By Andrew McCormick, The Nation
It was 5 pm when the explosions started, one after another, washing the crowd of Donald Trump supporters in plumes of tear gas. For hours, these protesters had swarmed and stomped atop of the Capitol steps. They had torn down barricades and pushed into the Capitol rotunda, forcing members of Congress and staffers to shelter in place. But now there were explosions, and the protesters ran. In the tear gas, they retched.
The protesters had traveled from all over the country to Washington, D.C., to support a defeated president’s fever dream that it was in fact he who had won the 2020 election. Early in the day, at the “Save America Rally” at the White House, Trump himself encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol. They did, hoisting as they marched a large assortment of flags: American flags, Confederate flags, and Trump 2020 flags; the Christian flag, QAnon flags, and Don’t Tread on Me flags. They carried signs—fuck your feelings; god, guns & trump; stop the steal—and some carried weapons.