This will be an inauguration like no other in recent history.
It is reported the Pentagon is deploying upward of 20,000 National Guard troops with lethal weapons to Washington, D.C. for the Jan. 20 inauguration of GOP President Elect Joe Biden. This is twice the number of American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
Additionally, The Army Times reports that, at the request of U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-CO, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is reviewing the backgrounds of troops involved in inauguration security “to ensure that deployed members are not sympathetic to domestic terrorists.”
This display of force is being arranged even though Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Jan. 3 that there will be a “virtual parade” after the swearing in ceremony to keep crowds to a minimum amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the election of Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1977, Presidents and their families have walked at least part of the inaugural parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue on foot to wave at crowds. This act is meant to show they are the “peoples’ president.”
Four years ago, President Donald J. Trump and his wife, Melania, walked along people-lined streets, though police had earlier clashed with protesters, hurling flash-bang grenades to drive them from streets near the parade route.
The theme of Biden’s inaugural committee is decidedly different.
The committee is selling swag on the Internet that includes a $105 “Thakoon Panichgul – Sweatshirt” bearing the logo: “unity won over division.” Panichgul is an American fashion designer. At worst, this logo is a reference to a slander that all Trump supporters are White Supremacists. At best, it doesn’t do much to promote actual unity.
Meanwhile, the committee is asking for donations for a “grassroots fundraiser” on Friday, “A Conversation with Actors from The West Wing, Scandal, and Designated Survivor.”
One could argue (though it not politically correct to do so) that the current situation exists because for many months the U.S.Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, the FBI, and state legislatures refused to address the concerns of almost half of all American voters about election fraud. These institutions insisted the evidence of fraud was, contrary to appearances, imaginary. Meanwhile, there was a vicious campaign of intimidation on social media directed against any lawyer who questioned the election.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln
Then Trump encouraged people to attend a protest demonstration on Jan. 6 in Washington. A small number of violent thugs separated from the crowd and broke into the Capitol building while Congress was voting on certification of electors. At the time, the building was protected by two dozen D.C. police officers standing behind a small portable fence. Legislators found themselves cowering under furniture in locked rooms a few feet away from their worst fears.
A member of the U.S. Capitol police, Brian Sicknick, 42, was reportedly struck on the head with a fire extinguisher and died. Four protesters died, including Ashli Babbitt, 35, a 14-year air force veteran who was shot by Capital police. Two other protesters died of heart-related ailments and a third protester is said to have died due to a medial emergency.
At present, Washington, D.C., and its occupants seem to be quaking in fear of the American people. And that hardly feels like a triumph of unity.