My wife guarded the Capitol. My mom joined the horde surrounding it.

Four long hours later, the Capitol was secured. My wife came home at midnight, and she returned to work at 6 the next morning; the police still had to protect the defiled Capitol and prepare for the inauguration. Friends and family checked in to make sure we were all right. Some of them are Trump supporters who told us they were horrified by what happened, and that if they had known that something like this would happen, they wouldn’t have voted for him. Many other Trump supporters we know said nothing; their silence has been deafening. My mom returned to Texas, and she never stopped posting videos. In them, she said the violence had been staged to trash and demoralize Trump supporters; she blamed antifa, a far-left anti-fascist movement, for everything.

I still feel deep anger at her. During a deadly pandemic, she got on planes and buses and stayed overnight with people she hardly knew so she could join this event. She stood shoulder-to-shoulder in maskless crowds, mocking social-distancing guidelines. It’s infuriating to think about the people whose health she might have endangered, just through coronavirus risk alone — and all of that was before that crowd physically forced their way into the Capitol, destroyed public property, threatened lives and harmed people. That she refuses to own up to her actions or take any responsibility, instead pointing the finger at some imaginary, shadowy enemy, is nearly unbearable.

I feel equal anger, if not more, for the leaders who helped cook up this disinformation.