In the aftermath of the attack on the United States Capitol building last January 6 by some of US President Donald Trump’s supporters, many people condemned Trump for having been the cause of the attack. The Democrats wasted no second in condemning Trump. The media, like clockwork, immediately sang like a Democrat choir in lambasting Trump and even many from Trump’s own political party (the Republicans) joined in the fray by turning their backs on the one who singlehandedly gave excitement to the dull as rusted nails Republican party. The gods of Silicon Valley dropped the hammer on the president. Almost in one fell swoop, the president and many of his supporters were banned from social media platforms depriving many people of platforms to freely speak and express themselves. Trump and many of his supporters were also punished by having their businesses removed from marketing and sales platforms such as Shopify. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got the ball rolling to initiate impeachment proceedings in Congress to charge Trump for “Incitement of Insurrection”, despite Trump only having less than 9 days left in office. It certainly looks like the lynching of Donald Trump has begun and the Democrats are getting the noose ready for his execution, figuratively or otherwise.
But hold on for just a minute here. Does Trump deserve the beating he is receiving from the sanctimonious Democrats, a few Republicans, the media, and Big Tech? Is the hanging of Trump and his supporters justified? If so, on what basis? Trump certainly deserves criticism on his incendiary speech. It was egotistical and reckless. Trump’s signature behavior has always been outrageous and irresponsible but does being outrageous and irresponsible necessarily translate to an incitement to an insurrection as charged by his detractors and haters? Let’s analyze.
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Under the law, “to incite a riot” means:
“…to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot, which includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.”
If we look at the transcript of Trump’s speech where his alleged crime was supposed to have materialized, we see that nowhere in the entire speech can we find anything that shows that his comments directed at an outcome of insurrection, or the destruction of life and property at the US Capitol building. In fact, at around 18:16 in his speech, we see that he said:
“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Trump ended his speech with:
“So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.”
As we can see, Trump did not incite a riot as defined by law, let alone incite an insurrection. He even told his supporters to stay peaceful and advocated for respecting Law and Order and the police. He also told his supporters to “Go home” when things started to get heated at the Capitol building.
If his careless and inflammatory speech qualifies as such, then there ought to be a few folks worthy of being charged to incite a riot, perhaps even the very same folks who are condemning Trump. We have certainly seen and heard a few of these folks seem to have encouraged violence, harassment, mayhem and destruction of life and property that resulted in such over the course of president Trump’s term. Democrat megastar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, herself, certainly rationalized riots.
The thing is, I believe jurisprudence is on the side of Trump. Of course, impeachment is a political exercise and jurisprudence would not matter to a bunch of bloodthirsty partisans but if we focus on just the law, I believe the allegations of crime against Trump regarding the Jan. 6 event do not hold water.
Case in point, a federal judge dismissed an “incitement to riot” case filed against alleged Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson because the judge concluded that Mckesson “solely engaged in protected speech”. The case involved a riot that ensued against the police in Louisiana at a Black Lives Matter protest after Alton Sterling, a black man, was shot by a white police officer.
Okay, so if Trump did not exactly “incite a riot” nor “incite an insurrection”, then perhaps he can be charged for advocating an illegal behavior. But did he really do that? Let’s take the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969. Now this case involved Ku Klux Klan leader, Clarence Brandenburg, for advocating violence in the service of a political cause! Brandenburg said:
“This is an organizers’ meeting. We have had quite a few members here today which are – we have hundreds, hundreds of members throughout the State of Ohio. I can quote from a newspaper clipping from the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch, five weeks ago Sunday morning. The Klan has more members in the State of Ohio than does any other organization. We’re not a revengent organization, but if our President, our Congress, our Supreme Court, continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it’s possible that there might have to be some revengeance taken.
“We are marching on Congress July the Fourth, four hundred thousand strong. From there we are dividing into two groups, one group to march on St. Augustine, Florida, the other group to march into Mississippi. Thank you.”
The Supreme Court ruled that Brandenburg’s speech was protected by the First Amendment. The ruling of the Court stated:
“The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press, do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”
Looking back at Trump’s speech, was his speech likely to incite or produce imminent lawless action? Sure, at least perhaps by some of his supporters present at the rally. But was Trump’s speech directed at producing imminent lawless action? The evidence does not appear to support that.
This is the problem with the case of Trump haters who are eager to lynch the president. Idiots who want to skin Trump alive are committing the logical fallacy called “post hoc ergo propter hoc”. This fallacy occurs when something is assumed to be the cause of an event merely because it happened before that event. Trump gave an inflammatory speech criticizing the Senate and the House of Representatives for certifying the result of an anomalous election then afterwards all hell broke loose as some of his supporters marched to the Capitol building and wreaked havoc. Can we assume that the chronology of events determines cause? If a rooster crows before sunrise, does this mean the rooster caused the sun to rise?
It’s amazing how many of Trump hating partisans have the audacity to condemn Trump for the very same thing they accuse him of doing. It’s amazing how stupid their useful idiots are for parroting the Democratic party’s talking points when even upon the most superficial scrutiny, the charges and accusations against Trump would fold like a cheap pair of shoes.
(Top image from ourquadcities.com)
Calling a spade, a spade…