by Skylar Grey ‘23
Published Feb. 18th, 2021
American democracy was threatened on January 6th, 2021 as right-wing extremists converged at the nation’s capital. This action sacrificed public trust, safety, health, and America’s political integrity. The power of misinformation finally culminated in the end of one of America’s most trying elections.
As Trump’s presidency neared its close, the former president had one more message for his supporters. “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women… because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” This speech was interpreted by some of his constituents as a call for immediate war against those seeking to remove him from power.
Since November of 2020, Donald Trump has stated that the election was stolen from him. In a tweet posted on November 3rd, Trump stated, “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election.” As Trump continued to push this narrative, many fringe groups took this message to heart and wanted to “right this wrong.”
Liberal pundits and politicians have stated that the riot was premeditated. If this is true, the attack was not a spontaneous charge of riled-up supporters – it was instead preconceived and intended to do substantial damage. On January 2nd, 2021, rioter Gabe Miller announced that a “civil war might start,” and threatened to take the life of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund reports that pipe bombs were planted in the vicinity of the riots, alongside a pickup truck loaded with bombs and guns. The Capitol Building could have been burned down, along with the ideals it signifies.