At first blush blaming the Democrats for January 6th is as ridiculous as the LA Times recent claim that Trump was responsible for Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. Very very few democrats were part of that mob, but nevertheless, the fury of those who were there, their belief that they were trying to save our democracy was a direct result of the actions taken by the Democrats bef0ore and during Donald Trump’s presidency.
I am not a fan of Donald Trump. He’s not a terrible person and I believe sometimes, maybe often means well, but he makes a fool of himself very often by spitting out whatever thoughts take hold of him, and then defends himself by saying even more silly things. Sometimes I liked that. Unlike professional politicians you get to know what he really thinks, not hooey platitudes that the professionals work at carefully articulating. He is also a show off in the worst way. Like the celebrities, who are just like him, his best moments come when he is the center of attention. He can’t stand being without that. Mayor Koch used to ask in a sweet way “How am I doing?” Insecurity on that score is the nightmare of every politician and showbiz personality when things are not going well. Someone taught Trump that the way to handle that is to increase his boasting. It would be easy to call it blarney if he had Irish heritage. But his family came from Scotland and Bavaria, although there may be a hint there. Trump is a German surname derived from a word used to refer to both drums and trumpets.
How are the Democrats and their allies in the mass media responsible for January 6th. Because they habitually told outrageous lies about Donald Trump. He did more than a few things wrong, but the unrelenting distortions, quoting him out of context, the refusal to go after Democrat’s foibles (and corruption) finally had the effect of convincing people that the media and their Democratic allies in the government, were constant liars and cheats. What they reported had to be taken with ten thousand grains of salt.
Trump is rightly criticized for failing to recognize that he lost, for claiming that the presidency was stolen from him. But he and his followers, some with their rightly ridiculed conspiracy theories had good reason to not believe the media’s account of the election. Despite refutation by judges Trump had appointed, even now they hold on to that belief. Some have explained away the many judges’ dismissal of Trump’s claims. Perhaps Giuliani claims were silly, but the judges seemed to rule on his claims awfully quickly. I suspect that whether his claims were accurate or not was less important than the chaos that would be created if an ex-president was able to overturn his election defeat. I commend them for understanding that democracy is fragile. They were protecting our country from becoming a banana republic, going forward rather than becoming tangled in partisan grandstanding. There was work to be done. So goodbye Donald Trump. Shut up already. Stop being a sore loser and bragging about the great work you did as president. It is unseemly and makes you look like a fool.
How are the Democrats and their media allies responsible for January 6th? Yes, by their lies, but we are now learning it was a lot more than that, learning just how far they were willing to go trying to overturn Trump’s election. It was far more outrageous than Trump’s feeble attempts to undo the election. For two years Trump’s presidency was under investigation, the Democrats claiming his election was illegitimate, worse, brought about by collusion with Russia. So necessary was it to defend himself that it was hard for him to get anything done. We are learning from Prosecutor John Durham’s investigation that the phony intelligence fed to the FBI can be traced to Christopher Steele, a dark figure, we now learn, paid well by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on her opponent. Based on the flimsiest source, a conversation overheard at a bar, the Democrats went wild. The Republicans do similar things, hire professionals to find something, anything they can use. As they say, you throw mud at the wall and whatever sticks. Trump’s collusion stuck. They had him good. The FBI had a great time finding dirt they could use against the President. The FBI was far from innocent. They also conspired. We learned of FBI deputy assistant director Peter Strozack’s promise to his mistress that he would stop Trump. FBI plotting didn’t begin with Trump. We tend to forget that the secret “deep throat” insider that fed the information to Woodward and Bernstein that brought down President Nixon was the number 2 man in the FBI, William Mark Felt who was in charge of actually running the agency. After LBJ was brought down in disgrace, the nation was apparently wanting still another president to destroy. So Nixon’s fate was sealed by his moment in history. But back to my central argument. During the Russian collusion years many people began to notice that not only was the media regularly distorting the news. They were unrelenting. The lies poured out of them on most networks news not to mention CNN, CNBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, Public TV, just about every mainstream presenter of the news. (Fox Network also did a lot of lying, but they were supporters of Trump.) The obviousnes of media distortion affected how much people were willing to believe not only the information they were fed but what people in the swamp were capable of doing
When I was coming up in the 50’s the national news was on TV for 15 minutes nightly. There were no 24 hours news networks, frantically forced to find entertaining news. Not just about Trump. Hurricanes, earthquakes, global warming, everything communicated has had to be sensationalized to keep their viewers interested. Without entertaining news their ratings would sink to a point where they would have to return to 15 minutes. During my childhood what was going on in Washington didn’t matter all that much to Americans. The civil rights movement changed all that. When it was realized that the government could become the agent to right our wrongs, the media soon saw itself as the voice of moral purpose, and apparently their audience believed that the media should be the arbiter of moral commitment. When I was growing up as a Jew, the rabbi played that role. For Catholics it was their neighborhood priest. The media did a pretty good job on them. It was discovered that some priests are pedophiles. The actual number in Boston, where the story broke is probably 6%. In Pennsylvania dioceses it is claimed to be 1.7%. Even if the true number is 10 or 15%, the overwhelming number of priests are not preying on their congregants’ children. That didn’t matter. The moral authority of priests went kaput. The news media is the place where moral issues are aired and settled. There and in the outpouring of show biz people. Priests? No one turns to them for clarity.
Except for Passover Seders I am not a practicing Jew, but many years back, celebrating Rosh Hashana with my wife’s parents led me to a reform synagogue in Great Neck. The sermon was given by their lesbian rabbi who didn’t mention the Torah once. She quoted Op Ed articles from the New York Times again and again.
Was Trump’s election stolen from him? About a half percent of me thinks it is possible. I don’t think the media and Democrats are capable of pulling off that kind of lying and conspiring. But then the lying that has gone on by politicians and the media is well beyond anything I previously suspected was possible. So more than half a percent of me thinks ‘who knows?’ I wouldn’t dare raise that possibility in public. It would make me seem to be the fool. But maybe I am chicken to look further and maybe I am too busy with the time remaining for me to be drawn into that morass.
But I can see how an idealistic and intelligent person could believe the election could be stolen. And that there were probably many of these good people at the rally. They believed they they were saving our precious democracy just as those on the left worry and sometimes act to save their country. There were also crazy men in that mob, and shrewd politicos looking to exploit any opportunity. And let us not forget hotheads. They are ever present on the Left and the Right, too easily finding situations where they can let fly their hatred.
But I blame the Democrats and the media for 90% of it. Without their relentless plotting and lying as they tried to overthrow Donald Trump, without it being obvious to millions of people, mainstream people would not have been at that rally. They would have treated claims of a stolen election as nonsense. That would have left only a few hundred people demonstrating on Jan 6th, passionate and nutty people. Awareness of the incredible lies of the mainstream media and Democrats over the course of the Trump presidency made Trump’s claims not only plausible, but apparently, to many millions of people, likely. 50,000 of them took to the streets. Without the outrageous behavior that preceded it, there would have been no Jan 6 rebellion, no phenomenon to explain. So yes, I blame the Democrats.