No, Looting Is Not Akin to Overthrowing the Government

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/ZUMA

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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.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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