The riot in Washington, D.C., was shocking and appalling. It achieved nothing except to destroy the legacy of President Donald Trump.

Violence never works. A serious congressional hearing that could have helped shine some light on alleged election fraud was being held in the Capitol when the insurgents burst in. There was death and destruction. When it was all over, many of the legislators who originally supported a move to investigate voter fraud in the presidential election were so shook up and disgusted with what had happened that they dropped any attempt to debate the issue.

I am not trying to diminish the criminal conduct of some of the Trump supporters during the riot.

But we also need to ask: Were there any anarchists, Black Lives Matter or antifa members among the protesters? They were the major instigators in last summer’s violent riots. Their goal is to create anarchy and destroy our country. This would have been a great chance for them to create chaos.

Planting instigators in crowds to incite riots is a tactic that was used extensively by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis during their rise to power before World War II. I have read commentaries by survivors of the Chinese communist revolution, and the Russian and Cuban communist takeovers. They all talked about the rise in violence and riots in their countries before their countries collapsed.

We are seeing this in our nation.

The foremost tactic used by these criminal organizations to create chaos was to turn groups against each other. For the Nazis, it was the “Aryan master race” against the Jews. For the communists, it was the proletariat (the poor working class) against the bourgeois (middle class property owners). In our country, it is Blacks against whites, and Democrats against the Republicans.

Now we are right back to where we started. Half of our population is still angry about an election that they believe was illegitimate. A small group of individuals did some really stupid and illegal stuff that all of us are being blamed for.

Now some people are saying that we should just forget about investigating any possible election fraud. If there is a riot and a murder, would we just forget about the murder? In this case, we believe that our freedom was murdered. Should we just forget about it?

The right to a safe and secure vote is the heartbeat of our country. Without it, the party in power can manipulate elections so that it wins every time and our free nation dies. We saw this happen in Venezuela, which went from one of the richest nations in the world to an impoverished dictatorship in 20 years.

The “Russia, Russia” hoax with the daily drum beat of vicious lies against our president by Democratic leaders and the mainstream media started our decline into hate and division.

Trump was routinely called a bigot, a sexist, a racist, a fascist, an anti-Semite, a homophobe and a traitor.

We were treated to Kathy Griffin, a so-called comedian, at a rally holding a fake severed head of our president. Madonna, when speaking at a Washington, D.C., demonstration, stated that she wanted to bomb the White House and a couple of prominent comedians talked about assassinating our president.

Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “deplorables.” An enraged Republican hater shot five Republican lawmakers as they practiced for a congressional charity ball game. He would have killed them all if armed security hadn’t intervened.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., on video urged her followers to harass and intimidate Trump staffers or allies, and they did. They began demonstrating in front of the private homes of Trump supporters and viciously confronting them in public places.

Last week, antifa attacked the home of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. His wife and newborn baby were home alone. The protesters screamed threats, vandalized his home and pounded on his front door.

The impeachment travesty further divided our country. Then came the George Floyd riots with anarchists, Black Lives Matter and antifa burning, looting and rioting across our country, dragging us down even further. Historical statues were destroyed across our country with no penalty for the criminals who destroyed them. Police became targets for deranged protesters.

Now, criminals especially in large cities are being let out of jail with no bail. Most are reoffending. The crime rates in large cities are skyrocketing while law enforcement is being defunded. All the while, our inept politicians have been enabling the criminals by doing nothing.

Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens are locked in their homes because of the coronavirus, reading and listening to the hate while watching in disbelief as the rule of law disintegrates in front of their eyes.

My wish is that both political parties will look at the Capitol riot as a sign that things must change. They will realize that their partisan fighting is causing much of the violence in our country. And then they will decide that the good of our country and making sure that every citizen’s freedom and vote is protected is more important than partisan politics.

Look: There are pigs flying over my house and I think that hell has frozen over. Could it be?

It will never happen. Partisan political power is all that matters to our political elite. If we don’t force them to audit and fix our election system, we will be going through this same fight in four years, and the hate and violence will be worse.

President-elect Joe Biden, you promised to heal our nation. If you are truly sincere and want to defuse the anger in our country you can do several things:

1. Tell everyone to tone down the vicious, hateful rhetoric.

2. Put together a bipartisan committee to investigate the election. Prove to half of our citizenry that the election was legitimate or fix it if it wasn’t.

3. Stop the impeachment proceedings against Trump. He just has a few days left. You will accomplish nothing but to further enrage half of our country.

Dugger retired as a journeyman carpenter from Clearwater Paper. He lives in Lewiston.