119 Comments

Excellent, as always. But this: "For every bearded miscreant wearing a sweatshirt celebrating the Holocaust in that crowd, there were a dozen firefighters, cops, masonry workers, and business owners." I think you're still "working-class"ing the seditionists. Don't forget the real estate brokers, local politicians, regional restaurant chain owners. I think this is as much a "local gentry" uprising as a working class one.

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Jan 11, 2021Liked by Patrick Wyman

Many would appreciate a second conversation with Mike Duncan regarding the rise of fascism in the United States, counter-revolution, increase in actual leftism in terms of anarchism, and the failures of centrist politics (worsening of material conditions, failure to control COVID, lack of access to healthcare) that is moving the United States towards collapse, transformation, dissolution, or reform.

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Jan 11, 2021Liked by Patrick Wyman

I would have never believed that such a privileged group of people could be so misled to believe that they are oppressed and persecuted in any way. The way most white Americans characterize their situation in this country is just mesmerizing. Watching people with two cars, 3000+ sf houses, and fridges full of food, constantly complaining about how they are “exploited, infringed on their rights and persecuted” by the “tyrannical government” leaves me constantly in shocking aw.

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Jan 13, 2021Liked by Patrick Wyman

I loved this piece. And after reading your comments, I thought it might be nice to . . . just . . . read that someone loved it.

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Jan 11, 2021Liked by Patrick Wyman

Excellent and insightful....👍👍👍

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Exactly right. The South in many ways won the Civil War by winning the post-war battle: “Lost Cause,” Jim Crow, decimating Reconstruction. We all naturally want to move on after a traumatic event, but history shows that making a good, safe world requires vigilance, never stopping the hard work of constant push back against fanaticism. First order here, I think: impeach (so Trump can’t be on 2024 ballot), then figure out how much his enablers, especially in Congress, helped egg on, direct, and assist. Then prosecute them—not just impeach. Actual criminal trials, prison. Make it clear there are no safe harbors for sedition, that no one gets a free pass.

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Thanks for the insight. Agree with your analysis. Trump should be impeached ASAP. What are your thoughts on BLM and ANTIFA riots in cities around the United States that preceded the biggie in DC?

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Great analysis.

I agree that this isn't something surprising and our media should not treat it as such. Only goes further to prove our for-profit press looks to create content consumable for the masses, not some sort of propaganda institutions set up by the Democratic party. Although, to the far-right lunatics who are the minority in the country, maybe everything that isn't catering to them looks the same.

I always come back to how the American right essentially has no ideas, and no desire beyond power. You can see it in the complete lack of Republican legislation passed before and during the Trump presidency. I ask this question of what is really the worst that these Democratic lawmakers seek to do? Raise taxes? That isn't oppression, certainly not to the many well to do's inside this movement, and can only help those on the middle and lower rungs of the economic ladder.

It's all grievance; they just want to be in charge and have zero ideas on how to fix problems beyond blaming it on someone else. They were just in charge, they did nothing, and ignored catastrophic issues like a pandemic raging out of control.

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How can we convince people that the "news" of stolen elections and far left conspiracies is garbage, and that facts are facts? That's one thing we'll never be able to do no matter how many Senators we disbar or Presidents we impeach. Unfortunately we will see exactly how far these normal folks are willing to go no matter what.

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Great write up, this does feel like the beginning of the end unless those in power change the course of events. I've been pondering where you draw the line on consequences. Impeachment and the 25th amendment seem valid plays for orange Julius, but what about the rest? How do you handle the rep from WV? The cops, both those who participated directly and those who opened the door? I think brining up how the actions of one man were all that stood between the actual outcome of the riot and thr parallel universe where they took hostages is important to consider when thinking about consequences. That could have been a way worse situation (and a 100% better one if they had prepared even a little for it) so do you punish the outcome or punish the intent? The gallows were built as a symbol, but don't think they wouldn't have been used if they took Pelosi or someone.

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On the question of punishment, you should read a specific comment to Hillary Clinton's WaPoost op-ed, from a teacher. Not punishment for punishment's sake, but as protection for others. Example: when you have a child who gets frustrated and bites other children, they dont stop doing it because you tell them it isnt nice. They havent grown up to that skill yet. You have to find a way to stop them from terrorizing the other children AND teach them to recognize other people can be hurt and how it feels. Sometimes you learn those children are incapable of getting that skill, no matter what. You have to separate them. They cause a LOT of damage to innocents.

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Is it not also true that, when people are afraid, they are generally more likely to give up their freedoms in the name of security?

Do you worry that your emphasis on "visible and serious consequences"- on punishment- as opposed to, say, the economic inequality and corruption that have led so many people to become disillusioned with their government in the first place, might contribute to such a result?

Isn't it a bit lazy to tell us, essentially, that they are all just white supremacist morons who can't be reasoned with?

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A few questions that I have that may, or may not, have answers:

But first:

If a poll I have seen is correct, about half of Republicans think that the events at the Capitol are justified, that means roughly 25 percent of the country feels that way. I'll low ball that number to 20 percent going forward. 1 in 5 people.

If those that represent 20% of the population are removed from having a voice for their opinion, came we truly be a Democracy?

If 20% of the population views their will as being pushed out of the national conversation, would they be justified in viewing themselves as under attack, opening a logical path to acts of political violence as the only way to be heard?

If people calling for a purge of unpopular discourse do so for the protection of the current system, is that meaningful any different than any totalitarian regime seeking to retain power?

Will social media companies deplatforming political figures simply create less diverse echo chambers while simultaneously creating there own less diverse echo chambers?

I'm sure no one else cares, but these are the questions I ponder.

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This is an excellent article. You do a really great job in succinctly describing what happened in January 6th (which really drove home how terrible the events really were). Your argument about consequences is particularly good too. Thanks for this piece!

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Patrick, you're a good man and a wise one, but your narrative colors your interpretation of the history of the riot. You are right that ordinary people are always at the scene of violent events - we are all ordinary people. If you think a guy in a Viking hat and a military veteran small business owner is any different than you or me, think again. The events on that day didn't begin that day. After a long year of burning cities where the media tells us that there's nothing to see here, plenty of ordinary people wanted to give the finger to the ruling class. Political road rage, but not insurection. Gimme a break.

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Excellent insight and thank you for providing it.

Also, I enjoyed the contribution from Kevin on Jan 11 (a 28 year old European), a very good addition to this discussion.

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