Pro-Insurrection Rally Organizer Wants Seditionists To Keep Their MAGA Gear At Home
After the January 6 insurrection, some of the more embarrassing Republicans in Congress suggested that Donald Trump's violent mob was actually Antifa or Confederate-flag-wielding Black Lives Matter protesters. Sure, most of the rioters wore MAGA apparel and gleefully defaced the Capitol with Trump flags, but this could've all been done to smear peaceful conspiracy theorists who believed the election was stolen.
Trump's former campaign operative Matt Braynard is planning a pro-coup rally on September 18, and he's taking no chances that people might confuse the “Justice for J6" event in support of the jailed insurrection suspects as somehow involving Donald J. Trump.
Braynard tweeted yesterday: "We request that anybody attending our events not wear any clothing or have signs supportive of either President Trump or Biden."
Yes, because there was a genuine risk of real, live President Joe Biden supporters showing up for a rally in support of criminals who stormed the Capitol in a deranged effort to stop Congress from certifying Biden's victory. (That's not what we consider a good time.) In fairness, we suppose some counter protesters might come out, even if it's not advisable, but it's doubtful that Braynard is looking to prevent any heated altercations. He's looking for plausible deniability.
He goes on:
Anyone not honoring this request will be assumed to be an infiltrator and we will take your picture, find out who you are, and make you famous.
This is a neat twist on the No True Scotsman fallacy. Trump fans who show up at the rally anyway decked out in their MAGA finest will be considered Antifa plants, and Braynard will have their pictures taken so he can throw them under the bus when everything goes wrong.
Of course, it wasn't a long trip down the rabbit hole to determine that the January 6 insurrection suspects wearing MAGA hats and waving Trump flags were, in fact, full-blown MAGA. Their social media profiles and text messages made it clear that they weren't method actors. Not even De Niro was that immersed in a part.
The January 6 insurrections stormed the Capitol after the twice-impeached thug incited them into a violent frenzy (over months), culminating in an unhinged speech about how the 2020 presidential election was rigged. Trump insisted that he and his supporters (but mostly him) had been robbed of a landslide victory by terrible people and that democracy itself was under assault. He was not a gracious loser.
In a video of Trump's riot-inspiring speech that was uploaded to Parler, you can hear the crowd respond with frightening intensity when Trump says "you have to show strength, and you have to be strong." A woman cries, "YES!" and a man exclaims, "STORM THE CAPITOL." Another man pointedly declares, "INVADE THE CAPITOL BUILDING." Others start to join in: "TAKE THE CAPITOL! TAKE IT RIGHT NOW!"
These people certainly deserve “justice," but that's not what Braynard's Sedition Circus is about. He's repeatedly called the insurrection suspects “political prisoners," as if they were arrested for opposing apartheid instead of prosecuted for storming the Capitol and trying to assassinate the vice president and members of Congress.
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that roughly 700 people might attend Saturday's treason rally, and many of the expected attendees are linked to the same rightwing extremist groups that attacked Congress on January 6. They could all show up dressed like ninjas, but we'd still know where their allegiances lie and who's encouraging them.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."