An Increasingly Ominous Response to the January 6 Riot, by Ted Galen Carpenter

January 6 joins Covid as an excuse to impose totalitarianism. From Ted Galen Carpenter at antiwar.com:

Earlier this month, the country marked the one-year anniversary of the storming of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. For one faction in America’s increasingly polarized political system, however, it was not enough to castigate the rioters for their disgraceful, indefensible conduct. It was not even enough to urge the Justice Department to continue prosecuting the individuals involved for trespass, assault, and the other crimes they committed. Instead, the campaign that began the previous year to brand the episode as an outright “insurrection” acquired new fervor. That mentality has now led to measures that threaten important constitutional rights and could herald a new era of harassment and repression reminiscent of the era when Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s influence was at its zenith.

Considering the January 6 events an insurrection constitutes a wild stretch of the concept. There were no tanks in the streets, armed assaults on multiple governmental institutions, or efforts to either seize or shut down the news media – the cardinal features of a true insurrection. A recent public opinion survey confirms that a majority of Americans rightly reject the use of that term regarding the riot at the Capitol.

However, Joe Biden’s administration is adopting multiple policies that assume that the inflammatory allegation is indisputable. The pace of that ominous process is accelerating and the scope of intolerance is widening. Indeed, far too many players in the executive branch, Congress, and the news media smear as an “insurrectionist” anyone who participated in the much larger peaceful rally on the Mall that preceded the breach of the Capitol, or who merely continues to argue that vote fraud occurred during the 2020 election.

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