The rhetoric of these people was revolutionary: there was talk of “crossing the Rubicon.” A crowd chanted “Hang Mike Pence.” Somebody erected makeshift gallows. Some grandiosely claimed, “The storm is coming,” while Alex Jones promised that “1776 will commence again.” In a similar vein Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert controversially tweeted “Today is 1776” while events were still unfolding. For all that, the event was far from a bona fide coup attempt. Inside the building, a protester responds to a reporter’s question, “What’s the plan? I have no idea.” Nick Fuentes, host of America First, described his own involvement in the event: “I was joking about storming the Capitol. We were marching in the parade and I was saying ‘we’re gonna get in there’. I was saying that basically ironically.” Watching the Baked Alaska livestream, it was hard not to view this event as a cross between a goofy carnival and cringeworthy fiasco. A videogame gone terribly wrong.
Imagine storming the Capital of the United States as the government of the country literally fucking flees and then just wandering around the building confused about why the level isn’t ending. — Kantbot
The QAnon Viking did not in fact seize power. There were a few broken windows. They didn’t burn anything down. They didn’t even leave any graffiti. People got bored and left peacefully. As one Twitter account put it, “the most heavily armed population in the world attempted an ‘insurrection’ completely unarmed.” One police officer was filmed posing for selfies with Trump supporters inside the Capitol. “Any chance I can get you guys to leave the Senate Wing?” a police officer asks. “We will,” comes the polite answer. “Occupy, do not destroy,” chant others, “do not break anything.” Obvious parallels have been drawn with the occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol building in 2011, or when heavily armed Black Panthers walked into the California state Capitol building in 1967, or when protesters pushed past a police line on Capitol Hill while protesting against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. It was, by any fair definition, a mostly peaceful protest. Most of the people who entered the Capitol simply walked through an open door and took some selfies. They will now be hunted down.
Even libertarians: A Patriot Act against patriots
A giant federal apparatus built to fight al Qaeda will shift some capacity to fighting you… You cheered on lawyers who said they’d release the Kraken. But now you’ve poked Leviathan. — Nicholas Grossman
Not so long ago, in June of 2020, an editor at the New York Times was forced out for publishing an op-ed entitled Send in the Troops in the midst of nationwide riots. “Running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger,” the papers own journalists furiously tweeted. In July Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped. … First Amendment speech should never be met with one-sided violence from federal agents acting as Trump’s secret police.” Now the troops are here and journalists couldn’t care less — 25,000 “stormtroopers” locked down Washington DC for Joe Biden’s inauguration — more than in the entirety of Iraq and Afghanistan combined, and larger than the entire military personnel of some European countries. To Wolf Biltzer, Washington was reminiscent of “war zones I saw in Baghdad or Mosul or Falluja.” In downtown Washington a green zone was established, a term previously used for a fortified area of Baghdad during the occupation of Iraq. Such measures are a sign of a deeply dysfunctional society: this is a regime afraid of its own people.
The pretence that this was a serious attempt at armed insurrection must be stoked for political expediency. This is a Reichstag fire moment. Having inflated the alleged threat, “making sure something like this never happens again” will be the pretext for an ideological crackdown. It was “one of the darkest days in the history of our nation,” according to Joe Biden. Moral panic, histrionics, demonization and fearmongering are in full display. “This is Liberals’ 9/11,” Glenn Greenwald pointed out, warning of “a new War on Terror has begun, domestically.” Democrats are explicitly comparing the Capitol breach (during which protesters killed, at most, one person) to 9/11, when Al-Qaeda killed 2,977 civilians. The target of this new internal war on terror is not radical Islam, it’s Trump voters and any adjacent political movements, including mainstream conservatism.
Hillary Clinton argued for leaders to immediately pursue “new criminal laws at the state and federal levels that hold white supremacists accountable.” For Biden too, passing a law against domestic terrorism has been declared a top priority. What is it that is currently legal that needs to be rendered illegal? Press Secretary Psaki announced the “building of a NSC capability to counter domestic violent extremism” as well as “support efforts to prevent radicalization” and “disrupt violent extremist networks.” Kamala has argued for a “red flag” law to seize the firearms of White nationalists. On Twitter some Americans responded with the words “about damn time,” perhaps picturing violent skinheads and militant Neo-Nazis. Yet the definition of who counts as a White supremacist has been wildly expanded. It’s a term that has consistently been used to describe Donald Trump.
One talking head repeatedly appeared on CNN calling Trump “the leader of a terrorist organization.” Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain, suggested on The View: “I’m not against sending these people to Gitmo. … They should be treated the same way we treat Al-Qaeda.” In the eyes of the mainstream discourse, MAGA supporters have moved from being “deplorables” to “domestic terrorists” — for sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s chair. A BBC journalist asked whether Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley “are guilty of attempted insurrection” (insurrection is defined as a violent uprising against an authority or government) simply for discussing possible election fraud. The chair of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security called for the two GOP Senators to be put on the No Fly List. Sue Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, told PBS Newshour “there are elements of this that remind me of the rise of Islamic extremism. … There are probably a fair number of lessons that we learnt against foreign terrorism that we can apply here.” Waterboarding? Drones? Black sites? John Brennan, former director of the CIA, compared MAGA supporters to “insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas,” and described the Biden administration as “moving in laser-like fashion” to “root out” what he deemed “an unholy alliance of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”
Representative Steve Cohen told CNN he was worried the troops deployed to protect the inauguration may themselves be a threat — because they are White and male. Perhaps this explains why the New York Times reported that the troops were armed with unloaded assault rifles. The FBI vetted all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington — 12 were removed from duty. The National Guard is being purged of political dissidents. “If there’s any indication that any of our soldiers or airmen are expressing things that are extremist views” chief of the National Guard Bureau explained, “it’s either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately.” Biden’s defense secretary, who is African, pledged to rid the military of “racists and extremists.” The New York Times reports: “Defense Department officials say they are looking into stepping up the monitoring of social media postings from service members.” While the leadership of the military and the police long ago gave in to PC shibboleths, they are the two remaining institutions where some of the rank and file maintain some allegiance to traditional America. We are now seeing the total consolidation of power, ridding institutions of any last vestige of non-woke opinions.
American democracy in crisis: Illegitimacy and the normalisation of political violence
Both sides have challenged the legitimacy of the other: the end result is widespread lack of faith in the American political system. Hillary Clinton deemed Trump an “illegitimate president” and, sounding like a member of a rebel insurgency, declared herself “part of the resistance.” Even now, Hillary is still obsessed with Russian conspiracy theories: “I hope we do find out who he’s beholden to, who pulls his strings. I would love to see his phone record to see if he was talking to Putin the day that the insurgents invaded our capital.” Jimmy Carter claimed Trump “lost the election” in 2016 and was “put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” while Nancy Pelosi tweeted “Our election was hijacked.” Russiagate became Russiagategate: the investigation into collusion was itself scandalous. Disputing election results was normalized by the long-running hysteria of the once-respectable press. The peaceful transfer of power is a key element of American democracy. It is, however, a norm that had already been violated: on inauguration day in 2017, Reuters reported:
At one flash point, a protester hurled an object through the passenger window of a police van, which sped away in reverse as demonstrators cheered. Earlier, activists used chunks of pavement and baseball bats to shatter the windows of a Bank of America branch and a McDonald’s outlet. … Multiple vehicles were set on fire, including a black limousine. A knot of people dragged garbage cans into a street a few blocks from the White House and set them ablaze, later throwing a red cap bearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan into the flames. … The various protest groups scattered around the city chanted anti-Trump slogans and carried signs with slogans including “Trump is not president” and “Make Racists Afraid Again.”
The day also saw the largest single-day protest in US history — against a man who had been duly elected. In 2020, when Trump had to be moved to the White House bunker due to violent protests, there was at least an air of sedition. Businesses in Washington DC boarded up ahead of the 2020 election in anticipation of a Trump victory leading to chaos. Biden himself recognized that another Trump win would lead to violence: in the midst of Black Lives Matter riots, he asked rhetorically: “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?” Black Lives Matter set a precedent, and radicalized the other side.
But now it’s 2021, and for politicians of both parties, the Capitol incursion has been used as an excuse to make grandiloquent speeches about “our democracy.” Unlike Black Lives Matter, who targeted random businesses and innocent civilians, the stormers took the battle directly to the heart of the American power. Nancy Pelosi described the protest as “gleeful desecration of the US Capitol which is the temple of our American democracy.” It isn’t just a building, it’s a totemic symbol. We would all like to believe it’s a symbol of a venerable democracy, the hallowed and imposing forum of distinguished and eminent leaders of the greatest country on earth. The truth is this is the shell of a dead civilization, the creature that lived inside was long ago transplanted to the margins. The new occupiers have spent the last year attacking American history as irredeemably racist, yet now cast themselves as the true patriots standing up against traitors to America.
Regardless of what one makes of Trump’s claims of voter fraud, in a far more fundamental sense, American democracy really is rigged. American politics is unrecognizable as a result of demographic change. The real coup happened slowly — the real insurrection was decades of open borders. These people didn’t steal one single election — they stole the entire country. Had only Whites voted, David Duke would have won Louisiana in 1991. America, far more diverse today than in the early 90s, has disenfranchised the historic White population through decades of mass migration. The protesters at the Capitol seemed to realize this: they can be heard saying “this is our country” and “we’re taking our country back.” The election was rigged by far more than voter fraud:
The election was rigged by the censoring of popular voices and opinions on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google. … It was rigged by the corrupt and illegitimate system of campaign finance where a handful of billionaire donors determine the fate of millions. … It was rigged through decades of flooding America with tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants … who have openly bragged for years about their intention of outnumbering White, native-born Americans in national elections.
In 2016 people voted for a border wall and the deportation of illegal immigrants. They got endless money for Israel. One of Trump’s few achievements was a much-needed executive order banning Critical Race Theory from the federal government. It was blocked by a federal judge. The courts can topple clear democratic mandates. The stormers didn’t desecrate a noble temple of democracy. If it was sacrilege, as some claimed, it was sacrilege against an anti-White plutocracy that hates us. These are the people that cheered on Black Lives Matter as they burnt down many of America’s largest cities. Democracy is constrained by the mores of the liberal elite: that explains the popularity of terms like Uniparty to describe the Republican and Democrat establishment, and deep state to describe the vast and immovable Washington bureaucracy, all sharing an identical worldview of radical political correctness, an ineluctable woke blob that cannot be voted out of office.
Biden has talked constantly about uniting the country but his agenda is bound to antagonize much of the country. The god-know-how-many-million illegal immigrants Trump failed to deport will now be given citizenship. “There’s a big difference between equality and equity,” tweeted Kamala, along with a deranged video. Across the entire federal government, equality of opportunity will be replaced by equality of outcomes—an implicit acknowledgement that the IQ gap for Blacks and Latinos is too large to overcome with educational opportunities. Biden already followed through with his Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity. In a recent speech he promised “Our priority will be Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American owned small businesses, women-owned businesses.” It will be the first administration, according to Axios, “to construct economic policy around issues like race, gender equality and climate change, rather than around traditional indicators like gross domestic product or deficit ratios.” Andrew Sullivan concluded, “America is no longer about individual freedom; it’s about identity group power, and its constant management by government.”
People are right to be angry.
I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America. … The world watches America—the only great power in history made up of people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice—to see if our experiment in democracy can work. To see if we can do what no other nation has ever done. … The jury’s still out.
So begins Obama’s post-presidency autobiography. The jury just came in. From LA to Ferguson, riots have, for the best part of a century, been an exclusively African-American activity. Blacks fight for their self-interest through violence, Whites write strongly-worded letters or irate tweets. White people have, for decades, responded to every indignity with supine submissiveness. The Capitol stormers surprised us all: they actually did something. They reminded us all that Whites can still fight back. For a single day, White people stood up for themselves, and that is why the entire establishment is furious. White Americans aren’t going to be silently shuffled off the stage of history.