January 6 was not an Insurrection in America

January 6 was not a day of insurrection in America. To say otherwise is not only preposterous but is an intentional lie. Op-ed.

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer ,

Pro-Trump protesters inside the US Capitol building
Pro-Trump protesters inside the US Capitol building
Reuters/Michael Nigro/Sipa USA
To call what happened in Washington D.C. on January 6th an Insurrection, is not only preposterous but is an intentional lie Lies like these fragment society and impune national sovereignty.

Israel suffers similarly from the Left’s never-ending false alarms that “our democracy is in danger.” Such mendacity speaks the ultimate forbidden taboo — insurrection — out loud when it has not happened and was not the mind of anyone serious. When you tell enough people that thousands tried a Hitler-style putsch or a Bolshevik-style takeover or military coup, you reduce America’s Constitutional republic and Israel’s own democracy to Haiti, to Zimbabwe, to Arab countries, to Muslim countries, to Communist countries. That is not who America or Israel are, and it is perilous even to suggest otherwise.

In Israel, it is the Left which regularly has trampled democracy. It was the Left who saw a majority of votes in 1992 go to the center and right, yet bought off two right-wing Members of Knesset to pass the historically nightmarish Oslo disaster. Today, three decades later, it is the Israeli Left which carved a government with the votes that had been given to Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked - willing partners - to work for a right-wing and religious government.

These acts of perfidy truly make a mockery of democracy. What is the point in giving people the “democractic” right to choose if, after they choose, an opposite result gets superimposed on the voters anyway?

In America January 6 was marked by a very large public street demonstration aimed at protesting a truly questionable election: the way it was conducted, the results that were reported. No matter how anyone comes out on the November 2020 election, there was something wrong with the whole thing.

States changed their election laws only months, even only weeks, before balloting. There was despicable voter harvesting in many states. In many states people voted weeks too early, way before the last debate or simply before all the issues were on the table. Social media monopolies suppressed the news of the Hunter Biden laptop, which would have been a game-changer. The President of the United States was being denied a voice and platform!

Again, no matter how anyone comes out on claims that the election results were false, there was that screwy thing about how President Trump was leading by wide margins in several battleground Midwestern states in the middle of the night . . . and then the Midwestern states stopped counting . . . and then, when they resumed, Biden suddenly was ahead.

There was the cheating, the unfairness, of years of social media disruption, Big Media falsehoods.

Whatever the true tally as the numbers had been reported, something manifestly had been unfair. Half the country knew it, and that is why half the country voted as they did and remains dissatisfied.

In the face of all that stuff, many thousands came to Washington, D.C. to protest. They did not come to kill Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi and to seize the reins of power. Anyone who ever has read or learned anything about military coups or Bolshevik-style revolutions knows that January 6 was a cookie-cutter Washington, D.C. demonstration that got out of hand, as did scores of racist, anti-Semitic, “Death to the Police” Black Lives Matter demonstrations all summer.

There were no U.S. military generals or captains or colonels or lieutenants involved in leading or strategizing a coup. Many people came dressed for a carnival, like the ones dressed in bear or wolverine outfits. There was not shooting of rifles, taking of hostages.

Rather, the D.C. and Capitol Police proved incompetent — something we knew already — and failed to set up sufficient barriers. Consequently, a bunch of angry people in the front lines charged the police barricades and got through, and the throng mindlessly followed them. That is what throngs do. They do it at movies, at restaurants, at soccer games, at heavy metal concerts. We just saw it tragically in Meron on Lag B’Omer. If the same exact throng had been swarming towards a Ben & Jerry’s store to smash its windows and to seize its diabetes-inducing, coronary-artery-blocking left-wing ice cream, and then to melt it on the sidewalk, then that is where the throng would have followed.

They burst into the Capitol because that’s where the throng unpexpectedly flowed. For 99 percent of those inside, it was pure curiosity. So much video shows most people milling about, not sure what next to do once inside a building they had not come to enter.

Remember the guy sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s chair? You think he came like John Brown in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to seize military weapons and incite a national insurrection? Of course not. Be real. The guy was having the time of his life. Or the characters in the crazy outfits?

Thirty-five years ago I was national executive vice president of the Likud Zionists of America. We were headquartered in Manhattan, and one day I hosted a Michigan Congressman who came to the East Coast to be guest of honor at our monthly public event. I spent the day with him and his fiancee, showing them around Manhattan. We got more than we bargained for because it was the heavy-crime years before Rudy Giuliani.

So we visited Times Square, and the Congressman was propositioned by a prostitute while I was talking with his bride-to-be half a block away. We went to Columbia University, Central Park, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick House (my favorite museum), the J.P. Morgan House, Macy’s at Herald Square, and to the top of both the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. Since it was Manhattan, we even got stopped in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park by a drug pusher, offering to sell us marijuana, and we got to see from our car a guy shoot a pistol at someone in Mid-Manhattan.

For this rural Michigan legislator, it was an eye-opener and also was lots of fun. As part of the day, I took the guy to Turtle Bay to see the United Nations. We got in, and we split away from the tour. Next thing we knew, we were in either the General Assembly or Security Council room. (I don’t recall which.) The room was empty. The Congressman asked me whether, if we closed the door and turned on the lights, I kindly would take some photos of him while he would stand at the rostrum and pose as though speaking to the General Assembly. He told me he would use the photo in his next mailer to voters in his rural Congressional District to convey to them that he had been invited to speak to world leaders at the U.N. What did I care? I took the photos. At night we had dinner at Schmulka Bernstein’s, the best kosher Chinese restaurant ever.

Was that Congressman undertaking a world insurrection, trying to seize the United Nations? Of course not. He was having the time of his life. The door to the room had been left open, and his fiancee was with him, and it was fun. In the same way, the character who ended up in Pelosi’s office with his shoes on her desk was having fun. He had followed the throng, and he ended up where he did. He had not come to seize the government nor to kill Pelosi.

Anyone sensible, regardless of personal politics, knows that, if January 6 honestly had been contemplated as an insurrection against the Constitutional government of the United States, lots of bullets would have been fired and, at least, Pelosi or Bernie Sanders or Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib or Ocasio now would be dead. There is no doubt. Instead, a police officer accidentally and horrifically was crushed to death by the throng, and someone murdered Ashli Babbitt, a United States Air Force 14-year veteran. Real Clear Politics seems to have identified her murderer.

But where was the insurrection? Where the coup?

That also is why the trespassers now on trial for January 6 law-breaking are getting incredibly light sentences like eight months or just probation. By contrast, John Brown’s sons, Watson and Oliver, were killed on site, while he was sentenced to death only two weeks later and was hanged only a month after that. So these people did not come to overthrow the elected government of the United States. They came to demonstrate their disgust with a broken system, and the thing got no less out of hand than did a summer of left-wing Antifa and Black Lives Matters “insurrections.”

Certainly, perhaps four or five people came to overthrow the government. They just forgot to tell anyone else. What kind of insurrection is that? Would the Bolsheviks have taken Russia or Mao China if simply Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky had shown up one day with a manifesto and a few thousand people chanting slogans? Would Mao have gotten China that way?

Pelosi has fixated on a political strategy of doing an annual Passion Play about “rescuing democracy” from “fascism” (i.e., from those who do not vote Democrat). One year it was a Trump impeachment. The next year another Trump impeachment. This year: no Trump in the White House, so a “January 6 Insurrection Investigation.”

In truth, this canard of “Insurrection” does grave damage to America. Democracy is not in danger from Republican conservatives nor from populists among Independents who just want to be left alone, to enjoy their lives, to keep the lies of “systemic racism” and “critical race theory” out of kids’ and grandkids’ schools, to keep the police maximally funded and reinforced, to control inflation as it was in the Trump days, and to be spared having to pay “reparations” to people whom they did not harm and who do not deserve a penny from anyone anyway.

Instead, by fostering the Big Lie of “January 6 Insurrection,” Pelosi inserts the idea of insurrection into the American psyche and arena. She takes the unspoken — the Verboten, the Taboo — and she gets Americans of different stripes thinking: “Hmmm. An insurrection? Hmmm.”

This is terrible. Americans must get rid of her in November 2022. The old-fashioned American way: at the ballot box.

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com .



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