We Are Either the UNITED States or We Are Not

It was a desecration of our government’s seat of power. A sacrilege against our democracy. A shameful episode carried out by a relatively small mob of violent criminals who disgraced the otherwise peaceful, lawful assembly of countless thousands of earnest Americans who had traveled to Washington to express their distrust of the last election.

In the end, five people died. Three were labeled “medical emergencies. One Capitol Police Officer was brutally struck on the head with a fire extinguisher wielded by a protestor and later died. Then there was Ashli Babbitt, 35, a military veteran who was fatally shot in the neck. Babbitt and a marauding group of trespassers broke down a door inside the U.S. Capitol and as she tried to climb through the door’s shattered window an outnumbered, lone lawman guarding several members of the House fired one fatal shot.

Five needless deaths, 14 police officers injured. And for what? The group would likely say they were there to disrupt Congress from ratifying the presidential electoral college vote, but they achieved exactly nothing.

Officer Brian Sicknick Was Fatally Attacked by Protestors

Nearly 70 were arrested and more may be. I hereby call on each guilty party to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Their lawyers better not offer arguments about understandable outrage over the election or angst due to Covid-19. I’m not buying any excuse for what that band of lawless, unpatriotic intruders did. None. We are not some Banana Republic where the citizenry storms parliament. We are the United States of America and it’s time everyone was expected to act accordingly.

The behavior the world witnessed inside the halls of Congress was criminal, pure and simple. Americans deserve to know everything about every person who illegally entered “The People’s House” that day. What were their motives? Why did some come equipped with climbing ropes and was there a conspiracy to discover the best way to enter the building? Do the suspects have criminal records or a history of mental health issues? We should expect the FBI to be transparent with its findings.

Perhaps more importantly, who financed trips to Washington for these criminals? There are active groups – on both sides of the political spectrum – bent on causing societal disruption. If there were professional instigators involved we need to know.

The media quickly labeled this a “coup,” * which it was not, and the mob as “pro-Trump supporters.” If that’s true the 45th president should be held at least partially responsible for what occurred after his speech to supporters earlier in the day in which he continued to belligerently insist that he won the election “by a landslide.” His encouragement for the crowd to “march to the Capitol” could be considered a catalyst to the deadly event.

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It is “The People’s House” But Not For Insurrection

Mr. Trump had obviously been looking to incite supporters since his December 19th tweet announcing, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Sore losers don’t get to stoke anger, step back into the shadows and then wait hours to tell his minions to “go home in peace.” I am a lifelong proponent of free speech, but I can’t disagree with the social media ban imposed on Trump by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I applaud those members of the administration who resigned in shock and embarrassment.

That said, other politicians and the media aren’t blameless. For the last year we’ve seen violent eruptions of rioting, looting, arson, assault and death in cities across the country. Politicians ordered law enforcement to stand down and let the protestors wear themselves out.

The oblivious Mayor of Seattle called the illegal occupation of part of her city nothing more than “a summer of love” gathering. At one point a police precinct was set on fire with rioters trying to trap officers inside by sealing the doors with cement.

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Seattle Mayor Durkan Was Tone Deaf About the Protests

Newspapers and newscasters frequently described 2020 demonstrations as expressions of frustration over racial disparity or “mostly peaceful protests” when they were obviously much more than that. CNN’s Don Lemon foolishly likened one chaotic evening in cities as far apart as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. to the Boston Tea Party and played down the violence by saying, “This is how this country was started.”

Something very ugly has taken hold in this country both individually and politically. Here’s hoping the deadly January 7 storming of The People’s House will be enough to convince citizens that personal anger must dissolve, and political attitudes must change if we want to remain the UNITED States of America.


* Definition of coup: — A sudden, illegal, often violent taking of government power especially by part of an army.


  1. Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 9:50 am


    @DiDimond you’re one of the few preferred editorial writers that I enjoy and respect. I agree mostly with this morning’s editorial in @ABQJournal, with the exception of, “I am a lifelong proponent of free speech, but I can’t disagree with the social media ban imposed on Trump …”

    • Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 9:52 am


      Thanks for writing and for the kind words.

      That one line has plagued me over the last week. I hope you’ll read the next column which further explains what I meant. ~DD

  2. Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Guy Kurt
    Lawlessness is lawlessness
    Unfortunately both sides accomplished something from their violent acts. So, they’ll continue. On both sides, in my opinion.
    The media and politicians (democrats) encouraged violent protests since Trump took office. Maybe even before that. There is enough documentation of that. Just google it, unless it’s gone already.
    A US Congressman (Republican) was shot. Dr. Paul was beaten by a neighbor. Protesters went to homes. They attacked WH visitors as they left and the media pretty much remained silent and that amounts to tacit approval. They even justified it. Fascism must be defeated.
    Lawlessness burnt cities. The very people these protestors are supposed to be for have been getting killed exponentially since the start.
    Than the other side, foolishly, ignorantly and criminally storms the Capital. Why not?
    Lawlessness is the new language of the disenfranchised.
    All of our leaders (politicians) are responsible for this mess. And it didn’t start 4 years ago. It started decades ago. Like a small snowball rolling down a hill. Picking up steam and size. And the biased media’s hypocrisy is like some bad SNL skit.
    Lawlessness is lawlessness.
    The Declaration of Independence calls for a government overthrow in the event…..
    It appears both sides of their fringe believes it’s time. And our politicians continue to gaslight.

    • Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:28 pm

      Joan Stepp Smith replies to Guy Kurt —

      Eloquent, (and forthright) and what seems an essential part of a better future —that we acknowledge the severity of lawlessness coming at us from ALL sides. The incoming VP has publicly called for more rioting (not less) —Let’s see how this works out…

  3. Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Cliff Chetwin writes:


    I rarely write to newspapers, and especially to opinion writers since I consider it a largely unproductive and wasted effort. However, I must congratulate you on your piece in today’s edition of the Journal regarding us uniting and becoming Americans again.

    I was a police officer in DC during the Viet Nam riots and faced the mob many times. I believe I developed a pretty good sense of “riotology” and mob mentality. Our standing orders were to watch but not intervene; an obvious contradiction and essentially impossible practice in a riot situation which doesn’t worked any better now than it did then. Arrests were strongly discouraged and “catch and release” was the standard prosecution practice.

    A major lesson I quickly learned was that lawlessness only begets further and more serious lawlessness. It continues until the political authority decides to stop it and not tolerate any further disturbance. Excusing the behavior, or even rewarding it as we have seen throughout 2020, does not stop the violence and only serves to further erode the safety of all citizens and their support and respect for constitutional government. Arrests and sustained convictions of the guilty are absolute requirements to suppressing the mob and restoring support of the average person. Unfortunately history shows us that the political leadership rarely possesses the will to do this, despite their oath of office.

    As we have all watched for over nine months now the left wing intelligentsia and political elite, essentially all Democrat, have not only tolerated rioting, arson, looting, mayhem, and true insurrection in many cities, they have openly encouraged and in some cases actually participated in the lawlessness. This has included directly standing the police down, when not actually assaulting them, and refusing to prosecute the lawless behavior. Shop keepers, homeowners, churches, and others have been left to suffer the results of this misbehavior by the very government elected to protect them, further dividing us politically and culturally. Now this same leadership professes shock and outrage when conservatives, a bunch that have always much slower on the uptake when it comes to using violence and terror to achieve their aims, engage in mob violence as well.

    As you correctly point out every American should be outraged by the storming of the capital building and should demand that as many of the participants as possible be identified, charged and, if found guilty, convicted. Mr. Trump certainly bears a significant portion of the responsibility and should rightfully be condemned. However, the wheels were set in motion by the tolerance and encouragement of lawlessness in Seattle, Denver, Portland, Kenosha, Minneapolis, and even here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The outrage now expressed by Democrats, including the New Mexico delegation and a few Republicans, which is aimed exclusively at Mr. Trump and a few senior Republicans, is nothing more than partisan grandstanding and hypocrisy.

    I believe you will certainly take a considerable amount of flak for having the courage to write other than the left wing mantra which increasingly dominates and divides us in all debate, both nationally and locally. I know few, if any, of your professional colleagues or the political elite will have the integrity and objectivity to so. Until “we the people” demand this changes we will continue down the road towards an increasingly divided population filled on both sides with hate, intolerance, and destructive tribalism.

    Thank you for standing up.

    Cliff Chetwin

  4. Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Juan Garcia writes:

    Ms Dimond

    Your article /OPeD today dealing with the UNITED states is another example of the one sided attack on the conservative mostly peaceful citizens who demonstrated on the 6th.

    I don’t recall you asking who was funding the anarchists who destroyed cities this summer through looting, rioting and arson. I don’t recall you calling the thugs and criminal BLM marching through the streets leaving 2B worth of mayhem throughout the country.

    Instead you decorated the destruction of our cities under “peaceful demonstrations”. Did you call out Kamala Harris for helping bailout criminals ? Did you ask for every single looter today be prosecuted ?

    The answer is NO. People like you who thrive on hypocrisy are examples of what is wrong with this country.

    • Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      Mr. Garcia:

      You are clearly not familiar with my body of work.

  5. Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Stan Olson writes:


    Remember in 2011 when tens of thousands of Democrats surged on the Wisconsin Capitol building in Madison and physically occupied it for more than two weeks? We were told, “This is what democracy looks like.”

    Remember in 2016 when Obama was President and hundreds of BLM blocked interstate highways and violently accosted police (even killing several)? We were told, “To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible.”

    Remember in 2018 during the Kavanaugh hearings when a mob of Democrats stormed the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, and pounded their fists in rage on the door. We were told, “It’s understandable.”

    Remember this summer’s riots in major cities across the country when groups of Democrats marched in the streets, set buildings on fire, looted businesses, assaulted and even killed bystanders and police? We were told, “These are mostly peaceful protests.”

    Remember when Democrats seized several blocks of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in downtown Seattle, declaring it an autonomous zone? Remember the guns ad deaths and utter destruction? We were told, “It’s a block party atmosphere.”

    Remember when a crazed mob gathered after the Republican National Convention and attacked Rand Paul, a sitting U.S. Senator? We were told, “No justice, no peace.”

    Remember how police were told to stand down, governors refused to call in the national guard, and Democrats paid bail for violent protesters who were arrested? We were told, “This is the only way oppressed people can be heard.”

    I have condemned violent protests and lawlessness every single time they’ve been reported. I condemn the actions of those who stormed the Capitol yesterday. But I refuse to condemn hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors because a handful (52 arrested) chose to be lawless and to defy everything the vast majority of the crowd stood for. Conservatives are defenders of the Constitution, the police, and the rule of law. Because a relative few people decided to do something stupid doesn’t nullify the concerns of the many.
    The real culprit here? The mainstream media has been telling us for years that violence is the only way people who feel oppressed can be heard, it’s the only way to get justice, and this is what democracy looks like. Apparently, a few who were in the crowd on Wednesday listened to them.

    The inflammatory rhetoric of the Left caused this, and it’s about time Democrats and the mainstream media took responsibility for dividing Americans and attempting to humiliate those who support the President or any conservative ideals. They have pushed people to the brink, even while claiming, “It’s time for unity.” It’s time for careful reflection and change on all sides.

  6. Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Steve Robel writes:

    Here is a quote from the president elect:

    “Our priority will be Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American owned small businesses, women-owned businesses, and finally having equal access to resources needed to reopen and rebuild.” — President-elect Biden.

    Here we go. The Democrats have started judging people by the color of their skin.

    • Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:34 pm

      Baxter Porter VI replies to Steve Robel:

      Steve Robel, can you provide some kind of context to this quote?
      See, this is how things get taken out of context.
      Also, I’m not seeing any judgment being cast on anyone reading this quote.
      Where’s the judging by skin color you’re referring to?
      Is it the “equal access” part that rubs you wrong?
      Why are you trying to find something scary here?

      • Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:34 pm

        Steve Robel replies to Baxter Porter VI:

        Baxter, this is very clear. Your president elect, is making the above races priority. Don’t you think the appropriate statement should have been our priority is all small business’s owned by the American people which has been devastated by covid 19. If this country is going to rebound our elected officials need to start thinking about this country as a whole and quit picking and choosing who they are going to help.

      • Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:34 pm

        Michael Hughes replies to Steve Robel:


  7. Diane Dimond on January 11, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Mary Louise writes:

    The melting pot not so tasty …..

  8. Diane Dimond on January 12, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Ben Blackwell writes:


    You did a mea culpa, well sort of. You are right; this was not a coup. However, it was a failed coup or attempted coup. When you try to subvert a certified election, what more do you need to call it an attempted coup?

    You actually did ok in your column until the last six paragraphs. However, you could not resist reverting to “whataboutism”. The events of January 6, 2020 stand on their own without any reference to other prior political expressions. This event will stand with 9/11 as another sad day in the history of our country.

  9. Diane Dimond on January 27, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Robert writes:

    Agree with your comment on USA no longer united. There’s been a long-standing unseen (and many times obvious) hand performing socially acceptable re segregation, most prominently 2007-2015. We no longer behave in unity. We are encouraged to splinter off into our own ethnicities and fight against our own USA patriotism. I’m sad
    ….racial re segregation has become acceptable and re taught BY and within minorities (me speaking as a Hispanic who behaves like a very proud American). Culture is cool to lean on but race is used as a political weapon. So dumb.

    • Diane Dimond on January 27, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      DD replies to Robert:

      Thanks for taking the time to write to me, Robert. I think I worry most about self-segregation of certain groups as they fully embrace the “I am a victim” mentality. This attitude keeps them from ever advancing. Makes me sad too. ~DD

  10. Diane Dimond on January 31, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    David Nelson Blair writes:

    Dear Ms Dimond

    Like you, I was moved by the events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

    You wrote: “Something very ugly has taken hold of this country both individually and politically (“Big changes needed if we are to the UNITED states,” Albuquerque Journal, Jan. 9, 2021).

    I quoted your statement in a video posted January 30 (“A Cynic’s Moment,” David Nelson Blair, YouTube).

    The video points to cynicism as a major component of the “something very ugly.” It focuses on a superb 2019 article by James Mattis in The Atlantic, in which he says, “Cynicism is corrosive when it saturates a society, and it has saturated too much of ours.” We need to recognize the difference between healthy skepticism and corrosive cynicism, especially as it applies to current affairs.

    Thanks for all your columns. Be well. Be safe.

    David Nelson Blair

  11. Boyd Stewart on February 15, 2021 at 5:58 am

    Ms. Dimond, I discovered you through your Facebook friend, Jim Cundiff…what luck for me! This article is the best piece of writing I have seen anywhere in recent weeks. Thank you for your clear love of our nation, and the masterfully impartial way you write about current affairs.

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