Media’s ‘Insurrection’ Fixation Paints a Skewed Picture of Political Reality

The events of January 6, 2021 was not a particularly egregious attack on democracy.

January 6 was exceptional because it flipped the norm in our politics on its head: compared to the lawless Left, the Right in this country is well-behaved, perhaps to a fault. Conservatives have shown extraordinary forbearance over the years all while having their faces rubbed in the mud by our political and cultural elites. When the Capitol protest turned to riot, the Right snapped. Frustration with a rigged game had reached a breaking-point.

At the forefront, of course, were grievances concerning the presidential election. Many, although not all, of the Capitol protesters’ grievances were perfectly legitimate. Election laws had been changed, or “fortified” as Time magazine would later boast, without going through proper legal channels. The people were denied, for the first time in the nation’s history, timely and transparent results. 

While we have heard again and again that the election was “free and fair” (and anyone who disagrees is a Nazi, obviously), it was hardly normal for the media and “intelligence community” to quash a major scandal about a presidential candidate’s son at the 11th hour. The Hunter Biden story is only just beginning to receive a fraction of the attention it warrants. 

What is the lesson here? That the people must acquiesce to having their elections interfered with by propaganda artists in the news media? Is that what “democracy” means?

What of the Black Lives Matter uprising of 2020? Was that just normal democracy stuff, too? The “mostly peaceful” riots have disappeared down the media’s memory hole, which is odd because they were much more extensive, longer lasting, and destructive to human lives and property than January 6. It’s easy to forget now, but the BLM rioters torched a police station. Sounds a little insurrection-y, no? Two years later, we are still living with the consequences of the “summer of love.” Anarchy is a routine fact of life in many of our cities.

#TheResistance Won

The George Floyd insurrection was the violent climax of a relentless soft coup, proudly labeled #TheResistance” by its participants. It sought to cancel the results of the 2016 election and deny Trump a second term by any means necessary. Trump spent the majority of his four years in office swamped with phony “collusion” allegations that didn’t let up until the moment they ceased to be politically expedient (around the time Robert Mueller’s embarrassing testimony exposed the truth), at which point the Left moved on as if they had not spent the last three years telling Americans that their democracy had been hijacked by a foreign power.

Are we just supposed to forget that Hillary Clinton effectively kneecapped her rival’s administration with disinformation portraying the president as a Russian saboteur? 

Are we to accept as normal the FBI spying on the presidential campaigns of those disfavored by the elites? 

Once that extraordinary precedent was set, all bets were off. 

Look where we are now: a plainly fake head of state with well-established ties to China is threatening to jail his predecessor, a man who received 73 million votes in the last presidential election.

While we’re on the topic of coups, might we have a word about the man who just tried to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, or the mobs of people who have continued to gather outside his house with the winking encouragement of Joe Biden and his administration? Mr. Normalcy has said virtually nothing about Kavanaugh’s would-be assassin and is focusing instead on attacking the Supreme Court, a co-equal branch of government. 

“You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-cop,” says Biden. Well, you also can’t refuse to enforce our immigration laws and claim to be a champion of law and order. Biden’s open border policy is a treacherous abdication of one of the most basic duties of government: to protect the people from foreign invasion. 

How the Hearings Distort Political Reality

The January 6 committee hearings paint the Right as a uniquely evil and dangerous threat to democracy. The spectacle inverts the truth: for the Left, violence and incivility are normal, and the country has come to accept the Left’s misbehavior as normal

Why is it that anytime a black person is shot by a police officer, society tenses up? It isn’t because Americans live in fear of reprisal from the Right. 

In the days before the 2020 election, battered business owners were preparing as if for a hurricane. They weren’t worried about what the Proud Boys would do. They feared what might happen if Trump won. America has become so inured to the Left’s tantrums that it came as a surprise when the repeal of Roe v. Wade did not result in an encore of the 2020 riots, although there have been targeted attacks on churches that have gone mostly unnoticed by the press and Biden’s partisan attorney general. 

While leftists like to pretend that they are beleaguered victims of The Man, there is a clear double standard in our politics that works against the Right. When the Left gets out of line, the system handles them with kid gloves: the Right gets shock-and-awe. The 2020 BLM rioters were glorified by the media and treated like freedom fighters. Rioters who besieged a federal courthouse in Portland had cases dropped, while January 6 defendants, many of them charged with misdemeanors, have been universally characterized as domestic terrorists and treated as such by the justice system. Many are still languishing in pre-trial detention almost two years later. A few have been driven to sucide (curiously, their deaths are not being counted in the media’s running tally of the riot’s toll, which does include police officers who took their own lives.) The man who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt without warning was cleared without so much as being interviewed. 

The J6ers had been led to believe that the country had become, or was on the brink of becoming, a tyranny, and they saw it as their patriotic duty to do something about it. Was this an unreasonable belief? 

We live in a country where one political faction is empowered to reject election results by any legal or illegal means and impose their will through violence, while their opponents are commanded to lie down and take the abuse. Call it what you like, but this disparity in treatment is not democratic. It is also a really good way to disillusion people. It causes one to wonder if the Left is intentionally radicalizing the Right: the Left certainly has not hesitated to use January 6 to crack down on their enemies even harder. 

One wouldn’t know any of this from tuning in to the January 6 committee show. With the “insurrection” circus, the Democratic Party is demanding unconditional loyalty in the name of democratic principles they reject: the peaceful transfer of power, rule by consent, non-violence. If there is a way back to a more civil and democratic America, the path does not lie through the show trials on TV.

About Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a Mt. Vernon fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a staff writer and weekly columnist at the Conservative Institute. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter @matt_boose. ‏

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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