January 6, 2021: An Epiphany of Evil, When Our Unwise Men Spied for King Herod

Courageous Capitol Police foil dangerous insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol, January 6, 2021. (file photo)

By John Zmirak Published on January 6, 2024

In a sense, it almost seems silly for me to comment on the anniversary of the fedsurrection at the Capitol three years ago. I said what needed saying just two days later, and published it here. I’m tempted, frankly, simply to change the date on the story and publish it again, not changing a word. Let me just give a few meaty quotes from my view after 48 hours:

Half a country has lost faith in its power to enact peaceful change, or defend its rights under law. I was raised to see our ballots as somehow sacred, our share in the sovereignty which God grants the government. We are now learning to view them as Zimbabwean $20 billion notes, which may or may not buy a loaf of bread by the time you get to the bread line.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens whose media lie to them, who fear that their votes were thrown away, or canceled out by fake votes, whose own party has largely abandoned them, peacefully marched in Washington. What were they hoping would happen? Their faces were mostly bright and full of faith. Did they really think Mike Pence, who sold out religious liberty for Christians in Indiana at the first hint of LGBT outrage, would do his constitutional duty? The thought makes me sad. God bless them, they believed America’s press release.

Our efforts to demand an honest election were thwarted at every turn, like a hero in a Sophocles play trying to dodge his own destruction. The Deep State, like the Fates, slams the door and nails shut the window, then sits back and mocks its victims as they scramble. But to us that poignant spectacle of Americans defending their votes should evoke both terror and pity. For our countrymen and our families.

When I saw those goofballs (perhaps mixed with Antifa provocateurs) break into the Capitol, my first reaction was not hysterical outrage. I wasn’t detached enough to think, “This is bad PR. David French will be kissing this video on his mauve iPhone right up through his last dying breath.” I didn’t foolishly think, “Maybe we can stop the Steal by force, via a couple dozen unarmed citizens taking selfies.”

No, I felt a certain anxiety and excitement, as you do when a secret’s exposed. In this case, the secret was, “The Republic has no clothes!” A government founded on free and fair votes of the people loses its legitimacy when the vote is profoundly corrupted. When its institutions collude to perpetuate the fraud. The Capitol loses its sacral quality, and becomes just a big pretentious building, like Caesar’s Palace in Vegas. Seeing some fool clown around in Pelosi’s chair was, in that sense, the perfect symbol of the joke that democracy becomes under such conditions.

Just so, the Emperor and his courtiers in the fairy tale were outraged when some feckless child announced he was naked. In the story, the people laughed the ruler and his flatterers to scorn. That’s what we should do too, and especially laugh at “conservatives” who treat “the assault on the Capitol” as something like Kristallnacht.

But then we must mourn the dead: Ashli Babbitt, and our democracy which she served in uniform. We at least know that Ashli will rise someday.

The Second Boston Tea Party?

What can I really add to that? Well, marking last year’s anniversary, I compared our election integrity rally (and the police riot that attacked it) to the Boston Tea Party and the Irish Easter Rising — each of which provoked such savage, disproportionate retribution from tyrants that they were finally toppled:

In 1773, the revenge of the British Parliament turned out to be so harsh that it radicalized patriots in all 13 colonies, and made the American Revolution virtually inevitable. Each new act of British coercion vindicated the claims of those who warned that London intended to subject its American colonists to “tyranny.” Within two years, a Continental Congress was discussing independence, and local militias were gathering ammunition and cannons.

In 1916, the harshness of the British crackdown, and the decision to put Irish rebels up in front of firing squads, turned the Irish people finally against their British overlords. Suddenly, the men whom the Dublin crowd had spat on appeared as martyrs and heroes. By 1922, Great Britain was forced to offer Ireland independence.

What will come of the civil disobedience committed on January 6, 2021? Will the demonization, the hysterical claims and outlandishly cruel prosecutions of non-violent protesters succeed in totally silencing populist conservatives, and critics of election fraud? Will Anarcho-Tyranny work? That’s the tactic of a government using street violence against its enemies, then savagely prosecuting those (like Kyle Rittenhouse and Jake Gardner) who prove rash enough to defend themselves. It’s a page from the Nazi playbook that today’s vicious elites, from the FBI to Antifa, have torn out and made their Creed.

[Not] all Americans [are] blind to the lawless, massively disproportionate treatment of January 6 protestors, compared to George Floyd rioters. Read the reporting of the courageous journalist Glenn Greenwald, himself a gay Progressive, who chronicles the appalling and un-American treatment of these dissidents, and our media’s lies about them. Read the petition of January 6 protestors begging to be transferred to Guantanamo Bay, so they can experience the much more humane conditions our government offers rapists and terrorists from ISIS.

Or watch my interview with non-violent journalist Nicholas Ochs, conducted just before he reported for a four-year prison sentence for filming his fellow protestors inside the U.S. Capitol.

The Iron Fist failed in Boston, it failed in Dublin, and it will fail in Washington. Our elites have sown the wind, and will reap only the whirlwind. If our nation has any future, its bards will celebrate the freedom fighters, not the fascists.

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Our New Political Litmus Test

How do we make sure that happens? We demand full transparency and equal standards of justice for every citizen, regardless of his race, religion, or views. You know, the way the Civil Rights Movement once did, insisting that the promises of America’s founding be honored for all. To do that, we must make January 6, and not any other issue, our political litmus test for any candidate. As I wrote in March of this year:

Of what conceivable value is any candidate who adopts every single solid, pro-freedom, conservative and Christian-friendly position in the world, with just one single caveat:

“But … I want to let Democrats steal all our elections, and imprison people who demonstrate against that as ‘insurrectionists.’ Apart from that, I’m 100% with you.”

That’s like somebody offering you $1 billion for your house, then you read in the sale document’s fine print the payment schedule: $1 per year, for a billion years.

When the election integrity rally on January 6, 2021 went sideways, establishment Republicans pounced right alongside the Left. You had the likes of Liz Cheney (and others still in power) colluding with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to purge the GOP of anyone linked to Trump. Hundreds of honest citizens went to jail in inhuman conditions for trivial crimes or non-crimes. Dozens have been imprisoned after highly politicized trials with inadequate counsel before biased judges and juries.

And the authorities have been hiding or destroying evidence, denying it not just to media but to defense counsel. The January 6 hearings were run like Stalinist purge trials, right down to refusing to examine what role our secret police (the FBI) played in goading the chaos and violence.

There is massive pressure inside the GOP to shrug at all this injustice, if only to crush the populist insurgency inside the party. Few conservative media (The Stream is among the exceptions) have even proved willing to question the savagely one-sided narrative put out by Deep State lackeys and lapped up across the spectrum.

Fire the Pro-Fraud Republicans

More recently, I gave thanks to almighty God that Speaker Mike Johnson released most of the video footage of the event, despite the demands of Pro-Fraud Republicans:

Who are the pro-fraud Republicans? That answer is easy: Every Republican who opposed releasing the January 6 tapes to the public — tapes which already, thanks to a brief and limited release that was squeezed out of Kevin McCarthy, got the innocent “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley out of prison. I said months ago that we need to see all the non-violent (99.99%) January 6 prisoners pardoned, and then running for Congress. I’m delighted to report that Chansley, now free, is running for the U.S. House.

There is no consideration of “security” that could justify denying crucial evidence to defendants while they’re on trial. That’s how they do things in North Korea, not in America. At least, not till recently.

Republican Senate Minority Leader (God help us!) Mitch McConnell didn’t even hide behind “security,” but blurted the quiet part out loud. He said the tapes shouldn’t be released because they’d “undermine the narrative” of the Capitol Police. Now what kind of country lets evidence of innocence undermine the narrative of the police, anyway? A free one, as ours used to be.

And to that, I really do have no more to add.


John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”

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