When you end up with the dark day we had in our nation's Capitol today everyone is quick to cast blame.
Of course, the media and Democrats want to heap all of the blame on President Donald Trump.
Yes, President Trump bears his share of blame.
He clearly underestimated the potential for violence in calling for his supporters to gather in Washington.
Trump supporters have been incredibly orderly and law-abiding in any gathering for over five years.
I have written before in these pages about the safety and dangers of the herd. Here is a portion of what I wrote back in August as left wing protests descended into violence.
Human beings have a "herd instinct" every bit as strong as many animals.
It seems to be hard-wired into our brains.
You often feel better and more secure in conforming and not sticking your head out from the crowd. Being part of the crowd seems like it carries less risk. It seems safer to be a part of the crowd so you can avoid being called out or noticed.
However, the crowd you are following can sometimes be heading in the wrong direction.
This was demonstrated a few years ago in a research study at the University of Leeds conducted by Professor Jens Krause.
The study showed that it takes a minority of just five percent to influence a crowd's direction - and that the other 95 percent follow without even realizing what is going on.
Professor Krause, with PhD student John Dyer, conducted a series of experiments in which groups of volunteers walked randomly around a large hall. Within the group, a few received instructions regarding where to walk. Participants were not allowed to communicate with one or intentionally influence anyone
The findings in all cases revealed that the informed individuals were followed by the others in the crowd, forming a self-organizing, snake-like structure (or flock of sheep, take your pick).
"We've all been in situations where we got swept along by a crowd," said Professor Krause. "But what's interesting about this research is that our participants ended up making a consensus decision despite the fact that they weren't allowed to talk or gesture to one another. In most cases the participants didn't realize they were being led by others at all."
Therefore, it only takes a small number of agitators to influence the crowd to do something none of them would ever consider doing on their own.
It will be interesting to discover what were the driving factors in some of those in the crowd to think that invading the U.S. Capitol was a good idea.
I have a suspicion that some instigators may have been Antifa plants in the crowd. It would not take many of them to lead and for an entire herd to follow
If that was the case, President Trump got played by Antifa and also played right into the hands of the Democrats.
As I wrote yesterday, I thought that President Trump had no realistic chance of getting anything else out of Congress or Vice President Pence in today's proceedings. His only path was through the state legislatures.
It made little sense to focus efforts on Washington with his supporters. Trump should have understood there was a risk that things could spin out of control. He relied too much on past behavior.
A better strategy would have been to put all of the focus on the state capitals. However, that would not be as impressive or garner the media attention to the claims on fraud he needs to put public pressure on the legislators.
Until today I believed that Trump still had a slim chance of getting several states to do a forensic audit of mail-in ballots that could conceivably lead to the state legislature in those states to decertify.
No one is going to want to touch that issue right now. Trump and the election fraud issue are radioactive right now.
Trump rolled the dice on the DC rally and lost.
In the process, the Capitol incursion did substantial damage to the Trump brand and the MAGA movement.
It remains to be see what that means in the long term.
In my view that is where Trump's blame ends on the events of today.
Saying that Trump should have just conceded and walked away is not a fair criticism in light of the massive amounts of alleged irregularities and how close the votes are in the disputed states.
No one can ever convince me that if the roles were reversed that Biden, Harris and the Democrats would have conceded and walked away.
Let's turn to others who should share the blame.
First and foremost the protestors who crossed the line and invaded the U.S. Capitol. They all should be arrested.
How about the state elections officials who have been so obstructive in allowing any forensic audits of the votes?
How about the state legislatures who allowed election rules for this year to be changed by local officials or the Secretary of State with no oversight?
How about the state legislatures who were not willing to investigate the allegations of fraud when it was brought to their attention?
How about the judicial system which over and over again did not give a fair hearing to the allegations of election fraud or the unconstitutional changes in mail-in ballot rules in various states? The Supreme Court is high on that list because these were issues that in many cases only that Court could decide.
If you were wondering what the cost is of lack of transparency and integrity in our electoral and judicial process you saw it in real time today. This did not have to happen.
How about Democrat officeholders and Joe Biden who sat by and let Antifa and BLM activists loot and burn down cities without a bit of criticism? What example did that provide?
How about Democrat mayors from big cities like Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York City and Washington who continually told police to stand down as protestors ravaged their cities?
How about the media who minimized the riots in big cites and kept calling them "mostly peaceful". Compare that to what is being reported right now.
How about the Democrats and the media who have consistently called Trump supporters deplorables, racists, fascists and worse for four years?
How about the establishment Republicans party who at times has been every bit as hostile of Trump and many of his core supporters as the Democrats are?
How about an FBI and Justice Department who appears more interested in protecting the establishment than the equal application of justice? How long has the Durham investigation been going on? Why did we only find that Hunter Biden has been under investigation for two years after Trump was impeached and a Presidential election?
This country has been at a slow boil for a long time.
Donald Trump did not light the fire.
In fact, Donald Trump would have never been elected but for those who lit the fire.
Yes, Trump did turn the heat up and directed the flame towards those who were responsible for lighting the fire.
He did stir the pot from time to time.
And there is little doubt this made all of them very UNCOMFORTABLE.
To get along in Washington, you are supposed to go along. That was not Donald Trump and he was elected in large part because people were tired of the old games.
Of course, almost everyone in Washington have spent their entire careers playing the get along, go along game. Someone that does not play the game is a THREAT.
You also have those voters who did not like Trump's behavior, style or tone.
Never mind what Trump did. Forget the accomplishments. His policies don't matter. None of those count. It only matters whether you get along with everyone. Play nice on the playground and make sure everyone likes you.
If we are looking at those to blame let's add those people to the list who value style over substance.
A lot of these people have taken great pleasure looking down their noses at Trump supporters for the last five years. Unwashed, uneducated and supposedly ill-informed about what the United States should be all about. Don't they understand that the nation was never that great to begin with?
At some point, the pot was going to boil over.
I can argue that having Donald Trump in The White House for the last four years actually kept the lid on that boiling pot. Those supporters believed that Trump had their backs and was committed to protecting what has made our country great. Trump kept the lid on.
However, seeing the total lack of transparency in the election and the total lack of courage of anyone to even look into the election allegations blew the lid off.
Blame Donald Trump for what you will.
However, everyone is to blame for where we find ourselves right now.
I know not what lies ahead.
Everyone will also find that out together.