The most common defense I see of the treasonous events that took place at the United States Capitol on January 6 is, “But what about the BLM riots?” A solid example of whataboutism, this defense is often not even presented with words; it’s simply presented as an image of a building on fire.
The second most common defense is, “It wasn’t us.” (It was Antifa or BLM or radical socialists or paid actors or, or, or.) A variation on this defense is, “But those people don’t represent the vast majority of Trump supporters.”
Set aside for a moment the fact that Black Lives Matter demonstrations were protests against acts of violence against the Black people in this country, perpetrated with infuriating impunity by the very public servants sworn to protect them.
But we’re meant to conclude that Trump supporters are, on the whole, lovely human beings with whom we merely share a difference of opinion about trifling political details. We’re supposed to accept that the storming of the Capitol was an isolated, freak incident perpetrated by a statistically insignificant percentage of “bad apples,” and also, liberals are bad.
First of all, anyone who has been paying attention with any kind of informed logic saw this coming years ago. We’ve been chewing our nails off over this shit since before Trump was even elected to office. We saw the way he spoke, and we saw the way his supporters reacted to the way he spoke, and we knew we were about to have a real big fuckin’ problem on our hands.
The “bad apples” excuse for Trump supporters doesn’t assuage our concern any more than it did when Trump told the country that racist police officers killing unarmed Black men are merely a few “bad apples” and their actions shouldn’t cause us any concern.
It’s just a few bad apples!
Except, the full idiom says, “A few bad apples spoil the bunch.” The Minneapolis cop who murdered George Floyd, for example, had 18 complaints against him and yet was still permitted to remain in a position of power over his community. If you want to talk about bad apples, you’ve got to demonstrate a willingness to pluck those rotten motherfuckers out of the bunch. Otherwise the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that the whole bunch must be rotten beyond saving.
The “bad apples” who stormed the Capitol, the “bad apples” who continue to plot insurrection even as we speak? If you’re a Trump supporter, let’s be clear: These are your people. You are crammed in the barrel with their rotting asses, whether you want to own it or not.
You may not think you condone their violent actions, but if you stand behind Trump, you also stand behind his most ardent supporters. Because, make no mistake, Trump loves this storming-the-Capitol shit. He gets a stiffy over the idea of people committing acts of sedition on his behalf. For him, it kills two birds with one stone: His colossal and insatiable ego hole gets stuffed to overflowing with demonstrations of maniacal devotion, and other people take care of that whole sedition thing so he doesn’t have to do it himself.
If you don’t believe Trump supports the folks who stormed the Capitol, look no further than his own words. His reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests was “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Insurrection at the Capitol, on the other hand? Even as images and videos of the melee were pouring out of D.C., Trump’s staff had to convince him to address his supporters and tell them to back off.
“Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order,” he finally tweeted. “Respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.” A weak-ass statement compared to “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” especially considering we’re talking about the fucking U.S. Capitol here. Later he tweeted this passive bullshit: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”
Black Lives Matter demonstrations were protests against violations of the civil rights of Black people in this country, about which absolutely fucking nothing was being done. But they got, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
People attempting a coup at the U.S. government got Trump on video with his eyebrows knitted together in concern saying, “We love you. You’re very special,” and “I know how you feel.”
Nothing about shooting people.
And that’s because Trump loves his apples. All of them, including and especially the bad ones. I’ve no doubt it fills him with glee to think of these bad apples “spoiling” the entire bunch. Wouldn’t Trump just love it if all 74.2 million people who voted for him were as rabid in their support of his false claim to power as the thousands who stormed the U.S. Capitol? That motherfucker would positively cream his pants.
This is Trump. This is his base. He is them and they are him. They are braided together; they’re their own political party. If you support him, you support the people who commit sedition for him. Whataboutism isn’t going to change that. Pretending these treasonous shitheads are an unrelated and unendorsed faction of the Trump camp isn’t going to change that.
Trump is the very worst of all the bad apples, and it’s high time we remove his rotten ass from the bunch.
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