My newest in PJ Media:
Less than a week has passed since the Capitol Uprising, and the Democratic Party, establishment media, and Big Tech are now taking it for granted that President Donald Trump incited the mob to stave off the voting certificate and presumably exercise dictatorially powers. Republican Senators Pat Toomey and Lisa Murkowski have backed calls for Trump to step down or a second impeachment, and even Ted Cruz has said that Trump’s rhetoric “undoubtedly contributed to the violence that took place”. But before the lynch mob breaks the noose and hangs the president on the nearest tree, it would be useful to take a step back and make sure he’s really done what everyone seems sure of: inciting the crowd at the Capitol to use violence to purpose carrying out a coup.
Trump’s speech allegedly inciting the mob is here. In the end he said:
So we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to go to the Capitol and we’re going to try to give … The Democrats are hopeless. They never vote for anything, not even a vote. But we will try to give something to our Republicans, the weak, because the strong do not need our help. We will try to give them the pride and audacity they need to take back our country. So let’s go down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here. That’s incredible. Many Thanks. Many Thanks.
The careful reader may have noticed that there is nothing there or in any other part of the speech asking the crowd to storm the Capitol, overthrow the government, or do anything other than walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and ask lawmakers in support to encourage the President. The case for claiming that Trump incited the mob is based on the suggestion that he did not have to state what he wanted from them; When he set out his reasons for believing the 2020 presidential election was stolen, that was enough to ignite them enough to storm the Capitol.
Assuming the crowd had remained peaceful, Trump’s criticism of the election would not have taken an extremely dangerous path. Like so many today, to assume that Trump incited violence by criticizing the elections is to commit the classic logical error of the post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc that is caused afterwards. It opens the door to criticism of anyone or anything that should be classified as dangerous and violent and silenced accordingly. Tyrants and prospective tyrants can silence criticism of their rule by claiming that by engaging in such criticism, their opponents incite and invite violence.
There is more. Read the rest here.