On January 6, a day that will live in infamy, violent forces loyal to Donald Trump stormed Capitol Hill.
The deadly insurrection was a watershed moment for the United States … and it could happen again.
The House has canceled its day session for Thursday, March 4 as police warn of a new plot.
Why March 4?
Conspiracy theorists of a QAnon offshoot believe that this particular date is when Trump can return to power.
The coup attempt on January 6 failed, thanks to the quick action of heroes and the general disorganization of the insurgents.
But, at the time, people warned that without real, serious consequences for all involved, it was just a practice run.
March 4 is the date that some of his most obsessed, paranoid fanatics believe that he can return to power — and they want to make it happen.
“We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol,” Capitol Police announced in a grim statement.
The statement said that this possible breach was to be made “by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”
The force affirmed: “We are taking the intelligence seriously.”
The perimeter of the Capitol rotunda has been ringed with new fencing, all topped with razor wire.
That should serve much better than the bike racks that were turned against police on January 6.
Capitol Police report that they are reaching out to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for further preparation.
The FBI has additionally issued an intelligence bulletin, warning about “extremists discussing March 4 and March 6.”
Threats against lawmakers are said to be “through the roof” among these groups.
They are said to be particularly angry at those legislators who opposed or voted to impeach disgraced former president Donald Trump.
Capitol Police received intelligence of at least one militia group hatching this plot — just two months after the last attack.
With this in mind, House leaders on Wednesday abruptly shuffled voting plans, allowing lawmakers to leave town before Thursday.
On January 6, some lawmakers were seconds away from direct run-ins with the violent mob. They are taking no chances this time.
“Our leader will return to power on the appointed day and destroy his enemies” sounds like the belief of cultists in a sword-and-sorcery movie from the ’80s.
However, this is a sincerely held belief by an alarming number of QAnon supporters, particularly those of an offshoot.
And why March 4? It’s complicated … but basically, it was the original inauguration date that was established in the Constitution.
To start with the basics, QAnon is a fringe group of people with extreme beliefs that are not rooted in reality.
Generally speaking, they believe in massive conspiracies involving the ultra-wealthy, tech companies, Democrats, and celebrities.
The theory tends to focus upon child-exploitation, though the details can vary widely among believers.
To prominent Q-believers like Liz Crokin, this “cabal” of elites employs sorcery, worships demons, and extracts drugs from tortured children.
Some believe in a sort of science fiction version of things, featuring aliens.
And to others, the whole “Q” thing is just a political spy thriller without any sorcery, demons, or trans-dimensional beings.
At its root are anonymous messages by someone claiming to have “Q-level” security clearance.
All of the versions of the conspiracy theory, from adrenochrome-huffing Tom Hanks to Chrissy Teigen in illuminati rituals, are absurd.
But that doesn’t stop people from believing them … and their beliefs have driven them to dangerous, violent actions.
Now, clearly, this is going to sound unhinged, but a QAnon offshoot believes that March 4 is the day that Trump returns to office.
This belief stems from extremists like those in the sovereign citizen movement.
Many of whom believe that the United States government has been illegitimate since 1871.
The 20th Amendment of the US Constitution moved inauguration day from March to February.
It was adopted in 1933 — and thus, after 1871 when those with these fringe beliefs believed that the US government ceased to be valid.
As such, they have decided to imagine that Trump will have his big comeback on that day … and some may use deadly force to make it happen.
Does it make sense? No! And it doesn’t have to.
At its core, QAnon beliefs are largely rooted in insecurity, fear, and a desire to make sense out of the world.
Someone who voted for Trump was free to imagine that he was doing secret good things instead of, you know, golfing and blundering.
Obviously, there’s more to Q beliefs than that, from weird numeralogy stuff to the human instinct to impose order upon to the world to a heavy dose of antisemitism.
But it remains unclear who specifically is planning an attack, as law enforcement has released few details.
People planned the January 6 attack very openly, broadcasting it and their attendance on social media. Perhaps they’ve been more circumspect this time.
Some officials have characterized the threats for March 4 and March 6 as “aspirational” rather than concrete, doable plans.
Meanwhile, some QAnon followers believe that chatter about a March 4 attack is a “deep state” plot to catch adherents.
Despite numerous high-profile, easily recognizable QAnon believers being involved in the January 6 insurrection, some have said the same about that event.
We of course hope that the measures in place this week will be more than enough to discourage anyone from taking any criminal or dangerous actions.
The January 6 attack was only as successful as it was because security was deliberately made lax by Trump and those loyal to him.
We do not ever again wish to see any violence or attacks on our government at the Capitol — not even if things would go very differently for attackers this time around.