Of Reichstags and Bastilles

The United States of America came to a crossroads on January 6, 2021. How we treat the events of that day will affect not only our politics, but our culture and our very way of life for the foreseeable future. This fact has already been decided; our only choice now is which side will control the political narrative.

The Depths of Dehumanization

It has been said that the most surefire way to create an authoritarian regime is to completely dehumanize a significant portion of the population, so that their subsequent enslavement by the state will not face any larger resistance. It was true during slavery, it was true during the Holocaust, and it is true now.

Actress Gina Carano was right; American conservatives are, right now, on a course for being every bit as ostracized and alienated from broader society as Jews were in the years leading up to Nazi Germany. Children are actively indoctrinated in our education system to turn against their own parents, Soviet-style, if they feel their parents’ views are outdated or backwards.

All Smoke, No Fire

Despite the Left’s seemingly endless cycle of perpetual hyperventilating over the events of January 6, the truth is that they are grateful the events of that day unfolded as they did. The Democrats were absolutely terrified—literally cowering under their seats, horrified at the prospect of mere peasants walking through the halls of their castle. But since then, they have paraded the events of that day before the American people and transformed them into their very own Year of the Long Knives. Biden Administration officials have openly gloated in televised interviews about how they actively sought to “charge as many people as possible” prior to Biden’s inauguration, gleefully adding that they succeeded in making Trump supporters “afraid to come back to D.C.”

In the 12 months since then, hundreds of Americans from across the country have been arrested, many held in solitary confinement and denied legal representation, and some even being viciously beaten by the guards for their race and political beliefs. Joe Biden, sounding more like Joseph Stalin, has called on Americans to report their friends and family to the government if they have become “radicalized.” The government has even been coordinating with institutions such as Bank of America to investigate any customers who happened to be in Washington D.C. on January 6, even if they had no role in the peaceful protests that took place at the Capitol.

And in the end, that is what they were: Peaceful protesters. Not one person was killed by Trump supporters on January 6, although a few deaths by freak medical accidents were repeatedly and falsely attributed to the protesters. 

All who have been charged thus far have been charged with no more than “disrupting an official proceeding” or “trespassing.” There are no charges for assault, terrorism, insurrection, treason, or anything of the sort. In the media, they have been slandered as anti-American traitors, even as they regularly sing the Star-Spangled Banner in prison to keep their spirits up; the very same patriotism that motivated them on January 6 remains one of the only things that keeps them going now as they face persecution for their patriotism.

Victims such as Paul Hodgkins and Anna Morgan-Lloyd—people with no criminal records whatsoever—did not bring any weapons and did not assault anyone that day, and yet they face sentences ranging from prison to probation while simultaneously being forced to undergo political indoctrination from judges and prosecutors. Both individuals were ordered by the courts to declare that Joe Biden was legitimately elected, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and Morgan-Lloyd was ordered to read books and watch movies that portray America as a fundamentally racist nation. Just as in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the final punishment for dissidents is not physical torture, but re-education into submission.

Vindication, from Vaccines to Votes

The fanaticism of the regime is evident in how it clings to its narrative even though the facts have proven it wrong time and time again, with the so-called “skeptics” turning out to be right about everything.

Masks do not work; just ask Anthony Fauci. Vaccines do not work; just ask CNN (but don’t worry; the media will still insist that just because the vaccine isn’t working, that doesn’t mean it isn’t working!). Meanwhile, Hydroxychloroquine does work, just like President Donald Trump said it would.

Another surefire way to prove that the “official” narrative is utter garbage is to observe the actions of those most vehemently promoting it. From Texas Democrats to the former President of the United States Barack Obama, those who shout most loudly that we need to utterly disrupt our everyday lives for the “greater good” are continuing to live their lives as if nothing were wrong.

The same goes for the 2020 election. There is overwhelming evidence of widespread voter fraud in multiple swing states, from 74,000 returned mail-in ballots in Arizona that were never sent out in the first place, to over 35,000 illegally-cast votes in Georgia that may have not only changed the outcome of the presidential race in that state, but also both of the runoff elections for the United States Senate. At the core of the Left’s argument against the January 6 protesters is the notion that voter fraud in 2020 is “a big lie,” and the protesters stormed the Capitol over something that did not happen. As it turns out, it did happen—as the Left will smugly admit, under more ambiguous terms—and thus, the protesters were justified.

Their Reichstag Fire

In the end, the truth does not matter to our ruling class. Nor does that pesky little thing known as the Constitution. The regime, already emboldened by lockdown measures under the guise of the Chinese virus, is using the events of January 6 to its advantage. But it is not even for the sake of short-term political victories, as some have understandably speculated. The January 6 hysteria is the ultimate vehicle for authoritarian efforts to march us towards the final solution: A fascist nation, the very thing which they have accused the other side of desiring.

Theirs will be a nation where their foot soldiers, who happen to be actual terrorists, will be free to do as they please. They allowed black nationalists and anarcho-communists to burn down cities all last summer, while January 6 protesters are arrested merely for possessing a Lego model of the Capitol building.

It will be a society where rogue judges like Emmet Sullivan can go on deranged rants against highly decorated and respected generals like Michael Flynn, baselessly accusing him of treason and even suggesting he face the death penalty, all for a “crime” he never committed. Meanwhile, an American citizen who uses his First Amendment right to criticize this same judge will get prison time for doing so.

It will be a country that venerates criminals like George Floyd and turns him into a saint, rewriting history so that his death by a fentanyl overdose (or perhaps the coronavirus?) will instead be blamed on a “racist” police officer. Meanwhile, an actual hero like Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was willing to give her life for her country—and ultimately did just that, albeit in a far more tragic way—will be slandered in death as “a dead insurrectionist” who got what she “deserved.” She was even denied the proper military burial that she earned through her service, in one final act of almost literally spitting on her grave. And all the while, her ruthless killer, Michael Byrd, is praised as a hero, instead of the trigger-happy gunman that he is.

What the newly-emboldened Left desires, above all else, is to completely dehumanize their political opposition, so that eventual removal—or worse—of these “undesirables” from society will be socially acceptable to their audience. Look no further than Katie Benner, a reporter with the largest newspaper in the country, declaring that all of President Trump’s supporters should be considered “enemies of the state.” Or perhaps simply take a glance through the Left’s collective reaction to the news that, for the first time in our nation’s history, the white population in America has declined, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. 

And their motives cannot only be inferred from their foot soldiers in the streets or their keyboard warriors on Twitter. Just ask their alleged leader, the man who holds the title of president of the United States. Since seizing power, Biden repeatedly has made comparisons between the “struggles” we now face and the Civil War that claimed over 600,000 American lives.

He has made sure to emphasize that it is “not hyperbole” whenever he says so; he truly believes it, just as he believes that the peaceful protest at the Capitol was even worse than 9/11. If he truly does believe we are in a crisis that is just as bad as the Civil War, then that can only mean one thing: He believes his enemies are no different from secessionists and “traitors,” and must be treated as such. He already has plans to “remember” the events of January 6 on its one-year anniversary, as if it is some national tragedy worthy of mourning every year the same way we reflect on 9/11.

For the Left, January 6 has become their Reichstag Fire. They took an event with minimal damage that was resolved quickly, and turned it into a blanket excuse for an unprecedented power grab, with the entirety of their political opposition in the crosshairs. 

Our Bastille?

That is why, above all else, the Right should stop trying to qualify their stances on January 6 with an obligatory disavowal, or an “I’m not like those conservatives” statement, in an attempt to appease the Left. The Left sees all 74 million Trump voters, and all white Americans, as enemies, regardless of how they feel about January 6. Some so-called “leaders” on the Right will go out of their way to denounce the January 6 protesters, yet in the end, everyone who does not submit to the Left’s agenda will eventually be taken out.

January 6 may largely have been about voter fraud in the 2020 election, but that was not the only motivation. January 6 was a reaction to a long train of abuses and usurpations perpetrated against the American people by an entrenched elite class that has infected our institutions.

The only course of action at this point is to be just as firm in our stance as the Left is. If they truly want to address January 6 by making dramatic historical comparisons, then so should we. If their aim is to make January 6 their Reichstag Fire, then we should go forward celebrating the events of that day as our Storming of the Bastille; a day where a symbol of the degeneration of our ruling class into total corruption and tyranny was challenged, and the elites were shown just what happens when millions of freedom-loving citizens finally grow sick and tired of a boot perpetually stomping on their necks. The parallels between France in 1789 and America in 2022 are stronger than one might think; we even have our very own Marie Antoinette.

It should not have had to come to this point, but the Left has forced the nation to this brink, whether we like it or not. One side is prepared to do everything necessary to secure their political power, so the other side must be prepared to resist every step of the way with equal determination. One side understands the stakes at play as we enter this brave new world; so too must the other side. One side understands that January 6 was a turning point in our history. Our side, once again, needs to catch up.

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

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