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Sorry, But Trump Didn't Lead An Insurrection.

I hate to break the news to all my Trump-hating friends, but unless I’m missing something which shouldn’t be missed, I don’t understand how Trump can be convicted or even charged for having led or helped plan or lead an insurrection on January 6th.

According to Title 18, Chapter 115, § 2383 of the U.S. Criminal Code, “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

For the Cambridge English Dictionary, an insurrection is “an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence.”

So, we now have two questions which need to be answered in the affirmative in order to prosecute Trump.

Question #1: Was January 6th an insurrection as the word is defined above?

Question #2: If January 6th was an insurrection, did Trump incite, assist, or engage in the events which took place that day?

My answer to Question #1 is a very firm and unquestioned ‘no.’ And if January 6th wasn’t an insurrection, it doesn’t matter what he said or didn’t say on that particular day.

The crowd which stormed into the Capitol on January 6th could be described as an insurrection, except that an insurrection (or a rebellion) is organized and led by either an individual or a leadership group which plans the event, leads the actual assault while it is happening, and then either continues promoting or leading the insurrectionist strategy in the aftermath of the event itself.

None of those three conditions reflect what happened on January 6th. When I was a college student, a bunch of us went down to a military recruiting office, blocked the doors for a few hours to prevent anyone for going in and signing up to serve during the Viet Nam war. Eventually the cops showed up, several of the demonstrators were arrested for trespass or whatever, paid a small fine and were released.

Guess what? We did exactly what Chapter 115, § 2383 of the Federal Code said we weren’t allowed to do. Were we charged with committing a rebellion? Of course not. And this same sequence of events occurred in front of recruiting stations and college ROTC offices all over the United States, but no antiwar types were ever arrested for committing an insurrection against the United States.

You don’t plan or lead an insurrection when your leader is some jerk-off running around with a horned helmet named Jacob Chansley, a so-called unemployed actor who is now serving out his sentence in a halfway house because he has been such a good boy in jail that he earned an early release.

Oh, I forgot. Chansley also had a weapon – a homemade spear. That piece of equipment was going to get him past a bunch of Capitol police carrying Glocks? Yea, right.

What the January 6th videos really reveal is the degree to which the cops went out of their way to avoid dealing with Chansley and those other schmucks by letting them film and then post a ‘hiya Mom’ video on their Facebook pages.

I just finished reading a book, Strongmen, by Ruth Ben-Ghiat who is described as an “internationally acclaimed historian, speaker, and political commentator for CNN, the Washington Post, and other publications.” Her book attempts to show how Trump is the latest in a line of authoritarian, anti-democratic politicians beginning with Mussolini, who use incendiary rhetoric (‘take the country back’) and political violence to subvert democratic government and retain authority in extra-legal ways.

Mussolini had been organizing a national Fascist party for three years and held a seat representing this party when the 1922 March on Rome occurred. Hitler formed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, also known as the Nazi Party in 1920, and was also a member of the Reichstag when he was appointed Chancellor in 1933.

Both Mussolini and Hitler extended and solidified their political presence and authority by commanding large, active para-military organizations, complete with uniforms and weapons, which fought pitched battles against opposing political groups and used mass violence to intimidate their political foes.

By 1930, Hitler’s SA organization numbered some 200,000 uniformed men. Mussolini’s armed force, the ‘Black Shirts,’ was smaller, but armed contingents also assaulted leftist workers and physically destroyed anti-Fascist newspapers and meeting places in numerous cities and towns.

Much has been made of the fact that Trump refused to engage in the usual traditional behavior that occurs when one Presidential Administration transitions to another. He refused to concede the election, he didn’t go to Biden’s inauguration, he delivered an angry and combative speech on January 6th.

None of this behavior violated a single law. And within minutes after Joe took the oath, Trump was on his way out to Andrews to hitch his last plane ride at the taxpayer’s expense, classified documents, MAGA hats and all.

The fact that just two years after the January 6th ‘insurrection’ Joe’s 2024 campaign raised a whopping $72 million in just three months should be an indication of just how much the democratic traditions and principles of the United States are threatened by the authoritarian impulses of Trump and his MAGA gang.

When the fundraising numbers are posted on the FEC website in the next couple of days, Joe’s total will represent monies raised from nearly 400,000 donors. Want to tell me whether any of those supporters were afraid to send in some cash because they might then find a contingent of the MAGA army marching around on their front lawns?

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