Speaking on the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot, Vice President Harris and President Biden invoked a number of the most vital occasions in America’s historical past. According to Harris, January 6 deserves a place alongside Pearl Harbor Day and 9/11 within the nationwide psyche.
“Certain dates echo throughout history,” she proclaimed. “Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars but a place in our collective memory: December 7, 1941, September 11, 2001, and January 6, 2021.”
Biden, for his part, referenced the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, girls’s suffrage, and the civil rights motion in a single grandiose sentence, claiming that President Trump, together with the rioters, wished to “ruin what our country fought for at Lexington and Concord, at Gettysburg and Omaha Beach, [at] Seneca Falls, [at] Selma, Alabama. . . . The right to vote.” Still, Biden reassured us, “our darkest days can lead to light and hope. From the death and destruction . . . in Pearl Harbor came the triumph over the forces of fascism. From the brutality of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge came historic voting rights legislation.”
And from his speech, Biden clearly hoped there would emerge momentum for Democrats’ pending voting laws — the obvious, underlying, political function of the entire Biden-Harris January 6 remembrance.
As quite a few commentators have famous, the Biden-Harris historic analogies have been inapt: nonetheless unhealthy the Capitol riot was, it doesn’t resemble assaults on our nation that killed hundreds and plunged America into wars. Biden and Harris’ rhetoric, subsequently, tells us nothing helpful about what occurred final 12 months in Washington, nevertheless it does inform us a lot concerning the left’s continued ignorance of — and contempt for — precise American historical past.
President Biden arrives at Morehouse College on Jan. 11 to ship a speech on voting rights.REUTERS
By evaluating January 6 to a number of the costliest chapters of our nation’s previous, the left reveals that it doesn’t perceive that previous, or the sacrifices that created and preserved this nation. In reality, Biden and Harris’s historic analogies might be seen as a part of the left’s ongoing assault on American historical past: They have the impact not of magnifying what occurred on the Capitol, however of diminishing moments and sacrifices that outline America’s nationwide story.
Even as Biden politicized and misused American historical past in his Jan. 6 speech, he additionally labored to create a false historical past of the occasions on the Capitol. For instance, the president doubled down on a debunked narrative: that Capitol law enforcement officials have been killed by rioters. Using rhetorical trickery, Biden spoke of the “wake” of the Capitol occasions moderately than explaining precisely what occurred, and didn’t occur, throughout the day itself: “Jill and I have mourned police officers in this Capitol rotunda not once but twice in the wake of January 6th,” Biden stated. “Once to honor Officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life the day after the attack and the second time to honor Officer Billy Evans, who lost his life defending this Capitol as well.”
Both Capitol officers Brian Sicknick (left) and William Evans (proper) died after the January 6 siege — however they weren’t killed by rioters, as Biden implied.
America ought to honor each of those courageous males, however the president’s implication that they have been murdered by rioters isn’t based mostly actually. Officer Sicknick, regardless of steady media narrative on the contrary, was discovered by a health worker to have died of pure causes, although the examiner did state that the occasions of Jan. 6 “played a role in his condition.” Officer Evans was killed months later, in April 2021, in a totally unrelated assault. The solely particular person killed on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unarmed girl named Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol police officer.
While Biden and Harris take such liberties with historical past and reality, additionally they ignore the left’s personal current historical past of violence: the burning of a police station in Minneapolis, the institution of a lawless “autonomous zone” in Seattle, the assault on a Federal courthouse in Portland, assaults on Secret Service brokers in Washington, the smashing of shops, the torching of automobiles, and, sure, the vandalism and destruction of historic monuments. This mayhem was neither random nor spontaneous. This was political violence, meant to do nothing lower than intimidate the American voters — in different phrases, to intervene in our democracy in a presidential election 12 months and to compel a desired end result.
The solely particular person killed on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unarmed girl named Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol police officer.AP
If there have been any doubts concerning the political nature of Biden’s January 6 remembrance, his speech in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 11 ought to put them to relaxation. Speaking as soon as once more of “moments of darkness and despair [from which] came light and hope,” Biden made clear his want that from January 6 would come the passage of Democrats’ voting laws. Directing his historic commentary to “every elected official in America,” he declared that those that don’t vote his approach are siding with racism and the Confederacy.
“How do you want to be remembered?” he requested. “Do you want to be . . . on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”
Biden and Harris ignore the left’s personal current historical past of violence, together with the assault on a Federal courthouse in Portland.REUTERS
As such rhetoric proves, this president invokes historical past to not make clear, unify or heal. He does so to advance his political agenda, directly sowing additional division within the nation whereas diminishing its distinctive story. And the place Democrats’ personal current historical past proves inconvenient, he ignores it. Unfortunately for him, the American persons are paying consideration.
Augustus Howard is a columnist specializing in nationwide politics and international coverage.