As rioters are cleared from the Capitol Building and members of Congress reconvene to certify the presidential election results Wednesday evening, American democracy has been undermined in the most egregious display in over 200 years—inspired by politicians clinging to power and influence by any means necessary.
Many Texas elected officials denounced the breach of the Capitol Building by the pro-Trump mob, including Sen. Ted Cruz who stated via Twitter that “Those storming the Capitol need to STOP now.”
But Cruz’s role leading up to today’s violence, which was the first overwhelming breach of the US Capitol since the British burned the building down during the War of 1812, should be assessed.
Cruz, who led the coalition of Senators seeking to not certify the election, has been casting doubt on the election since November. In his speech Wednesday afternoon, prior to the mob overrunning the Capitol and forcing members of Congress to lockdown inside their offices, Cruz said, “Recent polling shows that 39 percent of Americans believe the election that just occurred, quote, was rigged. You may not agree with that assessment. But it is nonetheless a reality for nearly half the country.”
Despite Trump’s own Attorney General saying there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Cruz’s attempt to speak to and foment unfounded fears in exchange for political support backfired.
Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have taken down President Trump’s video addressing the rioters, because of false information he continues to claim about the election and potential risk of increased violence.
The results are clear. The clashing of hundreds of Trump supporters, some wearing body armor, some carrying Confederate flags through the halls of the US Capitol, with Capitol police resulted in a woman being shot and killed.
Kansas, Oregon, Georgia, and others have witnessed large demonstrations or rallies protesting the election certification scheduled for Wednesday, prompting officials to go under lockdown or the buildings to be evacuated.
Over 700 people gathered outside the Texas Capitol in Austin to protest and out of an “abundance of caution” Texas DPS closed the capitol grounds.
Today’s violence did not happen in a vacuum. The next administration is inheriting a nation on edge, and our elected officials need to prioritize what’s best for the American people as a whole, and not take advantage of extreme positions to hold on to power.