Not Part of My Movement

Capitol Invasion
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My wife was at the rally in Washington DC yesterday. She went in a small bus with a handful of conservative men and women, most of them well into their 60s. A friend of ours was there with her children. There were many children there. Participants were given specific instructions in advance about how to avoid the violence perpetrated by leftists upon Trump supporters, something we have now seen for years.

My wife says several hundred thousand were there at the Ellipse and stretching across the Mall and past the Washington Monument. She said it was larger than the largest March for Life she has ever seen. The rally began at 7 a.m. and ended after the president spoke sometime around 1 p.m. Then, like pretty much every Washington DC protest rally, participants marched up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.  

The Capitol was fenced off well down the hill from that historic building. Scaffolding had been set up in advance of the upcoming presidential swearing-in. Inside, Congress was meeting to count the Electoral College votes and to hear the challenge from members who wanted the Congress to examine charges of election fraud in our recent presidential race.

And then an advance guard of protestors reached a line of fencing manned by Capitol Hill police. Fights broke out between protestors and police. Both sides used bear spray. I watched this live, and my heart just sank. Fighting with police is simply something that conservatives do not do. It is not something that Trump supporters do. We stand on street corners with blue flags supporting the police who spent the summer under assault from the violent left. This did not make sense. It did not make sense that Trump supporters would invade the Capitol and preen in the chairman’s podium or sit with their boots upon the Speaker’s desk.

Nashville news anchor Brian Wilson was there and said it was a small group of very determined people who decided they were going inside the Capitol. I am firmly convinced that Antifa had a hand in this. I firmly believe they dressed in MAGA gear and went to cause trouble. I think it will be shown that they had a hand in making this happen. But I also firmly believe that Trump supporters went along, happily went along. They fought with cops. They invaded and occupied the Capitol. This is disgusting. It is an insult to all the other Trump supporters who were there that day, including my wife and our friends.

Joe Biden took the airwaves toward the end of the day, and what a hideous display that was. He pantomimed bromide after bromide. He morally preened for the cameras and goaded President Trump.  Biden is a man who could not bring himself to condemn the violence that leftists perpetrated all across this country in recent months. He said nothing when the Left attacked a federal courthouse in Portland. He said nothing when the Left tried to burn down a city hall. Are these not symbols of our democracy, just like the Capitol? He said nothing when innocent people were attacked and even murdered by Antifa. As New York Post editor Sohrab Ahmari noted today, “If you didn’t unequivocally condemn the summer’s riots—e.g., in The Bronx, where a black police officer was run over by a ‘protesting’ thug, and his body flew like a rag doll—then you have no business condemning the anarchy on Capitol Hill.” 

But the president did not do much better. His taped remarks were a rant about a stolen election, which I believe is true. But at a time when Trump supporters had invaded the Capitol, he should have given it a rest. And then he said something utterly tone-deaf. Trump spoke to the demonstrators as if they were friends. He said, “We can’t play into the hands of these people. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special.” Mr. President, my wife, and her friends did not storm the Capitol, and the people who stormed the Capitol are not your friends. What he needed to say is, “Anyone fighting with police are not with me. They are not mine. I reject and condemn them.” 

There is another ridiculous call for Trump’s impeachment because he caused this. It is almost as silly as the thought that Congress would overturn the recent election. I do not believe that President Trump caused today’s riot in the Capitol. There is a great deal of anger in the country directed toward our institutions, including the Congress. And I agree with most of it. But there is no excuse for what happened today. True conservatives have no problem unequivocally condemning it. 

Our country is in deep trouble. But it did not start today in Washington, D.C. 

[Photo Credit: Jack Posobiec/Twitter]

Austin Ruse

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Austin Ruse is a contributing editor to Crisis Magazine. His next book, Under Siege: No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic, is out from Crisis Publications in April. You can follow him on Twitter @austinruse.

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