|A Jim Davis cartoon featuring Garfield on How to Train Your Cat (Lesson One)|
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Condemning the entire January 6 rally as an insurrection ignores the fact that the vast majority of the people there were exercising their constitutional rights to assembly and speech
In The Economist, D. Charles Bogan of Santa Fe writes that
Donald Trump did not whip up the mob that stormed the Capitol building (“The reckoning”, January 16th). During his speech near the White House he urged his followers to cheer on members of Congress who were objecting to and debating the electoral-college count (Democrats in the House of Representatives also disputed the count following the 2000 and 2004 general elections). Never did Mr Trump call for violence, or tell his supporters to storm Congress. Condemning the entire rally as an insurrection ignores the fact that the vast majority of the people there were exercising their constitutional rights to assembly and speech.
Extremists who show up to rallies are not part of the wider movement. Last year, while cities across America burned and were looted, we were lectured about not blaming the “peaceful” protests for the criminal actions of the rioting crowds. True supporters of Mr Trump denounced the violence, just as they did in places like Kenosha, Minneapolis, Portland and Seattle. Many Democrats can make no such claim. Nancy Pelosi actually described law enforcement officers who were defending a courthouse under constant siege as “storm troopers”. Some in her party openly called for unrest. Did The Economist denounce those politicians? Have their social-media accounts also been closed down?
Violence to bring about political change is never justified. Extremism on both the left and right should be condemned.
D. CHARLES BOGAN
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I am disappointed that a publication of your erudition feels the need to use the informal “mobocracy”, when a perfectly good word, “ochlocracy”, already exists.
St Andrews, Fife