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There’s blame to go around as Washington burns

January 2021

First, it was the Red Coats who burned Washington. Now two hundred years later, it’s the Red Hats.

Firstly, I condemn the violence and anarchy that took place on Capital Hill on 6 January. That should not have happened! People have a right to express their displeasure with the results of the election, but they have no right to break the law in doing it.

Many more learned commentators will be better able than me to break down what happened, but are we really surprised that it happened?

No, I’m not talking about the gasoline that President Trump poured on the fire, although that certainly didn’t help.

At the risk of getting all political here, radical leftist groups have taught people that violence and rioting is not only an acceptable form of political expression, but one that works very effectively at changing policy.

Now, that certainly doesn’t excuse anyone for what happened on Capitol Hill. All forms of extremism are wrong and should be condemned, be they right-wing or left-wing extremists, but the precedent has already been clearly set. Democrats and those on the political left have tolerated political violence and intimidation by left-wing groups for years.

That’s not to say it’s OK for right-wing groups to engage in such tactics, but let’s not pretend that one side holds the moral high-ground here.

All Republicans should condemn what happened on Capitol Hill, just as all Democrats should condemn the violence and anarchy of the numerous alt-left anarchist groups out there; the ones destroying American cities with, ironically, the same violent and oppressive tactics they proclaim to be opposing.

At some point, we must put a stop to all the destructive anarchy and division that we’ve been seeing recently, and our political leaders must stop encouraging it, actively or tacitly.

Trump endured 4 years of constant, malicious, and false attacks, aimed at the de-legitimization his presidency, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. Trump faced attacks that repeatedly attempted to unseat him as the democratically elected president, with tactics including a completely false Russia collusion, to an impeachment based on spurious evidence, to proposals of a 25th Amendment removal.

With all the effort the Democrats put into trying to remove Trump from office the past 4 years, it’s amazing they got anything else done. While the idea that the Democrats stole the election from Trump is nothing more that a conspiracy theory at this point, the Democrats have already shown they will do almost anything to unseat a democratically-elected president, with ethics and legality seemingly an afterthought. This was a powder keg that had been waiting to blow.

Although Trump will automatically leave office on 20 January, and he has said that he will do so peacefully, there are some politicians who are still proposing a 25th Amendment removal, or impeachment, even though the process for either will likely take longer than two weeks. It appears that Trump isn’t the only one clinging to false hopes right to the bitter end.

While Trump may be having trouble accepting the results of the 2020 election, have we forgotten all the Democrats, and some Republicans, who had trouble, and still to this day have trouble, accepting the results of the 2016 election? The same ones telling Americans that they have to accept the results of the 2020 election, were the same ones saying that they would never accept Donald Trump as their president.

While President Trump did lose the election, he did get 74,223,251, or 46.9% of the popular vote, which is a significant percentage of the voting public. In comparison, President-Elect Biden got 81,281,888, or 51.3% of the popular vote. While that certainly is a win, and absolutely does give him a right to govern, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement of Biden.

The only positive thing is that it could have been a lot worse. There could have been a lot more violence, destruction and death, than what happened. That said, Chief Steven Sund, Chief of the United States Capital Police, should be explaining why his officers were so ill-prepared to handle the protesters. If this outcome was foreseeable, why were security measures not increased?

I wish President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris luck in healing the wounds of the last 4 years. You will be leading a VERY divided country, and that is not something to be proud of right now.

A final word to President Trump: while I have been generally supportive of you (generally because as a Canadian, some of your policies have negatively affected Canada), your term in office is coming to an end. While the election may very well have been stolen from you, as you claim, there hasn’t been any conclusive proof presented by anyone as of this date. It’s time to move on.

Sources: https://www.uscp.gov/media-center/press-releases/statement-steven-sund-chief-police, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol_Police, https://nationalpost.com/news/world/photos-videos-trump-supporters-storm-u-s-capitol, https://www.torontosun.com/news/world/woman-fatally-shot-as-capitol-stormed-idd-as-air-force-veteran, https://abc7chicago.com/president-donald-trump-orderly-transition-capitol-riot-mob-joe-biden/9429355/.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/theres-blame-to-go-around-as-washington-burns/

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