WASHINGTON — Tom Zawistowski didn’t see “thugs” or “terrorists” among the crowd he joined Wednesday outside the U.S. Capitol during what some are describing as an attempted coup to block the election of Democrat Joe Biden.
The head of the We the People Convention and the Portage County Tea Party and onetime candidate for Ohio Republican Party chairman told The Columbus Dispatch that the majority of people he marched alongside were peacefully voicing their opposition to election results, not trying to violently overthrow the government.
Yet at the same time he justified the actions of the minority who were not peaceful.
“Today we saw just a small taste of what happens when state and federal governments ignore the laws and fail to respect the sanctity of the vote for every American. This is a big mistake and will have serious consequences for all of these state and federal legislators in the days, weeks and months ahead,” he said in an email Wednesday night.
He added, “We could have burned the city… to the ground, and they couldn’t have stopped us… Why didn’t we? Because we’re proud, patriotic Americans, and we believe in our system, and we want our system to work. So all these people who want to accuse us of all of these horrible things, I just say, they’re the ones that are causing the problem, because they’re ignorant of what’s going on around them, and they believe the lies.”
Late-night hosts react
with shock, anger
NEW YORK (AP) — Late-night TV show hosts expressed anger and frustration at the violence at the U.S. Capitol, offering somber monologues that pleaded for unity even as some aimed pointed barbs at those they held responsible for the mobs’ actions.
“If my grandfather were alive today and saw what was happening in the country that he fought for, he’d be disgusted,” said Jimmy Fallon on NBC. “People walking around with the flag upside down thinking they’re patriotic. Today was not patriotism. Today was terrorism.”
Jimmy Kimmel ridiculed some members of the mob, including one dressed as a Viking. “It was like a psychotic “Price is Right” audience forcibly taking control of the Plinko wheel,” Kimmel said.
Seth Meyers was live on NBC and didn’t try to joke about the events, filling his monologue with terms like “armed insurrection” and “stunning scenes of violence and sedition.”
“We are going to try our best tonight to process what happened and I promise, I promise, if you come back tomorrow we will have jokes,” he said.