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The January 6th Insurrection Was a National Wakeup Call We Ignored

January 6th
Outside during the US Capitol during the January 6, 2021 attack on the building.

In the aftermath of last year’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I wrote in these pages that, “unless decisive action is taken – quickly – the attack may well prove to have been the opening rounds of increasing instability and violence.” Senior leaders of both parties would have to take actions to mend the divisions, I argued, because failing to try “could condemn our Republic to eventually succumb to a darkness from which we may never fully recover.” The party leaders not only failed to make progress over the past year, but they’ve also stood passively by as conditions have worsened.

January 6th: A National National Nightmare 

The January 6th attack last year was limited to about 2,000 people, contained to the Capitol complex, and was over in a matter of hours. Without remedial action, however, indications are high that America is heading to a much more serious explosion, and the next one could have far greater consequences.

The signs of deterioration are plentiful and pervasive. Numerous stories in recent months in major media have warned of the increasing possibility of civil war in America. The U.S. “today is, once again, headed for civil war,” warned Stephen Marche in The Guardian.  America is closer to a civil war than any of us would like to believe,” echoed professor and CIA researcher Barbara F. Walter. Many want to dismiss such concerns as mere hyperbole.

But civil war in the 1863 sense isn’t the risk. For starters, there obviously aren’t two uniformed field armies poised to take each other on. That doesn’t mean the risk is any less to the United States, however. It means that the risk could take on different, arguably darker, forms.

Already in America, there are many private militias and a growing number of groups that advocate either resistance to the government or forming their own quasi-governmental jurisdictions. Many in America are angry at the police and want to “de-fund” them, arguing that police violence deprives many minorities of justice. At the same time, other people are in staunch defense of the police and consider “de-funders” to be responsible for a spike in violent crime in over a dozen of major cities.

Concurrent with these actions, there are movements in a stunningly high number of states across the nation that want to secede from the union. Newsweek reported that a shocking “66 percent majority of Republicans in 13 Southern states including Texas and Florida are in favor of seceding from the union,” while “47 percent among Democrats in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii,” also supported leaving the United States.

January 6th Shows We Are A Nation In Trouble

Adding to that is a spike nationwide in violent crime, increasing hostility against political opponents, and an increase of millions of guns in households across America. Layered on top of all that anger and large numbers of armed citizens, is yet another troubling poll just released by CBS News-YouGov that shows a whopping 37% of all Americans now believe violence is sometimes justified, and “62% of Americans said they expect violence over losing in future presidential elections.”

And confirming that the political divide that was so central to last year’s Capitol attack has worsened, the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics published the results of a poll that found that fully 80% of both “Biden and Trump voters agree that elected officials of the other party ‘present a clear and present danger to American democracy.’” It should chill every American to realize that all the views and opinions identified above have surfaced after the violence of January 6th.

Meaning, what happened last year was no one-off aberration. It was evidence of a building trend. The pressures that exploded on January 6th had been years in the building. Since that time the pressures have both expanded and continued to build. Without changes in the direction we’re all headed, it becomes increasingly possible that some societal or political spark could ignite a new conflagration that won’t be limited to one location, won’t only include a couple thousand, and could last far longer than part of one day – and it could include significantly more bloodshed. That, however, is not the biggest danger.

Even with all the increases in the number of militias and individuals who increasingly believe violence in pursuit of political objectives is fair game, in comparison to our population they still represent a significant minority. Without a doubt, most Americans reject the notion of using violence and desire to live peaceful lives.

But if even a minority of Americans begins to engage in violence, it could bring chaos not only to entire cities but regions of the country. Historically, spreading levels of large-scale violence has terrified large segments of the population, and since most earnestly desire to live in security and peace – people have often been willing to follow a strongman who can restore order. In such cases, entire populations have been known to surrender some freedoms in exchange for giving expansive powers to a leader who proves he can indeed bring order, often not caring if that strong man uses immoral or illegal methods to restore societal security.

In other words, if too much chaos comes to America if we start drifting to widespread violence and civil war, the risk of a dictator arising becomes all too real.

Many will scoff at even the possibility of that happening in America – but 10 years ago those same people would have scoffed at the possibility of our venerated Capitol Building being assaulted by a mob, yet it happened. With the continued trend towards the acceptance of more violence, the continuing deterioration of trust in the government, and the rise in the desire of millions to split the country into many parts, the risk of losing our country is real.

Last year I warned that we needed immediate and sustained action to check the deterioration in our country. That warning was ignored. Now the need for remedial action is much more urgent and necessary. Before it’s too late.

Daniel L. Davis is a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times and the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” The views shared in this article are those of the author alone and do not represent any group. Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

Written By

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.



  1. Stephen Hughes

    January 5, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Carrying water for the Democrats, The FBI did a thorough investigation of Jan. 6 and found no evidence of a conspiracy . Just like fake Russian Donald Trump conspiracy, just bs. and fake news. When BLM and ANTIFA riots has caused billions of dollars of damage across America, caused the deaths of dozens, law enforcement officers and injured thousands, openly proclaim a violate overthrown the US Government, threaten Law Enforcement, members of government with death and destruction, people like you say nothing. It is people like you who are the problem, pushing fake news.

  2. Frank M

    January 5, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    The federal government long ago stopped working for the people. It is as corrupt as any nation we criticize. Federal services are very poor, highly inefficient & many times are repressive. IRS, DOJ, FBI, ATF. We live in a surveillance state. In every administration the federal government grows in size, cost, scope. The federal government needs to be cut drastically & focus only on the areas the Constitution outlines. As this will not happen voluntarily I believe we will see something happen. It needs to.

  3. Woodward Pfister

    January 5, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    None of the Jan 6 rioters have been charged with Insurrection, Sedition or even as Ted Cruz’s claimed, Terrorism.

    Don’t be a Democrat clown.

  4. Jimmy John Doe

    January 6, 2022 at 12:43 am

    US long famed for street violence;Jan6 2021 was no blip.Bonus army marched after WW1.There was street chaos and panic in NYC after the Wabash injun victory of 1791.

    Jan6 was caused by the Big Steal of Nov 2020 when Nevada and Georgia and Pennsylvania were swept up by suspicious votes especially postal votes or mail-in votes. It caused trump his victory.

  5. Mordecai

    January 6, 2022 at 1:02 am

    The “ Insurrection “ occurred on November 3rd. 2020

    Daniel Davis isn’t a “ journalist “ he’s a paid propagandist of the Deep State/ Globalist Cabal who has the intellectual honesty of a PULEX. For if there were to be an armed uprising it would have commenced long ago. No, Daniel’s pathetic proffer is just anther in a long list of parrots squawking talking points issuing from the mouth speaking great words against the Most High with the intended purpose of providing a “ beard “ for the upcoming “ false flag “ event the Globalists feel is necessary because there is no way on Gods green earth that a party with an 18% approval rating ( and falling faster than an angel cast down twice from Heaven } can hang into control in the midterms therefore they must take measures to prevent those midterms from occurring. Thus by the Beasts behest Daniel concocted this monstrosity, a lie out of whole cloth, a fallacy, a fiction, and like November 3rd, 2020 a fraud.

    What are the chances that little Daniel is a JESUIT ?

  6. Hober Sanovitch

    January 6, 2022 at 8:02 am

    The concept of ceding our freedoms in exchange for peace & security whether security from personal violence or loss income has already been established.
    The takeover of American life has been in progress ever since LBJ’s Great Society in the 60’s.
    Root Cause: People have deliberately ignored God, morals, etc and the followup societal cancer has seeped into every fabric of our society. There is still spiritual eternal salvation hope (Jesus) but I know it only to accelerate worse un Jesus returns to save us from ourselves. It’s obvious but largely deliberately ignored.

  7. Nate

    January 6, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    Do you guys at 19fortyfive ever have an original thought? Seriously all you guys ever do is just promote Left Wing talking points

  8. Eric Anderson

    January 6, 2022 at 4:17 pm

    “Last year I warned that we needed immediate and sustained action to check the deterioration in our country. That warning was ignored. Now the need for remedial action is much more urgent and necessary. Before it’s too late.” says Daniel L. Davis. A little short on ideas, though.

    Me? I have great faith in the innate wisdom of the American people. All of them. It is the will of the people that steers this nation. American society does get messy from time to time, but the end result has been pretty good so far.

  9. smelton

    January 7, 2022 at 11:31 am

    “Last year I warned that we needed immediate and sustained action to check the deterioration in our country. That warning was ignored….”
    If anyone thinks these anti-American marxist want to fix any issues, much less will fix an issue, you are sadly mistaken. Marxist thrive on drama which creates power.

  10. Rich

    January 7, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    The rise and fall of great empires. History is replete with “nations” that have risen in size and power only to mature and begin a downward slide into self-destruction, defeat and/or breakup. Not a single great empire has managed to survive the cycle as it is a natural and unavoidable progression. The centrifugal forces of ethnicity, religion, regionalism and political philosophy fight against the loss of freedom that always comes when an empire invariably ratchets up control to keep the pieces together. In terms of historical empires, the American empire is one of the largest and most unwieldy in terms of people and geographical territory under its control. It surprises me that people feel for some reason that the United States should be any different or is immune to the forces that have ended every single predecessor throughout history. When you think about it, why should any two or more groups of people be forced together when each side no longer wants to live under the existing arrangement. There is nothing divinely ordained with respect to the borders, states, or political control of the same. They are man-made and can be un-made just as easily. The unfortunate truth is that artificially holding a dissolving “nation” together sooner or later comes down to force. The (rare) trick is finding a peaceful way through it all.

  11. David Chang

    January 7, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    God bless people in America.

    Mr. Daniel’s wrong is that he do not oppose that Democratic Party teach soldiers and police to violate Ten Commandments, so that soldiers and policemen to be murderer that Democratic and Communist Party say.

    People also to be mob because of people violate Ten Commandments.

    Therefore, Mr. Daniel should promote Ten Commandments and the theory of just war, this is good way to stop socialism war such as Vietnam War.

  12. Vincent

    January 8, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    This was not an INSURRECTION !!!!! Erections are bigger than this.

    Insurrections involve people organized with weapons not unarmed citizens voicing their dislike of policies.

    Time and again, evidence points to nefarious activities that were designed to inject chaos and violence into the protest.

    We had over 200 American citizens killed in 2020 from “mostly peaceful protests” along with more than $2 Billion dollars worth of damage to businesses and property, iconic statues torn down all over the country, businesses being extorted by BLM, and police officers with a bullseye on their foreheads and THIS was an INSURRECTION??? WTF

    This narrative, this labeling, regardless is an attempt to disparage average Americans and push the belief that we should be ashamed of ourselves as a nation.

    People are tired, very tired of others trying to portray this country as a bad place. This was no insurrection it was a hijacked protest and any responsible journalist could do even rudimentary research to see evidence to provide enough doubt about what really happened.
    This was a protest hijacked by members of Congress.

  13. jeff

    January 10, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    I’ll bet that Mr. Daniel is willing to take charge of this effort to reign in all of the nasties that he sees. People are fed up but the thought of violence from the average American is very well nil. We know where most of the violence of the last two years came from and it was not the average citizen.

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