After Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol yesterday, resulting in four deaths and several injuries, Congress reconvened and cemented Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race. WAMC took to the streets today to speak with residents across the Northeast about how the events unfolded.
Raymond White, speaking to WAMC Thursday morning in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, says he couldn’t believe that the Capitol had been breached.
“It’s just crazy to me,” White said. “It’s still shocking, honestly. I’m still in awe that it even happened at all. It’s really scary. It’s really scary, the fact that that could even happen.”
Bob Caprara, owner of Caprara’s Auto Body Shop in Troy, New York, says he voted for Trump and still supports him. Caprara says although he finds the violence to be “reprehensible,” he understands the frustration that led to the insurrection. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he claims the election was stolen.
“When 500,000 votes appear in the middle of the night, and 497,000 of them are for Joe Biden, that doesn’t fare well with me,” Caprara said. “I’m a common sense guy. That’s impossible. The guy ran a campaign from his basement.”
Clinton Ballinger of Troy says he used to be a Trump supporter, but eventually became disillusioned.
“At first I actually thought he was doing a decent job,” Ballinger said. “He made some bold claims, said ‘this is what I’m gonna do as president’ and I thought, ‘damn, he’s actually trying to do them.’ As things wore on, and especially when Black Lives Matter happened, I lost all faith, and that’s when I started to slide.”
Ballinger says Trump should have put a stop to the violence at the Capitol.
“He is an absolute terrible leader,” Ballinger said. “There is no leadership bones in his body. He is just atrocious. And yes he should have spoken up. The rally they had before this big protest should have never happened. With him and Giuliani up there saying ‘march on that Capitol and show power’ that was just… Criminal.”
Caprara claims what America stands to lose the most is Trump’s business savvy, saying unemployment will go from bad to worse and the American stock market will suffer when Biden takes office.
“You’re going to see more troops being deployed, you’re gonna see more shady deals, cronyism, bad stuff going on over there,” Caprara said. “And what’s gonna happen to China? China’s flag is gonna fly over our White House, some say. Because China is gonna own us. It’s happening. Now that Joe Biden and whatshername are gonna be in there… Joe Biden’s wife needs to keep him on a really, really, really short leash. Because if some of these far left socialists get in this guy’s ear, this country’s gonna fall apart. You’re not gonna recognize it.”
Acie Wright of Ellenburg Depot in Clinton County says he’s hoping Biden can take the political temperature down a few notches.
“I’m hoping it be a peaceful transition for one thing,” Wright said. “And I hope Biden calms the whole country down because that’s what the whole country needs right now.”
Author Dennis Mahoney spoke outside his home in Troy. He says the last year has made him “semi-immune” to shock, and yet he was glued to the TV watching people break into the Capitol. Mahoney says watching Congress reconvene restored some of his hope, but feels Trump should be impeached and removed from office immediately.
“Facebook unbelievably, finally, had the nerve to ban him,” Mahoney said. “God knows Twitter did and Twitter’s been kicking at him for a while. I think if he says anything more outrageous and incites anything further, it had to be a consideration. 14 days is a long time.”