Sedition Day: Overthrowing Democracy is Not the Same Thing as Protesting Police Violence

Thom Hartmann
6 min readJan 8, 2022

Last week was the anniversary of hundreds of Capitol police, House and Senate staffers, Members of Congress and others who work in the seat of our nation’s government successfully fighting back the first violent assault on a congressional session in the history of our republic.

Trump’s followers and fellow-travelers — including 139 Republicans in the House and 8 in the Senate — tried their best to end our way of government. They incited, participated in, and now are justifying the first violent attack on Congress since the Constitution was signed 235 years ago.

They failed. Congress resumed their session deep into the night of January 6th to complete the transition of presidential power, a process that had always in the past been peaceful.

The 147 members of the “Sedition Caucus” — Republicans all — who endorsed and tried to complete the murderous work of Trump’s mob will be remembered by history along with America’s greatest cowards and traitors. Their names will go down as peers of Benedict Arnold and Robert E. Lee.

The rest of Congress — Republicans and Democrats — who stayed and completed the job of certifying President Biden’s election are heroes.

As are the staffers and police who helped hold the building and protect the ballots while preventing the planned assassination of the Vice President and Speaker of the House.

Therefore, I believe, future January 6ths should be days of celebration for democracy’s victory late that night one year ago today.

England has a similar moment in its history, when Robert Catesby, Guy Fawkes and their fellow seditionists tried to blow up Westminster in 1605 “during the state opening of Parliament, while James I and his chief ministers met within…”

“In the aftermath,” the Encyclopedia Britannica notes, “Parliament declared November 5th a national day of thanksgiving, and the first celebration of it took place in 1606.”

Today it’s celebrated with fireworks and revelry: the traitors were defeated and the nation still stands. We may want to consider something similar here.

We should celebrate our victories.

But our “Guy Fawkes Day” situation isn’t yet resolved.

Thom Hartmann

America’s #1 progressive talk show host & NY Times bestselling author. Thom’s writings also appear at