Everyone understands that President Donald Trump’s most passionate supporters believe that election fraud in several states cost him a second term in office. But after a bunch of them burst into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the question to ask is why they did it.

Did they just want to cause property damage in the seat of American government, like the looting and fires that occurred in many cities this summer during the Black Lives Matter protests?

Did they want to attack Vice President Mike Pence, who told Trump before Wednesday’s joint session of Congress that he did not have the power to reject electoral votes approved by the states?

Or did they want to harm congressmen and senators, who ultimately were poised to approve the count in the electoral college, where Trump lost to Joe Biden?

Maybe they didn’t have any plans at all. Maybe this was nothing more than an effort to get attention or blow off some steam. Whatever the case, the image of a protester sitting in the House speaker’s chair, and of crouching security guards aiming pistols at a door of the House chamber whose windows had been broken, were every bit as shocking as those of rioters setting cars and buildings on fire this summer while supposedly marching for justice.

The most disturbing element of Wednesday’s events is that the protesters chose to descend upon the Capitol on the very day that Congress’ was to formally approve the electoral college results. That implies a clear intent to disrupt the event or prevent the anticipated result — Biden’s election — from occurring.

That is unacceptable in a great and stable democracy such as America. For more than two centuries, the people have decided who leads the government. The ideal of a peaceful transfer of governing power originated here, and it is one of many things that makes us the envy of the world.

You want to protest the election results? Fine. The Constitution protects the right of the people to peaceably assemble. But there’s no way that Wednesday’s forced entry into the Capitol fits that description. When the vice president and lawmakers have to evacuate for their own safety, whatever’s happening around them is far from peaceable.

As most people have recognized for weeks now, the election is over, and Biden won. Trump himself has been moving through the five stages of grief, with the bargaining phase on display in his “I need 11,780 votes” phone call last weekend to the Georgia secretary of state. He and those who protested on his behalf need to get to the acceptance stage right away.

Things will return to normal at the Capitol soon — hopefully Thursday. Congress will listen to objections and then approve the electoral college results. Wednesday’s disgraceful actions certainly didn’t help the argument of those who believe Trump got robbed.

Trump supporters should remember that there’s always another election on the calendar. If they think there was voter fraud, find it and fix it. Then start preparing your political arguments for 2022 and 2024.

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