For hours, politicians and news pundits expressed their shock and surprise after Trump supporters pushed through police barricades and broke into the U.S. Capitol.
But was any of this really that surprising? Isn’t this exactly the intended outcome after Trump and his Republican lackeys have been encouraging an event like this for months?
Even before the election took place, fearing he may lose, Trump repeated his tactic during the 2016 election, warning that if he didn’t win the election, then the elections had to be fraudulent. And many Republican politicians remained silent, afraid to go against the president.
And in April, when Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, ordered a stay-at-home ordinance to combat soaring coronavirus infection rates, Trump told his supporters to “Liberate Michigan.” And hardly skipping a beat, soon dozens of fully armed Trump supporters showed up surrounding the Michigan Capitol building.
And then during the Presidential debates, when asked to condemn far-right groups like the Proud Boys, instead, Trump told them to “stand back and stand by.” And that is exactly what they did, just waiting for an opportunity like the rally Trump called for January 6, 2021.
As soon as the election results began tipping in Biden’s favor, securing him seven million more votes, Trump started to call the election a fraud. Most Republican politicians refused to acknowledge the victory for Biden and Harris, instead giving their implicit support for Trump’s bogus claims of a stolen election.
And since then, Trump, his lawyers, and his shrinking cabal of a cabinet have continued their whining of election fraud. But every lawsuit they filed was rejected due to a lack of evidence.
Trump has been relentless in his desperate attempt to hang onto the presidency at all costs. He even gained some 100 Republicans willing to vote against certifying the election results as their last display of obedience, hoping it may help their own reelection efforts.
Trump has told his supporters that he has won the election, that the Democrats rigged the voting machines, that they stuffed ballots. He’s told them that the courts and the judges and the news media are cowards and liars, and are conspiring against him to steal the election from him.
And then he called on his supporters to show up to the Capitol in protest, where Rudy Giuliani incited them to begin what he called a “trial by combat.”
No! This is not surprising at all. Trump has based his entire presidency playing on people’s anger and fear with his lies. And Republicans have stood back and stood by for all of it.