Dominick Bonny talks about the insurrection in Washington D.C. and the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th.
Common Sense – Insurrection Transcript and Sources
What we witnessed on January sixth in our nation’s capital was white privilege taken to violent extremes. It was an insurrection and a breach of one of the most important symbols of our American republic. It was a coup designed to intimidate the highest elected representatives in our federal government into capitulating in their duty to certify the electoral college results. But the mob that roamed the halls of the Capitol building, ransacking congressional offices and searching for law-makers to punish would have never been able to breach that temple of democracy had they been black or brown. And they certainly wouldn’t have been able to leave the building they had just ransacked and board flights home!
But what made these people feel so emboldened? I gave it some thought and broke it down into three parts. One: A demagogue who has been egging on violent extremists for years. In fact, through his rhetoric, he has taken once semi-reasonable conservative voters and turned them into extremists who feel more loyalty to him personally than they do to this country or our constitution.
Two: A victimhood complex that has become a part of the mental furniture of the right. It’s been there long before this attempted coup, and if you’re a social media user you’ve probably seen it kick into high gear in days since the insurrection. People online claiming that those on the right are now being targeted unfairly somehow. People equating justice and consequences for sedition as political persecution.
And the third way we got here is misinformation. It has been allowed to run rampant. There are no objective facts anymore. There is no objective truth. People, especially those on the right, have been conditioned to believe whatever supports their bias. No matter how ludicrous it might sound to those of us not mired in these self-told fairy tales. If you lost an election it’s not because your ideas or policies didn’t resonate with a majority of voters, it’s because it was stolen by evildoers. And that’s how we get to the dehumanization of those who oppose you. If someone opposes Donald Trump they’re not cast as people with different points of view, people you can reason with and come to a consensus. They are cast as supervillains who literally drink the blood of children. How can you dialogue and come to a compromise with people who think that? You can’t!
Stay tuned because in this episode we’re going to talk about the insurrection in Washington D.C. and the breach of the capitol building on January 6 and peel back the layers of the onion to reveal that this coup attempt was well-coordinated, consisted of extremists from across the nation, including people from Washington state and the warning signs were willfully ignored by those in power, including the acting secretary of defense Christopher Miller who denied national guard backup and resources to the DC mayor and then went AWOL for 90 minutes during the siege as the Maryland governor was trying to reach him to get authorization to send in National Guard troops to back up overwhelmed capitol police officers.
I’m Dominick Bonny and this is Common Sense.
Welcome back, last week Donald Trump incited a riot in our nation’s capital, finally taking that final step to claim his title as the worst president in American history. The political cult he has built and the loyalty he has fostered among his followers borders on religious fanaticism. So much so that his disciples right here in Wenatchee and across the country have taken to social media and are denying the fact that he whipped up a mob that then went on to kill a capital police officer by beating him to death with a fire extinguisher as they pushed their way into the capitol building.
So I want to start this episode by listening to his words and showing you some of the actions they sparked.
We’re going to have to fight much harder, he says. We will not take it anymore. You have to get your people to fight. They want to play so straight. It’s time somebody did something about it. These people are not going to take it any longer. If you don’t fight like hell, we’re not going to have a country anymore. Those are all direct quotes.
His words led to the death of a capital police officer, but also one of his own unhinged supporters as she and others attempted to breach the Speaker’s Lobby and reach the lawmakers who were barricaded behind the doors that capital police officers stepped away from protecting. I am not going to show the full video, but I do want to show you this moment as the officers slide over and allow rioters access to the doors of the speaker’s lobby.
Here the rioters threaten and cajole the officers, some saying that they don’t want to hurt the officers but they will go through them if they have to. Clearly, it’s an extremely scary situation, but the fact that they listened to the rioters and got out of their path probably had the very real potential of getting people inside that lobby hurt or even killed.
That’s a stressful, scary situation and that’s putting it mildly. But while some people were dying, others were having a great time ransacking the capitol building and looking for elected officials to punish. The mob was even recorded chanting “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!” let’s take a look.
These people have such a cultish devotion to Donald Trump that they are willing to build a gallows and threaten to hang his vice president because Pence refused to go against the constitution and send electoral ballots back to states that Trump disputes the results of. We as a nation are lucky that this mob didn’t actually get its hands on any elected official, democrat or republican, because I shudder to think what they would have done. But while some people were dying and others were violating the temple of our democracy by parading around with confederate flags and Trump flags and smearing feces on the walls, yes that happened, others were enjoying what to them was practically a vacation! Folks like Dr. Tammy Towers Parry, a Family Medicine Doctor in Seattle, clearly had a great time storming the capitol building, and wanted to document her experience with giddy abandon. Here’s just one of the many Twitter videos she posted from the insurrection.
But Dr. Tammy, wasn’t the only person from our neck of the woods that found their way to D.C. to riot. At least two Seattle PD officers have been placed on administrative leave after being spotted in pictures from the riot. A teacher from Valley School District near Spokane named Peter Whittekiend took his family because they wanted to quote witness history as he puts it when was interviewed by KXLY in Spokane. Well they certainly witnessed one of the darkest days in American history, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. You can watch the full interview with him and his teenage daughter if you check out the sources in the show notes. I couldn’t imagine a black man taking part in a rally that turned into a riot that resulted in the breach of the US capitol building and then flying home and proudly proclaiming that he was part of it on the local news. Their shamelessness really knows no limits.
But as our elected representatives cowered on the floor of the House as seditious hooligans, thugs and even some old ladies roamed the halls of one of the most important and sacred buildings in our country, there was lawlessness and violence taking place in other parts of our country as well. On the other side of the continent, in LA, a Black woman in California said a group of nearly 40 pro-Trump demonstrators attacked her and called her the n-word following a rally in downtown Los Angeles.
The assault was captured by a photographer who later told NBC News that she saw the woman walking by herself and heard the protesters heckling her and asking if she voted for President Donald Trump. After a heated exchange they surrounded her and assaulted her. This is the kind of behavior that Donald Trump encourages, sometimes using vague dog whistles and other times telling people in crowds at his rallies to assault hecklers and that he will pay their legal fees if they get in trouble.
But this behavior isn’t new as of January 6. These “patriots” as they like to call themselves, have been growing more bold and violent for years, but it has reached a fever pitch since Donald Trump lost the presidential election. And these aren’t just fridgey wingnuts, they have the support and sympathy of some on the inside, literally and figuratively. In Oregon, Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican from Independence, opened two doors to the Capitol during a December twenty first special legislative session, allowing violent demonstrators who were protesting immediately outside the door to illegally enter the building. Here’s some footage of that obtained by The Oregonian.
Just imagine if those people would have been black or brown. If they were, do you think Rep. Nearman would have opened the door and allowed them to trespass in the attempts to threaten state lawmakers? I doubt it. These people are worried about losing their electoral power now that Trumpism is on its way out, and they are clearly prepared to do violence in order to maintain their control over the levers of political power. Stay tuned after the break, because I am going to attempt to find something to look forward to amid all this chaos that has been condoned and incited by Donald J. Trump, the 45th and now worst president in modern American history.
Voltaire said those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities and the whole world saw those atrocities in action on January sixth. Worse than the assault and damage done to capitol building is the damage it has done to American prestige. Never in the history of our country has a mob of insurrectionists breached our capitol building and never before has the traitor’s flag of the confederacy been allowed to desecrate the halls of the people’s house. Not even during the civil war. But now it’s 2021 and we see the symbol of white supremacy, cowardice and treason and that symbol has been allowed to sully the hallowed halls of our nation’s capitol building.
You might wonder why I am focusing so much on these symbols. Well, first it’s because I was raised Catholic and symbols are a big part of the Catholic tradition, as is the sacredness of our cathedrals, monuments and relics. So when I saw people who call themselves Americans and even patriots desecrating such a major symbol of our nation, I was aghast, confused and angry.
Another reason is that as a junior in high school I had the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital, and it made a lasting impression on me. I remember feeling a sense of awe as I walked up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. I stood and looked out at the Washington Monument and its reflecting pool roughly where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous speech.
I remember standing in front of the statue of the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, looking up at that alabaster face in awe. He led us through our nation’s darkest days, and kept our union together with wit and willpower. If you have had the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital you probably have experienced a sense of profound respect and appreciation for what our forefathers built. And that’s because that’s what the capital is designed to do. It’s designed to impress upon every visitor, not just Americans, that the American experiment is not just a success – it’s the pinnacle of human civic achievement. It’s a city built to be an everlasting symbol of freedom and self-government, a testament to human rationality and independence.
That’s why this assault was so insidious. It undermines all of the ideas and values our nation’s capital represents. What we witnessed, what the world witnessed on January sixth was not a goof. It wasn’t an accident. It was the result of more than four years of extremist rhetoric and conspiracy theories tweeted and spread by an unhinged demagogue, and then echoed by an opportunistic, cynical media infrastructure. First it was Fox News and then came its insidious offspring like Newsmaxx and OANN. These are networks that monetize outrage and willful ignorance make a mint. It’s a well-established business model. Rupert Murdock has made billions using it. But then along comes a loudmouth emotional arsonist like Donald Trump and you’ve got a major economic engine for a media outlet with no ethics!
What we saw on January sixth was the reaping of the grapes of wrath that we as a nation sowed four years ago, and even before that. And for every thinking American it was a day that will live in infamy as one of our greatest national shames.
So where do we go from here? It’s tough to know for certain, but one thing is for sure: this seditious extremism represents the death throes of a movement that is nearing its end. These treasonous actions were not perpetrated by people who feel strong. No, these are the actions of weak people who are scared about a future where they are not in the driver’s seat politically. They are worried that a new day is dawning and the future will lead to them being oppressed as the people they used to keep down. They are terrified of a future that has leaders who don’t look just like them. They are scared of leaders who are women and people of color. And they should be thanking god that these future leaders and the future coalitions that will lead this nation only want equality, an even playing field, and not revenge. The upshot of one of the darkest days in American history is that these folks revealed themselves for what they are: the small, weak-minded, petty and violent dregs of a society that is moving on without them. They showed how ugly, un-American and seditious their movement really is, and if there is any justice in the world they will pay. They will pay in the form of electoral defeats for a generation, if not generations to come. As for rational Republicans and principled conservatives, I know you are out there. You have been very quiet, but I know you still exist. Maybe this offers you an opportunity to take your party back from what was once the fringes.
As for progressives and folks on the left, I’m sure that watching so many of our friends and neighbors bend over backwards to excuse an insurrection by people who share their political stripes has felt like a bridge too far. It felt beyond the pale to me, and that has been hard to process. But chin up, because as of Jan. 20 this national nightmare will be over and we can begin to heal and rebuild. And look at this way, Donald Trump lost the republicans the presidency, the House and the Senate. In the most ironic of ways, he has made America great again.
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