Getting back to my experience on Jan 6th…
I’m seeing all your questions! I promise I’ll get to a few in a minute here.
First, I want to share what I heard from one rallygoer, a woman named Jamie Hickox. Rather than pick and choose quotes or paraphrase someone’s beliefs, I’m going to give you the transcript in full. No one single conversation could capture the range of beliefs I encountered, but this interview feels somewhat representative of how people were feeling before the insurrection and what sort of points surfaced.
I caught Jamie walking over to the Capitol, roughly 10 minutes after Donald Trump stopped speaking and 20 minutes before the rioters broke in. She was definitely towards the back of the crowd, so I have no reason to believe she breached the building.
Me: What did you think of President Trump’s speech?
Jamie: Trump’s speech was… he just laid it all out. Everyone says, ‘there’s no evidence, there’s no evidence,’ but the bulk of that speech was evidence upon evidence… And we’re here because we love our country. I want my children raised up in the same America that I was raised up in. And this is not where we’re at. If someone can tell me [with the COVID restrictions] when I’m allowed to open my business, is that free? I’ve had the coronavirus.
Me: Wow, really?
Jamie: Yes, and I know I have the antibodies. And you know what? Closing my store didn’t do one thing to make the world a safe place. A lot of people are going out of business. People I know are desperate. All anyone is asking is to investigate the irregularities.
[I want to clarify that what Jamie says next has been disputed by major US media outlets and the Republican officials in her home state of Georgia. I personally haven’t investigated the claims, but I see no reason why they’d be true.]
Jamie: How in the world do you have more people turn out to vote than are registered to vote? How is Trump up in Georgia by 4,000 votes and then we all went to bed and he lost by 18,000 — how do you get to that number? How do you not audit the machines? How do you sit in a judicial meeting and have a witness stand up and say, “I’ve just hacked into your machine and can send and receive information.” How do you expect Americans to have any confidence in this election? You can’t. All we want to do is know that our vote counted. I pay my taxes. I follow the laws. I want to know that my vote counts.
I’m not a Democrat, but when Obama won, I said he was my President. And they have spent four years insulting us, calling us rednecks, calling us deplorables… we’re not even worthy of being on the same sidewalk as them. It’s just wrong. We’ll fight. It feels like we’re at the point where we’ve already lost everything. We want our vote to count. If this was a free and fair election, just lay out the evidence and let us investigate.
Me: I think there’s a lot of people who might say they’ve already investigated. Isn’t it time to let this go?
Jamie: Then publish the results! Now we’re all voting experts…. they used the same machines in the run-off elections.
Me: Are you from Georgia?
Me: And did you vote in the run-off elections?
Jamie: Absolutely. I voted early, in-person.
Me: Why do you think congress should object to the electoral college vote today?
Jamie: Several states had two different slates of electors be picked. I want Congress to send things back to the state to decide.
Me: And then what? You want the states to re-investigate?
Jamie: There’s no “re-investigate”. I want them to investigate in the first place.
Me: Do you think there should be another vote?
Jamie: Oh we’re not there yet. If they held another vote today, they’d just use the same machines. Why does all this stuff only come up afterwards? They knew exactly what was going on. If you did your job that poorly, they’d fire you.
— to www.abc.net.au