No, Looting Is Not Akin to Overthrowing the Government

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

This is probably pointless, but I am already sick to death of right wingers pretending that liberals are hypocrites for denouncing Wednesday’s violence at the same time that some of them excused the violence during the BLM protests over the summer.

If you were one of those liberals who looked the other way at the summer violence, then shame on you. Ransackings and beatings are pretty obviously things that should be condemned, regardless of whether they come from cops, looters, or protesters.

But it was unplanned, unled, and commonplace. It bears no comparison to this week’s events. This week’s rioters were acting at the behest of the president of the United States, who wanted them to overturn the results of a legal election and keep him in power. And it was defended not by miscellaneous bloggers and activists, but by members of Congress who thought it was a great idea to back the president in his attempt to keep power via violence.

It is sophistry of the first order to pretend that these two things have the slightest bit in common. The former is unfortunate but has no long-term impact at all. The latter is a direct assault on the workings of democracy by the leader of that democracy. Anyone who can’t tell them apart is either a cretin, a demagogue, or an insurrectionary. Take your pick.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate