A Libertarian Take On The Capitol Siege

January 6th, 2021 will be a day that will live in infamy. Pictures and video from the siege on the Capitol resemble scenes from developing countries such as Colombia and Egypt, but these scenes were from the United States of America, the beacon of freedom and democracy. And yet those who stormed the Capitol called themselves by the liberal title of Libertarian.

As a Libertarian, those that stormed the Capitol haven’t the slightest clue what a libertarian is and what their actions resemble. Political violence is to not be tolerated and is to be shunned by all those that have any form of intelligence in a society. When becoming a Libertarian, I took an oath to not use violence for political gains. Those that laid siege to the Capitol – built on the ideas of liberty, reason, and the rule of law – did not care nor understand any of those ideals.

The insurrectionists who desecrated the most important building in the United States fought not to depose a dictator, oppose a new authoritarian decree, or revolt against a new war – no, they went to the Capitol to oppose an election certified by every state and to support a President that has become increasingly against the rule of law. While the putsch failed, it will have long-lasting effects that we have yet to fully understand. The Bier Hall putsch among many other similar failed attempts in history did not extinguish a movement or idea, often it was the mere beginning of something bigger.

The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has condemned the activities that took place on the 6th and I stand with the party on this even before they put out a message. I have yet to see the RNC, DNC, nor LNC put out a press release yet. I realize these things take time to craft and put out politically, but time is of the essence and a strong handed message is imperative.

I did not vote for Trump nor Biden, I voted for Jo Jorgensen, but because she lost does not mean I go to the Capitol and cry my heart out with blood and lead. To mature is to not accept authority and the way things are, but is to use reason and logic when no one else is. To devolve to the situation seen on the 6th is a backstab to the reason why this country exists thematically.

The only path forward is pragmatism and unity. Biden certainly has his work cut out for him.

Trump Supporters Lay Siege to Capitol Building In An Effort To Disrupt Electoral Vote Count.

Federal law states that every four years, after the general election, Congress shall meet in a joint session in order to certify the vote count of the Electoral College and officially name the incoming president. In typical years, this comes after the outgoing president has conceded the race, and is used as a photo-op for the president-elect and vice president-elect, as well as their supporters in Congress. This year, on the other hand, it comes after weeks of unproven voter fraud allegations from supporters of President Trump, claiming that the election was “stolen”.

After all voter fraud allegations were thrown out in court due to lack of evidence, over 100 Republican lawmakers announced that they would object to the Electoral College vote count during the joint session of Congress. It was clear that this would not be enough to overturn the election results, so President Trump asked Vice President Pence to overturn the election results himself, something which the Vice President has no authority to do. Pence published a statement this morning explaining that though he agrees with the President’s concerns about the election results, he cannot constitutionally overturn the results himself.

Prior to the beginning of the certification process in Congress, President Trump held a rally in Washington, DC, where he claimed that if Vice President Pence did the “right thing,” he would be given another term. 

The certification process began at 1:00 pm today, and though the vote counts from Alabama and Alaska-both states that voted for President Trump-were accepted with no issue, the first challenge came with the announcement of the vote in Arizona. This prompted a separation of the House of Representatives and Senate to enter debate on the issue. Soon after, protesters outside the Capitol began to break through barriers and storm the steps of the Capitol building. As crowds began to gather on the steps, others forced their way into the building, some breaking windows and climbing through them to enter. 

As rioters made their way through the building-many wearing Trump campaign memorabilia or carrying Confederate flags-lawmakers were sent into lockdown in their offices and instructed to wait until they were able to safely evacuate. Representatives were even given gas masks to protect themselves from tear gas that was deployed inside in an attempt to disperse rioters. One rioter, whose identity has not been released, was shot inside the Capitol and was brought to a local hospital where she has since passed away. Several law enforcement officers were also injured.

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC set a curfew for the city of 6:00 pm, before asking for assistance of the National Guard and defense from neighboring states. After the curfew went into effect, law enforcement officers were able to secure the Capitol building, and Congress has resumed debate on the acceptance of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes. Members of Congress expect the certification to be finished tonight.

The Saddest Day of Our Democracy

Only in today’s hyper-toxic political environment could the events of January 6th, 2020 occur. While over 100 Congressional Republicans, 10+ Senators, and the President objected to the valid results of the 2020 election, Americans who supported the President and everything he said became indoctrinated into his false premises. Let me repeat myself- Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the next President and Vice President of the United States. They won by substantial margins in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia. When questions arose as to the validity of the ballots cast, Team Trump used their legal rights and objected in court. They lost – a lot. To date over 60 petitions had been filed in courts across the country with a grand total of 0 resulting in a change of vote count. The legal process should have and did end there. What came afterward has been nothing short of despicable, egregious, and dangerous. Refusing to admit defeat, the President and his cronies began peddling misinformation- that the election was rigged (it wasn’t), or that Hugo Chavez (a deceased Dictator of Venezuela) had conspired with voting machines among other lies. With these lies repeated over and over again, one by one people who voted for the President felt disenfranchised and angry- and wanted action.

With Congress meeting to certify the Electoral College vote on January 6th, the President and his loyalists saw this moment as one last chance to attempt to overturn the election, a tactic completely unconstitutional and dangerous. His calls to overturn the election reverberated throughout the party, with cynical Senators such as Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) joining the President in his claims in an attempt to win over his base of support. Leading up to today’s Joint Session of Congress, was a scheduled rally of protesters to try and convince their congress members to “object” to the results of the 2020 election. This goal became realized when President Trump joined the protesters and spoke in front of Capitol Hill this morning, further fanning the flames of hatred towards those willing to uphold the rule of law.

Emboldened by their President and members of Congress trying to score political gains, many protesters stormed the capital, breaking through barricades and smashing windows, forcing a shutdown and evacuation of the buildings. Amidst the chaos and dysfunction, the most radical (relatively speaking) of the group broke into the Senate chamber, rushing the majority member’s chair and jumping from the scaffolding. Where was the President during this moment of domestic terrorism? Tweeting. The tweets and videos have since been taken down due to the risk of instigating more violence, with one of them criticizing VP Pence for refusing to object. All while people overcame Capital Police and lay siege on our Capital.

Never before in the history of our nation have we had a President or major candidate for the nation’s highest office refuse to concede an election. Never before have we had domestic terrorists lay siege upon our nation’s Capital. Today is truly a sad, despicable day.