Why there was more than just a “riot” on January 6

The Capitol dome in Washington D.C is a place that every American needs to see for themselves. And as one who has seen it, the scenes of mayhem from inside the building are all the more unsettling.

The entire scope of American history–the whole of this nation’s collective experience, really–are found within those walls. It’s a religious shrine, for those whom the American nation is something to believe in and cherish. And while reverence is not officially required, it’s still a good idea to practice it while inside.

So when a pro-Trump mob invaded it by smashing windows and marauding around inside, looking to capture and possibly kill elected officials, a desecration took place. It’s not too strong a word to suggest that those who were inside the building on that day defiled the premises.

It doesn’t matter, at least not to me, what any particular person did or did not do inside the building on that day. Each and every one of them violated this nation, by merely setting his or her feet down inside the Capitol dome on January 6, 2021.

Joe Biden has some heavy lifting to do when he takes office later this week, but he cannot look beyond what was done by a lawless and unAmerican mob on January 6. Those who chose Trump over the U.S.A. must be identified and face consequences for their behavior. Chanting “USA!” while inside the building does not change the fact that these people identified themselves as enemies of the orderly transfer of power in this nation.

Modern technology will make identifying these people much easier than it once was. In most cases, their cellphones alone will be enough to prove that yes, they were inside the building on that day. And once a person is placed inside that building on that date, their legal woes will have only just begun. And that’s exactly as it should be.

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