WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sidney residents Drew and Kathy Cable, who were in Washington, D.C., when supporters of President Donald Trump breached the United States Capitol, don’t condone the action but understand the fervor.
The Cables attended Trump’s rally on Wednesday, arriving at the National Mall at approximately 6 a.m. They were near the back of the crowd when attendees began marching toward the Capitol.
Knowing they wouldn’t get near the building, they decided to leave at approximately 2 p.m. They didn’t learn about the breach until they were on the Washington Metro.
“I understand, I think, where they’re coming from, the passion behind it, but it’s not something I myself would have chosen to do,” Kathy Cable said. “But I understand the passion behind it.”
While they understand the actions, the married couple said they didn’t condone them.
“We can’t condone what they did,” Drew Cable said of people breaching the Capitol. “There has to be law and order in the world. But I understand the passion of people who would do that.”
Meanwhile, a former Sidney resident also went to the nation’s capital to support the U.S. Constitution on the day of the Electoral College vote that turned from a peaceful event to a riot involving thousands.
“We came here to support our Constitution and to support our country,” said Paul Deitz Jr., of Galveston, Texas, and formerly of Sidney. “We didn’t expect this at all.”
Deitz said the front line of people were getting shot with tear gas and pepper spray.
“The front group retreated a little bit and then they pushed through when the police retreated,” said Deitz. “Thousands of people rushed up the steps of the Capitol.”
Deitz said no one was in the building when the group pushed into the building.
“We were 100 feet away from the steps (of the Capitol),” he said.
Some of the protesters climbed the scaffolding that is in place for the inauguration, he said.
“One guy, who was in full gear, picked up a tear gas container and threw it back at the police,” said Deitz.
Deitz said they were expecting a peaceful event when they traveled from Texas to Washington.
“We expected a big turnout,” said Deitz. “We expected a peaceful event. We came here to support our Constitution and country.”
He said the group listened to Trump speak at the White House. They saw numerous people including Donald Trump Jr. while they were there. They then began the journey to the Capitol. Once there, the peaceful event turned into a riot.
The Cables said they thought the crowd was more about people being fed up with both political parties – Republicans and Democrats – than support for Trump.
“I don’t think this had anything to do with Donald Trump,” Kathy Cable said. “People are really just fed up with the entire system.”
The Cables were drawn to Washington because of Trump’s calls for Americans to fight the results of the 2020 general election, which saw Democrat Joe Biden defeat the incumbent Republican for the presidency.
The Cables, and Trump, said there was widespread fraud in the election. However, leaders of both parties have rejected those accusations and the Trump campaign hasn’t proven its claims in court.
Drew Cable doesn’t trust either party and contends the courts, including the Supreme Court, didn’t want to hear the purported evidence.
“I don’t trust a party,” he said. “I never had.”
Prior to voting for Trump, Drew Cable said he had never voted for a Republican or Democrat for president. He thinks as an American it’s his duty to be involved in politics but previously voted for third party or write-in candidates.
Drew Cable said leaders from both parties including Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. R-Wisconsin, Biden and others are rich people who care more about their wealth and power than the needs of ordinary Americans. He views Trump as an outsider who doesn’t act like other politicians and hears the concerns of people like him.
The Cables said people need to start taking actions to stand up for what they believe in, like they did by driving nearly eight hours to Washington, D.C.
For most of the day, the Cables said, rally attendees were peaceful with no problems.
“Up until the march to the Capitol, everything was fine,” Drew Cable said. “So I don’t know what happened there because we were pretty far back on that march. I just know they got there, and they obviously are in the Capitol now.”
Drew Cable said people need to be active in politics, attending town hall meetings and researching for themselves instead of listening to outlets such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
“The days of us just sitting on our heals needs to be done,” he said. “We’ve got to be willing to do work.”
While Trump and many of his supporters have criticized Black Lives Matter and Antifa, Drew Cable said he sees a lot of commonalities between those groups and the people who rallied on Wednesday in Washington.
“I think they have more in common than what people believe,” he said. “I think they are the same coin, but they are very different sides of that coin.”