More than just one party

Maggie Craig, Associate Editor

The incident at the Capitol sparked outrage, confusion, and disconcertion throughout the country with everyone being quick to point fingers as to who erupted this pandemonium. Many decided to place the blame on former President Donald Trump due to his lacking response to the situation. There is indeed more than one man that can be held accountable for the violence. And those who deserve the condemnation are the Republican extremists who broke into the U.S. Capitol and wreaked havoc upon the nation. 

At first, the protestors were simply just that: they were protestors. It’s true that Trump, as well as the Republican congressmen, encouraged their supporters to attend the verification of the 2020 Election at the Capitol building on January 6th, evoking a surge of patriotism amongst the conservative crowd. However, no one, neither Elephants nor Donkeys, expected the series of events that unraveled later that day. 

In the rally that took place prior to the Capitol riot, former President Donald Trump gave a speech to his followers with no indication of inciting violence, even saying things such as, “peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard.” Trump inspired the conservative protestors to exercise their first amendment rights in front of the Capitol building. In fact, he even tweeted, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order  — respect the Law and our great men and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” Contrary to popular belief, Trump did not insinuate acts of violence within his words at all. People believe that his actions were enough to incite unruly uproar, but his past endeavors as President can hardly be linked to these circumstances.

Many argue that the rioters were there at the Capitol due to baseless claims of election fraud. However, the Supreme Court rejected even looking into the evidence of the Texas Lawsuit. The courts released the statement: “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections” as means to justify their lacking response to the Texas Lawsuit. The lawsuit against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin didn’t even get a chance to hold its own in court. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that it had no chance of surviving the Supreme Court. Despite what some may believe about the outcome of the 2020 Election, it cannot be denied that there is enough evidence to warrant a response from the right. With the 2020 election process being a lot different than previous elections, it was not wrong to raise an eyebrow when the Republican party perceived concerning anomalies surrounding everything from the mail-in ballots to the Dominion voting machines

Additionally, the Republican congressmen also did not perpetuate the chaos. They were in support of the protestors outside of the Capitol, but it was only when the mob was peaceful. The Trump supporters are allowed to protest under the First Amendment of the Constitution, and the congressmen were simply in support of the citizens exercising their rights. However, the members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, were in fear for their lives as they were either evacuated from the premises or took shelter in their offices. Several Republican congressmen even tweeted during the event, notably Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who wrote: “Stop the violence. Support Capitol Police.” amidst the event. None of the Republican representatives were in support of the violence, and they condemned the rioters. In the early stages of the protests, many of the Republican congressmen were in support of the chants and the signs, but they drew the line when the protesting grew into a deadly riot. 

Furthermore, the news outlets and the media were also not responsible for the riots at the Capitol. Right-leaning news outlets such as Newsmax and OANN did speak out about their beliefs on the 2020 Election being stolen, but they did not insinuate any diabolical ulterior motives. On top of that, larger, more influential platforms such as CNN, MSNBC, and FOX gave the election to Joe Biden. These smaller news outlets alone cannot alter the mindsets of many or create real change without a larger following. 

There is no reason to place blame upon those who were not actively involved in the riots. From the Republican lawyers to the congressmen to even the news outlets, their influences alone were not enough to perpetuate the sudden wave of terror that struck the nation. The rush of violence received condemnation from everyone from all sides of the political spectrum. One man did not propagate the act of domestic terrorism, but one party did not propagate it either.