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Many sides of one ugly but also very strange event are being discussed and portrayed. In all that exchange, however, two things seem somewhat unaddressed.
It is certainly true that the response to Trump’s actually quite few troopers as compared to the response to the great many BLM activists and protestors displayed extreme racism for all to see. But calling one side white and one side black and leaving it at that may inadvertently minimize another dimension. It isn’t just that yesterday’s actions were white and this past summer’s were largely black. It is also that yesterday’s actions sought to entrench authority and the summer’s actions sought to challenge authority. Yesterday’s actions were driven by decidedly different passions, desires, and beliefs than those of the summer.
But beyond that concern to address additional substance, here is what mainly captured my attention. As even mainstream pundits are now noting, the way into the Capital was virtually impeded. Resistance to the actually relative few who sought entry was minimal. If there had been a typical much less an escalated degree of capital defense the dissent would have been quickly routed and certainly not entered the Capital.
But take that now widely recognized truth further. In the weeks before the events I have zero doubt that U.S. policing units knew what to expect. They undoubtedly had long since infiltrated the various neo fascist organizations. They could even read the plans/hopes on numerous venues. They had heard it from Trump, too. They may have thought it wouldn’t materialize, but that is hardly credible, and even if that was an expectation, precautions would be in order. To stand down required an order.
Trump tells his rally audience: March on the Capital. Yet the Capital police, judging by the videos, were effectively not there. There were not, as there easily could have been a couple of thousand national guard defending the premises, with more on hand if needed. Media has acknowledged this much. And they have asked, why when there was massive repression for BLM non violent protests who got into the vicinity of state offices, was there next to nothing for violent protestors who literally assaulted state offices?
It is a good question. So, instead of just asking it and moving on, how about trying to answer it? If the dissenters were overwhelmingly white but demanded Covid sanity, climate sanity, or economic and social sanity, does anyone think that the Capital would have been left open to entry? Race was at play to be sure. But it was not alone at play.
A decision was made before the events we all saw. As compared to dissent from the left, it was decided that this dissent should be given a free pass into Federal offices. So we can reasonably ask, who thought, however wrongly, that there was benefit to be had by permitting Trumpian thugs access up the steps and into the Capital? Or, going a step further, why did Trump and relevant federal officials think that was a desirable scenario to incite and then permit?
Did they think these folks being allowed into the Capital could cause a large percentage of those inside to sign up in allegiance? Did they think it would permanently prevent the ratification of Biden’s election? Did they think it would yield a coup?
Or were they a bit more far sighted and did they think it would establish a perch from which in the days, weeks, and years to come, Trump could claim to have been a tribune of the people who was cheated in the election and then blocked from overturning Biden’s inauguration, so that he had to instead become a President in Exile, waiting for a proud boys abetted return to office?
I have no idea. But what other than those two thoughts could have been at the root of the pre-demonstration non-preparations? It seems to me that is a question worth answering and if the answer is nothing else could have been in their thoughts, than examining the reasoning and agenda of Trump, of Cruz, of the folks who climbed the stairs of the Capital, and of the folks who now think that was just fine seems in order.