[OPINION] Tourists or tourrorists? 

Photo by ElevenPhotographs on Unsplash

Congressman Andrew Scott Clyde, a Republican, is not stupid.

He is a successful businessman on top of being the representative to the U.S. Congress for the 9th congressional district of Georgia.

Clyde has impressive academic credentials, having graduated cum laude from Bethel College and having earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia. He has equally impressive military credentials, serving for almost three decades in the U.S. Navy, including three combat deployments to Iraq and Kuwait, and receiving the Defense Meritorious Service Medals, a Navy Achievement Medal and four Navy Commendation Medals.

No, Clyde is not stupid.

But then, why did he describe the January 6 “incident” at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC — which the media, the FBI, the Capitol police, the Maryland National Guards, several Republican members of Congress, and television viewers across the United States and the world described variously as an insurrection, a riot, a violent defilement of the seat of the US government and an act of domestic terrorism — as a “normal tourist visit,” as quoted by the media?

One can’t help but conclude that Clyde must think that other people are stupid — specifically the media, the FBI, the Capitol police, the Maryland National Guards, several Republican members of Congress, and television viewers across the United States and the world — who variously described the “happening” as an insurrection, a riot, a violent defilement of the seat of the U.S. government and an act of domestic terrorism.

But wait!

Clyde appears to take issue mainly with the characterization of the “occurrence” as an “insurrection, calling it a “bald-faced lie.” To support his objection, he cited the Merriam-Webster and the Cambridge English dictionaries that define an insurrection as “an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country usually by violence.”

It makes you wonder which aspect of the January 6 “visit” by hundreds of pro-Trump followers does not conform to Clyde’s perception of an “insurrection.”

Subsequent findings by the FBI have confirmed that it was indeed “an organized attempt by a group of people”. These people rallied to the call of outgoing President Donald Trump to converge in Washington, D.C. on the day that a joint session of Congress was to confirm the election to the presidency of Joe Biden.

Why did Trump ask them to go to Washington DC and march to the Capitol Building?

Wasn’t it to prevent the confirmation of Biden’s election? If it was not specifically intended ”to defeat their government,” it most certainly was intended to foil the results of a democratic election, a cherished foundation of the U.S. government. Take that away and what is left is a “defeated government.”

And why did Trump and supporters want to reverse the results of a fair and honest election? Wasn’t it to install Trump as president for a second term?

Surely that is tantamount to “taking control” of the country.

And the “violence” employed as a means to achieve this end? Ask those in the Capitol Building who had to fight off the “visitors,” hundreds of whom were injured, and several lost their lives.

At any rate, Clyde made the scholarly distinction at a House Oversight Committee hearing which, he complained, erroneously referred to the “Capitol insurrection.”

“Let’s be honest with the American people: it was not an insurrection, and we cannot call it that and be truthful,” Clyde said.

One is constrained to assume that Clyde and Trump have the same definition of “truthful” — and it’s not according to Webster or Cambridge but based on the Hitler-Goebbels dictum, “A lie repeated often enough will be taken for the truth.”

While clarifying that he considered violence “unacceptable,” Clyde compared the rioters to “normal tourists.” Did our eyes deceive us or has Clyde succumbed to Trump’s exhortation to his followers that they should not believe what the media report or what they see and hear on TV with their own eyes and ears — even the very words spoken by Trump which he decides to deny?

In an OP-ED written by Clyde, he referred to a portion of the January 6 video, which showed individuals “in an orderly fashion respectfully walking through Statuary Hall.”

“If you didn’t know that TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit,” Clyde said.

To give Clyde the benefit of the doubt, maybe he was occupied during the hours and hours of media coverage where hundreds of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol and could be seen carrying baseball bats and weapons, leaving the hallways and offices of Congress vandalized and ransacked with broken windows.

Maybe, Clyde just happened to see only that portion showing the “tourists’ entering the Capitol Building in an “orderly fashion.”

We fervently hope that Clyde’s home, congressional office and his business are not paid such an “orderly visit” as the rioters did to the Capitol. Over 500 of these “visitors” have been arrested by the authorities and will face trial.

Was Speaker Nancy Pelosi being uncharitably sarcastic? She was quoted as follows, during a press conference on Wednesday, May 13: “Well, I don’t know a normal day around here where people are threatening to hang the vice president of the United States or shoot the Speaker in the forehead. I don’t consider that normal.”

Since Clyde objects to calling the pro-Trump attack — uh, okay, “tour” — of the Capitol as a case of domestic terrorism, we can assume he also does not want the pro-Trump folks referred to as “terrorists.”

But not being stupid, I don’t think calling them “tourists” is acceptable to non-Trumpettes.

However, I would like to suggest a compromise term (which is not in the Webster or Cambridge dictionaries or the Nazi lexicon).

A blending of “Tourist” and “Terrorist”: “Tourrorist.”

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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