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A week after the siege on the Capitol, the shock has at least settled in, if not lessened.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has disavowed any responsibility. His enablers are back in action as well. The “whatabouters” are advancing the narrative that the attack by a predominately white crowd on the Capitol over fraudulent claims that the election was stolen was the fault of the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer. Even before the smoke cleared at the Capitol voices on the right were suggesting without a shred of evidence that it was actually BLM infiltrators in the crowd committing the violence at the Capitol.

The fact is the crowd that stormed the Capitol included elected Republican representatives, off-duty police officers, former military members and other community-minded folks, as well as the representatives from radical right groups such as the Proud Boys and Three Percenters.

A lot of reality has to be ignored to see this as any but a radical right terrorist attack. You have to ignore the backgrounds of the people being arrested as well as the volume of videos shot and social media postings by people as they engaged in the siege. The woman killed was a QAnon adherent.

It is probably true there were those in the mob caught up in the moment who were later embarrassed by their involvement. But it is equally true that others came prepared for a violent assault — resulting in the capture, if not killing, of elected officials. Guns and bombs were recovered. The mob may have been of the moment, but there was an organized element within.

The question for all Americans who want the best for their country, for themselves, for their children and for their neighbors is this just the start?

Those involved weren’t attacking the Capitol in a tit-for-tat for the property damage incurred during this summer’s social justice protest. They were doing it to subvert democracy.

Have we lost the commonality of support for democracy? Many Republicans leaders, including locally, still deny the presidential election was fair, without supplying any facts to back up the claim. Why? Republicans are elected using the same election methods — overall Republicans did well in November. Do they long for a system where only Republicans get elected and all other outcomes determined fraudulent? That seems like a delusion that would be hard to maintain. People have talked a lot about fascism lately. That system actually would be fascism.

Perhaps this is the logical outcome of people residing in political echo chambers with “news” feeds that parrot and support their views. People living that life 24/7 possibly believed that the only miscreants who would vote for Biden were socialists, communists or Marxists (or some odd combination of all three).

The only way forward is to agree we accept facts. If we have a system where election professionals as well as Democrat and Republican officials monitor and review elections, and we have a state and federal court system that reviews and evaluates claims of fraud and that entire system determines no fraud occurred we have to accept and acknowledge that no fraud occurred.

To say otherwise is to say there is some system not vetted or accepted by all involved that actually determines the outcome of an election. What is that system? Is it simply allowing those in power to refuse to relinquish power?

The destruction of businesses, including Black-owned businesses in some communities, this summer was wrong. The attack on the Capitol was a different level of wrong. Broken windows can be fixed, a Republic ripped is immeasurably harder to repair.

Ironically, the kid-glove treatment of the white insurgents by some of police forces (many performed heroically while others on the Capitol Police force have been suspended) contrasted with the militarized response to BLM protesters, just further proves the point of this summer’s social justice protests.

Reality sucks at times, but it is all we have.

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