The events of yesterday are embarrassing. If you can’t start with that premise, you might as well stop reading here. It isn’t that what happened falls squarely on any one group or person. It is that we allowed ourselves to get to this point. For that, it is embarrassing.
Everyone holds some responsibility. If you’re thinking that this was 100% Trump or 100% the left, both are wrong. These have been events a decade or longer in the making. All sides, regardless of your affiliation, feel ignored. Speaking as a libertarian-leaning conservative, I can say that I feel ignored all the damn time. Think of the number of problems we could have avoided over the course of the last 20 years if we just decided to leave everyone alone!
That being said, anyone that celebrates what occurred yesterday, is simply stoking the flames of the problem we are facing. I didn’t say you couldn’t understand what happened while disagreeing with it. For example, you could understand why someone would want revenge against someone who murdered a member of their family, however, does not take that action yourself in the horrible case you should ever face that. It is the celebration of that action, that takes us to a place that leaves us all blind and toothless.
As a conservative-leaning individual, I obviously feel I can understand the frustration that many of those people who marched yesterday, feel. That doesn’t mean I condone the actions in the Capitol, or even that I believe that the actions of those in the Capitol reflect the attitudes of the vast majority of people. The fact is, those people who rushed the halls of Congress are frustrated and feel ignored. They feel that every attempt at redress is denied and that all other courses of action have been disregarded.
We spent four years and millions of dollars investigating Trump for alleged ties to Russia, all of which came back with nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. However, over the past two months we have been delivered news of voting machines that flipped thousands of votes in Michigan, counties with more votes than statistically possible in Wisconsin, an Attorney General and Secretary of the Commonwealth in Pennsylvania who openly and blatantly ignored an order from the US Supreme Court, and illegal ballot counting and pulling ballots from suitcases in Georgia. And what has the right asked for? An investigation. Court after court, official after official, and county after county have denied efforts to even question the outcome. Ironically, these counties are almost exclusively blue. Despite our patience for the last 4 years with every stupid liberal attempt to sideline Trump, they won’t even give us 90 days to investigate. Yesterday appears to be the first, single-sided escalation of violence from the right, after years of solo acts from the left.
But why does the left act out the way they do? Same reason for yesterday’s outburst. The left feels unheard. For years the left has complained about police brutality and the unnecessary use of deadly force, as is likely the case with the death of the poor woman at the Capitol. As she was wheeled out, Trump-supporters chanted “murderers” at the cops. Now that the use of that force has come to the doorstep of the right, suddenly they too, question that power. When the left has complained about the lack of access to quality education or the fact that discrimination occurs in the workplace all the time, the right instead chooses to ignore them based upon some “fact” they heard regurgitated on a meme on Facebook. Does that justify the acts of violence from the left? Absolutely not. The right justifies the death of Breonna Taylor with quips like “well, if she wasn’t hanging out with bad people,” as if somehow it justifies deadly force used by the police, conducting a midnight no-knock raid, on a non-violent tangential person-of-interest in a drug investigation. I have walked with BLM and would do so in the future. Many of their complaints are justified. The violence and looting are not.
The media holds a great deal of blame here as well. For years they have been passively covering violent actions of the left, suggesting they are somehow justified in how they feel, which further escalates the violence. They would put out statistics like 93% of protests are non-violent, when conducted by the left, but focus only on the violent actions of the right, despite the likelihood that right-wing protests are less violent. Opinions from the left often rationalize violence as a lack of being heard, but deny that same rationalization from the right, as somehow, they are always heard. This started back with the Tea Party. They didn’t feel heard. Occupy Wall Street? They didn’t feel heard. Two sides of the same unheard coin.
We have been on this death spiral of not listening to each other for at least the last decade. Now, simply the threat of violence is enough to derail the efforts of many to do the right thing. Why do many conservatives avoid pushing for an investigation? Because of the threat of violence from the left. It is alleged that the Supreme Court turned down the Texas case, not because it lacked merit, but because they were afraid of protests and riots.
The onus is on the left to fix this. Just how many conservatives were at the violent protests of the last decade? How many counter-shooters were at the Congressional Softball practice? In DC yesterday, how many Targets were looted and Wendy’s burned? If the left put a quarter of the effort they right did yesterday into denouncing the Capitol raid, into controlling their own violent segments, the narrative would be different. All the right is hearing right now is, our violence is justified and yours is not. It isn’t fair, nor equitable, from the party who claims to be the bastion of fair and equitable.
So what is the fix?
We need to listen to each other more and agree to things we may not like, to make all citizens feel like they are heard. Do we need to make college free and listen to all the demands of the crazy left? No. Could we, however, look at ways to decrease the cost of higher education? Certainly. Does the left need to eliminate all spending? No. But could we agree that the government spends where they shouldn’t? Sure. Do we need to defund the police? No. But could we agree that police departments everywhere need reforms? 100%
It is time we start listening to each other more. If an incoming Biden administration was confident in their win, a newly sworn-in President Biden would call for an independent investigation into the 2020 election. They would look at means of balancing the budget, which could lead to cuts in places conservatives might not like, but hey, this is a compromise.
We need to listen to each other the way we would expect others to listen to us and to compromise where at times, we might not want to but will keep the peace. If the left continues their antics absent any consequences, there will be a time for a reckoning. Now is not it. We have not done enough to exhaust every option before us.