Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash
Wednesday’s failed white nationalist coup at the U.S. Capitol was enacted by a mob who were called to action through a coordinated campaign of disinformation and lies; a planned, consistent narrative that explicitly sought to create the outcome of an assault on Congress to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College vote.
From the outset of his 2016 Presidential campaign, The President of the United States sought to discredit even the possibility of his own loss as a conspiracy against him, and after losing in 2020, took this fantasy to his supporters, amplified these falsehoods and tethered them to dangerous, unhinged illusions gaining power among low-information communities seeking to re-enforce their straw man hatred of the left. We then saw loyalist politicians in the GOP amplify his lies, lending them the political legitimacy of his party. Then, after months of escalating these lies, the President planned and staged a rally at the White House on January 6, the day Congress would certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory, to gather his most radicalized believers and send them to attack the Congress.
As the President launched his coordinated attack on our democracy through an humiliating, laughable attempt to overturn state elections, his supporters heeded his call to descend on Washington, DC. The individuals involved in the attack made plans with one another on social media platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to Reddit to Parler to Rumble, using these tools to radicalize others, escalate rhetoric, and most importantly, organize and plan the occupation of the US Capitol, which was the explicit goal they repeatedly articulated. We know what happened next.
In the aftermath of the attack, proof of on-site coordination at the Capitol are now coming into view. Using the chaos of a mass surge through multiple points of entry, a subset of the white nationalist mob were clearly collaborating to search for Congressional representatives. There are images of individual white nationalist terrorists in the Congressional chambers with zip tie handcuffs, seemingly prepared to restrain government leaders, seemingly collaborating on the floor of Congress. A gallows was erected on the Capitol grounds. Social media messages from and on-air interviews with participants in the riot have made clear the plan to capture and murder national leaders, including Vice President and Trumpist coward Mike Pence. When their efforts failed, the Capitol Police allowed them to walk away. Federal law enforcement are now working to identify and arrest them as they have scattered across the nation.
Trumpists remain unmoved. During the evening of this coordinated attack on our democracy, 147 Republicans walked through the desecrated halls of Congress in order to continue to foster and extend the President’s seditious plot by voting against the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral vote, aligning the power of their elected offices with the insurgent, white nationalist terrorist movement of Trumpism. How better to maintain the opportunity to continue to seek the delegitimization of the incoming Biden administration and prepare the nation for a relentless effort to obstruct American progress?
This is what an ACTUAL conspiracy looks like. This continues to be a coordinated alliance between white nationalist hate groups, QAnon, and domestic terrorists which has been incubated within the mainstream credibility of the Republican Party, fueled by the lies of a deranged President and his political allies, for the purpose of coordinating a violent attack on the Congress on behalf of the Executive branch in order to legitimize a fantasy about electoral fraud and discard the election to maintain Donald Trump’s power as President.
As always with Trumpism, the unhinged theories and fantasies of right wing nationalist movements are a form of nauseatingly obvious projection, providing transparent cover for the real-life actions of Trump and his community. Trumpism is, and always has been, entirely predicated on projection, from the tacky mirage of wealth and success as a façade to hide financial crime, to screams of political malfeasance about “her emails” providing cover for a Russian intelligence operation against the Democratic Party. This is a movement that sees a self-confessed sexual abuser, who was literally caught on camera ogling young women with an accused sex trafficker, as a champion in the fight against the sexual abuse of children. Of course, they are also aligned with traditional white supremacist terrorists, literal neo-Nazis who have found shelter and comfort in the racist enabling of Trumpism, with police forces across the nation making common cause with armed, violent nationalists, and the President cheering them on and ordering the continual brutalization of the left and people of color.
Trump’s willful lies about “Democrat(ic) cities” (aka communities of color) “dumping votes” in the dark of night are also a projection about Trump’s own efforts to dismantle free and fair elections through voter disenfranchisement, whether that be his collusion with his criminal Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in dismantling the United States Postal Service in order to not deliver mail-in votes in critical cities in swing states to his phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger seeking to coerce him into “finding” enough votes to overturn the results of Georgia’s already suppressed election.
Trumpism continues to conceal real conspiracy through lies and fiction, broadcasting fascist intention and plotting direct action out in the open while sowing fantasies that reenforce the narcissism of a growing community of self-certain believers. The Republican Party continues to not only align itself with these obvious lies, but to use them as cover to conspire with Trump to undermine the government. We cannot move on, we must fight back immediately with a coordinated action by the Department of Justice and use every tool available across jurisdictions around America to hold these conspirators to account.
Otherwise? Well, despite disingenuous politicians like Matt Gaetz floating another lie that seeks to provide cover for his support for a Beer Hall Putsch by transforming it into a Reichstag Fire (by blaming “leftist” agitators for leading the attack on the Capitol), an emergent fascist movement does not end after finding relative success using a violent attack to hold the nation in the thrall of its imagined grievances. The right will continue to conspire and coordinate, to unify its message, to send signals to its true believers and build its unconscionable coalition to meet its ultimate goal of consolidating America under GOP power and control.