Gaski: January 6 and the Big Gaslight
by John Gaski, Ph.D.
Did you notice that the term “gaslighting” was just selected word of the year because of its overuse? But why would that usage increase have happened? Maybe because the practice itself has become more common as a political weapon.
In practical parlance, “gaslighting” means trying to persuade others not to believe their “lying eyes,” or not to believe what they already had known as established fact. Recent examples of such disinformation themes include:
- The summer 2020 riots were not really riots but “mostly peaceful” demonstrations.
- The Hunter Biden laptop emails are not real but instead a Russian disinformation tactic.
- The U.S. southern border is closed.
- It was Republicans, not Democrats, who favored defunding the police.
- Voter ID requirements are actually voter suppression.
- Critical race theory is not really racist—and is not being taught in schools anyway.
- The Afghanistan surrender/retreat was really a great achievement and success.
Curiously, all these familiar ploys are authored by the same political camp. I wish I could balance with Republican cases, but sometimes reality is unbalanced. (The “stolen” 2020 election? No, most Repubs have not signed on to Donald Trump’s claim.)
One gaslight theme has become so prevalent — without adequate response — that its contribution to rhetorical disequilibrium needs to be addressed before it does any more damage to the national cognition. You have seen and heard much about the U.S. Capitol “insurrection” of Jan. 6, 2021, especially on the two-year anniversary occasion. Trouble is, that event was not an insurrection. Look up the definition of insurrection. Or, I’ll do it for you:
An insurrection is organized and armed uprising against authority or operations of government; the crime of inciting or engaging in such revolt. It is violent action taken by a large group of people against the rulers of their country (Collins English Dictionary, among others).
The Jan. 6 Capitol near-riot — which is a fair descriptor — did not involve organization or arms, and was hardly a “large” group relative to the scale of its opposition or historical comparison with real insurrections. (Even the hostile and politically weaponized FBI has admitted the absence of prior coordination.) This was one “mostly peaceful” protest that really was.
So, what else was the Jan. 6 event? It was trespassing. It involved some vandalism. It was an invasion of the U.S. Capitol that turned ugly. It resembled radical leftist “occupation” of government or university buildings in past decades. But Jan. 6 was not a literal riot. Unlike the Democrats’ 536 genuine riots in 2020 which yielded at least 25 fatalities and an attack on the White House, there was no arson, mass looting, or bombing perpetrated by the demonstrators, contrary to the false image cultivated by the liberal media. Violence? Yes, some, but compared to an average weekend night in the Democrat sections of Chicago, negligible. The claim that one policeman was beaten with a fire extinguisher turned out to be a lie, and the only mortal violence was the homicide committed by a Capital cop against a female demonstrator. Objectively, therefore, violence against the protesters transcended any violence attributable to that group. (Can we agree that rioting by Republicans would be a man-bites-dog phenomenon? Rioting is what Democrats do.) Jan. 6 was largely, although not entirely, a group of people walking around the Capitol building like tourists — because they were invited in. Just look at the videos that finally are available. (But who invited them?)
Otherwise, some of the usual suspects in media and politics have accused the Jan. 6 demonstrators of racism—as they always so accuse everyone they oppose. Surely the national audience can see through that tiresome gambit by now. Even if every one of the few racist signs or shouts documented at the Jan. 6 event were produced by a right-wing Republican instead of a Democrat plant, the demonstration still qualified as “overwhelmingly non-racist,” to paraphrase Michelle Obama. But practically every Republican/conservative public event you have heard of in the past few years has been infiltrated by Dem plants to contrive a “false-flag” smear of the rightful participants, i.e., to commit overt offenses such as racist signage they hope will be blamed on Repubs. Might that also have been done in this case? If not, it would be a rare exception. We already know that the Jan. 6 melee was indeed infiltrated by deep state operatives from the FBI. Speaking of false flag, one FBI plant, we also know from video, was carrying a Confederate flag. Only one agent provocateur? This more insidious aspect of the Jan. 6 occurrence must be noted and emphasized: It has been reported in official documents that federal agents, the so-called “unindicted co-conspirators,” penetrated and also led the protesters who entered the Capitol. (This conduct does meet the legal definition of entrapment.)
We have seen video of Capitol Police welcoming protesters into the building on Jan. 6. We know that the congressional leaders who supervise the Capitol Police ordered them to stand down during the event, after leaving them unprepared and underequipped beforehand. All this while President Trump was offering National Guard support — also rejected by Democrat leadership.
Why were government plants inciting the crowd into the Capitol? Why did Capitol Police invite protesters inside? Who ordered this? Those police did report to Nancy Pelosi. Empty suit Christopher Wray still runs the FBI. How did he keep his job after the transition?
Is the big picture coming into focus? It is time to speak the unspeakable: The Dems wanted chaos and facilitated it. Democrat operatives incited and manipulated some Jan. 6 protesters into the Capitol building so the action could be publicly construed as a partisan riot, invasion, or insurrection. The whole thing was ginned up by the Dems as a political stunt, a dirty trick for the ages, as soon as they knew a Republican crowd would be nearby and likely marching on the Capitol. Far-fetched? No. We have seen the same playbook applied elsewhere with the Michigan Governor kidnapping set-up, which was led by undercover FBI agents. These are also the people who gave us the Trump-Russia hoax, so they have no limit.
Proof? Perhaps the best circumstantial evidence of all: Thousands of hours of video footage of the Capitol breach exist but most of it was not made available by the Justice Department or Congress until Speaker McCarthy’s recent release. If the withheld video showed anything consistent with the Democrat narrative and contrary to what is outlined here, the government would have eagerly and promptly released it. (Now the Dems demand that the American people not be allowed to see the full video record. Of course.) This heretical argument is bolstered by how the Dems prevented Republican appointments to their Kangaroo Court congressional inquiry. Any doubt about how politicized Jan. 6 has become is dispelled by the amount of investigation and media coverage it is receiving compared to the absence of public attention given the 2020 Democrat “Summer of Riots.”
Conspiracy theory? No, call it an analytically grounded hypothesis.
Many times, America has known the truth about a public scandal far in advance of the ultimate hard evidence surfacing. We knew the truth of Hillary Clinton’s countless email felonies, Obama’s spying on Trump, the dishonesty of the Russian “dossier,” the sedition of the Deep State, and the Biden family’s international influence peddling racket well before fully vetted tangible evidence was in hand. Similarly, we knew Bill Clinton was guilty as sin long before the stained blue dress made its appearance. We knew the truth in these cases early on because logic and common sense had pieced together the big picture. Likewise now. Anyone want to bet against the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion turning out to be another case of the same, but with a heavy dose, this time, of false-flag deception and shameless gaslighting? I’ll take that bet.
John Gaski, Ph.D., an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, is a long-time registered Democrat and long-time registered Republican — sequentially and intermittently, not simultaneously ― which should dispatch any suspicion of partisanship.