Watching the events of Jan. 6 in the U.S. capital play out in real time was an almost sickening experience. I watched in horror as President Donald Trump addressed a massive throng of his devoted loyalists.
Instead of deflating the crowd, Trump fired them up with fury. He vowed to never concede he had lost the election, called anyone who disagreed with his baseless claims of voter fraud “weak” and claimed he would march with them to deliver a collective message of defiance to Capitol Hill.
Following Trump’s speech, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani took to the stage to tell the Make America Great Again horde that a just result could only be attained through “trial by combat.”
There was absolutely no ambiguity in what message Trump and Giuliani were sending to their mob as they urged them to fight to “stop the steal.” Therefore, there may have been some shock that the rioters actually overpowered the police and occupied the Capitol building, but there was no surprise that the Trump loyalists would attempt to fulfil their leader’s wishes.
In this era of phone cameras and live-streaming personal videos, this mass breach of the Capitol building was visible from hundreds of perspectives as the events unfolded.
In addition to a sea of Trump flags and red MAGA baseball caps, there were numerous Confederate flags on display.
While symbolizing a white supremacist ideology, the Confederate flags were in no way the most offensive items brazenly flaunted by the Trumpist mob.
One group of the alt-right Proud Boys had emblazoned their black T-shirts and body armour with the slogan 6MNE.
For those of you who might be blissfully unaware of the significance of this seemingly innocuous combination of letters and a number, allow me to enlighten you. In anti-Semitic circles, 6MNE stands for “six million is not enough,” meaning that they believe not enough Jews had been killed during Hitler’s Holocaust.
There was also one prominent rioter who was wearing a hoodie which sported the slogan Camp Auschwitz above the image of a skull. At the bottom of the crest was the slogan: “Work brings freedom.”
This is a rough translation of the German motto Arbeit macht frei, which adorned the gateway at Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi death camp from the Second World War.
Another leading figure in the riot was some shirtless nut-job wearing patriotic face paint, a faux fur Visigoth hat complete with buffalo horns, and brandishing a spear. He was seen posing at the dais in the congressional chamber.
He turned out to be a self-proclaimed shaman who espouses the QAnon conspiracy theory. You know, those individuals who believe that Donald Trump is the messiah sent by God to save the world from a ruling elite cadre of cannibalistic pedophiles. Those guys.
What continues to puzzle me is the fact that people remain devoted Trump supporters even when they can see just who his most ardent loyalists really are.
If these fanatical white supremacists, anti-Semites and nut-jobs see something in Trump that they absolutely adore, shouldn’t sane people question their own association with that same leader?
Keep in mind it was this cabal of racist extremists that was at the forefront of the charge that broke through the barricades and roamed about the interior of the Capitol building for nearly three hours.
Although Trump subsequently denounced the violence and destruction in a terse video statement, as the events were actually unfolding, the president told the rioters they were loved and they were special.
For the record, Trump never did march with his foot soldiers. His armoured SUV drove him back to the White House where he watched the destruction that he unleashed unfold on his TV set in the Oval Office.