May 17, 2022

Reaction to the John Brown Raid and 1/6rs

I'm reading a book on the pre-Civil War period and how one of the defining moments was the John Brown raid and how the South was gobsmacked by the Northern reaction and that their brethren could wish upon them the fate Brown had planned for them. Brown was held up as noble and righteous and courageous. It was a “red-pill” moment for the South and I don’t doubt they thought, “they hate us. They really hate us.” 

There’s a rhyme in that today in how many MAGA folks were gobsmacked that Dems and our government could treat those who committed no violence on 1/6 as if they were the scum of the earth. (They hate MAGA, they really do.) They wished upon them a pitilessness that has resulted in a murder (Ashli Babbitt), at least one suicide, a lack of due process, solitary confinement, delayed trials, etc... 

The analogy is imperfect since John Brown was intending an actual insurrection and to kill people, while the MAGA folks wanted to walk around "their" Capitol at a supremely inopportune time, egged on by a few Feds.  

(I'm guessing there were no Southern undercover agents involved in helping and encouraging Brown's hapless plan so as to make the South look sympathetic and the North violent to help sway the 1860 election.)

But where it is similar is after the raid and after 1/6 and how the narrative shocked those who heretofore had assumed some basic level of good will from the other side. 

The deep state went after Trump early, even before he was sworn in, but I suppose the first hard sign that this wasn’t so much about Trump but about his voters was the Whitmer kidnapping (sponsored by the FBI), followed by the orchestration of a couple dozen undercovers on 1/6 with professional film crew and likely professional facilitators who made sure the Capitol grounds were open to trespass by cutting down fencing and using a bullhorn to move people in. (See the great Revolver News investigative piece.). 

None of this excuses the broken windows at the Capitol or any of the violence.  But the violence done to them during and after was far worse than anything they did - these folks mostly brought fists to an “insurrection” - like bringing snowballs to a gunfight.  It seems in retrospect the FBI engaged in an extremely high-risk op to put Trump and his followers in their place.  Perhaps they felt it warranted given how could the stakes be any higher than when the most important office of the world was occupied by someone not on the same page with respect to trade with China, borders or NATO? And had a legit vendetta against the same FBI who had tried to frame him with respect to Russia? 

No comments: