January 6th 2021: Insurrection or Idiocracy?

January 6th 2021 was a busy day at the American Capitol. The electoral college of the United States was scheduled to formally present the general election results to the Senate through the Senators of each of the fifty states, to the outgoing Vice President Mike Pence. The VP’s acceptance of the results is a formality, but nonetheless a red-letter date in the last weeks before the inauguration of the winner of the November 2020 election. By 306 electoral college votes to 232, that winner was President-elect Joe Biden.

The incumbent Donald Trump, Biden’s Republican Party opponent, had been disputing the election results from the moment they were called. In daily tantrums, he’s been directing accusations, admonishment, approbation, and insinuation at the opposing party, his own Republican state officials, federal and state judges (many of whom he’d appointed as allies), even companies involved in vote counting, county staff responsible for vote reporting, the list goes on.

As the cogs of state grind inexorably through the process of election to ratification to confirmation to inauguration, Trump has gotten more desperate. The date of his departure—willing or not—from the White House draws ever closer. On January 20th, Joe Biden is due be formally inaugurated and on that date, his Democratic administration takes occupation of the Oval Office. Trump, cooperating or not, will return to regular (billionaire) civilian status.

Trump is a ridiculous, infantile human being. He’s possibly on the spectrum and certainly enough of a narcissist to be unpredictable, vain enough to escalate tit-for-tat disagreement into scorched earth excess. In a way, he’s American capitalism incarnate. He’s also proven to be extraordinarily compelling, before and after becoming President. He’s been a celebrity for decades and once his lizard-brain caught the scent of Republican Party base alienation, morphed into a natural communicator to the discontent common denominator.

Trump is what would be called a route one politician if he weren’t already a route one celebrity. He appeals to his constituency’s worst instincts, using (and sometimes) abusing supporters) as a means to an end, often against their own best interests. Whether he’s selling a bullshit reality show, worthless university degrees, industrially farmed filet mignon (chuck steaks) by mail, or – in the case of November 2020 election – denying the reality of a hundred million voters, it’s all the same methodology for versions of the same game of power and profit.

Nobody with a brain should be surprised, therefore, by Trump’s refusal to accept defeat. Rejection by the people was never on his list of possibilities. The election result changed nothing. Hence, true to character, the White House’s tantrum calls of “cheat!”, “avenge me!”, “the fix is in!” and – by New Year 2021 – the summons to DC, to march on the Capitol. Eighty million had voted for Trump in November. It wasn’t unreasonable for the old narcissist to expect his summons to be a show of power.

Just a few thousand supporters showed up in Washington DC. On the night of January 5th the assembled oathkeepers, MAGA, three percenters, Trumpcultists, and many loyal Republican voters received a sermon from the likes of Alex Jones, assuring them they’d be doing the Lord’s work by protesting the Capitol to stop the steal. The crowd was urged to save American democracy, before corrupt Congress ratified the 50-state electoral college confirmation of Biden over Trump.

Twenty-four hours later every newspaper, every TV channel, a plethora of online news feeds, and almost every Senator and Representative are on a feeding frenzy of near-universal condemnation. Of Trump. Of the ragged overweight mob of misguided supporters who’d answered his call, believed his words and protested the ratification of the electoral college.

Hundreds had crowded the Capitol steps. Windows had been broken. Dozens had slipped into the building before they shut its doors. Citizens had trespassed in the chambers. Some had even pilfered objects from the Speaker’s office. A panicked guard had shot an unnamed woman. Fists had flown. There was some pushing and some shoving. This is not a coup.

Washington DC Mayor declared a 6PM curfew, and by sundown, the FBI has cleared the Capitol buildings. Protests continued outside but by then, the reactions had reached uniform partisan messaging  and amplified to drowned the facts themselves. The tone of the mainstream media became more violent and more unanimous than the so-called insurrection.

But the way this ghoulish event has been framed–almost universally–and the sententious hypocrisy of so many opportunist media actors is fundamentally wrong. Public statements of defiance, many with calls for revenge against Trump or the protestors, pour forth from the bullshit spigot of hundreds of congressional offices. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This reaction that’s so on message and so in accord with the accepted official response—voicing the righteous, against all that is wrong—is predictable, and yet it’s more corrosive than anything these misguided Trumpites have done today.

Call the protesters a coup, as if those dupes were organized or capable of such a thing. There was no leadership, no coherent goal, just hundreds of boomers dazed and confused in the cross-hairs of media clickbait and politician opportunism.

Call the protest an insurrection, yet there were under a thousand people in a nation of over three hundred million, less than the rally of the night before, and they cleared the trespassers from inside the government buildings in a matter of minutes.

Call the protestors violent, yet the only serious injuries were to an unarmed woman shot dead by a panicked security guard and three boomers in the crowd outside suffering heart attacks during the pro-Trump protest.

Cry send in the army, arrest the protestors, bring in facial recognition, track the Trump supporters down, punish, punish, punish. There were violent, similarly unanimous demands for revenge after 9/11. Shock and indiscriminate outrage got channeled by cooler minds into a surveillance state and counterproductive grift-invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Half a million lives lost, many thousands of American military casualties.

Call the protests an assault on democracy, as if repeating the lie often enough makes it true. The die-hard right-wing used the same rhetoric against Black Lives Matter protests, and they too characterized the protest as riots by cherry-picking what the public sees in the news.

America’s long-term pain comes from the misrepresenting of protests as a violent coup—an attack on democracy, on American freedom—and the myriad consequences of this lie. It doesn’t come from a thousand duped citizens flailing uselessly at the Capitol; or even from Trump’s criminal tantrum. Trump may be an exploiter, a would-be petty tyrant scale who – for other reasons – deserves to be in jail. But he’s not the cause of the cancer metastasizing in the heart of the American dream.

If there’s political culpability, Congress bears far greater responsibility for the evil that’s done to millions of real Americans, every day, all colors and creed. The so-called ‘free press’ barely reported the politicians blocking $2000 in direct financial aid for the American people and it was perfunctory media coverage of the shameless transfer of billions to the corporate donor class.

One side of the country is delighted to follow rules, enforce transgressions, mock the “stupid” unbelievers. The other side is resentful, mistrustful, hopeless about the motives of experts (and government), drawn to conspiracy theories that explain their predicament in grand good-versus-evil dichotomies. Both are wrong. Events like the so-called insurrection on January 6th are opportunities, not coordinated as such, but – for the powerful and influential – a policy of play the odds, sew the seeds, stay ready and soon enough you get the materials that’ll justify in-group consolidation and out-group persecution. Lockstep alignment of enabler media with ‘official’ statements is a good rule of thumb for opportunist bullshit.

The problem is almost never the pantomime itself but what gets done in its aegis, what the frontline events are used to cover up. Maybe building 7 was blown up by the deep state, in the chaos of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Again, not conspiracy: opportunism. The reality of the in-group consolidation and out-group persecution is tightening the screw on hundreds of millions of poor bastards: foreign wars, poisoned food, censorship, authoritarian justification, Departments of Homeland Security (that keeps none of the 99% safe), surveillance capitalism, jettisoned freedoms, unwriting the Bill of Rights etc. The trajectory of the opportunism is existentially consistent.

"Build Back Better—Dems control Senate and House and yet Congress continues to enrich the wealthy and deny anything but scraps to the unwashed masses. Biden himself has a cabinet of corporate post-neocons. The messaging is pro-justice, pro-freedom yet Snowden and Assange are enemies to be caged by laws perverted by government dictates. Trump supporters are idiots, Democrat supporters are suckers; all of them playing into the hands of the duopoly interests. Balkanized media capitalizes on every event, framing it into clickbait and partisan propaganda. Politicians drive messaging to their followers in clear, strident, persuasive misdirection, with no interest in truths if they're inconvenient to the business of money and power. Duopoly means atomization. Reconciliation is a sham. January 6th becomes a stick to beat one side into line, loyalty equals inclusion, and the other into surrender, opposition equals exclusion. The sum of these parts is a single narrative bought into and sold by the entire structure of authority, expertise, business and power."

Here’s some of the firsthand livestreams of the day (if the content is still available by the time you’re reading this):

Questions from January 6th and its immediate aftermath:

  • Who were the three deaths by natural causes?
  • Why wouldn’t the DC chief say they were even protestors?
  • Why is there no media scrutiny on this? Tasering the old boomers?

Vague talk about bombs found but no investigation, yet you can be sure they would’ve investigated if it was true or if it helped the general narrative. The unanimous disinclination to look into these stories is suspect.

  • Why allow the fearporn photos of a protestor stealing a podium or some guy dressed Viking (barbarians at the gates) to define the impression of over a thousand involved in the Capital protests?
  • Why not ask the people protesting? They used this same blackout tactic against BLM.
  • What coup schedules the date of a spontaneous, objectiveless insurrection weeks in advance? This protest was scheduled.
  • Why was there a lack of DC (Capitol) policing?
  • Footage shows the local security guards let the protestors into the Capitol. Why did the police allow this, even going so far as to open barriers and chat to people in the crowd?
  • Why was there no use made of the ample militarized police resources, as was immediately deployed around the Capitol at the recent BLM protests?
  • FBI agents had infiltrated all of the groups involved in the Capitol protests. If the threat was a real insurrection, why were they not either warning or pro-active in its prevention?
  • Livestreams continued inside the Capitol building, throughout. How was the streaming bandwidth so perfect?
  • Why was there censorship of the authentic independent livestreamed content, after January 6th?
  • Why was edited versions of these livestreamer videos left uncensored on the mainstream media outlets like CNN?