In the wake of the tragic riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, there has been no shortage of hyperbolic response. We had an absurd and pointless impeachment, 25,000 troops were sent to Washington, D.C., and talking heads prattled on pretending we had been minutes away from the destruction of the republic. The latest nonsensical notion is that we now need a 9/11-style commission to investigate the events at the Capitol.
We have heard from Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, a whole host of TV hosts and left-wing politicians demanding this kind of sweeping commission is deeply needed. It’s ridiculous and dangerous. First of all, the Capitol riots were on a drastically smaller scale than 9/11. We lost 3,000 Americans in that attack, iconic New York buildings were leveled, and a hole was blown into the Pentagon. The comparison would be laughable if it were not so insulting.
In addition, thus far law enforcement, including the FBI, has been enormously successful in finding and arresting the fools who forced their way into the seat of our government. More than 100 have been arrested with more arrests happening daily. There is simply no reason to believe that American law enforcement is not capable of getting to the bottom of the attack, which is exactly what their job is.
Importantly, the 9/11 commission was formed at a time when our country was incredibly unified. There were no sides; there was very little politicking. If we followed that model, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats on a commission to get to the bottom of what happened, would they even be able to agree on issues of scope of the investigation, or who should be targeted? Clinton thinks Trump might have been on the phone with Putin. Members of Congress have baselessly accused their colleagues of coordinating the attack. What exactly would be investigated?
But the deeper civil liberties fear would have to do with those who only attended the peaceful rally and march and never set foot in the Capitol — perhaps even anyone who ever supported Trump whom many on the left seem to think need “deprogramming.” How deeply will these Americans’ lives be investigated and for what?
Will the commission be looking for signs of white supremacy? Because leftists see white supremacy literally everywhere. They find it in statues of Abraham Lincoln commissioned by freed slaves, they find it in all of our great works of literature, and they certainly find it in anyone who does not support progressive political positions. Do we have any doubt that they will find this white supremacy in any of the tens if not hundreds of thousands of Americans who attended Trump’s rally?
The violence at the Capitol was roundly and all but universally condemned by American conservatives even as it was going on. There were no attempts to justify or couch the actions in some cloak of justice. As a result of this, there have been no copycat events, no attacks on state capitols, no hordes gathered across the Potomac ready to lay siege to our nation’s capital. Jan. 6 was a shambolic mess of poor security in which a handful of very bad actors failed miserably to rally support for their cause.
If incoming President Joe Biden’s desire truly is to lower the temperature and bring some measure of unity, then this commission is the worst thing that his Democratic allies could possibly do. A wide-sweeping investigation of whether 75 million Americans are racists ready to overthrow the government will not lower the temperature. It will make the fever spike.
For four years, the left predicted that the country could not survive a full term from president Trump and did all in their power to thwart his administration. Nonetheless, he leaves office with some remarkable accomplishments, including the creation of the vaccines that will end the nightmare of COVID-19 deaths and lockdowns. There is no reason to put the country through a divisive circus of a commission meant mostly to attack and embarrass Trump and his millions of supporters.
Let the country move on now. Let our politicians work to better the lives of the American people, not to relitigate the past four years. Trump’s supporters will not be convinced that he was anything but a great president, and his poll number among Republicans show that. Progressives will always view him and his supporters as white supremacists. No commission will ever change that basic dynamic. It is now time to look forward, not to look backward in an attempt to settle scores.