Capitol building? Four years of what conservatives believe to be baseless and unprecedented attacks from members of the Democratic Party on Trump and his supporters, as well as distrust in our government’s integrity, set the stage for the Capitol protest and riot.

The violence that occurred at our Capitol on Jan. 6 was a tragedy. Any form of violence and riots, especially when it leads to the deaths of other participants and law enforcement, is unacceptable. This is why many conservatives across the nation, including myself, condemn the violent Capitol rioters. However, it is important to differentiate between those who breached the Capitol building and those protesting peacefully. We must recognize that most Trump supporters in D.C. were not violent that day.

Even before Trump’s inauguration, Democrat politicians and the mainstream media had already begun the process of overturning Trump’s presidency. This was done through manufactured conspiracies and drawn-out investigations such as the Mueller investigation and partisan impeachment hearings, which failed to find Trump guilty of wrongdoing. These attempts to pin crimes on the former president led to major mistrust in the government among conservatives. Additionally, the effort spent on these prolonged investigations far outweighs the effort put into any election fraud investigation, displaying many politicians’ apathy towards the concerns of well over a third of the country.

Another issue that set the stage for the Capitol riot was the riots that occurred at the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. These set a recent precedent that political violence is acceptable in America, as some democratic politicians encouraged the violent actions BLM and Antifa rioters displayed in the streets. Even the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, an anarchist insurrection that ended up being deadly, was applauded by some democrat councilmembers in Seattle upon its creation. This new precedent is likely a major reason why a few Trump supporters resorted to breaching the Capitol.

Concern over election fraud was the final straw that drew protesters and rioters to the Capitol. Democrats, establishment politicians and the Courts dismissed the claims from Trump and his supporters without any investigation equal to the numerous investigations democrats pressed against Trump. Some protestors and rioters during the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Capitol were drawn over election interference and felt that democrats had not provided adequate proof to dispel election fraud claims. Having Joe Biden certified as president while 73% of republicans distrusted the election’s integrity served as the catalyst for the protest and riot.

Many Americans believe that President Trump was responsible for inciting the riots at the Capitol. This belief has led democrats and Never-Trump Republicans to pass a second round of impeachment articles. These claims are simply not true. The longest quote from Trump’s Jan. 6 speech the democrats cited in their impeachment articles reads: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Telling supporters to fight for a cause is a common figure of speech and was not spoken in the literal sense. Kamala Harris’ speech at the Democratic National Convention contains eight instances of telling her supporters to “fight.” The claim that Trump’s figure of speech incited violence is dismissable. Additionally, Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” While Trump encouraged his supporters to protest peacefully, he never encouraged nor incited any acts of violence.

The violence at the Capitol should not have happened. However, given the many years of unprecedented attacks and vilification from democrats and establishment “Never-Trumpers” targeted at Trump supporters, it is what we should have expected. Trump supporters feel ignored and silenced by Democrats when they try to voice their opinions on nearly every issue. It is important not to forget this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Trump supporters have not been listened to by the democrats for the past four years, and this is the unfortunate result. Much of the blame for this riot falls directly at the feet of the Democratic Party and the political establishment.

Our political system will not remain stable if we refuse to engage in civil and peaceful discussions with whom we disagree. It is time to end political violence by both parties. It is time to act civilly, and both democrats and republicans must participate in that change.