CBS News conducted a poll the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, regarding the January 6th protest/riot/insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 76% of the people surveyed said they believed the actions that day were a protest that went too far.
We’ll wait for the report from the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, but many will discount those findings, because the members of the committee were hand-picked by the Democrats.
In my opinion, the majority of people who attended the gathering were there to show support for then President Trump; a small subset were there to agitate the larger group; and a subset of those wanted to bring harm to people and property. Anyone who committed a crime that day should be held accountable for their actions.
But like most things in Washington DC, accountability and utilizing the full resources of the United States government to track down criminals is selective.
How can the majority of Americans get behind the prosecution of criminals that day, when other criminals have burned neighborhoods, businesses and federal buildings for the last several years, and are cheered on by political leaders? People, including police, were beaten and killed, and complete neighborhoods were taken over. Public property, including statues, were defaced and destroyed, and on and on.
None of these violent actions are any less harmful than others. It’s not one side or the other that upsets me. It’s the hypocrisy.
For the last several days, we’ve seen a barrage of similar talking points in national media that looks and feels orchestrated, and it stinks.
The lessons that could have been taught were instead politicized to further our divide. Real security concerns with intelligence and communication were minimized so that the focus could stay on Trump. Americans have been held in jail for months without charges or trial dates.
The inconsistency of accountability and prosecution, for those who turn protests into destructive riots is numbing. Our nation has been riot-torn since the George Floyd murder. The riots that followed were tolerated and called mostly peaceful but caused a record $2 billion + in insured property damage. In Portland, Oregon, part of the city including a police station were occupied for weeks and vandalized.
When will America collectively say enough is enough. Peaceful protest your heart out, but when it turns to a riot or worse, you are going to jail and will be prosecuted.
Americans need to feel safe, and that is the role of government. Consistency unites. Different rules for different causes divide deeply.