[00:00:00]: David: Welcome to Outrage Overload. A science podcast about outrage and lowering the temperature. This is a bonus episode about the January 6th capital attack.
[00:01:00]: Ben Hamilton, you wrote a book called, sorry guys. We stormed the Capitol Eyewitness accounts of January 6th, and it’s under the Chasing History project, which I guess is something that, that you were working on. So, uh, Ben Hamilton, thanks for, for coming on the show.
****: Ben Hamilton: Thank you for having me.
****: David: So you talk about, um, that the media narratives about January 6th on both sides have been, you know, sort of used to workup.
****: They’re base audiences and um, you know, so what do you, what would you, how would you summarize like what they’re getting wrong about it? Hmm.
****: Ben Hamilton: Well, that’s a great question. And it’s the, the, unfortunately for the age in which we live in, in which people need 30 seconds sound bites. It’s, it’s not that simple an answer, you know, that’s one of the things that I tried to.
[00:02:00]: In part to my students when I was a history teacher is that we do kind of have to create narratives, shorthand versions of events just to understand them. You don’t have time to learn every detail of every event in your life, but history is often messy. It’s not always like that. Uh, so I. I created the Chasing History project to kind of try and get to these sorts of controversial events that maybe people would be arguing about what really happened later, and to really see for myself and interview people who saw for themselves.
****: So I had already completed a unpublished manuscript that was about when some of the protestors took over part of Seattle, the, the chas they called it, and the chop years back. And then I applied that same philosophy. To just the, the unrest around the election that we were having in general. Uh, and I just started, I became almost like a, a band groupie for campaign events.
[00:03:00]: So like, Trump would be in a city one week and I’d be in that city and then, um, he’d be in another city the next week and I’d just drive to that and I just kind of, it was like following around a band. And January 6th just happened to be one of the many days like that. So I would say, first of all, what struck me being there was the difference between a regular Trump event and that day I saw him give the same lines and the crowds weren’t responding in the same way I.
****: It was the only time I ever really saw him lose control of the crowd or lose their attention, maybe is the better way of putting it, you know? Um, because he talked, he can never shut himself up. That’s something I learned after watching him again and again, he gets carried away by the sound of his own voice.
****: He, he doesn’t ever really operate from a script. He’s famous from not using a teleprompter. So they were all there to protest the official certification, the presidential election, the vote that Congress was making. And I, by talking to people in the crowd, it was very clear to me that they had come there for that purpose.
****: They really thought that they could, they could stop it, you know? Uh, there was discussion online forums and things about that. And when Trump talked like an hour longer than he was supposed to, it started going around the crowd that the vote was starting without them. That they hadn’t gone to the protest.
[00:04:00]: They were just sitting here listening to him, speech speak, and they left without him. And I think that was a very big turning point, uh, because there was nobody leading the march. Trump had said, after I’m done speaking, we’re gonna have a march. And actually I learned a little, you know, post hoc, um, research.
****: I didn’t know this at the time. Uh, he did have, um, A couple of people planned to lead the march, but they were waiting for him to finish his speech. So the, the, the march just started walking across the, the lengths of the fi of the city. ’cause they were several blocks apart, the speech in the Capitol building and there was no one leading it.
****: And I kind of think that’s where things started to go wrong. So I guess maybe that’s one of the most important points that both sides don’t really seem to grasp is it was this just sort of random blob of people. The, the, uh, I think it might be fair to call them an angry mob. Um, more so than it was some sort of like organized insurrection.
[00:05:00]: Certainly. And I don’t like Trump. Lemme just make that clear. I’m not a fan, I’m not a fan of either party, but I, I saw no reason to believe he had ordered some sort of coup to take place. Like they, they, they ditched him and left without it.
****: David: Right. But it sounds like they had been, like you’re saying from online forums and, and such.
****: And, and I’ll preface this a little bit by leading up to that, and for several years prior, I had been sort of paying attention to the kind of Q anon circles in that world. And, and a lot of that, What was kind of going on there and some of that narrative you were talking about how that they, they sort of left because they wanted to undo the counting because that was kind of part of what that narrative was.
[00:06:00]: That January 6th was a key, was a key piece. And you can, if you can disrupt that, and if of course Pence does something that he’s going to do, then you could, you know, sort of. Somehow, you know, and in reality is they could have screwed things up, right? Because it’s not that clear in the Constitution, you know, it says things like, you know, it has to be decided by, you know, noon on such and such, I think on the seventh or something like that, right?
****: It doesn’t say what to do if it doesn’t get decided by noon on the seventh. So then it would just be kind of a weird, you know, we’d be in a weird crisis as to what. Happens now. ’cause it wasn’t really spelled out if it doesn’t happen by, by that time what you do. And, and I think that’s the kind of stuff that I think we, we haven’t learned those lessons very well either, that we need to shore some of that up and, and it’s a problem because we’ve lived on norms for so long and norms have just gone away.
****: And, and, and now it’s all about partisan. You know, if you’re partisan is do it if my, my party. Um, in-group person is doing what I want. I don’t care how many norms they break, so anyway, but that, but that sounds like the, the crowd had a lot of, the crowd at least had sort of been on that narrative. They, they knew what they wanted to do almost more than, you know, Trump knew what he wanted them to
****: Ben Hamilton: do.
[00:07:00]: I. Yes, I think that’s fair. Like I, one of the things that fascinated me is because I was interviewing people the whole day, like I didn’t know what was gonna happen. But when I went back and looked at some of the interviews I collected before it happened, there was a level of foresight I saw. I interviewed, uh, at least one guy.
****: I did a fairly long interview, uh, in the book who he was saying we need to push our way into the capitol building. And actually, let me see if I can even find it. Uh,
****: David: While you’re looking at that, I do have a question about that. So before you went there and did you, if at once you saw them sort of breaking in and smashing windows and going in, did you sort of go, yeah, yeah.
****: I knew that was gonna happen. Or was this like you were as shocked as anybody else about it? Um, surprised, I guess is the right word.
****: Ben Hamilton: You know, my reaction was very much the difference, uh, different than everyone else’s because my sole purpose for months had been to witness some sort of historical event firsthand.
****: So the one I heard about it, the only thing I thought of was I gotta get over there. And I ran towards the disturbance. Not many other people were doing that. Um, I didn’t, you didn’t really
[00:08:00]: David: predict it before, though. It wasn’t like, oh yeah, this is definitely gonna happen. So I’m not surprised at all. Oh, no.
****: Ben Hamilton: I, I thought they were crazy, but when it did happen, I, especially the few hours when it was happening, because like when I was with the crowd, there was almost a sort of, um, like a euphoria, like a contact high. Like everyone around there was so happy. There was this feeling we did it. We did it. They were so proud of themselves.
****: And when there was an hour or two there when they were in control of the Capitol building, I found myself wondering, like, did they just do something like, were they right and I was wrong? Was this a good plan after all? You know, it it, because I had heard people mention. Things related to this idea. I just dismissed it as crazy.
[00:09:00]: But then the evidence before my eyes seemed to prove that they had been right and I was wrong. And of course, eventually they settled down and they got pushed out and they brought the hammer down and it turned out to have been a bad idea. But I, I did feel like I got a sense of what they were thinking and feeling when they were there, you know, and the, the, what they were thinking and feeling was they’d already won.
****: That was it. They’d all, they had done what they came to do. Um, but, okay, so here, here’s the quote. I was interviewing this guy. This is while Trump is giving his speech in the background, and he said, if they don’t go to the capitol, like I said earlier, if they don’t go to the capitol and take over and walk in there and just relieve everybody of command, what’s going to be the difference of coming out here?
****: What’s going to change? Why did we come out here then? And this idea that they could. Go in and relieve everyone of command that somehow that just naturally followed. It seemed to be a belief held by a lot of people in the crowd.
****: David: Here’s Ben’s actual recording of that interview. I apologize in advance for the quality of these audio clips.
[00:10:00]: Ben Hamilton: So make sure I understand you correctly. You think that the coronavirus is a normal strain of the flu, just like we get every year. It’s a new flu, not a normal strain, I think. I think it’s a new enhanced flu that was developed possibly by the Chinese and some American scientists to. To bring it to the country for the purpose of overthrowing the government and making it happen on Trump’s watch and make him look bad and take over the presidency.
****: Grumpy Old Guy: I think that’s why it came out. I do think that, I believe in Trump. Trump’s not the best president by far, but he’s a good president and he’s for the people, you know? So that’s how I feel If Biden and Kamela are gonna destroy this country, okay, they’re going to, they’re gonna finish this off. And, and so you’d think that’s likely to happen.
****: You think that probably Biden will end up assuming the presidency and then he’s gonna destroy the country? He can. If, if the people stand up and do something about it and don’t allow him to take over, don’t allow him to be re inaugurated and stop him, they can win. Okay. But they have to stop him. Okay.
[00:11:00]: Ben Hamilton: Well, but you. You earlier. ’cause what was interesting to me is you were saying you think this is gonna come to nothing. So how would they stop them if this wasn’t gonna do it? Here’s it’s gonna come to nothing. If they don’t go to the capitol, like I said earlier, if they don’t go to the capitol and take over and walk in there and just relieve everybody of command.
****: Grumpy Old Guy: What’s gonna be the difference in them coming out here? What’s gonna change? What, why, why did we come out here then? But if, if people try to force their way into the capitol building, wouldn’t the, like, security and people try to stop us? Wouldn’t someone probably get hurt or killed? I, I don’t think that, uh, 20 police officers are gonna overcome a hundred thousand people.
****: Ben Hamilton: Okay. I think that’s gonna come to an end real quick. But even so, even if this group was, uh, if we just a hundred thousand people, um, that’s not the, all the voters, like the why would the, why would this group have the right to relieve the Senate, uh, and of the why Democrats here then position wind, the Democrats here.
****: Grumpy Old Guy: Today’s the day to draw for the electrical votes. Why aren’t they here too? Then why is it just the Trump supporters? Well, this is a pro-Trump rally. Trump invited people here, the Democrat, well, why is it the Democrat is here then? I don’t understand. This is a protest against what’s happening, and the Democrats are happy with what’s happening, so they have no reason to protest.
[00:12:00]: Ben Hamilton: They have no particular reason to gather here. Okay, what about on the 20th? We’ll see. We’ll see. Probably they’re big on the coronavirus, so that they’ll probably say that. That’s why they’re not gathering. I mean, me personally, I don’t think that many people would show up to begin with because I don’t think many people actually like Joe Biden.
****: But my point was originally, legally, I don’t think this crowd of people has the legal right or even the moral right to relieve the Congress of their position. 76, the same way without a gun being fired. They did it the same way. What are you talking about? The The 17 76 17. They relieved him. Right. Well, that, that was, you know, that was one of the longest wars in American history.
****: Lots of people died in the American Revolution, but in the end, they went to the Capitol and they relieved the people that were there, didn’t they? Uh, I mean, but there were a lot of gunfire, guns fired tons in the beginning, before they went there for years on end. Well, it was, it was time to make a stand.
[00:13:00]: Right. Okay, so it’s time to make a stand is doesn’t the people control the government. I don’t think that this group of people can claim that they represent all of America, is the point that, that I’m saying like I don’t think it, majority of America, they represent, there’s 75 million people that voted for Trump and and I find it hard to believe that.
****: Grumpy Old Guy: 81 million people came outta their pants for Kamala and Biden. Right. You know, and, and I find it very hard to believe that. And E but e even if, um, you know, people voted for them, guaranteed, yeah. They got votes. Yeah. Because I talked to people that voted for ’em, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t to the extreme of 81 million because I went to a lot of rallies and I, and I’ve searched some of the Democratic rallies with, uh, Biden.
[00:14:00]: Ben Hamilton: There was really anybody there? No, I There one. I agree with that sense. I did the same thing. It doesn’t make sense. It puzzled me. There’s some possible explanations. It, there could be other explanations besides cheating. Um, I dunno. But um, but I mean just, alright. Um, but, so if we were to. Assume that they’re these people don’t march into the Capitol building and kick Congress out.
****: What do you think should happen next? What should they do next? If they need to come back on the 20th and stop him from being re inaugurated, how would they stop them? I don’t know. Stop him in his bath so he can’t move. I guess he’s gotta be on the bench at 12 o’clock to get it re inaugurated. Maybe if he’s not there at 12 o’clock.
****: Grumpy Old Guy: Clock and they make him sit in his car all day long. Maybe that’ll do it. I don’t know. Okay. You know me, I don’t want anybody hurt. I just want this to come to an end and the right government to be in charged for the people because the, this is not what the people want. We’re already into this coronavirus thing and the people aren’t ready for socialism and higher taxes and taking away your guns and closing down schools and the green deal where it’s gonna be $10 a gallon for gas, people aren’t ready for that man.
[00:15:00]: Ben Hamilton: So I said, which I think is a very useful question to ask, but if. People try to force their way into the capitol building. Wouldn’t there be like security people trying to stop us? Wouldn’t somebody probably get hurt or killed? And then he said, I don’t think the 20 police officers are gonna overcome a hundred thousand people.
****: And, and, and he was right about that. Like the police were vastly out numb. And that, that does get back to one of the points I did wanna make sure was discussed, uh, is there’s this. Bizarre stupidity of the people. Absolutely criminals, like this guy saying, we should push our way into the capitol building.
****: That’s a crime. That’s definitely a crime that all the people who did that belong in jail. I wanna make it absolutely clear, I’m not like defending these people. I just think accuracy matters. I think they are innocent of some of the things they they’re accused of while guilty of others. And I want to clarify which they are for the record so we can learn in the historical record.
[00:16:00]: Having said that there were people who did, if not criminal, stupid things on the other side that contributed to this. Like, why were there so few police officers? You know, the, the mayor of Washington d c was offered reinforcements from the National Guard, and she published a letter the night before January 6th, denouncing the idea of accepting police reinforcements from the National Guard.
****: That was stupid. You know, if they’d just gotten a little better security in a building where they knew a large mob of upset people, crowd, maybe, if not mob were coming. I really don’t think any of this would’ve happened. I think some police reinforcements get, get ’em some extra tear gas so that doesn’t run out too quickly.
****: Put up a fence like they did the very next day. And this very, you know, loosely aligned ragtag group of people who had talked about pushing their way into the capitol building. I don’t think it would’ve gotten nearly that far. I think they could have been turned around. It was just so easy.
****: David: Yeah, there’s a lot of questions about that.
[00:17:00]: Ben Hamilton: while we’re talking about this, I wanna say this. ’cause I, I, I always try to be fair to, to the MAGA people. It never works. They come after me anyway. But I always do try to at least. Try to, for my own purposes, be fair. There’s some famous stories related to this that there were, like some of the police officers put on Trump hats and started giving people tours around the building.
****: That’s true. Right? That’s
****: David: verified, right. Some of those people got fired for that and stuff. Yeah. Yeah.
****: Ben Hamilton: So, I mean that that was absolutely a thing, you know, now people will take that bit of evidence ’cause it’s kind of what we were saying earlier about logic and use it to believe it’s proof of some larger grander conspiracy, which, you know, it isn’t, but it, that one piece did exist and there were other things like that that did happen.
****: Well, and some,
****: David: right? For sure. Yeah. Some of that definitely happened. And, and so there were definitely sympathizers, let’s say to some degree in that in the, in the police side I’m sure, which we already know is kind of the police forces and military as well has their own problem with radicalization. Um, but you know, there’s also some of the other stuff where they, you know, you can.
[00:18:00]: The, the police officers were sort of, seemed like they were just letting people be there. I mean, a lot of that was their deescalation sort of training when they were outnumbered so heavily. Uh, they figured that they can maybe minimize, you know, the damage as much as possible or maybe kind of herd people or talk them into leaving, uh, you know, almost become ho hostage negotiate instead of, instead of, uh, so that’s not unusual.
****: It’s like you say, how they found themselves in that situation in the fricking capitol is not a good thing. I mean, that, that’s kind of a disaster.
****: Ben Hamilton: I completely agree with what you’re saying there about the police. I mean, given all of the disadvantages they were in, once they were in that situation, they focused on evacuating the members of Congress and you know, trying to like shoot the thousands.
****: I. You know, there were certainly hundreds of thousands of people surrounding the building, and there were probably several thousand in the building. We’ll never know the exact number, I think. Um, but like it wasn’t realistic for them to like, try to commit violence against all of those people. They, they just had to evacuate Congress.
[00:19:00]: I will say, what I think is, and I mentioned this in the book, it might be the only time in history that a a, a mob of people, Like got into a fight with police and then the mob had so much like pro-police culture that the moment the fight was over, they picked the police back up and they’re like, so we’re friends now.
****: Right? Like, I don’t know that there’s that many mobs that shoved police outta the way to get into a building and then wanted to be friends as soon as that was over. And so I think a lot of the police were like, okay, sure. We’re friends now. Because that was a way to have some level of control over the people who just trespassed in the.
****: Fricking capitol building while Congress was in session. So, um, I, the individual officers, there’s definitely stories of, of, you know, individual bravery. I’m not as critical of them as I am of the, the policies and the orders. I, I think they, they played a bad hand about as well as one might have expected.
****: In general, there’s certainly some bad actors.
[00:20:00]: David: Yeah, for sure. And, and it was also kind of weird that you had certain places where people were just kind of walk after a point. Like you say, people were kinda just walking in without much resistance and didn’t seem any there. Mm-hmm. Then you have have other places like the, the sort of hallway they talk about forever that they, they’ve talked about a lot where like this fighting went on for, I don’t know, two hours or more or something like that.
****: Mm-hmm. And that it just seems so odd that you could have those two things happening at the same time. But I guess in a, in a crazy situation, crazy things like that come to come
****: Ben Hamilton: about. Yes. I thought about that a lot. I, I felt this and I felt that the people around me were experiencing the same sensation is they weren’t sure what the vibe was.
****: There was a lot of people where you’re not really sure how you should feel like what’s happening. For one thing, the smartphones weren’t working. Um, people assumed that it was a jammer, which still sounds plausible to me, although it’s also been claimed that they just overloaded the network, which is possible.
****: But the bottom line is people were cut off from the people who would interpret what they were doing from them for a few hours. Their entire reality was just the physical world in front of them, which is an unusual situation for people to be in nowadays. And so they were kind of looking around being like, what, what’s going on here?
[00:21:00]: Is this, is this a beach party? Like I, I, I would talk to people who were in a very different emotional state, one after another. There wasn’t, um, there wasn’t like a clear group. Uh, this is what we’re doing. I. So like there’d be, you know, just when I was standing there, there would be like tear gas floating by and if you got too close, like it’d get in your eyes and you’d start coughing.
****: But everyone else was very chill about it. They weren’t like, oh my god, tear gas run. They were just like, oh yeah, take a couple steps back and. Get back to what they were doing and like people would still emerge from the building while I was there and everyone hanging out in the crowd would cheer like they was, it was like a football game, like when the, the players emerged, you know, from the stands.
****: You know, tell them what a great job they did. Um, and then, I, I know that at other points, not far away from there within the building ’cause I didn’t enter the building. I walked right up to where people were entering and stopped just in case people were wondering. I was concerned about the legal ramifications.
****: Linebacker Guy: I was curious. I wanted to get the story, but I decided to stop there.
[00:22:00]: David: Here’s one of those balcony interviews the Ben refers to as his most dramatic interview in which he talks to a guy who broke open the capitol doors. While we can still hear the event going on in the background, We can’t. How
****: Linebacker Guy: wrong is that?
****: My congressman pulled a gun. Yes. What con did you see that? I don’t know who, but. That’s what I was told, but I have a picture of us sitting in the damn Nancy Pelosi seat though. Can I see it? Yes.
****: It’s on Twitter. I have video of me. He literally in there. No. Yes, we took capital. We fucking once. We can take it twice. Where can I get a copy of that? Yeah, we’re, no, I don’t have, it’s on Twitter. I mean, okay, so you kind What’s your, what are you on Twitter? It’s not my Twitter. My buddy said I don’t have Twitter.
[00:23:00]: Fuck. I’m trying to write a book to just document this moment in history. Can you tell me the story of you sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s seat? That wasn’t, that wasn’t me. That’s just a picture. But did you see it? No, that’s just a picture. I was said, okay. I helped break into one of these doors. Okay. I got video of that.
****: Yeah, tell me about that. So all we did, we, they were routing us from the door at the front. So we went out to the, one of the front here. We broke through the glass and we started opening the doors. The cops came in as soon as we opened it and started pushing us back. All of us patriots pushed them back.
****: They were scared. Every single one of ’em. We pushed them back halfway down that hallway towards the stairs to where they literally had to split in the moment. That they brought out the gas and started spraying it and started taking people. I literally grabbed two of them and took sprayed in my face and pulled them bitches back.
****: I mean, we had to leave. What were we gonna do? You know? Sure. But boy, I tell you what, if we didn’t keep on pushing in that hole, we broke in over there. We broke in right here, we broke in that door, and we broke in the door over there. If they weren’t, we’ll turn this place to Swiss Cheese. Wow. We’ll continue.
****: How far in that did you get inside the building yourself? They got the atrium there. Can you tell me about that? Where did you go? What did you see? Went in here to the right, into the atrium where the damn chandelier, literally the door to the left would be in the chambers. Mm-hmm. I went over to the right.
[00:24:00]: Sat in the chair in the meeting room. I got video of that too. Dude, this is, I personally sat in the meeting room that the members of Congress used. Not the, not the atri, the, or not the, the actual place that they sit to vote. No, not the chamber. Chamber, but meeting room used by members of Congress. Yes, yes.
****: I mean, I was inside, they just rooted us out with leg gear and gas, so no. But the, the curfew’s at six o’clock. Yeah. We can’t leave. Right? We literally cannot leave. At the moment we leave, the rats are gonna come back outta their halls and do exactly what we don’t want them to do. This is our fucking moment.
****: This day on January 6th, 2021 at 2:10 PM will be remembered in history as the day we had the second American Revolution and that freeze for a fact. I will stand here and I will paint the walls of that Congress with my blood if I have to. I’m so fucking pissed. It’s not even funny.
[00:25:00]: Done. That’s great. Did anything else happen while you were inside? That was interesting. The cops were mostly friendly. I mean, they weren’t until they started putting gas masks on and running us out again. Right. They surrounded us inside and they started, you know, like cattle just pushing us out. I tell you, man, uh, I, I, I respect what y’all are doing.
****: I person, I’m here to document this. I personally don’t feel it’s my fight, so I’m, I just, I declined to go inside. But, um, I’m fascinated by that. Uh, so one guy I heard, I overheard him saying that it was like football in there, like they were pushing police outta the way. Yes. Can you tell me a little bit about that whole, the whole idea is that we have strength in numbers, right?
****: If we have everybody out here for. Four or five, 10 miles towards the, towards the, the White House and beyond. If all of them were to stack up and continue to push in this capital, we would have it. There wouldn’t be anything they could do. If you look out behind you, you see nothing but a sea of people.
[00:26:00]: Even if they have a curfew at six o’clock, what are they going to do? This is their line. If we hold this line, there’s no way they can go. But just so you’re saying that you personally were inside the holes of the Capitol building and you and other guys were just pushing the cops outta your way? Oh, I believe you.
****: I’m just, I just wanna get an accurate picture. So you’re saying you were pushing cops out of the way like it was football? Yes. Yes. Look, we’re linebackers just pushing through. Yes sir. Wow. Is anyone injured? No. I mean, I think one dude may have got shot in the neck with a, like a rubber bullet, but that was about it.
****: It’s just been gas and pepper spray so far. Wow. I’m not expecting the live rails to come out until after six. They don’t want us taking this. What do you think is gonna happen after six? After six? I think they’re gonna let Antifa loose and if they don’t let Antifa loose, they’re gonna let these police, the natural guard loose.
****: If we sit here and then people don’t hold that line down there, they’re gonna root us. They’re gonna root us out here and we’re gonna lose everything. This is a do or die moment for us. Mm-hmm. And we have to hold this no matter what. If they have to kill all of us. It is what it is. We have to hold, not only for our children, for our country, but for our world.
[00:27:00]: This isn’t about Trump. This, this never was about Trump. He was simply the catalyst that brought all of us like-minded. Same thinking people together. He’s, he’s the, this epicenter and they, they’re, they’re, they’re pushing us back again. No. It looked at me like there was a guy up there trying to break something.
****: Yeah. They were trying to push back at the doors in the middle. The two other two are windows, right? Yeah. We’ve broken all the windows up there and shit. All it’s,
****: it’s, it’s, it’s stupid that it came to, this is what it basically what I’m saying. Mm-hmm. They didn’t have to. All we wanted to do was go in there and tell them exactly what the American people, we’ve been telling them for far long years that they’ve been censoring us and keeping us isolated. Coronavirus, it’s a farce.
****: Keep us outta the churches, the bars, the stores. Put our little masks on so that we don’t know who each other are. It’s one big farce. We’re fucking tired of it. I left my mother, the last family I had, she’s home. I’m crying right now because she thinks I’m not coming back. Just whatever you do, man. Don’t cut that shit.
[00:28:00]: Don’t, don’t, don’t edit it to suit your own little, you know, whatever idea of, of what, what happened here. Tell this like I just told it. I’ll do my best. Damn American. People need to know that we’re out here fighting for their freedom. We may not be sold. The majority of us are soldiers. Mm-hmm. We didn’t go overseas and train.
****: Oh my God. The rest of us are still willing to lay our blood on that goddamn floor if need be. The whole lot of us up there. Okay. And it ain’t right and not right that we as American people have to tell the people we elected supposedly what we want done and they won’t do it. It’s all one big power game for them.
[00:29:00]: It’s one big power fantasy. Um, but I know that there were pockets of violence. Like, absolutely. I’m not saying there was no violence. Uh, it wasn’t like a constant war zone though. It was very shifting, you know? And like, like the, I watched the reinforcement arrived too, like the, um, you know, the, the guys, I, I believe they were National Guard, although, uh, I didn’t go up and ask them, but they were wearing like, you know, Black body armor and face mask and they had the big shields.
****: They were much scarier looking and they built up this line on one side of the crowd and the crowd kind of ignored it. Like there wasn’t like a strategic plan of like, oh, we should be worried about that. They were just still having fun cheering. Bragging about eating donuts from the break room, showing off the broom.
****: They stole from the broom closet, you know, and the, the line of people on the end of it got bigger and bigger. The guys in, in, you know, the body armor and when they started advancing, pushing people off the crowd was kind of shocked. They were like, oh, holy shit. Like they didn’t see it coming. Like, I watched everything build up.
****: Again, my perspective is just, I just want to experience all of this. I didn’t have, uh, I didn’t have a particular horse in the race, so I was watching that happen. I’m like, well, that’s gonna do something. But the other people in the crowd, they didn’t seem worried and then they got hit and then they were upset.
[00:30:00]: So yeah, it was getting back to you. The original thing that set me off, it was very difficult to read the, like the mood or the vibe of what was happening there. No one quite knew what to make of it.
****: David: Yeah, and I definitely wanna pursue that a little bit, but I, I’m also gonna jump back to something else you talk about, about, which kind of ties into what we were saying all in that too, is um, how they didn’t seem to have really a clear plan.
****: It was kind of like they’re, they’re, they’re sort of storm the building. Step one, storm the building, step two, America saved. Yes. Um, and, and they still, still felt like they won when, when they did that, those steps and, and uh, you know, and that also, and that this whole idea of that it was like a party scene for a while on the balcony.
****: And that also kind of speaks to that whole delusion that they, they sort of thought they were on some kind of like a holy mission and they’d be seen as heroes and, and absolute. Sometimes when they were sort of surprised the cops weren’t on their side and stuff like that. And, and the one guy you talk to talks yells about why aren’t the Democrats here?
****: You know, like they should know the Holy War
[00:31:00]: Ben Hamilton: too. I, I completely agree. I remember seeing and in, um, I. In the very last chapter of my book, I talk about how the narrative that the crowd seems to tell themselves shifted that day. Yeah. And when I first met these people, they were so proud. They were sure that they had done something that they would tell their grandchildren about and their grandchildren would look up at them in awe.
****: They thought they were heroes. They thought everyone else would be really pleased with this. And like at the time, I do think I understand how they got to that point. ’cause like I was walking down the street again. Huge crowd, like the people who like professionally say, how many people were in a crowd.
****: Um, say it wasn’t the biggest crowd in the city’s history, but I was blown away by the sheer number of people who showed up to hear Trump’s speech and the sheer number of people who were just streaming down the main roads. They took up three roads. They were like this, this march that they thought of themselves as a protest and I couldn’t help but.
[00:32:00]: Think of the times that I, when I was younger, had been protesting the Iraq war with similar crowds and the historical events like the Martin Luther King marches. You know, it felt like maybe this is one of those things, maybe we’re connected to that history of big crowds of people marching down Washington DC for a political purpose.
****: You know? And I think in their minds that’s what this was. This was a great moment of protesting. Um, And they just, I don’t think they’d ever been to an actual nonviolent rally. I don’t think they understood that. Once you break into a building, you, you don’t count as that anymore. But I think they thought they did.
****: They were like, yeah, we, we were, we were peaceful, we were nonviolent. We stood up for what we believed in, and we won. We wouldn’t take no for an answer, you know, there was. Like a certain logic, flawed logic, but a certain logic to that that I, I think I understood what the narrative that they were telling themselves was.
[00:33:00]: David: Yeah. You know, and that what you were talking about earlier too. I wanted to follow up on that a little bit. The, um, sort of how the narrative changed over the day, you know, from what you saw on the balcony, uh, to the sort of retreating part and then later at the bus station. That, that was pretty interesting.
****: Ben Hamilton: yes. That was, uh, I, I agree. That was my attempt to create my own narrative of the events, like it was tracing. The, the different types of things people said to me over the day and how the patterns changed. Um, so again, we’ve talked a lot about what I call the balcony interviews when I was talking with people who were right on the building’s balcony, and that I think was very influenced by the fact that they couldn’t reach social media.
****: So I think there was sort of a scrambling to fit what they were doing into the narratives they remembered. And uh, maybe there was even like an attempt like, will this one work? Like the defense we’re always defensive. Does that work? Like will this one work? Like we’re the peaceful ones, you know? And, um, eventually when I.
[00:34:00]: For whatever reason, it was the smartphone started working again. I suddenly noticed a defensiveness in every, in all the people I talked about, they weren’t bragging anymore. They were giving their excuses why it wasn’t their fault. That started within a few hours. That’s when I started to really hear, uh, the things about how, um, You know, maybe this was an Antifa Insider.
****: Linebacker Guy: Ooh, great example is the, the Q Anon shot most famous image people saw who I did even record an incredibly brief conversation with myself, uh, right before anything happened. Maybe not quite long enough to be referred to it as an interview, but still I got myself on tape talking to him. I thought that was an interesting little, uh, bit of history there.
[00:35:00]: I would’ve liked to have talked to him more. The crowd was very willing to turn on him. Is the thing because, and I think this was what caught everybody towards him, is he was just so noticeable. He had such a striking costume with the horn and the bare chest and the tattoos, you know, and, uh, he actually had a tendency to kind of like, um, speak in tongues, almost like shout in, made up languages.
****: So he grabs attention. And so the Trump people were so willing to blame everything on. They said, oh, that guy, he must have been an Antifa plant. It was really just Antifa operatives who, who were responsible for everything, you know? So it, it, it shifted. Um, eventually, by the time they got to the bus station, especially, I saw this happen gradually.
****: By that time it shifted to, it wasn’t our fault. Somebody tricked us in. It was Antifa. It was, it was this guy with the horns. It must have been him, which I, I don’t. Think of that it’s true, uh, at all. Like, um, they had like these, and I saw this, uh, this phenomenon a lot the whole time I was chasing, uh, history with the Trump people is they would have a social media post that they shared that they would reshare and no one would question.
[00:36:00]: So they had like this doctored photo of the Q Anon shaman that implied that he was at A B L M rally. Scroll, b l m, and you know, if you, it just, they cut off part of it. It’s a very simple doctrine, just a cropping. I have in my book, both versions. If you see the full version, that’s clearly not true, but God knows how many thousands or millions of people shared that photo of him right after it saying, we found it, it’s his fault.
****: This is the proof. And they reshared and those kinds of, you know, those kinds of things. Uh, just they, they can go viral instantly then, um, So, and then of course in the bus station, I did start getting people who said things that did legitimately scare me, thinking that they thought there was going to be like a civil war and saying like, we tried being peaceful.
[00:37:00]: And, uh, that’s the last time we’re gonna do that. And I’ll, I’ll add, uh, again, that I would hope this goes without saying, but I, I don’t. Maybe it doesn’t, you know, I, I just talked to as many people as I could. This isn’t like a statistical analysis. It’s easily possible. I just talked to a few crazy people who did not speak for the whole crowd.
****: I don’t want someone misquoting me, accusing me of having done that. But the point is, I was there on the ground and there were some people who were saying things like that, and it was a bit troubling. Uh, you know, not that I, I mean that, that’s a little bit off topic, not that I think that like, Those sorts of theories of some sort of full blown civil war thing are necessarily that likely, but the fact that there’s more and more people who seem to think violence is acceptable is still troubling.
****: David: Yeah. I mean, the animosity, uh, between, you know, the more extreme on each side is, is just so high. We hate each other so much at the next step to violence. It’s just, it’s just not a very big step. Well, I mean, I really appreciate talking to you and I think I could talk to you for a couple more hours. What, what would be a, you know, do you have a sort of a closing remark?
[00:38:00]: What would, what do you, I mean, do you have any recommendations? I know that’s kind of not what the theme of this book is about, but I don’t know if you had any kind of, I know you talk a little bit, you mentioned First Amendment and you talk a little bit about, about sort of things like Trump getting kicked off Twitter and your thoughts about that.
****: Oh yes. I don’t know if it’s that or if it’s, it’s something else you might want to kind of close with.
****: Ben Hamilton: Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t try to be a serious businessman and plug my website. Um, so please that’s, uh, the, that’s chasing history project.com. And on that website you can purchase my book directly from the website.
****: Linebacker Guy: The book is, sorry guys. We stormed the capital. You can also sign up for my email list, which I’m told is important for authors to develop larger followings. So please do that. That’ll help me and uh, you can follow me on social media. Uh, I am, like I said, shoestring operation. I’m still getting these things up and running, but I think by the end of the week you can follow, uh, chasing history project.com or just, uh, chasing history project on Twitter as well as CK So please do those things.
[00:39:00]: And the digital economy, I think that’s helpful. I sh hopefully will be publishing that other book I mentioned about the protestors in Seattle within the year. Um, so I hope people would be interested in that. Now did you mean also you wanted me to like, I. How will I save the world? Like what’s my advice to fix all the problems we, we
****: David: started?
****: I, I can give it a shot if, if you have any ideas for us. Sure. We’ll take that. Uh,
****: Ben Hamilton: okay. Um, I have a poster hang on my bedroom window. Bedroom wall that I can see anytime I look away. ’cause I, I often work in here. It just lists what the logical fallacies are. I think that’s a great place to start. Like just understand that logic is, is there’s, there’s this thing, it’s a process for measuring how true something is.
[00:40:00]: It’s not just like a, a synonym for the word smart that people say on Star Trek, logic is actually a process. If A is true, then B is true. If uh, B is not true, then C is not true. Learning to think in that pattern, Is what allows us to make better decisions. And you can do that. Like, it, it’s, it’s, it’s never too late to start doing that.
****: Uh, I would say, you know, this is, and, and maybe that’s common sense for your audience. You’ve got a pretty highbrow, uh, group, but I, I think we can start with that. I think you can listen, I think podcasts, honestly, and audio books are one of the great hopes left. For civil discourse because it allows you to have a complex conversation that maybe isn’t emotional narrative driven.
****: So I think if you can live more in podcasts and less in social media, I think people are better off. And I, I think, um, the general philosophy of the Chasing History project is that everyone has the capability to create their own time capsule. To create the list of important things that they know that they learned, um, that you might wanna protect.
[00:41:00]: That. Like, imagine that it was a nuclear war or a meteor hit the earth and, and everything was over. What would you want to pass on to your children or grandchildren? What was the important part? And I think the act of writing that down for yourself. Is it changes the way you might look at, at your, uh, world, even if it never does get passed on to anyone else.
****: So I think to the extent that I have a grand plan to save the solution, it it’s history. I think history can save us if we, if we can take accurate records of what we lived through, even if we don’t fix this world, this generation, the next generation might have the tools to take it from there.
[00:42:00]: David: As we reflect on the events of January 6th becomes evident. That the seeds of discontent had been sown well before that fateful day. The rioters driven by a belief the election had been stolen, found themselves entangled in a web of disinformation that fueled their anger and in their minds justified extra legal solutions even resorting to violence.
****: Regrettably, that mindset still lingers in our society and trust in our democratic processes remains strained despite investigations and reassurances. We have not fully restored faith in our elections. This lack of confidence leaves us vulnerable as the embers of anger simmer just beneath the surface.
****: While the January 6th Select committee did a lot of good work, I’m disappointed, they focused almost exclusively on Donald Trump and there was no thorough investigation of the failures to secure the capital. This only goes to further the divide and does nothing to gain the trust across party lines. I.
[00:43:00]: Republicans since taking control of the house have done no better. There is a need for a bipartisan review of the failures to protect the Capitol on January 6th. Likewise. While some efforts have been made on election security and election reform such as funding for critical election infrastructure and efforts like the Bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity, much more needs to be done to assure faith in elections.
****: The disinformation campaign of this election cycle is already underway, and it is casting the various criminal indictments of the former president as a political witch hunt. The perception of a politicized justice system and the demonization of those charged can exacerbate existing divisions and further push some towards extreme measures.
[00:44:00]: This time, they’re not just stealing boats, they’re stealing our candidate as we navigate the post January 6th landscape. It’s essential to address the root causes of disinformation and the erosion of trust in our institutions, we must prioritize factual reporting, critical thinking, and unbiased analysis.
****: To counter the influence of misinformation we have to heal the wounds that still linger only by understanding the complex factors that contributed to that day. Can we hope to build a stronger, more resilient democracy?
****: is it for this episode of The Outrage Overload Podcast. For everything we talked about on this episode, visit outrage overload.net. Before we go, I have a quick. Favor to ask. You know, reviews mean the world to us podcasters. They help us reach more listeners and continue bringing you thought provoking content.
****: So if you have a moment, I’d be thrilled if you could head over to pod chaser.com and leave a review. I’ve made it super easy for you. Just visit pod chaser.com/outrage overload, and let me know what you think of the show. There’s also a link in the show notes. I read every review and your feedback truly matters.
[00:45:00]: Until next time, stay curious.
****: Stay kind.