Biden’s Jan. 6 speech ‘political theater’: Is Trump right?


Fact Box

  • President Biden gave an anniversary speech reflecting on the Capitol Hill riot on January 6, 2022, saying. “Our Constitution - faced the gravest of threats. [...] For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol.”
  • In response to Biden’s speech, former President Trump released a statement asserting Biden’s remarks as “political theater” and mentioned he “used my name today to try to further divide America.” 
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Trump supporters rallied on the US Capitol “interrupting challenges to Biden Electoral College victory.” After chaos ensued, there were four fatalities, 52 arrests, and 14 police officers injured. 
  • Trump had previously refused to concede to Joe Biden, claiming he “will never give up” until he promised a “smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power” on January 7, 2021. 
  • Trump’s 2017 inauguration resulted in the Capitol also being overrun, vandalized, and threatened by over 200 rioters.

Andrew (No)

It's ironic that former President Trump chose to call President Biden's speech 'political theater,' since Trump's continued propagation of 'the big lie' was a major theme through his response. Despite a total lack of evidence and independent observers' verifications, Trump's fantasy world in which the 2020 election was stolen from him is the real piece of political theater. Trump continued to blame the Biden Administration for the fallout from his own administration's disastrous policies surrounding COVID-19 and immigration. After four years of bluster and offensive behavior divided the nation to the point of a literal insurrection, Trump then trotted out one of his party's favorite rallying cries of late, that President Biden is being 'divisive.' The real political theater is former President Trump's continued inability to understand reality as seen through objective facts. 

Finally, it is important that, as a nation, we remember the events of January 6 completely and accurately. Those who stormed the Capitol building were encouraged by former President Trump after being fed a steady stream of misinformation since the election. By remembering these events, we can learn about and teach future generations the power of careless speech and the dangers of outright lies when espoused from the highest office. President Biden's speech was not just political theater; it is the first anniversary of a day when American democracy stood firm in the face of an electoral loser attempting to cling onto power by lying to and manipulating his supporters to commit violence. This is surely a lesson to be remembered for generations to come, not simply a cheap photo opportunity as former President Trump suggests.

Curtice (Yes)

Joe Biden's remarks regarding the anniversary of the demonstrations on January 6, 2021, were, of course, political theater. Biden realizes Americans are not pleased with how they have governed over the last year. As a result, they continue to pull out the last remaining tool they think they have in their depleted tool bag: blame Trump.

While many imbeciles indeed broke the law on January 6 last year and were imminently arrested and severely punished. However, Biden invoked the term 'insurrection.' It was not. We know this because although roughly 2,000 people entered the Capitol building that day, none of those arrested have been charged by federal prosecutors, let alone convicted, of insurrection.

Further, it was not what many Democrats, such as Kamala Harris, have claimed, comparing it to the Civil War (three million Americans served and 750,000 died), Pearl Harbor (2,335 military personnel killed), or the 9/11 terrorist attacks (2,996 casualties). There was certainly some reason to question some irregularities in voting during the 2020 presidential election. Yet, Democrats have too spent much of the last two decades questioning the results of elections. For example, claiming the 2000 election was 'stolen' from Al Gore, that Russia colluded with Trump to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, ignoring how violent protests erupted during Trump's 2017 inauguration, and Stacey Abrams still thinks she is the governor of Georgia, despite losing handily in 2018.

Biden mentioned 'making sure the past isn't buried.' Yet, his speech was certainly an effort to dilute the nation's collective memories from recalling his first year as president, which has resulted in inflation surpassing a 40-year high, his Afghanistan failure, his unconstitutional mandates and overreach, not to mention his mental instability.

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