A Lasting Stain

10 Jan 2021

On January 6, 2021, a lame-duck President whipped a mob of his supporters into a frenzy and sent them to attack the legislative branch of the United States of America.

A lot has happened this week. Here’s what I think about it.

Confidently Incorrect, Again

I was watching the Congressional proceedings live on January 6.

I had no idea what the day would become - I was expecting to watch Republican Senators wail and gnash their teeth before confirming the obvious - Mr. Biden had won the American presidential election.

As I watched the nation’s top lawmakers file into the Congressional chambers, I was struck by something.

They were all wearing masks.

Which is interesting, in a way.

Because many of these same lawmakers had, months earlier, vociferously argued against the efficacy of masks.

They had downplayed COVID-19.

Some of them had suggested that the coronavirus was a merely political ploy, a hoax, and would be gone after the elections.

"If it ends up that Biden wins in November — I hope he doesn't, I don't think he will — but if he does, I guarantee you [emphasis mine] the week after the election, suddenly all those Democratic governors, all those Democratic mayors, will say, 'Everything's magically better. Go back to work. Go back to school. Suddenly all the problems are solved.' You won't to have to wait for Biden to be sworn in. All they'll need is Election Day and suddenly their willingness to just destroy people's lives and livelihoods, they will have accomplished their task. That's wrong. It's cynical. And we shouldn't be a part of it."

- Senator Ted Cruz

On January 6, as turmoil raged in the nation’s Capitol, 3,964 Americans died of COVID. A further 275,000 were diagnosed.

The next day, January 7, the United States would record over 4,000 deaths due to COVID.

It would appear that Mr. Cruz, Mr. Gosar, and many of their Republican colleagues were (to put it mildly) incorrect about COVID-19’s impact on the United States.

And now I watched as those same individuals confidently strode towards their hallowed chambers.

On their faces they bore the physical manifestation of their short-sightedness, incompetence, and untrustworthiness.

These same lawmakers had misjudged a once in a lifetime pandemic.

They were now muzzled, breathing through fabric to protect themselves from a virus that they had denied.

But still they rose, confidently, free of shame, to object to the results of a free and fair election.

They nudged their masks down in order to be heard. And they began.

Ground Rules

You’ll notice that in this article, I reserve my anger for very specific things. Let me tell you what I’m not angry about:

  1. The people who protested outside the Capitol.
  2. The people who pushed police up the steps of the Capitol.
  3. The Senators and Congressman who voted to object to the electoral counts.
    • Okay, I’m not happy with these representatives, but it is entirely legal and within their rights to do so.

I’m not really even that mad at the individuals who entered the Capitol.

They are simply the end of a long, outstretched bullwhip.

There are many ways to point the blame for January 6, 2021, but they all lead back to one man.

The disgraced Donald J. Trump.

On January 6, 2021, the executive branch of the United States of America instructed its supporters to march on Congress in order to intimidate and harass the legislative branch, who were engaged in a Constitutionally-mandated session, in an effort to overturn an election that had been certified by 50 individual states to be free and fair.

The executive branch, having previously exhausted all legal remedies in a series of lawsuits against multiple states, met with a crowd of his supporters.

Rather than accept defeat with dignity and grace, he whipped his supporters into a frenzy by repeating lies, fabrications, and falsehoods. The President of the United States declared his own country’s elections to be illegitimate.

He closed by inviting his supporters to march on the Vice President, the Senate, and the House, who were convened in the Capitol building.

If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country because it's illegal when the votes are illegal when the way that they got there is illegal, when the states that vote are given false and fraudulent information.


but I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can't have happened and we fight, we fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore.


So we are going to -- we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give -- the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try -- give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're try -- going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Mr. Trump deserves to be impeached for this incitement of a riot.

I don’t know if he will be. But I certainly can’t think of a more impeachable offense.

Fat Dorks and Selfie Sticks

As Ashli Babbit attempted to push deeper into the Capitol, she was shot in the neck.

Ashli was a military veteran, a small business owner, and a recent QAnon convert.

She crumpled backwards back to the cold floor, choking on her own blood.

The thin Trump flag that covered her back offered no comfort. Nor did her compatriots.

As Ashli Babbit bleeds from her throat (out of frame, bottom left), these Trump supporters jostle closer for the perfect photo opportunity.

A hallway full of fat dorks with selfie sticks fell silent as they realized that they were no longer on Twitter.

This was no longer an abstract exercise in overthrowing a government.

They politely filed out.

What about…

“What about BLM? What about Antifa? What about-“

If black people can ask for police reform by marching in the streets, we can attempt to violently overturn elections by invading the Capitol!

- Everyone with this dumbass take

When history revisits the Trump era, they will note that racial tensions boiled over under his term - in no small part due to Mr. Trump’s constant badgering of the minority communities in his country.

History will also note that on January 6, 2021, Mr. Trump incited a riot that led to death, destruction, and the invasion of the United States Capitol.

Absent in the footnotes of history, however, will be any connection between the George Floyd protests, and the insurrection of the executive branch against the legislative.

That is because there is no connection.

I understand, though, the desire to compare the two.

After all, many Republicans spent the summer of 2020 decrying violence, looting, and rioting - and they were essentially told to shut up and listen. That stung.

And now they want to land that punch against the left.

“See? This is how it feels!”

I get it.

But comparing protests over race to invading the U.S. Capitol is not the “gotcha” you think it is.

Think of the corner you’re backing yourself into with this comparison.

You’re willing to become pro-Capitol-invasion just to get those good revenge feelings?

I struggle to imagine the following in a history book in forty years:

On January 6, 2021, President Trump's supporters stormed the United States Capitol in an effort to overturn an election. But it is worth noting that there were totally other protests the year before. Because that's relevant.

- A History Book (apparently) in the year 2060

Somehow, I don’t see this “What about…” hot-take lasting very far into the future. I don’t think history will reflect kindly on pro-Capitol-invasion takes.

That is because it is a dumb take.

What about..

“What about” has never been a legitimate argument.

You can either argue for or against a position.

If your argument is reduced to talking about other things, you probably don’t have a coherent argument.

Here’s a quick mental shortcut - if you’re ever about to reply “Okay, but what about…” to someone - stop. You haven’t made a complete argument. Try again.

Apples to Apples

Let me be very clear: If Trump supporters marched through D.C. on January 6 and they flipped over cars, burned businesses, and killed a few police officers and went home - I don’t write this blog post.

I think violent protest is acceptable (to a point, let’s not start machine-gunning people) and I will always defend those who are protesting, even if it briefly tips into violence.

As I wrote in April 2020 (in reference to the anti-Whitmer protests in Michigan):

But I will note here that I have been watching the protests carefully. It is very easy to say "those people are idiots for congregating during a pandemic." I agree! They are being very reckless.

However - the right to freely assemble is a crucial right afforded to us. It should not be given up easily. If we demean those who assemble now, we risk not being able to assemble for protests in a more significant manner later.

I also wrote the following in June (in reference to the George Floyd protests):

Yes, some violence has occurred during these protests. When you have millions of people angry and frustrated, there will be some regrettable incidents.

I hope that your opposition to violence during protests is at least ideologically consistent. This country tracks its origins to an "unlawful" and "violent" assembly. It is called the "Boston Massacre."

We do not look kindly at the enforcers of "law and order" at that time. In fact, we typically use violence committed against protestors as an example of the tyrannical overreach of government.

The violence of the Boston Massacre laid the groundwork for the narrative of just and righteous rebellion. Centuries later, civil rights leaders are tapping into that same American spirit.


Yes, looting has occurred. Is damage to property the greatest concern in the world right now? No.

The problem is this: There are very few people in the world that will disagree with you when you say "hey, looting and violence is wrong."

But what has become obvious is that many of you are using those things as an excuse to terminate your thoughts. You drop a pithy line about how _peaceful_ protest is acceptable, but oh gosh, did you hear they set cars on fire?

Like I said - I’m all about protesting.

I don’t care if police officers get hurt (that’s their job), I don’t care if cars get burned, I don’t care if the Apple store gets looted, I don’t care if protestors open carry their weapons, and I think angry citizens should have the right to fuck shit up when they’re not happy.

But invading the United States Capitol during a Constitutionally-mandated session? That’s too far.

And if you can’t see that, I feel bad for you.

The most infuriating part of January 6, 2021, was that I couldn’t mourn with my fellow citizens.

I had just witnessed, live on my computer screen, an attack on Congress.

I was horrified, disgusted, shocked, terrified, saddened, and anxious.

And I tuned into Fox News, just in time to see Tucker Carlson blame the riot on the mainstream media. On Biden. On the radical left.

To hear the Fox News commentary desk explain it, the far-right was basically forced to invade the U.S. Capitol because Facebook kept fact-checking their posts!

I saw friends and family frantically spewing conspiracy theories about Antifa and BLM infiltrating the ranks of Trump supporters.

I saw a concentrated effort to ignore a simple fact: For the first time in our Nation’s history, a lame-duck President sent his supporters to violently harass and intimidate a co-equal branch of government, with the goal of overturning an election.

If you are a “checks and balances” person, this should scare the absolute shit out of you.

No More Politeness

There is a certain level of politeness that we all engage in when we talk about politics.

I’ve sat through many diatribes from Trump supporters.

I politely listened as everyone justified the pussy grabbing comments.

I politely listened as they told me how Mrs. Obama is a man and Mr. Obama was born in Kenya.

I politely listened as they ignored COVID or blamed it on Democrats.

I politely listened while Trump supporters told me (a fellow white person) exactly what they thought of the George Floyd protests.

I have listened politely for four years to Mr. Trump’s supporters.

I have listened and watched as the Republican party twisted and contorted itself to assuage the ego of Mr. Trump.

But for Mr. Trump’s supporters, I cannot offer any more grace.

If you voted for Mr. Trump in 2020, you are partly culpable for the events of January 6, 2021.

You supported the worst President of the modern American era.

You emboldened him.

And you should recognize your place in that.

Mea Culpa

I, too, am to blame for some of this.

Back when I worked for conservative SuperPACs, I wrote the fundraising emails, I sent them out, and I advised our writers on what was doing well with our audience.

In 2015-2016, the big conspiracy at the time was Jade Helm.

Every day, I logged into work and pushed the envelope of fantasy.

Every time I hit “Send” on an email, it would be in hundreds of thousands of conservative inboxes within minutes.

I will admit - I was 25 and immature. I was [editor’s note: was?] cynical, a contrarian, an internet troll, for lack of a better word.

I also wasn’t buying into the Tea Party or Trump. The conservative party had little to offer me at this point.

So I began writing wilder and wilder emails.

Not only was Jade Helm going to allow Obama to take over Texas - but he would repeat the exercise in every state until he had Federal control over every Republican territory.

I wrote about internment camps, Obama taking guns. I stoked fears about religious persecution. I even lumped in references to Kenya - Obama was going to make the United States look like his home country.

I didn’t believe any of that - I had voted for Obama, actually!

But I saw an avenue to success at work - I could ride my readers to a better paycheck.

I was brutally effective. My employers noticed.

I had increased my annual salary by $50,000 by the time I departed the company.

I didn’t believe a single thing I wrote.

It became an exercise in “How much will they believe?”

I began quoting myself as an anonymous source, tying in alien invasion conspiracies, Area 51, nuclear weapons, Chinese spies, Russian hacks, and of course, the DNC’s involvement in all of it.

I was just blatantly making things up - and the click rates kept improving.

People wanted my narrative. I was inventing lies and no one seemed to notice.

Worse - they liked the lies! I was the only one telling them the truth!

And I used their attention, their devotion, and their support to negotiate substantial paycheck raises with my employers.

I became even more cynical.

When I sold my email marketing platform to the Tea Party, I gave them their login password: tp2016FU

My boss said “Do you really think they won’t notice the ‘fuck you’?”

“No,” I replied, “These people are all fucking idiots.”

In the days following the attack on the Capitol, I felt a great deal of shame.

I suddenly realized that I was complicit in radicalizing a great deal of people.

I got out of the PAC game in 2016. It’s been years since I faked being a Trump fan for money.

But I have an inkling that if you could meet with a top Republican official right now and have a beer or two with them, they would eventually say what I’ve been thinking recently:

“I really didn’t think it would go this far - I really didn’t think they believed all of it.”

The people on the end of our tweets and our emails and our news sites - they are real people.

They are hurting.

They want to be told that they are right, and “the other side” is wrong, and they are smart and special for seeing the difference.

And for years, we fed these people increasingly hare-brained conspiracies and they ate them up!

As I watched Ashli Babbit choking on her own blood after being shot in the neck, I thought to myself - “I wonder if she ever read anything I wrote.”

It is a sobering thought.

There’s another lesson for us here.

I am hardly the first disenchanted political writer to abuse their audience.

The fact of the matter is that if you’re consuming a political product (be it a newsletter, podcast, website, etc), there’s a really good chance that the producer of that content views you as a gullible fool.

They probably think you are a moron. A dunce. A useful idiot.

I can feel the reflexive denial from here - “No, they really care!”

I’m sure the millions of people who read my material really believed I cared, too.

And yet here I am, telling you how I lied to them, how I abused their trust, how I ruined their thoughts.

They never saw my name on a by-line - I used a different name to submit my stories.

They don’t know that a 25 year old kid was cheerfully inventing lies to get their donations.

And frankly, they never will.

They will never know that I’m the reason that they hate Obama even more.

They don’t know that I harmed them so that I could get a raise. They don’t know that I despise the foundations of their beliefs.

They don’t know that I’m the reason their family falls silent around them as they spout ridiculous conspiracy theories.

What my readers know is that I told them they were right.

I comforted them, I massaged their egos, I gave them kooky liberal statements to rip apart.

I fed them what they wanted.

They were my dogs, and I had the best treats.

A Deep Personal Disappointment in Those Around Me

Before Mr. Trump’s rise to power, I genuinely believed that my conservative friends and family adhered to a strict moral and ethical framework of governance.

I believed that even in our areas of disagreement, there was an underpinning cornerstone of their beliefs.

And then Mr. Trump came into office, and I learned just how malleable those beliefs were.

I can’t listen to his supporters any more. It is too painful.

I genuinely, truly, believed that my conservative friends and family loved America above all.

And what many have shown me is that they are not necessarily loyal to the United States, the Constitution, or the laws and traditions that govern it.

They are simply loyal to the Republican party.

And that has been crushing to realize.

Ironically, I’m Somewhat Used To This

I grew up in Northern Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C., the home of the (soon to be renamed) Washington Redskins.

The Redskins have always been dogshit. They are a very bad football team. They do not succeed very much.

But every year, people don their Redskins gear and watch their games and cheer them on.

I never could quite grasp it.

The New Confederates

There was always a correlation between Trump flags and Confederate flags. When you saw one, you were likely to see the other.

But now, I only see the same thing - the flag of traitors.

The red hats, the flags - I’d suggest burning them.

I already know that Mr. Trump will be memory-holed by the greater Republican party.

Just as “no one” voted for President Richard Nixon (he was mysteriously elected despite “no one” remembering voting for him) - “no one” will remember voting for Mr. Trump. He will be a curious footnote in Republican presidential history.

Once he leaves office, he may be Reagan-ized to save face - he’ll be cast as an affable man who unfortunately had some dementia symptoms at the end of his term.

The Grand Conspiracy

In order for Mr. Trump’s conspiracy theories to pan out, it would require the complicity of the following:

  • 50 states, each of whom certified their vote totals to be free and fair
  • Vice President Pence
  • Senate Majority Leader McConnell
  • The Legislative branch
  • The Judicial branch

That’s a lot of people to band together in a conspiracy.

The hardest part of this conspiracy - in my view - is the total collusion of the Justice Department, the Supreme Court, and dozens of judges (some of whom were hand-picked by Mr. Trump).

After all, Mr. Trump’s campaign either submitted or endorsed over sixty lawsuits related to the election. They won exactly one.

Mr. Trump’s immense legal staff was unable to submit compelling evidence of voter fraud to any of these judges.

In fact, over and over, Mr. Trump’s legal team went out of their way to explicitly emphasize that they were not alleging voter fraud.

Despite the chaos of election night and the days which followed, the media has consistently proclaimed that no widespread voter fraud has been proven. But this observation misses the point. The constitutional issue is not whether voters committed fraud but whether state officials violated the law by systematically loosening the measures for ballot integrity so that fraud becomes undetectable.


I am less than shocked that the Supreme Court wouldn’t immediately invalidate an election on the basis of “undetectable” fraud.

I’m not a lawyer or a vocal supporter of tort reform, but I do feel that lawsuits should hinge on “detectable” levels of things.

The quote above is the top-shelf effort from Trump allies - this was the case submitted to the Supreme Court. The lawsuits only get worse - riddled with typos and lacking evidence.

Most of all, there was a distinct difference between the things that Trump surrogates were willing to say in court, and what they said on Twitter and cable news.

Here, Mr. Goldstein tries to straddle the delicate line between implying fraud occurred, and actually alleging that fraud occurred.

From the transcript of the oral arguments:

THE COURT: In your petition, which is right before me -- and I read it several times -- you don't claim that any electors or the Board of the County were guilty of fraud, correct? That's correct?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Your Honor, accusing people of fraud is a pretty big step. And it is rare that I call somebody a liar, and I am not calling the Board of the DNC or anybody else involved in this a liar. Everybody is coming to this with good faith. The DNC is coming with good faith. We're all just trying to get an election done. We think these were a mistake, but we think they are a fatal mistake, and these ballots ought not be counted.

THE COURT: I understand. I am asking you a specific question, and I am looking for a specific answer. Are you claiming that there is any fraud in connection with these 592 disputed ballots?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present, no.

THE COURT: Are you claiming that there is any undue or improper influence upon the elector with respect to these 592 ballots?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present, no.


Perhaps the Deep State had temporarily taken over the Trump campaign’s lawsuits. That would be one explanation for their disjointed approach.

Here are some other tidbits from various lawsuits that were either submitted or signed on by the Trump campaign:

Let me propose an alternative conspiracy theory. It’s even bigger and bolder!

It involves around 80 million Americans who said “Wow, this President blows, huh?” and cast their votes.


Very funny - but you know there was fraud!

Here’s the thing guys - let’s talk about precedent, okay? Precedent matters in a country of laws.

Does the Republican party really want to endorse the following precedent?

Presidential elections may now be overturned in spite of certified votes and the law, as long as one party feels sufficiently aggrieved.

Because here’s what the case for turning over the election amounts to:

  • Posts on the internet
  • Allegations on cable news

Crucially, here’s what we haven’t gotten:

  • Legal decisions that support the plaintiff’s claims

Again, I’m not a lawyer or Constitutional scholar (admittedly, I am barely literate), but it seems to me like the lack of legal victories is a problem.

I think this summary dismissal by the Supreme Court really encapsulates the Trump campaign’s legal efforts.

Remember this court is stacked with 6-3 conservative majority - and many of those Justices were placed on the bench by Mr. Trump himself.

"Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot."

Stop Retreating to Echo Chambers

Twitter took out Trump, man! Facebook is fact-checking us! We gotta move to Parler!

Listen - society as a whole is trying to gently nudge you - “Hey, you’re sorta becoming a right-wing extremist.”

And if your response is “I AM FREE TO BE AN EXTREMIST IF I WANT!”, and you go join the pro-extremism websites, guess what will happen?

You will continue to be radicalized against “the other side,” and you will become a right-wing extremist.

There are no magical provenances in life that stop you from becoming radicalized. There are no guardrails.

You can do it, if you want.

There are tons of sites that will tell you what you want to hear, all day long.

They will not educate you, enlighten you, or improve you.

They will tell you how bad “the other side” is.

Every single day.

And if you choose this - if you deliberately say “I only want news I agree with” - just know that you are locking yourself into ignorance.

Reality does not always agree with our political views. It is very important to allow different opinions into our media diet.

Entropy on the Internet

The second law of thermodynamics says that the entropy of any isolated system always increases.

A simple way to think of the second law of thermodynamics is that a room, if not cleaned and tidied, will invariably become more messy and disorderly with time – regardless of how careful one is to keep it clean.

- Source
Unfortunately, it seems that when a person on the internet is allowed to type in a box, the first thing they type is 'n*****.'

- Me, in a 2016 Kotaku interview

May I propose a law of Internet-dynamics?

Davis Ford’s Law of Internet Entropy: Any unmoderated Internet forum will, over time, become a haven of far-right white supremacists.

That’s been known for a long time to anyone who’s run a moderately successful website. Without moderation. you quickly end up with neo-Nazis going after your other members.

This is a well-known phenomenon.

The removal of Mr. Trump and some of his extremist followers from Twitter should surprise no one. It should concern no one.

It is very simple - do not incite violence on the Internet. Otherwise your account risks getting banned.

Speaking of Parler - they are not going to last with unmoderated content.

I don’t know if most people understand how much nasty traffic popular websites get.

Popular websites have to fight a few things at all times:

  1. Calls for violence
  2. Exchange of drugs
  3. Child pornography
  4. Racism

If you do not police your comments or submissions, users will submit child pornography, snuff videos, beheadings, Nazi shit, etc. That is a simple fact.

Parler cannot last long without moderating its content - it will either be forced into moderation (therefore pissing off its very intelligent userbase), or it will not moderate its content - and then the FBI will come knocking about the things hosted on their servers.

It cannot last.

But what about Freedom of Speech?

Twitter, Facebook, etc - they don’t owe you anything.

If you’re just now realizing this, feel free to hop in a DeLorean and travel back to 2008, where past-Davis will happily agree with you that “Big Tech” sucks.

Now fast-forward to 2021, where current-Davis will happily agree with you that “Big Tech” sucks.

Both versions of Davis (the fat, short teenage one, and the receding hairline, fat adult one) will laugh at you if you mention the First Amendment in relation to a website.

Quick recap of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Unless I missed a memo, Facebook and Twitter are not Congress. Therefore, this Amendment does not apply to them.

Websites are not required to publish whatever dumb shit floats around in your head.

But what’s to be done going forward?

Here you go: https://lmgtfy.app/?q=how+do+i+make+a+website

The Internet is amazing. You can create a website at any time! You can write all about whatever you like on it. Enjoy :)

The Internet is amazing, especially once you stop commenting on other people’s websites all day!


January 6 was a horrific event. It triggered many of the same feelings that I felt on 9/11. The same level of impotent helplessness as my country was attacked.

But unlike 9/11, there are many Americans who support this attack.

Crucially, it is important to remember that they will not hold that opinion forever.

They are caught up in the heat of the moment. They are wrapped in partisan thoughts and they cannot see clearly right now.

It is important to strike a balance now.

We must firmly state that this behavior is unacceptable. We must also be careful not to demonize our opponents.

We must give them space to process their loss (I remember how I felt after learning that Trump won (it sucked)).

Dunking all over people on social media will not produce the intended effect.

The best case scenario here is that Trump supporters look back on these last four years the same way I look back at my attempts at getting laid in high school: Full of embarrassment, shame, regret, and a healthy dose of “Oh my god, I was so dumb back then.”

People are capable of rehabilitation. People can grow and evolve over time. People in your life who unfortunately supported Mr. Trump are entirely capable of privately realizing their mistake over time.

Give them the space to allow it to happen. Do not harden their opposition with taunts and insults. Give his supporters the option of losing with grace.

It would be easy to attack those who attacked the Capitol.

I could, if I desired, spend all day reading about the individuals who trespassed and violated a Constitutionally-mandated session of Congress.

I could go after their jobs, I could tag them on Twitter, I could do a lot of things.

But it is important to remember that wars are not fought by their originators.

As a white male in America, I am contractually obligated to have spent way too much time reading about World War 1 & 2.

I am always struck by the accounts of post-battle cleanup. Long after the final shot is fired, long after the last bomb has landed, long after the bayonets are re-sheathed.

And invariably, as the author walks through the carnage of battle, they find dead teenagers.

Eighteen year-olds, enlisted into service, promised glory and honor.

Dead. Mutilated. Screaming, crying for their mothers, with holes in their guts.

Soldiers do not start wars. Their leaders do.

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah

- War Pigs by Black Sabbath

We should hold leaders accountable, not their followers.

So I will not spend my time dunking on those who invaded the Capitol.

They are a symptom, not the root cause.

We must also remember that there are a great number of people who support Mr. Trump and are horrified at the invasion of Congress.

But we also cannot allow supporters of this President to escape entirely free of blame.

They should be reminded that they voted for this.

They ticked the box for a violent, authoritarian leader with four years of demonstrably bad behavior under his belt.

They may have done so for good reasons - the economy, they don’t like Democrats, etc.

But - they were wrong.

And the nation suffered for their choice.

And the supporters of this President must come to terms with how they arrived at this juncture.

Perhaps we arrived at this point due to people like me, frankly.

In 2016, I was all too willing to fabricate lies and stir up racial tensions in order to get a bigger paycheck.

Page views and clicks are the currency of the Internet, not the truth.

The economics of the Internet do not reward truth.

Internet marketers, which pay per-view or per-click, rely on bombastic claims, controversy, emotion, and outrage.

It’s quantity, not quality.

We must be graceful and leave space for Trump supporters to recover.

We cannot badger them further into a hate-filled information ecosystem.

I understand the urge to get on social media and go ALL CAPS on some people. But it will not convince them.

The most beneficial thing we can do is firmly, patiently, tell Trump supporters:

The attack on the Capitol was wrong. It is wrong regardless of party. And it is okay to join us in saying that it is wrong.

And - we love you. We care about you. We want you to be part of society. We want your opinions.

We want you to be happy.

We want you to stop watching partisan news that just makes you angry.

We aren’t in a grand conspiracy against you. We love America, just like you.

Fox News took you from us, and we miss you.

We want you back.

If you are not a fan of Mr. Trump, rejoice!

Mr. Trump’s remarkably dreadful tenure has ended with him turning over the keys to the Presidency, the House, and the Senate.

It is now time for the Democratic party to show the nation what it was missing during the Trump years. I genuinely hope they do well.

I hope Mr. Biden continues his theme of decency and calm through his term.

The nation needs it.