By Anna Noble
After Wednesday’s domestic terrorism incident caused by Pro-Trump supporters storming the Capitol, states across the world called for peace and democracy in a country that proudly proclaims itself as the ‘leaders of the free world’. Between Trump’s Georgia phone call, Congressional members objecting to legitimate votes and the incident at the capital; this has been a desperately dark week for America, leaving its democracy shaken, and Republican hypocrisy is at its root.
This has been a desperately dark week for America, leaving its democracy shaken
Republicans claim they are the “law and order” party. They framed the BLM protests over the summer as ‘rioting and looting’ condemned activists as domestic terrorists despite Time finding that 93% of the protests were peaceful. They also argued that they would never riot or loot as exemplified by political commentator Tomi Lahren, arguing that if the left lost, they would “loot and riot” but if Trump lost, the right would just “go to work” and would never riot. Not only was this rhetoric very wrong, some Republicans, including the president, were reluctant to condemn the siege arguing it was a ‘peaceful protest’. Ivanka Trump tweeted (then deleted) a tweet calling the insurgents “patriots” but more concerning was Trump’s actions.
Trump incited the violence through his “stop the steal” rhetoric and actively telling his supporters to march to the Capital. His eventual statement calling for peace, failed to condemn the terror attack instead stating: “go home, we love you” to the insurgents.
This is a far cry from his “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” rhetoric during the BLM protests. The difference in tone is hypocritical and frankly stinks of institutional racism (something also shown by the treatment of the rioters). Trump’s reluctance to mobilize the National Guard, with Mike Pence allegedly having to step in, also reeks of hypocrisy.
The difference in tone is hypocritical and frankly stinks of institutional racism
This brings me to another key example of Republican hypocrisy: the election vote.
Republican hypocrisy shone through election night. Trump supporters at the direction of the president’s words, gathered in Arizona to shout “count the votes” and Michigan to shout “stop the count”.
The subsequent baseless claims about voter fraud have gained significant traction, despite no credible evidence and two Supreme Court rebukes. Yet, Senator Lindsey Graham and perhaps more alarmingly the President have attempted to manipulate the vote to secure Trump a second term. Trump was recorded, stating “I just want to find 11,780 votes” whilst arguing with Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger. Having told his supporters that the election had been rigged against him, Trump and his supporters have themselves tried to rig the election.
Republican hypocrisy has also been highlighted by 147 Republican members of Congress (140 House members and 7 senators) objecting to the electoral college votes. Republican representatives objected to the results of the election in swing states but only in the presidential election, despite them winning their races on the exact same ballots. GOP congressman Chip Roy highlighted this by challenging the seating of the 67 House members from contested states three days before the congress met to certify the vote. This is sheer hypocrisy if the ballots were truly fraudulent, as these representatives claimed, all results should have faced objections.
These examples of hypocrisy have created a dangerous narrative and America’s democracy is the victim
These examples of hypocrisy have created a dangerous narrative and America’s democracy is the victim. Republicans claim that the Democrats refused to accept the results of the 2016 election, therefore they are doing the same thing. This is a lie. Clinton conceded the night of the 2016 election, there was a peaceful transition of power. The Nation quotes a woman at the protests stating “This is not America […] They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot at BLM, but they are shooting patriots.” Republican hypocrisy and their damaging tone led people believed they could justifiably commit terrorist acts, to ‘defend’ the integrity of the election and reject democracy.
Image by Phil Roeder via Creative Commons