Opinion: Trump to blame for violence at U.S. Capitol

Ella McAlister, Leady Copy Editor/Asst. Editor

On Jan. 6, violence broke out at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. when a swarm of Donald Trump’s supporters decided to boycott the “stolen” election. This protest commenced after a tweet from our own president saying, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, be wild,” talking about his “Save America Rally” held on the Ellipse.

Five reporters from USA Today stated in the article, “What happened in D.C. yesterday? How a Trump mob stormed the Capitol forcing Washington into lockdown,” that during the Trump rally, “Trump spoke to them for more than an hour, insisting, without evidence, that the election had been stolen.” This was an outrage for his supporters, which is what caused them to raid the Capitol later that afternoon.

Over the span of three hours, thousands of Trump’s supporters confronted the police on the steps of the Capitol, headed for the House and the Senate, caused a lockdown from 6 p.m. Wednesday evening to 6 a.m. Thursday morning, and terrorized other citizens. Five people died that day, about 15 officers were injured, and more than 70 people were arrested. One of the dead was a woman fatally shot by Capitol Police.

Personally, I am embarrassed for this country, but I am honestly not shocked that this happened. I feel that Trump shows no intention of feeling wrong for provoking the actions of the citizens who support him. After all, he is the one who tweeted to “Be wild” in the first place. As the president of the United States, he should have known that spreading fake news of the election being “stolen” from him would cause mass chaos. In fact, shouldn’t he have thought about this after his own experiences with “fake news?”

Greg Myre from npr.org stated in his article “Where Was the Security When A Mob Stormed The Capitol?” that “This was the third major rally in recent weeks to support President Trump’s fictional claim that the presidential election was rigged. The most recent one in December included fights in the streets, with several people stabbed.” This proves that Trump’s actions have caused much violence before, yet he hasn’t made any effort to appease his supporters’ reactions.

It is remarkably hypocritical for this group to break out in this much violence over rumors, while they insulted supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement for protesting injustices that have actually happened and are continuing to happen.

According to Suzanne Barlyn on insurancejournal.com, “Taxpayers will pay for damages because federal agencies rarely carry insurance,” meaning that taxpayers are having to pay for the damages done by our own president, which is absolutely absurd.

Additionally, D.C. is having to take drastic measures to protect our Capitol from more violence. Paul D. Shinkman, part of usnews.com, stated that “The 20,000 National Guard troops preparing for pro-Trump demonstrations this weekend in the nation’s capital will be armed and permitted to use lethal force, the headquarters overseeing them says, marking a striking escalation in the way authorities there are preparing for repeat violence after last week’s deadly mob.” This swarm of people caused so much unnecessary turmoil for this nation that the Capitol has to have constant security 24 hours each day.

Overall, these dreadful events caused not only an immeasurable amount of fear and chaos, but also a 15-day public emergency, which will go through the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.