On the Failed Insurrection by Domestic Terrorists

Its been a little over a week since the United States Capitol –the most sacred building and most well-known symbol of American democracy– which was holding a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 presidential election results, was attacked by an unholy alliance of far-right groups: white supremacist groups, QAnon conspiracy groups, and by extremist MAGA cult followers. The one thing neo-Nazis, Confederate sympathizers, and MAGA cultists all have in common, aside from their ignorance and bigotry, is Donald Trump.

They were brought to Capitol by Trump and his co-conspirators. Since losing the election, Trump has tried every legal avenue available to contest the election results.  Despite losing in the contested states, losing every court case, and having the election results certified by every state in the country, they spewed their dangerous propaganda: the election was rigged by widespread voter fraud. Remember, Trump said months before the election that if he didn’t win, the election was rigged. Trump never conceded the election, which all but ensured there would be no peaceful transition of power. 

Of course, there was never a shred of evidence to support any widespread voter fraud. It was all a lie. Trump’s lawyers didn’t make a single legal argument of voter fraud in any of the dozens of local, state, and federal courthouses they appealed to. And yet, the right-wing “news” media and the social media platforms pushed this lie without having any basis in reality. With every case lost in court, they didn’t and couldn’t accept the inevitable: Trump lost and it wasn’t even close, despite the record turnout. 

Trump and his sycophants lured a crowd to Washington on the date Congress was constitutionally bound to certify the election results. In the days leading up to the event, people like Ted Cruz compared Trump supporters to the “patriots at Bunker Hill” and “Valley Forge.” On the morning of January 6, Rudy Giuliani inflamed the crowd by saying the members of Congress who wouldn’t overturn the election would face “trial by combat.” Donald Trump, Jr. said they were stealing the election and taking away their country. Trump went on with the “stop the steal” theme and told his followers they had to be “strong” and that they were never going to take back their country with “weakness.” Trump continued his incitement, “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you won’t have a country anymore.”

They used this language like a Mafia crime family giving a kill order to incite the crowd. Instead of “I need to kill this person,” they say “I need you to take care of this person.” Michael Cohen, in his congressional testimony a few years ago, said this is how Trump gives an order with criminal intent. He implies what he wants done but never directly says it.

This wasn’t some spontaneous peaceful protest that organically got out of control. It was a planned and coordinated effort to threaten, take hostage, and likely kill members of Congress who weren’t willing to break their oath to the constitution and essentially anoint Donald Trump as America’s first dictator. Make no mistake: this is the exact opposite of a democratic process –it’s American fascism.

The rabid mob laid siege to the Capitol Building. They broke through the suspiciously-light security and eventually breached the Capitol perimeter. One of the Capitol police officers was murdered with an American flag. One group was on scaffolding trying to replace the American Flag with a MAGA flag. 

As chaos reigned outside, Vice President Pence was ushered off the Senate floor. The crowd was calling for Pence to be hanged. They even constructed a gallows just outside the building. The mob stormed passed the last lines of defense and made their way into the Capitol rotunda. By then, most members of Congress had been brought to an undisclosed location inside the building. As the mob was inside the building, Trump, who was reportedly “enthusiastically” watching the event unfold on TV from the White House, refused to activate the National Guard. It was Vice President Pence, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator McConnell who intervened to activate the National Guard. 

The mob had their way with the building. They destroyed property, ransacked Democratic members’ offices, took selfies and live-streamed the anarchy, and some hunted for members of Congress with zip-tie handcuffs in hand and with guns holstered to their hips. 

The full picture of what exactly happened is still being uncovered. How was the Capitol left so vulnerable? How did the mob know where to go when inside the notoriously difficult to navigate Capitol? Why did Trump make last minute changes to the Pentagon just a couple weeks before the attack? Why did some members of Congress report seeing what looked like “reconnaissance tours” being given by some Republican members of Congress the day before the attack? Why did some Democratic members of Congress have their panic buttons removed from their offices before the attack? We’ll understand how deep the plot against America truly was in the coming days, weeks, and months.

Congress reconvened later on in the night of January 6 to certify the election. Despite just having had an insurrection, some members of Congress still spoke of the importance of “free and fair” elections, implying this election was not free and fair. Their rhetoric was of course toned down to protect themselves. Hours and days earlier, it was a “rigged” and “fraudulent” election. Many Republicans, like Jim Jordan, still refuse to say the election wasn’t rigged or fraudulent. These are the same Republicans who threw fuel into the fire Trump started. They’re now being referred to as the “Sedition Caucus.” 

Just days after the January 6th insurrection, the House voted to impeach Trump a second time for inciting an insurrection. Trump’s not only the first president to be impeached twice, but he’s the first president to be impeached for inciting an insurrection. The Senate will hold a conviction trial after Biden is sworn into office. If Trump is convicted, he’ll never be able to hold public office again. If he’s not in prison in 2024, and isn’t convicted by the Senate, the 14th Amendment may still prevent him from ever holding office for being guilty of sedition. The same applies to any public officials who gave “…aid or comfort to the enemies…” 

There have been only a few events in American history that resulted in a sudden paradigm shift. The Empire of Japan attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Al Qaeda flying commercial airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. All of these attacks came from the hands of foreign enemies. They were paradigm-shifting events: the world was a very different place on September 12, 2001. 

The insurrection on January 6, 2021 is also a paradigm-shifting event. It came from within. There’s a reason the founders drafted the oath of office as supporting and defending “the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Anyway you look at it, this was a coup attempt –at best, a passive coup and at worst (and most likely) a coordinated coup from the top down. 

The mob who stormed the Capitol are traitors. America is a democracy, which has held for over 240 years. January 6, 2021 was the closest we’ve ever came to losing the democratic republic we’ve been fortunate enough to inherit. Just think of the millions of lives that have been lost defending our freedom and our democracy for generations. All the blood that has been shed, orphans created, and family’s shattered to protect and defend our democratic values and ideals. This wasn’t just an attack on the Capitol. This was an attack on all of us. It was the People’s House that was stormed. It was our elected officials who were terrorized and hunted down.

The MAGA and Trump flags may have been a symbol of bigotry, ignorance, and cult of personality, but it’s now much more sinister than that. On January 6, 2021, it became a symbol of treason and will remain so until the end of time. It’s now officially synonymous with the Confederate flag: a seditious faction that betrayed and threatened American democracy. You may not have been part of the insurrection, but if you brandish that flag in a post-1/6 world, you’re supporting treason.

We’ve entered a new era of American history some time ago, which this event underscored. It’s not especially shocking to some that the insurrection happened. I’ve been writing for years now saying how much of a threat Trump is to our national security and American democracy. I’ve said many times Trump would not go quietly. For those who are students of history and those who are well-informed citizens, this was not as shocking of an event as it should have been. The writing has been on the walls for some time. However, I never thought it would have unfolded the way that it did. I never thought we’d stare down the abyss for hours, unsure of how it would all unfold.

The FBI has warned of threats in all 50 states and another planned attack in Washington D.C. I frankly won’t breathe even a small sigh of relief until President-elect Biden is safely sworn in, Biden can appoint trusted and competent officials to our government agencies, and we begin the process of figuring out where we go from here. These domestic terrorists have stained our democracy, but they haven’t broken it. That was proven when the Congress reconvened and voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden as our next president. They failed and democracy sustained. The next time we may not be so lucky, which is why we need to ensure through executive and legislative actions that this will never happen again.

John Adams, the second president and the first president to peacefully surrender the power of the presidency over to a member of an opposing political party, wrote the following on the fragility of democracies:

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”  

Remember: the election isn’t over until all the votes are counted.

Here we are. It’s the eve of the election and there’s great anxiety in the country over the words and actions of Trump and his sycophants. Trump has consistently refused to even say he’d accept the results of the election if Biden wins. In fact, Trump has been saying for months now that the only way Biden wins is if the election is rigged. Needless to say, this is dangerous rhetoric, which is becoming more concerning as we’re just hours away from Election Day.

Remember, things are going to be crazy tomorrow (and likely crazy for some time), but the election isn’t over until *all* the votes have been counted. There is no law stating that a winner must be decided on Election Day. In fact, the only winners on Election Day are merely projections by news organizations. They are not official; they are not certified. With so many people voting absentee due to the pandemic, it’s going to take some states at least a few day if not weeks to count all the votes. So do not be alarmed if a winner hasn’t been projected by tomorrow night.


Trump told insiders that he’s planning to declare victory if he’s ahead tomorrow night. We need to strongly and consistently push back against any illegitimate declarations of victory. With millions of ballots needing to be counted in several key states, he would be undermining the electoral process. Whether he loses by a low margin in some swing states or is absolutely demolished, he’s not going to concede.


This will be the first time in American history that a president hasn’t conceded an election, disregarding the a bedrock of our system: the peaceful transfer of power.We need to be vigilante and remind people in our circles about the facts.

It is not the time to become complacent after Election Day. In fact, we’ll need to double down on our commitment to see this through. If Biden wins the electoral college and Trump starts trying to cry unsubstantiated “voter fraud” or “irregularity” claims, he’s in effect attempting a coup to hold onto power despite the American people voting him out.

We cannot let this happen. We will not be the generation that let our democracy fall to fascism. This is our country: government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And we will not let it “perish from the earth,” as Abraham Lincoln said during his Gettysburg Address.


We will inform our friends and family of the facts and put pressure on public and private leaders to denounce it. The battle is not over until Biden is sworn in. American democracy is self governance: its power comes from the People. Therefore, we have the burden to not only vote, but to ensure the integrity of the election is maintained —especially when our leaders are unwilling to honor the oath they swore to protect and defend the constitution.

Don’t interfere with anything in the constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.

—Abraham Lincoln

Voting: The Last Stand for Democracy

The United States is in a dangerous, unpredictable situation. Trump, as I’ve been writing about in this blog for sometime now, is a clear and present danger to American democracy. He’s systematically been chipping away at the institutions that are designed to protect us from tyranny. 

He’s proven time and time again to be incapable of leading the country, unwilling to represent the whole country, and more than willing to shatter norm after norm on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. He has no empathy for the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their lives in this pandemic –most of which were preventable had he acted based on the science and with the full force of the federal government. To this day, approaching 7 months into this pandemic, we still have no national strategy or plan. 

The checks and balances in the federal government haven’t worked. For Republicans, the concept of “country over party” is part of the old order. Trump is the Republican Party. His campaign literally has no platform other than getting him re-elected. 

The stakes for the 2020 election could not be overemphasized. The literal fate of our democracy is on the line. Think of the millions of Americans who died fighting to protect and defend this country. According to Trump, these Americans were “losers” and “suckers.” This is nothing new, just look at how he attacked the late John McCain and by extension, the entire POW/MIA organization: he’s likes soldiers “who don’t get captured,” not to mention his attacks on Gold Star families. When news broke that Russia was putting bounties on the heads of American soldiers, he ignored it. Months later, he still hasn’t said a thing about it. He hasn’t said a single bad thing about Putin, a man who views America as his mortal enemy.

Trump’s an agent of chaos, as we all see on a day-by-day basis. An entire coalition of mental health professionals have told us he’s a malignant narcissist, also known as a sociopath. His former officials and even his family members have spoke out, warning us of how dangerous he is. 

Unfortunately for us, his supporters don’t care what he says or does. They’re so brainwashed by their right-wing media sources, Facebook groups, and from Trump himself, they either dismiss any negative information as “fake news” or if it’s irrefutable, they twist and contort it to fit their worldview, completely detached from reality. So there’s no swaying them. They’ll vote for Trump no matter what. He could declare himself dictator tomorrow and it would be hard to find MAGA followers who would have a problem with it. 

Trump and his Republican thugs have been actively subverting the bedrock of democracy: free and fair elections. They’ve engaged in gerrymandering, closing polling stations in parts of the country likely to vote Democratic, by literally destroying the United States Postal Service’s infrastructure to slow down mail in voting, by casting unsupported claims of voter fraud, and by refusing to pass legislation in the Senate to protect our elections from foreign interference. 

The fate of American democracy is in our hands. We cannot depend on some group of federal officials to save us. The only way out of this is by voting. It’s our civic duty to get out and vote. In 2016, over 100 millions eligible voters didn’t turn out to vote. Trump got 60 million votes and Clinton got 60.5 million votes. We need to tap into that massive group of 100 million eligible voters. We all know people in our lives who belong to this group.

If you know what’s at stake and understand the consequences, you have an obligation to do everything in your power to get as many of your family and friends registered to vote. We need to be more assertive than simply giving a friendly reminder. We need to show them how to register, follow up with their registration process, and help them follow through with actually casting their vote. 

The best option is voting in person, obviously making sure to take precautions such as wearing a mask. If you think you’ll have trouble voting on Election Day, consider voting early. If you have to vote by mail, it’s critical you submit your ballot as early as possible.

We need to communicate all of this to our family and friends who may be politically apathetic. Some people are under the illusion that a fascist state can’t happen in America –thinking that’s just something that happens in other countries or not understanding how civics works. If you’re reading this, you’re not one of the apathetic. We just need to convince the people around us that we’re on the verge on losing our country.

Trump has already expressed he’s not going to accept the results of the election if he loses. He just told a reporter earlier in the week that he’ll “have to see what happens.” This is absolutely unprecedented, yet in Trump’s America it was just another Monday. 

We cannot depend on Congress or the Supreme Court to work this out. We need to have an overwhelming voter turnout to cast this sociopath out of power. There’s no top-level working group who’s going to miraculously save us. We have to save ourselves by doing our civic duty and voting. We cannot be the generation of Americans who stood by and did nothing. This is truly the last stand for democracy. Once we lose it, it’s gone.

If you’ve ever read a history book or watched a movie about some existential conflict and thought to yourself, “If I was in that situation, I would do x, y,  or z.” Well, this is your real-life chance to be a part of saving the country. This isn’t hyperbole, it’s the reality we’re living in. Remember what Abraham Lincoln said during at Gettysburg, addressing a country in a state of existential crisis. Those same people who died preserving the Union and the hundreds of thousands who died defending our constitution –our way of life– “shall not have died in vain.”

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address. November 19, 1863