Trump’s Insurrection

In 2016, I switched from the Republican party to the Libertarian. Knowing Trump’s background in business, family matters, etc., I felt I could not trust him to be, well, to be Trump.

He did surprise me somewhat over his first three years, governing decently, though there were many areas I disagreed with him. Still, in 2020, I again voted Libertarian, knowing my state of Indiana would still probably go for Trump.

Sadly, Trump began his presidency giving accolades and appointments to his alt-right buddies. Trump is all about people being loyal to him, first and foremost, which is how he ran his business, his marriages, his love affairs, and the Oval Office. When competent leaders disagreed with him, they were often fired by him. He was enraged with several for not backing him, due to their own integrity, such as when AG Jeff Sessions recused himself regarding Trump investigations.

This was a continual process of Trump hiring, then firing those who did not remain loyal to him. For Trump, loyal friends and a growing stock market symbolized success.

During this past election cycle, we began again to see the real Donald Trump emerge. He put off serious consideration on the Covid virus, fearing it would hurt him in the election. Doctors he once applauded, suddenly were on his naughty list, because they disagreed with his assessments.

In the Black Lives Matter riots, he sought to punish them heavily, and had no problem with police shooting rioters. In previous incidents, he avoided condemning his alt-right compatriots, insisting there were good people on all sides of the debate.

During the presidential debates, when pressed on whether he condemned racism, he stated for the Proud Boys to “stand by.” The Proud Boys are a fascist alt-right group.

In insisting the election was rigged, he was given the opportunity to take it to court. He did, about 50 times. None found his claims to be credible, including Republican judges he appointed, nor the Supreme Court which he appointed 3 of the SCOTUS justices. There was no evidence. Yet, he used his Twitter feed and pulpit to keep pushing his agenda: reelect Trump at any cost.

He vetoed the Defense Bill, primarily because it included renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders. Another hat tip to his alt-right groups, like the KKK (who honored his 2016 win with a Hitler salute).

His continual conspiracy theory attacks cost the Republicans the Senate majority. He was so focused on Trump that he no longer cared about how he was affecting the party.

Finally, today he held a rally for tens of thousands in front of the White House. He encouraged them to march to the Capitol building. Several were armed, some with bombs (showing that this was not a spur of a moment decision to invade the Capitol building). He allowed his alt-right groups to wave Confederate flags in the Capitol (remember, the Confederates were traitors), brandishing weapons and endangering the lives of Congress and the Capitol police (remember Trump supporting the Thin Blue Line this past summer against the BLM rioters?).

When Trump finally responded, he told the rioters that he “loved them.” He still insisted that he and they had been ripped off.

From what I’ve seen, Trump and his alt-right factions are guilty of insurrection. Treason is only one of two crimes mentioned in the Constitution (the other is money forgery). Guess what, Mr Trump? You have gone against the Constitution and encouraged others to attack Congress. That is treason.

Trump is no longer competent to be president. I can’t imagine what he’ll do over the next two weeks. Encourage riots everywhere? I ask Vice President Mike Pence, my former governor, to invoke the 25th amendment, declaring Pres Trump no longer capable to fulfill his duties as president, and remove him from office.

To defend the Constitution, restore our national sanity, and keep us from becoming a banana republic, we need Trump out. Now.

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

53 thoughts on “Trump’s Insurrection

  1. Invoking the 25th Amendment is exactly what is needed – long overdue, but desperately needed *now*.

    I think your switching to the Libertarian Party is admirable and shows a level of self-consistency that seems to be sadly lacking in some others.

    However, much of what Trump has done has simply been saying/doing out loud (or louder) what the GOP has been saying/doing for decades (since Nixon at least), he is more of a feature, logical end-point, of the GOP’s current rhetoric than a bug. But I do agree that he has crossed a (new more serious) line since losing the election – he has promoted, and likely committed, sedition. For that I think much of the GOP will eventually come to senses and disavow him – much as Mitch McConnell did today prior to attempted coup attempt that was focused on preventing Congress from fulfilling its Constitutional duty.

  2. He was never fit for office. Those shoes are too big for an ignorant, narcissistic, whiny rich brat, dictator wannabe like him. .

    I’m so glad he will be gone soon. I hope they prosecute him to the full extent of the law and put him in jail for life. This is a grave thing that he caused to happen. SORE LOSER.

    This is what you get when people vote for a man without morals, a fascist, a compulsive liar, a narcissist and ungodly man. There is no way to justify this. He has caused, division, death by negligence in a pandemic, anarchy and mobs. Those who support him as just as guilty as he is for this mess.

    I was proven right today as I have said ad nauseam that Trump is a dangerous dictator wannabe. He’s destroying democracy in this country. He being the coward that he is just made a little video and put it on Twitter telling his cult members how much he loved them, that yes, the election was stolen, blah, blah, blah and to go home, not really meaning it at all. I imagine he had his fingers crossed behind him. Of course, they stayed. And law enforcement were the big absentees today. Such unpreparedness.

    So much for the party of “law and order” breaking the law and staging a Coup. Hypocritical Pharisees. Republicans have shown today who they really are, they want to stay in power by all means possible including a COUP D’ETAT! They’ve become nothing more than a mob breaching the Capitol. Total anarchists.

    What this Trump cult members did is unlawful, undemocratic and shameful. They are no better than the Chavistas in Venezuela. It’s no socialism that destroy countries is leaders like Trump and the people that follow them.

    He can’t help himself, narcissist care about nobody but themselves and nothing is sweeter to them than the adoration of fools.

    Even sadder is the way this mob got into the Capitol with such ease and zero resistance from law enforcement. If it would have been BLM protesters the ones breaching the Capitol, they would have been, gassed, beaten and arrested immediately, but since these were Trump protesters they were just let in the building with no problem.

  3. I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 because I didn’t trust him as he was a life-long democrat. However, he did prove himself to me to love this country and put its interests first. You make him sound like the first president ever to demand loyalty from his appointees. Wrong! That is how a president operates and how he can feel safe to govern. Every president in my lifetime (I’m 63) has done this. Why is it now wrong and horrible to do so?

    He may have not handle the stolen election well, but he is not the treasonous b******d the propaganda media would have you believe. He is constantly censored and spun out of recognition, while the evil go unpunished.

    Those who stole the election will prove to be the destruction of this once great nation with their embrace of the satanic principles and practices of socialism/communism. We will all mourn the day our liberties are fully rescinded and we are in bondage to evil masters.

  4. I hate socialism. It is just as dangerous as fascism.
    Tonight, Senator Ben Sasse (R) reminded us of the peaceful transfer of power in 1801, when John Adams quietly went home and Thomas Jefferson took office. For decades they were enemies. But they surprised the world with the peaceful transfer.

    Senator Lindsey Graham said he hated the outcome of this election, but Trump had his many days in court. He was a strong Trump supporter, but said it was time to move forward.

    Trump seeks to be a fascist dictator. That is dangerous.

    I hope Biden will serve as a moderate. Regardless, he was duly elected. Trumps efforts to encourage violence by his alt right fascist buddies (whom he loves) is an attempt at a coup. People choosing a liberal is not as bad as a coup by a kingman.

  5. In my opinion, all sides are behaving badly, and have been ever since I can remember. A plague on both [their] houses!
    Salvation does not come through Trump, nor through the Democratic party, nor through political means at all. Salvation – and peace – come only through Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. This current strife is what happens when we forget the God who guided our ancestors to this country.

  6. I guess Roxy doesn’t believe in the democratic institutions of this country, like the DOJ with its hundreds of Trump appointed judges, who sat in over 60 cases in which they determined that there wasn’t any proof of election fraud and cases were considered frivolous. You see, when you’re in court in front of a judge under oath with the possibility of perjuring yourself, you’d better tell the truth and bring your proof or they’ll dismiss your case..

    I guess she doesn’t trust republicans either since some of the states were Trump lost, the election were run by.republicans.

    Trump lost more than once, he in the polls, in the recounts, in the courts, in the legislatures, in the Supreme Court, who wouldn’t give them the time of the day, and even today in the eyes of the whole world.

    I don’t see how he is right and won by a landslide, but the rest of the universe is wrong.

    I guess in the eyes of the Trump cult members, he can never be wrong as he’s sort of a god to them. The only way he could lose in theirs and his opinion is if there is fraud. Such petulance. They cannot conceive that more than half the country despises Trump and would not vote for him.

  7. @Gerald, I hate socialism too. Socialists and fascists are opposite sides of the same coin and are exactly like Trump, narcissists intoxicated with power and wealth, willing to destroy everything and everybody who gets in their way just to stay in power.

  8. I remember Democrats spending three and half years telling the country that Trump was a Russian agent. I’m sure that had nothing to do with stoking up tensions over the last four years.

    Note well: I condemn what these folks did in DC yesterday and I condemn Trump’s role in not calming passions. But what happened yesterday is not solely Trump’s fault. I’d even go so far as to suggest that he’s not even primarily to blame.

    No, I blame both parties, but especially the Democrat Party, for they spent the last four years calling into question the 2016 election, and thus laid the foundation for what we’ve seen with respect to the 2020 election.

    Don’t believe me? Then you’re blinded by your own bias. Go back and look at how Democrats acted in 2016 until this past year. See the comments they made about Trump and Trump supporters. Democrats also objected to the counting of electoral votes in early 2017. I could replicate evidence, but it would be cumulative and half the folks here don’t want to hear it anyway. For them, Trump is the apotheosis of all that is wrong with today’s political order. On the contrary, Trump is a symptom, not the cause of what is happening in our country. And Democrats also bear a significant burden of culpability.

    Plenty, plenty, plenty of blame to go around.

  9. Indeed, Michael. Remember that awesome commercial a bunch of celebrities recorded begging the electors to switch their votes in 2016? The cult of the omnipotent state has zealots in both parties.

  10. Definitions matter. Fascists and socialists are both leftists. Trump is an authoritarian.

  11. I use a different scale:

    So, Trump fits in with other authoritarians.


    Is Trump solely to blame for the rancor in politics today? No. He was attacked a lot. And he attacked back a lot. None of it was good. However, it was only Trump that charged up his fascist base of Proud Boys, KKK, and others, to violence.

    I blame Democrats for the violence of BLM and Antifa. I blame Trump for violence from his people.

  12. Gerald, if we are to think of Trump as an authoritarian he was pretty bad at it. He is certainly reactionary and much to his detriment. However the president has disavowed the KKK, white supremacy and others countless times. He is ignorant and arrogant on several things but bear in mind he has Jewish family members so makes the argument of KKK less practical. Proud Boys are a reaction to Antifa but fascists they are not. If anything most of the unsavory folks try lend legitimacy to themselves by supporting mainstream candidates. Should I accuse Joe Biden of white supremacy because he is supported by Richard Spencer the neo-nazi?

  13. The president has weakly disavowed some groups. Yesterday, he told them that he loves them. In his presidential debater, he told the Proud Boys to stand by. He still holds these groups dear to his heart.

    Hitler is supposed to have been part Jewish, and yet he still used them to promote his reign of terror. I don’t know if Trump is a racist, but he loves fascist groups.

    Joe Biden doesn’t applaud Spencer and say he loves him. Your straw man doesn’t work here.

  14. Gerald, I am merely redirecting your straw man arguments. Your use of fascist arguments are as flippant as the mainstream media. Therefore the argument is not honest. The media has used lies to say Trump was a Russian agent and gain a Pulitzer prize for it. That has been proven false. Hitler argument comparisons are shallow when the president’s actions do not coincide with what you are arguing. How many proud boys do you know personally? I do not know any and so I reserve judgment of such things. So such pontifications of their fascism is lacking since the sources of the accusation is from the mainstream media, antifa and their political enemies.

  15. PaulM and Gerald,

    Fascists are traditionally positioned on the right side of the Left-Right political spectrum. Authoritarianism is on both ends of the scale. “Left-wing fascism” is usually used to identify late 20th century groups which have emerged on the left that seem to disconnect from the philosophies of the Enlightenment.

    I think a full analysis of what “Trumpism” is is still under development. At least mine is! But he was a moving target for four years. Psychologically, Trump seems to connect with and admire Authoritarians. He lacks the knowledge and appreciation of constitutional principles which was so common to U.S. politicians just a few decades ago.. With his use of tariffs and cronyism, I would certainly not describe him as a free market capitalist. And his actions smacked of authoritarianism or fascism when he extended benefits or rewards in exchange for political loyalty and favors.

    So we have a leader grasping at authoritarianism who is really a populist politician. A reality TV actor called to move the masses. But unfortunately Trump abandoned aspects of traditional presidential leadership, with their continual references to Enlightenment ideals, those concepts of rights and freedom which are America’s story. Trump seemed to shift away from human dignity to a more combative nationalism. This did not resonate well with progressive Americans and many traditional Republicans. But it was simplistic enough to capture the passions of the groups who stormed the capitol on January 6th.

    Inconsistency is a demonstrable element in the Trump legacy. He did possess a real hatred of Obama-era policies, but this appears to be personal rather than ideological. I doubt he could fully articulate why he opposed some Obama policies. The White House was a chaotic place for the last four years, with various advisers trying to be the last person Trump speaks with. He sabotaged his own legislative agendas and even his own initiatives with tweets to please his base. But it is debatable if he actually believes anything that his base believes. In this aspect he is quite Machiavellian.

    The real tragedy of the Trump experience is his grasping at power without principle. He seems delighted to be able to rally tens of thousands of people, an ability inherited due to decades of leaders not connecting with common people. I doubt he foresees the implications of his actions. He wanted so badly to win the election. When he lost, his ambition became the driving force which determined his final course. Almost a Greek tragedy!

    I suggest that conservative and libertarian philosophies will still play a significant role in American politics. They have much to offer. But Trumpism is (I hope) an aberration. Moral leadership matters, and I rejoice when I see it. I hope we don’t see the political Right offer us a candidate of this type again, but a few are lining up to pander to his base for Round 2 and will make a run for the presidency in four years.

  16. How many “moral” leaders have we actually had in the last one hundred years? I can only think of a few candidates. Immoral leadership is the norm, not the exception. I think it’s incredibly foolish to think otherwise.

  17. Here’s the actual transcript of Trump’s speech on the 6th. I challenge anyone to find any snippet where he incited a riot.

    According to Ann Althouse, who is absolutely not a Trump fan, these are the “seven most violence-inciting statements” in Trump’s speech. Listed from most begin to most “dangerous.”

    ” 7. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

    6. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal…. We will not let them silence your voices.

    5. The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican party if you don’t get tougher.

    4. [W]e’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.

    3. We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.

    2. We’re not going to let it happen. Not going to let it happen.

    1. Together we are determined to defend and preserve government of the people, by the people and for the people. ”

    Now, if you’re like me, having gone through the transcript and seen the evidence, you can’t blame this observer from feeling that, yet once again, the mainstream media has pulled the wool over the eyes of all of us again.

    I challenge any of you to disprove any of my assertions.

  18. The whole civilized world knows that Mr. Trump called the mob to assemble, gave them their commission to march to the Capitol and stop the process, and encouraged them as they did so. And then, he delayed sending in support to the Capitol Police. And then, after the riot petered out, Mr. Trump disowned the mob and threw them under the bus by promising to prosecute them.

    True, not all MAGA persons attended the rally, and true, not all of the rally attenders joined the riot at the Capitol, but also true, the rioters were almost exclusively the MAGA crowd that came to D.C. at Mr. Trump’s invitation and followed his instructions to stop the Congress from its work.

    This was a MAGA riot. Own it. Be honest.

  19. “… but also true, the rioters were almost exclusively the MAGA crowd that came to D.C. ….”

    No, the rioters were false flag infiltrators, instigators and some dupes under their influence.

    The Maga rally/protest was used as a cover. This was a repeat of what Antifa did with BLM protests. Though Maga is not an actual organization like BLM. And BLM leadership was complicit in their protests being used as cover.

    Geoff’s next post and its comments illustrate this. BLM leadership and Antifa were in the thick of it.

    The chaos and property destruction was pure Antifa and anarchist. That is not Maga, nor conservative, nor republican.

    It was all Kibuki theater.

  20. Michael,
    It isn’t just a one speech thing. When fighting between right and left wingers occurred in S Carolina a couple years ago, and a person was killed by a car, Trump didn’t condemn the violence, but said there were good on all sides.

    For the Antifa/BLM riots, he threatened people with 10 years prison for any damage to government facilities. In this Capitol riot, he told them he loved them and to go home peacefully. It took until yesterday for him to finally be pressed to condemn the rioters.

    His continual rancor, insisting in both his elections that fraud occurred, initially downplaying the Covid virus, and asking his cabinet if we shouldn’t bomb Iran, all are on the same line leading to the Capitol assault.

    Many of his policies, BTW, are fascist. Fascism is an economic policy of having government and private business work hand in hand. One of Trump’s key guides to his own success was a growing stock index. Fascists tends towards nationalism (such was Hitler’s National Socialism, and Mussolini’s National Fascism), which included tariffs (which didn’t work).

    Old Man, I understand the regular political spectrum. But it doesn’t make sense. Authoritarianism is authoritarianism, and should all be on the same side of a spectrum, with anarchy on the other end. In such a case, communism, fascism, socialism, absolute monarchy, dictatorship, and other forms of authoritarianism/totalitarianism are properly put into perspective. However, I do think your analysis of Trump is very spot on.

    A friend of mine, who is a conservative LDS woman and is very engaged in pro-LDS platforms, noted that Trump looks to have the same disorder as her mother: Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In her FB discussion on it, she describes her mother’s destructive behavior, and it fits Trump very well. It also fits Old Man’s assessment well, too.

    I do not hate Trump. I see in him a destructive personality. I saw this even before he ran for president, from things I read and saw on his business acumen. He loves chaos and attention. While I hoped his advisors would keep him in check (which they tried to do, and were sometimes successful), it was only a matter of time before events would totally bring out his true nature and his true allies in chaos.

  21. Michael Towns, your challenge is kind of like asking when a man has gone bald. Each of those statements are the loss of one hair. Trump has been plucking hairs from the head of our country for some time. Surprised baldness hadn’t set in earlier.

  22. Michael Towns is following the lead of his master, Mr. Trump. He is lying. Shame.

    I watched the rally in real time, every word. I’m really very close to all of this. Mr. Trump did call the mob to assemble, he did charge them to march to Capitol Hill to stop the Congress from its work, and he did encourage them while the riot was going on. And afterwards, he threw them under the bus with promises to prosecute them.

    My post was honest.

  23. Gerald Smith,

    I can believe that Trump is extremely flawed while also understanding that he had nothing to do with inciting a riot at the Capitol. Which, in fact, he didn’t.

    Now, you can choose to believe CNN and MSNBC’s mythological take on the situation. Or Nancy Pelosi’s. Take your pick, they are essentially the same position.

    All I’m suggesting is, as a lawyer, I’ve read the transcript, and I’ve read other’s take on the transcript. He did not do anything remotely close to inciting a riot. It’s false to claim otherwise. I would counsel people to not let their antipathy or animus toward Trump cloud their judgment. Yet, I see that every day. Even among very good people. And certainly, among the worst people, of which I’m convinced Pelosi is a proud member.

    By constantly ascribing the worst possible motives to Trump’s speech, some of you folks show incredible lack of charity and unfairness. But that’s been par for the course for the Trump years. And of course, Trump is extremely clumsy with his use of language. But I have to tell you, after years of looking into media reports since 2015 up to today, they almost always get it wrong. The reporting on Trump has been uniformly propagandistic, and a lot of good people get suckered.

    I fully acknowledge every mistake Trump has made. But he has not made many of the mistakes that get breathlessly repeated as if they were facts. And one of the most false ones is this idea that Trump incited a riot at the Capitol. Pravda would be proud at this utter lie.

  24. Ji,

    I’m only going to say this one time, and then I will no longer engage with you, because you are proving that you don’t care about facts.

    Donald Trump isn’t my master. Never has been, never will be.

    If you repeat that, I’ll contact Geoff Biddulph, and I’ll have him delete your comment.

  25. “… but said there were good on all sides…”

    Out of context. That was specifically about the statue issue. There were plenty of people there in support of the statue who were not nazi, racist, supremacists. Look up the full video clip or transcription under “fine people hoax.”

    Same tactic was used on the “ingesting disinfectant”. If you look at the before and after, you see he was talking about UV light being a disinfectant. Inserting some kind of light wand, fiber optic, with UV light into patients’ trachea/lungs was actually in the news that week. CNN and the rest purposely cut off the beginning and ending so they could miscast the disinfectant remark as bleach.

    CNN was responsible for 2 deaths because some low IQ people believed CNN’s lie claiming Trump said to drink bleach.

    Same thing was done with the Covington kids.

    MT is 100% correct. the major media is purposely editing and mischaracterizing and miscasting everything to brainwash viewers.

    We don’t have real journalism any more. It’s all lies, propaganda, and brainwashing.

  26. These MAGA cult members are so fanatic they cannot own the truth of their wrong doing. They bring to mind a quote attributed to Mark Twain that says, that “ It’s easier to deceive a person that to make them see that they were deceived “ I guess their pride won’t let them admit to themselves that they’ve been duped. No one wants to think of themselves as gullible.

    I guess love is blind as they say. They cannot see any flaws in the object of their affection (Trump). No matter what Trump does, how outrageous or wicked, they find a way to justify the unjustifiable. Just pitiful.

    And this business of blaming the media is just typical of authoritarians who only want their propaganda out there. I saw it with Chávez. He constantly attacked the media and called them the enemy of the people and fake news (sound familiar?). He pushed and pushed until he got rid of all the media outlets by threatening and bullying them until there was not one single independent major channel left. Chávez was a rally man like Trump, he, like Trump loved the adoration, he couldn’t live without it. He also had daily tv shows that lasted for hours. This to me shows mental instability. Totally not normal behavior.

    We as citizens should be very careful into whose hands we put the destiny of our lives and country because this unstable elements will be making decisions that will affect us, in accordance with their moral compass or better said, lack thereof.

  27. He told them that the country’s elected representatives, who were gathered to perform their constitutional duty that is absolutely fundamental to our democracy, were actually engaged in a process of stealing the election. That is an incendiary statement, but that is not all he said. He told them that we will not let that happen. He told them to be strong and to never concede. He told them that if they let this happen it would destroy the country and we cannot let that happen. Of course he didn’t tell them to take the specific actions they took, but how much more clear did he need to be when speaking to this mob? You don’t need the media to condemn him. His own words are quite sufficient.

    It does not matter one bit that other leaders have also failed to adequately condemn or stop rioting at other times and places. It does not matter one bit that there is rampant hypocrisy, as is so often the case. It does not matter one bit if some of the people in the crowd were not true supporters. This was the President of the United States lying to people about what their elected representatives were doing in the most incendiary terms possible, and encouraging a mob to take actions to stop it.

  28. Gary, did you read the transcript? Did you click on Ann Althouse’s analysis (she’s not a Trump fan and is a retired law school professor.)

    Trump’s comments don’t come within seven light years of incitement to imminent lawless action.

  29. MIchael, yes I did read the transcript. Hence my comment. Did he not say what I said he said? I have not read Ann Althouse’s analysis. I am just trying to let Trump speak for himself.

  30. Trump definitely has narcissistic disorder. The symptoms are undeniable. Grandeur delirium for example, everything he does is the best and has never been done before. The unquenchable desire for adoration which is the reason for the constant rallies. The vindictive behavior, he’s incapable of forgiveness when he feels he’s been wronged. The lack of empathy and compassion, he will destroy anybody who stands in the way of his interests or goals. The compulsive lying, the demand for absolute loyalty and the list is long.

  31. Yes, we’re all well aware of Trump’s manifold flaws, given that they have been regurgitated ad infinitum for the last five years. Still doesn’t change the demonstrable facts that the media has lied to us repeatedly, including about what happened on January 6th, and that a lot of you folks buy it, hook, line, and sinker.

    Both Trump’s character flaws — and the media’s corruption — can be true.

  32. M. Towns,

    A comment doesn’t have to rise to the level of being prosecutable to be called incendiary. It very well may be the case that nothing he said is prosecutable, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t incite the riot.

  33. MDK,

    Wrong. “Incite” is a legal word, with legal ramifications. And that’s how it’s being used by Democrats, the elites, the establishment, the media, etc., since the events of January 6th.

    Besides, going to sound like a broken record here, but did you read the transcript and read Ann Althouse’s analysis? If you haven’t, then your bias is doing the thinking for you.

  34. Ummm. Yes and yes. I’ve also now read several articles from the “corrupt media” about the issue. The vast majority of outlets are raising the question of whether or not the statements rise to the level of being prosecutable. I haven’t seen one simply assuming it to be the case, although there probably are. You’re over exaggerating the corruption here. For instance, here is the SF Chronicle, which interviews several criminal law experts:

    More importantly, lawyers don’t own the word incite. And if you read my earlier post you’d see that my position is that Trump’s comments over time did indeed incite the violence. Those comments individually are certainly not prosecutable, perhaps even taken together they are not, but that does not mean that Trump is not at all responsible for what happened, nor that he shouldn’t be held accountable even if not criminally.

  35. The comments on this thread about Trump captures and expresses perfectly my long-time thesis of Trump as a Rorschach test: people see in Trump what they want desperately to see, or what they choose to see, and it’s usually manifested at a subconscious level.

  36. Michael, I have now read the Althouse blog entry you linked to and see that you have done a good job summarizing it here. I still don’t understand your point. Is there anything in my summary above that you believe is inaccurate? I still think it is quite clear that many of Trump’s comments were incendiary and abhorrent. (Most were just typical rambling nonsense.) We can quibble about whether he committed a criminal offense or not but the real point is whether he bears moral responsibility. And so my conclusion remains the same–what result should one expect when the President tells his most rabid followers that Congress, while in the course of exercising a constitutional duty, is now in the process of stealing the election, that they must not let that happen, and that if it does happen the country will be destroyed? Does your defense of Trump really turn on the finer points of whether this meets some particular legal definition of “incite”. What he did and said was destructive to the very foundations of this democracy. If you don’t agree, please explain how one should interpret his actions as being benign?

  37. With respect to your Rorschach test comment, I agree that it is often true that people see what they want to see and this is a very serious problem. But you seem to assume that this tendency only afflicts those with whom you disagree. Why do you think you are immune?

  38. I did not vote for Trump in either of the past two elections. That being said, the coverage of these events has been incredibly biased (as have been subsequent actions to suspend social media accounts).

    I read Ann’s analysis. It does not take long to do. What I found more interesting was this link in the comments section:

    I do not always agree with Jason Whitlock. But I do generally enjoy his writing. He never attempts to be politically correct and just says what he thinks. (Which could be why he is no longer with ESPN.) I think the above is well worth the read.

    As I watched some of the coverage on CNN, I could not help but laugh each time Wolf Blitzer bemoaned how people were not adhering to the rapidly called curfew in DC. (“It’s been 20 minutes since the 6 PM curfew went into effect and there is still a large crowd in place…”) I mused, if only CNN had worked harder to inform people about curfews over the Summer, we would not have had nearly as many riots then.

    Again, not a Trump fan. Did not vote for him in either election and I think that most of his tweets are stupid. But if people cannot see the blatant hypocrisy and agenda driven activity from the Democrats and most of the mainstream and social media outlets, then I cannot help but bemoan the utter lack of critical thinking skills in this world.

    Stop reacting to snippets and blurbs. It is hard to take emotion and frustration out of the equation. But we need to step back and think critically.

  39. Mike, I agree with everything you said. However, your comments about the media apply equally to Fox News and other conservative or right wing media sources. They are all in the same business, they just carve up the market differently. They are in the business of capturing our attention and then selling our attention to advertisers. And experience has taught them that the best way to capture our attention is to promote outrage and self righteous indignation. Just keep reminding us how right and righteous we are and how wrong and evil those other people are and we will keep watching. And pretty soon, all debates devolve into some version of “Oh yeah, well whatever tiny specks you have observed in the eyes of people on my team are dwarfed by the big beams I see in the eyes of the people on your team.” They are all toxic and corrosive but it is madness to lay all the blame on the so called mainstream media. They are all to blame.

    The Trump supporters most certainly do have legitimate grievances. So do many other groups. We have to listen to them all. But addressing those grievances requires telling the truth and not lying to them about what is happening and not inventing reasons to magnify their grievances.

  40. Today’s media/advertising/political cabal brings to mind the following passage from D&C 89.

    “In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation…”

    I generally think LDS leadership has missed the mark on D&C 89 by focussing almost exclusively on the dietary admonitions.

    I think a lot of people have been deceived by conspiring men/women and we have lost the ability to identify instances when others are specifically attempting to manipulate us.

  41. HI Gary – Yes, Fox has their own agenda as well, and I do consider them part of the mainstream media. By and large, the media in general is about selling. And after sex, the next best seller is fear. Fox made a great living off of fear while Obama was president. But another reason why they really did well was that a good part of the country found Fox to be the only major outlet that they felt presented a view that they could relate to in some manner.

    And Trump has even managed to alienate much of the Fox team, as well. He really has not handled media relations well the past four to five years.

    We have become a lazy people. Rather than taking the time to really find out what is happening and understand it, we see headlines, tweets, or hear soundbites and base our view of “truth” on these limited and edited sources. This seems much simpler to us, which is a big part of the appeal. We live in an age of fast food for all sorts of sustenance now, including mental and emotional. And the easiness of it weakens us, just as physical fast food does. But we like easy. Thinking critically is hard. I am as guilty as others in my laziness.

    Fear is a great sales tool. I highly recommend Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear.” There are those that think it is about environmentalism, but it really isn’t. It is how we are sold on issues based on fear. I think that this is one reason why the Bretheren speak about finding and having peace so often. Peace insulates us from the winds of fear that seek to bend and break our resolve to hold to truth and keep our agency.

  42. Hi Paul – I appreciate your comment. I was interrupted while I was writing my response to Gary, so i missed yours until after I had submitted. But I very much agree.

    What we consume and how it affects us is not just about what we eat and drink. It is also what we watch, read, and listen to, as well. Yes, advertising has deceived us in many respects to what we eat and drink to our detriment. But, the talking heads (not the band – I like them) have certainly been having their influence on us all, on multiple fronts regardless of ideology.

    Again, that was an excellent comment, IMHO.

  43. Several comments condemning the msm for inaccurate journalism. Yes there has been. However, Trump and his news has equally been troubled with falsehood.
    It’s easy to claim everyone and everything as part of a conspiracy, and make it convincing if you tweet it enough. Even Pence and Lindsey Graham are now traitors to the Trump cause.

    The new fake news from Trumpists is that most of the rioters were Antifa. Really? Can we stop with the fake conspiracy theories, like the new Church Handbook warns us about? The FBI has made it clear that this was a Trump nationalist riot. Of the dozens arrested, virtually all are Trump followers, who have planned this for weeks on Parler.

    Finally, Michael T told JI: If you repeat that, I’ll contact Geoff Biddulph, and I’ll have him delete your comment.

    This is my post, not Geoff’s. We try to stay out of each other’s posts. I’m for free speech, even on things I disagree with. I disagree with your comments, Michael. However, I left them up. If I were to delete any, it would be your comments. But I haven’t. I will say that free speech requires thick skin. Grow it if you are going to comment here. Don’t threaten others with censorship, then pretend to be for free speech. Hypocrisy is Trump threatening Antifa with ten years prison for rioting, then tell the Capitol rioters he loves them. Don’t be like Trump.

  44. Rameumptom,

    The guy said that “Donald Trump is my master.” I take great exception to that. It’s an ugly comment.

    I was in the Navy ten years, and I’m an attorney. My skin is thick enough. Guess what? I get to have free speech too, and that joker’s comment was stupid. So I’m calling him out on his stupidity.

    Joker doesn’t know who I am. I’m not a registered Republican. I’ll defend Donald Trump against lies. I defended Hillary Clinton when folks criticized her for defending a child molester as an attorney.

    I call it like I see it. I don’t need your condescension. And Geoff has a strict moderating policy for this site. Accusing me of having Trump as my “master” was below the belt stupid.

    I knew I was making a mistake by coming back to this site and commenting. I tried to be a voice of reason against the stupid mob mentality that I saw exhibited here.

    Yeah, happy Sabbath to all of you. And goodbye.

  45. Republicans, Democrats, news and social media, racism, elitism, confirmation bias.

    Everyone shares the blame.

  46. Mark,

    There is enough blame to go around for our uncivil environment and hyper partisanship. But I don’t think Mr. Trump can pass his blame to anyone else — don’t you think plenty of blame may appropriately stick to him personally?

    I agree with the original posting. To me, it was Trump’s insurrection.

  47. I think insurrection is a gross mis-characterization.

    You can’t tell me that the political group with the likely highest percentage of gun ownership shows up entirely without guns, and the only gun fire was a police killing a protestor; and somehow this amounts to an insurrection.

    It was obviously riotous at parts.

    As members of the Church we should know well how the in-the-moment popular information is usually false, yet I find so many of us, including the author of this article, swallowing the media reports at face value.

    Where are the direct quotes in your article to Trump’s words in context? Where are the videos that show what he actually said? Where are the long-form, first-hand accounts of what happened?

    We live in an amazing age where we can get first-hand accounts of events, almost in real-time. Why do we need to read about this from people who were not there, who are told to filter information in certain ways, or who are perfectly willing to suppress information if it doesn’t make their team look good?

    If anyone here has not heard Trump’s speech directly, or the videos of him calling for peace, or raw video footage of the protest, the shooting, or the riot and the violence – if anyone hasn’t done the leg work, then you have had your opinions assigned to you and have been perfectly willing to allow your biases get stronger (myself included) all in the name of wanting to be right, instead of wanting to know the truth.

  48. I heard the entire rally with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes. Mr. Trump called the mob to assemble, gave them their commission to march to the Capitol and stop the Congressional process. Then, later, he encouraged them as they rioted. And then, he delayed sending in support to the Capitol Police. And then, after the riot petered out, Mr. Trump disowned the mob and threw them under the bus by promising to prosecute them. I am okay with the word “insurrection” as the purpose was to stop the Congressional process so that Mr. Trump could illegally retain the presidency after having lost the election. But I would also be okay if the title was “Trump’s Riot.” Either way, it is Trump’s.

    It is preposterous to assert that only people who were there can validly have an opinion, and that anyone else’s opinion is “assigned.” Valid opinions can be formed from news reports and other means of information sharing. And everyone’s opinion is subject to change upon learning new information. I haven’t heard anything that would change my opinion.

  49. I did not assert what you are stating, and I agree with you 100% on opinions.

    I, like you, can exactly say ‘I heard the entire rally with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes’. You can assert yourself as a witness for one view all you want, but there are also many witness just as powerful from other sides on various issues. I don’t discount them so easily and they say differently than you.

    Please re-read, and re-search, with ears open to hearing from different locations, and eyes open to seeing from different viewpoints.

  50. I’m glad you agree with me on opinions, and are backtracking on your assertion of opinions being “assigned” regarding Trump’s riot. I think there are very valid opinions and a good deal of truth in the original posting. I think calling it Trump’s insurrection or Trump’s riot is a fair characterization. Truth will prevail.

  51. I am certainly not backtracking my assertion that opinions have been assigned, and inferring things I did not say does not help the conversation. Please re-read with an eye open to seeing how what I said and what you think I said may be different.

    I stand by my opinions so far and I think that the use of the word “insurrection” cannot be applied given nature of the group, the words of his speech, and even the results of the riot. Granted, words are becoming so fluid nowadays that I imagine the meaning of this one will be watered down to fit the moment.

    I do not deny there was a riot. For what it’s worth, this perspective is very enlightening:

  52. As I said earlier, if calling it Trump’s insurrection is problematic because of objections to the word insurrection, I am fine with calling it Trump’s riot in this thread. Either way, it is Trump’s.

    By the way, I think I read that “incitement of insurrection” is the text used in the impeachment resolution agreed to by the House of Representatives, so the original poster is not alone in using the word insurrection.

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