Initial Reactions to Treason

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I’ve intentionally waited a day to post more thoughts on Wednesday’s violence. It’s taken that long for my mind to settle down and think about what happened. Was it a coup attempt? Was it a riot that got out of control? Were police acting properly in handling the crowd? Who was involved? What all happened?

Keep in mind, I’m asking these questions, even though I watched a livestream of it as it happened. Despite seeing a crowd of people huddled around the Capitol, it took days for other images and footage to get released to the public. Understandably, it fills in a few extra details of those events. There weren’t enough police in the building. Protestors had gotten all the way to the House chamber while Congress was inside. For some reason, some people dressed up in costume:

Image taken from Tumblr.

What’s the right way to react here?

With all the information out there, it’s difficult not to take a hard line. What these people (including the dude in the Chewbacca bikini) did was treasonous. They trespassed on government property, halted the public’s business, and got some people killed in the process. The whole thing scared lawmakers, including Rep. Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma:

Image courtesy of Leopards Ate My Face subreddit. Yes, that is Rep. Mullins hiding from the mob. Yes, he later voted to object to votes without any evidence of voter fraud.

Although the crowd didn’t succeed in disenfranchising everyone (including themselves), some right-wing reaction at least suggests they knew what they were doing. Already, rumors of Antifa involvement are having to be debunked. Instead of admitting that violence was on their mind, another conspiracy has to exist to keep the conspiracy theorists blameless. It doesn’t matter that they documented their own criminal conduct. Or that their leader televised his desire for them to march on the Capitol.

But why resort to this conspiracy? If what they’re saying is right, an election was stolen. The government is in on it. Patriots must lay down their lives to water the tree of liberty and all that. Why distance yourself from your fellow patriots?

Worse, what makes anyone think it will fool anyone with a Twitter feed?

Image courtesy of Leopards Ate My Face subreddit.

A conspiracy theory got them into this mess.

The hard line stance says what happened Wednesday was treasonous. That carries severe penalties (potentially the death penalty). Is this what the mob deserves?

I don’t know. Despite the actions of their supporters trying to sell them out as leftist infiltrators, the people who showed up at the Capitol were by and large angry. They believe people who have been lying to them for years. In their world, their vote doesn’t count. Or, to sum it up perfectly via Reddit:

Image courtesy of Leopards Ate My Face subreddit.

The people who stormed the Capitol are followers, not leaders. Yeah, they committed felonies, and they should be brought to justice for that. But the people weren’t their on their own idea. You can see that in their inability to figure out what the hell to do after they busted into the place. Instead of looting and burning, they posted evidence of their crimes for all their friends (now, enemies, I guess) to see.

What, ultimately, is responsible?

In an immediate sense, I’d say Donald Trump. He didn’t back down from lying to people about a stolen election, didn’t have the courage to tell people he wanted to use them and throw them away.

But those people weren’t in Washington on a whim. They made some bad choices based on years of bad information. Every day for however long, each person there consumed misinformation until it got them into a place they didn’t belong. Like I’ve said above, each person recording their felonies needs to be brought to justice.

But they got there with help from people who only live to misinform others. Something has to be done about that. Yes, we live in a free country, but we’re not free to lie about people or raise a false fire alarm in a crowded room. Lies need to have consequences.

Otherwise, they’ll just blame Antifa for everything.

5 thoughts on “Initial Reactions to Treason

  1. You’ve certainly done a lot of study/reading about this. Haven’t we all.
    You have put your thoughts into some organization which to me shows you have spent more time than many of us.
    I think many/me maybe have thought in bits and pieces. We understand the big picture but have not seen or maybe just ignored the build up.
    I don’t have a lot of answers/conclusions.
    I am sure that the mess is a lot bigger that just DJT.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There is an entire industry of people dedicated to spreading this philosophy and the lies needed to support it. But there is no real way to arrest our way out of the reality that the plutocracy, George Carlin’s “The Owners”, dominate discussion in the United States (and the world). And it far predates Trump, of course. Arguably, it is a big part of the founding reality of the United States.

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    • And it I is hard to feel sorry for people who are SO EAGER to be lied to. So eager to believe and promote crazy lies. Over at A Tippling Philosophy, two of the frequent trolls are actually babbling about Biden wanting to turn the United States into Venezuela. How does one even respond to that? The mental rot is so deep.

      I would also argue that an unfortunate part of this sense of malaise on the part of the Trump crowd is less because they feel oppressed but because they are angry that the people they used to sh^%t on now have more rights (unless they look at a cop cross-eyed, of course). Plus, I will agree with Heywood J: The days of middle class lifestyles supported by unskilled manufacturing labor are gone. Even without China. I don’t know what the answer to THAT question is. Nobody does, to be honest. And we are handling it far worse than some places.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think it’s important to point out that empathy doesn’t require feeling sorry for people. It’s about understanding others. If I can do that, I have more options to deal with them other than getting frustrated at their behavior. Even with empathy, it’s still pretty easy to get frustrated.

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