Protests at the Capitol: History teacher Ed Hruskocy Q and A


Meg Newman, Reporter

1) What was your initial reaction to the rioters breaching the capitol?


“Stunned. Shocked. My reaction was similar to the events of 9-11 from a “What the . . . ” standpoint.  I actually think in some respects this is bigger than 9-11. Not from a loss of life standpoint, but from the standpoint of if this domestic coup d’ etat (and that is what it was) had succeeded, we would have no longer been the country that we all know us to be. So look at it this way. If the coup succeeded, all 330 million US citizens would have had a part of us die.”


2) How significant of a moment do you think this is to our history?


“My answer above probably gives you the answer to this.  Remember why I do the “This Day in History” assignment in APUSH?  Because any day we wake up could be “that day”.  Well, Jan. 6, 2021, is now one of those “those days”.  I mean, come on, for the first time since August 1814 during the War of 1812, the Capitol was attacked. What more needs to be said?”


3) What kind of long-term impact(s)  will this have on our society?


“Long-term hard to say. The legacy of Trump, whatever it was going to be, has now been re-defined. This will forever be a stain on his presidency.  He becomes James Buchanan-like.  Recall, Buchanan was in office when secession began.  Politically, what will become of his supporters? Don’t know. It’s likely that the mainstream Republican Party will begin to turn away from Trumpism.  I think you see that happening now in real time.  And that’s OK, because he was never really a Republican nor a conservative, he was just . . . Trump, whatever that means. Will Trump-ites become a 3rd political party? Maybe. I think it’s pretty transparent that this presidency has been about preparing the way for Don Jr. and/or Ivanka to run one day. That may be more difficult, however, after the events of Wednesday.”


4) Do you think this will be a setback or distraction for the incoming Biden administration?


“I think it provides an opportunity for TRUE healing to take place in the country.  I think now there will be an opening for some Republicans in Congress (especially the more moderate ones), to be willing to work across the aisle to get things done, and not worry about Fox News or Newsmax ripping them for being “traitors” to the cause. Biden will still have to govern as who he is, a moderate/centrist, in order to get things done.  He will have to reject some of the more extreme liberal ideas that that wing of the party will want to get done. The result will probably be he and Harris becoming less popular within the party, which will set up an extreme liberal candidate to be nominated in 2024, especially since I don’t see him running again.  Will that candidate be VP Harris?  It might be, although I don’t think she’d be “liberal” enough.  Whatever happens, though, will be exciting. That’s why we love US History, right?”