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Correspondence

What Really Happened at the ‘Save America Rally’

Letter from Washington, D.C.

What really happened on Jan. 6, 2021? The nation still doesn’t know the whole of it, but by all accounts on the Left and from center-right Fox News it was America’s darkest moment since 9/11, Donald Trump’s Waterloo, and the abyss of the Right. As a participant at the Save America Rally, my own perceptions were rather different. As a result of the events of Jan. 6 and its aftermath, the mainstream media have badly overplayed their hand. We can now begin to see without illusions, that the managerial and media elites are waging scorched-earth class warfare against the populist Right. In recognition of that reality lies the hope of rebirth.

How did it all start? The answer is still a matter of investigation, but it’s clear that confusion reigned at the Capitol even before President Trump’s speech at the Ellipse ended. Timelines from The Washington Post and The Epoch Times agree that the breach on the northwest side of the Capitol began 20 to 30 minutes before his speech ended, belying the idea that Trump himself ordered the siege. Multiple authorities agree that Trump’s speech contained no such incitement. Evidence continues to mount that bad actors planned the breach weeks in advance and that the FBI had advance warning at least two days beforehand.

0221-LETTERFROMDC-2Before the breach, 800,000 true believers in Trump’s stolen election had peacefully assembled for five hours prior, just as they had gathered for marches on Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 in the same city.

All sides agree that the Capitol Police were undermanned and unprepared for the waves of protestors pushing against the temporary barriers. What the organizers of the “Save America Rally” had planned for the afternoon remains a mystery. Trump said, “I’ll be with you,” to his audience at the Ellipse, but there was no podium or stage set at the Capitol, and he was a no-show.

At one point in the early afternoon, InfoWars broadcaster Alex Jones urged the crowd to move to the east side of the Capitol where speakers would address them, but by that time the situation was out of control. Hundreds of thousands waiting outside the Capitol on the parking lots and in the Mall area had no clue what was happening inside the Rotunda. Did President Trump? After three hours of chaos, the president posted a belated video urging his supporters to “Go home, go home, go in peace.” For many, that was too little, too late.

In the stated view of the Left and its Democratic chieftains in Congress, Trump had egged on his followers for weeks with the false hope that the election could be reversed. Even as late as Jan. 6, Trump was urging Vice President Mike Pence to reject the electors from the battleground states. When Pence failed to act on those expectations, some Trump followers lost it.

Among them was an irate Texas woman, Jenny Cudd from Midland, who, according to Newsweek, posted a Facebook video of herself at the Capitol telling her followers:

I want to let you know what actually happened today. When Pence betrayed us is when we decided to storm the Capitol…. We didn’t vandalize anything, but we did…break down Nancy Pelosi’s office door and somebody stole her gavel and took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the camera.

“This is the most significant breach of an American government institution since the British burned the Capitol after the Battle of Bladensburg on August 24, 1814,” tweeted Fox’s congressional reporter Chad Pergram, even as flag-waving ruffians rummaged through Capitol offices at 3 p.m.

0221-LETTERFROMDC-3The “Save America Rally” had begun near dawn at the Ellipse behind the White House, where tens of thousands were waiting in line on a cold, overcast day; they were people who had faith that somehow Jan. 6 would become “a Red Sea moment” that would deliver an improbable victory from apparent defeat. It wasn’t long before the air was filled with clouds of pot smoke and, incongruously, fundamentalist preaching, while a sound system blared out rock classics such as Freddie Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Nearby on 14th St., hundreds of Chinese Americans were holding a Christian revival and serving Communion wine. All were aware that the Georgia Senate runoff had been called for the opposing team. People were friendly and polite while bumping shoulders, but the mood was subdued.

There are credible accounts that the breach of the Capitol just before 1:00 p.m. was facilitated by Antifa agents disguised as Trump enthusiasts. “I have no doubt that Antifa was leading the breach,” said freelance correspondent Michael Yon in an Epoch Times interview. Yon cited tell-tale signs of the presence of Antifa cells: the use of helmets, goggles, backpacks and changes of clothing. “The [agents provocateurs] had taken down bike rack barriers set up for the rally attendees at the Capitol and used those to make ladders to help protestors go over the wall,” Yon stated. “Those people were saying, ‘come forward, keep coming, go over the wall.’”

Mainstream coverage of the events depicted an invasion of surly men exiting the Capitol. “We’re taking back our country baby! Next time we come, we’ll be armed! Let’s go get a beer,” shouted one 40-something bearded man. In a video posted by Matt Miller of The Post Millennial, these men pushed past a gold door with “Murder the Media” scrawled on it. If the men were Trump supporters, then agents provocateurs had plenty of material to work with.

Among those who breached the chamber of the Senate, none stood out more than bare-chested, 32-year old “QAnon shaman” Jacob Chansley (aka Jake Angeli), his face painted red, white, and blue, and his head crowned with cow horns in the manner of a Visigoth barbarian standing on the Capitoline steps in Rome. Chansley reportedly stood beside Mike Pence’s chair in the Senate and shouted, “Where’s Pence?”

Chansley was joined by plenty of QAnon followers, including Ashli Babbitt, the 14-year Air Force veteran who was shot in the neck as she breached a broken door leading to the Senate Speakers’ Lobby. Babbitt had tweeted that she felt what was happening that day was a precursor to what Q-followers believe is “the Storm,” a military takeover by officials and patriots loyal to Trump.

I spoke to a Trump campaigner in his 60s from Florida named David, who came early to the Ellipse and stayed close to the Capitol until 6:00 p.m.“In prayer God told me that Jan. 6 was crucial,” David told me. “I think the election was totally stolen.” He added:

I felt like we had to show the Congressmen and Senators that they were not above the law, that the fraud had to be set straight. And I don’t believe this problem will be settled legally or politically. The military will have to come in, call for a re-vote and restore order.

David denied being a Q-follower but he appeared to hold similar views. He was one of the 99.5 percent of the participants at the event who did not enter the Capitol.

I spoke also to a retired civil servant and Trump supporter, Tricia, who said she spent a half-hour in the Capitol taking photos and praying for a miracle. “Police just let us in,” she told me. “We walked into the Capitol from the northwest side about 2:30 p.m. through a breached window or a door and walked through the Rotunda to the western side,” where she said she was ushered out about 30 minutes later.

Photos and video on Tricia’s cell phone show Capitol Police standing silently along hallways in sentry positions. In one short video a Trump demonstrator tells his colleague not to litter: “Show respect! These people have allowed us to be in here, so don’t leave any trash on the floor!” Tricia’s voice is heard telling a black uniformed policeman: “Please forgive us! God Bless you for what you are doing here! Thank you for your service!”

As Tricia exited from a portal on the west side of the building she kept her video cam on even as she reached the marble steps, which were spattered with Ashli Babbitt’s blood.

The efforts of the Capitol intruders to make their point without desecrating a federal building is part of the story viewers haven’t seen yet on Fox News, whose narrative follows closely the media-pack line that the breach was an abomination for which conservatives can never atone. It’s this betrayal of its own audience that, in my view, will cause Fox News to continue a downward spiral to the bottom of the cable news rankings.

0221-LETTERFROMDC-1Despite the shocking events of the day, there are signs that a figurative resurrection may follow the MAGA movement’s mortification. In the face of the massive overreach of the Pelosi gang in seeking to punish anyone who stood against the election fraud, and the glaringly obvious censorship by the tech oligarchs, American Trump supporters aren’t backing down.

It is true, as political commentator Matt Walsh has observed, that the Left owns the media narrative, if only because they own the media platforms. Yet a Jan. 11 Rasmussen poll reported that 48 percent of Americans still approved of Trump despite the Capitol riots. Even the leftist pollster Nate Silver tweeted on Jan. 15 that Trump’s approval rating was at 38.1 percent, which is still higher than some would have expected given the chorus of condemnation dominating the nation’s airwaves.

0221-LETTERFROMDC-4Despite the craven performance of Fox News reporters, the channel’s leading personality, Tucker Carlson, has been asking the right question: “Why do they hate Trump so much?” The mainstream media has been obsessed with Donald J. Trump since the day he came down the gold escalator in 2015. The hatred goes beyond the man’s style, his mean words, and his policies. CNN’s Anderson Cooper provided a clue when, on the evening of Jan. 6., he sarcastically suggested that the rally-goers would return that night to their Marriott hotels and their Olive Garden restaurants—the implication being that only low-class Deplorables would dine at an Olive Garden.

In short, they hate Trump because of what he represents: the despised middle class, many of them white, but including all ethnicities. “Why do they hate us?” was a question widely raised after 9/11 to explore the motivation of religious extremists in the Middle East. Today, the same question can be asked of the billionaire tech oligarchs, the woke media, and the socialist leadership on Capitol Hill. The MAGA masses that came to Washington on Jan. 6 failed to see what was coming that day. But now they should more fully grasp why and how deeply they are hated by the country’s elites.

Douglas Burton

Douglas Burton is in an independent writer living near Washington, D.C. He is a former opinion editor for The Washington Times’ publications and a former associate editor of Insight on the News. He served as a special hire with the Department of State in Iraq in 2005-2007, and in 2020 he was a volunteer in Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in Pennsylvania. 

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Dom
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This was one of the best explanations of what went on that day and why that day turned out the way it did. Finally someone has put a light to the shadow cast on that day
 
 

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mountainseagull
Agreed and it dispelled the myth, perpetrated by her husband, was a die-hard Trumper willing to die for him, as reported in the WSJ.
7736
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Trump endured 5 years' worth of acrimonious calumny by the gutter press, RINOs, Swamp insiders, and other left-wing assorted scum. He was tired and worn out. God bless him!
 
 

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Nick29
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What remains unexplained is why Trump let his supporters (and his own reputation) be hung out to dry. Did he just want one last ego boost as president with a massive rally? Why risk any trouble if he already knew his chances were shaky? If Trump had anywhere near the levels of intel and Machiavellian foresight attributed to him by many, he would have known a provocation was coming. His speech was among the most lackluster and "low energy" that I can remember. The cynic in me thinks he played along with the travesty as part of his "exit package" to guarantee some modicum of safety for him and his family from the swamp mafia.
 
 

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mountainseagull
Lackluster...low energy. I know personally, it takes a lot of someone to be shanghaied. Your ambition dries up, your thought processes freeze in bewilderment and most of all, you wonder if anyone believes you -- your friends even ignore you. No one wants to go through that and when you do it takes a while to recharge. Real-life is not a Hollywood film where the next scene you're raring to go. Healing takes time.
Torpedo1
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I'm looking at the so-called riot in Washington on January 6 as more of a FARCE than any attempt at armed insurrection. My premise is that an insurrection would mean an intent of power grabs which could only have happened if ELECTED OFFICIALS HAD BEEN THREATENED AND ASSASSINATED. There were no attempts made by the rioters to have any serious contact with elected officials much less harm or threaten them.
 
 

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Torpedo1
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Appreciating the sanguine observations but "thinking local and acting local" still seems to preclude participation in these exhibitions of "clout" which shouldn't be the mainstay of any commitment.
 
 

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greggzuk
Unfortunately, *our* feral government doesn't think or act this way - and it's raison d'être is to "represent" US. Our allowing feral cats to run Washington for centuries is what's gotten US into this mess. Unfortunately, all of US ideally show up - and luckily, enough of US did to make a show of it.
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