The Consequence of Lies
This is my nationally syndicated column by Creators, out today.
Not since the British stormed the United States Capitol has it been invaded by those out to end the American constitutional system. But it happened last week at the hands of American citizens. Encouraged by President Trump, and let’s not mince words here — he told them to march on the Capitol, a mixed group of rabid, malcontented supporters stormed through barricades, smashed windows, and took up residence in the chair belonging to the President of the Senate who also happens to be the Vice President of the United States.
The insurrectionists, having constructed a gallows and hung a noose, entered the Capitol calling for Vice President Pence to show himself. They did so after the President tweeted Pence had lacked the courage to throw out the Electoral College. Then the protestors, various members of Congress, television hosts, and others lied and said it was probably Antifa. The man with the painted face and horned hat calling for the Vice President to show himself, a key organizer of the insurrection, was a well known Trump supporter. He had his picture taken standing next to a few Neo-Nazis. Surely there were some leftwing anarchists there too. But this was organized by Trump supporters and egged on by the President.
Why were they there? For two months, the President, various talking heads, news networks, pundits, grifters, charlatans, and conmen had perpetuated a lie. They claimed, with no real or credible evidence, that the presidential election had been stolen. They have not yet offered the names of anyone who actually voted fraudulently. The President’s legal team went to court in multiple states and denied any fraud under oath. Trump appointed judges themselves threw out the frivolous claims. Now some of the loudest voices are being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation One might hope Dominion bankrupts some of these fledgling propaganda networks that fanned the flames of conspiracy and lie.
In the United States Capitol, a woman died after being shot while storming the building. She died because she had been duped into believing the election was stolen. A patriot and Air Force veteran who had served multiple tours, she wanted to defend her country from what she believed was a stolen, rigged election that undermined both the will of the people and the democratic processes of the nation.
It was actually her undermining the will of the people and the democratic processes of the nation, but she died believing the lies and that her cause was noble. The whole thing was tragic, unnecessary, and based on the irresponsible lies of a group of sore losers and their abettors. Those losers, then ashamed of what they did, tried to blame Antifa or “what about” the media coverage of the summer riots.
“What abouting” what the nation saw on Wednesday is itself shameful. As someone who condemned the summer riots and criticized the media coverage, we should at least acknowledge the summer rage came from outrage over the deaths of citizens at the hands of the police and the Wednesday rage that led to deaths was based on outrage fueled by lies.
Like the truth or not, but the truth is that the President of the United States stoked the passions and fanned the flames of a mob that stormed the United States Capitol in a physical attack on the separation of powers designed to disrupt the democratic processes and institutions of our republic. If the Congress will not act because of partisan passions, the partisans and politicians have failed and our system is as broken as those storming the Capitol claimed.
If the first branch of government will not act to remove the President who sent the mob to shut them down, the first branch of government is shutting itself down and rendering itself irrelevant. This is a bigger issue than a single President, but big issues require big moments of leadership and we are now a nation of small spines in our political class. Small spines do not lead, they are led, and they are being led by a mob of malcontents more comfortable wrapped in lies than truth.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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