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Jan. 6 — what an embarrassing and reprehensible anniversary we created for ourselves. Just over a year ago, under the urging of a once-impeached (and then, wouldn’t you know it, impeached again) president, thousands took it upon themselves to trash the U.S. Capitol, smear feces on its walls, brutally beat some cops, roam the halls armed with stun guns, pepper spray and baseball bats, and call for the heads of elected officials.

Sure, some were just idiots mindlessly under the influence of groupthink. But if we’ve learned anything from the insurrection hearings underway, it’s that not everyone was mindless — some had a real plan.

There is no doubt that if things had gone Donald Trump’s way that day, then-Vice President Mike Pence, the target of many rioters, would not have fulfilled his constitutional duty to certify a legitimate election that placed our 46th president, Joe Biden, in office. That, ladies and gentleman, is called a coup.

In our last Voice of Reason, our Editorial Board wrote:

“As we emerge from the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol, we face a bitter truth: The attack is not over. The insurrectionists went home a year ago, but American democracy today faces a greater existential threat than ever before. At the end of December, AP News made the stakes clear: ‘In the weeks leading up to the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 [2021], a handful of Americans — well-known politicians, obscure local bureaucrats — stood up to block then-President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to overturn a free and fair vote of the American people.’”

And even those on the right who vowed to never forget have already forgotten.

Our Editorial Board went on to say, “The insurrection never really ended — it’s just quieter now; more stealthy and more effective.” If the past few years offer any indication, 2022 will be filled with GOP lies, misinformation, disinformation, political manipulations and gaslighting. Not to mention violence, voter suppression and stacking the deck through unscrupulous but legal methods to maintain minority rule. You know, like Hungary... or Russia (there’s probably less of a separation between our GOP and Mother Russia than we care to think­ — just ask Madison Cawthorn’s soon-to-be ex-wife).

But no matter what they tell you, don’t ever be convinced you didn’t see what you saw.

History was captured by many that day and details continue to emerge. We saw with our own eyes the mainstream news outlets covering Trump’s speech and the crowd he wished he had on inauguration day clinging to his every word. We saw with our own eyes the cell phone footage of numerous insurrectionists breaking the windows of the Capitol, physically beating the law enforcement officers the far right claims to revere.

We saw with our own eyes a field of Trump flags, Confederate flags, Come and Take It flags, Gadsden flags — the banners representing all the ideals publicly embraced by today’s Republican Party.

And there were, of course, El Paso County connections that day. The Denver Post reported in November of last year that Peyton resident Thomas Patrick Hamner was arrested for fighting with police during the insurrection. Klete Keller, a Colorado Springs real estate agent and former Olympic athlete, pleaded guilty to violent crimes he committed at the Capitol a year ago.

And The Gazette’s very own editorial page editor, Wayne Laugesen, attended along with his wife and Trump Thumper Dede Laugesen.

Dede posted photos to social media while outside the Capitol along with this:

“Amazing day in D.C. While I don’t condone violence and always support the Blue, it was good to be with fellow Americans who want to be heard and want free & fair elections. ‘We the People’ ask for an audit of the questionable ballots. If there’s no fraud, then, no problem.”

Hey Dede: Arizona did one such audit. They found MORE votes for Biden than previously thought. And Politifact reports more than 60 Trump lawsuits regarding voter fraud (that’s all but one) were dismissed. So, no problem.

Wayne, in response to social media posts criticizing his being there and accusing his wife of trespassing, posted: “I come to D.C. for work.”

That’s going to be one hell of a story (it still hasn’t been published). Go to The Gazette’s webpage and search “Laugesen, insurrection” and you get the digital equivalent of crickets.

Laugesen also posted on Facebook: “They [the insurrectionists waving all those Trump flags] looked nothing like members of the typical Trump rally crowd. Probably Antifa.”

William of Ockham, a philosopher born in 13th-century England, opined that pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate. Translated: “plurality should not be posited without necessity.”

Ockham’s Razor (better known as Occam’s Razor) essentially urges critical thinkers not to overthink — the simplest explanation is most often the correct one.

And yet the GOP will tell you you didn’t see what you saw. That message will be amplified leading up to the midterms and it will keep getting louder until November 2024. If we believe them, after that, there may not be a need to ever tell us again...

So, critical thinkers, was Jan. 6, 2021, an incredibly orchestrated Trojan Horse pulled off by a loose-knit, ungoverned group of antifascists to make Trump and his lackeys look bad?

Or was it exactly as it appeared?