Media Outrage Over Capitol Riot Isn’t About Defending Democracy, It’s About Wielding Power

For our political and media elites, the capitol riot on Wednesday is the perfect excuse to ‘cleanse’ the country of Trump supporters.

After the pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Twitter blue-checks, politicians, and elite corporate journalists wailed and rent their garments in outrage. But they weren’t really outraged.

Yes, the breach of the capitol was appalling and disturbing. Most people didn’t see it coming and were understandably shocked when images of MAGA bros fighting capitol police began popping up on social media (although the authorities should have been better prepared, most of all D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who had earlier rejected offers of additional law enforcement.) There’s no question the protesters who decided to riot should be prosecuted, as all rioters everywhere should be.

But elite outrage is not really about what happened at the capitol—about the “sacred citadel of our democracy being defiled” and so on. The outrage, like almost all expressions of righteous indignation from our elites in the Trump era, is performative. It is in service of a larger purpose that has nothing to do with the peaceful transfer of power and everything to do with the wielding of power.

Specifically, it’s about punishing supporters of President Trump. If the pro-Trump mob can be depicted as “terrorists” and “traitors,” then there’s almost nothing we shouldn’t do to silence them. Right? Rick Klein, the political director at ABC News, said the quiet part out loud on Thursday when he mused (in a now-deleted tweet) that getting rid of Trump is “the easy part” and the more difficult task will be “cleansing the movement he commands.” Via – The Federalist

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