Although those of us who follow current events from reliable sources knew better, I have empathy for the January 6 rioters who were not as well informed and heeded the call of the then president to disrupt certification of what they were told were false election results.
When I grew up, it was a matter of personal pride that, when asked by the President of the United States to do something, that you did so, with few questions asked.
This does not excuse storming the nation’s capital and endangering our elected leaders, their staffs and capital police, but it is a mitigating factor for sentencing those who participated..
Many felt they were saving democracy, not destroying it. They acted out of a sense of patriotism.
The greater fault is those craven individuals, including our most recent past president, who callously betrayed the credibility of high office for selfish reasons.