Storming the Capital is Always Where “American Carnage” Was Headed

“Stop the Steal” Conspiracy Theory Leads to Storming of U.S. Capitol Building in Continued “American Carnage”

In the late, gray days of January 2017, a depressing, cold rain fell upon Donald Trump and his smaller-than-expected inaugural crowd in Washington, D.C., as he delivered his notorious “American Carnage” address. This speech painted a dystopian, violent, declining, but somewhat accurate portrait of modern America. Four years removed from that cold, overcast day, weathering the first hellish week of January 2021, I can’t help but feel somewhat dumbfounded watching Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani fan the flames of anger, hate, and rage to a ragtag mob of supporters intent on invading the U.S. Capitol building after a rally to “Stop the Steal” of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. To begin his presidency, Trump decried the ills of “American Carnage” on the steps of the Capitol. To end his paradoxical presidency with his final presidential contradiction, the President demanded carnage in the heart of the American Capitol. Because at this point of the Trump presidency, well…why not? Ha.

Trump’s fanatical mob-like base sees him as an infallible leader rather than the deeply flawed, broken man that he is, which helped create a situation on January 6th at the Capitol where an unhinged president and his counsel spoon fed followers lie-laced Soma pill, after lie-laced Soma pill. Four years ago, resentment, anger, and rage were target emotions in Trump’s “American Carnage” speech. Trump spent his presidency pouring salt into long-standing social, economic, and political wounds aiming to stoke those emotions to as fever pitch a degree as possible, after all Trump never misses a chance to divide in hopes to conquer. In early January, with his pride scorn due to his loss to Joe Biden, Trump’s eyes were set on wreaking havoc at the Capitol, and havoc he and his supporters did wreak, forcing congresspeople to stop performing their official duties of certifying the election in order to seek cover from the violent mob. 

There is no more perfect symbol of Trump’s presidency than Trump and Giuliani sending a mob of semi-delusional supporters to physically stop congressional proceedings over…a lie. The lie here was that there was a massive amount of election fraud: there wasn’t. “Stop the Steal” is an election-theft conspiracy theory that skyrocketed in popularity after his loss. It was a lie that contemptible attorneys for Trump peddled, a sycophantic and sick right-wing media environment propagated, and Trump and Giuliani themselves have repeated on a weekly basis since Election Day. There have been numerous court cases contesting the alleged election fraud, and in most of the cases the courts have found that Trump either had no standing or that there was no claim presented as argued in the complaint. Trump supporters used the Stop the Steal campaign to organize multiple rallies around the country, including the one in Washington D.C., which was “[t]imed to the day when Congress [was set to] formally certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win, the MAGA crowd [was] trying to pressure Vice President Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers to refuse to seat Biden over fabricated voter-fraud claims.”  

After four years of the Trump administration’s Earth-destroying energy policies; after increases to both the imperial war budget and drone strikes in almost every existing combat theater (a special thanks to Obama for handing off a well-functioning drone program to Trump); after funneling trillions to the already wealthy in the form of tax credits and cuts; after killing over 300,000 U.S. citizens by mishandling the coronavirus pandemic; after all of these things, the Carnage, or at least some performative version of it, would be put on full display on January 6th, 2021, when the most fervent of Trump supporters (some in the media have suggested they be called them “terrorists” or “insurrectionists”, which may be a little too over the top) illegally trespassed on Capitol grounds and interfered with a congressional session. If there is one aspect of the event that cannot be overstated, it’s the pure spectacle of Trump and Giuliani directing an angry mob, some participants costumed in animal-fur hats outfitted with bull horns and Trump-flag capes. These costumed mob members wove through a sea of other orange and camouflaged participants (or “insurrectionists”) as they navigated the chaos in and outside the U.S. Capitol, a dangerous and deadly mess. Five people died in the course of events, some congresspeople, among them Washington Congresswoman Primila Jayapal, were infected with the coronavirus during their lockdown during the assault on the Capitol building. 

 The Capitol Police experienced multiple organizational failures and breeches in the events leading up to, and during the storming of, the Capitol. The level of failure in simple building and organizational security is staggering. The scale of the failures was made evident with the resignation of the Chief of Capitol Police, Steven Sund, within two days of the unfolding of the chaotic events. Sund’s resignation “comes amid heavy criticism that his department was unprepared for the protests despite warning signs that they could become violent.” The U.S. Capitol building was completely overrun by people who, at least in their minds, believed they were twenty-first-century Bolsheviks ready to assume command of their imperial government after taking the first step of storming and securing the Capitol building. If it sounds crazy and a little bit far-fetched… that’s because it is. We witnessed a group of people who thought they were starting a revolution for their god-king president, but in reality what they accomplished appears closer akin to a temper-tantrum in homage to a billionaire man-child. 

The whole affair, from Election Day loss denial to the Stop the Steal storming of the Capitol, has been an exercise in futility. This is not to say the Democrats are innocent of meddling elections, they aren’t. They got that out of the way early in 2020 during Iowa’s Democratic Primary. The DNC is definitely a shady organization and the Democrats, in their current party form, are pretty terrible, but they didn’t “steal” this general election. Once order was secured in the U.S. Capitol building, Congress reconvened and the procedures to certify the election were completed in the early morning hours of January 7th, just let it all sink in for a while alongside the myriad other difficult-to-comprehend events of the last couple years. Also, let the response by what can only be described as a hysterical-U.S.-corporate-imperial-press, sink in. The Imperial Press is ready to fire up the fear meter to one hundred with calls for Domestic Terrorism Laws to root out “terrorists” and “insurrectionists.” The storming of the Capitol was an egregious security failure by the Capitol Police. It was a ragtag mob cut loose by their false idol and U.S. President, Donald Trump, and his goofy ever-present attorney Rudy Giuliani. 

Just to be clear, if Black Lives Matter protestors had done what the MAGA criminals did on on January 6th in the U.S. Capitol, they would have been handled by the heaviest of Capitol Police hands, the National Guard would have been activated immediately, and surrounding police forces would have been called in to crush the activists before they even got close to the building, much less got in it. This charade serves as one more example of the rank unfairness that doesn’t just sit at the heart of modern policing, but sits in the hearts and souls of so many modern police. 

In 2017 Donald Trump came to power, explained in a speech that he understood the American Carnage that much of modern America had devolved into, and decided day after day, year after year to do nothing about it, even worse, he exacerbated most factors leading to the carnage in the first place. In the first week of January 2021, Trump, a billionaire, manipulated a crowd, the same crowd he’s used the media to fool and manipulate for years, to attack (even if symbolically) the political legislature that he and his billionaire friends bought years ago. Pure spectacle… but it’s also reality, which is why it’s so important for people of conscience to be involved in the political process at this moment in history. Because it could have been worse and there must be accountability. 

Here we all are in 2021. The carnage was deep and widespread before the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-pandemic, the carnage is most aptly described as apocalyptic for tens of millions of Americans, often needlessly so. President-elect Joe Biden has an opportunity to stem the tide of the ills that created the carnage and cleared the pathway for a Trump presidency in the first place. Biden can do as every president before him and duck his head in the sand purchased by his corporate donors and do little to nothing to address the widespread disillusionment, despair, and disarray that comprises the broken modern American experiment; or come 2025, the storming of the Capitol to overtake the nerve center of this empire might become the most vulnerable it has ever been to be overtaken by a ragtag mob or something a little more organized. 

Trump’s fanatical mob-like base sees him as an infallible leader rather than the deeply flawed, broken man that he is, which helped create a situation on January 6th at the Capitol where an unhinged president and his counsel spoon fed followers lie-laced Soma pill, after lie-laced Soma pill. Four years ago, resentment, anger, and rage were target emotions in Trump’s “American Carnage” speech. Trump spent his presidency pouring salt into long-standing social, economic, and political wounds aiming to stoke those emotions to as fever pitch a degree as possible, after all Trump never misses a chance to divide in hopes to conquer. In early January, with his pride scorn due to his loss to Joe Biden, Trump’s eyes were set on wreaking havoc at the Capitol, and havoc he and his supporters did wreak, forcing congresspeople to stop performing their official duties of certifying the election in order to seek cover from the violent mob. 

There is no more perfect symbol of Trump’s presidency than Trump and Giuliani sending a mob of semi-delusional supporters to physically stop congressional proceedings over…a lie. The lie here was that there was a massive amount of election fraud: there wasn’t. “Stop the Steal” is an election-theft conspiracy theory that skyrocketed in popularity after his loss. It was a lie that contemptible attorneys for Trump peddled, a sycophantic and sick right-wing media environment propagated, and Trump and Giuliani themselves have repeated on a weekly basis since Election Day. There have been numerous court cases contesting the alleged election fraud, and in most of the cases the courts have found that Trump either had no standing or that there was no claim presented as argued in the complaint. Trump supporters used the Stop the Steal campaign to organize multiple rallies around the country, including the one in Washington D.C., which was “[t]imed to the day when Congress [was set to] formally certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win, the MAGA crowd [was] trying to pressure Vice President Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers to refuse to seat Biden over fabricated voter-fraud claims.”  

After four years of the Trump administration’s Earth-destroying energy policies; after increases to both the imperial war budget and drone strikes in almost every existing combat theater (a special thanks to Obama for handing off a well-functioning drone program to Trump); after funneling trillions to the already wealthy in the form of tax credits and cuts; after killing over 300,000 U.S. citizens by mishandling the coronavirus pandemic; after all of these things, the Carnage, or at least some performative version of it, would be put on full display on January 6th, 2021, when the most fervent of Trump supporters (some in the media have suggested they be called them “terrorists” or “insurrectionists”, which may be a little too over the top) illegally trespassed on Capitol grounds and interfered with a congressional session. If there is one aspect of the event that cannot be overstated, it’s the pure spectacle of Trump and Giuliani directing an angry mob, some participants costumed in animal-fur hats outfitted with bull horns and Trump-flag capes. These costumed mob members wove through a sea of other orange and camouflaged participants (or “insurrectionists”) as they navigated the chaos in and outside the U.S. Capitol, a dangerous and deadly mess. Five people died in the course of events, some congresspeople, among them Washington Congresswoman Primila Jayapal, were infected with the coronavirus during their lockdown during the assault on the Capitol building. 

 The Capitol Police experienced multiple organizational failures and breeches in the events leading up to, and during the storming of, the Capitol. The level of failure in simple building and organizational security is staggering. The scale of the failures was made evident with the resignation of the Chief of Capitol Police, Steven Sund, within two days of the unfolding of the chaotic events. Sund’s resignation “comes amid heavy criticism that his department was unprepared for the protests despite warning signs that they could become violent.” The U.S. Capitol building was completely overrun by people who, at least in their minds, believed they were twenty-first-century Bolsheviks ready to assume command of their imperial government after taking the first step of storming and securing the Capitol building. If it sounds crazy and a little bit far-fetched… that’s because it is. We witnessed a group of people who thought they were starting a revolution for their god-king president, but in reality what they accomplished appears closer akin to a temper-tantrum in homage to a billionaire man-child. 

The whole affair, from Election Day loss denial to the Stop the Steal storming of the Capitol, has been an exercise in futility. This is not to say the Democrats are innocent of meddling elections, they aren’t. They got that out of the way early in 2020 during Iowa’s Democratic Primary. The DNC is definitely a shady organization and the Democrats, in their current party form, are pretty terrible, but they didn’t “steal” this general election. Once order was secured in the U.S. Capitol building, Congress reconvened and the procedures to certify the election were completed in the early morning hours of January 7th, just let it all sink in for a while alongside the myriad other difficult-to-comprehend events of the last couple years. Also, let the response by what can only be described as a hysterical-U.S.-corporate-imperial-press, sink in. The Imperial Press is ready to fire up the fear meter to one hundred with calls for Domestic Terrorism Laws to root out “terrorists” and “insurrectionists.” The storming of the Capitol was an egregious security failure by the Capitol Police. It was a ragtag mob cut loose by their false idol and U.S. President, Donald Trump, and his goofy ever-present attorney Rudy Giuliani. 

Just to be clear, if Black Lives Matter protestors had done what the MAGA criminals did on on January 6th in the U.S. Capitol, they would have been handled by the heaviest of Capitol Police hands, the National Guard would have been activated immediately, and surrounding police forces would have been called in to crush the activists before they even got close to the building, much less got in it. This charade serves as one more example of the rank unfairness that doesn’t just sit at the heart of modern policing, but sits in the hearts and souls of so many modern police. 

In 2017 Donald Trump came to power, explained in a speech that he understood the American Carnage that much of modern America had devolved into, and decided day after day, year after year to do nothing about it, even worse, he exacerbated most factors leading to the carnage in the first place. In the first week of January 2021, Trump, a billionaire, manipulated a crowd, the same crowd he’s used the media to fool and manipulate for years, to attack (even if symbolically) the political legislature that he and his billionaire friends bought years ago. Pure spectacle… but it’s also reality, which is why it’s so important for people of conscience to be involved in the political process at this moment in history. Because it could have been worse and there must be accountability. 

Here we all are in 2021. The carnage was deep and widespread before the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-pandemic, the carnage is most aptly described as apocalyptic for tens of millions of Americans, often needlessly so. President-elect Joe Biden has an opportunity to stem the tide of the ills that created the carnage and cleared the pathway for a Trump presidency in the first place. Biden can do as every president before him and duck his head in the sand purchased by his corporate donors and do little to nothing to address the widespread disillusionment, despair, and disarray that comprises the broken modern American experiment; or come 2025, the storming of the Capitol to overtake the nerve center of this empire might become the most vulnerable it has ever been to be overtaken by a ragtag mob or something a little more organized. 

Featured Image by Prachatai. Creative Commons 4.0 / Sharealike.

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