Now that they’re in jail, or facing that probability, many of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are having second thoughts and regrets.
Multiple news agencies recently have reported on the recriminations of members of the mob that tried to stop validation of last year’s presidential election.
Some of them are blaming Donald Trump who egged them on and QAnon, the far right conspiracy theory that backs the former president.
And some fall back on a quote that is more often used by public figures — politicians, entertainers, professional athletes, business moguls and even religious leaders — when they are caught expressing what are probably their real thoughts on an open microphone or in an indiscreet act:
“That’s not who I am.”
How many times have you heard that one?
Maybe it’s true in some instances, but too many times, words and actions, not the apology, reflect exactly who a person is.
It’s like when someone says “it’s not about the money.” It usually is.
Flip Wilson, a comedian who was popular on television in the 1960s and ‘70s, popularized the catchphrase, “the Devil made me do it.”
I’ve heard that one used in a serious vein by church leaders who were accused of something for which they were being asked to resign.
Actually you could base “the Devil made me do it” on scripture. In the third chapter of Genesis is the account of the original sin. Adam blamed Eve for giving him the forbidden fruit, and Eve blamed the serpent which is considered to be the personification of Satan at the time.
The Devil may have been to blame, but it was the person who did the deed who had to pay some consequences.
So it is with the hundreds who have been or will be charged in connection with trying to take over the U.S. Capitol.
Former President Trump may have been more responsible for it than any single member of the mob, but they are the ones now being charged with crimes and facing possible prison sentences.
As for Trump, he was charged in impeachment proceedings in Congress with inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol but was not convicted in the Senate.
Now, he’s still peddling the false notion that the election was rigged against him.
A few days ago, Trump wrote: “Happy Easter to ALL, including the Radical Left CRAZIES who rigged our Presidential Election, and want to destroy our Country!”
Some may consider that a strange message for Easter — an occasion commemorating the resurrection of Jesus who taught love and forgiveness and paid the ultimate price for our sins.
But Trump’s message may just reflect who he is.
This time last year, the then president was suggesting we’d all be back in church for Easter services.
Some of us were — just a year later than he predicted.
Charlie Dunagin is editor and publisher emeritus of the McComb Enterprise-Journal. He lives in Oxford.