The Capitol insurrection is not only a question about ideals, but a question about prevention

January 6, 2022

The only thing I can say right now is that there is no Insurrection at the Capitol today compared to last year.

But I feel as if that’s somewhat insightful in and of itself (and necessary to pad out my boring opinion), mainly in how we responded to the Capitol Riots. Or, I should say, responded after a few months afterwards. Although we had good coverage once the riot happened, immediately afterwards, most people’s opinions drifted towards interpreting the riots in ways that benefitted themselves. Biden took it as a sign of the resilience of democracy in his inauguration speech, while others believed it highlighted its flaws due to the absurdity of people denying the vote count and being encouraged by the former president, no less.

I don’t want to invalidate those perspectives. But I feel that by focusing on them, we lose out on more pragmatic ways of thinking. We should think about long-term ramifications both practical and ideological, but lately, I feel as if we should do better at preventing more incidents. There can be another QAnon seeping in the distance, and our best efforts are to prevent it instead of experiencing a repeat then descending into chaos. There are already efforts to do so, from researching the spread of radical political ideologies from 4chan to understanding the psychology of those who join radical groups, alongside more immediate trials of each of the insurrection participants, but I feel as this should be a more consistent focus. And with that, we must consider our ideals. We have to consider how rights to privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly apply and how to incorporate them into our strategies without violating them.

I could be wrong when I say I feel there aren’t enough efforts. It’s highly possible they’re invisible, not as heavily reported as, say, that one QAnon shirtless shaman. Although journalism does require the facts, it still needs to tell a story. But I feel as if we need to sometimes separate ourselves from our emotions and put more effort into making sure this, or any disasters similar to this, never happen again.

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