January 6th was anticipated by many except those with the power to stop it. Postulating the worst possible scenario that could happen could help prevent it from becoming reality.
Despite the January 6th insurrection, the new Biden administration is reluctant to bring in domestic terror legislation, because they want to avoid the mistakes of the past, when they were investigating rights leaders, war objectors and musicians. If the MAGA mob takes serious action on Inauguration Day, Biden’s government may have to change their mind and resort to using the military to root out the terrorists. Considering that a recent poll revealed that 45% percent of Republicans supported the action at the capital, it is apparent that there a sizeable proportion of the country remains strongly opposed to the Biden government. Equally concerning is that there are a sizeable number of military and police who support the insurgency.
For every action, there is a reaction. Repression can cause more backlash. It really is up to the insurrectionists, because if they step up the violence, the result could become a police state that first has to eject those members who side with the capital siege. More action from the government to address the growing insurrection, could embolden the insurrectionists and the situation could snowball.
A worst-case scenario could become us versus them. The Trump zealots who no longer listen to reason live everywhere in the U.S., with far more concentrated in the red states. It could pit neighbours against neighbours and the zealots own the majority of the guns. Within every institution there are zealots, including the House of Representatives, where members gave tours to the insurrectionists the day prior to the siege and one tweeted the whereabouts of Pelosi. The Capital siege could not have taken place without some kind of inside collusion that resulted in a lack of police and military presence that allowed the insurrectionists to breach the poorly defended barriers and break into the building.
A growing insurrection would be easier to halt if there were leaders to lock up, but in this digital age an amorphous MAGA cancer has grown too large from thanks to the right-wing media and social media. White supremacy, fascism, alt-right religion, messianic tribalism, and military fanaticism have melded through hate-filled websites, secret chatrooms, talk-radio as well as all the common communication platforms. Trump’s insane presidency may be over soon, but he has fermented a movement that could turn into a civil war.
An ongoing internal conflict between MAGAs, with government security forces clamping down on the hate groups who own too many weapons and continued attacks by insurrectionists combined with the pandemic could result in serious instability. Possible actions include kidnappings, assassinations, and the storming of state capitals. Most of the MAGA zealots also reject masks and restrictions, so COVID could become a weapon, which has already happened inside Congress, when five Democrat members became infected because many Republicans refused to wear masks.
An unstable country could further harm the economy adding more stress. As climate change intensifies, the United States struggling with internal conflict, disease, and an economy in tatters could be sent off a cliff once more fires, storms, droughts, floods and crop losses are added to the mix. Not since the Civil War, have troops been stationed in the capital to protect the government, which is a real indicator of how troubling the times have become. Although all of this is possible, it is likely not plausible – but that could also have been said about January 6th. Hopefully, sanity will prevail on Inauguration Day, and the zealots will stay home to seethe instead, otherwise Trump will have spawned the start of the new dark ages.
Watch the insurrection on Vimeo here
“…what happened in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 was a beginning, not an end. In the minds of Trump’s hard-core supporters it was the beginning of a revolution.”
Brian Harrell, who served as the assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security until last year, said it is “obviously problematic” when “extremist bad actors” have military and law enforcement backgrounds.
“Many have specialized training, some have seen combat, and nearly all have been fed disinformation and propaganda from illegitimate sources,” Harrell said. “They are fueled by conspiracy theories, feel as if something is being stolen from them, and they are not interested in debate. This is a powder keg cocktail waiting to blow.”
The Capitol Rioters Aren’t Like Other Extremists from The Atlantic