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Critical Thinking

06 - The Danger of Tribalism


On the 6th of January 2021, MAGA protestors convinced by Trump and the far-right media that the US election was stolen and rigged by the Democrats, stormed Capitol Hill. In an attempt to avert an unfair and rigged election (in their view) they attempted to occupy the senate - and they got in. 5 people died.


Some background - Trump had been claiming for over a month that the election was rigged, buying into and fueling far-right conspiracy theories. Democrats and republicans alike have said there was no fraud. There has been no evidence given for fraud besides hearsay and baseless claims. They’ve relied on hearsay, vague claims, and the word of questionable sources like OAN and Newsmax - two extreme right ultra-biased and conspiratorial news outlets.

The leadup

Trump retweeted in late December a post saying “The calvary is coming”. He is encouraging his followers to march and protest the results of the election.

He has been riling them up for over a month every day, convincing them through conspiracy theories, tribalism, and massive biases, that the Democrats and weak Republicans with the mainstream media rigged the election against him.


The day before, he started inciting his followers. “Our country has had enough”, “they won’t take it anymore!” “make america great again”. He’s further giving his follower base justification for the insurrection attempt to follow.


Trump preceded the insurrection day by warning Democrats and Republicans in name only (one true scottsman fallacy) that a large crowd won’t settle for fraudulent elections.


There was no fraud on a scale the likes of which he’s claiming. He’s setting the perfect atmosphere for his radical MAGA followers to feel justified in any action they take.



We begin with Trump the day of the riot.

Republicans started to lose, so naturally the incoming ballots were rigged. What evidence is there of this? It literally just happened.

This is 100% because he can't take losing - he's too narcissistic to allow it. It has to be rigged, in his mind he can't lose, and neither can the team he plays for.


He retweets someone quoting "everything is on the table".

He tells republicans explicitly to FIGHT. For the election, sure. However, he has been enciting people constantly for a long time.


Trump went on to start saying that vice-president Mike Pence can prevent the election results and win the MAGA crowd 4 more years in power.

You can see where this is heading, right? They're going to rig the election again, wait for it, it's happening, they're rigging it, we're not going to take it anymore. Fight!

If you're not on our side you're not a real Republican. This is very dangerous tribalistic thinking. And it didn't end well.


He continues on by saying that states know there was fraud (not true) and all Mike has to do is reject the certification of the Biden presidency and they will win. He’s really pushing this as the final push over the hill.

The irony here is that what he's asking for Pence to do here is have the courage to rig the election. That's OK, though, because it's reclaiming the election that was rigged against him, right? Rigging an election is OK when he tries it, I guess.


5 Minutes later he’s capital letter Tweeting that republicans and the country need the presidency (him) more than ever.


He’s stirring up dangerous levels of tribalism.

This is how cults work. You need me, everyone else is lying to you, we're the truth, everything else is a lie.


38 Minutes later he’s claiming that counted ballots are fraudulent. He’s transmitting to his entire fanbase who he knows are going to be attending the march that fraud is happening at that very moment.

Did they happen to find 50 000 ballots, or did they have those ballots and hadn't counted them yet?


15 minutes later - fraud is happening. States are behind you, the president is behind you, the president needs you, fight, get smart, don’t let them steal the election.

In reality the states don't want to redo their votes, they haven't found fraud, and the only people who think so are the people who watch radicalised propaganda machines like Fox News, OAN, and News Max.



Day of the insurrection

Prominent ultra-biased far-right personality Tomi Lahren starts inferring that fraud started happening, simply because the Republican nominees started losing.

(Trump retweeted this).


She then goes on to say election is about to be stolen and rigged. Preparing for conspiracy theories in the event they lose. Which they did, anyway. (Trump retweeted this).



The last Trump tweet before the insurrection has been deleted by Twitter for violating their terms of service. It read:

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!"

Then it happened.

MAGA supporters reached bursting point. They start chanting "USA. USA. USA". They rammed the police barricading off the grounds to Capitol Hill.

They overwhelmed police with their sheer numbers, and ended up having a stand off with riot police, and broke their way in.

They also attacked the media presence there. When you spend years telling people the mainstream media is fake news that's lying to them, and they helped steal an election - when the time for action comes it's no surprise this happened.


Trump called on them via Twitter to stay peaceful and to go home, but by that point it was too late. Tweet 1. Tweet 2.

Matt Fuller was live tweeting this from inside. By his tweet, the rioters breeched the building at 7:33PM. Trump's Tweet to support police was 5 minutes late. They had already got inside by then. He asked them to go home 40 minutes after they got inside.

This Tweet was at that moment.

He later tweeted when they reached the door of the senate (image below) which was at 7:37 - 1 minute before Trump gave any kind of a message to calm down.


He has spent years radicalising people, turning them against the media, against the mainstream, and convincing people their countries democracy was at stake. In fact it was, but not because of the Democrats.

It's worth noting that the "party of law and order" just tried to overturn a democratic election by forcing their way onto Capitol Hill, fighting police, and staging an insurrection by occupying the senate.

It lead to the senate being barricaded and guns at the ready to hold back the rioters.

Warning. The following link is not for the feint of heart.

When trying to smash through and breech a door - a woman was shot in the neck by security. She later died.


They even got to the desk of Nancy Pelosi, who's e-mails were still open.

Just for a moment think that these anti-Democrat pro-Trump insurrectionists got into the senate, had unrestricted access to the unlocked computer of a prominant democrat and didn't find any election fraud evidence or didn't look for it.

He left a note on her desk: "We will not back down."


Let's recap for a moment. Trump encited his followers who he repeatedly told the election was rigged. He knew they were marching in DC on the day of Biden's certification at the senate.

He told them they would steal and rig the election again, told them it started happening, and told them to fight. He told them Pence failed them, that they weren't going to take it anymore, and that they need to make america great again.

Trump supporters were filmed forcing back a police barricade, gathering in mass outside, smashing their way in, and pictured themselves inside after doing so.

Trump supporters are saying these weren't Trump supporters, they were ANTIFA. I'm not kidding.

The exact same day that this happened within an hour, the conspiracy theories were already in full swing. After they left, they had left behind a trail of destruction from their rioting. Gunshot holes, trashed offices, broken glass, and general damage. Here is a photo thread from the day after.


These four guys - black hair in mask, bearded dude, shaman, and hoodie hat were pictured in the Capitol Building.

Apparently, these men are ANTIFA. Are they? let's examine.

The following article in Politicrossing was published the same day.

"Pictured proof this is Antifa". If you click the link, you'll notice the page doesn't exist. It got pulled because it's totally fabricated fake news. Luckily, I saved the contents.

This was written by Chris Widener, a person so unbiased and reputable as to write such unsensational articles such as:
-Watch Dems Steal 32,000 Georgia Votes in Real Time

-Exactly What to Say When Someone Calls You a Conspiracy Theorist
-Steven Crowder Asks: Are There Only Two Genders?
-What Happens When the Right Finally Fights Back?
-How to Steal an Election
-The Myth of Getting Along with Liberals

The article must have been something so brokenly damning to the elites that they hacked into his website to take it down.

I'm kidding - he made it up. If a far/hard right alternative news source who gets called a conspiracy theorist takes down a page saying the protestors were ANTIFA and these men were, why would he take it down?

This was the image he used as proof.

Left are the people who broke into Capitol Hill, right is a picture from the ANTIFA site.

I went onto the ANTIFA Philly website to check.

He is indeed on there. This man's name is Jason Tankersley - he was a co-founder of the Maryland Skinheads. There's an image on the ANITFA website of a younger Jason with a Swastica on his chest.


Chris Widener either quite dishonestly cropped the photo, or didn't bother to check the information he was sharing before he posted it.

Maybe because the cropped out guy is Steve Smith who is a known white supremacist and co-founder of the Keystone state skinheads.

This is still circulating 2 days after - the same image infact.

Now this on it's own isn't the end of this by any means. It gets more interesting.

Apparently facial recognition spotted this ANTIFA member at the riot.

The Washington Times originally published an article titled:

Facial recognition firm claims antifa infiltrated Trump protesters who stormed Capitol.

"A retired military officer told The Washington Times that the firm XRVision used its software to do facial recognition of protesters and matched two Philadelphia antifa members to two men inside the Senate.

The source provided the photo match to The Times."


So someone told them they used facial recognition to tag ANTIFA members and that was enough evidence to run the story? Interesting. "Someone told us" - amazing journalism. Here's the image.

You'll notice that:

1) It actually ID'd white supremacists of the far-right and not ANTIFA, and

2) It tagged Jason Tankersley (this is important a little later)

3) The other two are supposedly Matthew Heimbach and Jake Angeli.


The article has now been corrected and is now called: CORRECTED: Facial recognition identifies extremists storming the Capitol.

"Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that XRVision facial recognition software identified Antifa members among rioters who stormed the Capitol Wednesday. XRVision did not identify any Antifa members. The Washington Times apologizes to XRVision for the error."

"The Washington Times erroneously reported late Wednesday that facial recognition technology backed up that speculation and identified two Antifa members. In fact, XRVision has not identified any members of that far-left movement as being part of the attack."

They end the article by saying someone said ANTIFA were there. Solid reporting. Their original article was so backwards and false they had to nullify the story, but supported it anyway by saying someone said ANTIFA were there - the same reasoning they originally gave for the first fake story.

The CTO at XRVision Yaacov Apelbaum published a statement condemning the Washington Times.

"XRVision didn’t generate any composites or detections for the Washington Times or for any “retired military officer,” nor did it authorize them to make any such claims or representations. Additionally, The Washington Times never attempted to contact XRVision to verify their false claim prior to publication. "

"XRVision views the Washington Times publication as outright false, misleading, and defamatory.

Our attorney has contacted the Washington Times and has instructed them to ‘Cease and Desist’ from any claims regarding the sourcing of XRVision analytics, retract their current claims, and publish an apology."

Here's the funny thing, and why I said the ID of Jason Tankersley was important a little earlier. It's not him.


I found his Facebook and I looked through some photos to make sure it's the same person. It is. Supposedly a super low-res scan of his hand tattoo was part of the ID. While I don't doubt facial recognition is a good thing, it's still limited by it's programming. I looked through his recent photos. His hair is short now, he has a ton more tattoos, including on his fingers. Compare the image of the guy who stormed Capitol Hill with a recent photo of Jason. They don't match. Not only did Trumpists and his support in the media falsely claim ANTIFA were tagged by facial recognition when in reality they were supremacists, it wasn't even the same guy.


I've seen people say:

He had ANTIFA signs on his hands.

No, he doesn't. It's from a video game. It's from Dishonored.

It's the mark of the outsider, and seeing as disaffection with society is a marker of conspiracist ideation, I'd say that fits the profile pretty well.

What's the other tattoo? Not a clue, it's a very blurry photo.

Let's move on to the Shaman (never thought I'd be typing that one out.)


If Carli made this image then she's incredibly dishonest and manipulative. If she didn't her biases and tribalism towards conservatism made her share it without checking. She wants to spin a narrative that BLM are behind the violence and not the MAGA crowd. Think of the logic here for a moment:

The same guy was at a BLM rally so therefore is a BLM supporter. Not only is that obsurred because as we know - counter-protests exist, but she or the originator of this image omitted the "Q sent me" sign.

Yes, he's a Qanon supporter. He's a pro-Trump conspiracist who legitimately stormed Capitol Hill, broke in and occupied the senate, with hundreds of other angry Trump supporters. This is an inconvenient truth for those on the right. That's exactly why it had to be someone else - it's tribalism at work.

Don't take my word for it - you can check the guy's Twitter himself.


The funny thing is, is that this man has been doing the Qanon pro-Trump conspiracy stuff for a while. Here he is earlier in 2020 on camera for 10 minutes going over his beliefs. >>>

That's not the funny thing. The funny thing is now he is part of the conspiracy. The Trump supporters are saying that he is an ANTIFA George-Soros backed actor and isn't Qanon, isn't pro-Trump and is there to make them look bad.


Here he is in a video burning masks in an anti-mask stunt. But he's a BLM ANTIFA paid actor! Is he?

People are pointing out his backstage profile as proof he's a paid actor.

Did he delete it to cover his tracks? Well, considering he is forefront of an insurrection to overturn the election by breaking in to and storming Capitol Hill, they probably removed it from the site, just like his personal Twitter has been deleted.

Let's humour the claim a moment.

Education: School of hard knocks and is an acting master. Ok, sure lol.

1 single credit. Threater camp voulenteer. What a resume.

Think logically for a moment. If someone was going to be paid to act as a MAGA supporter in a massive elite conspiracy from the very top, why would he leave his acting page up?

He obviously got no work, he probably forgot he had it.

I know plenty of actors - they aren't employed by George Soros to protend to like Trump. Enough people do that on their own.


As for the guy wearing his hoodie weird, or the guy on the left that's supposedly Matthew Heimbach, I don't know. The people supposedly ANTIFA are demonstratably not.

When it was known that the initial claims were false, people started clinging to whatever weak evidence they can. He's an actor! ANTIFA tattoos!


Trump was very clearly enciting his audience. He told them time after time that the election was rigged without any evidence, he told them it would happen with the Georgia runnoff election. He told them Pence could stop the steal. He told them to go out and fight. He told them they wouldn't take it anymore, that they needed him more than ever, and that anyone who didn't agree with part of the conspiracy or a republican in name only, not a true republican.

He created an atmosphere of anti-media, anti-government, and purist conservatism. Everything that didn't work for him was a failure or a conspiracy. Time after time he sued states and brought up lawsuits to tackle the supposed fraud, and lost basically all of them.

His supporters who said they would march that day (encited by Trump) were on video ramming police barricades, fighting riot police, smashing into the building and occupying the senate against armed security barricading the entrance, guns drawn.

They took selfies and pictured themselves inside the senate stealing, vandilising, occupying, and congregating together. After all of this, without any pause, Trumpists and the MAGA cult found a way to make it all about 2 people who were not MAGA, they weren't true supporters, they were paid actors of George Soros working with ANTIFA to make Trump look bad. Forget the other few thousand people - it's convenient that way. Not only that, but when Trump supporters make them look bad - they're thrown under the bus and are called ANTIFA spies.

I wrote the page about subjective objectivity the day before this happened - and it demonstrates the danger of this kind of thinking.

Tribalism was encited and ignited. Tribalism had Trump supporters not only rioting into the senate, but denying any involvement afterwards to the point of making conspiracy theories up about a  Qanon supporter.

The sensationalist and biased mainstream and alternative media sources like Politicrossing and the Washington Times created sensationalist fabricated misinformation stories which spread like wildfire, and the corrections fall on deaf ears.

Ignorance to the full story had people embracing bias, embracing Tribalism and looking for someone else to blame, and just like that, they created a subjective reality detatched from what objectively happened. They heard what they wanted to hear and ran with it which created this alternative world where Trump is innocent, it wasn't MAGA, and a conspiracy involving paid ANTIFA members backed by George Soros tried to make MAGA look bad.

Any information which they wanted to be true was and still is automatically treated as undeniable fact, and any counter information is explained away as part of the conspiracy. This was the day whitehouse backed conspiracy theories encited a tribal group into occupying and rioting into the Capitol Building.

Trump's double standard

Let's look at Trumps response to the BLM riots (which I don't agree with) and the Capitol Hill riots.

Pure double-standard hypocritical tribalism. It's not like no one saw this coming, either.


Now this is obviously a massive disaster for critical thinking, for objectivity, and for democracy in general. The fact that someone like Trump could become president and encite an insurrection against his political opponent simply because he lost is a dark day for western civilisation.

The real tragedy - 5 people died.


MAGA supporter and veteran Ashli Babbitt got shot breaking into the inner areas of the building by security. She was a Trump supporter who believed his conspiracy theories about the election being rigged.

Looking at her Twitter, she was anti mask, a fan of Trump (obviously), and into right-wing conspiracies.

She retweeted this super ignorant statement:



Jan 3

Them: “Even if you don’t like masks and lockdowns for whatever reason, you do it to keep others safe. Put aside your individual selfishness for the majority!”


Me: “Gang rape is the will of the majority over the individual as well. You good with that too?”

She was radicalised by Tribalism, evident by the right-wing conspiracy theories, make liberals cry again, and massive pro-Trump sentiments.

She had an extreme opinion and clearly dilusional, but she didn't deserve to die. I might have been as radicalised as she was back in my early adult life - I changed my mind. People are capable of change, but now we and the boyfriend she left behind will never know.

Here's a video showing just how radicalised she had become from Tribalism and the MAGA cult.

She followed Breitbart, Fox News, and the king pigeon himself: Donald Trump. Not only that, but the cult made her a martyr as a warrior fighting against the globalists.

The image to the left is something she retweeted. Praising Trump as some kind of ultimate force for good, and everyone else as corrupt and part of a globalist soros-controlled conspiracy of control and world domination.


Aside from the 3 medical emergencies accounting for 3 additional deaths, a police officer was killed in the riot.

Brian Sicknick met his end when an insurrectionist hit him with a fire extinguisher.

Little is known as of writing this on the 9th of January, as a murder investigation has been opened and they're not releasing info on an ongoing police investigation.

Other officers were put through a hell-on-earth time, too.

From the APNews report:

"Another disturbing video shows a bloodied police officer screaming for help as he’s crushed by protesters inside the Capitol building. The young officer is pinned between a riot shield and metal door. Bleeding from the mouth, he cries out in pain and screams, “Help!”"

"Other images show police completely overwhelmed by protesters who shoved, kicked and punched their way into the building."

Here are some videos of the riot. Make no mistake - this was not peaceful entry. They smashed their way through and vandilised the building behind them.

Someone has put together an interactive timeline of Parler videos taken by the rioters. Still in late January, there are still people claiming it was ANTIFA.

After all this, Trump has the audacity to pretend like this didn't represent what his cause was about. After enciting people, telling them to fight, telling them the election was rigged, it was going to be rigged again, and that they need to take their country back, he disavowed the riot. No harsh words, no authoritarian anger-induced tweeting.

In a video Trump spoke to the rioters.

"We had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election and everyone knows it - especially the other side, but you have to go home now."

"This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you're very special. You've seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel."

This is a lesson in the danger of populism, of tribalism, or conspiracy theories, of creating a subjective reality where you can say whatever you like because you believe it and others believe it.

This has been a long page, but it needs to be remembered.

The next page is on how you can break away from this radical mindset - of tribalism, biases, ignorance, and of living in subjective realities where objective evidence is explained away or hearsay is accepted as gospel because it's what you want to hear.

Next page: Acceptance and centrism

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