Two days before the right-wing insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, I warned that the rally could easily turn violent, and said Trump had a duty to tamp down the violent spirit. The president did just the opposite. Herewith, that column from before the rally (the last paragraphs contain the warnings), and also the official editorial of the Washington Examiner as the assault was still taking place. (Links to the full pieces embedded in the headlines.)

Gohmert and Trump risk a dangerous conflagration (Jan. 4): Calm down, everybody. We do our elections in the United States peacefully, thank you very much.

This reminder is necessary after right-wing Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert warned Friday afternoon that “riots and violence in the street … as violent as antifa and BLM” might result from several courts ruling against his lawsuit challenging the presidential election results on behalf of President Trump. This was the second time in two months Gohmert had suggested street violence might occur….

Now, a major pro-Trump rally is scheduled in the nation’s capital for Jan. 6, the day Congress counts the Electoral College votes. Trump, with his usual heedlessness of propriety, is promising not that it will be peaceful, but that it “will be wild.”

Lawful demonstrations are fine. Protests are fine. Being “wild” at a protest isn’t fine at all. Trump and Gohmert and every protest organizer and major supporter should be going to great lengths, even as they encourage attendance, to tamp down the level of anger and to insist on non-confrontational tactics and, in general, on decorum. Just as the left-wing protests last year were always wrong whenever they devolved into looting, arson, and rioting, so too would it be wrong for this week’s right-wing activity to become violent….

Trump and the mob were despicable (Jan. 6): The mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was engaged in nothing less than a seditious insurrection. Everyone who participated in the violence and lawlessness acted disgracefully. Officials who set the tone for the sedition, especially President Trump, acted even more disgracefully, as they are expected to know better, indeed to lead. …




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