Some very serious and thoughtful people fear the violence witnessed on Capitol Hill a week ago is just beginning.
Wednesday afternoon's siege on the U.S. Capitol was the first public expression of an anger that has been festering just under the surface among many conservatives and Trump supporters. According to Dan Gainor of MRC TechWatch, the soil was fertilized for violent protests most of last year.
"Government, whether it's federal or state, has locked people down, stolen their businesses, stolen their jobs, and stolen their life savings [all] because of COVID – and many of them have lost family members in the midst of this," he laments.
Add to that, he says, a stolen election, an unprecedented attack on free speech by Big Tech, and – with Cumulus Media threatening to yank from the air pundits like Dan Bongino, Mark Levin, and Ben Shapiro – the threatened silencing of the movement's most popular voices, and the anger expressed by a man who was at the Trump rally last week is spreading:
"We've been here two times before, cleaned up our mess, and left peacefully and went home, and nothing changed," Sean shared. "Today they were going to make a change. They wanted a change, and this was the first step to a new change which is: Don't run over the people of America."
On Tuesday, the FBI reported threats of armed protests by Trump supporters at every state capital and DC between now and the inauguration.
Gainor sees trouble on the horizon. "If you give people no outlet and you take away their rights and their opportunities, if you discriminate against them … yes, they're going to be angry," he suggests. "I genuinely fear for the future of the republic at this point – and that's not hyperbole."
Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell recognizes the anger as well. He says Trump supporters have to step up the engagement – but stop short of violence.
"We have to engage in a responsible way," he urges, "and we have to be a voice for constructive engagement and not destructive violence."