You've seen the news by now, so you already know the story: today, a group of terrorists stormed the United States Capitol Building in a coordinated attack that left at least one individual dead. Urged on by incendiary words from the leader of their cult, their attack was designed to show their love for America and their respect for this nation's freedoms by interfering with the democratic process by which America selects a President.
Members of the terrorist cell. Creator: SAUL LOEB | Credit: AFP via Getty Images
I'd call these people Republicans, but that doesn't seem like an accurate term. Certainly, we can blame Republicans. Many members of the Republican Party coddled this cult leader for the past four years; they've allowed him to nurse at the breast of the GOP elephant in hopes that he would become one of their own. In exchange, they got campaign contributions and Supreme Court Justices, and all it cost them was the Presidency, control of the House, control of the Senate, and the soul of the Republican Party.
Even today, a number of "Republicans" planned to object to the electoral votes of various states, but I have to put that term in quotes because a number of other Republicans told them not to. So the Republicans as a whole cannot be blamed. Maybe we can blame those who planned to object to the electoral vote, who hoped to rally the base and pass the collection plate one more time before the cult leader is forced to leave the pulpit. But even if that's true, these terrorists do not represent the whole of the Republican Party. I don't know what we should call them. Boko Hawley? The Cruz Klux Klan? I'll stick with terrorists, thank you, and leave it at that.
But if we're looking to blame anyone for today's events, we don't have to look far. We blame those who committed the actions; we blame the terrorists themselves. We point out that the willful destruction of federal property is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. We remind the terrorists that as a result of their actions, at least one person who was alive this morning isn't alive tonight.
And of course: we have to blame the cult leader. Would there have been terrorist activity in our nation's capitol if he had not incited it? I don't know, and neither do you. But this cult leader did tell the Proud Boys to 'stand back and stand by' in the middle of Presidential debate. He did feed false and misleading claims about election fraud to his most rabid base. He did hold a rally only this very morning, in which he promised to join the terrorists (before abandoning them and retreating to the White House), and he did finally give in to President-Elect Biden's demand to appear in person, when he once again claimed to have been cheated before telling everyone to go home. This one is on you, Mr. Trump. Credit where credit is due.
(P.S. Just for the record, when it comes to inciting riots in the District of Columbia: "If in the course and as a result of a riot a person suffers serious bodily harm or there is property damage in excess of $5,000, every person who willfully incited or urged others to engage in the riot shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both." (Source here.))