In a former age, an attack on the U.S. Capitol would inspire a united front in response


“January 6” is the new battle-cry of political elites. Vice President Harris brazenly compared the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The victims’ families of those atrocities rightly object to this analogy with repugnance. The left is not alone, however, in hijacking January 6 for political capital. Former President Donald Trump eschews decency for demagoguery in his rhetoric about the attack. If elected president in 2024, Trump promises to pardon the insurrectionists, whom he laments are treated “unfairly.” Just like him—unfairly treated by American institutions—the insurrectionists deserve justice, Trump whines, thereby bolstering support from his base.
In a former age, an attack on the U.S. Capitol from its own citizenry would inspire a unified front. Today it only divides. The attack was not, as the left’s hyperbole suggests, one of the worst affronts to peace in American history. An elementary education easily recognizes this farce. Neither was the attack a “peaceful protest” to defend a man unjustifiably demoted, as Trump allies proclaim with gusto.
January 6 was an indictment on poor leadership and revealed a lack of shared values. We should yearn for leaders to defend the truth without sensationalizing it for personal political gain. The dearth of basic civility from the highest echelons of power, on both sides of the “aisle,” demands better candidates for office who are tenacious in their defense of democratic values. We must do better than the kleptocratic elite which continues to run Washington. January 6 does cry out in this political battle. It demands better leadership, quickly.