In 1775, when it was clear the colonies would have to answer aggression from Great Britain by taking up arms to defend America, Massachusetts militias were at the forefront of the fight. Today, with basic rights of free speech, association, and dissent under assault, Massachusetts soldiers are on the move again – this time to defend the very heart of the Constitution, the peaceful transfer of power.

Governor Charlie Baker has called up a thousand National Guard troops as America prepares for the transfer of power from the outgoing Trump Administration to President-elect Joe Biden. Five hundred troops from Massachusetts will be part of a contingent of 20,000 troops that will defend the Capitol from enemies foreign and domestic. Another 500 troops are on standby here at home in the event they are needed.

The violent attack on the United States Capitol Building last week and what the FBI calls credible threats of violence between now and the Biden inauguration have authorities on high alert. But the media makes the situation more dangerous by continuing to lie about the threat.

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ABC News claims a "Pro-Trump mob" stormed the Capitol last week while the State House News Service called it a "mob of President Trump supporters." That's just for starters. ABC calls the attackers "extremists." Yes, they were extremists. But the media should tell you that John Sullivan of Utah, an activist with the left-wing extremist group Insurgence USA, was also in the U.S. Capitol during the riot. Tell the whole story. Tell the truth.

Sullivan faces federal charges of civil disorder, being in a restricted area, and disorderly conduct, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Sullivan is allegedly caught on tape instructing fellow rioters to burn and loot the place.

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Right-wing extremists were involved in the Capitol attack, but there were left-wing extremists involved, too. Extremism on either side is dangerous to our nation. The media has to tell you the truth so that you can fully understand the threat we face.

Meanwhile, as our neighbors, our families, our friends prepare to deploy to Washington, we wish them godspeed. And for our nation, we wish for a continuation of the tradition of peaceful transitions from one administration to another. For all Americans, we pray for a peaceful resolution to the many disagreements that so deeply divide us.

As Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself, cannot stand."

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.

PHOTOS: Scene at U.S. Capitol shows chaos and violence

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