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3 years later, and we intentionally missed the mark

By: Aaron Sims

Twitter: @AaronSimsNV

Post Date: 2024-01-07

I was having a beer with a friend the other night, and we both were receiving sporadic news updates regarding the 3rd anniversary of the January 6th events. My first thought was recalling that he specifically had told me two years before now that he “didn’t care about the event in particular because this situation didn’t directly impact him or anyone else, he knows.” That night, however, he mentioned the absurdity of hypocrisy that exists amongst those who truly believe that nothing had happened, or that the event was a minor protest, or that it was somehow carried out by Antifascists, Black Lives Matter protestors or some element of “Left leaning” activists. Hypocrisy was the minimum of what they are presenting.


The day of election certification was certainly chaotic and never mind the fact that the majority of the country watched the events unfold as it was happening, I instead want to point out the rhetoric specifically of average, every-day Republicans and those who represent them in congress. Once the chambers had reconvened for the certification, members of both houses took to the floor and stated unequivocally their dismay, shock and disgust at the day’s events. Even a week later, Kevin McCarthy had said, “Let me be clear, last week’s violent attack on the capitol was undemocratic, un-American, and criminal”. He went on to condemn Donald Trump for his role in “inciting” the violence by way of the countless tweets and emails he had sent to his supporters as well as the speech he gave in front of the White House just before he directed the crowd to go to the capitol building.


After some time had passed by, much of these same Republicans changed their tunes in order accommodate those who have the loudest voices in the fringe side of extreme American politics. Calling those who actively busted through the capitol, breaking down doors and smashing windows, actively and loudly looking for members of congress to hurt, “heroes” or “people who have only protested and do not need to be persecuted”. Around the same time that McCarthy had spoken on the floor of the US House, calling the actions on Jan 6th “criminal”, he had said behind closed doors about that Trump that he has “had it with this guy, what he did was unacceptable. Nobody could defend that and nobody should defend it….. Again the only discussion I would have with him is that my only recommendation is that you should resign”. These days, McCarthy had even toned down his rhetoric, claiming that January 6th wasn’t as big of a deal as many other people make it out to be.


Some comparisons have been made, over the past few years to the violent protests we had seen during the summer of 2020. Though those were cases of some folks using the anger and frustration of social ills not being answered, the comparison is both disingenuous and comes with an incorrect context. The primary and obvious differences being that one was a set of nation-wide (and in some cases, worldwide) protests that had gone out of control in some cities. The other, was not a sporadic protest in a random city, but a directed and targeted effort against the seat of our national government during a moment where they were conducting official business to certify our election. This shouldn’t even have to be said, let alone repeated so often, but when the official business of our people are being conducted and a group of dissidents actively interferes by attempting to stop the proceedings while shouting that they want to hang the sitting vice president or kill other members of the people’s government, it’s hard to see a comparison to other protests as valid or even legitimate.


Today, we’ve all seen the rise in deflection and flat-out hypocrisy from those who will follow the MAGA movement no matter the outcome of eventual collapse. Between accusations of “false flag actors” and flat out openly calling the attempted insurrection “just a small protest of good patriots” from “innocent people” who were “locked up for no reason”, it becomes difficult to take anything any of the current Republican Party says seriously. The American people are not dumb. We all saw what happened on Jan 6th. We all watched it live. For those who want to run away from their own support of the events, my question to them is why? Why not just admit it, things got too far carried away and you regret it, but at least own up to it. To those who do own up to it, but believe that it shouldn’t be punishable or are proud of it, my question is do you not believe in the rule of law? Folks who tend to agree with the MAGA movement always claim to be stewards of “law and order” and yet, not when it comes to honoring the balance of power or protecting American democracy.


More broadly speaking, the American Right Wing seems to be all over the place without any direction or agreement on how to define what took place on January 6, 2021. Instead, we the public only receive platitudes, hypocrisy and in some cases, flat-out made-up conspiracies of things not set in actual reality. We have our own worries closer to home, right here in Nevada. With the announcement by Attorney General Ford that he is actively prosecuting the falsified electors who attempted to cast their own votes in favor of Donald Trump in December of 2020. Never mind the fact that each of the fake electors have their own individual histories of living in alternative realities and cannot be trusted to do the correct thing, this establishes a very dangerous precedent for all future elections where a side cannot just accept that they lost and attempt to do better in the future.


Nevada doesn’t rank very high on a lot of positive lists. We all know it and it’s something I as well as many others have personally been fighting to change, but the one good list our state does rank highly on is process of our elections. We have been fortunate to have had Secretaries of State who carry out our elections in the most transparent, clean and honest ways possible. We usually have county clerks in our counties who operate our elections flawlessly and with high regard. The problem now in Nevada is how to rectify a small but unbelievably loud minority of voters and even, non-voters who were duped into believing that the 2020 election was stolen from them somehow right here in the Silver State. The decision of the AG to move forward with prosecuting the fake electors was a good one and the only sensible outcome for an incident where 6 people felt emboldened to invent their own problem that has a lasting impact on the real people of Nevada, but the fallout is one that shouldn’t exist and something we all should be aware of. I am concerned about the fact that already, extremists across the Silver State are planning on retribution for holding their own accountable. Details of course are not clear nor verified, but the fact that our election workers and public officials have to act cautiously at a heightened level out of fear for their safety is nothing less than embarrassing for us.


Nevada has an incredible history of always showing up when we are needing to. Meeting the moment when called. We saw that during abolition. We saw that during women’s suffrage. We were fortunate to have a governor during the Civil Rights era who understood the importance of advancing everyone’s civil rights and we were fortunate to have banned together in modern times to fight for social rights for all Nevadans. So in the long run, I know we will be okay. But Nevadans must be able to see through this made-up alternate reality that far too many people have allowed themselves to fall into before we get to a point of no return. Ironically, the folks who have spent the last few decades claiming that they fear the United States will devolve into a political system akin to unstable regimes we’ve seen around the world, are the very same people who themselves are perpetuating this possible outcome. De Tocqueville once said that “The people of a society get the government they deserve”. Keep that in mind the next time we blindly follow an agenda from a man whose sole focus is of himself, by himself and for himself.



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