As one who reads a great deal of American History, I was stunned by the events in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. The storming of the U.S. Capitol posed the most significant threat to our Democratic way of life since the burning of our nation's capital by the British during the War of 1812.

It occurred during the normally peaceful and routine transition of power from one administration to another, something we have taken for granted for more than 240 years. The symbolism is remarkable.

Let's be clear, I do not condone violence and anarchy. I condemn it. Wednesday's event was violent. A woman died during the chaos after being shot inside the Capitol building. What happened was wrong.

While stunned by the incident, I must admit I am not surprised. To blame what happened on the election results is to be short-sighted. The election was simply the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. The anger and rage that was on display in Washington on Wednesday have been percolating for decades. The pressure has been building, and on Wednesday, the dam broke.

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President Trump often refers to the "forgotten men" and "forgotten women" of our country. That was them in D.C. on Wednesday. Those were average working folks of all ages and all backgrounds that converged on the nation's capital. The silent majority. They no longer have confidence in their government. This pre-dates Donald Trump. Trump simply was the catalyst for bringing these disgruntled Americans to the forefront.

The issues are varied, but they share a common distrust and disgust for what they see as corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle.

What happened in Washington on Wednesday was alarming. But why it happened should not be ignored. Americans are angry. This was their Tea Party. And they are not going away.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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