This Is What Trump Wanted
A violent mob of Trump supporters and far right extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, engaging in what can only be referred to as an act of insurrection.
At President Donald Trump’s behest, extremists breached the building in an attempt to overthrow the presidential election and undermine democracy. Rioters climbed walls, smashed windows, and clashed with police as they forced their way into the Capitol, causing lawmakers and staffers to sequester and evacuate. The Senate was in the process of certifying the election results when the building and Senate Chambers were breached.
While some members of the mob paraded around the Capitol carrying Confederate flags and wearing QAnon paraphernalia, others hung nooses and flashed the “OK” hand signal, which has emerged as a symbol of white power. And in the midst of all the chaos and violence, one woman was even shot and killed.
In response to this attempted coup, Trump falsely claimed (once again) that the election was fraudulent and told his supporters, “We love you. You’re very special.” He later followed up by saying, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”
In case it wasn’t already painfully obvious, this is exactly what Trump wanted. He has spent months spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about the election in order to rile up his most loyal and deranged supporters into a frenzy of white rage. Not to mention, Trump has encouraged and incited violence from his supporters since well before he even took office.
For four years, Trump has thrived on hatred and division, fostering a culture of cruelty and unabashed bigotry. Many people from marginalized groups knew from the very start that his rhetoric would only lead to violence and chaos, because despite what all too many Republicans might have you believe, words matter. What the president says matters.
Trump has cultivated a movement of grievances, using tweets and rallies to sow resentment and rage. From encouraging police officers to use excessive force to failing to promptly condemn white supremacy, Trump has embraced a culture of violence and hatred, encouraging rebellion and shameless bigotry at every turn. And his supporters have happily complied, adopting Trump’s language and behavior as their own.
Regardless of whether you call the attack on the Capitol Building an insurrection or a coup attempt, this is what happens when the leader of the free world constantly incites violence and utilizes white identity politics and, frankly, white supremacy, to stoke fear and animosity.
This is the result of Trump’s cult of personality. This is the result of Trumpism. While Trump didn’t force his supporters to get off their couches and storm the Capitol, he told them to “fight” for him, and they took him at his word.