OPINION: January 6th Was a Violent Attack on Our Democracy


Rioters at the Capitol on January 6th

Christian Buonopane, Editor

On January 6th, 2021, far-right extremists and supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol. They did this in order to stop former Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi from ratifying the 2020 election results, which would make Joe Biden president. Many supporters of Trump have continued to claim that the election was rigged/“stolen,” and have held true to this belief. 


Last week and continuing into this week, the Republican National Committee, or the RNC, claimed that the January 6th siege was “legitimate political discourse.” It was not. Of course, we as citizens of the United States are protected under the First Amendment, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution as a whole. It is important to note that the First Amendment protects peaceful speech and protests. January 6th was a far cry from a “peaceful” protest. Rioters, not protesters, broke into the United States Capitol building with the intent to stop Pence and Pelosi from ratifying the election. The rioters even called for the execution of Pence and Pelosi as well. Police officers and rioters were killed, windows were shattered, and Congress members and their staff had to barricade themselves within their offices, fearing for their lives. Nothing about the riot was peaceful. To call it a peaceful protest would be a gross mischaracterization. 


However, establishment Republicans have refused to condemn the actions of the far-right extremists on that day. Instead, they have chosen to vilify the few brave Republicans who have spoken out against the riot, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Representative Adam Kinzinger. Additionally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called the “protest” what it was: a “violent insurrection.” It is important to recognize and commend the bravery of Cheney, Kinzinger, and McConnell, considering 2 of them have been censured, and according to the official censure document, [the RNC will]  “no longer support them as members of the Republican party.”  I find this despicable. Why censure and punish the 2 members of your own party who are willing to call a spade a spade? January 6th was a violent riot, not a peaceful protest. Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC, needs to finally take a stand against the radical members of her party who are doing nothing but trying to harm democracy in our country. There is nothing worse than a spineless leader. 


I hope that more brave Republicans come out and denounce January 6th, rather than being scared into supporting it by the far-right politicians, television hosts, and far-right groups. Doing so would help begin to mend the very deep divisions between the two parties in our country. 

***This opinion article reflects the voice of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Viking Times as a whole. Like most news outlets, The Viking Times is a non-partisan media platform.***