The “American Political Process” on January 6th & Beyond

 On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, Washington Journal spent much of the program focused on police reform efforts, including the proposed elimination of qualified immunity–the doctrine that many view as a police officer’s license to use deadly force–and asked viewers to comment on the anniversary of the death of George Floyd.

Multiple White males called in to share their experience with law enforcement, including one who suggested that we should be “nice” to the police, and somehow, that’s going to stop racism and implicit bias in police departments that leads to the unjustified and disproportionate death of Black Americans after encounters with law enforcement.

Alan from Timonium, Maryland called and revealed that he is a combat veteran, and was refreshingly civil when he told Host John McCardle that “there’s times when you have conservative callers and you tend to cut ’em off earlier than you do non-conservative callers” and “when you ask critical questions it tends to be against what their point is…I know that because I’m a 27-year clinical social worker, I understand interviewing, just be aware of it, I’m not trying to be defensive.”

When asked if he had kids, Alan revealed that he did. Host John McCardle then asked what Alan’s conversations with his kids are like in regards to protest and law enforcement.

“Well my children are biracial and the conversations I’ve had with them on the topic are that lawlessness in any form is really intolerable. However, social protest…is always appropriate, but there is a way to protest, and the way to protest does not include destroying monuments and destroying public property.”

Alan regretted that, in his view, police officers are being treated like soldiers were after returning home from the Vietnam War. 

“I was a green beret when I was in the military. It sickens me to see police officers treated as pariahs and to suggest that most of them are criminal or most of them are illicit, is incredibly disrespectful to the people that maintain our order. When I deployed to the Middle East three times, the only people that protected my family were police officers, and despite their flaws, they’re the best we’ve got. We need to improve them, but not deify them.”

Host John McCardle: When do protesters cross the line of too much social disruption? You said “too much” gets to be a problem. What is “too much?”

Alan from Maryland: Well, gosh, having been there personally on January 6th, I’d say “too much” is what happened at the Capitol. I listened to his [President Trump] speech and then I left, but had I seen somebody harming a police officer, I personally would have given my life to protect them. I would never allow a public servant to be harmed, or a civilian.

Host John McCardle asked him to confirm that he was at President Trump’s speech on January 6th. “Yes, I was and proud that I was, however, I would say that I believe in lawfulness.”

McCardle followed up. “Did you come up to Capitol Hill?”

“No, I did not, sir,” Alan responded. “I attended the speech and, you know, the president tends to sort of repeat his point after a while…but the people I saw acted reasonably and in a lawful fashion…I went just to take part in the American political process.”

My question for Alan is how attending a speech bemoaning and complaining about a lawful election is a part of the “American political process”? President Trump was there on January 6th in an effort to bully his vice president, Mike Pence, into refusing to certify the election results. At his speech, President Trump literally said “I hope Mike is going to do the right thing” and “if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.” That “thing” was for Mike Pence to refuse to certify the election, thereby forcing states to “recertify” and “revote.” 

The former president literally said that “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved” (he could have been impeached the second time around on account of those words alone) and “we will ‘stop the steal’.” He even said that he won two elections (he did legitimately win the first given the Electoral College) and that he won the second one “much bigger than the first.” He accused the Democratic Party of “getting away” with election fraud for years, without evidence. He said the “House guys are fighting,” which, given his vote to decertify the election results in my state of Pennsylvania, would include, regrettably, my district representative, Guy Reschenthaler. 138 Republican members of the House and 7 Republican senators voted to decertify and object to the election results in Pennsylvania. A similar objection with slightly smaller numbers was also raised in response to Arizona. 

This past Friday, in spite of the emotional appeals of officers who fought the insurrectionists and the mother of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died following the insurrection, Senate Republicans voted against a bipartisan commission to investigate what happened on January 6th. The traitors are among us, and they’re paid very well. They wear expensive suits and don pricey dresses. And when they’re being investigated for having sex with a minor, they stir up crowds, defending the “armed rebellion” interpretation of the necessity of the Second Amendment.  Unfortunately, that’s all just a part of the American political process.

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