Trump’s temper tantrum leads a mob to Capitol Hill

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”Scene on the Stairs” Brett Davis - Flickr

Addie Adkins, Columnist

We were told to “remember the 5th of November” and to “beware the Ides of March.” Now there will be a tale so cautionary about the 6 of January.

Only it won’t be a fictional one.

Jan. 6 started out like any other day for me. I made my family breakfast, we watched TV and I planned out my day which looked like any other day.

Around 11:30 a.m., I received a message from an old friend about the Capitol Building being breached by a mob of pro-Trump rioters and I was astonished. I hadn’t seen or heard anything about a protest, and I had been on Facebook most of the morning.

She sent me an article from the Washington Post. “Live updates: U.S. Capitol is on lockdown as protesters clash with police and breach the building,” the headline read. I scoured the entire article in a state of disbelief.

My first thought: “There’s no way this is happening.”

My first response: “This is disgusting.”

I had schoolwork to do. That didn’t happen. I think I made lunch and dinner, I’m not sure. I know I was on my phone way too much. I couldn’t look away.

I began pouring over article after article, video after video, trying to understand what happened, why it happened and what will happen going forward. Each new article or video brought on a new wave of disbelief, anger and anxiety.

According to NPR, at 1 p.m. EST, a joint session to confirm the Electoral College votes began. Vice President Mike Pence presided and declared to Congress in the form of a letter “that he does not have unilateral authority to overturn the election results.”

Meanwhile, about two miles away at the White House, President Donald Trump held a rally. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, spoke before the president in a short address to the rally participant where at one point said, “So, let’s have trial by combat!”

After Giuliani spoke, Trump took the stage with an approximately 70-minute speech asserting his already disputed claims of election fraud, condemning “weak Republicans” and finally telling supporters to “fight like hell” and to march on the capitol.

Trump poured gasoline on an already burning dumpster fire. According to NPR, a little after 2 p.m. a mob of Trump supporters breached the steps of the Capitol building. It took only about 10 minutes after that for them to break down glass doors and windows to enter the building.

At 2:38 p.m., Trump tweeted out to his supporters to be “peaceful,” about a half an hour too late.

It took Trump a full hour and a half to direct the activation of the National Guard. The hypocrisy of it all. Just 7 months ago on May 30, 2020, during a protest in front of the White House, Trump wrote on Facebook if anyone were to break into his front yard “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, [he had] ever seen.”

Yet a group of his supporters were able to violently breach the Capitol building with what appeared to be little obstruction and attempt to break into the Senate Floor. No vicious dogs, no ominous weapons.

I’m transported back to four years ago where cries of “not my president” rang through many streets. Many people said things like, “we would never riot in the streets if our candidate lost.” I was just as flabbergasted at the protestor’s reaction in 2016, especially since Hilary Clinton conceded the election after seeing she would lose the electoral college.

This mob of extremists made a lot of those people eat their words. It caused a lot of people to lose faith in Trump. It caused a lot of people to lose faith in the strength of our democracy.

The most hopeful thing I am seeing is the level commitment of some of our elected officials to uphold the constitution and laws of our country, and to protect the American people. They are actually doing their job for once.

Unfortunately, I am also seeing a lot of misguided theories and undereducated responses to all of this. A lot of people still want to believe in Trump. A lot of people still want to believe that he is a better President than President-elect Joe Biden ever will be.

However, if people just spent an hour on reputable news sites reading articles or watching the speeches that happened that day just an hour before the insurrection on Capitol Hill, I really think the would see and hear how Trump is just a petulant, sore loser throwing a tantrum trying to get the referees to overturn the call.

How Trump and Giuliani haven’t been arrested for inciting a riot that caused the death of five people is beyond me.