Yesterday marked the official beginning of Donald Trump’s second impeachment. A 13-minute video was shown which compiled footage from January 6, 2021. The video showcased, among other things, just the level of anger and grim determination with which the mob stormed the capitol. The video also showed Donald Trump’s various speeches, tweets, and responses to the insurrection. But more than anything, the video revealed an insurrection based solely on one thing: ignorance.
The furious mob, donning tactical gear, took to the steps of the capitol at first. They yelled to each other about taking the capitol, calling each other patriots. As these domestic terrorists climbed the edifice of the capitol, we began to see one of the things that was truly driving them: internet fame. With every subsequent feat – be it climbing a wall, waving a flag, or erecting gallows – the step that followed immediately after was a selfie. This was less a revolution and more a giant convention of influencers nobody cares about. This, to me, is very telling. The self-interested behavior, posting selfies and videos along the way, is indicative of the man whom the mob claimed to serve. Donald Trump is as self-absorbed as they come, he too posts almost exclusively in a self-congratulatory manner – and so too do his most ardent followers.
As I watched the 13-minute video, growing angrier and more disturbed by the second, I had one burning question that kept cropping up in my mind: What the fuck is their plan?
When the insurrectionists finally did breach the doors of the capitol and began to file in, it was clear that they didn’t have much of a plan beyond that. Indeed, they wanted to hang Mike Pence and assassinate Nancy Pelosi – both of those things are absolutely horrific. But what seemed quite clear was that they didn’t have much of a plan for how to go about doing so. The video depicts a mob of people who, while determined, were just throwing paint at a canvas. One portion of a video showed a mob by a broken window, trying to figure out just where exactly they had broken into. Another portion showed fools in camouflage rifling through desks and flipping through binders to find “evidence to use against these scumbags.” They even misunderstood the “evidence” they did find, turning against Ted Cruz for a split second before a slightly more astute rioter explained what they actually read in Cruz’s binder.
But once again I ask: What the fuck is their plan? The footage showed various rioters addressing their fellow “patriots” – a total bastardization of an already antiquated term – saying that they were to “take back” their capitol. And when they were finally leaving, further instructions were giving by screaming white men telling these “patriots” to take back their state houses as well. Let’s say for a second that they did take back the state houses or the capitol. What then? Assuming a foolish “patriot” did indeed “take back” their state house, were they going to assume control? Were they going to sit behind the desk and govern? They’re internet trolls with no real-life experience to help them with governance, emissaries of an inexperienced president. They wouldn’t know what to do. A government of their own devise would collapse immediately.
The anger was palpable, the rioters felt so aggrieved. Liberals like myself know the disappointment of your candidate losing an election, but you drink and move on. These rioters claimed that their freedoms taken, that they’re being censored. They’re obsessed with “cancel culture,” and yet, the majority of them live consequence-free lives as privileged white people. They’re unable to see the irony of their position, decrying conformity and censorship while dressing alike and committing crimes against the country as though free speech and the right to assemble extend to the storming of capitol buildings.
January 6, 2021 was a horrific day for America. We saw the dark underbelly of white rage. This fool’s insurrection revealed an ignorant and confused bunch of people with fabricated grievances and the resources to do serious damage. This is serious, albeit confounding.