It is important to state clearly what happened yesterday in the nation’s capital. A violent mob, stoked by the president of the United States, directly attacked two fundamental foundations of the American republic—the election of a new president and the peaceful transfer of power. The mob attacked the police defending the Capitol, broke down barriers, shattered windows, and succeeded in not only temporarily stopping the constitutionally mandated process of recognizing Joe Biden’s victory, they also briefly occupied and controlled the Capitol itself. In the midst of the attack, one woman was shot and killed. The total death count as of this moment is four.
Our nation has not seen a hostile takeover of the Capitol of this scale or duration since the British Army burned much of Washington during the War of 1812. Not even the Confederacy could achieve what Americans witnessed today.
This attack wasn’t just foreseeable, it was foreseen. At The Dispatch, we have been warning about the possibility of serious political violence for months. The president and many of his supporters have falsely claimed that the presidential election was stolen and have trafficked in transparently ridiculous conspiracy theories. They have told bizarre tales about false and even impossible schemes to corrupt the vote. And they’ve done this while speaking in apocalyptic terms about the fate of the nation.
Trump-appointed judges rejected the president’s wild claims of fraud and illegality. Responsible Republican officials, including the secretary of state of Georgia, have clearly, transparently, and painstakingly rebutted conspiracy theories and claims of fraud. For this public service, they’ve been rewarded with an avalanche of death threats and acts of intimidation.