Opinion | Conservatives must condemn capitol riot

We shouldn’t define all members of the Republican Party based on the actions of a few.


Jerry Habraken-USA TODAY

Jan 6, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Trump rioters storm the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers inside debated the certification of the presidential election. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Habraken-USA TODAY

Ally Pronina, Opinions Columnist

 The capitol rioters do not define all conservatives — and the Republican Party must unify against such acts of violence and disinformation that led to an insurrection. 

The Iowa State College Republicans were at the pro-Trump protests in Washington, according to their own Twitter account. For weeks, the account tweeted inflammatory disinformation, including “Destroy All RINOS,” an acronym meaning Republican in Name Only. This is wrong — an indefensible call for violence. And it is not what conservatives represent. But the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 reflects on all conservatives — whether they condemn the violence (which everyone must do) or not. 

Donald Trump shouldn’t have egged on the crowd Jan. 6, when he falsely claimed that Congress had the power to overturn the results. And shouldn’t for months have declared wrongly that the election was rigged when even conservative judges he appointed ruled time and again against his false insistence of widespread voter fraud. President Biden was the certified winner. Instead of rioting, Republicans need to advocate for Biden’s administration to do what is best for America. 

The rioters contributed to the disservice to other conservatives by giving the left-winged pundits an excuse to portray us in a bad light.  Many current Republicans condemned the capitol protests — albeit some after several months of questioning the integrity of the election. All of them must condemn the violence and the questions of the election’s integrity before we move on as a party.  

The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC claimed members of the Republican Party who were not at the riot considered it a “miss“ without any concrete sources.  Maddow overlooked how many of us did not support the rioters. I don’t consider not being at something which embarrassed the majority of my political party a “miss.“

Iowa Republican politicians did not consider it a miss either. Sen. Joni Ernst, Gov. Kim Reynolds, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Sen. Chuck Grassley have all rightfully condemned the rioters’ violence after they forced them into hiding. Unlike the head of the Henry County Republican party, these Republicans are being responsible leaders and not creating Facebook posts calling for a “Revolutionary War.” 

That being said, the number of conservatives expressing outrage at the rioters extends beyond Iowa. Even Charlie Kirk — founder and president of Turning Point USA — posted an anti-riot message. I fear all conservatives are going to be called domestic terrorists now, but the conservatives who spoke out against the violence proves that not all of us are. 

The protesters shunned conservative values that the president they fought to keep in office displayed. Trump has supported law enforcement. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from injuries obtained while responding to the protests.  It’s a tragic and heartbreaking death that isn’t justifiable. 

Too many police officers have already died in 2020 while on duty without the rioters contributing. Anyone who participated in these protests — even if they were not part of the group inside the Capitol — should condemn it. 

Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren condemned this death. These are the majority of conservatives — not those who are fine with an officer dying in the line of duty for some political agenda. 

We cannot let what the protesters did define us. The Capitol rioters have done a lot of damage to the Republicans’ reputation, and the party must unite against any further acts of violence or spread of misinformation.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.